Talk to me: Writing scripts that are relatable

When you’re cruising through videos on the Internet or channel surfing on TV, you’re asking a question every time you come to another selection: “What’s in it for me?” You probably don’t even know you’re asking that question. It happens in a split second, and a split second later you’ve made the decision to start watching the video or to move on to something else.

That’s really the central factor for every video. At some point a viewer will have the choice of watching it or ignoring it. They’re asking themselves the same question: “What’s in it for me?” Maybe they want information. Maybe they want entertainment. Maybe they’re just bored and looking for distraction, but they want the most engaging distraction possible. In every case, the video has to deliver the goods.

Is you video compelling enough to captivate your target audience?

Is you video compelling enough to captivate your target audience?

To do this you have to get into the heads of your target audience. The first step is knowing who’s in that audience. It’s not necessarily about knowing demographics like age and gender (though if you’re pitching the video to potential financial backers or media outlets, you definitely need to include this information). This is more about knowing their likes and dislikes.

Are you targeting people who love American Dad and South Park? Well, you know they like comedy, but it’s a particular kind of comedy. You’re not likely to win them over with dialog that belongs in a Brit Com. Do you want to appeal to viewers who like romance and elegance? Review the script for your video. If you can picture Adam Sandler saying anything in it, burn the script, scatter the ashes in a fast-moving river, and start again. No offense to Mr. Sandler, because a lot of people find him funny and talented. But he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. No actor is everyone’s cup of tea.

An entertainer’s appeal is as much about their personal “voice” as it is about other factors like appearance. “Voice” isn’t just the sound of their actual voice. It’s the tone, the delivery, what they choose to say and how they choose to say it. In short, it is a major component of their personal style. Among all of the ways actors can differentiate themselves, “voice” is probably most crucial.

Like actors, your video has a “voice” too, and it can either help your viewers relate to your video or put them off entirely. You don’t even have to say a word to get the reaction. If your video starts out in a baroque room lit by candles, with harpsichord music playing underneath, you’ve just set a tone. That tone pretty much guarantees that you’re not going to win over 17-year-olds who spend all their free time playing Grand Theft Auto unless, five seconds into the established scene, a car crashes through the wall, sending candles and the harpsichord player flying across the room. Oddly enough, one of the best ways to attract a broader audience is to marry two disparate elements, like a car crashing through a 17th century drawing room. The sense of the surreal and unpredictable has viewers switching from “What’s in it for me?” to “What happens next?”

Bang. You’ve hooked those viewers.

Curiosity may not do much for the average cat’s health, but it’s great for generating interest in your video. It’s not the only strong feeling you can use to capture the viewer’s attention. Sadness, exuberance, and anger are all powerful ways to start a video. They’re among the easiest emotions people can get caught up in, and if you can evoke them for your viewers it will help them feel instant connection to your video.

If your video is informative rather than evocative in nature, you have to show the viewers right from the start that they haven’t wasted their time. The video must be relevant. Put yourself in the viewers’ place. At one time, you didn’t have the information you’re about to impart to them. What made you curious about the subject? What made you spend time and energy learning about it? When you isolate the factors that hooked you, you can play those up at the start of the video to hook other viewers.

Have you found a new way to do something, or uncovered new information that your viewers may not know yet? Make sure you share that fact right off the top, although you’ll want to pace yourself when delivering the actual information. If you just spill the beans in the first 10 seconds of your four-minute video, you pretty much have given them license to leave after 10 seconds.

Having a video production company like Hencar help you with concept development and scripting is one way to ensure your video will be easy for viewers to relate to and enjoy. An objective third party can help you figure out which elements are most appealing to viewers. Let us give you our input so that you can worry less about how to reel your audience in and focus on creating the video you really want.