Software Demo

How To Write A Video Script

How To Write A Video Script 560 315 Pam Jones

Watch this video or read the story below the video for my top tip in how to write a video script effectively.

 

I often get asked how I write a video script. And to answer this question, I thought I’d tell you about a project I’m currently working on, developing some animated explainer videos for an educational organisation.

The animation videos will help to explain difficult maths topics. And for projects like this I usually get some existing material to work from. It’s a really good start. It gives me background knowledge on the topic and helps me understand what people need to learn. But; there are two main challenges in using existing material for a video script.

The first is that sometimes in existing material there’s too much detail. And that’s because the material was originally written for the eye to read and this can be difficult to convert into a script which an audience will be listening to.

The second challenge with using existing material might be that there is not enough detail or the right detail. And that might mean going back to the client, and asking questions like:

  • What is the story here?
  • What are we trying to teach people in this video?
  • What is the key learning point?
  • What is the current material not doing that the video could do really effectively?

You don’t want repeat everything, your existing materiel is already covering. Instead you want to be able to use the power of video, to approach the topic from a slightly different angle.

Whether there’s too much material or not enough details, the video script writing process involves editing existing material, simplifying the words, and some times writing new material, like a story or scenario.

Writing a video script, particularly for educational content does require skill. And remember for all video scripts, don’t write for the eye to read. Instead, write the video script for the ear to hear as if you’re speaking to someone right there in front of you.

So that’s just a brief tip into my video script writing process. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below.

To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

Can I make software demo videos myself

Can I Make Software Demo Videos Myself?

Can I Make Software Demo Videos Myself? 560 315 Pam Jones

Of course! You absolutely can make software demo videos yourself. Many people and organisations do. There are many software packages that you can use to make your own software demo videos for IT systems, Apps and platforms. For example, Camtasia Studio, Adobe Captivate,  Screenflow.

These video software packages tend to be marketed with messages like “Create videos quickly and easily”.

However, in my opinion, it does take time to learn how to use the video software. These types of video software are jam packed with editing and production features. So making these videos “easily and quickly” doesn’t happen immediately.

It didn’t for me. It is a steep learning curve.

So before you download a trial of the software, ask yourself the following questions to help you decide whether you should make the software demo videos yourself:

  1. Have you created software demo videos before?
  2. Do you learn new software quickly?
  3. Have you really got the time to learn the video software?
  4. Do you actually want to learn the software or, do you just want to get high quality software demo videos created quickly?
  5. Is it worth investing that time learning the software when you may only need a few videos creating for your business?
  6. Do you have experience of writing video scripts for software demo? It’s a very different style of writing to writing for the screen or print.
  7. Do you have a strong eye for detail? In any video editing software you will have to be comfortable fine tuning and synchronising videos to the hundredth of a second!

It’s also important to know that producing software demo videos is only one part of the process. You still need to complete other tasks which the video software will not do for you. For example:

Taking all this into account, the question IS NOT:

Can I make animated software videos myself?.

The question IS:

Should I make software demo videos myself?

If you’re serious about using on-boarding videos in your business, then I strongly advise using a professional video production company with a track record of producing high quality software demo videos. And you should definitely NOT be making your software demo video if you answered “No” to any of the above 7 questions.

A DIY job could result in poor quality and frankly – a crap video where people do not learn effectively how to use your system.

We work closely with all our clients and take them through every step of the video production process. We do all the hard work for them which includes:


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

What is software demo video

What Is A Software Demo Video?

What Is A Software Demo Video? 560 315 Pam Jones

If you have a specific software or IT system which you need to train people to use, then one way to deliver that training quickly and easily is with software demo videos.

A software demo video shows people how to do specific tasks in a software program, IT system, or online IT platform. The learning approach used in these videos is usually called “Show and Tell”.

In my experience, the most effective software demo videos should include the following four main elements:

1. The key actions you want to teach

First, plan the key tasks that you want to teach your audience.

Then outline the individual steps to go through to complete the overall task.

For example, if a demo video needed to show people how to bold a heading in Word, then:

  1. The task = How to bold a heading in Word
  2. The individual steps to complete that task are:
  • Highlight text to be bold
  • Go to Font Toolbar
  • Click on B to complete the task

A screen recording software program (like Camtasia) is then used to record the key tasks. (This is why softare demo videos are also called ‘screen recording videos’ or ‘screen capture videos’).

Recording the key tasks is the “Show” part of the learning approach.

2. Voiceover narration to explain what the video is showing

The “Tell” part of the learning approach is achieved through the video’s script. The purpose of the script is to guide and explain to the viewer what they’re seeing on the screen.

For example: The script for the making text bold make go something like else:

“To bold any text, select the text and then click on the ‘B’ icon in the Font menu. You can also use the shortcut key ‘CTRL B’ to do this quickly.”

The script is recorded using a professional voiceover artist who enacts the voice of the expert.

3. Additional graphics to emphasise key points about the learning

Depending on the script, you may need to add additional graphics which give context to the video.

4. Background music

Videos are all about engagement and adding a background music track is powerful. It helps to keep the viewer’s interest and engagement. It drives the narrative of your video forward and it creates emotion around your message.

Bringing it all together

During the video production, all the above are brought together with video effects and animation.

Usually a series of screen recording videos are created so you can teach people how to do a range of things in the IT system or software.

Example in action

Visit this page of our website to see a sample of a screen capture video for yourself.

Are you planning to use screen capture videos for your business? Get in touch to let us know what you’re planning – we may be able to help.


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

voiceover for video

Who Records The Voiceover For My Animated Explainer Video?

Who Records The Voiceover For My Animated Explainer Video? 560 315 Pam Jones

Animated videos can be produced with a voiceover narration, or without. For videos with narration, first the script is written, reviewed and edited.

Once it’s signed off, the script has to be recorded by someone. At this point you might be wondering: Who records the video’s script?

In our opinion and experience, it’s best to use a professional voiceover artist to record your video script. Here’s why.

1. Recording voiceover is a unique skill

Professional voiceover artists are also called “Voice Actors”. They don’t just pick up a microphone and start talking. There’s more to it than that.

Voiceover artists record a voiceover to:

  • Suit the audience and video’s purpose. For example, voiceovers for TV adverts are typically spoken quickly. A voiceovers for a children’s story is typically spoken softly and more slowly to help children relax before bedtime.
  • Communicate emotions. For example, a voice actor knows when to smile whilst they’re recording to communicate a happy message. And similarly they’ll lower the tone of their voice’s to convey a sad or more reflective message.
  • Accentuate key words

2. You need specific equipment to record voiceover

To achieve high quality sound in your voiceover recording, you need the right equipment. Using a mic on a smartphone might be fine for a quick Facebook Live video – but it just won’t do for a professionally produced video.

Professional voiceover artist will use specific equipment, such as:

  • A recording booth or other sound-absorption material to eliminate surrounding noises and sounds
  • A proper microphone
  • A microphone stand so the voice actor doesn’t have to hold the microphone
  • Headphones so the recording can be heard
  • Audio software to fine-tune sound quality

3. You  need to use the ‘right’ voice

You need to use the right voice to record your animated video’s script. For example, if your target customers are mostly female teenagers, then you should use a female voice which sounds of a similar age. Similarly, if your video is aimed at a US market, then your video’s script should be recorded by someone who can speak with a US accent so the video appeal to that market.

Once the voiceover artist has recorded the script, it’s checked for errors and sound quality before it’s added into the video. In the video software, graphics and video effects are then synchronised to precision with the final voiceover.

I hope this article has explained the unquestionable value of using a voiceover artist in your animated explainer video. We use a number of artists and give our clients a selection of voices to choose from to record their animated video’s script.

 


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

voiceover tips

Tips On Choosing the Right Voiceover For Your Video

Tips On Choosing the Right Voiceover For Your Video 560 315 Pam Jones

When using a voiceover artist in a video project, does it matter which voiceover artist you use? Whether it’s a male or female voice, is spoken well, and recording sounds clear, then you can use any voiceover artist, right? Well apparently not – as I learnt recently.

Picture this. A short video is being produced for a new client. The storyboard has been completed. It includes the visuals and video’s script. It’s been reviewed and signed off by the client. So far, so good.

We’re about to go into video production phase and the conversation goes like this:

Me: “Would you like to choose a voiceover artist or shall I select an artist to record the script?”

Client: “There’s no need to send through a voice sample, I have no strong feelings on gender or accents.”

I think: OK. Great. That’ll speed up the process.”

So we go ahead and select a male voiceover artist. We know him well and have used him on other video projects. He’s got a professional voice, completes recordings quickly and most importantly, the recording is top quality.

The recording comes in. It sounds great. There are no errors. So we go ahead and use it for the video.

A few days later, version 1 of the video is passed on to the client for review. A week later we receive client feedback.

Client: Overall we’re pleased with the video. It looks slick and professional. The main point of division was the voice. We felt that it could have been less formal and a female voice was also requested. How easy is this to change?

So what sounded like a good voice to use from our perspective, divided the team at the client’s end. Thankfully, it was a short video so the script could be recorded easily, quickly and at a low cost.

This time, we send the client some female voice samples to choose from. Version 1 of the recording also sent to client to approve before updating the video.

So to answer the question at the start of this post….Yes, having the right voiceover artist does matter for a project. Like all the other elements (text, images) used in an elearning project, it’s important for the client approve the actual voice which will be used to record any scripts. What I thought would save us time, did not.

Top 5 Voiceover Tips

Here are my top tips on making sure you have the right voice for your elearning and video projects:

  1. Ask yourself what tone and style of voice you would like. Formal? Conversational?
  2. Ask for a selection of male and female voices to provide sample recording you can choose from. If you don’t have any opinions on an actual voice style, hearing some voices will probably help you decide
  3. Ask the voiceover artist to record a sample script from the actual project so you can hear what the voice will sound – most artists will happily provide this
  4. Check version 1 recording yourself against the signed off script. Then ask someone else involved in the project to also check it – they may pick up on errors or points to change which you didn’t
  5. Make voice approval an essential part of your process for script recording.

We hope these voiceover tips will save you time and money and ensure everyone is happy with the voice. A valuable, and thankfully not too expensive lesson learnt for us.

 

 


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

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