Why Writing Too Much Can Hurt Your Video Content

Why Writing Too Much Can Hurt Your Video Content (Episode 144)

video marketing podcast Mar 21, 2023

Are you guilty of overwriting your video scripts? Do you often end up with a bloated, confusing mess when you try to include every idea you have? It's tough finding balance between a compelling story and delivering a concise message. But it's not impossible.

In this episode of the Ridge Films podcast, Chris Schwager, video marketer and co-founder of Ridge Films, tackles the common issue of overwriting in video scripts. Learn how to streamline your messaging, cut the fluff from your script, lose the jargons that people will never get, and ultimately create a more effective video. Using script examples and real-life scenarios, Chris offers practical advise how to create a compelling story without compromising the key points, so you can drive your point without losing your way, and losing your audience. It's a must-listen episode for anyone struggling with overwriting.

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Video Transcription:

 Chris Schwager

Here's why writing too much can hurt your video content. It's easy to fall into the trap of trying to include every detail and ending up with a script that's long-winded and just dull. But it really is about less is more when it comes to the video content. Stick around and I'll share some tips on how to keep your script concise and engaging.

[00:00:32] I'm your host, Chris Schwager. Welcome to the podcast.

[00:00:36] So why do people overwrite their scripts, overthink their scripts and just get into a repeatable, bad habit of never feeling like it's finished? Well, people feel the need to include every detail or information, I guess because they're a little bit, they lack confidence.

[00:00:55] They actually don't know what is too much or too little, um, about their topic. They're, uh, always discussing the possibilities for what should be or should not be in the script. They're not the best judge of what should be included. All possible questions or concerns that they may have are not necessarily justified. They are just making a whole bunch of assumptions, and so it's easy for them to fall into a trap of just including it. Okay?

[00:01:26] They don't have a clear idea of the main message they want to convey in the video. That's a really true point. So what is the controlling idea? Um, what is the thing in the subject line, on the website page or on the social media post that is clearly communicating what they're gonna get in the video, right?

[00:01:47] This is, these are important things to consider. People aren't generally aware of why they should keep it short and engaging to hold their audience's tension. Well, hopefully by now you are. I mean, TikTok is destroying attention, right? And so, that puts us all in the same level playing field. So if you're a corporate and you're just about to produce your video for your homepage and you're thinking you're gonna spend the first 13 seconds on your company logo, think again.

[00:02:16] Um, the belief that writing more will make your video appear more valuable and informative is just wrong. Now, you know, you've gotta just consider the attention. Now, here's my thing, right? If you have the right audience, never be governed by duration. But in where we're talking right now, say for a video on your homepage where attention is very, very scarce, like social media, right?

[00:02:43] People have invested enough to get to the page on your website, but they're not all the way in yet, right? So you're delivering that awareness video. You better make sure that that's clear and that's concise, and that it leaves them wanting more. Because if it leaves them wanting more, that's great. That'll lead to an action. It'll lead them to hitting another page, watching another video, and that's perfect. You wanna create that binge-like activity. Now, if you don't do all these things, could have the opposite effect. What should people know about script writing for videos? And this is going to be, I'm sure, fantastic, because Christine is on the call with me again, and I've got her in my peripheral over here.

[00:03:32] In fact, I'm not even gonna keep her in my peripheral. I'm gonna bring her over and look at her side by side to my script right now, . And so I'm gonna see if she's nodding ahead, which way she's going. Okay.

[00:03:43] So what should people know about the script writing for videos? Well, when creating video content, it's important to keep in mind that the viewer's attention spans are short.

[00:03:52] Okay, got it covered it. Research tells us that the average attention span of the viewer is about 60 seconds. Wow. With the first seven seconds being the most critical. Okay. Well, , I. I'd agree, but I also think that it will come down to whereabouts are they in their journey to warrant that 60 seconds. Right.

[00:04:16] So, uh, on social media, on TikTok, do, it would have to be a very compelling 60 seconds to hold on, um, and you know, the seven seconds is definitely trying to keep that hook going. But, you know, man, I'm flicking pretty, pretty hard. If something doesn't get me early on and it's got a low view count on TikTok, I'm gone, man. I'm gone. You know, and it comes back to this philosophy of, you know, tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em. Tell 'em and tell 'em what you told them. Right. Stick to that principle and you'll win. You know, and the whole tell 'em what you tell. Uh, tell 'em what you're going to tell them in that first, very first slot.

[00:04:56] I mean, you watch YouTubers do it, man. They, they are the pros, right? YouTubers are fantastic at making sure that they keep that hook right up the front and really clear as to what people will get as a result of investing the time. And in some cases it can be several minutes. It could be half an hour. Right? So they, they are good, but again, very, very targeted content. Whereas on the TikTok platforms, the, you know, algorithm will serve up anything. Um, so you, you gotta kind of sift through that and do the whole tinder swipe.

[00:05:32] So get to the point. Keep your videos short, and yet many people make this mistake of writing too much, making it feel dragged out and boring.

[00:05:41] Here's a sample script that Christine's created here to demonstrate what overwriting looks like. Right. Now. Let me just have a quick forecast ahead. Right.

[00:05:52] Welcome to the video coaching where we guide you through. Any video communication, our team of experts are here to help you build the processes you need to create effective videos. We can help you write scripts that are engaging and effective and help you master the technical aspects of video creation, such as lighting, sound and editing. Working closely we'll work closely with you from ideation to execution to ensure your videos are the best they can be. Our one-on-one video coaching is designed to help you create powerful videos that get results. We'll guide you through the entire process from start to finish. So if you are ready to take your video skills to the next level, let our experts guide you with our video coaching services.

[00:06:34] Hmm. Now what did I just read? Here's an example of a script to demonstrate what overwriting looks like. All righty. Our here, our practice. Explain yourself, Christine. All right, here we go. This is where I told Christine I'd bring her into the chat. Now is that, so that's overwritten, right? Talk to me. Talk to me. That's overwritten. now?

[00:07:00] Christine: Yes, it's overwritten because it's long.

[00:07:02] Chris Schwager: Okay, good.

[00:07:03] Christine: And, um, some parts are redundant already that you don't need to. Um, we get it from the guest, from the get go and some of the stuff there doesn't need to be there already.

[00:07:15] Chris Schwager: Good, good. Okay. Excellent. Thank you. And to qualify what she's just said, again, and I think I've made my point about this, but it's where is your audience at their stage of their journey? Okay, so this as a standup pitch in a networking group actually might work okay. You know, for you guys listening to this show, you probably know a little bit about this already. You know, I've kind of pitched every, every show.

[00:07:50] Yeah. Less is more. Less is more. Less is more. Always think about what you can color out of it. And you know, obviously I struggled a little bit when I read that too. You know, and that's always a great indication that shit needs to come out. Like it's just . There's a, there's a paragraph we can lose and nobody will know the difference, right. And if you can say that, will, will anyone's life be worse if we lose this paragraph? Right. If you, if you say that, uh, and you, and you can justify losing it without impacting.

[00:08:23] Now look, I'm, I'm overly aware it is gonna be many of you thinking, oh man, yeah, but I'm gonna make sure I cover off all of the points so that it's all inclusive, right? But just consider this: if you don't get your audience from A to B, okay, so start to finish. Then it doesn't matter whether you have all your points in there, they're gone early, right? Because you slowed the script down. And what I'm talking about more and more than my clients is don't stall the script on something that is gone down a bit of a borough hole and, and you run the risk of losing them, right? So less is more, right? Let's move on.

[00:08:56] Here are practices to write less? Number one, remember, less is more okay, I've said that. Focus on the key points that will keep your audience engaged.

[00:09:06] Two, try to remove any unnecessary information or jargon. Yes, jargon. And that's in the form of technical words or robotic language that could confuse your audience and use. Make it simple that your viewers will understand all of the viewers, right? Even the intern Sally, that's just been with you for two weeks.

[00:09:25] Number three, allow a way to keep your script concise is to break up your content into smaller bite size chunks. This can help to make your video more digestible and easy for viewers to follow. This is a really great, um, example. We're doing this more and more, and this is on 90-second videos, we're breaking up into small vignettes, particularly good if you're using them for ads. Um, Or short little just bites of information to entice people into the long form content, which is still only 90 seconds that sits on your homepage, for instance. All right, so here's a much better take of the video script that I ran earlier.

[00:10:04] I'm getting thumbs up from Christine. She's got a big cheesy grin, so hopefully this. Does it for you. It immediately looks half the size, so I'm excited right. Here it goes.

[00:10:14] Welcome to video coaching. Our team of experts provides one-on-one coaching to help you create powerful and engaging videos that get results from ideation to execution. We'll guide you through the process to ensure your videos are effective and wow your clients. Let us help you build engaging in effective videos. Just schedule your video coaching session today.

[00:10:37] Nice, tight, excellent. Well done. Yeah. Good. You know, again, you know, you might be listening to more structure there as well. It's easier to listen to structure when it's shorter as well. My wife came to me recently, she had a five minute presentation to do for her, um, for her colleagues and, you know, she caught me, usually does this, but she, she catches me when I'm just about to go to bed, like it's 10 o'clock at night. She's like, ah, listen to this darling.

[00:11:05] And she starts on her presentation and she's just reading, uh, there's no visual aids or anything. She's just reading it and I'm half asleep with one eye open just listening, and she goes for five minutes. And I'm a hundred percent aware that I, I am not a fucking clue what she said, right? So I'm lost. I'm a hundred percent lost. At the end of her ramble, and I love you, darling, but it was, it was a ramble, , and this is why she asked me, right? Because I'm always a good sounding board note, get her back into structure. But I said to her, what is the controlling idea? And I've said this to Christine when she first started as well, what's the controlling idea? And she couldn't answer. Right. So , that's a great indication. You don't know what you are talking about.

[00:11:57] Chucking in into chatGPT is not the answer necessarily, right? It's gonna give you some great information, but if your video lacks structure, people don't know where you are going. And if they don't know where you are going, they are not going anywhere.

[00:12:14] Okay? So, Understanding, again, getting it back to this idea of, you know, tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, tell 'em and tell 'em what you've told 'em is just such a great little principle to, to write your scripts by, in this particular example that Christine's put together a little intro, a bit of value, and a call to action, right?

[00:12:32] So again, thinking about your content in a structured form, in a, you know, clusters of information is really good because it'll also. Uh, give you an idea of where the content needs to live, right? So you're not gonna put a little call to action at the front, right? You just group all your call actiony type stuff, or the end where you, where you group it all together, right?

[00:12:55] So much better. Thank you, Christine. Overall, writing too much in a video script is a common mistake that can be, you know, just lead to disengaged viewers. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Like it. Keep your content concise and focus on the key points to create an engaging and captivating video.

[00:13:13] If you are struggling to create concise and engaging video scripts, which we all are, let's face it, everybody struggles. Our team of expert is here to help you, Christine included. We offer personalized coaching and guidance to help you create video content that resonates with your audience. Contact us to learn more, and don't forget to subscribe to our channel for more valuable Video Made Simple ideas. Thank you so much for listening.

[00:13:37] Was this episode helpful? Give me your thoughts. That's all for this episode, and thanks for listening and see you next week.

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