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Video isn’t a virtual white paper

 

I mean…it can be. But if it is, you’re doing it wrong.


Stepping in front of the lens for any reason — virtual event, hosting a company town hall, leading a team — is pretty scary.


Ooof…I’ve been there. Terrible and terrified. (Thank God YouTube wasn’t around when I first started…yes, I’m also old).


But I overcame it. And after my two decade career as an Emmy-award winning NYC news anchor, I built a business on it.


There are all kinds of ways you can leverage your on-camera skills, but for many it starts with social media video. Or a video for your website.


So, what comes next?

 

Figure out WHAT TO SAY


It’s not a matter of spouting off statistics or creating a product video. And if you’re not super creative, or don’t understand how to write for people listening (video) vs. people reading (white paper), ie, conversationally, this part can be challenging.


Which is why you’ll want to save this post.


Before we dive into my shortcut for crafting a compelling video script, almost without effort, let me remind you of Winston Churchill’s wise words: “Perfection is the enemy of progress.


There’s no such thing as perfect and expecting that your video script will be is a waste of time.


My foolproof method is designed to help you get your thoughts together and eventually, have someone watch them.

 

Script Writing 101: A Cheat Sheet



The goal of a strong script is to communicate a solution or strategy you have to satisfy your client’s needs. Focus on what you can provide that will solve their problems and then think about how you’d introduce that concept, service or product to them.


Here’s how to get started…


Step 1


Capture a brief voice note on your phone or through an audio transcription service on your computer (I like otter.ai). The audio should address a client's pain point and outlining your solution. You want to use your voice, rather than your writing because most of us speak more conversationally than we write.


Examples:

  • Reflect on a recent discovery call where you highlighted a prospect's mistake, proposed a fix, and achieved results.

  • Share a client success story or answer a common pre-sign-up question.


Don't self-censor or worry about sounding too polished on this initial recording. Refining the structure comes later; right now it’s all about making sure your message aligns with your content strategy and brand story.


Step 2

Transfer the voice note to your laptop or device using a voice note transcription app, like Descript. Or you can also activate Voice Typing in Google docs by opening a document, selecting Tools and choosing Voice Typing. Easy-peasy!


Step 3

Once transcribed, finesse the note into a proper script by feeding the transcription to ChatGPT using a prompt similar to the following:


ChatGPT: You are a modern-day content creator and social media marketer, renowned for crafting thousands of high-performing videos that drive engagement and generate inbound leads for B2B companies. Create a video script based on a voice note I recorded. I'll provide the transcript later.


Note: this is an example. You need to describe your job, role, position, etc., as unique to you and the reason why you’re creating video!


A good rule of thumb when it comes to using ChatGPT or any AI content creation tool is to keep in mind the adage, “Garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, you need to be clear and specific when it comes to using this tool to create a script that will work for you.


Consider including additional information in your ChatGPT prompt, such as:

  • Target audience: (List your dream client — who do you want to reach?)

  • Objective: (List your video objective — what’s the purpose of this video?)

  • Start with a strong hook: (Provide examples either from other scripts you’ve created or from some of your favorites created by others)

Be sure to include script requests, like listing 2-3 key points or takeaways. End the video by summarizing the message and inspiring action with a CTA or evoking a specific emotion.

 

And some more…


Additional directives to share with ChatGPT:

  • Use simple and punchy language; avoid complex terms like "maximize" or "utilize."

  • Tone and voice should be — {tell the tool what your tone and voice are so that it can try to capture an authentic version of your brand}.


Ask ChatGPT: Do you understand? If so, I'll send you the transcript.


After ChatGPT responds that it understands, give it the transcript.


While it’s great that this technology exists to help you achieve your content goals quicker than ever before, you’re still responsible for final checks and quality assurance.


Make sure your script represents your message and voice accurately and revise accordingly to ensure that you're starting your next video with the strongest script possible.


Need a little more assistance? I’m always standing by to support my clients and help you conquer video marketing with ease and efficacy!


 

Kerry Barrett



Kerry Barrett is the preeminent on-camera media, video trainer and creator for Fortune 500 companies, founders, executives, and entrepreneurs. She teaches virtual & video presence and on-camera readiness for a broad spectrum of situations ranging from formal talks, video content & social media & media interviews to everyday sales pitches over Zoom.


As an Emmy Award-winning network news anchor who overcame a debilitating fear of public speaking, Kerry offers a unique perspective as someone who has 25 years of experience in front of the camera. Kerry’s specialty is teaching people how they can become relatable to their audiences and make that genuine connection. She offers a variety of keynotes, workshops and corporate trainings, digital programs, 1:1 and group coaching, VIP Days and intensives to help people feel confident, sincere and energetic, yet relaxed on-screen, create marketing and sales content, close more deals, create a more engaged workforce and prepare for media opportunities.

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