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Make Your Business Video Script 
A Three-Minute Pleaser

Want to create an online video highlighting your company or your expertise that people delightedly watch and tell others about?  Unless you have some amazing visuals to show that require little or no commentary, your key to success is a dynamic script.

"Dynamic" means that you move the viewer from point A to point B:  

  • From one opinion to an opposite one - or a viewpoint more nuanced than at the outset

  • From fearing something to welcoming it 

  • From being baffled by an idea to getting it 

  • From mildly interested to convinced

Elements of a Video Script With Impact

You may have heard or read that video scripting should involve storytelling, and that the basic formula for a story is three parts - the beginning, middle and end. 

Abstractly that's true, but if you use that schema to structure a video, you'll most likely end up with a tedious song and dance.  Online video should aim at the sweet spot of 2.5 minutes in length or less - never more than three minutes except when you have an audience who already knows you or is unusually committed to learning about your topic.

Instead of beginning, middle and end, a business video should have these four structural components:

Hook: A statement, question, challenge, drama or quandary that pulls the audience in

Thesis: The main point, which can be stated in one sentence or less

Development: Illustration or support for the thesis, with examples, reasons or details

Close: A conclusion that wraps things up with considerable impact

Very often these elements unfold in exactly that order, but occasionally in a short piece the exact thesis does not become clear until the end.  

The close often circles back to the beginning, either explicitly or implicitly, and it may involve a surprise, a twist or a request that the viewer take a particular action.  Here is one of my videos where the end echoes the beginning:

A top-notch video, one people want to share, involves some sort of emotion, something that makes viewers care.  That feeling might consist of suspense, uncertainty, pity, worry, wondering, humor or enjoyment of a new point of view.  Here is a video in an entirely different style where I heighten a controversy and invoke a dream some people share instead of simply describing how I live:

Even in the following more descriptive video, you'll notice my frequent (and very deliberate) use of emotional language:

If you're not comfortable thinking of emotions in relation to business, think of this in terms of tension and relaxation.  For example, before/after, problem/solution and myth/reality all involve agitation giving way to calm.

One more video script writing tip for business: Follow the time-honored principle of writing teachers to show, not tell, why people need you or what you're selling.

Sound exciting and challenging?  Maybe I can help you.

What Makes Me a Good Script Writer

My credentials in writing dramatically and concisely for business videos include the following:

  • More than a decade writing groundbreaking articles and opinion pieces for well-known magazines, which demand topnotch storytelling and impose a rigorous word count 

  • Two books on magazine writing, one of them a Book of the Month Club selection, that described my formulas for compelling article crafting 

  • A public television show pilot that I worked on with a veteran TV production company

  • Two decades as a copywriter and publicity writer, finding headlines and dramatic angles for both exotic and quite ordinary businesses

  • A raft of public radio commentaries that aired on the Boston station WBUR and NPR's "Marketplace" show, each 2.5 to three minutes long and requiring excruciatingly precise editing

If I have never worked for you, you might qualify for a half-hour introductory consultation at a special rate, during which time I can help you brainstorm for video ideas featuring your business.

If you have a content-heavy web site, a long-standing blog or an archive of newsletters, then you can ask me to rummage through those and propose several video script ideas.  (Contact me and we'll work out the terms for that.)  

You might also be able to hire me to write a business video script for you.  Describe what you do and who your audience is, and we'll determine whether or not I'm a good match for such a project. 

I hope you enjoyed my videos and tips and wish you all the best in finding a creative way to promote your business!

- Marcia Yudkin

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