Write better voice-over scripts in no time
At Fine Tune Audio, we do everything we can to make your media product pop. The perfect voice-over? We've got you covered. Fine-tuned post-production? That goes without saying. Consult on your end product? We are happy to do so. But a video or audio production is only as good as the script on which it is based. Writing a good voice-over script can be tricky, certainly when it comes to a longer script. After all, as a beginner, what do you need to pay attention to? What should you avoid? And what resonates with your audience? Over the years we have seen a large number of voice-over scripts. From short advertisements to novels that last for hours, and of course everything in between. That's why we like to think along with you to make your script better. But what tricks can you use to make your voice-over script shine? Read our short list of tips to take your voice over script to the next level.
1. Know your story - know your audience
Your voice-over script is unique. After all, you are telling a unique story. About your product, about your working methods, about that glorious historical event or that one particularly charismatic person. You are convinced of the importance of your story. But for your audience, this may not be so obvious. Try to be persuasive, and ask yourself: what makes my story unique? Why is it relevant to my audience? And who is my audience anyway? Let's say you are launching a new app for adolescents. To successfully market your app, you'll have to think carefully about what makes it so unique, and why it's relevant to them. Is it useful for schoolwork? Or does the app allow you to put your mind at rest? Whatever the case, you will only touch your adolescent audience with the right language. Formal language in this case can quickly lose your audience's attention. However, you won't convince many with far too many hip terms - that doesn't sound very honest either. Think carefully about who you want to tell your story to - and if necessary, involve someone from your audience. Think carefully about how you would address someone - and how you would like to be addressed if you were in their shoes.
Unless your name is Quentin Tarantino you will have to write your voice-over script in a logical and flowing way. A head-to-toe story, in other words. Because only then will your story come out well. A good introduction works wonders, because it briefly explains what your audience can prepare for. If your voice-over script is about the hippies in the Summer of Love, a brief explanation of the history will certainly not go amiss. Is your video about a fantastic new apartment complex? Then you can excite your audience with details about the beautiful view and the brand new green amenities in the building. Of course, an introduction does not have to give away all the info: it is the vehicle to grab your audience's attention before you give away more in the body part of your story. The ending of your voice-over script is just as important. Here you can summarize the benefits of your product, give a nice ending to that inspiring story or refer back to that one question from the introduction. You can also give your company's slogan or a life lesson as icing on the cake. An ending (usually) contains no new information, it is just there to make your audience go home with a good feeling or a head full of knowledge.
3. Short and sweet
“It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play”.
This quote by jazz legend Miles Davis is very expressive, because it is not only applicable to music. It illustrates well that in many other matters it is often about what you do not reveal. If you want to record an explanation about a new car, you have to consider what you should, and then what you shouldn't say. If it's not relevant to your audience how many buttons there are on the dashboard for the air conditioning? Then leave that kind of information out. Nobody likes to be given too much information at once: our average attention span is often quite limited. Also try to avoid excessively long sentences and paragraphs. Short pieces of text are easier to follow, and many a voice-over will be enormously grateful to you during the recording session. In short: Tell the essentials in a light and powerful way - and leave the rest.
4. Double sentences bid double work
Repetition legitimizes: for many fields, this motto is certainly useful. But in a voice over script, it can actually be distracting. Perhaps this sounds obvious to you, yet at Fine Tune Audio we see quite a few scripts with double sentences and reasoning. Your audience already sees you as the authority of your story - and therefore tend to believe you the first time anyway.
Many double sentences or arguments are the result of sloppy work. Everyone makes mistakes, of course, and good directors and voice-overs notice such errors in time. Nevertheless, before a voice-over script is sent out the door, it is a good idea to check it for errors. There is nothing more annoying than having untruthful or awkward sentences in your voice-over script. Everything can be fixed during the recording session, but ideally you would like to have peace of mind during the session or be able to do other work.
5. Read it aloud, and read it again!
So: the writing is done. Your excellent voice-over script is finished and you can't wait to go to www.finetune.audio and pick out a great voice. You can almost see the end product in front of you! But there is one more step to take: read it again carefully. And when you have done that: read it again! And have someone else read it! As with writing a book report in elementary school, you sometimes suffer from tunnel vision. Then you don't see your own mistakes anymore. After this, check with other applicants to see if they feel the story is complete. Of course, you don't want your colleagues to feel that their hard work is not reflected in the final result.
Finally, you can read your own voice-over script out loud, to someone else. This way you will know exactly whether a sentence is pleasant to read and can be understood. You might even discover your own talent for the voice-over profession!These are Fine Tune Audio's 5 top tips on writing an effective voiceover script. They may seem obvious, but nevertheless, try to stick to these tips at all times. Skipping one of the steps can already have a major impact on the quality of your script! That said: anyone can write a good script. Ask around, have others read it and copy creatively from other scripts. And discuss it briefly with your director and the voice-over. Below we briefly summarize our tips:
1. Determine: Who is your target audience, and what do you want to tell them?
2. Structure: create a well-flowing story
3. Clarity: keep it short and simple
4. Watch out for: double sentences and repetitions
5. Read aloud: and read it again!