December 5, 2013
To script or not to script, that is the question.
There are a few schools of thought on whether or not to use a video testimonial script. Some businesses choose not to use one. They prefer organic testimonials, allowing clients to speak freely and see what comes out of it. Other businesses choose to use a script because they’re looking for longer video testimonials, and they believe their clients need guidance to keep the video on track.
Unsure about which camp you’re in? Here’s how you decide…
Creating a script can work to your advantage if you plan on using longer testimonials. It’s a way to keep the content on point, and prevent rambling. You’ll want to start with key information, the details that are relevant to other prospective clients. Begin by having your client state their name and location. This is important if you’re a local business, looking to build your client base in a specific area. Even if you’re not based in one location, it’s still important for clients providing testimonials to include as much information about themselves as they feel comfortable, so viewers trust who they’re hearing from.
From there, you have quite a few options for formatting the video testimonial script. You want to avoid writing it out word for word. Viewers will be able to tell if the person in front of the camera is reading a script verbatim because it tends to sound robotic and forced.
A great alternative is to use bullet points, or a brief overview that allows them to fill in the details. Before you sit down with your client about filming a video testimonial, come up with the areas you want the video to cover. This is especially helpful for a longer video, as we mentioned earlier, because it keeps them on track, and away from rambling off topic.
Not to script
If you choose not to use a script, the best plan of attack is to keep the testimonial short and sweet. If you’re shooting for a 20-45 seconds worth of video, it’s easier to accomplish this by asking your client a question or two. Make sure to keep your questions as direct as possible. Avoid questions that will yield a yes or no response. Instead, preface your questions with phrases such as “describe” or “tell me about”.
Unlike longer, scripted video testimonials, you want to avoid hitting too many points if your content is going to be on the short side. Again, map out what you want them to cover, and stick with a few questions about their experience with your product or service.
If you plan on creating a longer, 45 second – 2 minute video testimonial without a script, the same applies. Always begin with what you’re looking to get out of the video. Depending on your client, how comfortable they are filming themselves, and your ideal video length will all impact whether or not you choose to stick with a script, or let clients speak freely based on a question or two that you use as prompts.
As always, choose the option that lends itself best to what you want to get out of the videos. Over time, you can always re-group and adjust accordingly.