Script writing guidelines for training videos

video training video training tips instructional design video production course production

It is complex to create an effective video training course. But when you follow a process and walk through its guidelines, it seems easier and less scary. Having a process allows you to be more efficient and effective as you will be following rules that will ensure maximum retention and reinforce the audience’s engagement once they were tested and proven to work. 

You can find a guide for the entire process of video training course creation here, but this article is focused on step 3: the script.

A good script is essential for a successful video training course since it ensures that the information will be perfectly conveyed, and it also helps determine the presentation and visual aspects of the videos. There are a few guidelines you can adopt:


1. Write for speech

This does not mean it is written to be read. It means that it should sound like a conversation, be fluid and relational. How can you do it?

- Write with a conversational tone

- Write with precision avoiding vague or ambiguous arguments. The more precise and specific you are the clearer the message is and you will ensure effective communication

- Write for your audience using language they will understand and be able to relate to

- Write short sentences

- Add emotion to your writing because it enhances retention. Show enthusiasm. Make your audience smile by describing embarrassing situations you have been through or successful stories that makes people feel hopeful. Present good and emotional examples.

- Use the following verbs in your sentences: see, try, use, know, explore, experiment. They will reinforce the engagement with the learning experience

- Avoid repeating words or sounds in the same sentence or paragraph as it may cause some “noise” in the communication process

. Avoid graphic signs that have no direct correspondence with the speech (e.g. parentheses can be replaced by comma)

- Avoid bullets as they cut the speech’s fluidity

- and finally, try to avoid using technical words. Remember that your script must be educational but not too academic.


2. Keep consistency with a style guide

It is very likely that your brand has a style guide. If it does, the script should follow those guidelines. This may seem like a nuisance, but it will actually help you keep consistency not only throughout the script but throughout your entire training programme.

It is also important to keep consistency in terms of wording. The terms and words used in the script to explain equivalent concepts and actions should be the same throughout.


3. Follow the course structure

Follow the structure you’ve defined previously. The same logic and coherency inputted there must be carried throughout the script. In the structure you will find the information sources and you will understand the overall course at the same time that you are focusing each chapter’s scope, key points, length, format and other important details.


4. Different chapter, same identity

It is important that from chapter to chapter there is a sense of continuity. The script must guarantee the connection between the different units of the script. A great way to achieve that is using the same structure in each chapter. For example, start with an introduction to the topic you’re exploring, saying what it is and why it’s important to know about it. Then, explore it more deeply using the learning strategy that you think better suites the learning process. And end with a conclusion. Repeat this structure in every chapter.

If you want to ensure that your audience will watch all the course units you can add sentences that connect the chapters or modules, such as “As we saw in the previous chapter”, or “Join me in the next module to deep dive into this subject”.


5. Educational approach to content

When creating a course, the very first thing you do is to define the strategic learning and business objectives you want to achieve with the training. These goals should always be kept in mind while writing the script as it is how you will convey the information to your audience. Here are some guidelines that will help you write effectively and ensure that the student is learning:

- Deductive approach: from general to particular: start from general premises, or global levels of information, and then "deconstruct" the subject, in order to reach the most detailed level of information or a specific conclusion.

- Inductive approach: from specific to general: start with the result, or detailed information, and then construct a reasoning to explain a more complex concept or process.

- Make it relatable: offer the audience a context they can relate to about the subject using a question like “Do you remember ever…” or “Do you apply this in your daily routine?” After encouraging reflection and prior knowledge, present your idea.

- Use examples and practical cases: when applicable, use practical examples to illustrate or emphasize the concept you want to share with your audience.

- Write with logical sequence: ideas should be organized sequentially so that the audience may get a clear sense of the whole speech. Keep relevant information at the beginning of your sentences. For the rest of the paragraph (when applicable), explore that relevant information. Finish strong to help your audience walk away satisfied and remind them of what they’ve learned. If appropriate, leave a note on how they can apply it.

- Relevance is key: make sure all the content you include is relevant and to the point. Add deep-dive information as an additional resource or further reading area.


6. Practical content

The script should be clear about the practical application of the learning content and include examples to help the audience acknowledge that practicality.


7. Course longevity

As much as possible, try to ensure that your course is timeless by avoiding statements and information that will quickly become out of date. This will help increase the lifetime of your course.

8. Review, review, review

After writing your script, review it several times to improve it. Be critical and ask others to give their critical opinion. If possible, read it out loud for an audience and try to understand the script frailties. And then correct them. Only at the end of this revision process you will know that you are ready to move to the next phase. And then, you will have a smashing script!

Now that you have these guidelines in hand it’s time to put them into practice.

New call-to-action

You may also find interesting: 

How to create your video training course (Guide)
11 secrets to make sure your training videos rock (article)
7 ways to make your training truly learner-focused (article)
How to setup a studio with less than 1.500€ (article)
How to prioritize your academy's course production pipeline (article + template)

Writen by Lisa Belchior
14-Nov-2019 09:15:00

Share This!