Your voice over is your ally. A second pair of eyes and ears. They may be the first truly objective person to read your script and can help to ensure there are no bloopers. So choose wisely!
It’s been an e-learning frenzy here recently! The range of subjects that fall under the e-learning umbrella is astonishing. I’ve recorded scripts on everything from Health, to Air Conditioning, Safeguarding, Instructions for Ballot Box Staff at Elections, Importing and Exporting of goods, the list goes on!
So, what makes a good script?
First and foremost, it has to connect with the intended audience. It needs to feel relevant, both in terms of content and language. When the subject is complex, shorter sentences can be helpful. We’re constantly being told that our attention span is decreasing, so retaining interest is key.
When working for the BBC, I regularly had to update my skills via e-learning courses. Often, it would be in the middle of an early shift, which meant that I’d been up at five a.m. Grappling with a convoluted sentence when tired, can mean that information is lost. So, it’s worth bearing in mind that your audience may be wide awake and keen to learn, or only just on this planet!
Examples can be helpful and fun too! They can assist with the illustration of a fairly bland, but important concept & make it really relevant and personal. Humour can also be useful when appropriate.
Punctuation is crucial. The difference between “Let’s eat John!” and “Let’s eat, John!” may only be a comma, but that comma is a matter of life and death for John! Your voice over and your audience may be unfamiliar with the concepts you’re explaining, so keep it as simple as possible and ensure there’s no room for misinterpretation.
A well-written script is a joy to narrate, no matter what the subject is. I see it as my job to help the audience truly connect with the information in the script. Some scripts require a formal delivery, others, a more relaxed, conversational style. Just as the writer chooses their font, I choose the appropriate tone. Of course, sometimes that’s not up to me, I’m given directions. Just occasionally, those directions are at odds with the style of the script. So, if you can hear a voice in your head delivering your words as you write, it may help to ensure that the tone is consistent.
I’ll leave you with an example of an amusing sign that I once saw in a barber’s shop:
Hair cut while you wait!