Killer scripts and how to write them: a Voice123 series

2 min read

First of all, it needs to be said that writing killer scripts is an art — but it’s also a craft that can be learned. The key to producing consistently stellar results is understanding and incorporating all the necessary elements that make up the psychology of sale.

At its core, the psychology of sale is about effective communication that will get your target audience to do what you’d like them to do. So how do you engage them?

Through storytelling.

Typewriter with script
Image: Shutterstock

Humans have been suckers for stories since time immemorial. Take a look around you; little has changed except our ability to tell stories better than ever before given the tools and platforms we have at our disposal today. 

In this Voice123 series on how to write killer scripts, we discuss the most common scriptwriting genres involving voice over: 

  • Commercial scripts;
  • Documentary scripts;
  • Promotional scripts;
  • Video game trailer scripts;
  • Explainer video scripts, and
  • Business presentation scripts.

Obviously, there are sub-genres as well as sub-sub-genres, but essentially, the categories mentioned above cover most of the bases. 

Commercial scripts

Broadly speaking, short commercial/advertising scriptwriting tends to adhere to a well-proven structure:

State it; explain it; repeat it.

The purpose is simple: you’re selling something to an audience; it’s a call to action. What’s more, duration is crucial. Dive into all the details here.

Documentary scripts

These are generally long-form. They contain anything from roughly 300 words (2 minutes when read at a normal pace) to 7500 words (50 minutes when read at a normal pace for a TV documentary). 

Documentary voice over scripts are mostly written with video in mind. They’re also likely to contain interviews with people linked to the subject matter, although this isn’t always the case. Get the low-down on documentary scriptwriting here.

Promotional scripts

While promo scripts and commercial scripts are similar, there are also marked differences. 

Promotional scripts don’t have to make a sale — although a call to action is required. In terms of tone and style, promotional scripts are generally less hyped than commercial scripts.

In fact, the biggest issue many writers have when putting a promotional script together is how to make the content engaging. Persuasive elements are often missing. Find out how to put together a killer promo script here.

Video game trailer scripts

Writing video game trailer scripts is all about creating expectation and a sense of urgency. Consequently, video game trailer scripts and movie trailer scripts can be bundled together because the same writing approach applies to both — even though the level of viewer interaction differs. 

We provide everything you need to start rocking your video game trailer script here.

Explainer video scripts

While ‘explainer’ and ‘short’ might seem a contradiction in terms, it’s always a good idea to keep the average viewer’s attention span in mind when writing an explainer script. These days, attention spans are short and getting shorter — so it’ll be worthwhile to keep your script under two minutes — depending on your purpose, of course! As a matter of fact, around half that would be even better but let the importance (as well as the size) of the content be your guide.

Disciplining yourself to be incisive when writing will force you to get to the point sooner. We tell you how to do that here.

Business presentation scripts

image of man writing scripts
Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

By their very nature, business presentation scripts can be dreadfully dull. That said, they don’t have to be. There are ways of infusing even the most boring material with pizzazz! It’s all about crafting balance between all the elements. One of the ways to do this is to include a section that contains an engaging voice over. You’ll find a lot of worthwhile ideas and suggestions here.

We hope this series on scriptwriting will provide you with everything you need to take your livelihood — whether that’s running a business or working for one — to the next level.

Above all, we wish you every success with writing your killer scripts!

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