Our clients often face the question of whether have their video spokesperson read from a script, or talk off the cuff? Should he or she prepare with talking points, or just go in to an interview cold? There’s no one right answer for your organization. It depends on the spokesperson, the content, and your audience.

The five top reasons to script your video spokesperson

Teleprompter for AAMDSIF Conference Promotion Video 300x225 How Scripted Should Your Video Spokesperson Be? %pageWhen our clients use a script, here are the five top reasons that drive their choice:

  1. Your video spokesperson feels most comfortable reading from a script.
  2. Your organization likes the sense of control and predictability a script provides; your message is very sensitive to content and wording.
  3. You save your spokesperson time and effort. A script can be highly convenient when involving a busy VP or CEO in your video project.
  4. It’s become easier for anyone to use a script with their video employing the teleprompter apps now available on tablets. As we described in a post some time ago, iPads have a number of teleprompter apps that work beautifully with the ability to adjust speed, font size, line spacing, etc. You’ll just need someone to hold the tablet, preferably as close to the camera lens as possible. (The image here shows an iPad screen with such an app.)
  5. If you have a great script that communicates your key message, and feels natural to your video spokesperson, your video will shine with sharpness and professionalism.

Your video production company can help with creating a great script that sounds natural when spoken—a critical point—as well as identifying a good teleprompter app, and deciding that a script is right for your video in the first place. MiniMatters did this for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation for the video below, which promoted their upcoming patient and family conferences. We thought the video spokesperson, Cattrell Harris, made his case very well. He felt more at ease using a script in the teleprompter rather than having to remember all the details.

Scripting can make a really winning video.

The top five reasons not to script your video spokesperson

There are also good reasons to override an initial impulse to script your subjects.

  1. A sense of authenticity. Interviews sound more natural and real than even the best script can.
  2. Fresh information or perspective. Sometimes interviews bring out insight or captivating phrasing that you hadn’t thought of before.
  3. You save some time in preparation. There are no shortcuts in writing a great script, and making sure it sounds natural when spoken rather than as if someone is reading from a piece of writing.
  4. An interview may be more fun for your video spokesperson than reading a script. If your star is a natural talker and passionate about your message, exploring it may be great fun.
  5. A fitness for certain markets. As we’ll explain below, some audiences really favor authenticity.

We caught up with Erin Read of Creating Results, a strategic marketing agency with expertise in generational marketing, to talk about authenticity. She kindly let us use theCreatingResultsdeck 300x226 How Scripted Should Your Video Spokesperson Be? %page slide here from Creating Result’s slide deck presentation, The Power of Generational Marketing. She said that unlike the Greatest Generation and their predecessors, Baby Boomers on down to millennials favor authenticity in marketing. People in these age groups have been marketed to their whole lives and have gained a fair amount of cynicism about slick packaging. As Erin says, “In videos, photos, and other marketing, feature authentic voices. These un-scripted testimonials or reviews may not feature the exact words your marketing department would have scripted. And that’s precisely why they will be more powerful with boomers and beyond.”

You’ll want to weigh authenticity along with other factors in deciding whether to use a script—what suits your video spokesperson, your organization and its message, and the aim of a particular video. With the right video production company, either a script or a focused interview will create a video that realizes your aims and expectations. We hope we can help.

If MiniMatters can help you with business video, fundraising video, association video, or other video production needs, we’d love to provide an estimate through our online form, talk with you at 301-339-0339, or communicate via email at [email protected]. We serve associations, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses primarily in Washington, DC, Maryland, and northern Virginia.