Effective Voice-Over Scripts: More than Just Words on a Page

With the technology and platforms available for website development today, engaging your visitors in as many different ways – and with as many senses as possible – is critical.

It’s not enough just to have good written content – readers can quickly lose interest. Short videos or animations are an effective way to draw your viewers into your content by engaging with them not only visually but also auditorily. Quality written content, combined with some video or other on-screen movement and a top-notch voice-over, can give your website a personal connection to your viewers that is much more powerful than simply static words and images on a screen.

A key aspect of a good video and voice-over is a well-written script. This may seem obvious, but many voice-overs miss the significant differences between well-written website content and a well-written script. As a result, they simply take what might be high-quality written content and have someone read it aloud.

But just as our personal verbal communication is very different from what we write, effective voice-over scripts with real impact are far different from well-written web content, in a variety of ways. Here are three of the most significant differences.

Simplicity is the Key to Success

First, and most importantly, good voice-over scripts have a very limited number (no more than 3, ideally 1 or 2) of key overarching ideas, and everything in the script clearly ties to those central ideas. People are listening to this information, not reading it. As a result, the content must all relate to a few central ideas that provide a context and structure in which to interact with all of the information being presented.

A voice-over script with impact also presents the information concisely, in small bits that are easy to recall. Re-listening to a portion of an audio is far more cumbersome than re-reading a portion of written text. Thus, a voice-over script should be written simply, to clearly present key thoughts and ideas. No need for a long list of adjectives or adverbs that create confusion and distract your listener from the main ideas you want to communicate.

Make It Sound Natural

Finally, well-written voice-over scripts are created in such a way as to make them sound like a conversation, NOT a college lecture. Most people don’t try to use sophisticated language structure or impressive, six-syllable words when they’re talking with friends. It’s just not natural. So don’t try to create impressive alliterations or impose artificial constructs with your voice-over scripts. You want to connect with your target audience intellectually and emotionally, so speak to them the way they talk and connect with others. If not, you will quickly alienate yourself from your listeners, and your opportunity to connect with them will be lost.