Scripted or Non Scripted? Yes

Scripted or non scripted video?Black or white?  Scripted or Non Scripted?  Is it the front or the back of the penguin?  Does someone read a script or do you speak naturally, in your own words?

The scripted vs non scripted battle lines have long been drawn.  I often speak with video producers who cut their teeth in film and the idea of a non scripted video is not only foreign to them but total anathema.

OK. Let’s just spend a little bit of time here.  In the TV industry where actors live and die by the scripts they are given, their ability to memorize, internalize and deliver with passion and believability, it obviously makes sense.

Lately however, it is the non scripted reality shows that are attracting viewers like nails to a magnet .  Why?  The viewing audience vicariously lives through the challenges and foibles of the cast who in their day to day grind are ordinary folk, just like you and me.  We cheer them and we jeer them, and we do so mostly because we can relate to the cast of characters, if it’s not us we know someone just like that.  Relevancy.

In video production and marketing the scripted and non scripted messages each have a different role to play.  For example, an ad is best scripted.   Wording is important.  Keywords must be used in just the right places and the message crafted in such a manner that the viewer is prompted to take action.  Let script writing professionals do their job and have a professional voiceover artist deliver the message with the proper emphasis and tonality. It just makes sense.

On the other hand when it comes to profile videos the non scripted message comes across as more authentic.

Granted a business profile is not as dynamic as a reality show, but some of the elements of one should be incorporated.  I like to look at a business profile as an unscripted story that is being told to a colleague, a potential partner or to an existing or future customer.  It should be a natural conversation between the speaker and the listener and after all, who knows the business better?  What its strengths are?  What differentiates the business from its competitors?  What makes the product so special?  The service so outstanding?  The culture so exemplary?

When people speak in their own words on that which they know a lot about, the message comes across as sincere, honest and authentic.  In short it packs a lot of credibility.  No pro acting here, the words are the language of the business, the body talk not learned but natural.  The viewer becomes engaged and trust begins to build.

Let’s look at some instances where non-scripted messages might do their best work.

The CEO may not only want speak about their state of the art farm machinery but that the company has been a family business for more than 70 years, having been started by his grandfather in a workshop behind the cow barn to now being a full throttle manufacturing plant employing thousands of people.

The VP Sales may want to speak about their newest model, explaining what improvements have been made and what that means to the farm in improving efficiencies and cost savings.

The Production Manager may want to talk about the state of the art manufacturing plant and perhaps showcase the manufacturing of this new model.

In all these instances if the person speaking had to either memorize or read from a scripted message it would be stilted and about as engaging as dead piece of wood.

The options are many.  What I strongly recommend is that business owners resist the temptation to hire models as their spokespeople in their profile videos.  They may look good and speak well but the passion is flat and any eye contact with the audience is artificial and vacuous.

Whether you are a dentist, a lawyer or run a major corporation, this is your reality show … no script needed, no one can tell your story like you.