Trimming Video Copy Without Throwing Away The Message
A question often asked about trimming video copy is “How do I know if I have trimmed too much or maybe not enough. Developing a ‘blueprint’ is probably the best answer but not only that there are different methods for different styles of video presentation.
When reviewing a video presentation script, or as often called video copy, immediately look for places where you can trim content for more punch without the extra baggage. Audiences appreciate tighter presentations.
When marketers put together a presentation, they often ask, “Is that long enough or is it too long?” Unless you have a half hour time slot to fill, the question isn’t about the clock, the question is….
Does it hold the message you want to deliver
You could read Ken Blanchard’s One Minute Manager in its entirety during your lunch hour, and it has sold millions of copies. Lean and mean has impact.
Do what you must to accomplish your objective, but don’t assume that longer presentations accomplish more than one delivered in half the time.
You will have less to memorize and your audience will be much happier.
The 3 Steps For Trimming Video Copy
1. Make sure you use a backup copy of the script and not the original. You may think that’s obvious but you would be surprised at just how many of us have broken that rule.
2. After reading the script or giving the presentation to yourself out load, go through EACH sentence and STUDY all aspects of it, noting what can be trimmed down or rephrased differently. You would be surprised how much can be cut out after reading it a few times.
Start going through each sentence and cut down repetitive language or phrases that can be condensed.
You want to see if there was any part that doesn’t flow properly when reading it out loud, such as “You will also be receiving” can be “You’ll also get”. See the difference when read out loud? Natural sounds best.
Next, you want to edit the parts that seem too long winded or that seem to be “longer than needed” sentences.
3. Look at new (edited) script and read it out loud again conversational style to see how much better it flows and do another round of edits if needed.
Trimming Video Copy For Talking Head Video
I will often revise an IMPORTANT email I’m about to send out half a dozen times before anyone else sees it. Why? Because I start with my initial writing to get a rough draft out. I also do this for ALL scripts I write for myself or my clients.
1. First, I skim through a script it to see if it makes sense in general to get an idea for what they are trying to get across before actually reading it.
Then, I read every word while constantly thinking in my head, “How can this be trimmed down or reworded?”
2. I then trim down the obvious baggage or “wordiness” of the sentences. I then take a break from the script, coming back to it 30 minutes to even a few hours later.
3. When I come back, I trim it down again, making sure each sentence has total clarity and nothing more.
It’s a rule of thumb that two to three minutes is long enough for a talking head video before your viewer will disengage from the “conversation”. Even then there are things like sliding text banners that can assist in holding their attention and highlighting important points.
We’re not able to apply “bold” to our voice and shouting or emphasising can offend people. Annotations, rolling text and sliders are perfect for this.
If you need to go longer it is a good practice to break longer presentations into short multiple videos. It’s always nice having your Facebook Friends telling you how wonderful your video looks but 99% are not likely give you an honest appraisal for fear of offending you.
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