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An Engaging Voice Over Starts With A Great Script

Writing For A Voice Over: 5 Tips for Creating Great Scripts

An engaging voice over—whether for a television or radio commercial, digital campaign, on-hold message or corporate presentation—starts with a well crafted script. Just like the foundation of a building; the script is crucial to the end result and is the base on which the voice over, music and sound effects are built. Start with a good concept, and you’ll inspire the voice over talent to bring out their best. (The opposite is also often true!)

An engaging voice over always starts with a great script. (And, of course, a hand model!) An engaging voice over always starts with a great script. (And, of course, a hand model!)

But how go you write a great script? Here are 5 tips:

1. Start with a single idea

The best way to begin is to simply start with an idea. It may just be a tagline, a simple thought or fully developed scenario - the point is to create a jump-off point that will allow you begin to flesh out the script. Does the client have a unique selling point? Is therea current event or pop culture reference that would work well? Who is the target audience, and what would would resonate with them? Start with a single idea and build the script from there.

2. Write the way you speak.

A well-crafted script makes it seem as if the voice over talent is simply having a conversation with the listener or viewer. Using big words or phrases that aren’t common in everyday language should be avoided if at all possible, unless they are there for a specific reason. For example: instead of saying ‘....they have all my swimming pool needs in a one stop shop’, you could say ‘....everything I need for a sparkling clean pool is in one place’.

Depending on your project, you may need to disregard some rules of grammar and formality to make it more engaging.

3. Use short sentences.

When writing a script, shorter sentences are better. Using short sentences lets you get to the point right away and gives your audience the information they need quickly and easily—a must in an age when consumers have shorter attention spans. This is also helpful especially for talent giving voice to lengthy and complicated legal or medical copy. It’s also preferable to use active versus passive construction. Active sentences tend to be more engaging and are easier to follow.

4. Repeat yourself.

I’ll say it again, repeat yourself! Repetition is essential for creating an effective script, particularly in a commercial. Make sure you repeat whatever it is you want people to do (the ‘call to action’) - whether it’s to call the shop, sign up for an event or visit a website. Make sure the script also has strong ‘closure’ - it should sum up and repeat the main details or client’s name.

5. Read your script aloud.

Listening to how a script ‘sounds’ can differ to how it ‘looks’. Once you’ve finished writing, read it aloud - not under your breath. In addition to helping you determine an accurate length of the copy, (here’s a good guide), reading the script aloud also lets you find out if it sounds natural and if there are tongue twisters you need to rework

Writing great scripts can be a difficult. But by understanding your audience and following these tips, you can create effective scripts that give you good results. If you need expert script writing assistance, our team here at Abes Audio can help you. We have a team of professional writers who are adept at writing clear and compelling scripts. Not only that, we also have a diverse pool of voice talent who can bring life to your projects.

Simply let us know your requirements and we’ll take care of the rest!

Abe Udy

Abe is the founder of Abe's Audio and started the business in 1998 from his bedroom with an old computer, fax machine, dial-up internet, and a microphone in his wardrobe. Today, he leads a team that provides audio production and voice overs to media, agency, eLearning, video & creative clients around Australia and beyond.

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