Quite often, subject-matter experts (clients) interested in doing one or a series of audio or video clips think to themselves: “Why do I need a script? I know this topic inside-out.”
OK, ummm…. you need a script. Sure, if you only want to blurt out a few ad libbed lines of little consequence, you can go without a script. The vast majority of us, though, need to think about what we want to say, and how to best get it across quickly and effectively. During those times when there has been no script or only a few lines of scrawled notes, I have sat through some unbearable periods of silence and muted apologies as the interviewee ponders what to say. Sure, we can fix most of it in “post” (editing), but it never looks or sounds as good as a polished presentation (i.e., written and re-written).
That’s why I typically offer to help work on the script with clients well before we record. It saves everyone a lot of time and headache.
And, while we are on the topic… As a viewer of others’ work, I have sat through some unbearable videos that clearly had little or no scripting. Sadly, the interviewer is often seen searching mentally for his or her next question, the interviewee struggles to say something clever quickly, and the interview usually goes on too long. Ugh.
So, always try to create some form of script.