Testimonial Video Production: To Script or Not to Script

Testimonial ScriptwritingTestimonial video production starts long before the cameras start rolling. First, you need a willing client to appear in the customer testimonial video. Next, you need to plan the entire shoot from location to what the client will actually say during filming. At this point, you have two choices: letting the customer speak freely or scripting the words. Let’s take a look at these two options for client testimonials.

In either situation, you need happy customers willing to share their positive experiences on video. The problem with allowing customers to speak freely during testimonial video production is that customers aren’t always clear about what satisfied them. Where one customer might say, “They were great” and then draw a blank, another customer could ramble on for ten minutes detailing every aspect of the transaction. These two extremes illustrate why scripting client testimonials makes more sense.

While it’s tempting to simply let your happy customers speak their minds, the best client testimonials are scripted. Some business professionals balk at the thought of scripting a customer testimonial video. They may feel as though the scripted customer testimonial video is somehow dishonest. Scripting client testimonials doesn’t mean putting words into clients’ mouths. It’s a process that involves interviewing the customer, extracting the most satisfying parts of the user experience, and crafting a customer testimonial video script to match. When done properly, the words are authentic because they accurately reflect what the customer has previously said.

Testimonial Video Production – The Scripting Process

Scripting client testimonials is necessary because you have a short amount of time for customers on camera to make their point, and many customers aren’t exactly sure what their points are. In order to help customers communicate what they liked about a product or service, a skilled scriptwriter joins the testimonial video production team and carries out the following steps:

  • Interview the customer – When it comes to scripting a customer testimonial video, scriptwriters must first interview the customer to uncover vital information about the customer’s experience. By asking the right questions, listening to the responses, and digging deeper, a skilled scriptwriter can quickly uncover hidden gems that the customer might not have freely discussed without prompting.
  • Extract the most satisfying parts of the customer’s experience – After interviewing the customer, the scriptwriter reviews the interview transcript and extracts those magical moments.
  • Write a concise customer testimonial video script – From there, the scriptwriter crafts a concise script that is as close to the customer’s own words as possible, highlighting those magical moments and making a point quickly.

Once the customer testimonial video script is written, it is given to the customer to review to ensure that it accurately reflects the customer’s experience and speaking style. Changes can be incorporated as needed. Finally, as testimonial video production continues, the client rehearses the lines for a natural delivery. Teleprompters or cue cards may be used to prompt the client.

In addition to writing and practicing the script, further testimonial video production work can be done to polish the customer testimonial video to perfection. For example, it’s not unusual for clients to stumble over words when giving client testimonials on video. Encourage your customers to keep speaking and not get flustered. After all, you can reshoot the testimonial as well as edit it afterward.

Scripting client testimonials requires a strong scriptwriter with excellent interviewing skills. With a concise, to-the-point script in place, your customers can express themselves better than ever without compromising their experience or integrity.

What do you think about scripting client testimonials? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Web Video Scriptwriting Tips

You’ve been tasked with writing the script for your company’s Web video – now what? As you stare at the blank page in front of you, you may feel intimidated especially if you’ve never written a script before. At this point, don’t worry about the finished product; take small steps instead. As with any project that requires extensive writing,scriptwriting requires brainstorming, outlining, writing, and refining.

Brainstorming Ideas for the Web Video Script

Whether you’re creating a marketing video, product tutorial, or training video, nothing happens until you have an idea or theme. Plan a brainstorming session and generate as many ideas as possible. Let your creative energy guide you and don’t be afraid to get a little silly. Use a white board or a large piece of paper and write down all ideas. Your ideas will likely evolve as you go. Ultimately, one idea will emerge as the clear choice.

Outlining the Web Video Script

Once you’ve found the perfect idea for your Web video, it’s time to start formulating it. Like any story, your online video will need a beginning, middle, and end. Use an outline to plot your plan. You don’t need to go into great detail here; simply organize the key points you want to address and estimate each section’s approximate running time.

Web Video Scriptwriting

Using your outline as a guide, it’s now time to start writing the script. Use a simple two column format with the left column designated for video and the right column for audio. For example:

Video Audio
Wide shot of company headquarters Opening music
The CEO inspects assembly line NARRATOR: At XYZ Corporation, everyone from the factory worker to the CEO is involved in customer service.

This script format is useful throughout the production. Not only does it serve as a guide during shooting, it helps the editor during editing. You can also use storyboards as a visual aid. As you write, keep the Web video’s total running time in mind. For example, if your final Web video is to be no longer than three minutes, you’ll need to pace the script as you write.

Refining the Script

Few writing projects are complete after the first draft. Go through the script and edit it. While you’ll want to correct any spelling and grammar errors, you’ll also want to go through the script with an eye on organization. Does the order of your key points make sense? Do you need any transitions? Does the script have any redundant areas? Is the script too long or too short? Does the script have a strong call to action? Does it address everything it promised to cover in its introduction?

It may take a few rounds of revisions before your Web video script is ready. By taking the time to brainstorm and outline the project before writing the script, you should have a workable first draft requiring only minor revisions.