How to write a video lesson script

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Teaching these days has gone largely digital. Many students expect their education in the form of lectures they can observe on their own time in a flexible manner. One easy way to do this is by turning your lectures into video lessons. This will give both you and your students more flexibility in teaching and learning– but how do you get started?

You probably haven’t written a video lesson script before. But in order to make a video lesson, writing a script first is critical. Not to fear, though! Even really experienced scriptwriters have a difficult time getting started, sometimes. So, here are a few ideas to help make turning your lecture or lesson into an educational video script go more smoothly.

Collect all background information before starting your video lesson script

Do you use other resources to write and teach your lectures such as textbooks, pamphlets, diagrams, etc.? Make sure all of your supplemental items are compiled in a digital format before you get started writing. This way, you can always easily reference these materials, while you’re writing. It also has the added bonus of making it easier to share these resources with your students digitally.

Use a script template

You’d be surprised how much more confident a script template makes you feel. There is no exact science to it, but you can start with something simple. Create a document (Google Docs can be great for script collaboration) and put a box at the top left corner of that document. Note the lecture name, the date it will be given, and the version (which is the date you last updated it) inside this small box.

Then, below that, create a table with two columns. One for your script and the other for your visual notes. You can also have a third column to note your references to help you more easily answer your students’ questions, if you’d like. Once you’ve got this all set up, you’ve got an organized way to better note your thoughts and to start your video lesson script.

Click on the template image below to use our video lesson script template:

Let the ideas flow

Everyone has their own process–and that doesn’t always mean writing the video script in order. For example, if you’re writing the video introduction, and you have a great idea for a different part of the video, just go down a few lines and type away. Don’t let those good ideas escape you just because you’re in the middle of writing another section. No one will know the order you wrote the script in. Don’t be afraid to write it in whatever order you want.You can always change it around when you’re editing your video script.

Write to be read out loud

This is a little trick that many people don’t always notice, but we do not speak the way we write. So using proper grammar may not serve you well when doing this form of writing. What looks good on paper may not sound pleasant to the ear. It may be too mechanical or boring for your students if you are trying to write everything, in your script, in an informational formal tone.

Try a more relaxed tone, and remember that you can break the rules. Start a sentence with all the “ands” and “buts” you’d like! Use more causal language. Just know your audience and how your students will respond to the tone and pace of your script. Even read it out loud a few times after you write it to make sure it reads smoothly.

read script out loud

Let it simmer

Once you’ve written your piece, let it sit and simmer. Go do something else, and come back. Don’t write and edit in the same sitting. Since you’ve been looking over your masterpiece for so long, your eyes will not catch as many errors if you edit right away.

So, it’s better to let it sit and simmer for a while, then come back. How long to wait varies by the person, but letting it sit for at least 30-60 minutes while you take a break will make your piece even better. It means a little extra time, but it’s well worth it.

Have someone else look it over

Share your video script with a colleague or even your TA to get their thoughts. It’s always good to get feedback from others, even if you decide not to use it–or, they might point out something you didn’t notice and make the video script even better.

There’s no need to feel overwhelmed, and if you do, consider reaching out to us at Render Pilots. We can help you write scripts and make videos that will dazzle and engage your students!