[#1] How to Plan Your Voiceover Script!

How many words Will You Need?

Before we worry about the content, your choice of words or the purpose of the animation, lets start by understanding just how many words you can and should be working with!

So using myself as an example and a 30 second promotional animation video I made for social media. I worked out I spoke 94 words in 30 seconds and if I am truly honest, condensing this into 30 seconds took some effort – I suggest far fewer.

View the script and video below:

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Here is why, as a rule of thumb, you should aim for around 80 words max per 30 seconds of animation.

  1. Ideally I should have had a 1.5 second pause at the start and end of the animation before the voiceover starts.
  2. Your animation may require you to pause your commentary to let what you say sink in or take effect on your audience.
  3. If you ever meet me, you’ll notice I am a faster talker naturally, you may not be!

The true length of this recording was actually nearer 32 seconds.

It took loots of effort trimming multiple milli-seconds between words, sentences as well as actually condensing the script by around 0.8 seconds using Adobe Auditions software, so it still sounded human and not a robot squeaky voice on speed!

Who is doing the talking?

You can either take your audience on a story-telling journey of the main character, where you tell them of his/her woes and so forth, This approach bring the reality home of what you are saying and works well with helping prospective viewers relate to the problems and in turn your solutions.

There are two ways to design your commentary.

Here is an example whereby I tell my characters story: xxxx

Or you can speak directly to your audience as I have done on the Facebook Header Video example above.

What to say?

The biggest demand I have for creating these animations are for promotional or sales purposes.

Realistically, in the 30 second example I showed you earlier, I took one very common problem and frustration my clients have, and that is how to retain the attention of visitors to their business online, and once they’ve got their attention, how they can keep it and get them to take action/the next step.

So I stated the problem, helped them imagine life with the solution, give your audience a benefit they can relate to and then tell them what you want them to do next.

If your animation is longer then 30 seconds, you may want to demonstrate more then one benefit your product/service solution provides to your audience. Or include some snappy testimonials, or Trustpilot type evidence/ratings. I would only ever provide ONE single clear instruction at the end, so as not to confuse or bewilder.

Choose your words wisely and reduce the script down.

When you first write your script, aim to do so, by which to get your message down on paper and out of your head. Ignore spellings and grammar, just write it. The focus here is the message. Stopping to correct a typo makes you loose your focus, you can correct it afterwards.

Once you’ve a basic outline, tweak your script to form “proper” sentences.

Then look to swap out word(s), where you can carefully use one words instead of two or three. Can any words have double or mis-leading meanings?

Then read it allowed to yourself, I find I have to put extra commers in, to help me pause for breath and to slow my pace down, but that is because I’m me. You are not writing for publication; you are writing to speak allow!

Test it yourself!

Reading then speaking allow your script, will help you identify problem words that you trip over, where pauses need to be and realistically whether your script is true to the duration or not.

If I am hoenst, my script was not true to 30 seconds. I should have trimmed it a bit more then I did.

You can use apps on your smart phone to time yourself.

You can use free voice recorders to listen to the message and think if it really hits the mark or not. Tweak, tweak and tweak some more.

Check List:

  • Have you demonstrated a benefit Your Clients Will Get?
  • Have you stated the most common problem and frustration?
  • Have you named your product or service solution?
  • Have you demonstrated a benefit (or more) that they gain?
  • Have you evidenced your claims?
  • Have you given one clear step you want them to do?
  • Does the script flow when read allowed?
  • Is it less then the animation time by at least 3 seconds?

Turning it into a voiceover MP3 file.

  1. If I am to be your voiceover, simply send your script to me. I do the rest.
  2. If you are to be your voiceover, then read this blog on who to record your own voice and send it to me.
  3. If you are having it professionally recorded. Allow plenty of time for third party artists to do their thing. Normally, Fiverr, People Per Hour or Upwork are a good place to start to find low-cost professional voiceover artists. Else does your local business networking community have an artist or someone they know who can help? If you are a Supreme level of animation client, we can manage and sources all this for you!

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