When I attended Patricia Fripp’s speaking school several years ago, I left with a tool kit of ideas, tips and techniques that I could use for any speaking occasion. One idea she suggested was to get transcripts of our speeches and cut the wasted words.
That tip was incredibly useful when I wrote video scripts.
If videos are longer than two minutes, people will lose interest. We aren’t wired to pay attention for longer periods.
However, two minutes translates into a mere 240 words in a script. To put it in perspective, my wonderful articles in this ezine – which take about three minutes to read – are each around 500-700 words!
That’s an eternity on video.
I had to cut. And cut I did!
Here are tips for creating your videos.
1. Open a Word file and import your best blog posts, articles and transcripts from speeches and teleseminars.
2. Put page breaks between each new script. This will make counting words much easier.
3. Read each article, blog post and transcript. Count words using Word’s “word count” feature. On the Mac, it is located under the Tools tab. Once you see the number of words in the script, you’ll know how much to cut.
4. Here are three ways to cut:
a. Power Saw: Cut big portions that you don’t have room for. In print, you can list five ways to cure a cold. But on video, you have room for one good story that makes your point. Find the best point and run with it.
b. Hack Saw: Cut trite phrases, and redundancies. You’d be surprised how many times we say the same things over and over and over and over and over without realizing it. When you see in print what you said out loud, you’d be embarrassed. I certainly was! Ironically, it sounds fine when you say it.
c. Petite point scissors: Cut words that add nothing. For example: the that, which and also.
I was surprised to find that one of my best stories was 380 words – after I cut out the garbage! In other words, I still had to cut 1/3 of it. Oddly enough, I did – and true to Patricia Fripp’s advice – the story was better.
Best yet: It was ridiculously easy to cut out words that didn’t add anything to the story. I was so fond of hearing my own voice, but that hurt my storytelling.
Shorter is better.
You can take advantage of Patricia Fripp’s great advice for speakers. She’s about to introduce her new distance learning class called “Fripp VT” to help you deliver powerful, persuasive presentations. She’s given me permission to share the link to my readers. The first month is free, so check it out. She hasn’t announced this to the world yet. Enjoy the sneak peak!