In the Spotlight – Scripting Tips for Engaging Videos

There are numerous ways that businesses communicate and sell their services, be it in person, online, via email, by virtual presentations and through video. Whether your business is currently in a state of hibernation or still in operation, they way you connect with consumers, clients and prospects now and in the coming months has and will change. Today, the way you communicate with consumers, prospects and clients requires more effort.

It’s great to see that more companies and individuals are creating videos for their product or service, by finally stepping up to the plate to do so (that’s code for overcoming their fear of getting in front of the camera). If the idea of making videos for your business makes you shake in your boots, then fear not.

You’re in for a treat as we’ve got just the right person to take those fears away. In this week’s In the Spotlight, we’ve invited world class videographer, Julian Mather, to help you in creating engaging videos, specifically script writing tips. Julian, a self-proclaimed smartphone video evangelist works with businesses and individual teaching them how use their smartphones to create professional videos.

It takes more than picking up your phone and hitting the record button. What you say is key, so take some advice from the Pro.

Julian’s spotlight comments:

Opening your mouth and just letting the words tumble out is not commercially smart. We have to pay attention to our words. Words have the power to create pictures. Listen to a great story well told and close your eyes, feel yourself transported to the time and place, your imagination illustrating the story. 

Paying attention to your words will help grow your business.

So, let’s look at what it takes to take your script to the next level.

5 Top Scripting Tips to Make Engaging Videos:

Table Reads

Do the words ‘speak’ well? Not all words are created equal. This is why you need to get into the habit of table reading. Not all words are created equal and you will benefit ahead of time if you have ‘heard’ and ‘felt’ the words roll around in your mouth, so you know the stumbles that lay ahead before you hit the record button.


When I was in the army, I met many people who suffered O.R.O.A. An over-reliance on acronyms. They were sending SITREPS (situation reports) about DZ’s (drop zones) to fly in a chopper DUSTOFF (Dedicated Unhesitating Service To Our Fighting Forces) to MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) a casualty.

Too many acronyms cause jargon monoxide poisoning.1 You can suffocate discussion if the people listening aren’t in-on-the-jargon.

Operative Words

What I am about to tell you is REALLY REALLY important. It’s REALLY important that you put the emphasis on operative words.

Operative words are the words that communicate meaning. These are generally verbs and nouns. They do the heavy lifting about getting your message across. These are the words you emphasise to get your message across.

The opening sentence of this section was purposefully wrong.


It’s REALLY IMPORTANT that you put the emphasis on operative words.


It’s really important that you PUT THE EMPHASIS ON OPERATIVE WORDS.

Call To Action

The Call To Action (CTA) is the short bit, usually at the end of your video, where you encourage your audience to take the next step.

In a marketing video it may be ‘sign up to get your free eBook.’

In a training video it may be ‘take the online test and then move on to the next video’.

In a community engagement video it may be ‘join us for a sausage sizzle next Saturday’

You need to nail your call to action. It needs to be clear, be precise and be very specific. ‘Click the orange button below this video that says JOIN NOW’.


If you are the type who likes to write everything out, word for word and create a video that makes you feel good, then you need to know about killing commas.

Writing out a video script requires that you unlearn everything you learned in grammar class. Specifically, the use of the comma.

Commas are powerful. A comma can mean life or death for your grandmother.

Let’s eat, Grandma.

Let’s eat Grandma.

As wonderful as commas are, they have no place in your video script.

If you speak conversationally
then write conversationally
that’s in short bursts
without commas
without full stops
without a thought in the world for correct grammar
and… sometimes….
if you decide to ramble on and on and on and on
that’s ok … because…
you know there’s an emphasis coming up and
will bring the audience’s attention back

Apply these 5 practices to your scripting and your business videos WILL BE BETTER.

1 Credit to author Polly LaBarre for the term jargon monoxide

About Julian Mather

Julian-MatherJulian Mather has seen the world through many lenses. Through a telescopic sight as an army sniper. Through the TV lens as a globe-trotting videographer for ABCTV, National Geographic and BBC. Through smoke and mirrors as a professional magician.

He’s traveled far but his longest journeys have been from behind the camera to in front of it. From stutterer to professional speaker.

He is now a smartphone video evangelist, speaker, writer and chief agitator of the Business Video Rebellion and loves helping business master the missing business skill of video.

His simple message: you win more business with a smartphone and a smile in the 2020’s.