3 Reasons Why You NEED to Script Your YouTube Videos

3 Reasons Why You NEED to Script Your YouTube Videos
Photo by Sara Kurfeß / Unsplash

The worst advice I hear, time and time again, is "sit in-front of the camera and talk." I hate that advice and call BS on it.

It comes from well-meaning YouTubers. They have the advantage of experience and time. At the fundamental level, that is what a YouTube video is: sitting and talking to a camera. You might be thinking "yeah, I sit and talk to a camera, why do I need a script?"

I'll ask you,
How many times have you sat down to record and didn't know what to say?
How many times have you used filler words on camera?
How many times have you had to edit something that's "good enough"?

If you're starting your YouTube channel today, here's the top 3 reasons you need to script your videos.

It Gives You a Starting Point:

The script is the foundation of your video. It's the purpose, the idea, the whole reason why somebody should watch your piece of content.

Your purpose, from here to entirety, is to help your people. They can be your customers, your community, or even your colleagues. Every decision you make in the creative process will service that purpose.

You know what your people need. Do they need help with something? Was there a new update they need to know about? Are there new things you've discovered and want to share? Whatever they need, you are the perfect person to help them.

This will look different from video to video depending on the style of content. Sitting in-front of the camera and "just talking" can turn into you ranting or unloading on them. Having a script keeps the purpose in focus. You know exactly what your message is and how you're going to say it.

You Work Within a Frame Work

Having a script at the start will insure that all information gets across. We've all sat through bad lectures. They ramble on and on, or worst, they pull the "but wait, I forgot to mention." Don't do that to your viewers.

The definition of a script is: the written text of a play, movie, or broadcast.

A script is everything you're going to say, word for word. It's having all the information avaible so you don't have to think about it. And when you don't have to think about what to say, you can be present to deliever the message.

Working within your chosen frame work (e.g. How To's vs. X Lists vs. Product Reveiws) gives you a format to follow. You'll know what you're going to say before you say it. No more filler words when you're recording!

Saves Time on the Back End

The worst thing that could happen when creating content is not having the footage at the end.

Here's three classic scenarios:

1. You Forgot to Hit the Record Button: in which case, you'll have to remember what you said & rerecord it, hoping that it goes well the second time around

2. You Forgot to Get a Section Recorded: in which case, depending on circumstances, you can't go back & rerecord it (i.e. filming on location or after teardown)

3. You Rambled On and On: in which case, your editor, has to try and weave together a coherent message from run-on sentences

Saying "We'll fix it in post" is the quickest way to piss off your editor.

In all three cases, you'll have to work overtime to get the piece of content done. Having a script gives a layer of mental security.

If you deliver a line and the camera wasn't on, you can do it again. Make sure you get every sentence recorded and those sentences are complete thoughts. While you're recording, use your script as a checklist. [Bonus Tip: note down which take is your favorite/best one; your editor will thank you!]

Even if you're recording line by line, you'll know that you're capturing everything. Nothing is more embarrassing than having to say "hey guys, voiceover me here--I forgot x,y,z." Technical issues aside, do not rely on your editor to fix mistakes made in production.


JK, I love you.

Script. Your. YouTube VIDEOS! Do It!!! There's no downside.

Here's the Upsides:
1. Serving Your Community (who doesn't like helping people?)
2. Clarity of Message (who doesn't want to sound smarter?)
3. Saves Time (who doesn't love more time on their hands?)