Writing Your Script

Writing Your Script

When planning out your crowdfunding video, the first thing to consider is your script – an outline of everything you want to say in the video.  Rather than turning on the camera and making it up as you go along, spend some time thinking about how to present your topic as effectively and concisely as possible.   Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Start Strong

People have notoriously short attention spans when watching something online, and often they will determine whether or not they want to watch something within the first few seconds. Therefore it is extremely important to capture the audience’s attention as quickly as possible.  Think about how you can accomplish this in your script.  Possibilities might include starting off with an interesting fact, a question someone might be curious about, or even a relevant joke.


Your video should give the viewer a basic understanding of the science behind your pitch without overburdening them with too many details.  Think in broad concepts that anyone can understand, and be careful about using too much scientific jargon.

Think Big

Always keep in mind the big picture.  Viewers want to know how your project is relevant to the world at large.  Tie it in to something they can relate to and understand.

Time Yourself

After your script is finished, time yourself reading it at a comfortable pace.  This will give you an idea of how much you need to cut out or add in.   Shoot for somewhere between 2 and 3 minutes.

Read It Out Loud

Once your script is written, read it through a few times out loud.  It can also be helpful to record yourself and listen back to it.  Pay attention to anything that comes out awkwardly – a great sentence on paper doesn’t always read as well out loud.  Rework the trouble spots, and make sure your script is clear before you start shooting.


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  1. There was a TED talk from someone at YouTube who analyzed successful viral videos, and said there were three reasons some videos became successful:

    1. They caught the attention of tastemakers.
    2. They encouraged participation. (I bet you’ve seen more spoofs of Call Me Maybe than the actual song.)
    3. The unexpected.

    There’s not a heck of a lot you can do about 1 and 2, but 3 is something you might want to try for.

  2. Thanks for the post and excellent advice!
    I’ve made two science videos over the last 6 months. I did the voiceover for the first one. I recommend to people that they buy an hour or 90 minutes with a professional sound engineer. It’s obviously not free, but I think clear, crisp and touched up pronunciation is a key component of the viewing experience.

    1. Alternately, if you can find someone in your university’s media or public relations department with a REALLY good microphone, that can help. For my proposal, I used Jai’s mic (he had a great one for his podcast) and recorded and edited myself with the free software Audacity.