What’s your response?
To truck-loads of information? When all you need are the core ideas. The key details to transform into cracking Help videos.
Do you wince? Grimace? Or maybe cuss … under your breath of course.
Want something you can work with?
Help experts slay the monster script. Here’s how
Problem script: Waaaay too long
Why it happens
Experts focus on the wrong thing
They start with what they know. Understandable. That is after all what makes them an expert. So they think the more they share the better. But this is the classic route to the hit-and-run information dump.
Problem script cure:
i) Prime your expert – it’s not about what they know
It’s about what the audience needs to know. Explain it’s like focusing the wide-sweeping range of a search light – their years of knowledge and experience – to the pin point of a microscope light – what you want viewers to know or be able to do. This shift can feel radical. Because the knowledge that wins respect from peers needs to be recalibrated – sometimes drastically – to make sense to viewers.
ii) Guide the expert to focus on the video goals
Work backwards from the video’s goals – what you want viewers to know or be able to do. Ask questions that guide experts to solve the audience’s problems and answer their questions.
This is specific. It sets clear parameters for details experts do and don’t include. It’s guiding the pastry chef to focus solely on information people need to make a lattice top. And steering them away from saying everything they know about making apple pies.
This may sound like the bleeding obvious. But the Curse of Knowledge means some experts need help to focus their expertise. Because for them the script is incomplete, or just plain wrong, when they leave things out.
You stop experts dumping a tsunami of information into a document and pressing send.
Streamline the script-writing process
Does spending time with the expert before they put pen to paper sound like a faff? An unnecessary step that slows things down?
In fact, it streamlines the process. Because you’re far more likely to get you what you need in writing first time. These coaching conversations set the expert on the right path. They edit out the irrelevant stuff that weighs the creative team down.
And they save you the time, effort and budget of batting the script back and forth.
Here’s how to avoid two more problem expert-scripts.