We’ve been chatting about conversational scripting in this blogspace for a while now, covering conversational scripting for voice prompts and onhold messages and the purposes, and processes that we deploy to work with our customers and voiceover talent to get that great, off-handed feeling. But for this third installment, let’s talk about what might be the biggest hurdle to giving a script a conversational feel: The actual writing. Strange as it may be to hear, the fact remains that it can be difficult to write the way people speak. Most people simply don’t write that much, and when they do they default to an awkward, overly formal style descended from the way we’re taught to write essays in school. A simple conversational script, paradoxically, is very tricky to write right. So let’s go over some steps you can undertake to make it easier.
Write It, Read It
As always, the simplest, easiest, best way to catch mistakes or isolated sequences of awkwardness during script review is to read aloud the thing that you have written. This may sound self-explanatory, and it is self-explanatory, but it really is amazing how rare this action is, on virtually every level of reading and writing. Reading aloud your words makes you realize the words you missed, the sentences that don’t work, or how clunky certain words sound stacked up next to each other.
This is especially key with conversational scripting. A sentence may look perfectly functional on paper, but then when you read it aloud you can catch stilted, overly formal language that breaks up the conversational flow.
As an easy example, how often do you, in conversation, say “it is” rather than “it’s”, or “cannot” rather than “can’t”. Microsoft Word and Excel won’t flag “it is” or “cannot” as mistakes, since they’re not ‘wrong’ per se. But informal contractions make up a large part of our regular speech patterns, and these small things can make all the difference in making a script seem friendlier and more personable. And it is these small things that really come to light when you read a script out loud and hear for yourself the places that are odd and awkward.
A great way to determine if your script will sound correct to someone other than yourself is to ask for input from someone other than yourself.
What sounds right to you might land awkwardly for someone else, and what seems complete to you may be missing vital information that someone else can spot. It is much easier to rebuild something than build it for the first time, so it is very common for our customers to realize that changes need to be made only after the audio has already been installed and garnered feedback from the actual users.
This goes especially for those customers who have very specific ideas for how they want a recording to sound, and what sort of tone and energy they want the voice talent to present. Even something as straightforward and functional as a call center script is an opportunity to convey a brand’s identity.
Which is why collaboration is so very important. Bring in fresh eyes to look over your script. Ask for demos from the voiceover talent so you can dial down to the exact sound you want. Have a clear line of communication with your partners so you can express precisely what you want. When everyone is on the same page as to what they are trying to achieve, it is much easier to actually achieve it.
Simple Conversational Script Part 3
Conversational scripting is a major trend across the various industries that utilize our services for their professional voice recordings. It may seem intimidating, but we can help you get that naturalistic flow that your messages have been missing and that your customers will appreciate. A simple conversational script can go a very long way. If you would like to start that conversation with us on this subject, you can download our free conversational scripting PDF here.