With the massive shift to online provoked by COVID-19, virtual events have changed from being a minor subset to being the norm.
As you make the transition and discover the ins and outs of virtual gatherings, you’ll realize that there is a key component that you need — a great script for your speech, or indeed, for your event as a whole.
The script is the key pillar of a virtual event. It gives the event structure, keeps everyone organized, ensures that there are no loose ends, and navigates the event to the desired goal. Simply put, the script helps you plan and successfully execute the event.
Whether you are hosting a webinar, conference, or online summit, or whether you are simply a single speaker at an event, follow these tips to write an impressive script.
1. Start With an Outline
Before you dive into the specifics of the event, create an outline. Having this will make the writing process much easier.
Ask yourself: What does the script need to include? Write down the key elements of the event. Those elements can be:
The essential points that the event (or speech) will cover
The outline can help you in two ways: to streamline your writing and to guide proceedings during the event or speech itself.
2. Embrace Conversational Writing Style
No matter who your audience is, the best way to engage them is to use conversational language. The event or speech should feel welcoming and natural. Everyday language will create that atmosphere.
As you write the script, allow yourself to use incomplete sentences or sentence fragments. Scriptwriting isn't technical writing. You are free to use a style, tone, and wording that will make the script engaging and suitable for your type of event.
3. Grab Attention With the First Impression
Composing the greeting can be the toughest part. Everyone knows that first impressions matter, so you want to make them count.
Here are a few tips that will help you craft an impressive introduction:
Greet the viewers
Give background details to establish trust
Explain the purpose of the event
Address the common questions (e.g. whether the meeting will be available to stream on-demand)
Try to use short sentences for the greeting. Using deliberate pauses can help you push through any stage fright.
Also, you want to keep the introduction under 2 minutes. To estimate your greeting time, record yourself as you speak. If the introduction lasts longer, then it should make some cuts.
4. State the Agenda Concisely
The audience will want to know what they can expect from the event. This is the cue for the agenda.
Going through the main points of the event needs to inform but also build up excitement. Therefore, you should keep it short, simple, and direct.
Memorable points are concise points. You want to achieve a balance between revealing enough to spark interest and assuring understanding whilst building anticipation.
5. Use a Skimmable Format and Structure
You can remind yourself of the schedule by glancing at the script. However, when that glance turns into reading, your audience’s engagement will drop.
The solution to avoiding reading is to write your script in a skimmable format, so you can use it as a guide and to jog your memory.
The best ways of structuring and formatting your script are:
Highlight keywords with bold or colored text
Separate different ideas into different sections
Write in small paragraphs
Use all caps to indicate a change of tone or emphasis
Make the font large enough for a quick read
Add plenty of white space
6. Include Case Studies, Statistics, and/or Real Stories
Evoke trust by supporting your claims with real-life examples. These examples can come in the form of case studies, statistics, or stories.
In addition to providing credibility, case studies, statistics, and stories can break up the uniformity of your talk. You will be able to intertwine the theoretical or practical part with storytelling.
If you have a valuable personal story to tell, share it without hesitation. A personal touch such as a story from your own life can help you make a stronger connection with the audience.
7. End the Event or Your Talk With a Powerful Message
Just as you need to make an impression when the event starts, the audience will expect nothing less when the event is finishing. Therefore, you should finalize the script with a message that matters.
You want to leave your audience with a memorable idea, statement, or motivation. One of the ways to do that is to invite them to take action.
People attend virtual events to learn something of value and apply it for their own purposes. Inspire them to make a change with a strong and inviting message. The best way to wrap up an event is to make the audience feel like they are ready to conquer the world.
8. Rehearse and Edit Until You’re Satisfied With Results
Once you finish the writing, it is time for the final touches. To assess the effectiveness of your script, you must try it out. You need to see how it feels and how you perform with it in reality.
Rehearse the script and make the changes along the way. The moment you notice an inconsistency or room for improvement, write down the change you need to make.
If you feel like something is missing, but you can't put your finger on it, don't despair. You can ask someone to revise the script or hire an editor. The editing doesn't need to be too costly if you use academic writing services. Read the Ultius review to get a better idea of how these services work.
Follow these tips and you'll finish your speechwriting journey before you know it. Proper guidance is all you need to create a winning script for your virtual event.
Knowing that your event is planned and organized will take some pressure off you. More pressure can be relieved by rehearsing thoroughly. However, remember that some creative freedom is always welcome. A little improvisation will do no harm.
About the Author:
Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at GetGoodGrade, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.