Making sure you’re saying everything you want to say in the best way possible is something the experts make look really easy, and with these three simple rules, you can, too!
In this episode of Elevating Experts, Andy and Louise discuss script writing techniques, but here are some of our top tips:
- Write for your audience
- Write for a talker, not a reader
- Write with your other assets in mind
Links to some other resources that expand on what we mentioned in this episode:
Write for talking, not reading: https://hbr.org/2021/01/stop-scripting-your-speeches
Dictation Software: https://zapier.com/blog/best-text-dictation-software/
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We’d love to hear your feedback on how this has helped you!
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Elevating Experts is an Australian short form podcast series, with new episodes released Mondays, where we help content creators and podcasters by sharing tips to improve your skills & simplify your processes, and elevate you as an expert in your field!
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Louise has worked in Australian commercial radio, media and broadcasting for over 20 years, in on air and brand management roles. Her CV includes hosting 973fm Brisbane, Queensland, morning radio announcer and music director for 8+ years, Content Director of Darwin, Northern Territory radio stations MIX 1049, Hot 100. More info about Louise Poole here.
Andy has over twenty years leadership experience, across a range of fields including broadcasting, aged care and telecommunications. His CV includes Darwin’s top rating drive-time radio program to managing a successful community radio station in Adelaide, South Australia, helping it to expand its community appeal by leading the station to innovate its content. More info about Andy Le Roy here
Louise: you’ve got a lot you want to say in your latest podcast episode, but how do you know you’re saying everything you want to say in the best way possible? I’m Louise Poole
Andy: and I’m Andy Le Roy, and we’re giving you the insights to help elevate you as an expert in your field
Louise: sometimes it’s really hard to figure out where to start when you’re writing a script for a new episode
Andy: I know what you’re talking about, because sometimes I sit there at the beginning of a script and think I know what I want to talk about, but I really don’t know how to launch into the subject
Louise: but as we’ve developed as podcasters and scriptwriters, we’ve come across a few tricks of the trade we’ve have transferred across from our previous lives in radio
Andy: with a few simple markers in the sand before you get going, bringing those ideas from your head onto the page is a breeze
Louise: the first thing you’ll learn in any writer’s course is to know your audience
Andy: as writers, we can sometimes get lost in wanting to write what’s important to us, but we need to give people a reason to read or listen to what we’re writing on the page
Louise: that’s why knowing your audience is so important, and there are a number of ways you can do this
Andy: take a minute or two with a pen and paper
Louise: or your electronic notepad if that’s what you prefer
Andy: and make some notes about who you are talking to. Maybe you already have a following on social media who you know quite well
Louise: maybe you think you’re content will appeal to a particular part of the community or demographic
Andy: either way, it’s important to get a sense in your mind of a representative person from that group so you can essentially talk to them through the words that you are writing
Louise: now you’ve got your listener in mind, it’s really important to make sure you get the style right
Andy: a big trap for young players when writing a script for something like a podcast is to write the words as though they were going to be read, not spoken
Louise: try these examples as a comparison
“It’s vital to ensure you have your microphone settings right before you press the record button”
Andy: I wouldn’t disagree with that statement, it is grammatically correct, but I don’t really think that’s how we would say it in a conversation
Louise: what if we said this instead
“It’s really important to make sure your microphone is setup right before you hit record”
Andy: much better! Even though it says exactly the same thing, the language used in that sentence is a lot less formal and sounds like you’re having a conversation with somebody rather than reading instructions
Louise: and we recently came across an awesome cheat for this when writing our own scripts
Andy: yes in our case, we use Microsoft Word, which has a dictate function
Louise: There are other programs that let you do this too, in case you don’t use Word, but when we started using the dictate function, all of a sudden the scripts come out in a more conversational tone rather than sounding like they’ve been written as a kind of report or speech
Andy: which is awesome because that makes it sound a lot more relatable and conversational
Louise: and most importantly, it sounds like someone is talking, not writing
Andy: now when we’re writing scripts we’re not only writing with our listeners in minds, we also need to have a think about the other things we will be using to promote the episode
Louise: we’ve come to call these things “assets” but what we mean by that is all of the social media posts and the graphics that we make to help promote the episode when it’s available
Andy: one of the things that we make for all of our episodes is a graphic with the tips from the day’s episode
Louise: there are a couple of different types that we make, but the one that you might remember seeing is one where we have three points from the episode
Andy: in the very beginning when we were starting our, we used to write our episodes and then go and have a look at what points we had raised so we could put them onto the graphic
Louise: then we had an even better idea… What if we made those dot points first, and then made our talking points around those?
Andy: that helped us a lot, because in all the public speaking and live radio breaks that we’ve done throughout our careers, we would only ever work from talking points so that it didn’t sound like we were reading from a script
Louise: it just made perfect sense to write down the dot points for the episode, and then have a little conversation around those talking points
Andy: So overall, it means that we have tightened up our script writing process so that our episodes sound a lot more conversational, and also have specific things we talk about that are aimed at our listeners
Louise: script writing is one of those things that takes practise and time
Andy: but with a few simple rules it gets a lot easier… Let’s go over three simple things you can do today to polish up your scripts
Louise: first up, know your audience. You might not realise it, but you already have someone in mind when you are making your programme. Have a think about who they are and maybe even picture them in your mind while you’re writing your scripts
Andy: one of the best things I’ve come across recently is the dictate function on word. It means that those words that I tend to put in when I’m just writing, which really seem out of place in conversation, don’t make it past the gatekeeper when I’m talking into the microphone, because I just talk how I normally talk.
Louise: and I’m really grateful for that! It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we’ve both found the dictate function really helpful.
Andy: finally, by keeping your other assets in mind, like any memes that you are going to share related to your show, you might be able to work backwards in a sense
Louise: the first thing that we make now is the text for our dot point graphic, so we’ve already got three talking points in mind before we even start writing
Andy: this has been a huge help in getting quick focus into the scripts so we get to the point, which you’ve already told us is something you love.
Louise: we’ve left a few articles in the show notes so you can read up a bit more on what we’ve talked about today
Andy: Next time on Elevating Experts: tips on protecting your voice