How to write a voice-over

Your content on video: How to write a voice-over

Videos are now part of the majority of content strategies. Nothing beats visually presenting your content to convey your message. But how to write good voice-over text? Writing an article and writing voice-over text are two totally different disciplines. We provide you with some tips to help you write your voice-over.

1. Draw attention

There are many distractions on the Internet. Our attention span is very limited. It is therefore up to you to captivate your audience from the outset. Build your text in three sections:

  • Issue: From the very beginning of the video, clearly state your subject and why it is interesting to the audience. You only have a few seconds before they zap, so take advantage of it!

  • Solution: Once your issue has been established, quickly provide your answer or solution. Only add details later: if listeners pick up at that time, they will have heard the gist of your message.

  • Explanation: Those who continue to watch are interested. It is up to you to show your knowledge on the subject.

2. Write as they speak

And not as you speak! Being an expert, it is sometimes difficult to discern what is understandable by an outsider and what is not. Before you record your text, test it with a colleague or family member: is it understandable to the average person? Also forget about long sentences and subordinate clauses. This is a text that will be read, so write it accordingly. With all the breaks and interjections that characterise it.

3. Pay attention to the pace

The order of the elements in your voice-over determines the order in which these elements appear on screen (or vice versa). Let's take an example: one of the videos we produced for Informazout explains how the combination of oil-fired boiler and solar boiler works.

The sequence of a sentence such as ‘This temperature increase is detected by a pump, which activates the flow of liquid to a water storage tank’ is critical. In fact, the video follows the logic of the installation: first the solar panels that accumulate the heat, then the water tank and its pump that store the heated water. An alternative such as ‘The movement of liquid to a water storage tank is activated by a pump during a temperature increase’ would not be logical for the flow of the video.

4. Keep it to a minimum

If you post your videos online, few videos longer than 3 minutes are watched in their entirety. Narrow it down and try to set a maximum length for all your videos. Especially on social media, avoid exceeding the minute, if necessary, by making two versions of the same video: a short one for social media and a long one for the remainder of your communication. To know how long your text should be, rely on the following rule: a simple explanation requires a rate of 125 words per minute. Adjust this number to the pace you would like for your video!

Maëlle Salmon, Editorial Project Manager
Maëlle Salmon, Editorial Project Manager

Maëlle Salmon

Editorial Project Manager