Not Writing Scripts Is Killing Your Online Course

I used to never write scripts for video or audio recordings for my website, online courses, and other content. I preferred my content to have a conversational tone, and I put off writing scripts because I thought they added an unnecessary step to getting my content out the door.

My tune changed when I realized that NOT writing scripts was actually keeping me from making progress.

Not writing scripts was killing my content before it could even begin.

Let me explain…

Here’s what would happen when I didn’t write scripts:

  • I avoided recording video because I didn’t know what to say and didn’t want to sound stupid
  • The process of recording the video was way longer than it needed to be because I kept stopping and starting over again, making me frustrated and feeling like I shouldn’t even be talking about that subject at all
  • I put off editing videos because they were a hot mess and there were things I wanted to take out or redo
  • When I finally did finish a video, I avoided sending it to get transcribed because it was yet another step to complete

Not a very good system, huh?

For my latest online course, the Online Course Kitchen, I decided that something needed to change. If I really wanted to achieve this goal of putting together all my processes of online course creation into one resource, I couldn’t use the same, failed process I was using before.

So I decided to carve out time in my production schedule to write the scripts for each of the core content videos. In fact, after identifying the course objectives and outcomes, those scripts were the very first things on my list.

Why Your Scripts Are So Important

Even if you really really love speaking off the cuff and totally shine in front of the camera, there are some good reasons to write your scripts before you start developing the rest of your content.

Reasons to Write Your Scripts First

1. It helps organize your course content. 

Writing all the content that you want to present in narrative form helps you organize your course content in a logical way. Writing helps you synthesize and summarize information—which is exactly what you want to do in an online course.

2. There’s an extra opportunity to check your content.

By having a script-writing phase in your process, you incorporate an opportunity to check and double check that you are including everything you want to include in the order that it should appear.

3. It makes recording video easier. 

If you have a script to read from, you don’t have to worry about coming up with something intelligent to say on the spot. Recording your video then becomes a series of smaller tasks (write the script, edit the script, set up the video shoot, press record, etc.) that are much more manageable than: Set up camera, hit record, say all the things I want to say in just the way I want to say them.

4. The scripts can double as transcripts and/or closed captions.

Transcripts add value to your course because learners can interact with your content in multiple ways. In addition to value, you’re also making the course accessible to a more diverse audience than if you only have video. If you have a script already written, then you don’t have to transcribe it yourself (ugh) or send it to a transcription service (which saves you money!).

5. It’s something you can outsource.

Let’s say you are really struggling with coming up with the right things to say on camera. Guess what—there are people out there who are really, really good at writing things that other people will say on camera. If this is a hangup that’s keeping you from creating your course, get an expert to write your script for you.

If you really detest reading from a script, by all means, wing it on camera — you do you. But the practice of scriptwriting itself is a super valuable step in the process of creating an online course. And if recording those dang videos is the only thing getting in the way of you delivering your powerful course to learners, you should definitely write scripts.

Don’t let not writing scripts kill your ecourse before it even has the chance to begin.

Why not writing scripts is killing your online course