Script Writing for Explainer Videos: The eLearning and Online Learning Guide

Useful training video script templates

Does your organization need an explainer video? If so, you’ll have to start with a script, which is the most vital aspect of the video production process. Read on for our guide to scriptwriting for explainer videos for elearning and online learning.

What is an explainer (how-to) video?

 


Explainer videos are online videos that teach an audience something. Whether they are educating an audience, offering a solution to a problem, or providing a process overview, explainer videos (also called how-to videos) are an excellent way to inform your audience. What’s more, they help establish your organization as an industry thought leader, which is proven to bring in more clients and increase earnings with current clientele (
Edelman-LinkedIn 2018).

Styles of explainer videos

 

 

Explainer videos come in many forms. The most popular style of explainer video is the animated explainer video. Animated explainer videos allow us to illustrate what real-life may not allow us to film. They are excellent for explaining concepts such as software, which cannot easily be filmed.

 


Live-action explainer videos
are non-animated videos explaining something about a business, such as a product or service. Live-action videos are ideal for companies that sell a physical product or people-oriented service; examples include restaurants and consulting groups, which both rely heavily on the human aspect of their services and therefore benefit from having real people in the video.

 

Some elearning videos, like whiteboard and screencast videos, rely on other forms of animation. For example, whiteboard explainer videos use hand-drawn images or words that are drawn or written on a whiteboard. These videos are an affordable and effective style of eLearning and highly customizable to meet the needs of your organization. Some videos do not use animation at all: for example, screencast videos allow the audience to view a screen. These are effective forms of eLearning for tutorials using screens, such as software program training. 

Clients can also select a combination of these videos to meet their needs. With eLearning videos, customization and creativity are always encouraged!

Types of explainer video scripts

Explainer videos scripts also come in different formats: the most common are “problem and solution” and “process overview.” A problem and solution video script will teach the user how to do something to overcome a challenge, such as how to effectively deal with a client complaint when working in customer service.

A process overview video script will explain a concept or process and walk the viewer through each step or phase. Examples include software tutorials, step-by-step process instructions, and high-level process overviews.

What should an explainer video script include?

Explainer video scripts often follow this form.

  • Introduction: 
    • What this video is about
    • Why this process is this important/its purpose
    • Why this person or organization is the trusted voice on this subject
    • Any background information required for the viewer
  • Body:
    • Step-by-step walkthrough of the concept or process. (Note: the level of details and timing/pace depends on the learning objective and granular details.)
  • Conclusion:
    • End with a reinforcing point 
    • Include a call-to-action

Tips for writing scripts for explainer videos

Above all else, an explainer video should always inform its audience and meet the predetermined learning objectives. To do so, each video script should include important definitions, detailed explanations of all objectives/content, and definitions of acronyms. It should also be brief and clear: the more concise your explanations and steps are, the better! Of course, the script should also match your organization’s tone in relation to levels of formality, word choice, and sentence length and structure.

Do’s of explainer video script writing

Follow these tips to make the most of the explainer video script writing process:

  1. If it is in your budget, consider hiring a professional elearning scriptwriter. They will be able to guide you through the process and ensure your script meets your goals and objectives. Establish clear communication with your writer and work together to meet deadlines.
  2. Make sure your script begins strong and catches the viewer’s attention. You can do so by asking a question, stating an interesting or surprising statistic, stating the purpose of the video, or keeping it light and making a joke. However you begin, be sure it’s in a way that makes the student want to keep watching!

3. When writing the script for your explainer video, always remember your audience and make sure your tone, content, definitions, and language reflect the intended viewer.

4. Your script should start as strong as it began. Do this by adding a call to action, which is a prompt for the learner to take action after the video ends. This could be a prompt asking them to watch a follow-up video or another video in a series, asking them to contact you for more information, or guiding them to your website for more content.

Don'ts of explainer video script writing

 

 

When writing the script for your explainer video, remember that this will be spoken: write like it will be narrated, and avoid using lengthy sentences. Writing as you speak will help you match the right tone.

The Bottom Line

The types and styles of explainer videos are endless. Select and mix/match styles and formats to meet your needs, and then develop a script that informs your reader while also keeping them engaged. Above all, remember to always have fun with the process!

Do you need help with writing your explainer video script? Check out our article on Scripting a Microlearning Course, or learn how to storyboard with our How to Storyboard for Microlearning Videos article. If you’re ready to begin brainstorming your video content and imagery, contact NinjaTropic today to get started!