When it comes to creating a product demo video it’s often intuitive to create the video first. After that, the script flows in, right?

Well, not quite.

If you create the video first, you sacrifice fluidity and opportunity to emphasize. The only limit you should have is the length of the video you desire. That limitation is enough to build the foundation of your video.

I recently constructed a short video about our learning software. In 44 seconds, it explains what Lesson.ly is and how it helps businesses grow. There is a longer version (six and a half minutes) that adds detail, showing how to actually use core parts of the software.

In both cases I wrote the script first. With the complexity of animation included, editing Lesson.ly’s short product demo took me three hours. The longer version took about eight to ten hours to edit. But if I hadn’t written the script and imagined the formatting prior, I would’ve added hours to my workload.

Here are three reasons why scriptwriting first makes the entire production run smoother:

  1. You’ll think about what you’re saying

    Ditch the technical jargon, and speak like you would to a friend. Having the main selling points in your video is enough to hit your target market, but anyone who watches your production should be able to easily comprehend what you’re saying.

  2. You’re planning without realizing it

    There’s always an initial anxiety with any project to immediately take action—to do instead of think. Yes, writing a script is doing something, but as you write, you’re planning your future moves as well. Instead of being overwhelmed at where to start and what graphics to use, a script frames the entire production. It works as an outline. Thinking about what you want to say will instigate thinking about what you’ll show and the time it will take.

  3. Editing doesn’t become tedious

    With a script in-hand, recording the voice-over and editing the video becomes less of a hassle. There’s less clip maneuvering, cutting, and uncertainty. The script’s framework forces you to imagine what visuals you want and where you want them. It creates a paved road to completion, not a rocky one.

    Editing after creating a script allows you to improve instead of improvise. Instead of adding things you forget, having the script lets you improve what you already have. You wrote the script knowing what you wanted in it. Now, take what you had planned, and make it better.

Want more?

So you can see what was involved in creating and editing them, these links will take you to the short video and the longer version that Max wrote about. This should give you some basis for estimating the length of time it takes to create and edit similar length videos with similar use of graphics and animation.

If you’ve never written a script or worked with audio production, Jennifer De Vries and Stephen Haskin will present a Guild Academy blended course, Scriptwriting and Audio Production for eLearning, beginning September 23 online and concluding with live, in-person training at DevLearn 2015 in Las Vegas. Details here.