Writing is one of the most important aspects of video production. If you’re not a writer, it can be difficult to know how to write dialogue.
This is especially true if you’re working on a corporate video project; it’s often hard to find someone with the right skillset who can give your project that extra punch without going too far over budget.
However, if you follow these tips we’ve compiled from professional voiceover artists and writers, we hope that writing dialogue will become easier for you!
|1. Understand your characters’ traits and motivations.
|2. Write dialogue that sounds natural and authentic.
|3. Utilize subtext to add depth and complexity to conversations.
|4. Maintain a balance between dialogue and other story elements.
|5. Ensure your dialogue serves the story’s themes and objectives.
Tip 1: Start With The Voice-Over Script
The first thing you should do is write a script for your video. It should be a guide, not an absolute set of rules.
There will always be times when you need to change things on the fly because of the specific situation or mood of your actors or scene, so make sure it’s flexible enough to accommodate those changes.
You’ll also want it to serve as an outline that gives you enough direction so that when writing dialogue, you know where it fits into the flow of your story and writing dialogue can be tricky if you don’t know what’s coming next!
Finally, remember that your voice-over scripts are meant to spark conversation between two people in other words: they’re conversation starters!
Writing a compelling video script is essential for creating engaging content. Learn how to write a video script with practical examples and master the art of storytelling by checking out our guide on How to Write a Video Script with Examples.
Tip 2: Work From A Treatment
Treatments are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. They help you organize your ideas and think about the story from all angles. And, if you’re like me, they do wonders for getting those creative juices flowing!
To start writing dialogue for your video, consider working from a treatment.
A treatment is a short document that outlines the major elements of your video: its subject matter (what it’s about), tone/feelings/moods (where it wants to take viewers), structure (how it will be organized), style (how to use graphics or music).
Tip 3: Use Brainstorming Techniques To Generate Ideas
When you’re starting to write dialogue, it’s tempting to just dive in and start writing. But before you do that, take a moment to think about how much more effective your writing could be if you approached it as a brainstorming process.
Here are three techniques that will help make your dialogue more interesting:
Whiteboard brainstorming – Get out a whiteboard and write down all of the words that come to mind when thinking about your video. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t related or seem silly at first; just write them down!
Then look for patterns or areas where there might be room for improvement (for example, if most of the keywords are negative). You’ll often find hidden gems among all those noisy ideas and then it’s time for step two: mind mapping.
Mind mapping – This technique works especially well when trying to create a plotline based on existing footage from multiple sources (e.g., interviews with different people). Start by drawing an image representing what happens during each scene;
Then draw lines connecting these images together into clusters where they belong logically within each other (you may even want multiple layers of connections).
This can be done either physically on paper or digitally using software like Inspiration Maps Pro (which allows users access via tablets or smartphones).
But whichever tool you choose will allow anyone involved with making this video get buy-in early on so no one misses anything important later on down the road!
Flowcharting – If someone asks why something needs doing over another task within their job description, they’re probably not going anywhere anytime soon…so why bother asking?
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Tip 4: Turn Written Dialogue Into A Conversation
It’s important to write your dialogue as if it’s a conversation. In addition to using the word “you,” we suggest you also use the word “we,” since this implies that both parties are speaking in unison. You can also try using words like “I,” “they,” one” and “our.”
Tip 5: Keep The Language Simple And Natural
You should keep the language simple and natural.
- Avoid overly formal language (like “you” instead of “you guys”), but don’t go overboard with slang or abbreviations this can make your dialogue sound unnatural.
- Avoid overly casual language (“Hey, guys”) because it sounds fake and doesn’t fit with the tone of your video.
- Avoid overly technical language (“That is a good question”). It’s fine if one character uses big words from time to time, but too much will detract from the overall effect of your video.
- Don’t use flowery language (“Do you not see how this affects our relationship?”). This type of dialogue is hard to hear and read on screen.
Tip 6: Read it out loud
- Read it out loud. While reading your dialogue, pay attention to the way that the words sound when you say them. Does it sound like real people talking?
- If not, work on making it sound more natural by tweaking some of the words or phrases until it sounds more like how people actually speak (instead of how actors speak on screen).
- Also make sure that each character has a distinct voice and speaks differently from other characters in the script. This can be achieved through word choice, sentence structure and punctuation usage. For example:
- “Hi!” vs “Hey there!”
- “I need to…” vs “I gotta go…”
- “What are you doing here?” vs “Who are you? What do you want? And why did nobody tell me about this meeting today! I’m going to kill Bill for forgetting about our schedule changes; he’s always forgetting something important like his own wedding anniversary last year!! Ugh.”
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Tip 7: Avoid Expletives And Slang
Avoid swearing. Swearing can be funny, but it’s often best to avoid using it in your videos. Not only does this make the language more natural and easy to understand.
But it also helps keep the video family friendly so that you can share them with everyone in your audience even if they have small children who may not be able to understand what you say.
Avoid slang terms. Slang is fine if you’re writing dialogue for characters who are teenagers or younger, but otherwise it doesn’t sound right when older people use these terms in conversation with others in their age group or even other generations besides their own!
This is especially true when writing dialogue for business settings; if one person says something like “That’s all good, dawg,” while another one responds with “Yeah? Well, screw off!”
Then there’s going to be some serious confusion about what each person actually means by those statements!
Tip 8: Avoid Cliches And Pretentiousness
Avoid clichés like the plague.
- “It’s a trap!”
- “I am your father!”
- “You’re fired!” (though this one is so overused, it’s actually become a bit of an internet meme)
- Avoid pretentiousness in dialogue by avoiding overused phrases and jargon.
Pretentiousness can be defined as excessive or insincere display of learning or culture. In other words, don’t make your characters sound like snobs by using fancy words that people outside their particular field would not understand.
For example: If you were to write dialogue for a character who works as a doctor at UCLA Medical Center, but they use the word “antemortem” instead of “before death,” they would come across as pretentious because most people wouldn’t know what it means.
And even if they did know what it meant, they might think that the writer was trying too hard to impress them with his/her knowledge rather than focusing on making them interested in the story being told through this character’s point-of-view (POV).
Tip 9: Don’t Get Stuck On Perfection
Don’t get stuck on perfection. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling and punctuation. Don’t worry about the time it takes to write or edit your script.
You can always go back later and make changes if you need to, but as long as your dialogue is clear and understandable, that’s all that matters.
If there are any parts of your video where you think the content needs more explanation or clarification, add a line like “I’ll explain this in more detail later”
Then go ahead and record some extra dialogue at the end of the video (or wherever will work best). If you’re recording in front of a green screen with no background noise then this won’t take much time at all!
Tip 10: Remember Humor Doesn’t Always Translate On Screen
Remember that humor doesn’t always translate on screen. If you’re trying to be funny, you need to be careful about how much of your content is meant for the audience’s benefit and how much is meant as a joke.
Consider using humor sparingly, only when it’s relevant and purposeful, and in moderation.
Humor can also be used to make a point or build trust between your audience and host by making them feel comfortable with each other before launching into serious conversations that might make them uncomfortable or nervous.
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Tip 11 Break Up The Voiceover With B-Roll Footage And Interviews
Use B-roll footage to break up the voiceover. A good way to do this is by showing the things your character is talking about in a different way than they are describing them, or vice versa.
For example, if your character is talking about his new kitchen, you could show him cooking in it with a closeup of his face as he talks about it. This shows what he’s saying and breaks up the monotony of just listening to him talk for several minutes straight.
You can also use interviews with people who have experience with what your character is discussing (for example: an interview with a chef who has prepared food in that kitchen).
This can be done by asking questions and getting responses from them while filming them on camera or recording audio separately so you don’t need two people standing at opposite ends of a room while having conversations together (this would look awkward).
Tip 12 Use A Professional Voiceover Artist For Corporate Video Projects
It’s important to use a professional voiceover artist for corporate video projects. Not only can they get your message across in the most effective way possible, but they’ll also help you avoid mispronouncing words or phrases that could confuse viewers.
Tip 13 Be Aware Of Date Stamping In Voiceovers For Product Video Demos
When it comes to product demonstration videos, there are a few things you should keep in mind. One of them is date stamping.
Date stamping allows you to add the date and time when your video was made right into the audio track itself.
This can be useful for marketing purposes, legal reasons, internal communications, or simply because it helps remind people watching videos of when they were recorded (and therefore how up-to-date they are).
Tip 14 Get The Right Tone For Your Brand Video Project
In order to get the right tone for your brand video project, you need to get the right voiceover. The voiceover should be consistent with the brand’s voice, personality and visual style.
The best way to do this is by using a professional voice actor who specializes in doing corporate videos, such as yours. If you don’t have one on board yet, here are some tips:
- Get a scriptwriter who can write in your brand’s tone of voice and vernacular (e.g., “Ask us how we can help” instead of “Contact us if you want our services”).
- Choose someone who can record their lines multiple times until they sound perfect for production purposes (e.g., there’s no background noise).
Tip 15 Try To Keep Within The Time Constraints Of Your Video Format
You don’t want to bore your viewers, so it is important to keep within the time constraints of your video format. If you’re using a template, make sure you don’t go over the time limit.
Tip 16 Edit The Soundtrack To Fit Your Dialogue, Not Vice Versa
The soundtrack should be edited to fit your dialogue, not vice versa. This is something I have seen a lot of beginning video producers do.
The music they choose may sound good on its own, but when it comes time to introduce dialogue into their video, they find that the rhythm they’re using doesn’t quite work with the script and has to be re-edited multiple times before it sounds right.
This is an inefficient use of time and money if you can avoid it altogether by thinking about how you want your soundtrack before you write out your script.
Tip 17 Use An Audio Filter When You Need To Use Templates With Pre-recorded Narration On Your Internal Communications Videos
- Use an audio filter to make the pre-recorded narration sound more natural.
- Use a different filter for each of your internal communications videos, so that they all sound different from one another.
- If you’re not sure which filters to use, try experimenting with different voices and personalities when recording your script.
Tips 18 Use Binaural Sound Filters To Make Your Viewers Feel Like They Are Really In A Scene
One of the best ways to make your viewers feel like they are right there in the scene is by using binaural sound filters.
Binaural sound works similar to how headphones would; it captures sound from two microphones, one in each ear. This creates a 3D effect that can be used anywhere not just on VR videos.
If you’re not familiar with binaural audio technology, don’t worry we’ll break it down for you! In order to get started creating your own binaural video content, all you need is:
- A pair of microphones (ideally spaced apart so that one mic picks up left and right channel audio)
- A computer or smartphone with editing software
Crafting compelling dialogue is a crucial skill for any video creator. Learn the techniques to write impactful dialogue for your videos by exploring our guide on How to Write Dialogue for Your Video and take your storytelling to the next level.
Takeaway: Writing Fun, Creative, Natural Dialogue Can Help Your Videos Come Alive
- Write dialogue that is natural and engaging
- Write dialogue that is interesting and fun
- Write dialogue that is engaging and interesting
- Write dialogue that is natural, engaging and interesting.
Hopefully, these tips will help you write more effective dialogue for your next video project! As always, if you have any questions or want some more specific pointers on how to do this, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help every step of the way 🙂
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How can I make my dialogue sound natural and authentic?
Crafting natural dialogue involves understanding your characters’ personalities and motivations. Listen to how people speak in real-life conversations and incorporate that rhythm and flow into your dialogue. Avoid using overly formal language unless it suits a particular character.
How do I avoid writing clichéd or predictable dialogue?
To avoid clichéd dialogue, focus on creating unique characters with distinct voices. Give your characters individual quirks, backgrounds, and perspectives that influence the way they speak. Also, strive to surprise the audience by subverting their expectations with unexpected dialogue choices.
What is the importance of subtext in dialogue?
Subtext adds depth and complexity to your dialogue. It involves implying underlying emotions, intentions, or conflicts that aren’t explicitly stated. Subtextual dialogue engages the audience, encouraging them to read between the lines and discover hidden meanings.
How can I balance dialogue with other elements in my screenplay or video?
Achieving a balance between dialogue and other elements (e.g., action, description, visuals) is essential for a well-rounded story. Ensure that your dialogue enhances the narrative and moves the plot forward while leaving room for visual storytelling and character actions.
How do I ensure that my dialogue serves the story’s themes and objectives?
Your dialogue should align with the overarching themes and objectives of your story. Each conversation should have a purpose, whether it’s revealing character traits, advancing the plot, or conveying crucial information. Review your dialogue to ensure it contributes meaningfully to the story’s overall message.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.