Is writing a script necessary?

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Is writing a script necessary?

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Hi there to all content creators and instructors. I am getting started with creating a course in Udemy. Before creating my course, I watched the how to create an Online Course like you all did. While watching it, I just confused about something. Should I write a script or not? Does writing a script kill my creativity in the course? How can I be a good instructor for my future students, and not be a robot that is just reading text? I started to making my course now and I am really anxious for I will not be as good as other instructor. My question is: can I make my course without script? as I observe myself, I am even  worst without script. Furthermore, Does professional instructors use script too?

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FrankKane
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I would suggest using a script for your promo video, where every word counts and you have to pack as much into a minute and a half or so as you can.

 

But beyond that... it depends.

 

It takes practice to read a script, and not sound like you're reading a script. If you're not good at it, you won't sound natural, and students won't feel a connection with you. Even if you are good it - I swear, somehow they can tell. Having a good set of notes or bullet points to refer to is probably better for most people.

 

Having a script does make it easier to generate accurate captions, especially if you're using a service like rev.com that lets you upload a script with your video to help them with captioning. It also makes it easier to produce a book version of your course, if that's something you want to do. If you think there's a market for a book in your topic, that might be reason enough to script it.

 

But otherwise, it's not worth sounding like you're reading. Students will find that boring. I've found that courses that I scripted are rated lower than the ones where I just made it up as I went based on a detailed outline, and that's probably why.

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Thor
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Early on probably, there is no right or wrong answer. 

Maybe do a video with script and another without it, then have someone (not you) review it. 

Do multiple takes of the scripted one, 5+.

Remember the first course will most likely be bad, that is normal, as you grow as an instructor you get better at everything, with that your course quality improve. Do not strive for perfection in any course, strive for good. Perfection takes too long and is never achieved, you will make better courses in a year, better the year after, and so on.


Thor Pedersen - IT , Project Management, and Cyber Security trainer
Rahul Iyer
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Hi @CanReader,

I will share the practices that I follow. I have always written a script from my first course. Below are the pros and cons:

Pros:

  1. You are well-prepared to delivery an excellent lecture on the topic
  2. You cover all bases (not allowing anything to skip)
  3. Because you are well-prepared, you can finish your video recording in max 1 or 2 takes
  4. If you are using a good tele-prompter, you may NOT sound scripted
  5. I use a lot of fillers if I am unscripted. A script ensures that I do not rely on fillers, umms, and aahs
  6. You may use the content of your script as blogs on your website, etc

Cons:

  1. Absolutely time consuming process. For me, more than 50% of my course creation time is involved in script creation.
  2. Yes, if you are not used to reading script, you will sound flat
  3. If you use a fairly large teleprompter, your audience will realize your eye movement from left to right as you read through the content (but this is only until you get used to the process)

For me, the pros outweigh the cons. Creativity is never killed if I am using a script. In fact, writing a script helps me add well-researched and end-to-end content before I enter next steps of course creation.

Now, this is my personal opinion. There are many instructors who are excellent at ex-tempo video recordings. If you are one of these, you can save so much time by NOT writing a script. But if you are one of those who want to be absolutely prepared before the Recording button of your camera is hit, writing a script is the way to proceed.

Hope this helps 🙂

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Thanks for your advice. That's added me so much. This will be my first course and I don't know how to do it. Maybe it could be better, if I prepare really much sufficiently. I will present my course in computer screen via Powerpoint so I need to prepare my presentations before making a video and sometimes preparing a presentation (my course will be Turkish so I spend most of my time with translating from an English book and, thinking what may to be added and what kind of examples I can give) takes my whole day. Also I have a very less time to complete my course. Maybe that's why I try to hurry up however, I will be more careful after your words. Thanks again

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I don't use a script but in my latest course I drew up a Lecture Plan for each Lecture. The Lecture Plan is just a set of 10-15 bullet points which I shared with the students. If you have a set of bullet points to cover you can speak extempore and not miss anything and sound natural.

 

When I started teaching online 11 years ago I did a LOT of umms and aahs. Gradually I stopped doing them in a few months. During the Lecture if you want to reorganize your thoughts just pause and don't say anything. You can edit out the pauses during production.

 

With a Lecture Plan you can even record a bullet point twice, decide during production which sounds better and go with that.

FrankKane
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I would suggest using a script for your promo video, where every word counts and you have to pack as much into a minute and a half or so as you can.

 

But beyond that... it depends.

 

It takes practice to read a script, and not sound like you're reading a script. If you're not good at it, you won't sound natural, and students won't feel a connection with you. Even if you are good it - I swear, somehow they can tell. Having a good set of notes or bullet points to refer to is probably better for most people.

 

Having a script does make it easier to generate accurate captions, especially if you're using a service like rev.com that lets you upload a script with your video to help them with captioning. It also makes it easier to produce a book version of your course, if that's something you want to do. If you think there's a market for a book in your topic, that might be reason enough to script it.

 

But otherwise, it's not worth sounding like you're reading. Students will find that boring. I've found that courses that I scripted are rated lower than the ones where I just made it up as I went based on a detailed outline, and that's probably why.

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I completely agree with you, reading script sounds so boring for audiences. That's why I am asking this question, should I make a script for my courses? Because when I try to speak without script, I always mess video up. I always have trouble about speaking, I hesitate a lot while speaking and I use fillers (like um, err, uhh). The saddest part is I can't even be fluency, although I speak my mother language. 

 

All I want, to express my knowledge to my future students but, as you know communication is the most important thing in education otherwise you can't teach anything. If my students get bored from my courses, they can't learn anything. That's why I care much about this problem. I should criticize myself too, this is my personality.

FrankKane
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You might find that doing a couple of takes helps to reduce the filler words. A lot of it's just about feeling and sounding confident in what you're presenting, and doing a dry run or two can help with that.

 

And a little trick about editing - I keep a little dog training clicker in my hand while recording. If I mess up, I click it into the microphone. It makes it a lot easier to find the spots where I messed up while editing later on and speeds up the process quite a bit. So if you say something that doesn't come out right, just click, and say it again. Sometimes I'll find myself repeating a sentence 3 or 4 times before I get it right, but the student never knows because I quickly edited all that out.

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If you're not a native speaker, I highly recommend using scripts. It makes it so much easier to find the right words. 

It does take quite some practice to sound natural. But you can build that into your script. I write as I speak. That helps a lot 🙂

But if you're really bad at reading a prompter and bad at in promptu speaking... you don't have to show your face. Just make a beautiful presentation and do a voice over. That works as well. My first five courses were like that, until I felt confident enough to get in front of the camera...

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I use my native language Turkish for my course and my problem is not much about linguistic, it is more about speaking to people. As I mentioned in another reply, I hesitate a lot between sentences. Sometimes this hesitate may sustains for a half hour or, I may forgot what was I going to say. For instance, I had tried to tell a property in programming language, and I forgot what was Turkish meaning of the word, like this one "Hold on what was Turkish of the Scroll bar? Am I forgetting my native language or something? What's wrong with me"

My problem is not just about this thing, I can't express my mind clearly to my students. Even though, I am not using a camera on my videos, and just recording my presentation screen, my voice come out as nervous even I am not.

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