One of the most underestimated aspects of the script writing process involves the relationship between content and delivery. Will a script be expressed as printed text or the spoken word? Perceived via sight or sound? Intended for a reading or listening audience?
Answering these questions is critical in achieving successful communication. Scripts conceived and written with the ultimate application (sight vs. sound) and objectives (e.g. selling, influencing, challenging, pacifying, etc.) in mind will ultimately better suit the planned medium. For example: wordy, cluttered, technical text would not ordinarily work well in the context of a radio commercial. Likewise, a colloquial, conversational script would not generally be appropriate for a scientific journal. Ideal solutions are those that satisfy multiple settings in a variety of media, including print (newspaper, magazine, journal) and audio (Message On Hold, radio, TV).
Time is an important variable in the distinction between the written and spoken word. Our Script Consultants’ greatest example of this is the inclusion of website addresses within our client’s programs. Consider www.HOLDCOM.com for a moment. Visually, your eyes fly over the ever-present “www.” prefix. But when spoken, our voice talents must say: “double-u, double-u, double-u, dot” et cetera. Similarly, with written phone numbers, they appear in print as 800-666-6465. However, when recorded, it’s “eight hundred – six, six, six – six, four, six, five”. In essence, the time taken to speak a phrase is inevitably longer than when that phrase is being read silently.
Just as there may be spatial limitations when it comes to the printed word, there may be time limitations when dealing with the spoken word. For instance, with Message On Hold scripts, consider that 100 written words equates to one minute of audio time. To help you remain within these guidelines whenever creating or updating your audio production scripts, scripts, HOLDCOM offers a convenient on-line Word
Counter. Just visit www.holdcom.com/wordcount and type away…or paste in your pre-written draft and click the “Count Words” button.
Speech conveys meaning via tone, inflection, timbre, and dynamics. Beyond just the verbiage, a voice talent’s expression of audio “body language” is also a vital element in conveying meaning and achieving effective communication. It is this vital element of communication that HOLDCOM directors, producers, and engineers carefully consider when recording scripts for Telephony, Message On Hold, Power Point Presentations, and Internet Audio.