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Acts Like Scaffolding to Wrap Your Words Around

Even the best of us trip over our words when recording a video because there’s no feedback to keep us on track: no facial expressions, no body language, no questions, and no comments.

We waste time doing multiple takes only to become more frustrated. 

Teleprompters were invented to ease this situation. However, it takes a high degree of skill to read from a teleprompter without sounding like a robot. Teleprompters slow down the production process as well.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix, an outlining technique called Scriptless Scripting™. The technique plays to your strength of talking off-the-cuff, giving you scaffolding to wrap your words around. 

Skipping over this process is recipe for frustration. 

1 Visualize, 2 Outline, 3 Wiggle

Step 1: Visualize

The first step is to forget about everything you have/want to say. People are listening to WIIFM (What’s In It For Them). Tune out your radio station and tune into theirs.

Visualize the person. Ask yourself the following questions: What's their day like? What’s their job like? What’s their life like? How are they feeling right now? What are they concerned about? What are they excited about?

Once you're walking in their shoes, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Outline

An effective video has four parts (outlined below). 




Why should they watch your video?

For example, “Hi {NAME}, I wanted to send a quick video to follow-up on our conversation. There are three items I believe you wanted more information on. I’m going cover those now.”

If it's your first video to the person, you could also add "Hi {Name}, I know it's always nice to put a face to the name. So, I wanted to send..."


What are the talking points?

  1. Apples
  2. Oranges
  3. Bananas

Jot down one or two words only per talking points and use them like scaffolding to wrap your words around.


What’s the overarching takeaway?

For example, “In this video, we talked about 1, 2, and 3” or “In this video we talked about three fruits that are good for your health.”

The summary acts like an anchor for them to retain and recall the information. It's the most neglected part of any communication, including video.


What’s the next step?

For example: pick a time for a call, download a document, visit another page, complete steps, answer a question, a simple reminder, or maybe a choice.

It's easy to remember the process like this: message, summary, then call-to-action; before you start introduce your message. One more time: message, summary, then call-to-action; before you start introduce your message. 

Jean Cote The Business Automation Architect

Takes Me 5 Minutes Using Your Formula

By the way your scriptless scripting system helped me so much! That's how I found your website, I was struggling recording a video and memorizing a script but banged it in 5 minutes using your formula.

The best order to complete the outline is as follows: 

  1. Jot down the talking points
  2. Pick an appropriate call-to-action
  3. Do a walkthrough to organize your thoughts

Resist the urge to take detailed notes. The less you write, the better your video will be.

?You only need a few talking points because the reality is, you know what to say. You talk every day, on the telephone and in meetings. Talking is natural when it's part of a conversation. Use the talking points like scaffolding to wrap your words around.

Helpful Opening Line

I wanted to send you a video to put a face to the name and follow-up on our conversation. I’m new to video, so go easy on me and make sure to let me know what you think. Also, if you see me looking down, I'm referring to my notes because I want to stay on track.

And last but not least, phone's ring, car horns beep, dogs bark, and co-workers are noisy. Distractions are unavoidable and as they say, “The show must go on!”

Resist the urge to go back and do another take; unless it’s absolutely necessary. Instead, roll with it like you would in a live situation—distractions are opportunities to demonstrate your ability to regain your composure. Recording a personalized video in one take is faster and comes through more naturally.

Step 3: Wiggle

It’s important to decompress before you make a video.

Turn side-to-side in your chair. I like to say “If it swivels wiggle!” Then close your eyes, take several deep belly breaths. Squeeze your shoulder up and release. Get the tension out.

Energy levels up. Big smile. Now record.


  1. VISUALIZE: Picture the person in your mind
  2. OUTLINE: Jot down your talking points
  3. WIGGLE: Get the tension out and energy your levels up, before recording

Or, if you prefer acronyms, take a VOW before you make a video:

VISUALIZE the person and tune into their radio station, OUTLINE the video by jotting down the talking points, then WIGGLE to get the tension out and your energy levels up, before recording.

"One take. One video." Pretend the show is live.