After last week’s post on editing scripts went out – the first email back was from a reader who asked how do I edit a script ruthlessly? – I thought that I had better address that this week:
To edit a script ruthlessly, follow these steps:
1. Take a Break: After you’ve written the first draft of your script, step away from it for a while. Take a break for 5 minutes – write something else or go for a coffee, and come back to it with fresh eyes.
2. Identify the Key Message: Determine that you have addressed the main message or the call to action of your script. Make sure that every sentence supports this message. If it doesn’t… cut it, which leads us to…
3. Cut Unnecessary Information: Eliminate any information that doesn’t directly support your key message. Be ruthless and cut out anything that doesn’t add value. We all have our favourite lines, but if it doesn’t help – it’s got to go.
4. Simplify your Language: Use simple, straightforward language that’s easy for your audience to understand. Flowery language won’t work on an AC station, but on a classical – it will. Choose your words to match your audience.
5. Eliminate Repetition: Avoid repeating information or ideas. This can be boring for your audience and may cause them to tune out. But it can work if it is subtle – mentioning the same thing more than 3 times – is painful, not funny and irritating for listeners.
6. Read it Out Loud: Read your script out loud to make sure that it sounds natural and flows well. Make note of any awkward phrasing or areas that need improvement.
7. Get Feedback: If you are truly stuck with what needs to be cut – Have someone else read your script and provide feedback. Ask for honest opinions and be open to making changes based on their feedback.
8. Revise, Refine and Polish: Use the feedback you receive to make revisions and refine your script. Keep editing until you’ve created a tight, focused script that delivers your message effectively.
By editing your script ruthlessly, you can create a powerful and effective message that resonates with your target audience and drives results for your clients, bringing them back to radio again and again.