How to Create an Informative Video Outline

The outline will serve as a blueprint for your video.
... Hemera Technologies/ Images

The crucial step in making a video that is often overlooked by novices is the crafting of a solid outline. In the filmmaking business, step outlines are used to highlight the most important scenes; they act as posts to direct the filmmaker through what can sometimes be a murky and uncertain process. The outline will serve as the base and will propel the writer into the next stages of the creative journey. It can be thought of as the skeleton that will support and shape the making of an effective script. However, the preparation is as important as the actual writing.

Prepare by researching your topic. Even if you know the ins and outs of your subject, having references adds to the credibility. More research will be needed for technical informative videos as opposed to a how-to recipe video, for instance.

Determine your audience. Craft your angle to suit your demographic. In an informative video, it is important to speak directly to the viewers to ensure you have their undivided attention. The approach will slightly differ depending on what the type of informative video is -- how-to will be different from product marketing, for example.

Brainstorm to determine the steps in your outline. A step is an event or a key point. For a how-to informative video, these will be the logical steps to complete a task; for a marketing video, the steps will be each point that you make to convince your audience of the value of your product.

Visualize each step. You do not need to have the entire video planned out at this point, but get an idea of how to show each point you wish to make.

Write the step outline in logical sequence. Each step should be written in a simple one- to two-sentence form. It should hold the kernels of information or actions completed each step of the way.

  • Remember that the outline is the first stage in writing and should be seen as a flexible guide for the future stages of writing the script. The contents are not set in stone.
  • Think outside the box. Informative videos can easily become uninteresting, so make sure the visuals make your message memorable.

Emilie Rensink has worked for the ecommerce departments of Goodwill organizations based in Indianapolis and Seattle. She has researched and written descriptions for various collectibles, musical instruments, electronics,and other items for an online auction market. While in Indianapolis, she specialized in costume and fine jewelry.