Scripting Frameworks

How to analyse YouTube scripts like a pro

June 7th, 2024



min read

Recently, I broke down the subtle psychological tricks used in Ryan Trahan’s hooks.

You folks seemed to really enjoy that one…

…but I also got a lot of replies asking how to break down and analyse a script in that way.

And it’s a good question.

After almost 3 years in this industry, learning to analyse other videos is one of the most valuable skills I’ve learned.

Because once you understand why a video kept you watching…

…you can use the same techniques in your own scripts.

So… here’s how to analyse a successful script (so you can steal all the stuff that works).

1/ Find Outliers

If you’re spending time breaking a script down, you wanna make sure it’s actually worth your time.

So studying an “outlier video” is your best bet.

These are videos that are significantly outperforming a channel’s recent average.

These are easy to spot using 1of10’s free chrome plugin.

Let’s say I was on the GrowVeg YouTube channel:

Here, I might wanna check out “You Must Sow These Seeds in August”.

Because, thanks to the free 1of10 plugin, I can see this video is a 6.1x outlier.

Grab the free 1of10 Chrome Extension here ⚡️

So, whichever video you’re analysing, copy the transcript over from YouTube, and get ready to break it down.

2/ Identify the Structure

If you saw my article from a few weeks back, I broke down the basic structure of most YouTube videos like this:

This is the first step of analysing any script.

It might be hard to spot in a fast-moving video - say, a tech breakdown from Mrwhosetheboss - but that structure is always there.

Split the transcript up into these components so you can clearly see how it all fits together.

There's a lot we can analyse from this point onwards...

But, today, we’ll stick with the hook.

3/ Analyse the Hook

Step 1 - Just Watch

In the case of Ryan’s video, I started by watching the hook several times.

It’s tempting to start analysing every sentence right away, but you’ll lose the overall context.

You need to see the entire hook, in full flow, before breaking it down.

Step 2 - Break It Down

Next, it’s time to break the hook into its components.

In Ryan’s case, I was literally looking for any time he introduced a new “idea”.

For example:

“This week I'm going to every single Disney World hotel to investigate. And guess who I'm bringing? A girl.

There’s a clear distinction between ideas at this moment.

He goes from explaining the video’s structure to asking the audience a direct question.

So, break these different “ideas” up within the transcript.

Initially, you don’t need to figure out what’s happening.

Just break it down and notice when there’s an “idea change”.

Step 3 - Think

The next part relies on your intuition.

Review each of the hook's sentences and ask yourself questions like:

  • Why is this here?
  • How did it make me feel?
  • Why did it pique my curiosity?
  • How does it work in relation to the sentences before and after?
  • How does it contribute to the overall hook?

Especially with someone like Ryan, you know every sentence has a reason to be there.

And it’s your job to figure them out.

Step 4 - Create a Framework

Once I’ve spent time thinking about the questions in step 3, I love to distil my thoughts into a framework:

For example, after thinking about this sentence:

[B-Roll from Ryan's visit.] "Not only are the theme parks unbelievable but there are dozens of hotels at Disney that seem like fairy tales..."

The best way I could summarise what had been achieved by the sentence was:

“It proves that he really went to the place he’s describing.”

Ergo, step 2 of the framework became “proof”.

Not only does creating a framework make it easier to consolidate your thoughts and to visualise the flow of the hook…

It also makes it easier to do step 5…

Step 5 - Test

Now, it’s time to test this framework in your own content.

For example, students in my community have started testing the Ryan Trahan framework in totally different niches:

This is the best way to find any imperfections in your analysis, too.

In an educational context (see above from Julian), we found the “Payoff” part of the framework was too repetitive.

So Julian re-wrote his hook with that in mind:

The fastest way to fine-tune your framework is to test it.

And that’s all there is to it, as far as the hook goes.

But what about the rest of the script?

So we’ve covered the hook…

But there’s still a lot to analyse!

That's why the full process of how I break down and analyse YouTube scripts will be available in V2 of The YouTube Scriptwriter’s Playbook.

And, as an existing YTSP student, you'll of course get this for free when it launches in July.

Looking forward to sharing it with you! 🥹

That’s almost everything for this week!

But I have a quick announcement to make...

I'm putting this newsletter on hiatus until the end of June.

Nothing to worry about!

I'm doing this to get YTSP V2 finished sooner.

As you undoubtedly know from writing YouTube scripts...

Loss of momentum absolutely kills joy.

Sometimes you've gotta focus up and get sh*t done 🤓

So... thanks for your patience [FIRST NAME GOES HERE], and I'll see you in July!

Oh and don’t forget to download the free 1of10 Chrome plugin 🔌

No sign-ups, no cost, no catches. Don't like it? Delete it.

But I can confidently say it's the most useful YouTube plugin I've ever used... so I reckon you'll keep hold of it 😉

Grab the free 1of10 Chrome Extension here ⚡️

That's all for now! Any questions, just let me know - and I'll see you in July.

Speak soon,
George 👋

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