If you’re in the world of online marketing, you know that eventually, someone down the line, you will need to create a screencast. The majority of the time, screencasts are used for some type of online training (i.e. live training videos or tutorials) or giving previews of a product/software. When you first start out, it can seem like the subtle art of screencasting is a total blur, and you may not even be sure how to start. Here are 5 simple and effective tips that should get you up and running in no time.
What exactly is screencasting?
Screencasting is the act of capturing a video recording of your computer screen. You can record just the screen if you like, but many people include an audio overlay to narrate their actions as they move along the screen.
Many people are visual learners. Rather than read a manual or lengthy text, they’d prefer to see a video recording of exactly what it is your doing to accomplish something (i.e. tutorial) or exactly what your product looks like. This is where screencasts come into play. We suggest you use both text and screencasts to satisfy your entire audience demographics’ preferences. The two will actually compliment each other.
- Write A Script – Don’t try to stammer your way through the recording. Though you may think you have the ability to sound more natural shooting from the hip, you’ll find you excessively stutter and use repeat offender filler phrases like “um” and “uh”. Instead, write the script out well ahead of time, and practice it repeatedly, until you are able to recite it in a natural manner. If you can get through the script without fumbling, it will save you a lot of editing time and re-recording time.
- Use Reputable Screencasting Software – Don’t try to find some hack software or free software to accomplish your recordings. Instead, foot the bill for the very reasonable priced mid-level screencasting software programs like Camtasia or ScreenFlow. They’re approximately $99 each, have amazing software capabilities, are extremely user friendly, are used by most screencasters, and they have a wealth of knowledge base tutorials and information.
- Never Multi-Task – It is extremely distracting to your viewers to see you move around to other objects or seem other notifications pop up. I can’t tell you how many annoying screencasts I’ve watched with Outlook emails popping up and Skype messages displaying. Multi-tasking while screencasting is just a no-no. It can effect your privacy, can be extremely distracting, and can inadvertently screw with your recording by changing your screen.
- Know How To Use Your Microphone – Though decent screencasting can be accomplished with a low-end microphone, it’s better to get a professional microphone instead, especially if you will be doing a lot of screencasting. They’re pretty fairly priced and they have unique features intended to increase your recording quality (i.e. noise reduction). When using your microphone, be sure to keep it the same distance from your face during the entire recording, to reduce volume level decreases or increases during the duration of the video
- Record In A Quiet & Non-Echoey Room – This is pretty much common sense, but you’d be surprised. Choose a room that’s quiet and isn’t all bare walls. Do a test run in the room to see how the recording came out, and be sure to tell others in the same space when you’ve begun recording. This will prevent unwanted interruptions.