7 tips to create better tutorial video’s

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Recording tutorial video’s can be super scary. Even though you’re only recording your screen and the audience can’t see you…it’s still a daunting task.

A successful video requires synchronisation between your mouse and voice to create a tutorial that flows easily. These tutorials video’s are also called screen casts or screen recordings.

In this post, I’ll share the most efficient and popular tools for creating screen recordings and tips that you can use to instantly improve your video’s.

Tips to create better videos

Free screen recording tools

1. Quicktime

If you own a Mac, fortunately for you, it comes with an easy to use free built in screen recorder called Quicktime. It’s a pretty basic program but will do the job if all you need to do is record your screen.

2. Jing

Another cool alternative from the makers of Camtasia, is Jing. You can capture basic video, add highlights and captions to create quick tutorials. Only catch…the video’s are limited to a length of five minutes.

Paid screen recording tools

Now, if you want something a bit more sophisticated, there are a few paid tools which I’d recommend. They’ll allow you to capture your screen, edit your video’s, add callouts, highlights and captions to create a sophisticated professional looking video.

1. Snag It

On the cheaper end of the scale, costing only $49.95. 

You can capture any part of your screen, toggle between your webcam and screen, create GIF’s, add text and highlight and edit your final video.

2. Screencast

This is the tool I use personally. It allows free 15 minute watermarked screen casts which you can publish directly to Youtube. However, the paid version which sells for $15 a year, allows video editing, scripted recordings, zooming and also publishes directly to a range of platforms. Definitely worth it and it’ll cost you 3 cups of coffee.

3. Screenflow

Selling at around $99, this is a premium product and one that I’d recommend if you’re going to do lots of video tutorials.

It enables you to easily record your screen, edit your video’s, add tons of special features and exports directly to a load of programs such as Youtube, Wistia, Facebook and more.

4. Camtasia

Is another great program, sells for $99 and is very easy to use. It offers a range of features comparable with Screenflow and is used by industry professionals. You really can’t go wrong with this product.

So let’s jump into a few tips:

1. Hide personal photo’s, icons, tabs and folders

Create another user account on your computer that you use only for screen recordings. This way you don’t have to think about removing personal information while you’re recording. If you don’t want to do this, try to minimise personal info, folders, photo’s etc. as it can distract students.

2. Always tell your students where they need to be looking

Don’t assume that students know what you’re talking about or that they will follow your mouse. Explain your actions as you move your mouse. Some software programs will highlight your mouse or clicks so play around with that feature as it can be helpful to students.

3. Keep your mouse quiet

Make sure that students can’t hear your mouse clicks. It’s very distracting and annoying to students. Try to put your hand in your lap if you’re not using it, otherwise you tend to move it across the screen (or at least I do).

4. Use the pause button

Use the pause button if you need to open folders or documents during your recording. Students get distracted easily so you don’t want to lose them while you go hunting for docs. It’ll also help to create a more professional video

5. Prepare a rough script

I always prepare a rough script which I paste onto my whiteboard behind my laptop. I don’t read it word for word but it serves as a prompt and actually helps me to sound more natural. If you need tips on how to write a script, check out this post.

6. Have a glass of water handy

Talking for long periods of time will cause dry mouth. Trust me, you don’t want to choke up during your recordings. Take small frequent sips when you can.

7. Do a practice run

Do a full practice run of your recording from start to finish. This way, you can ensure you’ve got folders, tabs, links, docs etc. all ready to go in the order that you need them. Playback your recording and edit or improvise. Trust me, you most likely will!

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