Screen recorders have revolutionized the “how to” market — it’s now very easy to start recording your computer screen and walk through the steps to show how to use a piece of software, build a web site, or even write an article. Those videos are called screencasts (like podcast, but concerning your screen).
But if you’ve watched more than a few screencasts you’ll have discovered that just because it’s easy to make one doesn’t mean it’s easy to make a GOOD one.
Well, actually it is easy to do that, but some people are either too lazy or maybe just don’t realize they could make a screencast that’s much more effective if all they did was take into account these three tips.
Tip #1: Shorter is better. Yes, length matters, and lucky for us good screencasts are usually short. I try to keep one to less than 5 minutes, and a better length is less than 4 minutes. So how do you do that if your subject takes longer than that to explain? Make a series of short screencasts. The nice thing about that is it’s easy for someone to watch just the screencasts they need to understand something rather than having to wade through minutes of video for something they already know.
Tip #2: Chop out the fluff. This, I think, is the worst sin of screencasting — recording everything and leaving it in. Don’t waste the time of the viewers — if you’re showing something online and a site is slow to load, don’t make the viewer sit there and watch it load. Chop that section out. If you mess up and need to re-do something, chop out the mistake. You don’t have to go crazy and chop out every little “um” or “er,” but if you’re sitting there for 5 or 10 seconds waiting for something to happen, chop it out.
Tip #3: Start with an outline. Nobody wants to watch you meander all over the place — just get to the point. You don’t have to write out an entire script of what you’re going to say, but you should know where you’re going and in which order. In the case of a series of screencast videos, this becomes especially important to make sure you cover everything that’s needed.
I’ll give you an extra tip that will actually make all the difference in the world: practice. The more screencasts you record, the easier it will become and the better your screencasts will end up. Start recording the different things you do in your online business and pretty soon you’ll be cranking out good screencast videos effortlessly.