How to Produce Great Screencasts
I’ve been creating a lot of screencasts recently for the goal-based learning systems that we develop, so I thought I’d give you a run through of the equipment I’m using and the workflow I’ve adopted. The screencasts show users how to use the functions of the goal-based learning system.
- Screenflow screen capture software (see Rob Reviews for a review of it)
- Zoom H4N recorder used as a USB microphone
- I begin by identifying the system functions that I want to cover and I also include a general overview of the system.
- I divide up the functions so each screencast is short. I aim for less than three minutes.
- I rough out a script, not word-for-word, but the main things I want to mention in the order they should be introduced.
- Then I capture screencasts of me using the system functions and talking my way through them.
- I do a few takes and use the one I’m happiest with. I generally aim to get it 80% right in the initial recording.
- In Screenflow, I then tidy up the timing and rerecord any of narration I’m not happy with.
- I then publish and upload to our video hosting site.
Tips for success
- Use a decent mic – audio quality is important and you can get an excellent USB condenser mic for £100.
- Record in a quiet environment – you don’t want background noise on your recording.
- Don’t try to make them perfect – focus on making them easy to follow and don’t worry about the odd ‘um’ or ‘ah’ in your recording.