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How to Make a Cool Screencast

by Olufisayo
How to Make a Cool Screencast

A screencast is a video recording of a screen that’s become a huge part of video content in marketing. Most often, it is associated with the tutorial videos that tells users how to work with a website or computer program, such as Photoshop or Word, but it could be used as a part of a digital marketing strategy for your business, or even can be used for showing you gamer skills.

This is one of the easiest types of video content – you don’t need a cool camera or the charisma of a video blogger. It is enough to understand the topic and to comment clearly on what you are doing (or sometimes just to show it).

At the same time, screencasts can bring in a lot of traffic. And make your YouTube video views rocket high if you choose the right topic. Now I want to tell you how to make your screencast look cool and how you can avoid critical mistakes producing one.

Screencasting types

Let’s start with screencast types and where you can use them.

  • Shooting video from the screen with music and no voice-over. The easiest type of screencast, but mostly it’s boring to watch. In videos like this, it’s hard to keep the viewer’s attention. It’s commonly used by digital artists to show the process of their work creation.
  • Shooting with a voice-over, but without the author’s face. The speaker comments on the actions on the video, but without showing their face. You should have a good voice if you want to do a screencast like this. This type is used by gamers, video reviewers, and tutorial makers.
  • The video is shot with commentary, the author shows themselves. Most of these videos have a window with the author in the corner, but there are also combined versions. It is believed that screencasts, where you can see the speaker, arouse more confidence in the audience. But what matters is the quality and information content of the video. These kinds of videos are also very popular with gamers or online tutorials.
  • A presentation with a pre-recorded commentary. This format is often used in webinars but can also be used on YouTube. It is similar to the previous option, but there is a difference. You need to create a presentation (in Keynote, Google Slides, or PowerPoint using eye-catching PowerPoint templates ) beforehand and then comment on the video. These videos also usually have a corner box with the author. A screencast presentation can be used to promote courses, present yourself, or as a training video.
  • In this kind of screencast, there are two or more bloggers. This is when one author interviews the other and shoots it on video. Both speakers talk via Skype or Zoom. Such interviews can often be seen at live presentations (for example, on Instagram), but some authors take a screenshot during a conversation with the interlocutor and then put it on the channel.

How to do a screencast right

Step 1: Get ready

A headset or a built-in microphone in a computer are not good tools for voice recording. There can be extraneous noise on the recording: hissing, crackling or echoing.

If quality is important, you’re better off with a separate microphone. But even if you got none, you can always use your phone headphones with the microphone (it’s much better than the inbuilt microphones of your laptop).

It is always better to use professional equipment with an acoustic screen that partially drowns out the sounds in the room and filters out the echo. Typically, a microphone isolation shield is placed behind the microphone. But even if you use special filters, get rid of the surrounding noises that can ruin your screencast.

Step 2: Make a script

Often it takes about a few seconds before the user leaves the channel. From the first frames, they should understand that your video is for them. A creative introduction will catch the attention. To engage viewers right away, make a screencast outline. The viewer needs to understand right away what the lesson is about. Prepare the text for the voice-over of the video lesson in advance. The creators of screencasts also call it a script. It will help:

  • Think through talking points and tips that will make the lesson richer and more valuable.
  • Avoid long pauses during the recording. Keep a cheat sheet at hand in case you suddenly get confused.
  • The script will reduce the time of editing: you do not need to cut unnecessary phrases and glue together different parts of the audio track.

Start your screencast with the most interesting facts or briefly tell what the story is about. During the video, try to keep as many details as possible. In the end, summarize and go over the key points again. Don’t hesitate to make a short announcement of the next lesson-the viewer should always want more.

Step 3: Install a screen recorder

Besides a microphone, you will need a program to record screencasts. It’s essential to have software that works well and does its job in just a couple of clicks. Search request “Screencast software download” on Google gives a lot of options. But I recommend using Screen Capture because it’s free and easy to work with.

Step 4: Make a Screencast!

All you have left to do is just click on the “REC” button.

Before recording, remove everything unnecessary from the frame. Just keep the viewer’s attention on the things you are talking about.

Turn off pop-up notifications and messenger alerts, so you don’t have to re-record the video because of an incoming message.

Common mistakes

Here some commonly made mistakes that are you need to avoid:

  • Less unnecessary information. The viewer doesn’t want to listen to long, pointless conversations. They need you to “hit” right in a point.
  • Record your sound in a small room because there is less echo.
  • The music should not interrupt the speech. Too loud music distracts the user and prevents them from understanding the information. If you add music, make sure that it sounds much quieter than your voice.
  • Good sound. Quiet voice, hissing, extraneous sounds – you need to get rid of it. Get yourself a proper microphone. Or improve the recorded sound with the help of applications.
  • Keep the same sound level throughout the entire video. It’s a really common mistake, please, check on your audio channel before uploading the screencast.
  • Make a script, so you don’t have to re-record your voice-over many times.
  • Use a professional microphone. It significantly reduces background noise or if you don’t get one – try to get rid of the noises with the audio editing software.
  • Avoid drinking soda or spicy food before the screencast if you don’t want your voice to sound crispy.
  • Record video at 16:9 frame so there are no black borders.
  • Record sound and video separately and edit it afterward.

Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

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