Screencastify creates and views hundreds of screencasts each day. We’ve learned a few tricks and tips over the years that make screencasts great.
No matter what purpose you are creating, whether it’s a demo of a product or a lecture to your students. High-quality screencasts will keep your viewers’ attention longer and help them retain more information. You have to.
It’s not difficult to make a screencast that is great. However, a bit of extra work can help you improve your product.
Our team was asked to give their top tips for producing better screencasts. Here are the 24 best screencasting tips.
1. Before recording, create a outline
Although it may seem tempting to just go with the flow, even a basic outline will force you to plan your thoughts and create a screencast. Rambling and jumping between ideas is a sure way to lose an audience. Your “ums and “ahs” will be reduced by writing a script.
2. 2. Record in quiet surroundings
There is nothing more distracting and unprofessional than hearing a child cry or barking in the background.
3. Do it once, twice or three times before you record
No one can create a screencast that is perfect the first time. Although you don’t need to practice too much, it is a good idea to go through the talking points at least once. This will allow you talk more naturally (e.g. You won’t need to search for the right word or phrase in your recording.
4. All other tabs and apps should be closed
It will accomplish two things.
5. Get a glass water
Your mouth can quickly dry out if you record a screencast that is long or multiple takes. We are certain that your viewers will be aware.
You will have to pull your hair out if you try recording a screencast for 5 minutes and realize that the audio isn’t picking up. You shouldn’t pull your hair out.
7. Keep only what you really need
Screencasts that are contained within one application or tab only will suffice. Recording only what is necessary will reduce file size and eliminate unnecessary visual noise. You can select to either record your tab only or crop the video after you are done recording.
You will want standard dimensions in most situations (e.g. To ensure that it appears correctly on YouTube or other video hosting websites like YouTube, you will need to record at standard dimensions (e.g. 480p,720p). Screencastify lets you automatically adjust the size of your browser tab according to a preset dimension. A Chrome extension such as Windows Resizer can be used.
9. Tell your viewers about what you will cover
Give your audience an overview of what you’ll be covering before you dive into the actual presentation. It will allow them to get organized and be able to identify what they should be paying attention. You won’t be able to help them navigate the world and tell you what’s most important.
10. It should be short
There is no doubt video length has a negative correlation with engagement. Our attention spans are now shorter than ever, and we can lose our focus after only 2-3 minutes. You might consider splitting screencasts into smaller, more concentrated segments if you have to record a longer one.
11. Use your webcam carefully
Although embedding your camera is an excellent way to make your screen recordings more personal, you shouldn’t do it too often. Your viewer is most likely to be looking at your face every time they view it. While this is great for introductions and conclusions or other times when you don’t have much screen action, it can be distracting in the main part of your screencast. Screencastify allows you to switch your webcam on or off in your screencast.
12. Talk slowly
Practice a few times while speaking slower than usual. Next, when recording is complete slow it down. Really. Naturally, we are more likely to talk faster when we give a presentation. A viewer can fasten YouTube playback if they wish.
13. If you do make a mistake, don’t panic
It’s okay to make mistakes once in a while, depending on what context the video is being shot. This makes you appear more human. Don’t stop recording if you have made a mistake in the final video. You can pause for a while and then start over. After you finish recording, cut out the error. Screencastify Premium subscribers can use our browser-based editor to cut clips.
14. Make sure you have a quality microphone
Poor audio quality makes screencasts difficult to hear. You don’t have to buy a fancy, expensive microphone. Simple headphones that have a microphone built in are better than using the internal mic on your computer.
15. Zoom in
Your audience won’t view your video on fullscreen. In fact, they likely won’t. If you are recording web pages with very small text, this is particularly true. By pressing Command (or Control) +, you can zoom in on the Chrome browser tab. You will be appreciated by your audience.
16. Annotation tools are useful
Screencastify has an annotation tool for tab recordings. It allows you to put a spotlight on the mouse and draw using a pen tool. This can help you direct your viewers’ eyes in the direction that you desire.
This video is not supported by your browser. Screencastify’s annotations tools will direct your viewers’ attention.
It can be distracting to make too many mouse movements. Screencastify lets you hide the mouse from being used. This feature can be enabled in the annotation toolbar. It is highly recommended.
18. Use keyboard shortcuts
You’ll also notice a decrease in the need to use your mouse to perform tasks such as switching tabs/applications or enabling and disabling annotation tools. You can learn Screencastify keyboard shortcuts.
19. Scroll smooth
It can be disorienting to watch someone navigate websites quickly and in a haphazard manner. The SmoothScroll extension is recommended. It does precisely what it says. It will make it easier for viewers to track your movements and also adds polish to the recording.
20. Cut out dead moments
Your audience shouldn’t be watching you as you complete forms, type something or wait for websites to load. After you finish recording, simply cut the video. This is easy to do in Screencastify with our editor .
You can take a moment to regroup your thoughts. If this is the case, you may need to think about your next point. Screencastify users can press Alt + Shift+ P to pause and resume their recording.
Your recording can be recapped and you should tell the viewers what they need to have learnt. It will allow them to recall all your important points, not only the most recent 1 or 2. This will make your presentation much more memorable.
23. Trim your video
Screencasts should begin promptly after the viewer clicks on play. They should end when you log off. Screencasts that are too long or unprofessionally done at the end and beginning of each screencast is wasteful and unprofessional. Trimming your video is quick and easy, but it can have a significant impact on your recording’s quality.
A screen recording is exactly that, a recording. You won’t have the ability to answer questions from your viewers. It’s okay! After viewing the video, provide them with additional resources (e.g. In the YouTube description or in an email, you can provide additional resources for them. This will help them to know where they should go next.
Do you have a tip we did not mention? Tweet @Screencastify to let us know!