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Monday, August 10, 2009

Go For It! - Overcoming Screencast Fears!

Several people have told me that they don't like to make screencasts but like teaching stand up instead. I use to be in the same boat. In the 80s I taught a lot of stand up classes & conferences.

You've gotta keep in mind that you are the subject matter expert, you know more than those who you are teaching. They come to you for help and wisdom.

Do you still get nervous when you teach the first class of the year in stand up, everything takes a little warm up. I usually do a sound check.

Cool Techniques and Tips!

If you have an authoring product like imovie, camtasia studio, windows movie maker or other is to pause (stop speaking after you make a mistake wait 5 seconds or so, then start up again where you left off. When you edit the video later look for the audio to be flat, sure enough when you see flat audio you know that is where you started over. I recently recorded an advertisement and got it right the first time or in the first video take but I made 6 mistakes inside of the video which were easily edited out. The ad was 90 seconds and my video was about 300 seconds long. I edited it up and had a great final product in less than 15 minutes (including editing time.)

Another trick is to build a table of contents and stick with it, when I make training, I put together a table of contents then just record the easy stuff first 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 2.7 ... then I go back and learn how to do the tasks I don't know, practise them and fill in the toc later adding 1.2 etc. You'll get the hang of it. Also make sure you stop when you finished explaining the task. Don't continue on.

For those of you working on a marketing pitch, I would recommend scripting it out, then practicing the script several times until you get it down and add the right inflection, then record. Sometimes we use a product called serious magic visual communicator, which works like a teleprompter and scrolls on the screen while you talk. If you use it you'll need to set your screencast software to only record a portion of the screen (not recording the teleprompter).

And one last trick, practice a script, get it down, record it, then play it on an ear phone in your ear as you record a screen cast, even if you are off a little your audience will not know it. If you want to get really tricky you can even use a dictation audio player so you can control the speed of the playback with your feet, its a little complicated but really cool if you want to nail some high end marketing pieces.

Why to the models at the trade show wear ear pieces? So the nerds behind the mirror can feed them the answers to your questions!


1 comment:

  1. Great tips. I was wondering, what do you use to write your scripts? Do you use Word, Notepad or a special editor?