Welcome to the next installment of our How to Create Great Video Content series. Enter screencasting, technique #2.

Missed the first article in the series? Check out Part 1 for an introduction to 3 video production techniques.

Why Screencast

Because screencasting records the actions you take on your computer screen, this technique is great for step-by-step tutorials for anything you can do online.

Screencasting Software

Let’s talk tools. There are dozens of screencast tools available both for free or for purchase. Below are some of the most popular screencasting tools under $100.

  • Jing – PC (free)
  • CamStudio – PC (free)
  • Camtasia for MAC – MAC ($99)

With each of these, you can select your audio device and specify the part of your screen you’d like to capture. Here are some great tutorials with details on how to use Jing, CamStudio, and Camtasia for Mac. (Note: Use Jing for shorter videos; it only records up to 5 minutes.)

Photo by leighblackall / CC BY

Get Started

Before you start recording, here are some tips that may make the process go more smoothly.

  • Create a script – plan your talking points, and even your pauses between points, prior to recording for the best results.
  • Close your applications – you don’t want to have to start over because you received an IM half way into your recording. Close any application that aren’t necessary to prevent any surprises.
  • Clutter free – remove anything from the capture area that could be distracting during the recording, including file icons, browser bookmarks, or anything else that is not needed for your video
  • Sounds of silence – you want your audio to be “clutter free” too! Use a USB microphone, and try to record in a quiet location, free of phones ringing, loud fans, and any other unexpected noise.

What software do you use? Share your additional tips by commenting below.