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bmyers.com | Sample Articles | Top Ten Tips for Creating Effective . . . Search 

Top Ten Tips for Creating Effective ScreenCasts

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Create great looking screencasts by applying these tips. Includes a screencast video with all the tips explained.

I was recently contacted by TechSmith, developers of Camtasia, with an invitation to write an article about my top ten tips for creating a screencast.

Rather than just write an article, I created a screencast using Camtasia which covered my top ten tips.

The screencast, and the text of the article are below.



Top Ten Tips for Effective ScreenCasts

  1. Start with Camtasia Studio
    • All in one Recorder, Editor, Publisher
    • Publish for web, CD, or DVD
    • Proven solution, mature product



  2. Use a USB digital microphone
    • for clean, problem free audio
    • Affordable - prices start under $40
    • Plantronics USB500 or Samson CO1U


  3. Position the microphone to prevent popping
    • Move microphone away from mouth to prevent popping and to avoid breathing sounds
    • Avoid contact with body or clothes to prevent unwanted noise

        


  4. Use an enhanced cursor
    • Enhanced cursor helps viewers follow the action
    • Use enhanced cursor movement to pinpoint important information
    • Find enhanced cursors in Camtasia screen recorder under 'effects'



  5. Close Unneeded Programs
    • Clear the clutter from the screen
    • Free up system resources
    • Reduce problem of device or resource conflicts


  6. Set the size the stage
    • Take into consideration destination (web, CD, DVD)
    • Reduce screen capture area to minimum size
    • Set capture region in Camtasia Screen Recorder
    • Size and place all components to fit capture region


  7. Do a trial run
    • A trial run will help you compose presentation
    • A trial run will reveal missing elements
    • A trial run will help you condense your presentation


  8. Plan to Make Mistakes
    • Know that mistakes are easily removed during editing
    • When you make a mistake, take a breath and then repeat the segment where the mistake was made


  9. Edit ruthlessly
    • Editing audio and video is easy in Camtasia
    • Edit out mistakes
    • Edit out unneeded or confusing material
    • Edit to keep the presentation brief and interesting


  10. Publish to flash
    • If primarily a screen capture, publish to .swf format
    • If contains video, publish to .flv format
    • To minimize file size, publish at 10fps, 11.025 mono

More screencasts

If you want to see other screencasts I have created, visit our Screencast Area


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