Seven Tips To Create Better Screencast Videos

by Michael

I have created tons of screencast videos over the past few years for marketing affiliate products, marketing my own info products and to create training videos. Here are the top 7 tips for making the screencasts much better and professional…

1. Prepare Your PC

The Software required to record screencast videos require a quite high PC power so it’s always a good idea to restart your computer before you start the software and start recording. When you restart your computer the videos always turn out better.

It’s also good to close as many background apps as possible, background apps such as; backup software, synchronization services and instant messengers. Turning off system audio is also a good idea because notification sounds can appear when you have a new email etc. and that may distract you.

2. Have a Professional Background Image

If you’re doing something on your desktop while recording such as opening folders, opening new applications etc. it’s a good idea to havea desktop wallpaper in the background that looks great for your background. You may not want a background that is too cluttered and distracting etc.

Instead, you can have a clean and good looking desktop wallpaper and/or even make sure that your logo if you have one is visible on there somewhere. Doing this keeps it professional.

3. Plan For Storage

While recording the video, all the data will continually be stored in the hard drive so it’s a good idea to use a separate hard disk than the hard disk that the operating system is using. This will make the video run better and smoother. However, if you do not have an additional hard disk in your computer then I suggest that you use an external hard disk which is connected to an e-sata port or a fire-wire port.

I do not recommend using an external hard disk through the usb port because it’s not as fast as e-sata or firewire. If you do not have an additional internal hard disk or external hard disk then I suggest that you defragment your hard disk before you record the video.

4. Noise Free Audio…

Before you start to record make sure to test drive all your audio recording equipment so that everything works properly. Also set up your screen capture software in such a way that the audio recording is made in a .wav format.

If you create your audio recording in a .wav format the file will likely be a bit bigger than if you were to create it in the .mp3 or .ogg format. There are advantages if you record the audio in the .wav format. During screen capture videos there’s often noise in the background.

However, when you record the audio in the .wav format it’s much easier to get rid of the background noise and you can also apply various filters to your audio file using a free software that I recommend named Audacity.

Audacity has a lot of features such as noise reduction etc. Audacity is an open source software. I will talk more about Audacity in future posts. So while you’re recording and editing, .wav is the best format.

5. Have a Voice-Over Script

If you are creating videos for the purpose of marketing or demonstrating your product or service, always write a script of what you’re going to say first and then afterwards, you can do the audio recording while reading directly from the script.

That way everything that you say will be clearer and your speech pattern will be smoother. If you’re creating a screencast video or if you’re creating a PowerPoint presentation you can then just simply play the audio recording in the background and you can synchronize the audio with the video so that the two of them “fits together.”

6. Your Voice is 50% of Your Video…

When you are going to create a video, don’t do the common mistake of only thinking of the visual aspect of the video. You should also make sure that the audio quality is the very best it can be. If both the video looks good and the quality of the audio is high, then the whole video (including the audio) will come off as much more professional.

To make sure that the audio quality is up to par, always make sure to use a good microphone when you record the video. You don’t need to throw out your entire pay check on a microphone but do spend a bit of money on a high quality microphone from a company that has a good reputation.

I use the headset “Microsoft LifeChat LX”; it includes both headphones and a microphone. I recommend that you don’t spend less than $10 on a microphone; I suggest that you look for microphones in the $30 to $50 price range. If you’re unsure which microphone to buy then you can always ask for recommendations from other people.

Also I suggest that when you’re recording the audio, actually put the microphone at the tip of your nose, that way the sound will be much clearer. That way when you’re later speaking and recording, the breathing from your nose won’t be heard. If needed, adjust the microphone and set it a bit higher up if you’re still blowing out air from your nose onto your microphone.

Another tip is to actually stand up while you’re recording the audio. It may not be possible but if you can do it then it’s a good idea to do it because while you’re standing your diaphragm expands and your lung capacity increases. Try it.

7. Record At Maximum Possible Resolution

When you’re recording a screencast video I recommend that you record it at a high resolution. If you record the video using a low resolution you can’t increase the resolution later, however, if you record the video at a high resolution you can always lower the resolution later when the video is already created and still keep the high quality.

This is also good if you later want to include the video in a DVD or if the web standard for videos increases and websites start to support videos with higher resolution.

The standard resolution for a video in the DVD format is 720 x 486 and if you’re creating the video in a wide-screen DVD format then the resolution is 864 x 486. If you’re creating a video that you are going to upload online, then I recommend 1280 x 720 wide-screen resolution which is usually called as 720p. YouTube loves these kind of videos.

I hope that these 7 tips will be useful when you create your screencast videos. Share your screencast experience with me and other readers…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mario Bruneau August 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Hey Deepak,

This article is very informative even for an HiTech wiz like me.

You really know your stuff.

I am bookmarking this blog of yours right now and will come back.


Mario Bruneau


Michael August 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Thanks Mario. Motivates me to blog more! :)


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