I created my first (and second) screencast tutorial! I wanted to share my experience a little bit and encourage everybody else that's secretly wanting to do a screenshare but not sure.
I didn't even have to buy any software or hardware at all. I'm sure there are programs out there that would let me do higher-quality editing, exporting, etc., and I'm sure there are microphones that would improve audio quality. Those are probably a good idea, and I'll have to look into them. However, for this first one, I had such a low threshhold for chickening out and giving up, I had to make it as easy as possible for myself to do it. Here's my setup:
- Created a new account on my Macbook, specifically for these screencasts. No accidental notifications during the screencast, no personal files and info showing up that I don't want, no initial settings or configurations skewing how my machine works compared to anybody watching.
- Microphone: Apple earbuds mic. No external powersource or cords or stand or setup needed. Just plug them in and go.
- Screen Recording Software: QuickTime Player comes stock on a Mac (I think). You can record screencasts with it by opening it and clicking File -> New Screen Recording. You can then set it to use whatever mic you want (including those handy dandy platinum-quality earbuds). You can also have it highlight your mouse clicks if you want. I chose to do that.
- Video Editing Software: iMovie. Simple-ish. Easy-ish. Got it for free. I used it mostly to strip out the really long pauses whenever I didn't know what to say.
- Your first screencast will suck. That's ok. Just push through, throw away your first couple of takes (but not much more than that), and get it edited and exported to YouTube (or wherever). Don't try to perfect it, just get it out there. It won't be perfect, and that's ok, because, unless you shamelessly plug your screencasts on a popular blogging platform, no one will watch them. BUT. That's the good thing. Because, once you make the first one and get through the "curled-up-in-a-ball-of-social-anxiety-will-they-hate-it-oh-my-gosh-the-trolls-are-coming" phase, you'll be less scared to make the second one. And the second one will be a bit better. And as you make more and more, you'll get more confident — at this point I'm speculating, but, this is my hope — and the videos will get better. And leave them up, because you can always make another, better video.
- There are some things you should leave out. Trust me. Don't do an intro to the video in the same video you're recording. If you have to do an intro, do it in a separate video in the same playlist that people can opt out of/not watch. Your video already has a title and a description. People (mostly) can read. They know. Just jump right into the material. Somebody told me this, and I didn't believe them. And I did an intro to my first video. And when I went back and watched it, it was so boring. It also adds minutes to your video, which adds to the time it takes to export and upload it.
I have a couple of favors to ask, if you've got time and are willing.
- If you know of a decent microphone (not platinum quality, but something that will get me 80% of the way there and sounding professional) that I can get on Amazon or something, let me know.
- Ditto for screencast/editing software.
- If you've got time, check out my video (see below). The second one is better than the first, but I know there's a lot of improvement to be made yet. Message me (email, tweet, comment, etc.) if you have any feedback. I know that's a big favor, so I appreciate it, and I don't take it lightly. I want to get better and make things that people enjoy watching and can learn something from.
- If you've been thinking about making a screencast for a while but have been too nervous or didn't know how, sit down and make one! (Or stand up, I don't care, live your life homie). Put it up on YouTube. And know that everything will be ok. If you send me a link, I will shower you with complements, praise, and click the like button. You've got the Palo guarantee on that one*.
This is the second part, because it's shorter and better and the first part makes me cringe. Thanks for reading/watching!
*Not an actual legally binding guarantee. 😬
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