You’re probably tired of writing lengthy emails in response to “How’s that project going?” or “Can you give me an update on this task?”.
I’ll let you in on a secret: People are sick of reading them, too.
After all, time is precious, and you know that you’ll inevitably spend time typing a long explanation. But what if you spend all this time collecting thoughts, stats, and results and putting them into words only to have your email overlooked, skimmed, or forgotten?
The problem isn’t your information.
It’s your delivery method.
We all get too many emails. In fact, a recent study estimates that the average worker spends about one-third of their work day reading and responding to emails.
Plus, long, wordy emails — especially those with complex information — are inherently difficult to digest and remember.
So how do you cut through the clutter and ensure your information doesn’t just go where it needs to, but is also understood?
Humans understand information better when it’s presented visually, which makes communicating with images and videos extremely important. A recent TechSmith study found 67% of people absorb information faster when it’s presented visually. Plus, they remembered it better later on. That’s precisely why your company should use video, and why you should create videos to report on projects.
At TechSmith, we use a screencast — recording your screen as you present information — because it’s one of the best and easiest ways to share project information.
Plus, you don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment or professional video editing skills to do it.
There are a lot of ways to use screencasting at work, but for now, let’s focus on using screencasts to report on project results.
How to use screencasts to report on project results
Step 1: Gather all the content you’d like to share
Do you have a site heatmap, some Google Analytics numbers, an Excel spreadsheet, a PowerPoint slide, or other items you want to show to help explain your progress?
Before hitting the record button, open everything you need to show your results. It’s also a good idea to draft a quick outline of what you need to cover in your screencast to ensure you don’t miss any important takeaways.
If you intend to record your entire screen (rather than just a window or selection) be sure to clear any clutter from our desktop and close any unnecessary browsers (or browser tabs), applications, folders, etc. to avoid any unnecessary (and potentially embarrassing) distractions for your viewers.
Step 2: Open your screen recording software
Next, choose and open your screen recording software. TechSmith Snagit is great for quick desktop recordings, like screencasts to share out project results. You can even turn screenshots into videos with narration and annotation!
Snagit also allows you to trim unwanted footage from screen recordings for easy edits.
If you don’t have Snagit, you can download a free trial here.
Step 3: Record webcam video for a personalized intro
You can skip this step if you’re really crunched for time or if it doesn’t make sense for you. However, in most cases, we highly recommend a short intro with your smiling face!
Adding personality to your video goes a long way, and it’s one of the huge advantages video has over email.
We love to see our coworkers’ faces at TechSmith, especially if we’re working remotely!
It’s easy to record your webcam with Snagit. You can record video and audio at the same time, and you can also toggle between webcam and screen recording throughout your video shareout.
With the latest version of Snagit, you can also record picture in picture! Here’s a great video walkthrough:
Step 4: Give a visual walkthrough of your project results
As you record your screen, talk through your project updates or results. Keep your outline handy, and walk through all the content you previously gathered.
Don’t worry if you misspeak or otherwise mess up. Just keep recording. You can trim out any notable mistakes later.
Don’t go overboard — only cover the highlights to help keep the length of your video as short as you can. If you plan to cover multiple subjects, or if your video will be longer than a few minutes, consider breaking it up into a series of videos to be more brief.
Our research on video viewing habits showed that, while people will watch longer videos they’re interested in, the sweet spot seems to be in the three to six minute range.
Step 5: Save and share your video
Finally, don’t forget to save and share your screencast.
Now, you’ll have your screencast handy and ready to be shared as needed.
Have a meeting coming up where you need to talk through results? You can have your shareout video queued up or send it along for someone else to play if you’re unable to attend the meeting.
Or, better yet, skip the meeting altogether and let each recipient watch your video when it’s most convenient for them!
It’s really that simple!
Recording a quick video covering your project results can actually be faster than drafting a long email. Plus, people are more likely to watch it and remember the content later.
Frequently asked questions:
With Snagit, you can! Simply toggle what you’d like to record and press the big red button, or use picture in picture mode. It’s that easy!
Snagit can help you make simple edits to video clips, like cutting out unwanted footage. However, if you need to add more in-depth effects to a video, we suggest checking out Camtasia.