Take It from the Teacher: Tutorial Video Advice with a Camtasia Trainer | Jayne Davids

Want some video creation and editing tips? Who better to ask than a teacher? In this episode of The Visual Lounge, we invited Jayne Davids, Camtasia Trainer, Video Editor at her company, Raiveon Video Specialists to share with us her tutorial video advice.

Jayne shares thoughts on how you can improve your video creation skills by sharing some insights into her own methods. She takes you through her processes, how she manages projects, her tips on creating storyboards and scripts, and much more.

Jayne has been involved in learning and development for over 20 years now, designing and delivering training systems. She’s combined her love for teaching with making videos and now helps others do the same with tutorial video advice.

You can watch the video on this topic at the top of this post, to listen to the podcast episode, hit play below, or read on for more…

Why is video creation so important?

Of course, we love video at TechSmith. We don’t need any convincing, but we asked Jayne to give us a short pitch. And she put it perfectly…

“I think everyone should be making videos. And if you’re not, just press that red button and get started. I think it’s great for your branding and getting your message out there connecting people. Brilliant opportunity for sharing information and helping people. I love it.”

The early days of being a video creator

While Jayne may be a video expert now, she says it wasn’t always that way. Video creation is a long learning process. She explained that her first videos were “awful” and producing videos had tons of challenges to contend with.

“I think the first thing I really didn’t like was listening to my voice…Now when I look back, it wasn’t too bad. But my voice is the main thing. I was very high-pitch, very fast. So that’s what makes me cringe.”

But Jayne powered through and instead focused on what she wanted each video to achieve.

“I still had lots of planning, I still went through the process, you know, understanding or sort of recognizing what’s really important, what can I include in this video that will help the person to be able to do what they need to be able to do?”

What makes a great video tutorial?

While there are plenty of video tutorial tips Jayne could give, one she starts with is a simple one – get to the point.

People are busy and impatient, and when they need information from your video, they want it to be fast, straightforward, and to the point.

“Make sure that you get to the point and cover all the necessary points as quickly as you can.”

"What is the safest, quickest, or most appropriate way we want our studets, our viewrs to take to be able to be able to complete that task?" - Jayne Davids

The process for putting a video tutorial together

Everyone has a different process. What one process works for one, won’t for another. And so, the best process and tactics are the ones that work for you.

Jayne says that her process varies depending on the stage her clients bring her in and the type of video. Some may be right at the beginning of the process and need a whole lot of training material. Others may bring her in during the later stages for more editing than training.

“I start trying to get familiar with the client and understand their tone of voice and how they approach things. I review some of their videos that they’ve already made just to get a feel – because it could be that I’m asked to make videos exactly to what they’ve done before – so they’re consistent.”

The editing process

For Jayne, there’s usually a template involved that will have all the customer information on. She takes some time setting up the project in Camtasia and then puts together some notes.

An interesting part of her process is recording the audio separately.

“I can concentrate a lot better if I’m just looking at doing the audio. That very first tutorial video, I did everything at the same time. And boy, that was quite hard concentrating on, articulating properly, and smiling and recording where your cursor is supposed to be going. I found that quite a challenge.”

The result? A much smoother, more polished video, according to Jayne. Sometimes, she will still record videos without doing it separately, but that’s only when a less polished one is needed.

How to proactively improve your video creation skills

Jayne’s tip is simple, but hard to argue with – “Learn by doing, improve by doing.”

Even a trainer as qualified and accomplished as Jayne knows there’s no greater way to learn than by trying things out, experimenting, getting things wrong, and then improving next time.

“Whilst I teach people how to do it, I think where I’ve learned more, is actually making those videos myself.”

"I make videos, I watch videos, but until I actually put that into practice, I need to experiment. I need to be doing it." - Jayne Davids

Is scripting necessary or just useful?

Everyone has a different take on this. Some people love scripts. Others hate them. Some prefer to rely on loose notes. But where does Jayne fall on that debate?

Jayne likes to use a simple yet highly efficient storyboard system with three columns for her tutorial videos.                  

Column 1: The words she’s going to be saying

Column 2: What’s going to appear on screen.

Column 3: Hints and tips about where she will be clicking during the recording. There will also be some notes on what to highlight, when to zoom in, and so on.

“My script most of the time is scripted word for word. One of the other reasons I do a storyboard, especially working with clients, is that they have the opportunity then to review that storyboard and review the script. So it gives me an option, an opportunity for them to review that and make any changes.”

Jayne’s Camtasia tips

As a big Camtasia advocate, Jayne has plenty of tips and features she recommends.

A few features she mentions are the Ripple Delete, Magnetic Tracks, and even Shift, which helps you move things around the timeline.

“I always say shift is your friend. Because, if you highlight that first piece of media, then hit shift, you can drag the individual pieces of media as a whole on that track.”

Another one is Ripple Move, where you click on the grey play head, and it splits all your tracks.

“Normally, when I show people, it’s that sort of, ‘oh my gosh!’ You can see people’s lightbulb moment.”

Camtasia, of course, has lots of features like these that can really transform your videos. If you want more tips, be sure to check out TechSmith Academy – it’s full of video creation and editing tips to level up your videos.

For more expert advice and tips visit TechSmith Academy on YouTube or listen to the Podcast.

Matt Pierce

Matt Pierce is a Learning & Video Ambassador at TechSmith. In this role speaks and teaches about video creation and visual communication. A graduate of Indiana University he has ten years of experience working in learning and development with a focus on visual instruction. He has directly managed the training, user assistance, video, and other teams for TechSmith. Teach him something @piercemr

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