What is Screencasting?

what is screencasting

A screencast is a video recording of your computer screen, and usually includes audio. Screencasting is also referred to as video screen capture, and is a great way to teach or share ideas. Think about your digital life. All that time sitting at your desk. Think of your apps, websites, IMs, emails, and everything that makes up your digital world. What if you had a camera in your pocket, ready to capture and record in full, crisp HD at a moment’s notice? What types of videos would you create? Would you ever want to share what’s on your screen? How could it help you work better?

Common examples of screencasts are onscreen tutorials, video lessons, or slideshare presentations. A major benefit of screencasting is that the viewer can watch the screencast at a time when it’s best for them, because learning doesn’t always take place in an academic setting. Additionally, the viewer can absorb the information at their own pace by pausing and rewatching portions. Screencasts add a personal touch in ways that other methods (I’m looking at you PowerPoint decks and written proposals!) simply cannot.

Here at TechSmith, we understand the power of screencasting. We make both screen recording and video editing software because we know that being able to capture your computer screen at work increases productivity. We realize that you may want to make a more polished screencast, but sometimes a quick-n-dirty vid can get the job done, too.

Screencasting–also commonly referred to as a “secret weapon” by seasoned screencasters–is a work hack you can jump in and use it today. Here are some great screencasting pointers to get you started!

5 Ways Screencasting Can Make You More Productive at Work Today

1. Revitalize your onboarding

Getting the new person up-to-speed can be a time consuming process. You’re not only trying to get your job done, but you’re also having to explain it every little step of the way. You feel like you’re on the spot (which you are) and it can be overwhelming.

Take the pressure off you and record a screencast instead. With screencasting, you don’t have to continually start and stop to answer questions, which allows you to focus on the material. The new hire can start, stop, and re-watch the screencast as many times as they need, because nobody worries about interrupting a video recording! Screencasting allows you to train your new hires effectively and free up your time.

onboarding with screencasting

You’re already doing the onboarding. Screencasting allows you both refer to it again later.

2. Record the screencast once and share it every time

How many times a day do you have to answer the same question?

  • “How do I reconnect to the printer?”
  • “How do I access those Q4 files again?”
  • “What is the best way to input the data?”

You know. It’s that type of question. It’s the question you’ve answered countless times and by now your response is totally autopilot. Snap out of it! And snap your co-workers out of it too by creating a screencast that leaves a lasting impression.

Why not create a little library of screencasts that answer frequently asked questions? Screencasting not only saves you time answering the same questions over and over, but it has been proven that 80% of viewers can recall a video they have seen in the past 30 days. Oh, and did we mention that it will make you look like a rockstar?

3. Walk your sales client through a proposal

These days, sending an email proposal is the bare minimum. As you know, most business decision makers don’t have the time or energy to go through every proposal that hits their inbox. You can’t just have a great proposal, you need to find new and creative ways to stand out from the rest of the pack.

What if you guided your lead through a sales proposal with a personalized video? Helpful explainer videos ensure there is little chance that your message will get lost in translation. By screencasting, you can also add the extra details that are not typically included in a PDF proposal. A short video is easily shareable, allowing the lead to forward it easily to all of their additional silent decision makers.

Lastly–and perhaps most importantly–sharing a screencast is a highly personalized interaction that can provide the crucial opening to a larger conversation. For example, Snagit user Chad Ridderson now closes 50% of his cold sales bids simply by adding screencasts to his email proposals. What could screencasting do for your bids?

4. Make a software or product demo

There is no better way to show off your product than by actually showing off your product! The Content Marketing Institute says that consumers need numerous touchpoints before they decide to make a purchase. Did you ever consider that explainer videos, walkthroughs, tutorials, and helpful how-to vids are all awesome additional marketing opportunities to show (and not just tell!) the value of your product?

Oftentimes potential purchasers need to feel what the experience is going to be like before they commit. However, by viewing a screencast, they are expressing real interest in your product and possibly intent to purchase. Video is a powerful tool that keeps eyeballs on your website.

5. Provide clear feedback

Sometimes the best way to provide clear, concise feedback is to talk it out. Yet what if the person needing feedback is in a different location? Or a different time zone? Screencasting is a solution that helps bridge the gaps for today’s globally connected workforce.

A major part of providing feedback isn’t what you say, but how you say it. Context is everything when giving constructive critique. Recording a screencast allows the person on the other end to actually hear your voice, and provides important context to your words. So the next time a webpage, PDF, or video edit is sent to you for feedback, consider dropping the red pen and record a screencast instead!

feedback with screencasting

Giving feedback via screencasting.

Get Started Today!

Were there any screencasting work hacks that we missed? Share with us in the comments below! Want to get started and hack your work, increase your productivity, and look like a superstar? Try Snagit or Camtasia for free today.

David Patton

David Patton is the Media Coordinator for TechSmith.
Follow him on Twitter @davidpatton6

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