06: Video Tips and Tricks
Now that you have learned the basics to recording your first video, follow these tips from our video pros to improve your video recording skills and create polished, professional videos.
Before You Record
Storyboarding, scripting, or planning out a basic outline for your video capture can help to:
- Save editing time
- Keep viewers’ attention throughout the video
- Achieve the goals of the video
- Avoid spending extra time having to record content over and over
Follow these tips to help you plan out and prepare your video before recording:
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice is the key to creating professional videos. It takes practice to learn how to move the cursor or open applications so they appear in the recording area. Also, practice to get the positioning of the Web browser or application just right.
- Write a Script or Outline
Plan out what to show on the screen as you narrate the video. Knowing what you will show before you create your video will save a lot of time and frustration. Think out the content.
- Clean Up
Snagit records anything on your screen. Clean up your web browser and desktop by closing or removing nonessential applications, browser toolbars, personal items, and desktop and dock icons. A plain background on your desktop is better than busy wallpaper.
- No Pop-Ups!
If you do not want to record pop-up windows, make sure to turn off pop-ups by using a pop-up blocker or your browser’s built-in pop-up blocker.
- Keep it Short
Make sure you have a clear goal for the content of the video. Try to focus on recording one idea or theme per video. Doing too much will complicate the video message. Viewers will lose focus if the video skips around or if the video is too long.
- Set Up the Content to Record
Open any applications or web pages to show in the video prior to recording. This makes for a smoother recording and helps keep your viewers' attention especially if any pages or applications require you to log in or download items.
Audio Recording Tips
- Practice Using a Microphone
Experiment with different volume levels and different microphone placement. Six inches from the microphone is usually good to record full tones, but not too close that other noises interfere.
- Record in a Quiet Location
Any microphone can pick up nearby noises. Most office areas have a lot of background noise that you may or may not notice. Take a second and listen. What do you hear?
- Block the Computer’s Humming Sound
Build a small box lined with foam to put your microphone in as you record, use pillows or blankets to muffle the noise, or cover your head with the blanket.
- Use a Script
A script helps you produce the best audio by allowing you to avoid mistakes or saying um or uh. If you do not want a formal presentation, an outline can help reduce some mistakes.
- Project and Enunciate
Speak as though you are addressing a small audience in a large room. Smile as you speak.
Cursor Movement Tips
Snagit automatically records the cursor in video captures. Follow these cursor movement tips to help focus the attention for viewers.
- Watch the Cursor
Normal mouse and cursor movement can appear jerky, hesitant, or too fast in the recording. To eliminate some of these issues, practice using the mouse around the screen in a slow, fluid motion.
- Slow Down
Use slow, deliberate mouse movements. Do not click around the screen too fast.
- Hover the Cursor Where You Want the Viewer to Look
Keep the cursor still on the area of focus in the recording. For example, if you want the viewer to focus on a hyperlink, place the cursor on or near that area as you speak and then click.
- Do Not “Talk” with the Cursor
Do not move the cursor around the screen as you speak. Try to keep the cursor still in the area of focus in the recording.