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How to Record and Use Screencasts for Training

Posted by Amy Metherell on 3/30/16 9:30 AM

Screencasting.png

When you need to show a new employee or a client how to do something, showing them live is usually the most helpful. But we're all busy and our schedules don't always allow for yet another meeting. That's where screencasting can be your best friend.

A screencast is simply a recording of your desktop as you do something, such as creating a blog post in HubSpot. This is something I will need to train new employees to do. I can save time by capturing the process once and sharing the screencast as a training video. 

Screencasting Tools

1. QuickTime for Mac

My preferred method is QuickTime (pre-installed on Mac). You simply open QuickTime Player, select File>New Screen Recording. I have the option to record voice using my laptop microphone or another input, or no voice recording at all. I can also capture my mouse clicks, to make it super obvious where I'm clicking.

2. Other tools for PC

Jing, CamStudio, or Screencast-o-matic, record yourself performing the task you'd like to show. With any of these tools, you can do so while explaining what you're doing (using your computer's microphone) or you can do it without speaking.

3. For Windows 10 Users

Windows 10 has a built in way to record your screen using the Xbox App. It's meant to record video while playing Xbox games streamed to your PC, but it works for recording in other apps. You can find step by step instructions here.

Tips for Creating Training Videos

Here are a few tips for creating a stellar training video.

  • If your steps are complicated, you might want to run through them once or twice on your own before hitting record. 

  • Set up your desktop to have only the windows and tabs open that you need.

  • Plan ahead and use as few clicks as possible, so the video is streamlined with only the steps you want the user to take.

  • Edit using a simple video editor if you need to trim the beginning or end.

Storing and Sharing Your Training Videos

If you're going to create a lot of screencast training videos, it makes sense to start a library of well-organized videos. You can host them as private videos on YouTube or Vimeo, where only users with a link can view them.

Or, simply store the video files in Dropbox and share the link with the people who need it.

Now you can send the video to anyone who needs trained on that particular task. This is great for delegating tasks to others, training clients, improving support, or simply keeping in your library for future training of employees. It also works well for when employees are out on vacation so others can help with their work while they're out.

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