Creating Your Own Video Course, Part II: Execution

In Part I of this series, I discussed what it takes to prepare your own video course. In this part we'll talk about the tools and processes you can use to plan for and record the actual videos. So let's get started...

The Slides

So in many cases you will want to have an introductory slide(s) before perhaps switching to the application or code that you want to demonstrate in the given video. In my case, I prefer to use Keynote, a presentation software from Apple, in order to create the slides for my course. For the majority of the videos I would have an introductory slide which allowed me to introduce the main concepts that would be covered in the video.

Simple Introductory Slide
Then as far as providing content for the actual slides, I would try to keep the slides free from clutter. This would include using fitting images or diagrams when appropriate and then just talking about the information instead of having a long list of bullets. For example, I could have a slide which contains a listing of the benefits of automated testing, or I could use a simple slide with an image (see below) and speak to the benefits. Which one would you find more appealing?

Use images if possible

The Script

On to the script. Have you ever listened to a video tutorial and the person seems to be rambling or loses their train of thought often? Well, having a script will help to alleviate this problem. It doesn't have to be anything extremely involved. I used Google Docs to store the scripts for each video. 

Each file consisted of the title of the video and a chart with two columns: Action on Screen and Audio. I would put a screenshot of what would be showing on the video in chronological order and then what I wanted to say about that portion of content in the Audio column. This helped me to stay on track and make fewer mistakes during the recording of the videos.


Finally, recording the videos was the easiest part of the entire process. Since I had everything prepared in advance, I would just open Camtasia and make sure I was using my headset for the recording and push record. I had a list of things I wanted to make sure I did however, before recording, and that consisted of the following:

  • Turning off all Messaging Applications
  • Turning off any Notifications
  • Setting the correct resolution (1280 x 720) for my display
  • Closing the door (no outside noises) 
  • Hiding the Dock on my Mac
  • Properly place the headset and microphone

In Part III of this series, I'll share what I did to help market my course.

Check out Part I if you missed it!