Doing screencasts.. what I learnt

Recently I got asked to do some screencasting for a company (It’s all a bit secret squirrel at the moment). I had never tried screencasting before but I can tell you I have a new respect for those that do it all the time.

I would say the most difficult item to get over is listening to your own voice on playback. No one particularly seems to like it, even those who have recorded hundreds of screencasts. There is not much I can do to fix your voice but I can empart a couple of tips:

  1. Don’t do it on the fly. Having a script helps. I am not advocating recording every single word but having a script helps ensure you keep on track and can help avoid the “errs” and “umhhh’s”.
  2. Dont try and do it all in one take. In post production you can edit out quiet spaces and bloopers. Most casters seem to suggest five minute segments fit quite well.
  3. Inbuild microphones are crap. If you ever think about doing recording splash out on something USB and external. Any of the Blue brand are good enough for casting. You will be looking at around £100.
  4. Pop filters are highly recommended. They help filter out the pops of letters that start with P and other sounds that can get a bit distorted on the microphone. They are cheap enough.
  5. Post production will take a lot longer than actually recording the screencast. Get used to it.
  6. Lastly dont let desktop screen clutter get in the way of the message you’re delivering.

In short it is a lot more difficult to create good quality screencast than most people would think. It is a learning exercise for sure.


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