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The Final Step

Now that you have done all this hard work laying a foundation, it’s time to focus on your actual content.

There are three components to great content:

  • Writing
  • Presentation
  • Recording
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Instructional Writing

When writing for instruction, you want to use simple language, short sentences and lots of examples.

There are 2 components to keep in mind when creating videos:

  • Script
  • Slides

Most people start with a script and then create their slides.  However, I tend to work the opposite way.  I come up with my main points and create slides based on them. 

Then I review each slide and create the script to fit.  Before we dive into writing, let’s review some basic terms and best practices.

Script

The script is the audio portion of your course.  It is the actual words you use.

Short Sentences – Remember to use short sentences.  Your students are trying to process your words without actually seeing them.  Simple, short statements are easier to process.

Natural Language – Don’t read a script word for word.  Speak in a natural way as if you were talking on the phone to a friend.  You can tell when someone is reading a script.  They sound robotic and the words don’t flow.

Slow Down – Speak slower than you normally would.  Remember, online video is harder to grasp than an in-person conversation.  Slow down a little bit to give your students time to process your words.

Examples – Use examples or tell stories to help your student process what the point you just taught.  

You can use visuals like photos, screen shots, graphs, and screen captures to reinforce your example.

Slides

Your slides are intended to help your students focus on the main points of your topic.

Simplicity – Keep slides clean with a little text as possible.  Don’t fill them with busy graphics.  Graphics should reinforce your point but not distract.

Highlight Points – Slides highlight what you are saying.  Avoid reading a slide word for word.

Bullet Points – Lists work well on slides.  Avoid full sentences.  Instead, list a word or a phrase that summarizes each main point.

Flow – Use animation to make each bullet appear one at a time.  That way students are focused on one point at a time and not reading ahead.

 

Slide Show Technology

You don’t have to use slides but most instructors find them extremely helpful.  See the video technology section below for other content you can use for your vides.

 

There are a wide variety of free and paid presentation tools.  I personally use Google Slides.

Google Slides

I love free.  Google Slides is a free tool accessible from any internet browser.  I find that it is robust enough to create a professional presentation.

It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the paid programs but I don’t need extra tools.

You will probably find that the basic slide tools are all you need as well.  However, if you wish to check out other presentation platforms, here is a great article that reviews 36 tools.

I have used Haiku Deck which is great for displaying photos with a caption.  However, there isn’t much room to write bullets or multiple lines.

I also used the paid version of Prezi.  I found it took too long to set up a custom show.  Compared to the simplicity of Google Slides, it just wasn’t worth the extra effort.

I have also used Popplet which was a cute slide show platform but it didn’t convey professionalism.

 

Recording Technology

You need some kind of software to record your presentation.  You can use slides as described above which is good for most instructional topics.

However, you may also want to record yourself in which case you need a web cam.

You could also record your screen if you are doing a hands on tutorial such as how to use Excel or you want to record a review different websites or online tools.

Regardless of what you are recording, you need software to capture the presentation.  This is where you will most likely need to invest some money.

If you grabbed the Zero Cost Start Up guide then you know about Jing.  If you haven’t downloaded the guide you can get it below.

Jing – Jing is a free tool that is great for recording short videos.  You can only record up to five minutes per video.  I often use this when I record tutorials for my virtual assistant.

You need to download Jing to your computer in order to use it.  It is not a web-based piece of software.  You will also need a microphone, if your computer does not have a built in one, to record the audio.

You can find more information and Jing tutorials here.

Camtasia/CamStudio – I use Camtasia for Mac.  There is also CamStudio for PC’s.  I found this software is fairly easy to use.  I know it can do a lot of great effects but I truly use only the bare bones tools.

I hit record, capture my screen and/or myself.  Then hit save and then export and I am done.  Don’t overwhelm yourself in the beginning with whatever software you choose.  Get the basics down and worry about the bells and whistles later.

This page gives you more info on Camtasia and offers a few great tutorials.

Since I’ve only had experience with the 2 programs above, here is an article that discusses the top 9 video recording programs available.

My best advice to you with regard to recording software is to not go crazy with the buying the best program out there.  Chances are you don’t need all the functions available.  The more complex the software, the longer it will take you to get the hang of it.

Find the simplest program that meets your needs and go with that.  If you want to start with just your phone camera, go ahead.

However, keep in mind that you want your videos to be professional looking if you are charging for the content.

 

 

Content Outline

In the next step we will tackle creating a course outline that wow’s your students.

Read on here.

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