Become a better screencaster

  • Does it take you too long to plan, record and produce a screencast?
  • Struggling with the features of Camtasia Studio, BBFlashBack and ScreenFlow?
  • Not sure you’re using the best tools?
  • Want to edit your Jing and ScreenToaster recordings?
  • Could you be producing tutorial videos faster?
  • Need better audio and narration?
  • Want more confidence?

We have been producing screencasts for over 4 years and now we are writing The Screencasting Handbook. We’ve been through the trials of choosing (and discarding!) software and microphones, processes and techniques – we’re now boiling down our expertise into an easy to read handbook that will quickly help you improve your screencast and screencam skills.

The handbook will cover tools like Camtasia Studio, BBFlashBack, HyperCam, CamStudio, ScreenFlow, RecordMyDesktop and Adobe Premiere for Windows, Mac and Linux environments.  It will also recommend hardware and microphones to fit your needs.

Ian is the main author, he is the co-founder of the screencast-based learning site ShowMeDo and founder of the professional screencasting company ProCasts, this is the kind of feedback he gets for his screencasts:

quoteThis is an excellent tutorial screencast. Not only is the presentation very professional and well paced, you’re also a very, very good teacher. … VERY, VERY good job, I’d say one of the, if not the best tutorial video and series available on ShowMeDo todayLucas Holland

quoteAn outstanding service! Procasts did a staggering turnaround within 1 week. Now it’s live it’s made a startling difference to bringing customers on board. If you don’t have a ProCast on the front of your website, get one now! In my view this is the only fast and coherent way to convey your product or service proposition in 3 minutesDarren Fell, Managing Director Crunch.co.uk, May 2009

quoter

Lessons we’ve learned

By creating over 1,000 hours of screencasts we’ve learned an awful lot about how to efficiently plan, practice, protoype, record and produce a screencast that quickly and clearly educates the viewer. If questions like the following bother you, we can help:

  • Could I plan this screencast faster?
  • Am I using the right tools?
  • Is there a faster way to do this with Camtasia Studio and ScreenFlow?
  • Have I identified the best, shortest message for my viewer?
  • Which short-cuts will help me record and produce faster?
  • What’s the best way to export my screencast?
  • How do I host the screencast online?
  • Can I get more exposure for my screencast with popular video platforms?

In The Screencasting Handbook we will answer these questions and plenty more. We are writing and updating the book every month and we’re darned keen to get your feedback – if we aren’t answering your question then we want to know so we can add the right answers to the book!

Flow-charts and Check-lists

We will provide a set of flow-charts to help you quickly make the right decisions.

Inside ProCasts we use check-lists to make sure we’re covering all the necessary steps (just like Pilots do!), we’ll share our check-lists so you can be confident that you’ve covered everything that is important.

We’ve produced over 170 screencasts since 2005

The team behind ProCasts (that’s Ian, Richard and Ellen, amongst others) have produced over 170 screencasts in the last 4 years covering Tutorials, Product Tours and Tech-Support.

ProCasts has also won awards from TechSmith (the largest supplier of screencasting tools) for our creative use of CamTasia. Here’s a comment made by Betsy Weber, TechSmith’s Chief Evangelist, about one of our screencasts:

quoteI liked this screencast for several reasons. The audio is high quailty – as you know audio is king! I also thought the opening animation was interesting and added a nice touch – it made the screencast seem professional and polished. And, ProCasts made great use of zooms, transitions and callouts. And, I also liked the storytelling aspect of the script for the screencastBetsy Weber of TechSmith.com

Download the Chapter Outlines

You can preview the chapter outlines and first three chapters in the Handbook Outline or view the embedded version below (directly below this paragraph) if your browser supports it.  The page numbers are set to 0 deliberately in this preview.

This book will grow and improve every month

Books (especially printed ones) tend to be static…but that’s crazy, a subject like screencasting is constantly evolving. Right now we have Camtasia Studio 6 on Windows but soon Camtasia Studio for the Mac will release, ScreenFlow will be updated in response and we know of new Windows tools that are in the pipe-line from competitors.

We want to write a book that keeps evolving so you are always on top of the latest information. Because we want to share all of our knowledge with you quickly, we’re actually releasing this book a chapter at a time – we’ll be releasing the chapters as we write them!

This means that early versions of the book will only have a few chapters (though we’ll fix that soon enough). This also means that you have a great opportunity to get involved, share your knowledge (you’ll get credit) and direct how we write the book. After all, we want to write the book that you need.

Get Questions Answered in the Screencasting Discussion

You are bound to have some questions that are more easily answered by talking to other screencasters.  We have setup a Google Group to discuss screencasting, it is available to anyone who joins our list down below.  Take a look at the Group to see what’s being discussed, you’ll get instructions for how to join after you’ve confirmed your membership to the notifications list down below.

Suggest useful additions and we’ll refund your fee

If you like the idea of making additions to the book, get in contact. We’re keen to add wider expertise that will help others – things that might be interesting would include a full account of your workflow or a review of a tool we haven’t covered.

If we want to use your addition we’ll happily give you your money back and add an acknowledgment for you in the book.

Sign-up now!

We plan to release the first version of the book during September.

Bonus! Everyone who signs up before we release the book will be in a draw for a free copy of the book.

Sign-up below using AWeber to receive email notifications as we progress with the book. AWeber is one of the largest email-list providers, they put you in complete control so you can unsubscribe whenever you want.

You will receive an update email every few weeks so you’ll know how much we’ve covered and when the book is ready for purchase.

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