Screencasting Tips and Tools, Part 1

Just starting out screencasting? Or maybe it’s been a while? I have some tips, tricks and tools for you. I threw this video together in a bit of a hurry and the audio is a bit rougher than I’d like but I figured it would be better to have the information out there sooner. Polish can come later.

This Might Work For You… Or Not

I’ve been screencasting since 2004 when I started making goofy videos for a data access tool that I created called “SubSonic”. After that, when I joined Microsoft, I created a screencast series for the newly-launched ASP.NET MVC called “MVC Storefront“. I can’t believe you can still watch these things!

Later on I founded a company called “Tekpub” and I recorded screencasts day in and day out. Long story short: I feel like I’ve tried everything. What you’re about to see in this video is what I’m doing now, which I suppose could change.

It’s heavily inspired by Gregg Pollack’s work, a person whom I respect immensely. He used to run CodeSchool and now does Vue Mastery and he is deadly with Keynote. I love the way he uses it, together with live video and code to convey the most complex topics! Here’s a great video of Gregg offering his thoughts on entrepreneurship.

It’s a lot of work, but to me, it’s very rewarding. This approach might work for you, or maybe not. Either way I hope you find this video useful.

Some Other Resources

Another hero of mine is Shane Melaugh, the founder of Thrive Themes. He has all kinds of tips and tricks on content marketing as well as a “gear guide”. Here’s a great tip on creating professional-looking, studio quality video with a super cheap setup.

If you struggle with what and how to present things, here’s the amazing Geoffrey Grosenbach at Pluralsight’s Author Summit in 2014. I love his approach to telling a story – very useful stuff.

Going Further

Finally, if you want to see what’s possible with screencasting – the very pinnacle of excellence, look no further than Simon Allardice. I hate watching any video he makes because he is aggravatingly, unbelievably good. His voicework is perfection, his pace is exact and his visual techniques make me want to cry. Just have a look at his catalog available on Lynda and Pluralsight. If you have nothing to do this weekend, here ya go.

I love knowing that Simon is out there… but I hate him at the same time.

Equipment Links