Screencast Tip: What Is Screencasting

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what is screencasting

 

 

One of the most basic definitions of screencasting is the act of recording a video of whatever happens to be on the screen of your computer at any given time. Screencasting, in general, is most often utilized as a tool for teaching (or tutoring/coaching) and/or the sharing of information and ideas.

 

When you actually take the time out to think about technology and all of the way it can assist you in your corporate life, think about all of the things you accomplish in the amount of time you spend sitting at your computer desk each day.

 

 

Think about all of those desktop and online applications that you use on a daily basis, and the websites that you often visit throughout your workday. And make sure you don’t forget about all of the instant messages you send, and the number of emails you type up and send out every day.

 

 

Then, think about this: what if you actually had a digital device, (something like a digital video camera of sorts) that you could carry around on your person at all times, and have ready and waiting on standby to capture, record and playback (even in full, clear high definition, if you so desire), anything and everything that appears on your computer screen, at any given moment? Wouldn’t that be cool?

 

And wouldn’t it offer some pretty useful ways to make your work life (and probably even your social life as well) a lot more productive and convenient? Can you just sit back and imagine all of the different ways a device like that could potentially increase productivity and enhance corporate communication?

 

So What Exactly Is A Screencast Anyway?

 

A screencast is basically a digital video of sorts, where the setting of the video is the screen (in part or in whole) of the video maker’s computer. Screencasts are often narrated, and the audio narration is usually a thorough, step-by-step description of the actions that are being performed on the computer screen.

 

The Origin of Screencasting (How Did It Come About?)

 

In all actuality, the idea of screencasting is really not a new idea at all. The tools that are used in the creation of a screencast are tools that are used for capturing video, editing, and producing compressed files. These particular tools have actually been used for a long time, in both the marketing of software products and the training of individuals on how to use those products.

 

What IS new, however, is the development and emergence of this genre in documentary filmmaking. This new genre tells the stories surrounding cultures that are software-based, such as del.icio.us, Wikipedia, and content remixing. The utilization of this “medium” of sorts, alongside a newfangled breed of “lightweight” software demonstrations, is what ultimately inspired the collective coining of the newly-adopted term called a “screencast.”#

 

Examples of screencasts can include:

 

1     Video-based lessons

2     Onscreen tutorials (both narrated and non-narrated)

3     Slideshare presentations

4     Product and/or software demonstrations

5     How-to instructional videos

 

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Screencasting?

 

One of the most important benefits of screencasting is the fact that it allows the viewer the option of watching the screencast on their own time, a time that is best for them. This can be a very good thing because learning, in itself, does not always take place in a classroom or other academic setting.

 

 

Another great benefit of screencasting is that it gives the viewer the opportunity to absorb its information at their own personal pace. Screencast viewers are given the ability to pause, rewind, fast forward and/or even replay any portion of the video they like, if at any time they have the desire to do so.

 

 

Additionally, screencasts can also add a more personal touch to the information being viewed. Screencasts have the ability to do this in ways that a lot of other information delivery methods (such as written proposals or PowerPoint decks) just simply cannot do.

 

The Power Of Screencasting

 

Having the ability to capture the screen of your computer can greatly increase productivity, and it can also enhance communication. Software applications, such as Camtasia and Snagit, give you the capacity to accomplish just that. Screencasting software can be used to create a sophisticated and polished screencast, or they can also be utilized to make a quick and concise screencast, depending on the particular preference of the user. Either way, applications like these can help you get the job done.

 

 

Screencasting is very commonly referred to by some of the more seasoned screencasters as their “secret weapon.” This is mainly because they view it as a “work hack,” one that gives the screencaster the ability to jump right in and use it right away.

 

 

3 Ways Screencasting Can Be Used To Improve Productivity In The Workplace

 

 

  1. Screencasting can be used to revitalize your workplace onboarding.

 

Let’s face it, in virtually any and every business, there is always going to be new hires coming onboard at one time or another, and the process of bringing these newbies up-to-snuff can be time-consuming on both ends.

 

Not only do you have to focus on your own job and get it done right and in a timely manner, but you also have to explain every little detail, step-by-step, while training the newcomer on the ins and outs of their new workplace responsibilities as well. You may even began feeling stressed and somewhat overwhelmed in the process.

 

 

screencasting 2Well, you can help ease a whole lot of that stress and overwhelm, and also relieve a large amount of workplace pressures by recording a screencast for your new trainee.

 

When you use screencasting for training purposes, you virtually eliminate the hassle of having to start, and then pause every now and again in order to answer training questions. In turn, this lets you keep your focus on the material instead.

 

 

 

The great thing about this is that your newcomer can start, pause, stop, rewind and even re-watch your screencrast whenever they like and as many times as they want, because there’s no worry involved in interrupting a recorded video. Screencasting can offer you the ability to efficiently train your newbies whilst also freeing up a lot more of your precious time.

 

 

Also, both of you can always refer to the screencast again later, if the need ever arises.  Think about the number of times in any given day that you are asked the exact same questions by several different people.

 

 

“How can I restart the printer?” or “How can I access the files I need from the new database?

 

 

Questions like these, questions you’ve had to answer a myriad of times and so now your responses are basically on autopilot. Well, with screencasting on your side, you can finally be free of it all. And the best part is that you can also free your co-workers as well.

 

All you need to do is create a knockout screencast that will leave a long-lasting impression. Your simple screencast can provide step-by-step visual instruction answers to those pesky, repetitive questions.

 

 

You notice how a lot of websites have an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section? Well, you can create your own little screencast library for answering some of those “frequently asked questions.”

 

Doing so will save you a lot of precious time, because you will no longer have to be bothered with answering those same FAQs over and over again. And it has actually been proven that around 80% of video viewers are able to recall videos that they have watched within the past 30 days.

 

 

  1. You can screencast a product, service and/or program demo.

 

What better way for you to be able to introduce a new product and/or program than by showing it off? According to the Content Marketing Institute, consumers are in need of numerous touchpoints before essentially making a decision on whether or not to make a new purchase.

 

Think about how awesome video walkthroughs, visual explainer videos, on-screen tutorials, and how-to videos can be when it comes using these as marketing opportunities. These can be utilized for show-and-tell value of any product, service and/or program.

 

 

More often than not, potential customers have a need to essentially feel what their actual experience will be like before deciding whether or not to commit to a purchase. But, by watching a screencast, your potential customers are initially expressing true interest in whatever product, service or program you are attempting to market to them.

 

 

It also provides your potential buyers with a “try before you buy” type of experience and virtually blows paper reports and oral presentations out of the water. All in all, a video demo can be a very powerful marketing tool.

 

 

So, now that you are aware of what screencasting is and how it has the potential to help you become more productive in your workplace, you now have the information you need to decide whether or not to give it a try.

 

For more screencast tips don’t forget to get the latest from my brand new podcast called screencast academy. Here you get even more tips on screencasting, screenflow, camtasia, youtube and more..

 

Each week I come out with a brand new episode on one of these topics. Check out the latest episode. SAP 005: What video editor should I use to create screencast videos