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Video Strategy | Create Great Demonstration Videos

Download the FREE checklist of our best tips for creating great demonstration videos to share information in an effective and fun way!

Do you ever have people asking you, “how do you do that thing on the computer? Can you show me how to do that thing on the computer again?” Or do you find yourself asking that question of other people? If so, you need to start recording demonstration videos.

Demonstration videos are an effective and engaging way for you to share knowledge of how to do specific tasks or steps on a computer.

A demonstration video is simply a video (a screen recording, or walk-through) that shares the step-by-step “how-to” for accomplishing a specific task on the computer.

So today I’m sharing my best tips for creating great demonstration videos, and there’s one unexpected tip at the end that might even surprise you a little.

Creating Great Demonstration Videos

Create a basic script. Now you might be tempted just to go for it and wing your video recording, but believe me--you’ll be so happy to have a little bit of a roadmap to follow as you record your demonstration video.

You’ll feel more prepared. It will help your recording go smoothly, and it’ll help keep you in check so you don’t put too much content into your video. Remember, people have a short attention span, so when watching videos over 2-3 minutes in length, your learners’ attention starts to plummet and you lose optimal focus of your audience.

Know your data in advance. When you’re recording demonstration videos, know the steps you’ll take to share the knowledge with your viewer. So, what are you going to enter in that field as you explain a program or app? Are there drop-down boxes that you’ll need to click on? What option are you going to choose when you click to help the demonstration video move forward to the end result?

Add that data information into your script. Whenever there is data to be selected or entered--or you have specific actions to take in the demonstration--add it to your roadmap so you are prepared. Again, this will help your demonstration video go smoothly for your viewer--as well as for you while you record it!

Helpful hint: Your script can be as simple as a scrap piece of paper to jot down your basic notes! Don’t get hung up on writing an elaborate “script.” Just a basic outline will be awesome.  

Practice doing the steps. Practice the run-through of the demonstration a couple of times and say everything out loud as you walk through the information you’re going to share.  

This is going to help you find the right words, and make sure you haven’t forgotten any important steps as you walk through the actions.

Get ready to record. Get yourself ready. Get your environment ready. Grab a glass of water. Lock the dogs and cats out of the room you will be recording in. Kick your colleagues out of the office. Be sure your room is nice and quiet and ready for recording. Maybe close down the other tabs or applications on your computer. Set your phone to silent. You want to be sure your environment is optimal for a successful recording experience.

Test your recording set up. Do a quick (up to 30 second) test recording. You want to be sure your microphone is working and the sound of your voice is good quality.  

The quality of your sound is very important. It is so important that people can hear you clearly in your video demonstration, so do a test run to confirm this is true with your setup.

Tell them what they are about to receive. After you have hit the record button, you want to start the video by setting the scene and telling your viewers what they are about to receive with the content of this video.

The people who are watching the video need to shift their brain into learning mode. And you also want to assure them that they want to KEEP watching the video to the end, because they’re going to get something valuable out of the video.

Say everything out loud. As you record step-by-step, use a level tone to your voice. Speak in a clear, slow way. Allow your learners use both their eyes and ears to take in the information by the instructions you give audibly, as well as what they’re watching on your computer screen. This means to say every step out loud as you perform the action. If they have to click the “save” button during your instructions, tell them out loud. Verbalize every step for optimal success for your learners.

Smile and have fun. Now you might be saying, “well why do I need to smile? I’m not actually on the video camera. I’m just recording something on my computer screen.”

This is an excellent tip for any kind of voiceover work. When you smile as you speak, it makes the sound of your voice more engaging and interesting. So even though you aren’t actually on camera, you can make your video more effective by smiling and having fun. Your learners will sense your positivity and fun demeanor.

Be a smooth operator. Do your best to make your mouse movements and screen scrolling slow and smooth. It can be so distracting to have a crazy mouse going all over the screen during an instructional video!

Wrap it up. Finish things off by summarizing what your audience should have learned from your video. This is going to help them remember key points and retain valuable information.

Then give them a call to action: tell them to go try it themselves, and point them where to go for additional tips and information from you.

Those are my top tips for creating effective and engaging demonstration videos for your organization or even personal use!  

Do you have any other ideas? If you’ve recorded demonstration videos before, please add your comments below and add what your top tips are!

Need a checklist to make sure you get all these steps accomplished for your next great demonstration video? Download the FREE checklist of our best tips for creating great demonstration videos to share information in an effective and fun way!

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