Mark had the opportunity to speak with TechSmith's Chief Evangelist, Betsy Weber, during Blogworld last month. TechSmith is the maker of the popular screencasting software, Camtasia, Snagit and Jing, so naturally their conversation turned to screencasting's place in the explosion of online video and as always - Mark asked for some tips on how to make great screencast videos.
Here's a look at the interview:
If you don't have time to watch it now, here's a brief rundown on some of the of what she had to say:
Video Helps You Stand Out
Whether you're talking about screencasts for business projects, blog content, or a résumé, screencast videos are rich content that can help you stand out from your competition. In this new media realm, video is a competitive advantage. Of course, this is a window with a limited opening—sooner or later your competitors will catch up and video will be the norm. It's almost inevitable. Take the time now to seize your audience's attention by incorporating something they can't find everywhere else: video.
Screencasting Is Big
Screencasting is on the rise. More and more companies and individuals are finding places where screencast videos integrate perfectly with their business operations. When used properly, they can lower costs, enhance products and services, and even enrich customer relationships.
Screencast Video Tips
One of the best strategies for getting better at something is to study a master of the activity. And it's no different with video. Weber encourages you to look to Hollywood for an example of transition, editing, camera angles, and more. Movement is huge—zooming in and out, panning the view, and using animations to call attention to the important parts of your screen.
Camtasia Screen Capture Software - Features
Camtasia believes they win with consumers by offering "everything you need to create a screencast from start to finish—to record your screen capture, to edit your screencast, and to share it.”
Another feature Weber seemed excited about is the "smart focus.” Smart focus allows the software to intuitively learn and predict which part of the screen you are focused on and then provide pans and zooms automatically to give your presentation more movement.
You can also take advantage of the picture-in-picture capabilities, allowing your smiling and talking face to appear in the bottom corner of your end video overlaid on top of your on-screen presentation.
Mobile Video - The Next Wave
It's almost a throwaway line—one you might miss if you're not looking for it—but I want to point out what she says at the beginning of her section on mobile video. She says,
"Mobile video is becoming more popular, and important, and required, right?”
That's a lot deeper than it initially sounds. Mobile video isn't just a trend or a fad… it is the next wave in content presentation online. It's coming. Mobile devices are merging with laptops and traditional computing hardware at an alarming rate. It's not just popular and important… it's rapidly approaching "required”—at least, if you want to stay relevant.
The "smart focus" feature she mentioned earlier is extremely helpful for your mobile audience, as it allows for important details to still be viewable on the smaller screens of smart phones.
Camtasia also has preset output formats for the various handsets and mobile platforms, taking the guesswork out of it for video creators. If you want your screencast to be easily viewed on an iPhone, Camtasia helps you do that with the touch of a button.
Across all uses and platforms, video continues to help publishers offer more engaging content. And as a sub-set of video, screencasting is only going to get more attention moving forward. It can improve everything from standard text documents to in-person trainings or webinars.
Camtasia provides an intuitive screencasting solution (which I've used several times) and is among the leaders in their field. We thank Betsy Weber for taking the time to share her thoughts on where screencasting is headed, and what Camtasia is helping businesses accomplish with video.