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Don't write off video posts just because you’re camera shy. They don’t have to be videos of you. If you’re demonstrating something, only your hands might be in shot. Video is brilliant for instructional content. Or you could create a voiceover for slides, a screen capture, or animations. If you run webinars for your customers, you can record these to create a movie you can share later. Or you can create slides and record an audio track sepa- rately, and use iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to put them together. Video is trickier to edit than audio, so you need to plan with a bit more detail. For podcasts, I’ve been able to cut and move paragraphs as well as individual words, without anyone being able to see the join. That’s not the case for videos. When you cut something the join will show, and you may need to smooth it over with a fade. Bear in mind that most of your viewers will be super impressed that you man- aged to make a video at all. They won't be judging you as hard as you will be judging yourself. Try not to be perfectionist, and have faith that both recording and editing get easier with practice. Your video toolkit See Resources for all links. Film yourself or others with a smartphone, or your laptop camera. If you’re using your laptop, try to get the camera level with your face so you aren’t look- ing down. Raising it up on books will do the trick. For smartphone filming, get a mount to hold it steady. You might need help to set the shot up if you're filming yourself. Record sound using the microphone in your laptop or phone - at least to start with. When you come to upgrade, you can use a USB mic for your laptop or an external mic for your phone. Look for lapel microphones (also known as lava- lier mics) that won't show so much on camera. Edit your video with Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. Don’t worry about mak- ing it perfect. You’re not John Ford, you just need to be able to cut the bloopers and add titles and maybe music. (Don’t use music unless you know it’s okay from a licensing perspective, though.) Create titles and captions in your video editor. Use presentation software if you want something fancier. Make slides and simple animations using whatever presentation software you feel comfortable with. PowerPoint and Keynote are reliable choices, and Prezi is great if you’re feeling adventurous. Bear in mind that all the zooming in Prezi can induce motion sickness in some viewers. Don’t go crazy with it! There are more sophisticated packages out there if you find this style of video works for you. Record webinars with Google Hangouts on Air. You can spend a bit more for extra features with a dedicated webinar tool. I will admit to more heart- stopping moments with live webinar software than any other product. It’s possibly the most challenging thing you can do on a laptop, with sound, video and the control software all bashing your poor little computer. If bad things hap- pen, don’t beat up on yourself - it's probably not your fault. Try a few different services if you can, to find one that you like and that seems reliable. And be prepared to change as the market evolves. You might also like to get a helper to look after the technical aspects and to moderate the web chat, so you can concentrate on delivering your message. I strongly recommend signing up for a few webinars yourself. It’s a great way to learn how it’s done. Record your screen to use as a demo with CamStudio for Windows, or Quick- time Player on Mac. For screen capture, I find I need to do more prep and re- rehearsal than any other kind of video. It’s easy to go blank and not know what you’re supposed to click on next. I write a complete script, click by click. I might also do the clicking in one take (talking in my head to get the timing right), and add audio separately so that I can concentrate on one thing at a time. 
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Submitted on
June 12, 2017