Lights, Camera, Action

Now it’s time to think about the actual production of your video.

Scripted or unscripted?

Before you start recording, you’ll want to consider whether you’re the kind of person who benefits from reading a full script, bulleted speaking points, or just winging it. There’s no “right” answer here. Do what you’re most comfortable with. Aside from location considerations, the biggest thing you can do to ensure your video turns out well is to “be yourself” on camera.

Talking heads

“Talking head” videos, where it’s just one person talking to the camera, should be brief. From a viewer’s perspective, a talking head video is like being engaged in a conversation where you can’t get a word in edgewise—eventually, you lose interest and check out. Also, it’s just tough for people to stare at a single screen, with a single face and a single voice for long periods of time. Video loses all effectiveness in such circumstances. Try diversifying talking head videos with different visual stimuli, like slides, whiteboards, or demonstrations. That can help to keep students interested.

Camera and software

Your built-in webcam is probably good enough for recording decent video. If you don’t have one, external USB webcams are inexpensive. There’s no need to get fancy.

Computers often come with built-in software that allows you to record video files to your computer, which you can upload afterwards to an online video platform. Even better, you might be able to record and upload your video directly using tools in your learning platform.

You’ll also want to consider the style of your video: are you just talking to the camera, or do you need to include visual aids – and if so, does your software make it easy to include Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation files or screen sharing?

When you’re ready to start recording, make sure that you’re close enough to the built-in mic so your voice is clear and audible.

From there, hit record and go!

Want to get the full story?

Sign up to read this section.