How to Make an Instructional Video with Screen Recording

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Rishabh Pugalia

May 2, 2024


A TechSmith study reveals that 83% of people prefer instructional videos for learning something. This matches with Google Trends data that shows more people are looking up tutorial videos than blogs.

This shows that people are more drawn to videos over text as they provide a more interactive and visually appealing experience.

For example, if a viewer is trying to learn video editing in Premiere Pro, he would need to understand things like panels, timelines, formats, etc. Trying to learn all this by reading isn’t practical. It’s more effective to watch an actual walk-through and apply the process yourself.

Similarly, when video tutorials visually point out and correct mistakes, it’s easier to learn to avoid them. But with reading articles, this visual demonstration of errors and fixes isn’t possible. As a result, text based tutorials become less convenient to follow.

This is where screen recorded instructional videos come in. They allow you to see the process and then mimic what’s being demonstrated.

When making those screen recorded instructional videos, think about these:

  • Does your instructional video clearly explain the result you want viewers to achieve?
  • Are there any sections in your instructional video where viewers might get confused or stuck?
  • Can your screen-recorded instructional videos help reduce the time it takes to respond to customer issues?

Let’s move ahead with the blog and understand instructional videos in detail.

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    What is an Instructional Video?

    A screen recorded instructional video is a tutorial that captures the computer screen. It demonstrates how to use a software program or a website.

    The video directly records actions on a computer screen, such as mouse clicks, typing, menu navigation, etc. This allows viewers to follow the precise on-screen actions and focus on the procedure.

    Screen recorded instructional videos can be of different types:

    • Product Demos
    • How-to Tutorials
    • Process Walkthroughs
    • User Interface (UI) Overviews
    • Getting Started Guides
    • Troubleshooting Videos

    These videos can vary greatly in length, from a 30 seconds video to over an hour long session. It depends on the complexity of the topic. Although videos not exceeding 5 minutes is better to retain audience engagement.

    Instructional videos are slightly different from other tutorial or product explainer videos, as those videos often incorporate slides and illustrations, as well as on-camera hosts.

    Their focus is on providing general overviews of products and services. This differs from the direct how-to procedures captured in screen recorded instructional videos with narration.

    How to Make an Instructional Video with Screen Recording

    Here’s a quick guide on how to make an Instructional Video with Screen Recording, broken down into relevant steps:

    1. Know Your Audience

    Before you start, it’s crucial to know who your audience is. Ask yourself these questions:

    • What is my viewer’s current skill level?
    • Beginner or advanced?
    • What do they already know about this topic?
    • What are their learning goals and objectives?

    2. Plan and Write Your Script

    A well-thought-out plan and script are essential for a successful instructional video. Your script should break complex topics into small steps with a simple, easy to understand language.

    You must avoid jargon and technical terms. Rather, include examples and analogies to illustrate key points. Finally, provide clear instructions for hands-on demonstrations.

    3. Choose the Right Screen Recording Software

    One of the biggest technical hurdles is choosing the right screen recording software to record video of your computer screen. The software should meet your specific needs, like the capability to record narration or edit the video post-recording, for added convenience.

    Tools like Camtasia, OBS, Screencast-O-Matic or in-built screen recording apps such as Game Bar are used industry wide for such tasks. Some AI tools like Synthesia also allow you to add AI voiceovers and avatars to enhance your video production.

    When choosing screen recording software, consider these key factors:

    • Easy to use
    • Recording quality
    • Output file formats
    • Performance
    • Cost

    General Overviews:

    • Camtasia: Offers one-time purchases at $299.99 and yearly subscriptions starting at $179.88.
    • OBS Studio: Free and open-source software for video recording and live streaming.
    • Screencast-O-Matic: Free version with limited 15-minute recordings and watermark; Deluxe at $1.65/month and Premier at $4.00/month (billed annually) with unlimited recording time and editing tools.
    • Game Bar (Windows 10/+ only): Free in-built screen recording app with instant access to widgets for screen capture and sharing.

    All the mentioned software support screen recording at up to 60 fps with 4K resolution.

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    4. Prepare for Screen Recording

    Before recording, ensure that all necessary applications and files are readily accessible. This preparation helps in avoiding interruptions during the recording process. Close out any irrelevant programs or browser tabs that may clutter the display or unintentionally show private details.

    The goal is presenting a clean screen interface with only UI elements relevant to the tutorial steps being shown.

    Having everything ready avoids awkward pauses later when launching applications or searching for files mid-recording as it interrupts the instructional flow.

    5. Record the Screen and Narration

    You can record the screen and narration simultaneously or separately, depending on your preference and the capabilities of the screen recording software.

    While recording commentary, speak clearly using an appropriate tone that matches the video’s content.

    It’s best to keep the pace moderate and to not go too slow or too fast. If any mistakes happen, pause and redo the specific part instead of starting over. You can also just address that you made a mistake, fix it and move on with the recording.

    6. Edit the Recorded Video

    After recording, editing is the next step to improve the instructional video’s clarity and effectiveness. This process includes removing unnecessary footage and adding annotations or text overlays to emphasize key on-screen actions.

    It also involves modifying playback speed as needed and inserting other complementary audio or video components if required. AI tools like Descript can help you add closed captions to make it more accessible.

    7. Add Special Effects and Annotations

    Enhancing key details in your video with effects and annotations can make it more engaging and easier to understand. This might include zooming in on important parts of the screen, highlighting areas, or using on-screen notations to emphasize important points​​.

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    Once your video is edited and ready, export it in the desired format. You can export as MP4, and share it on the appropriate platform, like YouTube, your website, or an internal system.

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    Tips for Making an Instructional Video with Screen Recording

    1. Plan the steps in advance, deciding which menus and options to show for each sub-task.
    2. Write a script for your narration, including important phrases at tricky parts to help make the lessons clearer.
    3. Simplify workflows shown by removing unnecessary clicks that don’t add learning value.
    4. Use marker annotations frequently – highlighting, circling, or arrow pointers are great visual guides that instantly draw user attention on screen. Zoom in on small, hard-to-see areas to give viewers a sense of the overall UI context.
    5. Add short text captions to strengthen what’s being said and help viewers remember better.
    6. Utilize natural human sounding narration at a steady pace to avoid losing viewer interest.
    7. Adding quick chapter breaks in long, complicated workflows makes it easier to navigate. Showing usual mistakes and then how to fix them helps build the user’s confidence.
    8. Having well-made intro and outro summaries helps support the main points.

    Combining these tips and methods can help you effectively make high-quality screen recorded instructional videos.

    Why Choose Content Beta?

    Creating a video that involves screen recording, ensuring high-quality audio, and assembling it all can be challenging. Content Beta can assist you in producing high-quality videos while preserving the core message and essence of your content.

    Our Creative as a Service (CaaS) provides you with a dedicated team of professionals skilled in crafting precisely what you require. This seasoned team brings experience from collaborating on diverse video and design projects with over 150 companies.

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    In summary, the purpose of these videos is to simplify learning through straightforward visual instructions and clear audio. It reduces the unnecessary effort for learners.

    Companies can use these videos to troubleshoot problems or educate their customers about various products and services.

    Besides offering backend support for products and services, these videos can also enhance your marketing strategy when repurposed effectively.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Equipments you need to make an instructional video with screen recording are:

    • Computer
    • Screen recording software (Camtasia, OBS or built-in tool like Game Bar in Windows)
    • Microphone for narration
    • Optional webcam for picture-in-picture

    The key elements of a successful instructional video are:

    • Clear objectives
    • Relevant content
    • Logical structure
    • Demonstrations of key steps
    • Clear verbal explanations
    • Good pacing

    Some common mistakes to avoid in screen recording are:

    • Poor audio quality.
    • Overcrowded or unclear visuals.
    • Too much information in a short video.
    • Lack of a clear structure or flow.
    • Neglecting to edit out mistakes or unnecessary parts.

    Some advanced techniques for professional-quality screen recordings are:

    • Use high-resolution settings for clear video quality.
    • Ensure good lighting and screen clarity.
    • Use external microphones for superior audio.
    • Employ screen recording software with advanced editing features built-in.
    • Maintain a clean, distraction-free screen interface.

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