How I Create Screencast Demo Videos

Video player

Yesterday a customer commented on the ‘sneak peek’ video I did for my Verbal Communication Skills course and asked me how I created the screencast and what tools I used.

Since I figured other people might also be interested, I’m copying my answer to her below.



Step 1. Tools to Use

I use Camtasia for screen capture recording and editing.

You can use something like Snagit, or even the free Jing, but you won’t get the editing capabilites.

Step 2. Set Size

I set the size to standard YouTube size so that it wouldn’t have any “black bars” on the sides on YouTube.

Step 3. Audio Set Up

For audio, I also have a Blue Snowball microphone which I put pretty close to me and to the side, to avoid any “pop” sounds.

Step 4. Set Up to Record

For the recording itself, I get everything set up in advance so that I know it will fit perfectly in the space for recording.

That includes opening up any files I’m going to open in the recording and resizing them to fit.

Of course, I do a practice run to see where mistakes are going to happen.

If I’m doing a tutorial video, I also make notes in Notepad on key steps and points to cover. I’ll keep that open right next to the area I’m recording.

Step 5. Recording

During the recording, if I mess up I take a long pause and then repeat from before I messed up. Then I can see those parts easily on the editing timeline so I can cut them out.

Step 6. Save and Edit

When I’m done, I just save and send to Camtasia to edit. I listen through it and cut out anything I messed up or anything else that sounds strange.

Step 7. Share/Product

Finally, I’ll share it to YouTube and/or produce and save it on my computer.

Step 8. Create Splash/Thumb Image

To create a splash image for the YouTube video or anywhere else, I take a screen capture of one of the frames in the video. I use Snagit for that.

Then I add some text or other graphics (this time the guy peeking over the wall was from Presenter Media). I use Snagit for the image editing too!

Step 9. Post with Video Player

The monitor effect is one of the “frame” choices in Easy Video Suite, which I often use for putting videos on my site or elsewhere.

There’s an EVS uploader which converts the video and then saves it to my Amazon s3 also.

Once it’s uploaded, I can play around with things like player style, entrance, frames, sharing buttons etc.

You can even add timed “events” to the video.

Easy Video Suite is kind of expensive though, so unless you think you’ll use it a lot I’d look for something else.

That’s the whole process. It sounds a bit longer than it actually is. In fact, so long as I get everything set up properly and do a practice run, I end up with very little editing to do at all!

Hope that was helpful. I’d love to hear if you have any tips of your own for screencasting.

Go give it a try!

– Sharyn

P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to see the screencast I did for my Verbal Communication Skills course, take a look a little further down the sales page here:

==> Verbal Communication Skills (white label PLR training program)Verbal Communication Skills training


  1. Hi Sharyn,

    Love the tips for making videos. I am using Active Presenter which is free and is very much like Camtasia. Has lots of editing capabilities.

    I like the tip when you mess up. The long pause and then repeating where you messed up. It does make the mistakes easier to find.

    Thank you for the great tips. Will bookmark for future reference.
    Geri Richmond

    • Hi Geri,

      Thanks for the info on Active Presenter. I’ll have to check it out.
      The tip on the long pause is one of the most helpful ones I ever got from someone myself. The last thing you want to do when you’re midway through a recording is start from the beginning again, especially on a longer video. So the ‘blank spot’ makes it a lot easier to edit 🙂

      – Sharyn

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