What Is a Screencast? Complete Guide [2024]

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Edited by Ben Jacklin
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What is a screencast? Basically, a screencast is a recording of a user’s desktop or mobile device screen, and it can be used to create a lot of different types of videos – including webinars, tutorials, training sessions, interviews, and more.

What is screencasting?

So, what is screencasting? Screencasting, by definition, is the act of creating a video presentation or other type of video by recording your screen. Screencasters often capture their webcam feed as well as what’s happening on their screens to add a personal touch to their videos. If you’ve ever watched a video-streaming service like Twitch, with the host overlayed on their screen, you were looking at a screencast.

Screencasting can be done live, as in the case of livestreams, but it doesn’t have to be. Many corporations utilize prerecorded screencast presentations for new-hire onboarding, employee trainings, and customer webinars. A prerecorded screencast can be reused multiple times and may be repurposed, depending on the content.

What is a screencast recording used for?

Now that you have a more solid idea of the screencast definition, let’s dive into the next logical question: What is a screencast used for? Screencast recordings are used for a wide range of things, including but not limited to:

  • Streamlining employee onboarding and training

  • Teaching online courses

  • Creating compelling demos of products and services

  • Providing a visual learning experience

  • Getting audiences more engaged with important information

So, what is a screencast video mainly used for? You’ll find that screencast videos can have a lot of different looks and feels. For example, if you’re putting together a screencast demo of a new and exciting product for prospective customers, you’ll want to make sure that you use the best screencast software to create a polished finished product. If you’re creating a quick screencast video to show your team at work how to use a new feature in your email software, you’ll want a screen-recording program that’s quick and easy to use. The right software will make it easy to export a video in minutes instead of spending hours on edits.

Examples of a screencast video

If you’re still wondering, “What is screencasting?” it might help to explore a few common examples of screencast videos. A few of the most popular examples of screencast videos are:

  • Video tutorials

  • Prerecorded presentations and webinars

  • Online courses

  • Training and onboarding videos

Prerecorded screencasts are extraordinarily useful as learning tools and course materials because they’re engaging and attention-grabbing, but they don’t require viewers to be in a specific place at a specific time. Plus, because the videos aren’t live, your audience members can stop and start them when needed, and they can rewind and repeat sections for better comprehension or skip to specific areas of interest.

So, what is screencasting? In a sense, it’s a way to open up a whole new world of learning and information sharing, by allowing viewers to go at their own pace and really engage with the information presented to them. For some people, when you ask them, “what does screencast mean?” the answer is more than just a video recording: It’s a way to absorb new information better than they ever could before.

How can screencasts be useful?

When most people ask “What are screencasts?” they want to know why someone would create a screen recording and how it can be useful. While we can define screencast for you, it’s more helpful to discuss how useful these recordings can be. Screencast videos are extremely useful in the workplace, as study aids, and as marketing tools (among other uses). Let’s discuss a few of the ways that screencasts might be useful to you.

Think of something that you’re constantly having to repeat at work. For example, if you work in IT, you probably hear things like “How do I save this as a PDF?” or “How do I reload the printer?” on a daily basis. What if you could create a series of simple video tutorials with step-by-step guidance through tasks like this? You’d free up a lot of time for the IT team, and your coworkers would have quicker, easier answers to their questions, too. Everyone wins!

Screencasts are also very useful in school and other learning environments, as well. Teachers and professors don’t always have time to give in-person, one-on-one feedback to students. However, when grading or giving feedback on digital projects, educators can create quick screencasts to give audio and visual feedback about the work. This kind of video can be a lot more engaging and effective than a written note – and, with the right software, it can be done quickly and easily. 

Screencasts are also great for creating online courses. If you’re teaching a course on the internet, you may have students in multiple time zones, which can be difficult if you’re trying to conduct live classes. Instead, why not create a series of prerecorded screencasts of your lessons and make them available to your students on demand?

How to create a screencast

Fortunately, creating a screencast is actually very quick and easy, especially if you have user-friendly screen-recording and video-editing software. The whole process can be boiled down to three simple steps.

1. Write a script for your screencast. Include everything you want to say, and either print it out or have it available on a separate screen as a teleprompter when you start recording.

2. Record your screencast. Using a screen recorder like Movavi Screen Recorder, choose the area of your screen you want to capture, whether you want to include your webcam feed, and whether you want to include microphone audio and/or system audio. Then record your screencast while following your script.

3. Edit your screencast video. Finish up with a polished, professional-looking video by editing out mistakes and unnecessary screen time, adding a voice-over, and/or including transitions and effects.

Tips for creating a screencast

Of course, while creating a screencast is simple, that doesn’t guarantee that your video will be great. To ensure that you’re putting out high-quality content, be sure to follow these tips:

Do: follow a script. Whether you write a full script to memorize or read, or you just write an outline, a script will help keep you on track. This way, your screencast will be ordered, organized, and easy to follow.

Don’t: rush your voice-over. Often, when people are recording voice-overs or instructions, they tend to speak very quickly. This is hard to follow, and it can make you sound stressed and tense. Relax and deliberately slow down as you talk through your script.

Do: polish your video by including transitions and editing out mistakes and/or dead air time that’s not useful to the video.

Don’t: try to overcomplicate things or do too much in a single video. The most effective screencasts are simple and to-the-point.

Do: find user-friendly screen-recording and editing software that will make it easy to create screencasts in just a few minutes instead of spending hours on recording and tweaking your videos.

Don’t: make your video too busy. Your screencasting software might have a ton of features and tools, including illustrations, picture-in-picture capabilities, transitions, and effects – but use them wisely. There is a time and place for every feature and effect, but you don’t have to use them all in your first video!

What screencast software to choose

To make good screencasts, you’ll need the right software. As you consider your options, be sure that the software does everything you need, including screen recording and basic editing functions. You don’t want to find that you need another separate program to edit your videos after you create them. You may also want to consider other features, like live drawing and annotations, but make sure that whichever program you choose, it’s user-friendly and enables you to record quickly and easily.

Special pick: Movavi Screen Recorder

We recommend trying out Movavi Screen Recorder for your next screencasting project. It’s designed to be easy to use for both beginners and veteran screencasters. It enables users to export up to 4K resolution recordings, and it includes features like webcam recording, live drawing, and annotations.

Features:

  • Draw on your video while recording: add annotations and highlight objects using shapes
  • Show what you type and click to create an easy-to-follow tutorial or explainer
  • Grab your mic audio and reduce background noise to create clear soundtracks
  • Take screenshots and edit them using built-in tools, then share images right from the app
  • Schedule recording to save important meetings or live broadcasts while you’re away

Summary

Now that you have a better idea of what a screencast is, and how useful these videos can be, you’re ready to start screencasting. Remember that simple, straightforward videos are usually the best way to go with screencasts, but you can create a full, in-depth course or presentation with a longer screencast or a series of screencasts. If you haven’t already chosen a screencasting program for your first (or next) project, why not try Movavi Screen Recorder?

Frequently asked questions

What is a screencast used for?

What is the difference between screencast and screenshot?

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