Now that you have a better idea of what a screencast is and why you might want to create one, let’s talk about how to screencast. To get started, you’ll need two basic tools:
Later in this article, we’ll go through a list of the top screen recording software for screencasting. For now, though, let’s discuss a few tips to make a really great screencast. You might think that the first step in making a screencast would be to capture a screen recording, but there are actually a few things to do before then. Let’s take this process step by step:
1. Choose the best screen recording software
The best screen recorder will depend on your needs and your goals for the screencast. If you’re screencasting casually for friends and family, you may be looking for free software, and you may not mind having a watermark on your videos. If you’re making screencasts for professional use, you probably want a premium version with no watermark. Likewise, you’ll want to look at the features and interfaces. You can find out more about that below in our reviews of the top screen recorder programs for screencasting.
2. Choose a microphone
Your audio matters for a good screencast. While you can use your computer or mobile device’s onboard microphone to record your audio, it’s not the best idea. Internal microphones pick up all kinds of extraneous noise, and it can be really difficult to produce a cool, professional-sounding screencast without an external microphone.
With that in mind, you don’t have to buy the latest, greatest, most expensive microphone on the market to do a screencast that really pops. There are several options available for USB microphones that won’t break the bank but will improve the audio quality of your screencast immensely.
3. Find a quiet place to record your audio
Even the best microphone in the industry will still pick up outside noise if you’re recording in a loud environment. So, it’s important to find a quiet place in your house or studio to record the audio for your screencast. You want to record in an environment that’s free of distractions for you while you record – and free of noise that your microphone can pick up while you’re recording.
And, on that note, do a test run of your audio before you get too far into editing your screencast. You may find that the room you’re recording in has a lot of echoes or that the acoustics in the room create a sharp, tinny sound to your voice. You may not be able to soundproof your screencasting studio, but you can improve sound quality by recording in a smaller, carpeted space. Some screencasters even record their audio in a closet, as the enclosed space provides a more neutral soundscape.
4. Write a detailed script with every step of the process you’ll be screencasting
To avoid peppering your voiceover with long pauses, “umms”, and awkward wording, write your script before you start recording. This will not only help you say exactly what you want to relate, but it will also help you create the right structure for your tutorial. A good script gives you a roadmap for your screencast. Read and reread your script several times, and rehearse reading it for your screencast recording. Then, when you’re ready to record, the whole process will be easier and more straightforward.
5. Collect and organize everything you need to include in your screencast
Screencasting includes more than just a screen recording and a voiceover. Will you be adding your logo to your screencast? Do you have intro and/or outro clips? What about graphics and other features? Make sure you have access to everything you’ll need to edit your screencast before you get started.
6. Record a professional-sounding voiceover
While your video shows your audience what you’re doing, your audio tells them how to do it. Your voiceover is arguably the most important part of your screencast – so make sure that you record it in a quiet place with good acoustics. Get set up in the quiet environment we discussed in step 3 and take your time recording your screencast audio track. If you mess up, just do another take. You can record as many voiceovers as you need to get the final product right, and you’ll be glad you took the time to create a voiceover that perfectly fits your tutorial.
7. Exit out of all unrelated apps and processes when recording your screencast video
To avoid long load times and other potential delays when screencasting, close out of all other apps and shut down all unnecessary processes on your device(s). When recording, you only want to show relevant information, and you don’t want your tutorial to be slowed down by extraneous apps taking up your device’s processing power.
With this in mind, if you’re mirroring a mobile device, you may want to put that device in “Do Not Disturb” or airplane mode. You don’t want your screencast recording to be interrupted by incoming calls and texts!
8. Capture a screen recording
Obviously, to make a successful screencast, you’ll need to record part or all of what’s happening on your screen. Set up your screen recorder program to record only the part of your screen that you want your audience to see. If your screen recorder doesn’t give you the option to record only a single window or section of your screen, we recommend using the full-screen option in your browser, game, or whichever app you’re screencasting. If it doesn’t have a full-screen mode, you can maximize its window and get a similar effect.
Depending on which software you choose and your preferences, you can record the audio for your screencast at the same time as your video – or you can record your audio separately and edit it into your screencast later.
As we’ve discussed in these steps, it’s usually best to record your audio separately, but this will depend on you, your equipment, and the purpose of your screencast. If you’re creating a quick screencast to show a coworker how to use a new network device, for example, you might just want to plug in your microphone and record everything at once.
9. Play back your audio while recording your on-screen steps
Playing your audio track as you record your screencast is a great way to make sure that your audio and video sync up and work well together. It’s also a great way to make sure that you don’t unconsciously take a shortcut while performing a process that you’re teaching your audience about. For example, you might know a few keyboard shortcuts that you use all the time in a piece of software, but if someone is just learning to use that software, they won’t know what you just did! Doing this also helps you see if there’s anything that doesn’t quite work for the process in your audio track.
10. (Optional) Add intros/outros, music, and other final details
Branded intros and outros are good ideas for a lot of screencasters. If you’re a streamer, or if you’re teaching a tutorial for your company, you may want to include a quick introductory slide or video clip to show your audience who you are and what they can expect from the screencast. You can also edit in music in the background or between clips, and you can add other details like highlighting to draw the audience’s attention to important details.
11. Edit your screencast and share it with the world!
Finally, use your favorite video editing software to put the finishing touches on your screencast. You may want to add filters or other effects to give it a more professional look. If your screencast includes multiple parts or steps, you might want to add transitions between clips, and it’s always a good idea to include captions of your voiceover. You’ll also want to make sure that your screencast video is set to the correct aspect ratios and size for your intended platforms (e.g., YouTube, Instagram, or Twitch).
Then, once you’re finished, export your video to your preferred video file format and share it with your audience. You can upload it to social media, share it with friends, put it on YouTube, and/or publish it within your company to help new employees understand important tasks.