A lot of us have been that person up in front of everyone, stressed out… pulling at the collar of our shirt, sweating bullets, and hoping we can do a good job, but so stressed out that we stumble around, regardless of how well we know our subject. No one really wants to be that person who stresses out in front of everyone. We all want to do our best, and we really don’t want to look incompetent, when we’re really just nervous. Video tutorials are the absolute best method for getting practice at public speaking, because we don’t have to show the parts where we stumble, we get a chance to see what we look like before the viewer does, and we can use this medium to train ourselves out of bad habits, while we learn to relax.

Unfortunately, a lot of people who are doing tutorials are not taking best advantage of this feature. Here are my recommendations to improving a video tutorial, so that you can “Look Like a PRO”. The more you practice at it, I promise, the easier it will be to do it with less and less editing.

  1. Remove Dead Air, mistakes, and nervous chatter:
    1. Cut sections of dead air. Dead air is very boring, it lends to an uncomfortable and stressed out instructor, it takes unnecessary viewer time, and provides no training benefit.
      1. Example: Cut download wait times by simply announcing how long it took after the cutout section. Example: After making the appropriate selections… “Ok, starting download of X. I’ll be back when it’s done. … Welcome back, that took x minutes.”
    2. Remove the sections where it doesn’t work right, such as the part where the install file didn’t run, and you realized you had to run it again using admin rights. At this point, start over from the “last known good” point in the video and simply state something like… “and this part requires admin rights, so right click on the file and select ‘Run as Admin’.”
    3. Remove nervous chatter, to include UM, UH, YEAH, and off-topic/agitated commentary, which does not lend well to public speaking or providing instruction/teaching. Nervous chatter makes the speaker appear to not know what he/she is talking about; regardless of the speaker’s knowledge base or skill level.
  2. Text Log:
    1. Keep a log to the right or left of what you are doing, which shows the *concise* instructions in text.
      1. Example: To clear cookies and temp files from the IE (Internet Explorer) browser:

IE: Clear Cookies and Temp Files

– In IE > Tools > Internet Options > General tab > Browsing History > Delete > Select preferred delete items (items 2 & 3 at a minimum) > Delete > OK.

Note1: Keeping a text log on screen allows distracted users, such as myself, to know that we have/haven’t missed something important, so that we don’t backtrack unnecessarily.

Note2: An additional benefit of keeping this text log is that it helps keep the speaker on-topic. It also provides the instructor with a downloadable take-away instruction for the viewer.

These are my recommendations; I hope they help.

PS: Some of these instructions also apply very well to public speaking.