If you’re an expert at something, there’s an audience out there waiting to learn your skills. Whether you’re demonstrating how to use a product you’ve created or helping people DIY a home project, tutorial videos are an extremely popular and easy way to gain exposure for yourself or your business. The structure of your tutorial video will depend heavily on what it is that you’re demonstrating, but we’ve compiled some tips that will help you create a polished, professional-looking video no matter the subject.
Regardless of your level of expertise, you’ll need to do some research before you begin.
Check out the comments section on existing tutorial videos, and search forums to discover what kinds of questions people are asking about the process you’ll be demonstrating. If your video is the most helpful (and answers the most common questions), it will have a better chance of being shared and recommended by others.
Once you know which questions and problems you plan to address, write a script. Don’t try to wing it! Your script should be conversational, but should include all important pieces of information you want to convey. Use it as a guide to ensure you don’t miss any crucial steps.
Finally, assemble everything you need to create your tutorial video. Mentally walk through your planned demo process to ensure you’re not missing important items, so you don’t have to stop and restart once you’ve begun.
If you don’t have access to professional lighting, don’t worry. Do a quick screen test to ensure your workspace is well lit before you begin to record. If the viewer can’t clearly see what you’re demonstrating, the video won’t be useful. Natural light can be great for this purpose but plan to shoot in the middle of the day, so the lighting doesn’t change too rapidly.
Unless you have a high-quality lavalier mic or are recording very close to your camera’s built-in microphone (for example, shooting a makeup tutorial video), we recommend recording the video and audio separately. Record a few takes: some close up, others farther away. With easy video clip editing, you can switch back and forth between perspectives to show trickier steps in greater detail.
If your tutorial involves demonstrating a piece of software or another on-screen step, use a simple screen capture tool. Ensure the window being captured on your screen isn’t too small. Otherwise, it will look fuzzy and pixelated if you try to export in HD. 1280×720 pixels is the recommended screen size for a high-quality screen capture. Try not to move your mouse around on the screen apart from necessary motions and clicks—we’ll cover adding emphasis to screen actions in post-production.
Record your voice-over narration in a quiet room, preferably a closet or small area without windows. Follow your script closely, but make your narration sound natural and conversational. Record some pauses and “blank” background noise so you can edit your audio with ease. If you intend to use background music as well, keep the volume low enough that your voice can easily be heard.
Editing and Sharing
Using your script as a guide, trim clips and edit together the footage that best demonstrates the step you’re explaining. Time the clips to match up with your voice-over narration.
To add emphasis or provide additional explanation for steps, use video annotations or captions as necessary. Keep in mind that video hosting sites, like YouTube, can translate captions, so if you are targeting an international audience, captions all the way through may prove to be very helpful!
Video effects can help better explain the steps of your tutorial. Use clip transformations such as picture-in-picture to show before and after shots, or to show two steps that must be done at the same time. For example, if your tutorial video is demonstrating a soap-making technique, use a smaller picture to show the viewer a bucket of lye water cooling while you mix oils in the main clip. The possibilities are nearly limitless with picture-in-picture editing capabilities!
You can also use video annotations (or title cards) to let your viewers know about other tutorial videos you’ve created, or to direct them to your website for more information.
If you plan to share on YouTube, give careful consideration to your video title to ensure that it gets found by people who are searching for it. Pay attention to your description and tags—bullet points work best to get as much info across to potential viewers as possible.
Now, you’re ready to share your expertise with the world. For more information about easy online video creation and simple yet powerful video editing tools, visit The WeVideo Academy.