3 Tips to Spice Up Your Screencasts

3 TipsScreencasts are a great way to capture content for online training courses.

As we’ve discussed in prior posts, they’re also very often the most effective way to deliver some forms of training, such as software tutorials.

It takes little more than a screencasting software package and PowerPoint or KeyNote to get started, which makes for an easy learning curve and low-budget entry.

However, forcing your course enrollees to sit through an endless stream of presentation slides while you narrate can cause your participants to lose interest…fast!

So in today’s post, we wanted to share three web based services we’ve used to spice up our screencast content and make it a little more interesting for our viewers.

Hopefully, they can be of use to you, too, as you’re creating your own online training!

Prezi (Free to $13.25 per month, depending on plan features)

If you’ve watched the sales video for our S3 Media Maestro plugin, you’ve seen Prezi at work. It’s quickly becoming a refreshing alternative to the same old PowerPoint and KeyNote themes in business presentations around the world.

Prezi is a web-based presentation tool that claims to help you “organize and share ideas”, and it lives up to this description. After signing up for a plan, you can immediately begin creating visually attractive presentations using any of the dozens of animated themes currently available.

Animoto (Free to $20.75 per month, depending on plan features)

Ok, so Animoto was really designed to turn your personal photos into videos. But you can actually upload any type of image to Animoto, as well as video clips up to 10 seconds in length.

Once you’ve uploaded your content (video clips, screenshots, slides, etc.), you can combine them into beautiful animated videos complete with a very comprehensive and tasteful library of music.

We used Animoto for the introductory sequence of the WP Courseware sales video and, although it took a bit of work to edit and piece together these short videos, it adds an extra dimension that makes it a little more interesting to watch.

IntroMaker ($10 per animation)

IntroMaker creates what are known as “logo reveals”. They’re basically short animated videos for your company or website logo and they’re a fantastic way to brand your screencast videos on the front and back end.

We’ve used them on all Fly Plugins videos since the beginning and we really like the library available from IntroMaker. Not to mention, we also like the flat $10 per animation rate that IntroMaker charges.

Do you have suggestions for tools to make online presentations or videos more interesting? We’d love to hear about them!

1 Comment

  1. Amy on May 9, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Thanks for the IntroMaker tip. I had been looking into easy solutions for intros for my training videos. I ordered 3 video intros today and they all turned out beautifully. Can’t beat the price.

    I think Prezi is getting old due to overuse. I created an awesome Animoto video last year for a contest I ran where my readers submitted their workspace photos.

    Thanks for everything you’re doing for us educators.

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