Are you planning to train new hires? Do you want to show your customers how your product works? Or are you an expert in some field and feel confident to share your knowledge with the world? Learn how to make tutorial videos and start experimenting on your own right now.
In this article, we’ll take you through the entire process, from planning and scripting to recording and editing your video. Keep on reading!
What is a Tutorial Video?
Tutorial videos are screencasts with a voice-over explanation. They are created with a specific purpose in mind: to teach the viewer how to do something.
Screencast videos are especially popular when it comes to technology training. For visual learners, the ability to see each step of a process goes a long way in explaining online tools or software.
For example, this is a tutorial from Domino’s which gives you a quick peek at how to register online for the Domino’s app to order a pizza:
Here at iSpring, we also create tutorial videos to demonstrate our customers how to work with iSpring eLearning software. Today, we’re going to show you how to do this with the example below:
Step 1. Make a Learning Analysis
Creating a tutorial begins with a learning analysis. It usually includes three steps: development of key objectives, research on the tutorial topic, and understanding of the learner.
The first thing you need to do is to set objectives. They should be driven by the end result. In other words, what should your viewer be able to do once they finish the tutorial? Most instructional designers will write these objectives with an action verb that clearly states what the learner will be able to do upon completion.
Once you have a clear understanding of which actions or concepts your learner should know after watching your tutorial, you can get down to researching the topic. In-depth research will help you collect all the information needed to make your video as beneficial as possible.
After you have examined the topic inside out, you need to learn all you can about the intended learners. This helps you tailor the content you’re presenting. Are the expected viewers of the tutorial complete beginners, so you need to explain all the concepts in great detail? Or are they pros and you can skip over the easier steps? This will help you present the material in the most comprehensible way for your audience.
Step 2. Create an Outline
Once you have all your learning analysis items in place, you can start developing an outline. This is an overview of all of the content you will have in your tutorial and should include all the key points that will be covered in the video.
Take a look at our outline for the iSpring video tutorial you saw above:
The outline will lead you to another important document – the storyboard.
In instructional design, the storyboard is a master plan that tells you what to show and in what order. It’s a sequence of all elements, including when there will be an onscreen speaker, when a screencast will be introduced, and whether a presentation will be embedded. When creating tutorial videos explaining how to use software, a storyboard can be a sequence of shots.
This is how the storyboard for our iSpring video looks:
The storyboard will also be the lead-in to the next document you will create – the script.
Step 3. Write a Script
Writing a script can seem a little intimidating, but actually, you’ve already done the hard part by creating an outline and a storyboard. Now, you just need to complement your storyboard with textual instructions and explanations.
“You may think it’s enough to write down the main bullet points for a script and then just wing it while recording. However, even if the speaker knows the subject matter perfectly well, it can be difficult to convey the idea as clearly as possible, and it usually leads to a lot of re-dos. So, keep to scripting every last word.”
A script, like any story, should have a good structure. No matter how short it is, there must be a beginning, middle, and end, as in the following example:
In the introduction of the tutorial, announce the topic. In the body paragraphs, describe the topic in as much detail as possible, and, in the conclusion, invite the viewer to perform some action or provide a preview of the next tutorial.
After you have your first draft, go through it again. Make sure every word works for a spot on the page.
Read your script out loud several times to see if the message flows. You may find that you need to change some phrases to make the speech smooth and clear. It can also help you decide on the pacing of your tutorial. Make sure you’re being thorough enough for your audience to understand but not so intensive that you lose the interest of some learners.
The script is the master document for a presenter, so it often includes not only the words to be spoken, but supplemental information for the speaker as well. For example, if you’re recording someone on video, the script may include “stage” directions – how they should face the camera or move around the space they are in. It may also have “page” directions – how they should sequence files or presentations.
Now that you know what you’re going to say, you can consider how you’re going to say it.
Namely, how will you record the audio?
Step 4. Choose a Microphone
Have you ever watched a video and were unable to finish it because it was muffled or distorted? Unfortunately, stuff like this can easily happen.
When you’re creating a tutorial video, quality audio can make it or break it. It can make a video with high-quality graphics difficult to sit through, or turn a plain but perfectly voiced presentation into a positive learning experience.
“When recording a tutorial video, you’d better not use the built-in microphone on your computer. A built-in mic won’t create good sound, because they don’t have the ability to improve voice quality or minimize background noise. The best thing is a high-quality portable microphone.”
To learn about how to choose a mic, read our guide on creating screencasts. Once you’ve chosen a microphone, you’re almost ready to start recording!
Step 5. Install a Recording and Video Editing Tool
Now that you have a microphone, you will need software to record your tutorials. For example, you can use the iSpring Suite authoring toolkit, which contains an advanced video studio.
One of its key features is “picture-in-picture” recording. That means you can record two videos at the same time: a screencast and a webcam video.
If you don’t need a webcam for shooting a presenter and want to create a tutorial with only narration, iSpring Suite makes it simple to record a screencast and narration separately and then synchronize them.
To enhance your tutorial, you can insert videos, images, text blocks, and shapes, and edit them directly on your screen. You can also add title screens and headings on any part of your video.
The toolkit has a “visual hint” feature. The smart app will pick up on your movements and create visual clues for your learner.
Step 6. Record the Tutorial Video
Now, that you have your script, a mic, and iSpring software, you can work on creating a tutorial video.
Let’s have a look at two different ways of making a tutorial, depending on which format you choose: a screencast with narration, or a screencast with a webcam video.
A screencast plus narration
After installing iSpring Suite on your computer, you’ll see an additional tab in PowerPoint. Click on Screen Recording.
Then, in the Recording Settings window, choose the Screen tab.
Specify the size of the recording area: this can be the screen area, the entire screen, or the window of a specific application.
As you record, there are a few things to keep in mind to create a clean-looking video.
- Hide your mouse cursor so it’s not distracting to your viewer, or make sure the mouse cursor is clear and visible if it’s part of the tutorial.
- Pause if you make a mistake, so when you edit, it’ll be easier for you to find the places where you’ve made mistakes and cut them out.
- Speak clearly and with the tone and pace you have decided upon for the video.
Once your screencast is complete, the next step is to record the narration.
“Before you get started, make sure you’ve prepared your room for recording. At the very least, make it as quiet as possible. To prepare yourself, read your script out loud one more time to ensure that your voice is not tired or strained in any way.”
To start recording a voice over, click on Record Audio on the iSpring Suite tab.
Before clicking on the Record button, make sure you have everything set up properly. To put the script in front of you, you can copy and paste the voice-over text in the narration area.
To get more useful tips on how to record audio narration, watch our tutorial:
A screencast plus a presenter video
If you’re going to record a screencast and a webcam video at the same time, choose the Screen and Camera option in the Recording Settings window.
You can show both streams together, or easily switch between them.
To learn more about how to create a screencast with a presenter video, watch our webinar recording:
Step 7. Edit Your Tutorial Video
If you have opted to record the screencast and voice over separately, the first thing you need to do in the editing process is to make sure your audio and video are in sync with each other.
You can do this right in iSpring by going to Manage Narration:
From here, you can line up your audio and video tracks in the timeline. You can also trim the audio and make sure it syncs with the transition for the frame.
You may also need to remove unwanted noise. To do this, select Remove Noise on the iSpring toolbar:
You will be prompted to choose a segment that contains background noise only. iSpring will do the rest! It will remove that background noise from the rest of your recording.
You can also remove unwanted video if you have excessive footage or make a mistake. Use the scissors icon to cut portions out of the timeline section.
Step 8. Make Your Tutorial Engaging
Once you’ve dealt with basic editing, you can work on making your video more engaging. There are several tricks to keep your audience watching.
- Annotations and captions – To emphasize keywords spoken during the tutorial, you can create annotations, graphs and captions. For example, in the following video created in iSpring Suite, not only does the presenter tell you the steps for preparing for a call, but you can also see them in captions on the screen.
- Pictures and infographics – Visual examples of what you’re talking about onscreen help draw the viewer’s attention to certain points and make things easier to understand. Depending on the style of your tutorial, they can also add a pop of color.
- Special effects – To emphasize an important section of your tutorial or demonstrate things that may be overlooked at normal speed, you might want to try a slow-motion effect. For instance, in this video, the slow-motion effect is used to show how to juggle balls properly.
Step 9. Share Your Tutorial
Once your tutorial is done and polished, the last step is to put it out in the world!
There are several options for publishing. You can save your video to your computer as an MP4 file or upload it directly to YouTube or your LMS.
Start creating tutorial videos right now. Get a free iSpring Suite trial and explore all its features for 14 days without spending a cent.
- You should start every tutorial video by researching the topic, exploring the audience, and determining the key objectives.
- Outlining and storyboarding your tutorial will help you think through the plot sequentially and make sure you’ve actually connected the dots.
- Writing a script for your tutorial video will ensure that your thoughts are complete and your message is consistent.
- The microphone is king! A quality microphone can make or break your video.
- Recording and editing videos are easy with full-service suites that allow you to integrate both presentations and audio all at once.
- Adding graphic elements and special effects combats the record-low human attention span.
- Sharing your tutorial is easy by uploading it to YouTube or publishing it to an LMS.