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Looking for recommendations for user training videos

We need to create some user training videos for our products. These videos would show users how to use and navigate our system. They would include actual live video screenshots with audio narration. What are some good DIY tools that we can use to create these videos?

15 Replies

Kevin Suitor
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Kevin Suitor Entrepreneur • Advisor
VP, Product Management at Exinda Networks
My favorite tool for this job is Camtasia. There are versions for both Mac and PC users depending on your organization's religion. Kevin Suitor Toronto | Ontario | +[removed to protect privacy] (M) | Skype: kevinsuitor
Richard Edwards
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Richard Edwards Entrepreneur • Advisor
Start-up and Corporate IT Executive and Infrastructure leader looking for new full time opportunites
Hi Richard, Easiest and best I've found is Screenflow. They have a free trial so you can see if it will work for you. Sent from my iPhone
Frank Gartland
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Frank Gartland Advisor
Product & Marketing Leader | Technical Readiness & Online Engagement Expert | Vision/Execution Blender
There are so many little players out there, my advice is to focus on only a couple... (1) SnagIt has been around forever and it's still fantastic. Easy, high quality, inexpensive, great value... (2) Kevin is right on with Camtasia -- Fantastic tool, multi-platform, TONS of features (so aslightly higher learning curve for some), (3) many groups at Microsoft also used DemoMate from Impresys (impresys.com/public/softwareProducts.aspx#). Don't let the pretty weak (e.g. terrible) web site fool you, it's a quality tool and great value. Best of luck!
Michael Hartzell
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Entrepreneur, Addicted to "Yes" - When Everyone Wins
Hi Richard,

I could show you an article from a while back to do what you want
https://www.michaelhartzell.com/Blog/bid/17520/List-of-19-Presentation-Software-and-Tools-Create-Produce-Present

The list includes the good and the bad.

But I think the simplest and most straightforward way is to look at tools and skills you already have.

i.e.
PowerPoint
Windows Movie Maker - Free

If you can wield MS PowerPoint well, you can click on "create a video" inside the tool. In order for it to work well, you will include automated slide changes.
You can add narration as well.

You mentioned "Screen Shots" - the simplest, easiest tool to get this is Jing by TechSmith. It's free.
https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
You can add these to your PowerPoint.

What will happen when you download Jing - You will see the option to record a video as well. :) Which is very doable.

But recording a live video that works well is not as easy as it appears. There are subtle differences when recording a live screen for a presentation.
- A narrated slide deck forces us to go point by point.

Then - if you like Jing, you will graduate to Snagit by Techsmith.
I don't go a day without using Snagit. About $50
It is an essential tool.
https://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html

Window Movie Maker is free and already available. It is an option to do some editing to the video - where there are pauses or errors.

But then... once you like Jing and Snagit, you will say I want something better than Microsoft Movie Maker - and you will happily pay for Camtasia from TechSmith. About $300

I guess you see a theme by now.
Skip to the end - It does it all.
https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html
But first, use Jing to take the idea around the track.,

(Once you get done with the videos, you will want to host them. I don't recommend TechSmith Screencast for professional hosting - ok for internal, but not customers)

Then you will add Wistia to your inventory. (A long list of reasons why)

I use them all - these are the best for entrepreneurs.

Steve Motola
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Steve Motola Entrepreneur
Engineering Lead at Flo Technologies, Inc.
+1 Camtasia.

For something immediate, straightforward, and free: you can use Quicktime for free (on a Mac) which will do audio and screen recording. (Note you'll miss out on things like titles pages and editing.)
Debb Oliver, Ed.D.
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Debb Oliver, Ed.D. Entrepreneur
Chief Learning Instigator at Ednak3D; Ambassador at Course Networking
ScreencastOmatic is now my choice to use over Camtasia.
https://screencast-o-matic.com/home

Be sure to get an external mike - This one works great and is inexpensive. http://amzn.to/2csado4
You may want to add a screen to it to avoid P pops and the like.

Been making these for a long time- Have fun with it! If you need help, let me know.

Renee Teeley
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Renee Teeley Entrepreneur
Founder & Chief Marketing Officer @ Startup Studios: Looking for Guest Bloggers & Marketing Partners
ScreenFlow:http://www.telestream.net/screenflow/

I would also check out WeVideo as a way to create the videos and include more than just the screencast. It's a pretty easy tool for recording your screen, including additional video footage, adding music, text, etc. They have some great educational videos here:https://www.wevideo.com/academy
Richard Pridham
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Richard Pridham Entrepreneur • Advisor
Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs
I'm not looking for "static" screenshots. I use SnagIt for that already. I need a product to record actual live product training videos with voice narration. Products like Camtasia and Screenflow appear to be exactly what I'm looking for, so thanks for the recommendations.
Richard Pridham
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Richard Pridham Entrepreneur • Advisor
Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs
So we went with Camtasia. Great product! We need to upload these training videos so they can be accessed. Are we better using YouTube or Vimeo?
Frank Gartland
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Frank Gartland Advisor
Product & Marketing Leader | Technical Readiness & Online Engagement Expert | Vision/Execution Blender
Great choice, Richard. Glad to hear things are progressing nicely! In my view, they're both fantastic. Really depends on what's important to you. For example, if you want your own branding in the player or want (much) less advertising, Vimeo is the better choice. If it's all about reach, I'd go with YouTube. This link should help you weigh the alternatives. http://webtrends.about.com/od/profiles/a/Vimeo-Vs-Youtube-Video-Sharing-Sites.htm.
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