3 Lessons I Learned From Recording My First Mini-Course Video

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I thought creating a video mini-course would be simple. I knew the content I wanted to share and I’m a designer so creating the slides was simple. I know how to do basic video editing, so what would be so hard about it?

Welllllll, let me tell you it took me so many tries to get it down. I never dealt with audio before so I struggled A LOT when trying to make my first video. I realized there are a lot of skills you need to have that aren’t technical— like design and editing.

You need to know how to speak on a video. This is huge and not to be overlooked — like I did.

Recording audio is hard. I know this is an area people specialize in, but if you’ve never dealt with audio before, then you’re definitely going to want to keep reading to see where I went wrong and what I learned.

 

Lesson #1 |  Provide Quality

 

First, I did what I thought would be the most logical first step in recording a high quality video. I invested in a microphone. I knew that just talking at my computer wasn’t going to cut it, so I decided to take the leap and invest in the mic.

The one I ended up getting was Yeti Blackout Microphone. It’s so easy to use. It’s a USB microphone, so all you need to do is plug it in to start working. Depending on what program you’re using, you would just adjust the audio settings for the In-Mic to be the Yeti Blackout Microphone — or whichever mic you decide to use.

Next, after reading the box I realized I need to plug in headphones in order to hear myself back when talking on it so that I can adjust the settings accordingly. Once I got that nailed down I’m thinking everything else is going to super easy.

Note to self — just because I have a good microphone, doesn’t mean I’m going to sound like a professional when I use it.

I learned this the hard way.

When I heard myself back the first time, I hated everything about it.

First off, this microphone, like any, is super sensitive. It literally pics up every little noise around you. You need to make sure you’re in a quiet place with no background noise because it will definitely get picked up. My first recording I was in my office with the door open and the mic picked up the sound of the fan out in the hallway. Once I closed the door, problem easily solved— no biggie.

Just remember to be mindful of your surroundings. These little background noises can put a damper on the quality of your audio.

Other than the background noise I was hearing, I didn’t like hearing my own voice. It was my voice talking, but the way I was talking was awful. I sounded robotic when I was reading the content on the slides I had created. I wasn’t fluid and I didn’t sound genuine, like how I hear other people talk on their videos.

I then realized this is a whole new skill that I need to learn. It wasn’t as simple as “just talk into the mic.”

 

Lesson #2  | Talk Clear and Slowly

 

I’m born and raised in New York and you can 110% hear that when I talk. In regular conversations it’s fine, but hearing myself on the recording, I knew I had to slow it down so that people would understand what I’m saying. I had to focus on taking a pause in between sentences and making sure I enunciated my words.

It felt like I was back in college doing Public Speaking 101 again. I had to channel in the tips I learned back then and put it into my recording. Since it’s just me in the room talking into a mic, I had to create a mindset that I was really talking to a group of people.

I pictured talking to a group of my ideal viewers of my video and had to speak in a way that was conversational to this group — even though I’m the only one who will be talking. Very hard skill to do. Some people might be naturals at this, unfortunately not me. I think I finally got it done to a point where I’m comfortable enough with the outcome.

Recording and speaking will always be something to continue working on, but for now I’m in a happy place compared to how I started.

 

Lesson #3  | Have an Outline or Script

 

When I was recording, I had all my slides already made with specific points to talk about on each but it wasn’t until I printed them all out and had them in front of me that I started to sound more fluid.

At first, to be honest I was just winging it. I was talking about the same points in a different way each time I recorded. When I was playing everything back, there were certain lines I really liked and others that just didn’t work. I decided to create a script.

I went slide by slide and wrote out everything I wanted to say and made them sound more fluid, rather than stumbling on my words and forgetting points only to add them in at the wrong areas where they no longer made sense.

The script helped me to stay on point and in order of what I wanted to highlight on each slide. Now don’t let the word “script” scare you. It wasn’t formal at all. As I spoke, I wrote it out so that it would sound more like me and less like a college paper. Doing this definitely helped my personality come across on audio.

 

As for the rest of the video making process...

 

The set up for the video went smoothly. I used Google Slides to create all the slides. I used a very clean design with my brands colors. To get everything to appear while I was talking to make it look better, I added transitions to every bullet point that would be activated by my mouse click.

Before recording, I printed out all the slides for reference so I knew ahead of time what the next point would be to keep the fluidity in my voice. Also I had my script handy, which kept everything moving smoothly.

In the past I had heard a lot of great things about the video editing program called Screenflow and had purchased it a few months ago (one of my clients released a course, I invested in ScreenFlow to make those videos). The editing process in that program is very simple and it also has a screen recording feature which makes it perfect for recording course slides and tutorials.

When I was in college I took a course in video editing which made picking up this program fairly simple. Even with no prior knowledge, it’s very user friendly and I think it would be quick to pick up for any first timers. If this is an area you’re interested in learning about, please let me know and I’ll definitely put out content on how to use it!

Overall, I would say it was a huge learning experience. Having patience throughout the process is a must. I do believe that the more videos I create, the easier the whole process will get which I’m very excited for.

 

Have you created video content before? What was your experience like? I’d love to know!