Using on-screen presentations to teach a class or record a product can be an incredibly powerful way to get your message across. However, if you want your presentations to capture people’s attentions, you need to pay attention to a few things.

Well organized and properly put together presentations really make a difference. Your viewers will easily be able to tell the difference between a haphazard presentation and one that’s polished.

Here’s how to create an exciting on-screen presentation that keeps people engaged while conveying your message clearly.

Step One: Buy a Good Microphone

Having a good mic makes all the difference in the world when it comes to on screen presentations. Your built-in mic just isn’t going to cut it.

Try to get a USB microphone rather than an analog one. USB delivers a cleaner signal than analog generally.

If there’s any one thing you should spend money on, it would be the microphone.

Step Two: Create a Slide Deck or Main Presentation Area

 

Generally you’ll want something like a presentation home base, rather than just showing screen after screen of different screencasts.

There are a variety of ways you can present your concepts.

The most common way is to use a slideshow. Microsoft PowerPoint is a good tool for this.

Other common options include Microsoft Word in presentation view and custom mind mapping software.


Step Three: Close Extra Tabs, Ready Presentation Tabs

 

Close down any programs that you don’t plan on using in your presentation. Crowding your screen with extra icons that aren’t relevant to the presentation is unprofessional.

Conversely, open all the tabs and programs that you plan on using. Once your presentation is being recorded, you should be able to quickly switch between tabs without having to load them.

Step Four: Recording

 

Start recording your screencast. Try to record only the window you want to eventually use, rather than the entire screen. This will help you save disc space, speed up processing during editing and increase the end product’s quality.

Don’t be afraid to record several different takes and edit them together in the end. If you do record in multiple takes, make sure you do all the recording in the same physical room, as different rooms have different acoustics which will result in your voice sounding different if you change rooms.


Step Five: Merge Videos and Create Clip

 

Once you’ve recorded your video, the next step is to edit the video into an exciting coherent single presentation.

Start by clicking “Import Media” to bring all your various clips and images into one project.

Once all your media is imported, drag and drop them into your timeline in the order that you want them to appear in.


Step Six: Add Callouts to Highlight Important Points

 

Adding callouts to your presentation will make the overall video more dynamic and easier to follow. Use callouts to bring attention to important points or emphasize something you said.

Be careful not to clutter your presentation with too many callouts. Callouts should accentuate the presentation rather than be the main focus.


Step Seven: Zoom Into Important Parts

 

Use Camtasia’s Zoom and Pan features to zoom in on different aspects of your presentation.

The way Zoom and Pan works is through keyframing. Basically, you set how you want the video to be zoomed in on different parts of the timeline. Camtasia will then calculate the zoom in and out for you. You need at least two keyframes for Camtasia to work.


Step Eight: Cursor Effects

 

The little white cursor might be enough for personal browsing, but in an on-screen presentation it’s often difficult to spot. Cursor effects can make it a lot easier for people to follow where your mouse is during the presentation.

 

These are some of the most important things to pay attention to when you’re creating an on screen presentation. Start with a high grade microphone, create a slide deck to guide people with, setup your screen, record, then use a few of the tools outlined above to add some kick and excitement to your presentation.

 

Michael Rockwell