Don’t Key in; Render!

By Anushree Naveen

I was helping my seven-year-old with her addition homework. Suddenly, she started counting in a language that I could not recognize. I told her to concentrate and finish her homework. She replied that she was counting the numbers in Spanish that she learned from a Cartoon channel. Wow, Finally, there’s some use of watching cartoons!

I then realized that I too remember things easily when it’s learned from multimedia.  This made me think “How many customers read the documents I write and complete a task without any hassles?” The thought encouraged me to try my hands at videos. In this article, I share few insights from my exploration of video as a channel.

Here’s a checklist to get started with a video:

  • Find a topic for your video. Here are a few suggestions to find a topic for your video:
    • Check with the product experts about a new product feature.
    • Get in touch with the Support team and identify a feature that had more customer calls for assistance.
    • Identify a section in your documentation that has received more enhancement request from customers.
  • Know your product. Familiarize yourself with the product feature and note down points that can be emphasized in the video. Having a system ready to record the feature will be helpful.
  • Get a right video tool. A lot of video-capturing and video-editing tools such as Camtasia, Captivate, and more are available these days. Use the tool recommended by your organization. Learn the tool’s usage before you create a sample video.
  • Write a script. If you are using a voiceover for the video, the script plays an important role. Write down the script the same way you would like to listen. For example, use commas and ellipses where you want pauses. Do not forget to check with your company standards on the tone and language.
  • Hire a voice. Read out the script and record the voice to check if you have the required tone for the video. If not, get the right person to read out the script.
    You can use robotic voice also if you have written your script carefully. This is simpler and faster.

Once you have all of these, you are set to create a video. Remember to keep the video short. You may even split the video into two parts if it’s lengthy. It’s your choice to record the screen and voice together or record them separately and merge later. It’s good to have more than one recording. Choose the best one and edit. Render the video and publish.

Then is the time to get some publicity for your video. Embed the video or links to the video in your documentation set.

I hope these tips will help you. Let’s meet again and share more experiences.

About the Author

Anushree Naveen works as an Information Engineer with Micro Focus, Bangalore. She has over 3 years of experience in technical writing. As a newbie to technical writing, her belief in continuous reading and adapting to the latest technology is the key to her growth and success.