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I’ve been asked how I create video tutorials, so I’ve decided to make 3 videos that will go step by step through the process. This video will cover the pre-production stage of choosing a topic and preparing a script.

You can break down most video tutorial topics into 2 categories: feature focused and technique focused. Feature focused videos tend to demonstrate a specific software features and are typically easier to create and identify as potential video topics. Did an update to your favorite software program just come out? Choose one of the new features and make a video that explains how to use it.

Technique focused videos combine multiple features together to demonstrate a more complex function. When making this kind of video, you can still explain how specific features work as long as you don’t spend too much time on them. You can always refer people to other videos that you’ve done if they want to learn more about the features that you’re skimming over. Whether you’re making a feature or technique focused video, it is important to pick a very specific topic for each video. You don’t have to cover everything in one video and sometimes it is better to create multiple short videos if that allows you to better explain the topic.

Once you’ve picked a topic to over, it is important to prepare before you start recording. Depending on your style, you can either either write a script or use bullet points and improvise. Both have their advantages and drawbacks. A script takes time to prepare, but can reduce the amount of time you spend editing your video. You also need to avoid sounding like you’re just reading off a script while you record the video. If you prefer a more improvised style, bullet points may be enough. Just make sure that you clearly lay out the steps that you need to take so that you don’t forget anything. The advantage of improvising is that you may sound more natural than if you were reading off a script. The downside is that you may spend more time in the recording and editing process if you make mistakes or can’t think of what to say.

Once you have chosen a topic and written bullet points or a script, it is time to record your video. We will cover the recording process in our next video on Monday June 17th.