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D4L Technologies Module

Technological Tools for Teaching

Honing your Delivery

Tips & Resources for Creating Effective Screencasts

4 You and Your Delivery

Honing Your Screencast Delivery

You many not feel that you need to sound like a professional narrator for your screencasts, but you should at least want to improve your delivery for the sake of your learners. So many screencasts are dull and boring when a little attention to delivery could make all the difference. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

It's OK to make the occasional mistake. You're only human. The occasional stumble is acceptable. Too many and you should do a re-take. One of the worst problems with narration, however, is sounding monotone. Before recording, practice varying your tone and adding inflection where appropriate. This makes the screencast infinitely more listenable. Also, project confidence through your voice and this will engender confidence in your students, as well. 

Often, we do not realize how fast we talk. With screencasting, good pacing is essential. Speak clearly and practice talking slower than you think you should. However, long pauses should be avoided as the learner may think there is a technical problem on his or her end. Have you ever listened to a screencast where the narrator seemed to go and on . . . to the point of rambling? This is what happens when one lacks a concise and focused script or at least a bulleted outline. Stick to the script.

Keep your screencast as brief as you can and remember that chunking is an option if you have a lot to cover. You may be interested in reading the Hazellet article below which talks about the optimal time to maintain learner interest is about six minutes!

Lastly, put a smile in your voice. You will discover that it does make a difference in your delivery!

Key Points 

  • Vary your tone. 
  • Sound confident. 
  • Pace yourself. 
  • Keep it as short as possible (remember "chunking").
  • Put a smile in your voice.

Additional Resources

For further reading, you may be interested in the following:

  1. Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement by Candace Hazellet (2013)
  2. A Practical Guide to Creating Learning Screencasts by Clive Sheppard (2011)
That's it for this week's Book of Tips and Resources for Creating Effective Screencasts.
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