I am not an expert on compiling videos but I am an ardent follower of various topics on YouTube and other video sites as well as channels that produce tutorials for WordPress, Adobe products, Explaindio and several other products.

This means I spend hours listening and watching you experts on the topics explaining how I can enhance my knowledge of your selected product.

But I occasionally come across videos that offer interesting content but are really difficult to watch.

So for all those amateur video makers out there here are some pointers as to what, in my opinion, diminishes the quality of your production. These comments are not meant to be criticism but rather ideas for improving your output.

Sniffing and coughing

My pet hate. There is nothing worse than constantly hearing sniffing or coughing in the background. If you are not well then please wait until you are feeling better before you make your next tutorial.

I recently struggled my way through an Adobe tutorial which was exceptionally explanatory and informative but the lecturer had a sore throat and was sucking on a throat lozenge during his presentation. You could hear the sweet bouncing off his teeth every few seconds. The constant clicking sound eventually gets into your head and becomes the sole focus of your attention.

Clearing your throat

As with the above complaint please don’t make tutorial material if you have a frog or any other foreign object stuck in your throat. We all clear our throats from time to time but when it becomes the background music then it becomes annoying.

Ums, ahs and “you know”

If the content is informative and the presenter engaging then the odd moment of uncertainty will probably not even be noticed by the viewer, however it is very obvious when the lecturer has not prepared some form of script.

Unless you are an absolute boffin on the topic and have done hundreds of similar tutorials, please take the time to prepare the audio content. My learning curve is so much faster when the lecturer is fluent with the subject and is constantly aware of what the viewer is looking for in the video, i.e. information, knowledge and the ability to improve his or her skills with the product.

Background noises

Yes, I am talking about the dogs, kids, the hum of the air conditioner, radio’s, TV’s, cell phones and the like.

If you are hopeful of eventually making professional videos then I have to assume you are using professional software such as Camtasia, Audacity or the Adobe products as examples.

These programmes allow for detailed editing after recording which means all the ums and other moments of indecision and background noises can be edited out. Please take the time to fix the audio, I find it easier to watch lower quality video then listening to really crappy audio.

Use a microphone.

I still come across really good videos where the audio is so weak it is difficult to hear the topic. I can only assume that the lecturer is relying on the PC microphone. Don’t undermine the great effort you put into compiling the video to have it ruined by not spending a bit of money on a decent external mic.

Sequencing

When I sit down to read a Book on how to market my business online I expect the author to have taken the time to lay the contents out in a systematic and logic sequence.

I certainly don’t want to be jumping from chapter one to chapter five in order to understand the flow of the information I am trying to absorb.

Similarly with a video tutorial. There are some amazing videos out there on how to create a WordPress website. The process starts at the logical beginning: what the whole process is going to cost me and ends with a summary of what I have learned.

I have however come across tutorials, for example, in which the lecturer is explaining how to create a website using a premium theme, where the flow is almost impossible to follow. The front end of the website is discussed in detail with no explanation as to how this was achieved in the back end.

Stay on topic

If the tutorial is about how to merge two images in Adobe Photoshop then that is what I expect to see.

Clearly define the level of information that you are imparting. If it is for beginners only then ensure that references to other tools, tips and nice to know bits of information are relevant both as regards the topic and the level of the viewer.

Breaking into the course content to spend 10 minutes showing me how fancy Adobe Bridge is, really doesn’t help my cause or improve my patience levels.

Please stick to the script so us mere mortals can follow and learn.

Assuming conductor status

We all use how hands from time to time to emphasise a particular point.

But when waving hands become a permanent aspect of the video it gets a bit frustrating to the viewer, especially when all you can see on the screen are 2 rather large hands covering either the presenter or the course material or both.

Animated presenters add to the authenticity of the content but try and keep the enthusiasm and hand waving to an acceptable level.

Hope the above helps in your video creation efforts.

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