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Simple tips for great tutorial videos

So I’ve had my youtube channel for over eight years now. Am I a “YouTuber”? Not really. The channel is pretty small, and I don’t post content as often as I used to. Have I improved in those eight years? You’re damn right, and that’s what I really love most about the channel. My hard work is on display. I figured it was a good time to critique my first video and share some of the things I learned about creating tutorial videos on youtube.<!-- (1) video wrapper -->

When I created my first video, I didn’t really know anything about video editing, recording audio, performing format conversions, how youtube worked. Basically, I didn’t know anything. I scrambled enough information together through the internet to put together a simple tutorial that shared a Powershell cheat sheet that I used. Not very groundbreaking, but I had to start somewhere.

What I learned making tutorial videos

Here’s a quick list of tips that will help you create great tutorial videos. Obviously, I have my own sort of approach with making tutorial videos. I like to focus on showing code, or simple images that may help illustrate a point. Everyone has their own style, and everyone has style preferences. So, if your style is different than mine these suggestions may not be helpful, but maybe they’ll help you consider some ideas you haven’t thought of already.

Good audio is critical and poor sound is distracting. You want your voice to be clear and consistent throughout the video and without random background noises that detracts from the experience. It’s worth investing in all the new mid-range condenser mics available these days. It will make a huge difference. Also, learning how to apply filters like condensers and noise limiters can drastically improve the performance of even lower range audio devices.

Your voice is audio. How you talk matters. Speak clearly, and project your voice. It may seem weird projecting your voice in an empty room, but that extra kick can improve the video experience. If you sound excited and interested in the content, it will appear more exciting and interesting. This can take a lot of practice, but the results are worth it.

Make it mobile-friendly. Mobile media consumption far surpasses desktop consumption. If what your showing can’t be viewed through mobile, then you’re leaving a lot of potential viewers out. Increase font sizes, zoom in with browsers. Whatever you need to do to make the content your showing clear on mobile should be done.

Do favors with your editing. You can save people a lot of time with your editing. I’ve been able to cut a full five minutes out of videos that were just filled with pauses and “umms” that distracted from the experience and wasted time. People are watching your tutorial so they can do something, and the faster you can give them the information they need, the faster they can get back to doing that thing. Nobody has ever complained about weird cuts or the mouse jumpting around because I removed a couple seconds of the video in editing. .But I’ve received a lot of praise for how clean and concise my videos are since I began improving my editing process. A bit of extra time editing can save tons of time for viewers through the life of the video.

I’ll keep adding to this list as I remember more details I’ve found helpful over the years. It’s essential to go back and critique our own works if we want to continue improving. Am I the best video creator on the planet? Not even close. But the time spent on this hobby has helped me in many ways. Every new video I created was an opportunity to analyze my own efforts and established a new baseline for me to improve upon. And the proof is there. It took me eight years to go from bad to OK, and I’m sure I’ll learn about more I can improve upon in the next eight years.

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