Jake Pechtel is the Strategy Lead for TechSmith’s popular screen recording and video editing desktop software, Camtasia. He has an extensive background in marketing and branding, as well as mobile games and applications.
In this conversation, Jake discusses how you can record live presentations using Camtasia.
Geetesh: Presenters always want a way to record their presentations—at least the slides and their narrative if not their body language. How can Camtasia help them achieve this objective?
Jake: Camtasia can help people record their presentations in several ways. Many people record a pre-existing presentation, front to end; while talking their viewers through the slides. Camtasia’s core capabilities help presenters quickly and easily accomplish this. For PowerPoint specifically, Camtasia can operate as a plug-in, allowing presenters to initiate their recordings from within the PowerPoint application.
Camtasia also allows you can select any portion of your screen, your entire screen (or even a secondary screen connected to your presenting machine), and start recording it with just a few clicks. In addition to recording the screen, Camtasia can use the system microphone to capture narration.
We think it’s important to be able to make a human connection with your audience when creating a presentation or knowledge transfer recording. Camtasia can use your webcam to capture the presenter during the recording. That webcam video can be overlaid onto a part of a recorded presentation for a picture-in-picture effect. The webcam is recorded as a completely separate track for use in the Camtasia editor, so it can be removed for parts of a presentation. This allows you to keep body language, facial expressions, and personality in your video, which is often important for viewer engagement.
Camtasia includes a video editor, built for people who need to create the video, but aren’t video professionals. So it’s very accessible for presenters who have little to no video editing experience. Removing errors, trimming dead space, removing ‘ums’, adding callouts, highlighting specific content… it’s all there. Camtasia removes the pressure of the perfect one-take recording and gives presenters tools to help draw their viewers’ attention to key information in the recording.
Geetesh: Jake, are there any specific hardware issues that this approach for recording presentations with Camtasia would entail, and can you share recommendations and tips?
Jake: For most recordings – especially for presentations to be shared internally with a team, or a small group of viewers, the microphone and camera on most laptops are perfectly suitable (some devices are better than others of course). If you are planning to record a lot of presentations, or high stakes presentations that go to a large audience, picking up a decent USB microphone is a wise investment. You might have a great presentation with plenty of relevant content, but if the audio is poor quality or hard to understand… viewers will flee almost immediately.
Overall, creating a basic presentation recording can be easily accomplished without an additional investment by almost any current generation system. Of course, the more you dive into Camtasia – adding tracks, effects, imported videos, or annotations, the more complex the project becomes, and the more system resources it requires to keep the experience smooth. However, presenters will be able to create some excellent videos with the machine they are using today.