In this podcast episode, we talk to Daniel Foster, Director of Strategy at TechSmith, about the contentious relationship between technical writers and video content.
A growing trend among technical writers is the integration of video content alongside traditional documentation and visuals, offering a dynamic and immersive medium to enhance user understanding and engagement. However, writers generally prefer words because they’re easier to reuse and scale, as well as being more efficient for their overall business. This leads to a rather contentious relationship with video elements…especially with clients specifically requesting more of them.
Daniel regularly works with technical writers on how to bridge this gap and effectively leverage video content to complement their writing.
We discuss how technical writers can effectively manage this contentious relationship.
Techsmith’s Research hub includes:
– Value of Visuals
– Ultimate Guide to Simplified User Interface Graphics (SUI)
– The Ultimate Guide to Easily Make Instructional Videos
Guide to adding captions to videos
This is the Cherryleaf podcast.
Welcome to the Cherryleaf podcast. As we have done with all of our previous podcast episodes where we’ve had a guest, we’ve also going to introduce themselves to who they are and what they do. So traditional continues and Daniel, would you like to introduce yourself well and what you do?
Thanks and I’m happy to be here. So I work at TechSmith. TechSmith is the maker of some tools that a lot of folks that are in among your listeners probably have heard of. Especially Camtasia for creating videos and Snagit which creates all kinds of image outputs plus video and then maybe they haven’t heard of some of the newer products and that’s fine. We can talk product later if we want to. But so my role at TechSmith is really as Director of Strategy. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how these tools can be used to help, not just technical documentation, but also this sort of communication and collaboration across the enterprise, across the organisation, and that’s a little bit of a newer subject topic. I don’t know if we’ll get into it today on this show, but it’s been really interesting to see the shift in how we work as suddenly kind of teams dispersing and having to work remotely and then coming back and establishing new norms over the last couple of years, what that has done for the role of video in particular as just an everyday communication vehicle within organisations and so I spend a lot of my time thinking about that, doing some speaking about it and then helping to direct our strategy around making sure that people understand our products are super relevant for that set of use cases.
Your colleague Seth suggested we have a chat because you want to encourage technical writers to use video and also you’re saying that elsewhere within the organisation also we are great fans of Camtasia and Snagit ourselves. Our e-learning courses are developed using Camtasia. You’re a very lucky position. You have very passionate users. It’s one of those things where you you mention Snagit or Camtasia to a technical and you will get 15 minutes on how wonderful little. On this, let’s turn off video. Most technical writers tend to prefer text. They tend to use screenshots, not necessarily use video that much. So in the context of technical communication, when you use video, where does it fit in in relation to static text and static visuals, and so on?
Yeah. So if you think about the way the world is moving right now and when people are looking for a way to do something, how do I right? How do I do this or how do I accomplish that outcome with the tool? A software product? Maybe they start with Google and they type in almost that query, right? How do I do XYZ and I can think of that in my own life. Multiple things in the past week we had a bunch of power outages and my generator wasn’t working. And you know, I had my motorcycle broke down last week and all of those things. I’m Googling how do I? Troubleshoot. And so your customers and your listeners, customers, my customers are no different. That’s where they start. They start with Google and what has Google done but elevate to the top of those results videos you know often on YouTube not exclusively. The reason those are elevated is because they’re popular; it’s a popular way for people to get their answer. So I think one reason I would put forward is that if your customers want to find their answers with video and you’re not providing them, somebody will. Someone will have an answer out there. It could be yours. It could be some kind soul who’s making videos about your product with no real incentive or kickback. They may or may not be correct. But why shouldn’t the people who are supporting that product, the technical communication folks, be at the forefront of supporting customers in the way they want? The other thing I would say beyond just the trend level is that we’ve done some research. I led research a couple of years ago. We asked our own customers, and we actually asked them not just how do they want to find assistance for using Techsmith products, but we broadened the question and we said at work, when you’re learning a new technology or need to figure out a new technology, where do you go first? How do you want to be helped? And video was far away, the top choice. We saw 80%, nearly 80% of people. So we asked them the most helpful and the least helpful, we presented them with a lot of options and nearly 80% included video tutorials and video among the most helpful. So I would say if folks are listening to this and they haven’t yet pulled their own customers with a similar kind of survey or question, they should get on that, because if it turns out that customers are like, hey, the way I really want to be helped is video and you’re not doing it, maybe rethink how to reorient that.
And if they’re not using Google, they’re probably on the number two search engine in the world, which is YouTube itself, which a lot of people don’t see as a search engine. But it is, isn’t it? So who is in the area of let’s call it user assistance? Who’s doing well? Who’s using video effectively as a way of supporting users and providing the answers with video in addition to or rather than text? Who should people look at as people to copy or get inspired by?
We’ve got some great customers out there doing cool stuff, whether or not all of their content is public facing is always a question. I know Blackbaud has done a lot with video and they would be good to look at. Cisco’s done some. There’s a company called ChurnZero that are enthusiastic users of our products and we just internally had a really great conversation with them and heard some things about what they’re doing. A little bit selfishly, I guess you could say, really foster, but you know, come and look at the stuff that we’re doing on our own website for our customers. I mean, we drink deeply of the kool-aid, the champagne, let’s call it. One of the things that we’ve done over the years is merge and that’s this is in the last few years, we actually merged all the video content with the written content and we see that as really a best practice. This is not an either/or. For one thing, the video gets indexed really nicely when you have all that text below it and people like to go back and forth between the two modalities. Even if my preference is video, I might get to the page and be like, yeah, but I understand most of this workflow. But I need to figure out this one sub step and so you know I can jump right down. So I would say come and look at what Techsmith is doing a little selfishly, but we really try and our customers tell us like we reference your content and your approach and we want to live up to that standard and we want to be an exemplar in that. So our teams really take that seriously.
Unless your videos are about 3 or 4 minutes long before I remember correctly, when you’re going back to text and video, one thing I don’t know. People realise that YouTube is automatically transcribing videos now and then. It seems if you search on text that’s within a video, Google is itself in the search engine indexing that text, that transcription, and that’s one of the reasons why the videos are coming up high because it’s matching the words in the transcript to what people are searching on.
Yeah, and Google has a really nice affordance where they’ll even you’ve seen this probably they’ll show you that one clip that really answers your question within that, you know, even if it’s a 4 minute video, there might be one minute that’s really the crux and they’ll take you right to it. Our team is a best practice. We actually post a lot of our tutorials both on YouTube and I think we’re still using Wistia as a hosting platform. That’s for embedding on our site. You get a little more control with that and some other affordances that our team like. So what’s on the page embedded is actually the Wistia player, and then the same content is also on YouTube. So you sort of double dip a little bit and you try to create some breadcrumb trails from YouTube back to your site that people can come back and find more answers.
If you’re hosting on Wistia, you have control over what is being suggested at the end of the video as to what they watch next. Which, right, you’re not in control of with YouTube. Let’s say it’s a good idea. What are the gaps? All the challenges that you hear from technical, what we call technical authors, what is called technical writers in the States, where in actually doing implementing recording video and producing it. Where do technical writers struggle, and what are the best ways of getting around those problems?
I’ve talked to a lot of folks that would describe themselves as writers, technical writers over the years, and I think that one of the things that I’ve said that I feel like has helped some folks is video is half writing or more than half possibly. I actually got my start in my career doing writing on a creative team at Techsmith. And I wrote for all kinds of media, blogs and marketing copy and ads and video scripts. And so a lot of the same skill set that you would use in your technical writing, thinking about how to present narrative, how to move people through, make it interesting, avoid unnecessary length and chaff. You know all those same skills come into play when scripting a video. What you’re just also adding to that is really thinking about visually what is the person. But again, that same skill of empathy and putting yourself in the customer or the user’s shoes and thinking, well, what do they need to see, what’s going to be most helpful to them? How do I present it in a way that’s visually concise and reduce the clutter visually as well? It’s just a lot of applying those same principles. So yeah, I think it’s a step that many tech writers are able to take well. I think there’s a lot of intimidation sometimes about I’m not a designer. But we’ve seen a lot of techcomm groups actually partner with UX or design to set up some templates, some annotation styles, you know, what is your little intro? What is your outro? And then once you set that up, you can kind of reuse that and again not to plug our tools to the detriment of your audience. Hopefully it’s helpful to them is to think about templates though and structure and tools like Camtasia allow teams to actually standardize on a set of assets, share them in a library, keep them up to date and I’ve mentioned ChurnZero and recently they were telling us that by standardizing on Camtasia across their whole team of creators, they had reduced the time it takes to make video by about 70%, so they had struggled as people are like either file format mismatches or I’m doing it this way you’re the workflows. Standardizing all of that just can be massively helpful and then reusing assets that maybe even design teams create I think can really help lower the bar.
If I’ve got a heading in a certain animation style and you’ve positioned it in the right place, you can select it and then right-click and add it to the library. And then whenever you create a new video, you can use it and it will appear in the right place and it’s got the right colours and you don’t have to go through the rigmarole of recreating all of those settings again.
Yeah. And in fact, you know, that’s an area that has evolved over the past couple of years in Camtasia. In particular where you can create even a whole kind of shell project and say insert video clip A here, video clip B here. It becomes very paint by numbers if you want to standardize it that much. Sometimes people are like oh, I want the creativity. I want to be able to make it whatever I want and that’s fine. But also that can add a lot of time. So just that trade off. Do you want everyone to be special, unique and bespoke? Or do you want to crank out fifty of them? Kind of depends on the exigencies within your organization.
Can I just go back to something you said a couple of minutes ago? Do you start with a transcript and then do the visuals or do you create the visuals and then talk about the transcript? Is there a normally better than the other is where to start?
Yeah. So I think if it’s kind of planned, scripted content. Especially if you’re going to have to get some review on it. Again, this depends team to team. But the best practice there, what I’ve done myself and what I recommend is start with a storyboard. Sounds fancy, but it’s just a big table in Word or Google Docs right? And each cell is what the words are, and narration is and what you’re seeing on. Screen-map all that out. And get it approved if you have to have an approval first. And then I would recommend always laying down the audio first. And again just a small plug, but a lot of folks that maybe follow Techsmith don’t know we’ve got a new product called Audiate and the whole metaphor there is fairly new. We’re not the only ones to do this. So you can find others out there. The whole metaphor there is you can edit video like you’re editing text. So you can record like if it’s a sequence of screen recording, go through these five screens and show a process. You could actually record that while you’re speaking it and probably do OK, especially if you’re familiar with it. But if it’s something that you’re not as familiar with, maybe you want to lay down the audio first. Either of those workflows, though you can in audio, go in and be like these three words I want to cut. This little segment I want to rerecord real quick and lay down a new bit of narrative and then that integrates pushes into Camtasia. So for my things that are more one off less scripted. What I’ll do is actually record both at the same time and then when I’m editing out a chunk of text from the transcript, it’s actually removing that bit from the visuals as well, and gosh, that saves me a lot of time. Again, we had some customers just as a kind of a put some proof to the pudding here. We had some folks sit down and gave them all the same webinar. It was a 20 minute webinar and we said cut this up into a really nice finished product and one group we only gave Camtasia and the other group we gave Camtasia plus audio and the Audiate group saved about 20% of time in editing, so that’s a nice time saver as well.
So the challenges with technical writing, is this, I guess, the shifting sands issue. Of you write something and then before it’s released, the brand name has changed or you need to take things out or you need to add things in. And so there’s a great deal of focus. You’ve seen it with structured authoring and the like of looking for ways that content can be repurposed, reused and also variables and placeholders. If we go back to Audiate, say somebody doesn’t know what the brand name is going to be. Does anybody else have that situation where they can put like a placeholder for the brand name, and then when it’s agreed, what it’s the product’s going to be called, then slot that into the video? Is that doable?
That’s, I mean that is not a workflow that would be sort of automated. I think what you’re thinking is almost like a macro or something, right? And insert this in all the spots. That isn’t something that we’ve built yet, though. It’s a fascinating idea. I think the next step for tools in this category is going to be text to speech. And I know you on your podcast earlier you’ve done a little bit about generative AI. This is one of the least contentious areas of generative AI, right, which is like instructional content. Where maybe you want to swap in and out the people who are doing it, or you don’t want it to be dependent on someone who might not be there next week or has a cold. And so this is a really a prime application of generative AI for this kind of video where the voices are good enough. They sound warm, they sound human, and you can just change the text and then have new narration produced. So that’s not something we have shipped yet, but it’s certainly an area where it’s (unclear).
Interesting. So it’s tempting to ask for companies about what they’re planning, but they’re those reluctance to talk about products that aren’t actually out there and are available. But it will be interesting to see what Techsmith does with AI. The changes are happening so fast.
Well, just to wet your appetite a little bit there. Imagine right, imagine that you’ve got a script and you produce the narration audio from it, but now imagine you have to support 10 languages. You can really have a big lever for efficiency if you’re able to do text to speech in multiple languages and have it sound great to those audiences.
With the simple user interface capability. And one thing that you can do with Camtasia in the past is, rather than have full motion video, have screenshots. And then use a sort of Ken Burns effect, you’ve got. There’s a thing you can do within Camtasia where you can make slowly an image get larger and larger and move from the left. I’m telling you what your product does! Left or right. There’s a way of getting around the issues of having localised screenshots. That you can have a generalised one where you know the geography of the screen, but the words are not specific to one language. And then you can have that for international languages. And I guess you could use that and that with different audio narrations for different countries.
Yeah, 100%. You’ve looked down that road, right? You’re like, OK, so we could localise the narration, the voice over, but also what’s on the screen might have text in a certain language. And yeah, I think SUI, simplified user interface. If you want some links for show notes I can provide links. You know, Techsmith. We’re like really in tune with this audience ,and we really want to build tools that are useful to technical communicators. So a few years ago, we invested heavily in Snagit to create really the only functionality that I know of that’s dedicated. To creating this kind of SUI or simplified user interface effect, which is abstracting away a lot of the text. And a lot of the clutter from a typical UI screenshot. And one of the benefits of it like you said, is less or no localization. And we saw a couple years ago Microsoft had a whole bunch of these cool little animated tips for their Edge browser. And they went to the extreme that I’ve seen of any brand. They got rid of all text. There was literally no text yet in UX . And so they were taking the risk that people would still understand like, well, when I see these areas of the screen, I know that it means. You know, this kind of functionality. But you could also understand how it would be a massively smaller lift for them to localise those into. I don’t know how Microsoft, I think last night you might know 40, 50. I don’t know how many languages they localise into, but it’s a lot.
I’m not sure I know. I know the big companies struggled. You look at some of the APIs that Google have and the home page will be in French, but actually the reference documentation is in English. One of the challenges is making content accessible as possible. That covers internationalisation, localization. Another aspect with that that you hear people have concerns when it comes to video is people that are disability sight impaired. Are there any tips or tricks of mitigating the problems? Or changes that might, or making sure that you’re compliant with legislation that people you know have visual all their impairments, they might be useful to know?
Another good thing about that workflow of starting with your script for these kind of scripted very planned videos is you already have your captions. It’s a really nice. It’s not. You don’t have to auto transcribe them, you can start from the handwritten text and be confident that it’s correct. And then yeah, there are workflows and basically every video tool, certainly in Camtasia as well, that you can have a caption track and you can kind of keep that with your video. So as you edit it stays In sync and then produce that out. And there’s the .SRT file that is the standard file type. One thing that some folks don’t know is that, technically, to be fully ADA-compliant, last time I checked, is you also should have a description track. So it should be not just what is being spoken, but things that are being shown that might be described from visual to text, which then can be obviously read out by a screen reader or other adaptive device. So that’s another thing to consider is having maybe some notes and that can be from your storyboard as well. If you’re thinking that way, you know, what am I seeing on screen? If there’s going to be text that’s shown in the UI, or click on this button, maybe the narrator doesn’t say click on the whatever button because that can be very wooden in a video. But maybe the caption track, the description caption track, needs to say, click on the whatever button.
So one of the challenges with technical writing is measuring the value of what’s created. Because if it’s a paper document you never know when your users opened the manual. And even if it’s online, there may not be meaningful metrics that are there to measure that. Because if somebody on the page for 5 minutes, since they’re good. Because they’re reading everything. Or is that bad because they haven’t found the answer immediately? In terms of metrics, is there anything useful that having video can maybe tell you about what people are valuing in the video, whether they’re watching it, that type of thing?
We spend a lot of time with analytics and passively collected data and I just think it’s true of all of it. It tells you what’s happening, but it doesn’t tell you why. It just never does. That was just today pulled up some tutorial pages in Hotjar which tells you it shows you heat maps of where people click. And that shows you where they hover, how far they scroll to what they click, but it doesn’t necessarily tell you did they get what they were wanting. Like you said, is dwell time good or bad? But we do get things certainly in video. And I think depending on where you host it, if you host it in Wistia or YouTube or somewhere else, most of those platforms really have spent a lot of time trying to provide useful, helpful, analytics that will answer questions like, is this engaging people? So you have how far through it they watched? I think, in general, if you made a 4 minute video and people drop after the first 30 seconds, there’s probably a problem. Unless you put all the goodies in the first 30 seconds. And you’re like I know that I front-loaded the content, and most people get what they wanted. I think, ultimately, it’s best if you can do a bridge of or a combo of quant and qual data. Quantitative and qualitative data. Looking at those quantitative data points can help. Have really good questions that then you can talk to some users and find out qualitatively where your hunch is correct. And then inverse right the conversations you have about hey, what did you find most helpful in my content and why they can lead you to some questions that you might be able to answer with the quant data. So hopefully that doesn’t sound like a dodge. But I would say the video does have a lot of richness to the analytics you can get from within the video, depending on the platform you use to host it. PDFs are notoriously tough, right? Maybe you get a download that number and that’s it, and you’re like, I don’t know what happened after that. Comparatively, you get a lot more with video.
You just reminded me. I think with this Wistia you get, if somebody rewinds the video and plays it again, it will give you a sort of heat bar of the bits that people watch more than once, like a heat map type of thing based on time rather than wear on the screen.
How do you interpret that Ellis when someone rewatches part of a video? Is that a win?
Right. If that’s a good question, isn’t it? I only take it positively, but it could be that they don’t understand what you’ve said the first time, and they’re playing it back to try and make out what it is that you’ve said. That’s a very good question. It’s like you say quantitative and qualitative, the trying to get the two of those.
Yeah. I’ve been in this in those conversations. Is that a good thing that they rewatched it? Did they maybe not understand it? Was the pacing too fast? But it’s good. At least it gives us places to dig in. We do some surveying right on our tutorial pages too, and our team, we call them the customer education team, at Techsmith. We empower them with all the tools they need, right. They own the pages, they’ve actually moved them over to WordPress. Now so they can have like really deep control over those pages and then they can put on things like a Hotjar survey and answer all kinds of questions like, what brought you here today? And, what were you trying to accomplish? And as you know, I will not say anything useful to your audience about this, but there’s multiple reasons someone is accessing the content, right? There’s sort of your reference, quick reference, answer a question, troubleshoot a problem. There’s I need to learn it and I’m sitting down and I need the instruction. And you can’t necessarily know who is in which category. So it’s really about trying to serve each of those segments as best we can with the same content or maybe different content depending on if you have different kinds of content you.
So we’ve got a conference coming up in the UK called TCUK and we did a webinar. What was it, you know, a couple of months ago and there seems to be in forums as well. A big question at the moment about the future of technical communication, what’s the role of the technical writer with generative AI coming along? With video coming along. Is it that they’re going to be like Cinderella and all these ugly sisters are going to come along and say, no, we do video, we do AI and things that normally technical writers would do. Other people say that they do. Have you had any feedback or thoughts on what is likely to happen in the future? What the impact on the skills that people need for their career? Where is the career is evolving? That’s a very long question. Pick out an answer from that.
Yeah, I mean.
I think it’s natural at an Inflexion point like this, right? Especially where a new technology is in the middle of the hype cycle. Gartner uses that term. It’s the hype cycle and it’s true. You know that it dominated headlines, especially early this year and some now it’s natural to ask what is this going to do to my job, my role the way. I encourage folks to play around with it for sure. I’ve done a little bit of that myself. I thought, could I get ChatGPT to give me a good outline for a video I wanted to create? Hey, I want to create a video of this type with this sort of information. Write me an outline and then I can make it better. So I think there will definitely be some ways that AI assists sort of that co-pilot or helper. And I think there will be some massive shifts to workflows, right? Like the whole thing we’re talking about text to speech. I used to use a service not to pick on them, but it was a service called. Voices.com. where you could very efficiently send off your script and have multiple voices, human actors read a bit of it. And then you pick the one you like best and you hire them to do your whole script. And it was super-fast and pretty cheap, and a bunch of those people were out of work radio announcers. And you could tell because they would use their bigger notes or voice, you know. And you’re like, man, they kind of got whacked by the death, so to speak, of radio and disc jockeys. Well, now those folks like, oh, gosh, a robot literally is going to do that and so much more efficiently. And maybe you get to train the bot you know. It’ll have your voice. But you do that once, so there will be some of that creative destruction. I think that happens in certain roles. But ultimately, I guess I’m pretty bullish still on human ingenuity to create content that has that spark that AI just maybe won’t.
Yeah, I agree that I looked at a tool yesterday which you could give it a theme. It would create a video, two or three minute, video. And the script that came up with was pretty good. Second time round, I asked it to create a video on how certain something could help technical for save time. And the script was good and could be edited. The images were stock images and they were so cheesy and generic that it really detracted from it. And there’s one of those things where you could take the scripts and then create your own video, B-roll and the like and put those in. And you would end up with a good video. So I can see it working in that way. And I’ve for all of these changes at the moment. There’s a Planet Money NPR podcast on accountants and the introduction of the spreadsheet in the 1980s. And there used to be people that would create paper spreadsheets. And if somebody were to say, what happens if we increase our prices by 10%, how much profit will we make, or what will impact on sales? And they’d spend days going through all the formulas and doing. With the spreadsheet that could be done in 10 minutes. But we still have for accountants. We might not have bookkeepers entering stuff, but we still have accountants. Because now they do even more sophisticated what-if modelling and management accounting and planning with the tool. It didn’t take their job away, it just meant they could do faster, fancier things, and they did previously. I am of the opinion that tools like video and you’ve mentioned Audiate, and again with AI, that if technical writers on top of these things and use them and show that they know how they can get value from them, then the future’s positive. And if they sit there and wishing it went away, and then other people will step in and take advantage of that. So I think there’s an opportunity there to take these skills, take these technologies, and use them in the positive way. I mean, there’s a new role, probably most in the last three months, which is prompt engineer. And a prompt engineer is somebody who knows linguistics, can write instructions, and clear writing, and can sequence information. Which are exactly the skills that technical authors, technical writers, have. So there are more opportunities there, with the skills that technical writers have for the future.
Yeah. And I think a way to think about that might be, can you add to your list of skills, technical writer, prompt engineering, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shift to a new role, but you’re conversant with the platforms, you know, which one is going to give the best results. And you know what to put in to get those results. I love that you mentioned Planet Money. I listen to them too. Did you catch the one where they tried to have AI write their whole podcast episode and they spent I think 3 episodes talking about the back story of that? One thing that struck me is the episode it created was like nowhere near their best work. I mean it was like and I think they said, they’re like it would be like, if we had a first time intern create an episode from start to finish. And it would be OK, but it wouldn’t be stellar, right? I kind of said something earlier that I want to make sure I correct a little, which is that it can’t be creative. I do think it can be creative and I thought that was fascinating the Planet Money folks found that it was great at writing headlines. It was actually like, really good. And that’s something that’s hard. I was a writer for years, and writing headlines was super hard. So hey, if it’s good at writing headlines, awesome. Outsource that to the bot and a technical writer could do that too. Like maybe it creates the summary it creates the “what should I title this video” at least? It could give you 3-4 ideas and then you take the best or work with that and make it better. So I like the metaphor of make AI your intern, right. And figure out how to outsource some parts of the job that you don’t love or could really use a hand with or just speed up your efficiency and then you’re still the one with the job. But it’s just your support.
Yeah, you’re right, that episode, they created a newer version of the presenter, Kenny Malone. And it was really flat. It didn’t have the unevenness of the natural human voice of the starters, the pauses and all of that. It was just it didn’t regulate enough. I don’t think. And I love the way that Microsoft talk about the idea of a co-pilot that these are things. And like you said, to take away the mundane things that traditionally you’d get somebody an intern to do. If you had access to an intern. And free up time to do the more interesting and sophisticated things. Is there any other question I haven’t asked you that I should have asked you?
Oh man. Well, we haven’t talked as much about imagery and that’s fine. Screenshots. That’s near and dear to my heart, because obviously I work on Snagit. Our topic today was video. Back to the topic of getting started. I think that lowering the bar to people just trying video the first time, one method. And you kind of alluded to this yourself is the Ken Burns effect. But you can actually start with a series of screenshots and if you want to go super simple, straightforward, you can do all of this within Snagit. You can take a set of screenshots you could apply that Simplified User Interface effect. And then there’s actually a video creation mode. And Snagit that lets you kind of record those and voiceover them from start to finish. So again, not trying to hit the tool here, but really just say it’s as simple as that. And you’ve got a video or you can do it as an animated GIF. I think that’s another great way to start with thinking video in your content. Because you don’t have to worry about voices and narration and audio quality, which as you know as a podcaster is, it’s hard. But you can also start with short animations that have no audio and embed those in your content. To sort of show, here’s a three-step process. And it might not be obvious from the screenshot right that you hover over this and then this thing appears cool. Make that a GIF and embed it right in the content. So I think those are some ways to just think about getting started. A more accessible way that hopefully no one would feel too intimidated by. And if you already have access to Snagit, which a lot of people do in techcomm, explore the tool a little. There’s some basic video creation capabilities right there.
The other thing I would say just about that what to cut out. At least think about it, depending on your brand and your relationship with your customers. We’ve actually had some customers say we leave in those little mistakes. And we hear from people from customers like I love that you kind of stumbled over your word or you know you gave a wry smile when you didn’t you know, mispronounce it whatever it is. You know. Depending on your brand and your relationship with your customers, take a look at TikTok. It’s either the world right and a lot of it is not. This highly scripted perfected , there is that too. But there’s just a lot of off the cuff. People kind of like that. They kind of like to know the people behind the brand.
I think we’ve covered pretty much everything that I wanted to cover, so I would think it’s just to say thank you. It was lovely talking to you Daniel. So we will include some of the things that we mentioned, the topics in the show notes, if people want to contact to you, if they’ve got any questions they want to go direct, what’s your socials? What’s the best way of getting hold of you?
Yeah, for finding me personally, my preferred method is LinkedIn. I’m still on the platform formerly known as Twitter. It’s going to be hard for me to give up that name. Yeah, LinkedIn is sort of where I tend to have my professional presence the most, and people can reach out to me. I love to connect there and then maybe take it to e-mail, or maybe I get to meet you in person. I’m headed to a conference this fall in September. Called CollabCon. I’m excited about that, so hopefully we’ll be at some more shows coming up.
So Daniel as in it’s normally spelled and Foster as it’s normally spelled as well, so it’s nice. And easy, great, lovely.