As I’ve said in my numerous blogs, Lodestar is a big proponent of training. However, all too often, companies see the value in licenses and installation, but cheap out on training. Without proper training, maximum ROI cannot be achieved. An inexpensive and cutting edge way to decrease training costs to team members is to create short instructional videos that can be accessed from a shared drive or company web portal. Not only can videos be made to demonstrate how to use Cognos products, but also on common IT policies and procedures, and common questions. The best part is that they are reusable. This means that as additional employees are added, there is no additional cost to the company, only value.
Making these videos is easier than you think. Lodestar uses Camtasia recording software to create internal videos used for on-boarding policies and training. We also have also created custom Cognos BI tutorials for several of our clients.
Camtasia Studio is the complete recording solution. It provides editing capabilities and the abilities to share high-quality screen video on the Web, YouTube, DVD, CD and portable media players, including iPod. It easily records your screen, PowerPoint, multiple audio tracks, and webcam video to create compelling training videos, screencasts, and presentations right from your personal PC.
Although the software is easy to install and use, take heed of my mistakes and reduce your learning curve by avoiding these pitfalls and “gotcha” moments.
Write a Script!
Weird things can happen to your mental and physical abilities when you try to record your voice and move the cursor at the same time. Software you’ve been teaching and demonstrating for a year suddenly becomes foreign. As soon as you click the record button, you are unable to form proper sentences. Your tongue feels swollen and you feel like you have a mouth full of marbles. To overcome this, write a script. Not only will it help your stage fright, but you will increase the professional dialect tenfold. This is especially true when creating a PowerPoint video, but even when trying to describe a feature or property, it helps to write it down as a fully formed and clear thought.
Practice Out Loud
After you have written the script, practice speaking it out loud. This serves two purposes. First, it will help you rewrite your script to be more natural and in more of a conversational tone. Second, the more comfortable you are with the material, the less takes and editing you will have to do on the back end. Also, it is a good way to warm up your voice.
Before Recording – Double Check Screen Settings
A gotcha that has bitten me hard several times is not having the recorded image set properly. Several times I have recorded a masterpiece; my voice was right on, the scripting was read perfectly and I effortlessly moved the mouse from object to object, only to find out during editing that part of the screen was cut off. Trust me when I say this is absolutely devastating and soul crashing. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, get in the habit every time before you hit the record button to press the full screen button and then adjust as needed.
Record Small Segments
Breaking up your recording into logical segments not only helps you keep the energy up and, if things do get funky in the recording, it’s only a minor setback. Sometimes, for an unexplained reason, the audio and visual don’t match up and since they are recorded on the same track, there isn’t anything you can do but re-record.
Edit as You Go
Editing your takes as you go is a preference, but I find that it is easier to edit a segment while your mistakes are fresh in your mind. You can then add special effects at the end to add emphasis.
Finally – you’ll get better!
It’s like anything; the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll get and the more relaxed you’ll be about the whole process.
If you would love to decrease training costs and increase the ROI of your BI/BA investment though building a public video library but don’t have the time or manpower to get it done, contact one of our representatives at Lodestar to get a quote on having training videos made for your organization.