It's Halloween season and I'm ready to be terrified out of my wits. For some people that takes ghouls or ghosts, but all it takes to spook me is sitting down in front of a camera.

Up until this point in our course creation process, we've been setting the scene, so to speak, but now it's go time. Recording video is intimidating, but with the groundwork we've laid and the tips I'm sharing, we know our courses are providing value.

We've worked hard pricing our courses and setting up our sales pages, but our course content is going to be the star of the show. It's what your students will be judging you and your business off of, and it will determine whether your students recommend your course to others.

For the past few weeks, I've been walking you all through my online course creation process. If you've missed anything, you can check it out here:

Creating your lesson plan

Before you film your videos, you should have a general idea of what each video should accomplish and the key points you need to hit.

Before we get started

Creating video content for your online course can feel like a daunting task, but with the right preparation it can be easy. Check out this post to read about organizing your content, writing scripts, filming video, and editing your online course.You're providing a shortcut to a transformation, so you want to bring your students results as efficiently as possible. Don't add extra content for the sake of adding content.

It's easier to fall into the trap of believing more content = better, but when it comes down to it: if you can bring your students to the same results in 3 hours instead of five, they'll appreciate how quickly you deliver results.

The value of your course comes from the quality of your content and transformation, not from how long your videos are, or how many of them you have.

Mapping out the steps

Screen_Capture.pngThe first thing you should do is write out every step your audience needs to take to reach their transformation start to finish. 

From there you can divide those steps out into lessons or modules and plan videos out for each.

Using the Teachable Curriculum editor it's easy to map out your lesson plan and rearrange sections as you see fit. 

Your lessons should build on each other and provide your students with little wins along the way so they can see their progress and stay excited about taking your online course.

Writing a script

Once you've got your lesson plan mapped out, you should write out your script to get each video right the first time. 

My script writing method is fairly simple, and it's something I touched on last week, too. 

I make bullet points, writing down every single thing that I want to cover in the video. Then I rearrange those bullet points into an order that makes the most sense for me.

I might elaborate on each of those bullet points, but for the most part I keep it simple because even though I am, I don't want to sound like I'm reading off of a script. 

By not writing out what you want to say word for word, you'll sound more natural.

Creating videos

Last week, we talked about setting up a studio and the different types of videos you can create. This week we'll go more in-depth into how you can actually go about creating those videos. 

Sit down videos

SIT_DOWN.pngThese are easily the most intimidating videos because it's just you - no slides or fancy graphics to hide behind. 

Even if your entire course is going to be slides and voice over, I recommend doing at least one sit down video to introduce your course. Showing your face in that first video will help your audience better connect with you.

Getting over camera shyness

Last week, someone mentioned that they'd love to do sit down videos but they're camera shy so they don't feel like it's in the cards for them.

That's totally fine and you don't need sit down videos - voice overs are just as great - but if you want to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, here are a few tips:

  • Practice! You knew I was going to say this one, huh? It's obvious, but the more you do something the better you'll get. I think I filmed my first video five different times before I felt even a little comfortable, and now that I've been filming every week it's just a normal thing.

    The first time is terrifying - the tenth time it's habit. 

    As silly as it might feel, practice talking in front of the camera - you don't even have to be talking about anything course related. The more often you're in front of the camera, the easier it'll get.
  • Don't watch yourself in the viewfinder. If you have a flip out screen, use it to focus your camera and then turn it away. 

    If you're watching yourself you're going to be worried that you look ridiculous, or wondering if you should have worn a blue shirt instead of your gray one.

    Silly little self-conscious thoughts will distract you from what you should actually be focusing on.
  • Know what you're going to say before you start filming. This is where the script comes in handy. If you have a good idea of what you're going to say and you're not flying by the seat of your pants, you'll have a lot less to worry about.

    Even practicing your script just once or twice before getting started will help you be more confident in front of the camera.

Floating head videos

Silly name, functional idea. Floating head videos are essentially when you've got a video within a slide. 

FLOATING_HEAD_BLOG.pngIf you think back to your high school or college days, you might recall your teachers and professors using slides to assist in their lectures because adding that extra visual helps keep students focused and on topic. 

Creating floating head videos is fairly simple, all you need to do is design slides (make sure to leave space in the bottom right area for your video so you don't block any text!) and then use a program like ScreenFlow or Camtasia to add video to the slides.

On a side note, we have resources that will allow you to learn how to use Screenflow. Plus, be sure to download these 3 Free PowerPoint and Keynote Templates we built for you to create great presentations.

Voice over videos

The most basic type of video you can make is a slideshow with a voice over. These are great if you want to get things done as quickly as possible without having to worry about filming yourself. They still provide a great deal of value.

You can use any program to create your voice over videos - most programs from Windows Movie Maker to ScreenFlow allow you to record voice overs right on the screen. 

Editing your videos

Once you've got all of your content designed and recorded, editing can be an entire new battle in itself. 

Video editing isn't hard once you get the hang of the program you're using, but unfortunately, it seems like every single program has an entirely different learning curve.

I use Windows Movie Maker and Camtasia for my videos, so those are the two programs I'll be walking you through in the video. For my Mac friends, know that ScreenFlow is going to work very similarly to Camtasia, and there are hundreds of iMovie videos on YouTube that can help you learn the ropes.

Windows Movie Maker

If I'm being honest - Windows Movie Maker isn't a great program because it's features are very basic, but it gets the job done. 

Unfortunately, you won't be able to create floating head videos in Movie Maker, but you can edit sit down videos and add voice overs to slide videos with the program.

Sit down videos

Here are the key things you'll need to know how to do while editing sit down videos:

  • Setting starting points. When you're filming, most likely the first ten seconds of your video won't be usable. They'll be you adjusting, looking at yourself in the viewfinder, and mentally preparing to start speaking.

    To get rid of those ten seconds, drag the bar to right before you start speaking and hit the "I" button on your keyboard. That will set your start point.
  • Splitting a clip. We all mess up during filming - it's part of being human - but that means extra work editing out those slip ups. To get rid of your mistakes, drag the bar to where your mistake begins and hit the "M" key on your keyboard. This splits the clip.

    Now you can drag your bar to where the mistake ends and either hit the "I" key again to set the start point for that clip, or you can hit the "M" key again which will split the clip on the other end, isolating your mistake.

    When the mistake is isolated, you can click it to select and then hit the "delete" key on your keyboard.
  • Setting ending points. Like the beginning of your videos, your end probably has footage you can't use either. Whether you're celebrating the end of a video well done or letting out a sigh of relief, you don't want that in your final product.

    To set an end point all you have to do is drag your bar to where you want the clip to end and hit the "O" button on your keyboard.

Voice over videos

Adding voice overs is a lot trickier on Windows Movie Maker than it is with other programs, but I'll do my best to explain it (though I recommend watching the video!)

  • Adding voice overs. You can either import a sound clip of a prerecorded voice over by clicking "Add Music", or record your voice over right on the program by clicking "Record Narration."
  • Editing clips. Unfortunately, Movie Maker doesn't have a screen record option so you can't time your narration with your slides. You'll have to edit your slides to fit your narration.

    First, upload your voice over to Movie Maker and use the "M" key to split the voice over whenever the slide should change. Then upload your slides into Movie Maker in chronological order and drag them to fit each voice over clip.

    Trust me, this makes more sense on video.


I underestimated Camtasia for a long time, but now that I'm using it I've realized how powerful of a program it is. 

Camtasia makes editing all three types of videos easy, but the biggest perk is that you can create floating head videos effortlessly.

Floating head videos

When you're making a floating head video in Camtasia, all you'll need to do is open up your slides to full screen in whichever program you're using, open Camtasia's "Record Screen" option, and turn on the microphone and webcam. 

From there you can adjust the size of the video and where you want it to fit on the screen.

Voice overs

With Camtasia's "Record Screen" option you can open up your slides on whatever program you're using and record the voice over while clicking through the slides. 

This means you won't have to tediously edit the timing of each slide to fit the voice over like you need to with Movie Maker.

Now go get 'em!

By going in with a plan and knowing exactly what you're accomplishing with each video, you'll be able to confidently film great content for your course. 

And no matter which program you're using to edit, learn the ropes before you get started and get comfortable with the program.

What tips do you have for getting comfortable on camera?

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Morgan Timm

Written by Morgan Timm

Morgan Timm is a content marketer at Teachable with a background in blogging and social media. She runs Mostly Morgan, a lifestyle blog with over 4 million lifetime page views, and she recently started a blogging and business site,