If you’re creating video content, this tutorial will show you exactly how to create beautiful video with slides using Screenflow.

And while we’ve covered how to setup a studio, given DIY video tutorials and tried to share our best editing tips, there’s one thing we’ve yet to cover: how to record content with slides & screencasts (aka the majority of most people’s courses!)

Bottom line, being able to quickly record slides with voiceover, a fast talking head video or tech tutorial of what’s happening on your computer screen is the quickest and easiest way to create valuable course content. It’s the fastest way to go live and make money now.

So we’re going to show you how.

In this post, I’ll cover basic slide design and give you free templates, show you how I record video & give step-by-step editing instructions. 

Key Concepts

Before beginning, you want to know that there are three common types of video content you can create for your course.

There’s obviously more types of video content than this, but it’s the most common and easiest to create. 

The Talking Head:

Great for conveying emotion. Best used in introduction videos or videos meant to excite and engage your audience. 

Talking head video

Screencasts + Voice:

Great for student learning and fast to create.

Slides + Voice: Good for outlining talking points and aiding student memory as you discuss content in detail (best paired with talking head videos)

Slides with voice over video

Computer Screen + Voice: Best for technology tutorials and showing step-by-step instructions for how to do something

Screen capture with voice over video

ScreenFlows + Video:

Best used if you don’t want to edit together talking head videos with screencasts + voice. Students engage well with this content.

Screenflow with talking head video

Our Advice

HIGH QUALITY: Only using screencasts can get boring, so edit together talking head videos with screencasts + voice, or change up video types between lectures. 


ROUGH & DIRTY: Use Screenflows + Video. It 100% works, but don’t try to charge over $200 for a course filmed this way.   

In this post, I’m going to focus on creating videos with slides. If you want to create talking head videos, you’ll want to read up on DIY Home Video Studio Setups & DIY Video Content since a video of just your face put an emphasis on lighting, studio setup, and sound recording.

Creating Slides 

As you create slides for your online course, remember the goal: to convey valuable information and get student to their transformation as quickly as possible.

This does not include fancy animations, paragraphs of text or mad Photoshop skills. Your slide decks don’t need to be fancy.

They NEED to convey the information you’re sharing, clearly, concisely and in a way that helps students organize key concepts in their head and internalize what you’re teaching.

Before creating your slides, you need to make 1 decision. Do you want to create slides with a voiceover? Or do you want slides with a video of you presenting in the bottom right hand corner?

Screenshot_2016-03-15_10.50.42.png Screenshot_2016-03-15_10.47.46.png

You can incorporate both into your course, but for the slides that will have a video in the corner, make sure you don’t add content in this area of your slides, otherwise it’ll be completely covered by the video. YIKES!

Our designer places an orange box on her slides where the videos appear to remind us not to place any content in this area.

Slides with video placeholder

If you’re advanced with videos & editing, you can shoot talking head videos and edit in clips of the slides - which is what we’ve done with many of our own Teachable courses.

Tips from Teachable's Designer

In this next section, I'm going to give you tips to design your own slides, but a good and easier place to start is by downloading our free PowerPoint and Keynote templates and check out our super useful slideshare on how to create great presentations.

Designed here at Teachable, they're ready for your content or customization and completely free. Just click the orange button below.


Layout tips

Before you start designing anything, make sure your slides are in the video format you will be shooting in. For example, we shoot in a 16:9 aspect ratio, so in Keynote we design the slides in widescreen format.

Slide layout

Using slides that are in the same format as your video ensures that no information is cut off and makes editing wayyyyy easier.

Keep Slide Text Brief

Do not put paragraphs of information on your slides - it’s too much to take in, and not to mention, your audience will become distracted by trying to read what’s on the slides and will stop listening to you. Instead, use bullets or VERY short sentences. Use multiple slides for a point, if needed. Your audience will thank you, and it makes everything look better.

Color tips

If you already have a brand - pick colors that go with it.

If you don’t have a brand or color palette already, that’s ok! Picking colors for your slides is an easy place to start. Choose 2-3 colors to use throughout your slides.

Pick one dark and one light color because they stand out the best when used together. Then choose one as an accent color for shapes or other design elements, like calling out important points.

As you can see below, the colors in the right hand column look great together. The light blue pops on the charcoal grey background and so does the dark green text on the pale green background.

Colors and contrasts

They’re also easy to read, which is definitely another factor when you’re choosing your colors.

So keep in mind ease of legibility & how the colors look together when picking yours.

To help you choose colors that work well together, here are three great sites to use:

  1. Colour Lovers 
  2. Coolors
  3. Adobe Color 

Every color has certain characteristics associated with it. Pink, for example is often associated as a feminine and romantic color, green is associated with wealth and balance, while blue is cool and trustworthy. Pick something that conveys the right emotions.

If you see a color combo you like, try to replicate it. Obviously don’t copy exactly, but say they have a nice red & orange combo - try finding similar hues that work well for you & your brand or intended brand.

The colors that you choose for your slides can be used as a solid background colors, in shapes or other design elements on the slide.

For text, use one color for the header text or when you want to emphasize an important word. And use another color for the body text.

If you're stuck or need inspiration, check out our SlideShare account. I do this all the time if I’m stuck on a design. Don’t reinvent the wheel, if someone does something nice visually, replicate it! Tweek it to fit your colors or look and voila!

Typography tips

Choose a serif or sans serif font. They are the easiest to read.

A serif font has the tails on the edges of the letters, while the sans serif does not. I prefer sans serif fonts because they seem more friendly and casual, plus I find them easier to read AND on mobile devices, they are actually easier to read.

Avoid using decorative or script fonts for your slides because they’re harder to read, especially when small. They are great to call out an important word or phrase (especially if its the only word on the slide). Yes, these fonts add pizazz to your slides, but to get a lot of information across, go with a serif or sans serif.

Here is a great list of the most commonly used fonts. If you’re unsure of what to use, pick some- thing from this list.

Commonly used fonts

Now, although this list is great to get started with, you can have a bit more fun with fonts. Start by exploring fontsquirrel.com. It’s filled with commercially free fonts that can really give your content something extra.

Some of my favorite sans serif fonts are lato, raleway (the Teachable website font you're reading), and open sans. Just like the color sites, you can search by keywords and font styles (hand lettered, serif, script, etc.)

All you have to do is download them and install them on your computer.

One last thing to remember is to make sure the fonts you choose are large enough to read! Don’t go for a size 20 font. Start at least with 60 points for the body text and 112 for the headlines. - Bigger is always easier to read.

Image tips

Click here for my favorite stock image sites, that I literally use daily (I’m not joking)! I love these sites because they aren’t your typical stock photo sites. Nothing super cheesy or posed here.

All of these sites are commercially free, which means that you can use these images for anything and does not require attribution.

Now that you have found your images, it’s time to talk about using text with them.

Tip #1: If the image is a darker image, use white as your text color. I’ve found that white stands out the best on images versus some other lighter color. Test out other light colors if white doesn’t look great. Just make sure you can read it :)

Tip #2: If the image is light, use dark colored text.

Tip #3: If the photo has a lot of colors or a lot of different stuff going on, add a shape over it. It can be anything - circle, square, rectangle, maybe
even a star, and then add the text on top. When doing this, make sure to add the text in its own text box. This way you have more control over the formatting versus if you added the text directly into the shape.

Tip #4: Another way to make text readable on busy photos is to add a solid color rectangle over the image and reduce the opacity. Just make a rectangle the size of the slide, place it over the photo and then reduce the opacity till you reach your desired image to color ratio.

Just make sure to keep your text on top of the image and the rectangle.

Plus, this is another way to bring your brand colors into your slides. Yay!

Tip #5: You can also reverse that process. Instead of putting a color on top of the image, just reduce the opacity of the image itself so you can see it faintly in the background. 

Screenflow Tutorial: Recording Content

Once your slides are designed and you’re ready to record course content, it’s time to play with technology.

I’ll be blunt: Use ScreenFlow for Mac and Camtasia for PC. You can download it for $99.

Yes there are other options. Yes there are free options, but in our experience the free options are too difficult and glitchy and the more expensive options aren’t worth it. ScreenFlow is what we use in all of our courses and that's why I'm going to demo.

If you have camtasia and would like to contribute a blog post on how to edit with this software, contact me blog@teachable.com.

How to use ScreenFlow to record video content

Screencast + voice over content

1. Get setup. You can read our DIY Studio Guide, but remember to:

  • Have your computer charged and open
  • If you’re using a microphone have it on and set the right distance from your mouth
  • Make sure there’s not background noise or white noise like the AC audible
  • Check for echo, if you’re room has an echo grab some pillows, sweaters, blankets to absorb the noise
  • Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Here was my setup: 

Video recording setup

(I'm in the stock room of my best friend's boutique. Not fancy, but quiet, full of clothing to muffle echo and I got an enitre module of content done in 3 hours) 

2. Open your deck to the very beginning of the presentation (or don’t if you’re not going through slides)

3. Click on the screen flow icon and click though File > New

Screenflow tutorial 1

4. Adjust the recording size here

Screenflow tutorial 2

5. Check your recording options here

Screenflow tutorial 3

6. Hit the red button (it counts down from 5, but you can adjust this in “Preferences”

Screenflow tutorial 4

7. As the time is counting down, hit “start” on your presentation

8. Start speaking just after the recording starts and flip through your slides as you speak over them

9. Quickly end the presentation using the apple+shift+2 command when you’re done.

10. If you plan to edit off the ending, make a loud noise and then hit the command.

Here is a video tutorial:  


For a screencast + video

The only difference is that your computer will be recording video not just voice. You’ll want to make sure

  1. Make sure your camera or laptop is eye level
  2. Do NOT tilt the laptop screen, keep it vertical
  3. Use a black or white background
  4. Make sure your outfit is a solid color and doesn’t match your background
  5. Appearance, keep it in mind. I prefer long sleeves, no low cut necklines and I wear my eye makeup a bit darker than normal.

While you're recording, make sure to look at the camera. You can insert presenter notes into you slides if you’ve written a script or download a telebpromter app on a tablet and use this to assist you.  

Or, you can simply reherse your script before recording.

It’s a best practice to keep your course lectures short. This has the added benefit of making them easy to remember in chunks. If you’re comfortable, memorize what what you want to say for 1 lecture and record it in one take.

You can then review the script and content for a second lecture and record it when you’re comfortable. 

Talking Head Videos:

As mentioned, this post is focused on creating slide content, but you can use ScreenFlow to create quick low-budget talking head videos. They’re not beautiful, but they get the job done.

Simply follow the same steps below, but instead of recording what’s on your screen, record with the computer lens, by clicking "Record Video Form" and selecting your camera. 

Video recordingAs mentioned before be sure to read up on DIY Studio Setup and DIY Videos.

Editing your video content

Whatever type of content you’ve created, ScreenFlow is an amazingly SIMPLY tool for editing videos.

I’ve been known to drag in high quality talking head videos to their program, because it’s easy and hard to mess up.

In the video below, I give a tutorial for clipping your videos and editing out small mistakes. But to be honest, cutting our errors is not something you should worry about or do.

What?!?! Yeah, I mean it.

Being such a perfectionist that you’re cutting every “um” or “ah” is going to lead to an incredibly frustrating course creation experience and the end result might even be worse for students than had you left them in. 

Spending time on “perfection” means it takes longer to launch your course and you’re probably not putting your time where you should. Additional time can be spent giving bonus worksheets or group coaching – which is extremely valuable. Students also like people who are relaxed and relateable, not script-reading machines.

Review what you want to say, hit record, present, end. Let it be.

Where editing comes in hand is for large chunks that you redo in the same take. For instance, sometimes I’ll start a lecture, mess up the beginning, stop, restart and the second attempt is perfect. This is fine.

With ScreenFlow, cutting off the beginning and endings of videos is SUPER simple and fast.  

Here’s the video tutorial (written tutorial to follow)

Editing like this it’s important to keep your lectures short. This is better for students because it munchable blah blah

Edit out beginning and end noise 

1. Use the scrubber to find the area where you start speaking and look for where the spike indicates audio.

Video editing 1

You can magnify the editor to assist. 

2. Drag the scrubber to right before the spike, select both the sound and visual, and hit T'

Video editing 2

3. Pull the clips apart, hit play to test what you just did. If you want to redo it, apply +Z to undo and retry

Video editing 3

4. Delete the section you don’t want by highlighting the clipped bars and hitting delete and then dragging the bars to the start of the video

Video editing 4

Editing out a LARGE mistake in the middle of the video

Let’s assume I hate section 3.5 second to 6 second because I cussed and it has to go.

1. Move your cursor to the start of what you want to cut. Highlight the sound and visual bars. 

Video editing 5

2. Hit T where the naughty section starts

Video editing 6

3. Move the cursor to where you want the clip to end, highlight both bars, hit T

Video editing 7

4. Delete the middle section

Video editing 8

5. Merge the bars by dragging them next to each other

Video editing 9

Add transitions to the beginning of your video

  1. Move the cursor to the start of your clip
  2. Hit Edit from the top tool bar and select “Add Starting Transition”

Video editing 10THAT’S IT!

Wanna know how to add an ending transition? 

  1. Drag the cursor to the end of the clips and go to edit, select “Add Ending Transition”

This is super simple stuff and looks professional. No need to pay for an editor when you can do this on your own in a matter of minutes and edit it to exactly what you want.

Exporting Your Videos To Your Teachable Course

When you’re happy with your clip, it’s time to export your videos. 

This is as simple as going to file, export and selecting your settings. 

ALERT: Make sure you select “Dimensions” > Scale by 100 (NOT 50).

Exporting video

This is extremely important because it affects the quality and resolution of your course videos. If this is small, it doesn’t matter how many precautions you took while filming, you course is going to look gritty, low-budget and bad.

However, what you’ll notice is that the video will be huge! Check out this 5 minute videos that’s over 57 MB!

Video file size

For that, you’ll want to use Handbrake. It’s completely free and can be downloaded here.

Using handbrake

1. Drag your video file from your finder to the icon at the bottom of your screen

Using handbrake 2

2. Go to picture settings and set anamorphic to strict and select a custom cropping and adjust all numbers to 0.

using handbrake 3

3. Select browse and set where you’d like the video to be saved and give it a new name if you want

4. Log into your course > curriculum > create a lecture & name it & click on the teal box to “Choose Files”

Upload video to course 1

5. Select your file and hit upload

That’s it! You can create a new lecture at the top of the screen or simply use the right arrow key to move to the next lecture from within one to upload multiple videos.

Eventually the inside of your course will start to look like this:

Upload video to course 2

And a preview can be seen from your sales page / landing page:

Upload video to course 3

What do you think? Was this helpful? What have you done? Let me know in the comment section below.

How to use Screenflow to create digital content


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Ashley Hockney

Written by Ashley Hockney

Ashley Hockney is the Content Marketer & Writer at Teachable (Create & Sell Online Courses). Her knowledge spans both the marketing and literary fields. Her background is in food & beverage PR i.e. she wants to talk to you about single malts.