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Screencast-O-Matic: Easy Audio-Visual Instruction.

Pre-production Overview

Phase 1: Planning and Drafting

  • Create a storyboard and script.
  • Submit storyboard and script for review.
  • Consult with other library departments as needed to confirm accuracy of content.
  • Log onto and set up Screencast-O-Matic (SOM), including where the drive and folder for where your recording will be saved.

Pre-production - Step by Step

For most screencasts, using a script or an outline is recommended. Scripts will keep your video focused and cut down on editing time.

1. Know your audience
Will they be familiar with the terminology and concepts presented in the video? Do you need to make a separate introductory video?

2. Use a template.
Consistency in the design and layout of your scripts helps you begin to produce more videos, especially if other stakeholders are involved. 

3. Take screenshots as you write.
Match screenshots to the narration in your video so you know what action to illustrate as each part of your script is spoken. Taking screenshots as you write helps you review the process, which helps you write better and demonstrate your points when you share the script with others.

4. How would you explain it to someone over the phone?
Write how you would talk it out. This results in conversational, natural-sounding narration.

5. Provide context.
Briefly explain why the user is following these directions. Set up the scene before walking them through it.

7. As you write and edit the script, read it out loud.
Do you sound natural? Is the sentence too long? This also helps you write transitions between actions.

8. Consider writing a canned intro and/or conclusion for branding and consistency if you plan on producing a series of screencasts.

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As you write your script, walking through what you want to cover in your video is a good idea.  Take screenshots as you go and paste them into your script along side your narration.  Here are 2 options for taking screenshots:

1.  Windows:
Start>All Programs>Accessories>Snipping Tool

Download Microsoft Snip Editor (

2.  Mac:
All options will save the screenshot to the desktop. Hold the Control Key to save to the Clipboard instead.
Cmd + Shift + 3: Takes a screenshot of your entire screen.
Cmd + Shift + 4: Lets you select a specific area of your screen to capture.
Cmd + Shift + 4 + Spacebar + Click on a window: Takes a screenshot of the chosen window.

A script helps with avoiding speaking mistakes and rambling narration that occurs when you just "wing it". 

It also helps you stay away from saying "um", "uh", or "ah".

But, a good script is more than just narration. It also describes what is happening on the screen during the narration.

Consider using a storyboard to sketch the scenes in your video.

A good storyboard shows where transitions, callouts, title, clips, zooms, and other effects will go. Some people combine the script and storyboard into one document.

Tutorials Checklist

Last updated on Feb 12, 2024 1:17 PM