Name: [709] Jeff Rush
Member: 111 months
Authored: 15 videos
Description: Greetings. I'm the (former) Python Advocacy Coordinator and a strong supporter of screencasts. I'm also the organizer of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Pythoneers and was con chair for PyCon 2006 and 2007 in Dallas. I'm also an independent consultant and work in the areas of Python/Zope, embedded Linux s ...

Giving Your Screencast [ID:296] (2/2)

in series: Casting Your Knowledge, With Style

video tutorial by Jeff Rush, added 06/07

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Now that you have a studio and a plan, we cover how to begin and conclude your cast and a bit about postprocessing. Then we cover your behavior during your talk and how to get your screencast distributed to others.

The reStructuredText for these slides is available for study and reuse.

.. include:: <s5defs.txt>

 Giving Your Screencast

:Author: Jeff Rush <>
:Copyright: 2007 Tau Productions Inc.
:License: GNU Free Documentation License
:Date: June 21, 2007
:Version: 1
:Series: Casting Your Knowledge, With Style

Now that you have a studio and a plan, we cover how to begin and conclude your
screencast and a bit about postprocessing.  Then we cover your behavior during
your talk and how to get your screencast distributed to others.

.. footer:: Casting Your Knowledge, With Style

.. |NEXTSLIDE| image:: /home/caster/themes/screencast-800x600/NextSlide.png

.. container:: handout

   Hello, my name is Jeff Rush and this is the second talk in the series,
   "Casting Your Knowledge, With Style".

Roadmap to Talk

.. container:: slide-display

 + `How to Begin and Conclude`
 + `Postprocessing`
 + `Speaker Behavior`
 + `Distributing your Talk`

.. contents:: Table of Contents
   :class: handout

.. container:: handout

   This talk with focus on the actual casting process, that of capture and
   distribution.  |NEXTSLIDE| We'll cover how to start and end your cast,
   |NEXTSLIDE| some postprocessing tips, and |NEXTSLIDE| some do's and don'ts
   on speaker behavior.  Then |NEXTSLIDE| we'll finish up with some options
   for distributing your talk.

Starting Your Talk - First Audio

 + `first  audio`
    `"Hi, my name is [Bob] and in this talk I'll be demonstrating how to do [such and such]"`
 + `versions of software used`
 + `branded lead-in audio`
    + ``

.. container:: handout

   |NEXTSLIDE| You're ready to record your presentation, but what do you say
   first?  How do you introduce the topic and yourself?

   |NEXTSLIDE| One suggestion is this very simple statement.  For short casts
   it is important to keep it brief and get into the talk quickly.

   |NEXTSLIDE| If your talk is highly specific to certain versions of
   software, this introduction is a good place to mention it.  If the version
   relationships are complex, use a separate slide.

   |NEXTSLIDE| You may also want to consider some kind of music or sound
   effect lead-in, to set the tone and give a certain branding to your
   presentations.  You may have seen this used to good effect in the Python411

   |NEXTSLIDE| By the way, the music site has very clear music
   licensing terms for use in casts.  And for non-commercial podcasts, there
   is no fee.

Starting Your Talk - First Slide

 + `the title`
 + `your name and email`
 + `copyright and distribution license`
 + `the date`
 + `revision of talk`
 + `one paragraph abstract`
    + `good for posting on distribution point too`

.. container:: handout

   Your first slide should say something about you and your talk, and some
   distribution points will use that first slide as your talk graphic.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Obviously, it should give your *title*, but also some way to
   contact you |NEXTSLIDE| such as your name and email, or website.

   |NEXTSLIDE| You should also make clear the ownership and distribution
   rights for your talk.  If you welcome others spreading it around, please
   make it clear.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Include the date, preferably in an international format, so
   that viewers have some idea of the freshness of the talk if they come
   across it in a collection.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Because casts can be redone so easily, I recommend a version
   number, so that someone who has already watched your talk can know if this
   is a more recent release.  While the date could serve as that indicator,
   having a distinct version number that increments conveys to your viewers
   that the material is being updated and they should watch for new releases.

   |NEXTSLIDE| |NEXTSLIDE| You'll need a brief abstract of your talk to post
   on your distribution site, so go ahead and include it on the first slide as

Concluding Your Talk - Last Slide

 + `put up a final slide`
    + `repeat author contact info`
    + `a URL to where to find video, handouts`
    + `resources - books, websites`

.. container:: handout

   |NEXTSLIDE| It's a good idea to finish your talk with |NEXTSLIDE| a final
   slide that repeats your name and contact information.

   |NEXTSLIDE| And that points to where the video, slides or handouts can be

   |NEXTSLIDE| You may also consider pointing to various resources for further

Concluding Your Talk - Last Audio

 + `last audio`
    `"In this talk I've demonstrated [such and such] and you might want to
    follow-up with these resources."`
 + `branded fade-out audio`

.. container:: handout

   |NEXTSLIDE| As you close your talk, end with |NEXTSLIDE| a brief
   restatement of the purpose of your talk.

   |NEXTSLIDE| And perhaps an optional audio fade-out of music or sound
   effects, to convey that the talk is actually ended and give a brand.


 + `audacity for audio`
 + `avidemux for video`
 + `sox for audio noise filtering`
 + `perhaps snip start/end/boring parts`
 + `perhaps adjust speed of presentation`
 + `normalize sound levels`

.. container:: handout

  For postprocessing of your talk, there is a wide variety of tools.

  For Linux, I use the tools |NEXTSLIDE| *audacity* for audio and |NEXTSLIDE|
  *avidemux* for video.

  |NEXTSLIDE| The *sox* tool is good for batch-style filtering of the audio.
  I'll show more of its use in a follow-on talk about Linux and casting.

  |NEXTSLIDE| Basic uses of these tools is to snip the beginning or ending of
  a talk, or any boring parts in the middle.

  |NEXTSLIDE| Some also use them to alter the speed of presentation just a
  bit, if you tend to speak quickly or slowly.

  |NEXTSLIDE| These tools or one called the *Levelator* can be used to
  normalize the audio to an optimum level so that your talks are consistent
  from one to the next.

Behavior Tips

 + `do NOT...`
    + `breath into the microphone`
    + `just talk and talk -- demonstrate!`
    + `type large amounts of code`
    + `try to debug that code online`
 + `DO park the mouse pointer and leave it alone`
   `or use a desktop that hides an inactive pointer.`

.. container:: handout

   When starting out in casting, |NEXTSLIDE| there are a few behaviors to
   watch out for.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Avoid breathing into the microphone.  Test your audio setup
   beforehand and practice to get the sound right.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Don't just talk and ignore the screen.  Show that feature
   rather than verbally describe it if at all possible.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Do not try to type in large amounts of code during your talk.
   Prepare it in advance as you're bound to make a mistake or bore your

   |NEXTSLIDE| Unless your talk is about debugging, do not try to debug
   unfamiliar code in the middle of your talk.

   |NEXTSLIDE| When the mouse is not needed, park it out of the way and leave
   it alone.  Do not fidget with the mouse.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Or enable a desktop feature that hides the mouse when it is

More Behavior Tips

 + `prep your laptop`
    + `disk space`
    + `AC power`
 + `printed speaker notes`
 + `show don't say URLs`
    + `put in slides`
    + `or on a sticky-note`

.. container:: handout

   |NEXTSLIDE| When sitting down to cast, |NEXTSLIDE| always start with plenty
   of disk space.  It is painful to miss that perfect recording and have to
   start over.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Also be sure to plug in your laptop.  I've seen casts where a
   window popped up saying there was 5-minutes left on the battery and the
   speaker began talking faster and faster.

   |NEXTSLIDE| It can be helpful, if you've interspersed speaker notes in your
   slides, to print them out and refer to them as you speak.  It's something
   you can do with casting that you can't with face-to-face speaking.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Don't try to spell out URLs verbally.  |NEXTSLIDE| Show them in
   your slides, or |NEXTSLIDE| use software that provides yellow sticky notes
   on your desktop that you can drag into view.  Most desktops provide
   something like this.

Distribution - Preparing My Cast

 + `label with metadata`
 + `insert a seekable index`
 + `consider...`
    + `an audio-only package`
    + `a text-only package`

.. container:: handout

   So you've recorded your talk and are ready to make it available to others.

   So that others can catalog it on their site or in local collections,
   |NEXTSLIDE| be sure to tag your talk with metadata - various tags that go
   inside the multimedia file being distributed.  There are various tools for
   this, depending on your platform and capture software.

   |NEXTSLIDE| For some formats, there are tools that will insert a seekable
   index, so that the viewer can jump to any part of the talk.  Sometimes this
   is done for you automatically.

   |NEXTSLIDE| If your talk does not have a strong reliance on visual
   presentation, you may want to consider |NEXTSLIDE| an audio-only
   distribution, for those with portable players during long commutes or

   |NEXTSLIDE| And if you used Restructured Text for your slides, please
   consider making your talk available as a flat textfile under an open
   license for others to update and build upon.

Distribution on

 + `prefers submissions of`
    + `MPEG4 with MP3 audio`
    + `MPEG2 with MP3 audio`
 + `also accept other formats`
 + `do not accept`
    + `flash files`
 + `will scale you to 640x480`

.. container:: handout

   When considering where to distribute your talk, one that will get you a
   wide but general audience is Google Video.

   |NEXTSLIDE| They prefer submissions in either the |NEXTSLIDE| MPEG4 or
   |NEXTSLIDE| MPEG2 container format, with MP3 audio, but will accept
   ||NEXTSLIDE| a variety of other formats.

   |NEXTSLIDE| But they do not accept |NEXTSLIDE| any flash files.

   Note that they will |NEXTSLIDE| scale your video down, and for screencast
   that can make text unreadable.  You'll have to use a larger font, which can
   make presentation awkward or a different distributor.

Distribution on

 + `wants submissions of`
    + `MPEG4, AVI or MOV containers`
    + `good mono audio (mp3, pcm)`
    + `800x600`
 + `will transcode to`
    + `640x480`
    + `5 frames/sec`
    + `flash video`
 + `compress uploads using p7zip`

.. container:: handout

   For the programmer community, especially for Python related materials, the team is an excellent choice.

   |NEXTSLIDE| They want submissions in |NEXTSLIDE| MPEG4, AVI or MOV
   containers, with |NEXTSLIDE| mono audio, in |NEXTSLIDE| 800x600 screen

   |NEXTSLIDE| Like Google Video, they will transcode your video down to
   |NEXTSLIDE| 640x480 resolution, at |NEXTSLIDE| 5 frames per second, hosting
   it on their site as |NEXTSLIDE| flash video.

   |NEXTSLIDE| When submitting talks, they request that you use the *p7zip*
   compression tool, available under all common platforms including Linux.  It
   seems to work very well for videos.

Distribution on Your Own Site

 + `aggregated RSS feed`
 + `many free flash players you can use`
 + `remember those of us who like Ogg Theora/Vorbis`

.. container:: handout

   Or you may prefer to host your videos on your own site.

   |NEXTSLIDE| To get the word out, establish an RSS feed and get it
   aggregated onto a well-known site.

   |NEXTSLIDE| For embedding the video into your website, there are several
   free flash players.

   |NEXTSLIDE| But please remember those of us who prefer open formats and
   also offer your content for the Ogg Theora/Vorbis encodings.

Your Own Site - Streaming the Video

 + `only some containers are streamable`
    + `MP4` `video: MPEG-4 ASP`
      `audio: MP3`
    + `OGM` `video: Theora`
      `audio: Vorbis`
    + `FLV` `video: FLV`
      `audio: MP3`
 + `not AVI`

.. container:: handout

   Video streaming is a complex topic, but from my reading |NEXTSLIDE| not all
   formats are suitable for streaming.  Of the many available, the best three
   seem to be |NEXTSLIDE| |NEXTSLIDE| MP4, |NEXTSLIDE| with audio in MP3
   format, |NEXTSLIDE| |NEXTSLIDE| OGM, |NEXTSLIDE| with audio in Vorbis
   format, and |NEXTSLIDE| |NEXTSLIDE| flash video, |NEXTSLIDE| with audio in
   MP3 format.

   |NEXTSLIDE| Wikipedia has a note that old containers, like AVI are not well
   suited for streaming.  I'd welcome further comments on this, but I feel if
   I cover the three formats above, I've got all bases covered and can convert
   to others.


 + `practice, practice, practice`
 + `applicable to live presentations`
 + `the Python community needs more multimedia`
    + `5-minute intro segments`
    + `in-depth module stories`
    + `design or debugging how-to sessions`
 + `Contact me:`
    `Jeff Rush <>`

.. container:: handout

   The key to casting success is to |NEXTSLIDE| practice, practice, practice.
   As you crank them out, you will get better at it.

   And not just at casting but also |NEXTSLIDE| live presentations, as many of
   these techniques work there as well.  I also hope we can create more
   confident and better speakers for our conferences.

   When you produce some great casts, please let me know.  |NEXTSLIDE| The
   Python community needs more multimedia materials.

   |NEXTSLIDE| We need 5-minute introductory segments.

   |NEXTSLIDE| We need in-depth talks about commonly used modules.

   |NEXTSLIDE| And we need walk-through talks on designing or debugging

   Please get involved.  It's work but it's also a lot of fun.

   Look for the next talk in this series, in which we cover the tools I use
   for casting under Linux.

   Thanks for listening and I hope some of you will be motivated to get into

   I hope to refine and expand this talk with feedback from listeners, so
   |NEXTSLIDE| |NEXTSLIDE| please let me know where I get it wrong and how it
   be improved.

   The slides and script are available under the GNU free documentation
   license, for you to reuse or change.

   Local Variables:
   mode: rst
   mode: outline-minor

Got any questions?

Get answers in the ShowMeDo Learners Google Group.

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Show some quick comments >>

All comments excluding tick-boxed quick-comments

17. vrouwen parajumpers jas online vrouwen Wed, 17 Feb 2010 10:33

Dear Jeff,

Thanks for the very informative cast - I plan to use recordMyDesktop to produce screencasts for my classes.

16. marinir seo Tue, 19 Jan 2010 11:20

Thank you for this realy good introduction in casting.

15. beanie hats for sale Mon, 11 Jan 2010 04:08

Another useful introduction of the basics on screencasting and still very relevant now its 3-years old ;-)



14. anonymous Tue, 29 Dec 2009 06:25

Great Video Jeff!

Very useful, informative, and professional.

Good Job!

13. anonymous Fri, 06 Nov 2009 10:50

Jeff, Please STOP! Look and listen to your own videos.

You use text and speech as a substitute for rich graphic content.

This is a visual media. Give us real time video images. Gives us a story that keeps us wanting more. Stop giving us words . . . then reading the words back to us. Assume we can read!

Your ShowMeDo friend


12. anonymous Sun, 20 Sep 2009 18:00

Thanks for these screencasts on screencasting techniques. Have you run across any new tools recently?

11. anonymous Mon, 10 Aug 2009 12:11

Great thanks a lot Jeff for this tips !

10. anonymous Thu, 30 Jul 2009 08:55

Those screencastic tips were fantastic, thank you!

Just the kick-start I needed. I'm a face to face trainer with face to face presentation skills but you've given me enough knowledge and confidence to take the plunge and give it a try - probably saving more two years' worth of procrastination :)

There is some serious clipping in the audio because you"re too close to the mic. Otherwise great.

Thanks alot.


8. anonymous Sat, 06 Sep 2008 07:53

Good talk, but I want the tools one. Looks like that isn't coming :(

7. anonymous Sat, 15 Mar 2008 23:45

I like the content but the audio sucks. It keeps clipping.

It was a nice talk..awaiting for ur next talk on the tools that u use for casting in Linux

Good stuff.. I'm definitely going to check out restructured text+s5.

Eric, you can obtain the slides themselves at:

Very nice work on both of these casts. I am looking forward to seeing what you have next for us.

Where can we get the slides that you have used. I have played with s5 in the past and now you have me wanting to start messing with it again.


Jeff, I really liked the "Do's and Dont's" advice you give in this, and going into the technical requirements for submitting to Google Video and ShowMeDo. Again this should be required viewing for ShowMeDoers.

Hi Jeff - by way of feedback I just wanted to say that you've given two really clear presentations here.

I'm really glad that the S5 presentations came through so clearly too, you've used large fonts and everything is very readable.

Looking forward to more in the series,


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