Boring Email? Show Your Results with a Screencast!

Maybe it’s over email or while you’re standing at the water cooler, but at some point you’ve probably been asked, “How’s that project going?” Whether your team recently launched a new project, your client wants a progress report, or you have a performance review coming up, it’s likely a question you’re used to answering, but don’t particularly enjoy. Afterall, time is precious and you know that you’ll inevitably spend time putting together a lengthy email response to explain. But what if you spend all this time collecting thoughts, stats, and results only to have your email overlooked or forgotten?

Humans are visual learners, which makes visual communication so important. In fact, visuals increase retention by 50 percent and also improve comprehension by 50 percent. That’s precisely why your company should be using video, and why you should consider using video to report on projects.

There are a lot of ways to use screencasting at work, but for now let’s focus on using screencasts to report on project results.

How to Use Screencasts to Report on Project Results

Step 1: Gather All the Content You’d Like to Share

Have a site heatmap, some Google Analytics numbers, an Excel spreadsheet, a PowerPoint slide, or other items you want to show to help explain your progress? Before hitting the record button, open everything you want to help visually communicate your results. You can also use this time to draft a quick outline of what you’d like to cover in your screencast to ensure you don’t miss any important takeaways.

Prepare a screencast outline before recording

Step 2: Open Your Screen Recording Software

Choose your software. TechSmith Snagit is great for quick desktop recordings—like a screencast to share out project results. If you don’t have Snagit, you can download a free trial here.

Snagit capture window

Step 3: Record Webcam Video for a Personalized Intro

You can skip this step if you’re really crunched for time or if it doesn’t make sense for you. However, in most cases, I highly recommend an intro with your smiling face! A personalized video goes a long way, and it’s easy to record your webcam with Snagit. You can also toggle between webcam and screen recording throughout your video share-out. This adds a personal touch for teammates or clients, no matter where they are.

Personalize your video with webcam video

Step 4: Give a Visual Walkthrough of Your Project Results

It’s time to shine! Here’s where you’ll talk through your project results. Keep your outline handy and walk through all the content you previously gathered. Don’t go overboard—cover the highlights to help keep the length of your video down. Vidyard has noted that videos under 90 seconds have an average retention rate of 53 percent, while videos over 30 minutes retain only 10 percent. At TechSmith, we usually try to keep to the “five-minute or less” rule for internal video share-outs.

Walkthrough your content while recording your screen

Step 5: Save and Share Your Video

And you’re done! Easily save your video as an MP4, a common video file format that most computers can play, or send your video directly to a hosting site such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Screencast.com. Now, you have a video handy and it’ll always be there to send to others or to review again in the future. Have a meeting coming up where you need to talk through results? You can have your share out video queued up or send it along for someone else to play if you’re unable to attend the meeting.

Share your screencast video

It’s really that simple. Recording a quick video covering your project results can actually be faster than drafting a long email. Plus, people are more likely to watch it and remember the content later. Are you using video to communicate at work? We’d love to hear about it! Share your experiences with us on Facebook or Twitter.