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"What do I use to make a video?"

It's a pretty common question, especially from anyone interested in becoming a Nonprofit.Courses Content Expert.

In the end, you want to create an "mp4" file - a video file that you can upload to your favorite video hosting platform, like YouTube, Vimeo or Teachable. You have a number of options:

Your favorite video conferencing service, like Zoom. All you do is host a meeting for one - you. Share your slides and start talking! Make sure you're recording the "conference" and download the recording when you're done. Not bad, but the biggest drawback is editing. Unless you're near perfect and can do your entire presentation in one take, what you say is what you'll get. So if your phone rings or the cat jumps across your camera shot, there's no way to cut it out.

Camtasia or Adobe Premier. I own both - Techsmith's Camtasia because I like it, and Adobe Premier because it came with the Adobe Creative Suite that I use - mostly Photoshop, Illustrator and Reader. Adobe Premier is a highly sophisticated program that professionals use. If you want to spend the time to learn it - go for it! I was introduced to Camtasia when I was doing some videos for university classes I was teaching. It's an excellent program, but probably more than you'll want to pay ($250+/- to start and $100 or so for upgrades as they come out) if you only do a video once and a while. I do a lot of editing, so for me, its worth it.

What I recommend to anyone who asks is Screencast-O-Matic. If I hadn't found Camtasia to start, I'd probably be using Screencast-O-Matic. Its very reasonably priced - free to try out, and then $20 or $48 for the year for some very useful features. It comes with editing capabilities, and the $48 version includes stock images.

Okay, full disclosure, the button above contains an affiliate link that, if you DO buy it, sends a few cents to Nonprofit.Courses. But whether you do or not, I'm not suggesting the program as a "get rich quick" scheme (unless 100,000 of our close, personal friends use the link!). I really have found Screencast-O-Matic to be a great way for people whose full time job is NOT to make videos, to make good content.

Here's some other links you'll find helpful:

Video Editing Tips For Beginners

6 Common Video Editing Mistakes to Avoid

Edit Video With Screencast-O-Matic Video Editor Cheat Sheet

The Screencast-O-Matic YouTube Channel 

If you want to learn more about creating courses, check out the Course Whisper, Cindy Nicholson's Content Expert page with more than 20 very helpful, short videos on course creation.

Send me a note if you want to talk about becoming a Content Expert.

Good luck!

Matt Hugg Online Nonprofit Courses