Making How-To Videos: 10+ Best Tips & Tricks

How-To Videos Highlight – In pre-production, start with a great script or outline, create a storyboard, and focus on the content your audience wants. Obtain sufficient coverage to demonstrate the process step by step while recording high-quality audio. Put it all together in post-production. Set the appropriate tempo, sweeten your audio, and add some royalty-free background music to set the mood.

Taking a class or reading a book used to be the only way to learn something new. Still, there are at least a dozen how-to videos (tutorials) on almost any subject you can think of these days, allowing you to pick up new skills at the drop of a hat. But not all instructional videos are the same. Some are difficult to follow, poorly filmed, have poor audio, or provide inaccurate information.

When creating a how-to video, there are numerous factors to consider, from pre-production to post-production and everything in between. Getting it right will result in a tutorial video that will connect with your audience and deliver on its promise. Your how-to video’s audience should be able to complete the task or master the skill demonstrated.

Making How-To Videos: 10+ Best Tips & Tricks

Peekatthis.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

11635 84526811635

So, what exactly is a how-to/instructional/tutorial video? It’s a type of video that shows you how to do something or teaches you a skill or concept. How-to videos come in a variety of formats.

Tutorials

The most common type of instructional video. We’ve all seen a tutorial that walked us through the step-by-step process of completing a task.

They are frequently used to learn new software or software-based skills, such as photo editing in Lightroom or video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Training videos

You were most likely required to complete some online training at some point. Training videos are widely used in online learning environments for businesses to ensure that employees have the necessary skills to perform their duties. 

The videos frequently include animated explainer videos that teach or explain a concept or process, as well as an interactive quiz to ensure that learning objectives are met.

Online classes

Online courses, like training videos, are made up of a series of instructional videos that work together to teach a larger subject.

Creatives frequently sell the courses on sites like Udemy or Masterclass, and they cover a wide range of subjects from photography to DIY cooking and everything in between.

Explainers that are animated

Explainer videos use simple animations to quickly explain a concept or process. These videos are frequently used by businesses to explain how they operate or what services they provide. The videos are typically no more than a couple of minutes long.

Screencasting and live streaming

Nowadays, going live is quick and simple. In response to a question, creators can quickly go live and demonstrate how to do something. It may also include screen sharing or screen recording to demonstrate how an app works. 

Such videos are responsive, low-cost, and simple to create. 

Making instructional videos can be done in a variety of ways, including filming with a camera, screen recording, or animation.

A do-everything, go-anywhere kit that’s been expertly crafted for mobile content creators, the GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging kit lets you rig up your phone and give your content real impact. You’ll have everything you need in one box.

Includes:

  • Gorilla Pod Mobile Rig
  • Beamo Mini LED
  • Wavo Mobile microphone
  • Audio cable for mobile phone & camera
  • Apple MFI certified lightning connector

What to do and what not to do when making a how-to video 

Creating instructional videos, producing training videos, filming a tutorial, or animating an explainer video, like making a film, all involve three essential phases: pre-production, production, and post-production.

Each stage builds on the one before it. For each phase, here are some dos and don’ts.

Pre-production 

Before you even consider turning on a camera, recording your screen, or creating an animation, you must properly plan your how-to video.

Pre-production is everything you do before you start recording or animating. The more time and effort you put into planning, the better the end result.

Conduct your research

False information in a how-to video is bad for your viewers and can be damaging to your reputation. 

As a result, make certain that you are well-versed in your subject and can provide accurate information in your tutorial video. If not, do extensive research before beginning to plan the video.

Make a script or an outline

fd11 screencaptures MAC Collaboration2

Don’t make it up as you go; it’s a recipe for waffling and misinformation. Work from a script or, at the very least, a detailed outline. It will also help with the rest of your planning.

If you have a script, a simple teleprompter on your phone or tablet can make it much easier to record an instructional video. If you don’t have a teleprompter, read your script until you’re comfortable with it before recording or filming yourself.

Understand your target market

When creating a script or outline, keep the intended audience in mind. Do they already know a lot about the subject, or are they new to the subject? 

This type of information will assist you in planning the level of detail in your content. If you oversimplify it for experienced viewers, they will become bored and leave, whereas going too quickly and leaving out details will make it difficult for beginners to follow.

Don't forget to create a storyboard

storyboard aids in the planning of the visual aspects of the video by allowing you to visualize how it will look. 

Even a simple stickman pencil drawing can help you determine what shots you’ll need, how to frame those shots, which lenses to use, where to shoot, and your lighting requirements.

Content is important

Give your audience what they want and need. Don’t include filler content; instead, get straight to the point with no fluff. 

Consider your audience’s time. Your viewers will be more engaged if you provide more value and valuable information.

Final Draft 11

Production

No matter which method you use, there are three critical factors to consider before beginning to create a tutorial video. Coverage, lighting, and audio are examples of these.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Whatever your tutorial is about, the benefits of video are lost if your viewers can’t follow what you’re doing. It’s not so much about stunning cinematography as it is about having enough coverage and b-roll to demonstrate each step of the process in your how-to video. 

When showing small details, such as tightening a tiny screw, avoid using a wide-angle shot; close-ups are ideal. B-roll can provide context and help to illustrate concepts. To demonstrate each step in detail, use a variety of shots and camera angles. You can zoom in on specific details, animate mouse clicks, and so on even with screen recordings.

Don't keep your subjects in the dark

Lighting is frequently the deciding factor between professional and amateur productions. You and your viewers would be in the dark if you filmed yourself backlit with a bright window in the back.

Even with animations, you must make certain that they are clean and clear. 

If your audience can’t see what you’re doing clearly, they’ll lose interest and leave. Even a simple one-light setup is preferable to nothing. Reflectors and a little foresight about how you position yourself to get the best light can help in outdoor settings.

Clean audio is critical 

While average visuals are often tolerated, poor audio causes us to click away and go somewhere else. It’s nearly impossible to watch a video if we can’t hear and understand what’s going on. It’s not just about clarity, but also about overall quality. 

It’s unpleasant to watch if it doesn’t sound good. Subtitles are the only way around this.

Lapel microphones are an excellent way to record good audio in a variety of settings while avoiding excessive reverb or background noise. Wireless lapel options are also reasonably priced, making it a worthwhile investment.

Post Production

When principal photography is completed, the phrase “that’s a wrap” is used, but it’s not the end. 

The video or animation you created, as well as your narration, royalty-free music, and graphics, must be combined in post-production. Most of us simply refer to it as video editing.

Fix it in post

You can use your editing software to fix a lot of problems in post-production. For example, if your narration isn’t clear enough, insert some subtitles to help.

If you didn’t film it, add some video stock footage from Pexels or Videvo spice it up with some Videvo sound effects. Graphics and text can help to clarify areas where your footage is unclear. If you shot in 4K or higher resolution, you can always crop in to show more detail.

Maintain your pace

Pace your video based on the content and audience. Some of this is locked in with the script or outline during the planning stages, but editing allows you to finalize it. 

If you move too quickly through complex details, your audience will become disoriented, and you will lose their attention.

Improve your audio

A little noise reduction, EQ, and possibly a compressor can go a long way toward improving or sweetening great audio. It is not only your voice that is important. 

The overall audio quality is important, and some pleasant background music can change the mood while also masking some background noise. Make sure you select the appropriate track for the content, such as this great royalty-free music collection from Videvo.

Include chapters

Give your audience a choice by adding chapters to your video if the platform allows it. 

Chapters make it easier for your audience to find and watch or re-watch specific parts of your instructional video. It will be appreciated by your audience.


image 9018874 15140459

Conclusion

When creating a how-to video, there are numerous factors to consider, and learning how to make instructional videos will take time and practice. 

So, make sure you put enough effort into each of the three stages of production, and you’ll be fine. 

Want to Learn More About Photography?

Become a better photographer with the MasterClass Annual Membership. Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by photography masters, including Jimmy Chin, Annie Leibovitz, Tyler Mitchell and more.

Eager to learn more?

Join our weekly newsletter below featuring inspiring stories, no-budget filmmaking tips, and comprehensive equipment reviews to help you turn your film projects into reality!

If you found this post useful, please do consider sharing it or letting your friends know via social media. Have something to add? Please feel free to do so in the comments section below. I really appreciate it!

📌 Don’t forget to save the blog for later, pin the image below!

About the author: Trent (IMDB Youtubehas spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.

Making How-To Videos: 10+ Best Tips & Tricks

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: