Since many of us have been online throughout the past year, we’ve all come to be familiar with the many different video conferencing solutions that are out there. What you might not know is that it is possible to use them to record a screencast directly without being in a formal meeting. This post will give you the basics of how to do it using Zoom, and also suggest some alternatives for those who might want something different.
click to see video
For those of us familiar with Zoom, this method is really trivial. There are a few gotchas to look out for, but I felt it was fairly easy to do compared with other software I’ve used for the same purpose over the past year.
The first thing to note is that the yellow box in which your talking head is supposed to appear can be deleted if you’re using this method since your talking head won’t appear there. It will appear up and to the right as is shown in the image above. You can reclaim this space for content. So finish creating your content in Power Point, Google Docs, Keynote, or LibreOffice Impress, and get into presentation mode.
Next, start up Zoom. Many of us already have Zoom accounts through our institution this year. But if not, have no fear. You can get a free Zoom account and use it to create a video so long as your video is not very long.
Now that you’re in slideshow mode, and Zoom is running, click on New Meeting. You don’t have to invite anyone else, just start the meeting.
Next, check that you are not muted (button on lower left) and choose to share your screen. You will find a little green Share Screen button if you move your mouse down toward the lower frame of the Zoom window. If you have audio content to share, ensure that you check the box entitled “Share Sound” before finalizing your share. If you are just recording a voice over, this doesn’t matter. Move your mouse to the upper part of the window, and a pulldown menu will appear. Click on “More” and you will be given an option to record either to computer or the cloud. I would select “Record to Computer” as this will make it easier for you to find your work.
Make your presentation as you normally would. You might want to have a timer handy. Then when you’re done, move the mouse up to get the same pulldown menu, click “More” and then click on “Stop Recording.”
You won’t see your recording in mp4 format until you exit the meeting. Then you can upload your recording to this website if you are a poster author.
I often use different software to do my screencasting dependent on what I need to do. There are a number of web-based alternatives you can use including ScreenCast-O-Matic. As of this writing, it required me to download and install the free app, but in the past, it has worked for me directly in the browser. If you have Office365, you can record your PowerPoint directly as shown here. The box in the lower right of the sample PowerPoint was apparently originally designed with Office365 in mind since that seems to be where the “talking head” appears. And Linux users can use Kazam (which I used to record Zoom doing its recording thing).
Whichever software you choose remember to check your sound settings, then start your slide show, and then record and present. When you finish, stop recording first, and then get out of your presentation mode.
If you have any questions or need help with the process, feel free to contact me. See you in June!