StaffGarden l 5 Lessons From Video Tutorials
Working at a small technology startup, your job responsibilities can be all over the place. So, recently I was tasked with creating video tutorials for our StaffGarden ePortfolio, thanks to the Digital Video Production 101 class I took in college over 5 years ago! Now, I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I did learn a few things through trial and error that could be useful if you are an amateur like me who was suddenly thrown into the video tutorial making business. The following are the don’t and do’s of making tutorial videos:

DON’T record your video in an empty room.

At our startup location, we have a big, empty room with blank walls
that I thought would be perfect for recording our tutorial videos
(a rookie mistake that’s obvious to all you pros). The idea
was that it would be a quiet place, free of distractions, to get
the work done! However, I was disappointed to hear the large
amount of echo in the final product of my first video.

DO create a makeshift studio using blankets on the walls.

I get it. You don’t have anywhere to record besides the empty
room, and you can’t afford any studio time. No problem!
Simply take a large blanket or two, pin it/them to the walls in a
corner of the room, and push your desk so that you are facing the
corner. It will feel like you are a kid in time out, but I
assure you, that pesky echo will be gone. Check this

DON’T put everything into one video.

Let’s get real. Tutorials aren’t the most exciting videos to
begin with. Don’t make it worse by speaking in monotone the
entire time. Instead…



DO break down steps and keep your videos short.

That would-be 20-minute video turned into 8 short videos for each
different section or feature we wanted to help our users
with. Keeping your videos well under 5 minutes long increases
the likelihood of your viewers staying with you until the
end. Plus, your users might only need help with specific
parts of your product, so it’s not nice to make them hunt for what
they need in a super long video!


A sample of the multiple videos highlighting specific sections of StaffGarden’s ePortfolio.


DON’T use a monotone voice.

My initial thought was to create a video showing nurses how to get from signing up on our site all the way to having an ePortfolio at 100%. The video script was 5 pages long and would have turned into a 20-minute video. Yikes! It’s tempting to consolidate everything into one long video, but you are guaranteed to bore your viewers and lose them in the process. Instead…

DO use inflection and excitement in your voice.

Changing your pitch and tone will help your audience follow your words better. Adding some excitement might even make them excited about your product! And, of course, speaking slowly
and enunciating your words will ensure that your viewers will
understand you more clearly.


DON’T let it just be you.

While I just LOVE the sound of my own voice, I understand that not
everyone wants to hear it for minutes on end!

DO use background music to keep it fun.

Everyone loves a little music. Adding a music track to your
tutorial can boost your viewers’ energy and change the entire tone
of what they would typically expect to be a boring tutorial
video. Just make sure it doesn’t drown you out!

Back round music will improve both the production quality & the ‘vibe’ of your tutorial videos.


DON’T keep outdated videos on your site.

Let’s face it. We live in a constantly changing world.
Your product is likely to keep changing and evolving with it… if
you don’t want to be left behind in the dust! Leaving
outdated videos on your site is sure to confuse your users, who are
already in need of help considering they are looking for your
tutorial videos. Instead…

DO delete videos as they get outdated.

Make sure your videos get deleted as soon as they become outdated. Not having tutorial videos on your site is much better than confusing your users with ones that are no longer relevant. Or, better yet, create new tutorial videos just in time for your next product rollout!



Hopefully you were able to find some of these tips useful as you
start on your video tutorial journey. For a few examples, be
sure to check out our tutorials page!



Melody Danian

Melody Danian

Product Manager

Can’t live without tacos or sushi. Obsessed with all things soccer. Fashion is cool too.