Re: Professional how-to videos - links for critique

Subject: Re: Professional how-to videos - links for critique
From: Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
To: Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 14:45:52 -0700

Hello Erika,

Thank you for sharing your videos and opening yourself to critique. I am
also always looking for improvements to my work.

A little bit about my background, I have done video training production for
about 10 years... using a variety of tools, such as, Camtasia (for simple
quick/dirty projects), Captivate (for interactive and quiz based training),
and Premier (for professional marketing content).

In my opinion the most frustrating and difficult component to videos is
finding a natural and engaging voice for free or cheap.

Now, my critique:

RADview Service:
- Video work is nice and simple with no distractions.
I'm not a big fan of stock avatars (the smiley face people) but they
actually work for you. :)
- The voice...ummm.... it is too deliberate, too much reading from
script... The person's voice is excellent. He has the perfect tone for this
type of work
but obviously not a trained voice actor.
Suggestions for improvement:
- Flatten your sound a little bit more (there is a slight echo - but you
did pretty good overall). Perhaps a blanket behind the speaker might help?
- Do a little more noise filtering to get rid of the slight white noise.
Again, not a serious problem.
- Get your voice actor to stand and read without a script (or perhaps
only just glance at the script)
- Do not play the video while recording audio. Edit the video to match
the voice afterwards. That will help with a more natural voice cadence.

- Again, video work is good... nice professional splash.
- The voice has good cadence (in some ways it is actually easier to listen
to than the human voice of the first video)
* BUT * it is synthetic. Oh, how I wish synthetic voices were
indistinguishable to human voices. :(
Some of the technical words are difficult to understand but still pretty
good. BTW, is this a Nuance (or TextAloud based) voice? If you have access
to phoneme customization.

Zero Touch
- Same comments as the above

RADview Perform
- OMG, get rid of that TTS voice. LOL
Way too mono-tone. The male voice is much better. :)
- Again, video work is great!

RADview: Working with...
- Here I noticed some inconsistency with call outs (I don't think you used
deep yellow on the others??). I'm running out of time now so I'll have to

Bottom line, nothing you produced is "bad", in fact, you did better than
some video work I have seen produced by much larger corporations. Kudos!

Hopefully, at least 1 comment, is useful to you. :)

Best regards,

On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 10:25 PM, Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com> wrote:

> Thanks for the many useful tips. We are always writing a script before
> making a movie and use Captivate, sometimes with text-to-speech and
> sometimes with a real narrator. Some of the movies have been uploaded to
> YouTube, and in the process, the size got changed, some resolution was lost
> and the closed captions were lost as well. The movies below were made at
> different times and our guidelines kept evolving.
> Do you get the "cheap" feeling? What would you improve?
> Erika
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Doc-To-Help: new website, content widgets, and an output that works on any
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*Shawn Connelly*
Technical writer
Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

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