February 21, 2015 Workshop: Best Practices when Creating Interactive Video Tutorials, with Bernard Aschwanden

Best Practices when Creating Interactive Video Tutorials

When: Saturday, February 21, 2015, 1pm-5pm
Where: West Valley Branch Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd., San José, CA 95117
Cost: Free. Note: You do not need to be an STC member to attend this event. It is open to everyone.

Workshop description

If a picture is worth 1000 words, how many words is a video worth? During this workshop, Bernard Aschwanden of Publishing Smarter guides you through reviewing a support topic and developing a storyboard. These ideas are used to created a related video to help users visualize how to perform the task. Rather than delivering just text, you can provide users with detailed video showcasing specifically how to perform key functions.

Help your audience SEE how to resolve issues before they become problems. Watch, learn, then do it yourself with provided sample files. The tips in this workshop help you create great videos and can be applied to any software that allows you to capture screen content and create either interactive lessons, or video for sharing on popular sites like Vimeo and Youtube.

Workshop outline

Topics covered and demo’d include:

  • Key ingredients of a good storyboard
  • What you mustn’t forget about Acronyms in your script
  • Helpful keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint
  • How FrameMaker can be used for storyboards with “intelligent” page footers
  • WHAT to do while making a recording
  • Why you should avoid slide “pauses” and background music
  • Benefits of making a “silent movie” and adding the audio track later
  • Live demo of following storyboard to create effective software simulation via Adobe Captivate
  • Review over actual Publishing Smarter Case Study: creation of the FrameMaker 12 Reviewer’s Guide for Adobe
  • A summary of useful product links are shared at the end of the presentation


The location of the workshop is at the West Valley Library in San Jose, specifically in the community room. The address is 1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd., San José, CA 95117. You can see a map here.

Workshop cost

There is no cost for the workshop. It is sponsored by the Silicon Valley chapter of the STC.

What to bring

Many of you may want to interact during the workshop with some of the activities. If you want to be “hands-on,” please bring a computer with Adobe Captivate installed.

There are several ways that you can download and install the trial version. If you are interested in the full Technical Communications Suite, visit http://www.adobe.com/ca/products/technicalcommunicationsuite.html and click the Try button (located to the right of the blurb below the main graphic on that page). You can also download just Adobe Captivate here.

In either case, you will need an Adobe ID to download the software.

During the session, Bernard will guide you in using Captivate to create a video. He’ll work with you to write a few short topics on familiar tools. Then he will help build a storyboard to outline a set of steps, perform those steps, and create a basic video. That video will be enhanced with additional features you can use in your own work.

The goal is to give you enough of an understanding of how to build educational, informational, or even support and sales materials. It’s easy, it’s interesting, and it’s free. As long as you have the trial version of the software, you are good to go.

After the workshop…

Bernard is also interested in hearing more from everyone after the workshop. Please consider joining us for a bite to eat and a bit to drink when we have wrapped up. Details on the location will be determined on the day of the event. Feel free to join us!

About Bernard Aschwanden

Bernard AschwandenBernard solves documentation based problems and helps companies generate more revenue. He guides clients through the best processes to create, manage, and deliver content. Once content is delivered, he helps socialize the message, understand and act on feedback, and improve the process and workflow.

He is the founder of Publishing Smarter, an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), and the Vice President of STC. Bernard has helped hundreds of companies implement successful solutions. He is focused on publishing better, publishing faster, and publishing smarter.


In case you missed the workshop, here are the slides.

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