TechSmith.com provides an incredible free application called Jing, which permits you to make your own short videos and upload them to your site or even send them as attachments to e-mails. It works by simply recording what’s on your computer screen. So, if you create a short PowerPoint presentation and deliver it on your own over your computer, Jing will record both what’s on your computer screen and your voice as you explain the slides. You can then embed the recording on your website or blog. And this is entirely free.
Here’s a short example: http://www.screencast.com/t/bW1p5nd9EjP
As you can see from my short video, some rehearsal is in order. It’s even useful to script the video, which you can do for a short presentation. Jing videos are limited to five minutes, which should be sufficient to present any idea and may be the limit of anyone’s attention span these days.
Once you install Jing, you can use it whenever you want. A small yellow circle sits at the bottom of your computer screen that you only see when your cursor hovers over it. When your cursor is on the circle, three tentacles come off of it offering three functions: record, history, or help. You just click on record to run the program for recording your screen. It permits you to determine how much of your screen to record and allows you to choose your microphone before it starts. Then there’s a three-second countdown before the actual recording begins.
Once you have recorded your presentation, it automatically is saved on Jing. You can access the recording through the History function on the Jing application that sits on your desktop. When signing up for Jing, you also create an account at www.screencast.com. You go there to share the video in any number of ways, on Facebook or Twitter, or through emails or by embedding the video on your website or in a blog, as I have done here. Screencast provides a URL for circulating the video by email and an embed code for inserting it in a blog post or on your website. You may want to do a series of short presentations on different aspects of estate and long-term care planning, your own mini-university. But make certain to keep every presentation short and to-the-point. You will be amazed at how quickly you can fill up five minutes.
The Jing function does not permit editing the video, though at less than five minutes you can always redo the recording if you don’t like how it came out. To edit videos, you need to purchase another TechSmith product, Camtasia Studio, which will be the subject of a future blog post.