This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to create a simple narration YouTube video

YouTube is great. I really haven't used it much, but I'm starting to use it more, since people most people would rather listen to a short explanation than read something. And I agree!

I watch YouTube videos that explain stuff, and sometimes they're better than reading, and sometimes they're worse. My personal point of view is that when I want to hear how to do something, I want it to be as specific as possible, and to get to the point quickly. Here are some things that I've seen that work well:

• Keep the video short, no more than a few minutes. And there's really no reason for taking up a bunch of time with an elaborate introduction. Slow, ponderous introductions are a left-over from the days before YouTube, when you had to give your audience a chance to settle down, and start to pay attention. On YouTube your audience is already there - they know what it's about, and they're anxious to hear from you. There's no need to spend a lot of time talking about yourself, your qualifications, your experience. I'm keeping my videos about two minutes long, and if people want to find out more about me, they can click the link in the description.

• Write a script, and record your voice. I'm using my blog posts as a basis for my scripts. I copy the text, put it in a simple format that I can read from (I use the Notes app on my iPad). There's no reason for people to be looking at your big old face staring into the camera going "um... uh...". If you've made the mistake of just turning on your camera and trying to talk, you've made a mistake. And an awful video. I use the Voice Memo app on my phone, then sync it to my computer with iTunes. The file goes into a folder on your Mac called "Voice Memos".

• Create a folder and gather up some images. I just did a video about palm trees, so I went onto my computer and found a lot of photos of palm trees. And these are original images, that is, pictures I've taken myself. Stealing images from Google Images is very amateurish, and can get your video taken down if a copyright holder objects. So take some photos. And take a lot. To my surprise, I found that a short two minute video needs 8-10 images, or it just gets too boring as nothing is happening visually.

• Do the video editing. I use Premiere Elements, which is pretty simple. I name the project, save into the folder, and I'm off. I've gotten some advice from my video friends, and mostly it's to keep the recording sounding natural, and to do simple "dissolves" between images.

• Upload to YouTube. Yeah, all of this takes a LOT of time. For two minutes of video, count on an hour of work, or more. On YouTube you should be sure that there is a short, clear title, with keywords (not just "here's my awesome video" - that won't help people to find it in a Google search!), then share it on your Social Media, like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

I'm a Graphic Designer, a web guy, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consultant, so while I'm not really a YouTube creator, I have done a few things just to be sure I'm familiar with it - mostly videos of my dog. I'm now creating narration videos, and it's a LOT of work, and a LOT of fun. It does seem kind of shock to hear your own voice on YouTube, and yes, that's what you really sound like. So give it a try! Here's my latest video if you want to hear the sound of my voice, and learn about palm trees!