For the 2017 #RootsTech Innovator Showdown, a requirement is that the submitted program must be accompanied by a 60 to 90 second video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.
As of eight days ago, I had my Double Match Triangulator program all ready, I had the required project page all filled out at Devpost.com with all the screen shots set up. I just didn’t have the video and I had never done one before. And the deadline was in 10 days.
Today I finished a video that I am quite happy with and it is now part of my submission. This is it:
I had to research how to put a YouTube video together. I ran into the site compelling.tv. They had a lot of good how-to videos on how to make videos for YouTube. Their technique was to make a script of what you wanted to say and then to produce slides in PowerPoint to go along. They explain how to set up PowerPoint to produce videos for you tube.
PowerPoint! Now that would work for me. I am experienced in PowerPoint and use it for all my talks.
They then suggest getting Audacity, a free audio recording and editing software. Then set up the slides in PowerPoint to And put it together. The trick is to get the set up the timing of each slide PowerPoint to be set to display for just as long as the associated audio for the slide. That could be a bit of a nuisance, so compelling.tv sells a product called One Hour Video Studio that will create the PowerPoint file with the right timings. It actually looks like a decent system.
But I didn’t want to spend time figuring out how to use and maybe struggle with someone else’s program when I needed to make this video quickly and do it now.
I had a nice alternative. I had purchased Snagit for my home computer, mainly because I had it at work and loved it. Snagit is a screen capture program that I use to do most of my screenshots for my blog, my websites and in the help files for Behold and my other programs.
And Snagit includes basic screen recording. The nice part about it is that with Snagit, you can record the audio at the same time. That works out really nicely.
What I did first was write up my script. Then based on the script, I set up about 10 PowerPoint slides. I included fade transitions between slides as well as step by step transitions on some of the slides. In my script, I started a new paragraph each time there was a new step or slide transition.
To record, I started the PowerPoint presentation on my right monitor. I started Snagit screen recorder on my left monitor. I selected the right monitor as the area to record. I put on my headphones with its microphone and I started recording. All I had to do was read the script and then press enter when I reached the end of a paragraph to transition PowerPoint to the next step or slide. It worked well.
My first recording had a few stammers but wasn’t too bad except for one thing: the video was 2 minutes and 48 seconds long. Unfortunately, the rules stated that the video had to be between 60 and 90 seconds long. I had to cut out 78 seconds.
It took me a few hours to edit down the material and what I was saying. But that was actually worthwhile. The stuff I removed was the less important material, and I compressed some text into fewer words. About 8 takes later, I had a nice 89 second video that I liked way better than my original.
I sent it off to my friend and fellow geneablogger James Tanner who had been giving me excellent suggestions along the way on making the video. He liked what I had done. So then this morning, it took me just 4 takes to record a version without stammers that I was happy with. Voila: my first MP4 video.
I already had a YouTube account, but I had never uploaded my own video before. It wasn’t hard. Something new learned. Well worth my time.
The deadline for the submission to the Innovator Showdown is December 1. Since I’ve now done the video, my submission now meets the requirements.
I’ve had a lot of friends wishing me good luck with this, and I thank all of you for your support. We’ll have to see first if the judges pick Double Match Triangulator to be one of the 10 semi-finalists. Those 10 get to present at the Innovator Summit Day (the Wednesday) at RootsTech, and it would be so much fun to do that. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.