How to Make an Instructional Video With Screen Recording

Kevin Alster
November 1, 2023
Table of contents

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People are hungry for information. But they don’t want to spend days trying to understand it.

There's a whole load of evidence pointing to the fact that people not only find videos effective for education…. But they also find them engaging. 

By the end of this post, you’ll have all the info you need on how to make an instructional video with a screen recording that is concise and engaging. Let’s jump in!

Tip 💡

Throughout the post, look for the lines with the 💎 symbol. Those are the most actionable tasks included in “how to” make your instructional video.

How To Make An Instructional Video
  1. Know your audience
  2. Plan and write your script
  3. Choose a video template
  4. Prepare for the screen recording
  5. Record your screen
  6. Cut and trim your screen recording
  7. Edit other on-screen elements
  8. Generate the text-to-speech narration
  9. Generate your instructional video

Why does a screen recording add so much value to an instructional video?

Adding screen recordings to instructional videos lets you show AND tell. Your audience will understand your tutorial video easier and reach their learning objective faster. And you can do it to:

  • Introduce someone to a new tool, making instructional videos with screen recording and explanatory audio.
  • Teach viewers how to perform a task in an unfamiliar software, doing a demonstrative screencast yourself.
  • Explain your thought process on a project, creating specific instructional content — this can be presentation slides you're showing and commenting on during the screencast.
  • Walk your target audience through a performance report, sharing your screen and giving audio input.
  • Provide quick feedback to work in progress, sharing your screen, microphone, and even webcam if your screen recording software supports this simultaneously.

Basically, you’re doing screen recordings to let someone peek over your shoulder at your screen and show them how what you’re saying ACTUALLY applies to a real situation.

Tip 💡

A human face in a video is an attention magnet, making students look at it for about 41% of the duration of the recording. Level up your instructional videos by combining screen recording with a talking head. 
No need to show your face in video tutorials if you don’t want to. Any AI human-like avatar will help your audience better connect and retain information easier.

Why is Synthesia your best option for making an instructional video with screen recording?

Synthesia is an AI video maker that gives you all the elements for creating instructional videos in one place — your web browser. 

It has plenty of templates to customize for creating any video project, whether an online course or an instructional video tutorial, in minutes. And a built-in screen recording function.

You can use it to work from scratch, doing video recordings of your computer screen. Or upload multiple recordings and edit them to serve your learning objective.

Shy on camera? Making instructional videos will still be easy if you pick one of the 140+ diverse AI avatars in Synthesia’s library.

You’ll be able to instantly add an engaging talking head and create instructional videos with human-like presenters. Plus, you can use the text-to-speech function to generate a video narration in one of 120+ languages and accents.

9 Steps to sharing your screen in an outstanding instructional video

Follow the steps below to make an instructional video with a built-in screen recording. 

Step 1: Know your audience

NOTE: If you want a simple video with no extras, some of the following steps for making an instructional video with screen recording will not apply to you. Go ahead and take what you need — you’ll still end up with a valuable video!

The greatest video you can create is one that’s relevant to your audience. 

Before you plan your visuals and start recording, you must know how to formulate and position your message to your specific watchers. And to do that, you need to know what brought them to watch your video, their goals, and what they hope to get.

💎 Write down the answers to the following questions to define your audience:

  1. Who will watch your instructional video?
  2. Why are these people watching the video? What need or problem brought them to your recording?
  3. What does your audience already know about the topic you want to cover in this instructional video?
  4. What new information and how much detail do you need to provide for this specific audience when you begin recording?
  5. What does your audience need to know before moving on to the next step? 

Step 2: Plan and write your script

Plan your instructional videos in detail, and you’ll make the actual production and video editing far faster. 

Having a strategy for your instructional videos with screen recording gives you clarity and eliminates unnecessary stress when recording. 

One of the best ways to plan your video script is to write down a rudimentary storyboard like in the image below. There’s no need to worry too much about design — this step is about your ideas and structure and can be as messy or neat as you like.


💎 Use the table or download a template with some built-in text from this collection of free video script templates and start writing your instructional script.

Step 3: Choose a video template

There are 60+ video templates available in Synthesia, with professional designs and fully customizable options. You can pick one that best suits your instructional videos, and you use it as it is. Or you can start adjusting the video elements to fit your specific needs.

For screencasts, choose a video template with lots of space for background videos. Those video slides will fall nicely into your overall instructional presentation.

💎 Select and duplicate the video template you like the most.


Step 4: Prepare for the screen recording

Bring all video materials together so you won’t be rambling and looking for certain apps, folders, or files once you start recording.

Having all your tools at hand will make you look professional. It’ll help you record without interruptions or showing your audience private information from your computer.

💎 Create a folder and move every asset you need into it for easy access. Alternatively, open all software and tabs you’ll need during your video recording and clear away unnecessary tabs and files.

Step 5: Record the screen with the in-app screen recorder

Record your screen while performing the action you want to demonstrate and include it in your instructional video.

Here’s a training video that will walk you through doing a screen recording in Synthesia:

Intro to Synthesia: Images, Video, and Screen Recordings

💎 Add a screen recording to your video template by hitting the “Record” button in the top menu of Synthesia. You’ll be asked to choose what to record from several options — the entire screen, a specific window, or a browser tab. Select and start recording the video.

Tip 💡

Break up your screen recordings between video template scenes. You’ll keep your audience engaged for longer and make your training videos more effective 😉.

Step 6: Edit your screen recording

Once you stop recording, it's time for video editing.

The recorded video content is added to your template and saved in your library for future use. All you have to do is drag and drop that video into your slide in Synthesia. 

💎 Edit your screen recording video on the spot with the trim, cut, loop, and stretch editing functions.

Step 7: Edit all the other elements of your template

Customize the video template by uploading your brand assets, such as your logo and colors, and set your fonts. 

Synthesia also has 125+ human-looking AI avatars you can pick from. Select your favorite and adjust its sizing over your screencast. 

💎 Once you’ve finished tweaking all your extra video elements, double-check that transitions are smooth and error-free.

Step 8: Generate the text-to-speech narration

Text-to-speech narration uses advanced AI algorithms to turn text into spoken audio. It analyzes the text — words, syntax, punctuation, emphasis markers — and generates a corresponding synthesized voice that sounds like a human and makes your instructional videos more engaging.

💎 Copy your text script and paste it into the text box in Synthesia. The video editor automatically recognizes the language. Leave the default or select a voice from the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the script box. You can also set a preferred accent, dialect, locale, and voice style.


Once you’ve generated the narration, play your video and pay close attention to the timing of the animations. You want to ensure they're in sync with the audio.

Step 9: Generate your instructional video with built-in screen recording

Synthesia lets you preview, share, embed, download, or duplicate your video. 

You can download your instructional video in MP4 format and then upload it anywhere. Or you can enable video sharing in your Synthesia account and copy the shareable link to paste it anywhere else — in an email, on your internal messaging app, on social media, etc. But first, generate it.

💎 After you’ve added the language, hit play to watch a preview, and if everything looks good, hit the “Generate” button. You’ll have your video ready for sharing in a few minutes!

Roll up your sleeves. Time to make your instructional video 

Now that you know how to make an instructional video with screen recording, you'll be happy to find that Synthesia can help you start creating as early as today. It gives you everything you need in one place.

Try the free AI video creator to see how easy it is to copy and paste content and generate a video in minutes.


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