Below you can find Passle's 7th vlog - a fairly impressive feat when you consider my video skills at the start consisted of uploading webinars direct to YouTube, with minimal editing. I know it's not going to win any prizes, but it shows how you can involve your various colleagues in the process of making a vlog, while also improving your own skills.

The trick when asking your busy colleagues to get involved in something like this is to a) break it down into manageable chunks and b) only ask them to provide things you can’t do yourself. 

In the case of the vlogs, for example, I provide them with a script (and instructions), and edit the video (including adding any screen recording), but they provide the rest of the footage. The exception to this was the first vlog, which Ben did entirely himself – but not everyone is as comfortable editing videos, and having a main editor ensures they stay consistent in style. It also saves your colleagues valuable time!

Here are the three tools that made this job easier for me:

1. Video Editing Software

For those of us without Apple products, it’s easy to feel at a disadvantage when it comes to editing sound or video – but there is some great software out there. I’ve been using Camtasia, which can do all the basics, including screen recording for me. It’s also pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. It costs £154.23 which is worth every penny if you’re going to be making videos regularly.

There are a lot of helpful videos online to help you to create new tricks on Camtasia – and I decided to test out different features by making a series of videopoems. I’m not suggesting you create videopoems (!) but maybe open a testing YouTube channel and challenge yourself to create some videos on a set theme to see what’s possible. I know it increased my confidence and willingness to experiment tenfold.

2. Software Converter

Many of my colleagues have an iPhone, so to get over the hurdle of files my computer cannot read, I downloaded HandBrake – an open source video transcoder. It converts their files into mp4s in a few seconds for me. It’s free.

3. Voice recording app

Common wisdom says that it doesn’t matter if the image is of second-rate quality, as long as the sound is clear. This is something I struggled with at the start in our webinars, experimenting with various microphones and so on. I now use Cogi, which is an app on my phone, and recommend that colleagues needing to record voiceovers download it too. It’s incredibly clear – and really easy to use. 

I discovered Cogi when I needed to conduct interviews (such as this one, with Raymond Cauchetier, which was conducted in a very noisy room – I could still hear him clearly when transcribing and translating him). It has worked well for our podcasts too, such as this one. Cogi is free – though you can access some cool features if you go for the paid version, such as automatic transcription.