This guide focuses on the different ways and tools you can use for training up your communities and research and communication techniques.  Communities have many inbuilt skills that help with community reporting, but it can really help to improve the quality of your community research and reporting when you take time to invest in simple skills which can improve their engagement.

Video is a great way to train up your community in research and reporting skills. You can record short videos that explain a little bit about the project, how to interview community members about their life experiences, how to track and tell your own story, and how to use a range of mobile apps to participate. You can also use video to highlight safety and risk issues and how communities to recognise and overcome them.

This guide will show you how to use a brilliant online and desktop tool called BigVU to script and shoot mobile or laptop training videos. Using the BigVU teleprompter app, you can script, film, edit & share videos to create professional and accessible video guides.  You can trial it for free, and create all of your videos in that period, or you can pay a small amount for a monthly account.

This guide will show you how to:

  • Script, record, and edit 3-7 minute training videos for your community
  • Add captions for accessibility
  • Upload and share your videos with your community


Tools & Resources 


  • BigVU mobile and web apps (3-day free trial – then £15 per month)
  • A word processor (Google Docs )
  • A free video hosting site (Youtube or Vimeo)
  • A community channel to share the content (WhatsApp or Signal)
  • A blog or microsite to host the channel (WordPress or Notion)


Step-by-Step Guide


Step 1- Register and download the mobile app 

You can access and install the BigVU app on the link here.

There is a 3-day free trial for you to use while you test out the app, so be sure to have your content ready to make the most of it The mobile app will let you record from your phone and the desktop app will let you upload and edit scripts, as well as easily edit the final videos.


Step 2- Prepare your script 

Before jumping into the app, make sure your content is ready for reading and recording.

In a document, write out the training video you would like to share with your community.

It should be clear and easy to understand, with an introduction, the key learning points, and details of how to find help and support.

Your final video will include an opening and closing slide with your contact details where you can include a call to action to contact you if needed.

Once your script is ready select Send to App to send the script to your mobile app.


Step 3 – Recording the video

In the BigVU app, in the Projects tab you will be able to see your script ready to record from.

Set up the phone horizontally, with the screen facing you. Use a stand to keep the phone level when recording. You should be standing clearly in the frame and be looking directly at the camera when recording. Make sure you are well lit and clearly visible, the app has options to help with the exposure.

Once you are ready, select the record icon, there will be 5-second countdown and the session will begin.

The app will start to run your script for you to read from as you record.

If the text is moving too fast, or the size is too small to read, you can adjust both on the app.

Reading to yourself on video can be hard! But you can restart any time to record a better take.

Your recordings will be saved to both your phone and uploaded to your account to access on the web app. Once you are happy with all the recordings, we can move onto editing.


Step 4 – Editing your recordings

BigVU makes creating professional training videos a really simple process.

We will structure the videos, give them the correct titles and captions, and style them to make them look professional and presentable with intro/outro cards, themes, and background music.

You can edit the ratio depending on the channel you will be sharing the video on. For Youtube or Vimeo, the default landscape ratio is fine.

Using Wordtrim, you can make adjustments to takes so they start and end at the right place. Once you edit the written script, the video will be trimmed to the correct place.

Styling the video can help make your content look more professional and accessible. Using the Composer selection of the web app you can add should add:

  • An intro/outro slide with your org name and contact details
  • A theme to change the font and colours of your video
  • A lower 3rd title to introduce yourself with your name and title
  • Your organisation or group logo
  • Add music (optional) to play in the background
  • One really important feature to make your videos accessible by adding captions. The app can add these automatically and you can easily edit them to highlight or style specific words for emphasis


Step 5 – Sharing with your community 

Once the video is ready, you can easily share them with your network, using the web app to publish directly to a social media account like Twitter or Facebook, or video hosting like Youtube and Vimeo.

Before sharing, make sure to watch them through to check for errors and make any final adjustments.

When publishing, sure that you’re reaching as much of your community as possible, using direct lines of communication. For example, if you’ve posted the video on your website, be sure to share the news with your community on a messaging or mailing app so they are notified that it is live.

Finally, be sure to check the comments and feedback from your community on if they found the video useful, or if they need parts changing.