I’m a Pluralsight author!

My first course, Identifying & Fixing Performance Issues Caused by Parameter Sniffing, was published two weeks ago. It won’t be the last.

Recording the course was a voyage of discovery. Until then, I’d only ever done live presentations, blog posts and articles. I initially thought that the recording would be similar to live presentations, but it’s nothing close.

For presentations, I do them off-the-cuff. Oh, I rehearse them beforehand, but I have no script, no speakers notes, no cue cards. My slides are as much for me, to direct what I’m talking about at each point, as they are for the audience. Two presentations using the same slide deck are not going to be the same.

I initially tried that method for recording, and it was a mess. Because the mistakes and half-sentences and corrections that are fine in a live presentation are not fine with a recording. The recording has to be near-perfect, all those little mistakes have to be edited out and re-recorded.

The first recording I did I had to record three times and there were still places wrong.

So I switched to scripting the entire thing, and then just ‘reading’ the script, taking care that it didn’t sound like reading a script. That works much better, but the time to write the script is huge. I speak at roughly 160 words/minute. A full page in Word, with default font and spacing, is around 600 words. 30 minutes of recording means around 8-9 pages of script.

The recording, I’ve found, is the least time-consuming part of the exercise (which is good, because it’s only quiet enough to record after 8PM, I live just off a busy road with a school a block away)

The editing is the most tedious. 20 minutes of finished video requires around 40 minutes or more of recording and probably 1.5-2 hours of editing, more if it was a demo.

The demos are still a problem and one where I need to figure out a good process. What I did for this course was to record the video of the demo, do a quick edit to take out mistakes, then record the voice over the top, then edit them together. While it works, it’s a monumental pain. A 15 minute demo took 3 hours of editing to put together.

For the next one I’ll try recording the demos, video and audio, in smaller chunks. Hopefully will make it easier to piece the audio and video together. The finished clips can easily be edited together at the end. Hopefully that’ll make the demos less of a pain.


  1. Jody

    Congrats on your first course!! I am looking forward to the next one

  2. Tarquin

    Hi Gail,
    Just watched your course and thought it was great. Very clearly explained and covered more than just parameter sniffing in a short period of time. Looking forward to more.

  3. Edwin Sarmiento

    Congratulations, ma’am! The behind-the-scenes work of creating an online course is time-consuming. Sometimes, writing an article or whitepaper is a lot easier. Over time, you will get the hang of it and can create a system that will make it easier.

  4. Parvinder Nijjar

    I watched your course and it was great.

    1. Gail (Post author)


  5. John Dhabolt

    I feel your pain regarding the process of creating these recorded video tutorials. What process did you eventually settle on? I’m especially interested in the recorded demos, as this was definitely the largest time sink for me as well. Congrats on your Pluralsight courses!

    1. Gail (Post author)

      I’m still tweaking the process, but at the moment I’m leaning to full scripting of slides and demos. Record video of demos, script, record audio, piece together.

      It’s a lot of upfront work, but it seems to make the editing a little easier.


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