This is a post for people who speak at meetups, people who host meetups, and anyone who wants to get the word out about a speaker they enjoy listening to.

Many, many meetup talks are slaved over for weeks, given to an appreciative audience, and then vanish into the ether. Meetup organisation is super-stressful already, and adding video recording and editing on top is likely untenable for anyone who’s already over-stretched.

So that sucks. But there’s a method I use to record my own talks in a pinch:

  • Put my phone (an old iPhone 4) on the lectern sill or some other flat surface nearby, and use the in-built Voice Memos app to record audio.
  • Export my slides as PDF, uploaded to this site.

And, if I have time:

  • Use something like Screenflick (or even QuickTime Player with its New Screen Recording option) to get a screen-capture video recording of the slides being stepped through, synchronised to the audio recording. I have the PDF open, recording the screen while I listen to the audio and stab the right-arrow key a bunch of times.

“But that sounds like the same amount of effort!” – The difference here is that the capturing part is far easier; the up-front effort is minimal, but now you have at least some raw material to work with, even if you end up just dumping the slides + raw audio online somewhere (like Speaker Deck and SoundCloud). If someone is excited enough about the talk, they might volunteer to do this audio/slide-matching stage for you.

I try to get and audio capture of my own talks, except if there’s someone doing the recording I trust, or if I forget because I’m completely frazzled before a talk. Even conferences can stuff up the audio, so it’s a nice thing to get into a habit of doing for your own sake as a backup.

Some previous done-with-Screenflick examples of mine, for reference:

If anyone else is trying this, and have suggestions and tips, I’d love to hear from you. 😀

PS: A phone? Yes; it’s not tied to the machine giving the presentation, meaning it’s not going to pick up keystrokes so much, and it’s going to keep working even if your machine has trouble mid-presentation, like my machine did trying to use Keynote to record the Composition and Pipelines talk above.