What Makes A Good Training Video
Making a training video must be a simple task, right? It is merely putting together necessary learning material in a visual format. It is up to the intended viewer to absorb as much as possible. This is not entirely true. Yes, the task involves making sure information is passed on, but there are many factors that could make that information much more accessible. If you are serious about making learning happen, then your best bet is to ensure that you have a professional on the job that knows what takes a training video from acceptable to effective. There are actual studies reflecting how much can come of really inspired instructional or training videos. Having the right video creation team on the job will ensure that the intention of your training video will be met and that all aspects that can promote learning have been implemented.
When it comes to visual learning, we often underestimate how many sensors are at play. We don’t automatically consider how many cues we are providing, or not providing, that aid in the absorption of information. We think only of what is presented for the audience to take away, and if we do want to consider how the information is presented, we often find that a creative expectation is often more difficult to achieve than our minds acknowledge. Let’s take a minute to consider one of the most obvious factors – one we probably all consider.
The Training Video Audience
This is the first factor when thinking about making a training video. We ask a ton of questions about the audience and what purpose the video serves in their lives. We want to make it simple for them; entertaining even. There is a way to address these questions that will make your training video more than a mere visual conduction method to replace manuals or lectures.
- Who Is It For?
Who the video is aimed at will tell you a lot about how to present the information. If the video is for new recruits to a company, it should be suggestive of what kind of institution you are running. Keep in mind that however you would like them to feel upon joining your team is the atmosphere that must be created in the video. Having members of your team present the video information might be a great way of making the newcomer feel more at home and give them insight on who to ask when they need to get things done.
If the training video is aimed at clients or students, take extra care to make it extremely user friendly and accessible by avoiding jargon or complex sentences which may result in a lack of interest. You want to draw this kind of audience in because they are business.
Training videos for existing staff can be tricky, especially if the video involves a refresher on certain aspects. New learning is easier to make appealing than old material that needs to be revised. You need to avoid this audience feeling as though the training is a waste of valuable time. Choose a presenter that won’t come across as condescending, and maybe consider some comic relief.
- Know Your Audience
Training videos aimed at new employees makes this a difficult factor to incorporate. The best is to focus on how you’d like them to feel by the end of it, over and above what they should know. Making the video accessible by including chapters will mean they can go back to important points later on. A well-rounded video will not only express what is expected of them, but also what they can expect and how to go about fulfilling their new role with the greatest ease and impact. Have an additional section that answers silly questions you know they are going to need to ask. Have those questions answered by faces they will encounter in their work space. It will give them a sense of who they are working with, and not just who they are working for.
With clients and students, the focus will shift onto simple, accessible, step-by-step type instruction. The length will directly impact maintaining their interest. You don’t ever want this audience to be left feeling frustrated or asking questions, and so make sure to include things that are normally taken for granted. If they are watching a video on the subject or item, it could be their first real exposure to it.
Existing clients is where you should always hit the mark. Appeal to the personalities in the room. Even if the video is a “head office to all office” type video, your company probably has a dynamic that they are consistently trying to create and maintain. This means you should “know” most of the people in the room.
Videos for training purposes should be making use of every medium and subtle inclusion to take learning to the next level. And that is where this next section comes into play.
Set The Scene
When shooting a video, for any reason, you don’t only have audio and visual stimuli working for you. Every detail in every frame is influencing your objective.
- Staging The Content
The setting of your video provides context for the people watching. If it is a new employee training video, either set the scene in the workplace or use a similar scene. The same goes for client training videos. If the video is instructional then all equipment and surroundings need to lend themselves to the product or service. This will help the viewer to see how things work. If aimed at existing employees, you may want to take them out of their everyday environment and use a setting that creates some distance from where they spend their time.
The sound used in your video can add to learning: from music to background noise to the voices. There are even noises that aid the brain to absorb information or get motivated. Make sure any sound either fits with what is being conveyed or that it prompts the viewer to engage. Avoid anything distracting or out of place.
Much like sound, colors have been known to have an effect on viewer engagement. Avoid bold and contrasting colors, or too many colors. Harmonious color pallets are much easier on the eye and less distracting. Lighting works in a similar way by creating a sense of alertness.
Because these factors do influence your viewer, don’t simply work with what you have got. These “minor” details are the difference in how much a viewer gains from a video. This leaves us with one area we still need to delve into.
Tailor Your Style
There are loads of helpful hints on how to construct this information that you should keep in mind.
- Instructional Principles
Studies on learning principles will help direct the flow of information in your video. A professional training video producer will be familiar with how to implement your content according to these principles. These principles involve creating a logical sequence. The problem with many videos is that they present information where they think it is most relevant instead of first considering how easy the points are to follow. A good training video will bring in extra details without leaving a viewer feeling frustrated or bored.
- Who’s In It
Choose your narrator, presenter, and “actors” carefully, with the purpose and audience of your video in mind. An expert or a well-known face might be a good choice for a video aimed at students or for clients, but for in-house training for new employees, it doesn’t help the viewer to connect to their environment and the material.
- The Rest
You don’t want to skimp on necessary information but you also don’t want to produce a video that is so long it becomes hard to watch. Finding the balance has a lot to do with who will be watching it. Instructional videos for clients should be as short and succinct as possible. The same goes for existing employees. For new employees, some extra time can be spent on making them feel like all their questions have been answered.
Creating a change on the screen in regular intervals makes for much easier watching. Even a different camera angle helps the viewer stay focused. This is not to say that there should be action to the point of distraction, it means take the time to consider the viewer’s attention span.
This is a broad overview of how to make a great training video. There are many measures that a professional production house will be doing that someone in-house will not have the skill to consider. Businesses that have opted to use training videos should realize that they are only truly effective if left in the hands of a professional media team.