Would you rather read a user guide about how to fix your garbage disposal, or watch a YouTube tutorial? In today’s society, most people pick YouTube.
The benefits of creating a training video as part of your corporate learning strategy are numerous. Video is one of the most effective forms of communication, partly because the combination of audio and visual appeals to multiple learning styles, but also because of the human element involved. Video brings concepts to life. For this reason, it’s often used to introduce new products, explain new processes, or create buy-in for new ideas. Learners are more likely to engage when they see job tasks played out in a scenario, or hear a senior leader stress the importance of a new initiative.
Presenting content via video also means the information can be consistently and reliably delivered over an extended length of time. It is often more convenient and cost-effective to produce training videos than it is to organize in-person training, especially if you’re dealing with audiences spread across multiple shifts, locations, or time zones. Whether used a stand-alone component, or as part of a blended learning program, audio-visual content is one of the most powerful methods available for imprinting knowledge into learners’ long-term memory, thereby accelerating the training process.
Generally, the terms instructional video, training video, and educational video all mean the same thing, which is that the video transfers knowledge to the viewers. The power of the moving visual communicates and captivates in a way that simple text and images (clickable or not) fall short.
Video comes in many styles and types, each with their own purpose and traits. Here are a few.
An explainer video has a simple purpose: introducing a product, idea, or process. Explainer videos are short and entertaining. The message or tone communicates a try-it-its-easy attitude, as it simplifies complex ideas into easily digestible content. Explainer videos are used when resistance might be encountered among the viewing audience, providing context for the learner by addressing the business problem. These videos often use motion-graphics or iconography to convey these messages.
Another way to create buy-in with your viewing audience to allow their senior leadership to speak to them directly via video. These leadership messaging videos give the leader a way to explain in their own words why they believe the employees and organization as a whole will benefit from whatever the video is promoting.
How-to and tutorial are basically interchangeable terms when describing training video. We all know the power of YouTube when you have a tricky DIY project or want to troubleshoot a new software. Tutorials work best if they’re short and to the point. The length can vary, depending on the complexity of the task – but the key is to cut the didactic fluff and get straight to the step-by-step instruction.
When you’re looking to create something that promotes your company culture, or celebrates your team, you might make a culture video. These videos consist of quick-cut footage filmed in your work environment over upbeat music. There’s usually no voice-over or instruction, just music, clips, and personality!
Video testimonials feature employees or customers telling their own personal stories, which can provide relevance and a point of connection for the viewer. Hearing from your peers can be really effective at getting buy-in on a new process or technology.
360 videos allow you to see a 360-degree view from the point where the video is shot. An omnidirectional camera (or multiple cameras) captures a complete view of a space, allowing the user to “be” in the video and act from that place.
Video, by its nature, isn’t interactive, but by using authoring tools such as Storyline 360, it can feel that way. Learners viewing an interactive video can take various action while watching, including answering questions (in formats such as multiple choice, drag and drop, and fill-in-the-blank), selecting alternate viewing paths, typing information, etc. By seamlessly blending the course content and interactive elements, interactive video promotes a higher degree of learning engagement and retention.
Live-action videos are those that use video footage rather than graphics or animation. They are used to show people or a product in action. Sometimes the best way to show how to do something is to film it happening. Live-action videos can be diverse in terms of style and production quality. Video can be shot on a smartphone, or with the help of a production company.
Using animation and motion graphics in video can help communicate messages in ways that live-action can’t. Learners grasp procedural content more easily when its presented visually, and adding a character or motion can contribute elements of humor. By triggering an emotional response, content is more memorable.
A talking-head or presenter video uses a person talking in front of the camera to convey the content. Talking heads can be interviews, monologues, or facilitators in front of the camera (the viewing audience being the classroom). Interviews tend to be semi-scripted and monologues are fully scripted.
A stock footage montage typically consists of purchased footage, voiceover, and music, sometimes with custom graphics. Many sites offer videos of people in meetings, typing at computers, collaborating as a team, etc. B-roll is extra footage shot for use during narration or to break up other longer pieces of video content. It can include your subject (interviewee, actor, or action taking place) or can be made up of other shots. (A-roll is the footage of your main subject.)
Screencast videos are recordings of what’s being played on a computer screen. These types of videos are often used during technology training to show step-by-step actions. You can use software tools like Camtasia to capture mouse movements as the users move onscreen demonstrating a task or process.
Undertaking a video project can seem daunting. How much will it cost? How many people will need to be involved? The best way to get these answers in an organized fashion is to use a creative brief. You can find a creative brief template here.
The below questions are just a few of those that will need to be answered prior to starting your project.
There are best practices for every step of the video production process, from the storyboarding to the writing to the filming to the editing. For corporate training video, it’s key to remember that adhering to instructional design principles is important. The end goal is to convey information or teach someone something new.
Other best practices include:
Suffice it to say, there are a wide variety of tools and gear, from sound, lighting, and video equipment, to post-production editing and music overlay. Take into consideration primary viewing vehicles and consider some customization.