A successful training program must be well-rounded. Video is one of the most versatile and effective tools you have at your disposal. You can demonstrate processes, share visual aids, and make instructors more visible and personable. From live-action scenarios and clips of lectures to animation, there’s little video can’t convey to your audience.
The key is creating quality content that’s concise and professional. The following tips will help you film videos that will take your training program to the next level this year.
Connect Video Content to Training Material – Your video content should be used along with other training material like audio clips, documents, and in-person classes or webinars. Let your video create a dynamic experience that complements your other training resources.
Tell an Engaging Story with Sight and Sound – One of the best ways to teach a subject is through storytelling. It’s engaging and allows the brain to build a stronger connection with the material. Don’t just explain topics or ideas, show concepts through a good story.
Write a Script and Stick to It – Never start shooting a video without a plan. Write a script and stick to it. Everything should be planned so you can track length and ensure that you cover the material without rambling and distracting or losing the viewer. The same goes for speaking segments.
You should also read through the script out loud and listen to how it sounds. Some text may look alright on paper but may not translate well when spoken out loud. Your script should also include a list of all the props, tools, or materials you will need to produce the video.
Short Videos Are More Effective – Instead of one long video, try breaking the material up into several shorter clips. Much like microlearning, this makes the content easier to organize and understand. For example, if you are planning a 30-minute long training video, consider dividing it into segments of 3 to 5 minutes each.
Audio Quality is Essential – Don’t overlook the importance of audio quality. Your audience must be able to hear the action just as clearly as they see it. Poor audio quality can be a distraction. It lowers the perceived value of the video and can cause viewers to miss spoken lines that may contain vital instruction.
Use Proper Lighting Levels for Scenes – Lighting is also essential when shooting videos. Two lights should be placed about 45 degrees from the center of the demonstration, one on each side. You may need additional lighting depending on your setup and natural lighting in the area.
Avoid Doing One Long Single-Camera Shot – Use two cameras or plan to shoot your video twice. This will allow you to capture different angles simultaneously or to zoom in for closeups. It’s much more challenging to do this with one camera and one shot. Different perspectives will give the viewer a better look at what is being demonstrated.
Focus on and Repeat Key Points – Any key points or ideas should be highlighted and repeated to help reinforce the information. These should also be displayed on graphics used in the video.
Use Cutaways and Closeups for Variety and Detail – Plan to shoot cutaways and closeups. They allow for more flexibility when showing different aspects of a process or demonstration. Keep the camera view wide in the main shot and film cutaways and closeups separately. This will make it easier to insert them as short segments later.
Create a Professional Background for Your Video – Pay attention to what’s in the background of your training video. There should be nothing distracting so that the focus remains on the action.
One inexpensive solution is to buy a solid-colored curtain to hang behind the scene. Neutral tones work best. Avoid white backgrounds because these can cause exposure problems.
Watch Good Training Videos Before You Begin – Search for highly-recommended training videos online and watch them. They don’t have to be on topics that are related to your business. This will help you understand how good training videos are formatted and organized. It may also serve as inspiration for your content.
Have a Team in Place to Ensure Video Quality – Have a team in place to monitor video quality while shooting and during the editing phase. If you are a small business on a budget, you may only have one or two people who can handle this task.
Whether you have one person doing the job or 10, they must pay close attention to the overall quality of the video from both content and technical standpoints. A poorly produced video won’t reflect well on your company and will not be as effective in a training class.
Add a Teaser to Introduce Other Training Videos – If you plan to make future videos or if the video is part of a series, work in a teaser. This could be a spoken reference or clips from the other films.
Give the viewer a reason to get excited about continuing the series or coming back for future releases. Even if the content is mandatory, you still want to build audience interest to keep them engaged and motivated.
Make Room for Regular Tests and Quizzes – Instead of waiting to test learners after a long video, break it up to allow for regular assessments. This will allow the trainer to identify weak areas in the content or help learners who may be struggling before they get too far into the material.
Use Microvideos to Teach Individual Processes – Microvideos, much like microlearning, are very brief clips that show an individual process or idea. They range from 5 to 15 seconds in length and usually contain no narration. This is a helpful format to use when demonstrating several short processes that are not long enough to fit into a full-length training video.
Use Roleplay to Demonstrate Interactions – Customer service and similar job roles often require the ability to interact with people in difficult situations. Roleplaying is a great way to show learners how to handle different scenarios.
You can create roleplay videos that demonstrate tech support, sales calls, customer transactions, or human resources topics like harassment and on-the-job conduct.
Familiarize Yourself with Video Software – There are many video software products available today. Some allow you to screencast from a computer. Others let you record webinars, make animations, and more. Learn what’s available so you know which tools you will need before you film your video.
Have a Trainer Present or Include Q&A Sessions with Videos – Videos are powerful training tools, but they shouldn’t be the only resource present. Have a trainer stay with the class to field questions. It’s also helpful to plan for a question and answer session after watching.
Distribute Videos with Bonus or Supplementary Material – Package your training videos with bonus or supplementary material. This could include a workbook, audio file, forms, visual aids, and anything else that’s relevant to the material.
Make Videos Available on Your LMS – Make sure your videos are as accessible as possible. Upload or link them to your LMS so your employees can easily find and watch them. Many platforms let you add videos as a required part of a lesson.
Training videos are a great way to cut costs and increase success in 2020. Check out LMS.org to learn about LMS platforms that support video content.