One way to support an effective employee training program is to use amazing employee training videos. One Mimeo survey of 2,000 companies found 74 percent of companies used video training in their training delivery. That is a sizable number and increase given that only 46 percent of the respondents said they used video in the previous year.
There are many reasons to use videos for employee training. One is employee attention. A Forrester Research study found employees are 75 percent more likely to watch videos than read documents, emails or web articles.
Another reason is that videos help to increase retention. It is widely quoted that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. This is great news given that a SAVO group study found that the average employee forgot 65 percent of the material in just 7 days after training, and 90 percent six months later.
To help you create amazing training videos for your employees, we will provide 15 tips for creating great employee videos in this blog.
1. Decide on the audience, goals and learning objectives
Audiences will respond differently to different presentation styles as well as the content itself, and it is important to understand your target audience before starting to create any videos. Questions to ask include:
- What are the audience’s roles and backgrounds?
- What type of learning is preferred and/or suggested for the material and audience? Soft skills, procedural, technical, etc. all may need different styles.
- What skills does the audience possess? Design and delivery of videos should suit the audience’s knowledge and abilities.
- Are there cross-cultural needs, such as language and phrases which do not translate well, or are not universally understood?
Having answers to these questions before creating training videos will allow selection of the best style for the audience.
2. Choose the right type of training video
There are several styles of videos which can be selected to optimize learning effectiveness for the trainees and fit the trainer’s resources.
- Animated videos: Explain difficult content with animations for improved comprehension.
- Presenter videos: Share expert knowledge and highlight key points with text and graphics.
- Demonstration videos: Show procedural knowledge such as assembly steps or customer service interactions.
- Screencast videos: Display digital tool screen captures to demonstrate different functions. Be sure to include narration which can be added after the image capture or while recording it depending on your preference.
- Simulation videos: Use actors or role-playing to depict workplace scenarios allowing viewers to see themselves in those situations and consider their responses.
- Microlearning videos: Deliver content in bite-sized bursts, when needed and “on the go”. These might be suitable for websites or applications where users could benefit from real-time training or have the ability to search to understand a single concept on demand.
3. Choose the right visual recording tools
Video quality can dictate the response of the learner and their perception of the brand. One study found that 62 percent of viewers are likely to develop a negative perception of a brand if the quality of their videos is poor.
When considering video quality, choose cameras from quality manufacturers that can record in high definition or ultra-HD. If the equipment budget is limited, opt for a “prosumer” camera which offers professional quality but is easy to use.
Don’t forget to invest in accessories such as tripods, fluid head or gimbals to stabilize images, and multiple lenses for longer range and close-up image capture.
4. Pay attention to audio quality
Audio free from traffic, office, HVAC or construction noise will enhance video quality. If you can’t create a quiet environment on-site, consider renting an off-site studio.
Choosing a good quality microphone such as a directional microphone that mates with a video camera hot shoe or lavalier (collar) microphone will improve audio quality over built-in omnidirectional microphones.
Good quality microphones may not eliminate the need for post-production editing. Video editing software will help to remove unwanted noises and sounds such as long pauses, “umms”, shuffling papers and collar scuffing.
5. Invest in good lighting
Try not to mix natural and artificial lighting. If natural lighting suits the project, find a location which is not too shaded, not too bright and has minimum shadows. Schedule shooting to optimize the available light and adapt to changing light conditions through the shooting.
Artificial light can be better controlled but may require investing in lighting equipment to avoid too bright, harsh, and overhead office lighting. For best results, diffused lighting should be placed on the side or at a 45-degree angle.
6. Develop a storyboard and video script
Scripting a video uses text to describe scenes and narration, with details of the screen contents. Having a script will ensure that you are delivering the right message and a great experience.
Some video projects might benefit from using a storyboard. A storyboard is a graphic representation of how a video will flow, like a comic book panel. Storyboards can be created and edited in tools such as PowerPoint until all team members are satisfied with the sequence of scenes.
7. Edit or divide script to keep audience’s attention
Don’t forget to craft an opening and closing – the first to grab the audience’s attention and the second to include a teaser for a following video, or follow-up training.
Structure the script into three acts:
- Act one: What is the issue the video addresses?
- Act two: Why is this an issue and how can it be addressed?
- Act three: What can the viewer do now to apply what they have learned?
Balance visuals and narration to minimize redundancy to keep the video less mentally taxing. Use different camera angles for variety. Keep the script brief and focused on one topic. If your script is more than five minutes, you may lose the audience’s attention so consider breaking it up into multiple smaller videos with variety.
8. Find talent, if necessary
Since the use of voice modulation and inflection is key to keeping the audience awake and paying attention, it may make sense to bring in professional talent. In-house SMEs are not always the best presenters or most comfortable in front of cameras.
Services such as Voice Talent Now and Voices can make this convenient as samples are available to select an artist. Once the selected artists are provided with a script, they can record and send a completed audio file.
9. Choose the right editing software
Editing is important for creating a good quality training video. While many applications like Soapbox or iMovie are available for smaller projects, higher-priced editing applications such as Adobe Premiere provide more features.
Before exporting the project, understand where the video will be hosted and viewed, to select the appropriate file type, size and settings for each.
10. Add visuals to enhance the message
Visual elements like annotations, text overlays and transitions can be added during editing to highlight important concepts.
Animations are another way to add interest. Tools such as Doodly or Animator are easy to use but should not be overdone to avoid distracting the audience from the key messages in the video.
11. Add interactivity
Interactivity fosters greater engagement with the viewers. Engaged viewers experience more comprehensive learnings which can result in greater knowledge retention. Interactivity can assist in:
- Creating customized learning paths based on viewers’ selections and interests. Viewers can select paths most relevant to their roles, inviting the learner to explore more content.
- Appealing to different learner profiles.
- Giving viewers the ability to steer their training.
- Allowing trainers to better understand training progress and effectiveness.
12. Include captions
Captions may be required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Captions can be “Closed captioning” so users can select captioning, or “Open Captioning” so the text is always present on the screen.
For ADA compliance, all organizational videos should be properly captioned.
13. Translate and voice-over for different languages
Effectively train your entire global workforce by translating and voicing-over your videos.
Video sub-titling translation is one option to reach non-English speakers in their native language. As videos are increasingly watched in silent mode on portable devices, closed captioning/sub-title text is a great way to deliver messages to the viewer.
Automatically generated sub-titles may meet the basic need, but an accurate translation will correctly communicate the message, and sequence so the text matches the visuals.
Voice-over translation services are available and can communicate video narration into multiple languages so viewers can listen and learn in their own language. Options include:
- Voice replacement: The original audio is muted and replaced by audio in the desired language which matches the visuals and sequencing.
- Off-screen voice over: Off-screen narration is replaced with off-screen translated narration. Viewers can follow the visuals with narration in their own language.
- Lip-synching/dubbing: As is done with some foreign films, voice talent replaces the original speech by matching the lip movements of the on-screen actors in the desired language.
- UN-style voice over: The original audio can be heard at lower volume in the background so it is obvious the translated voice-over is a translation.
14. Publish videos in an accessible location
YouTube and Vimeo are platforms that can be used to reach many users across the globe. YouTube offers vast reach and analytics enabling monitoring usage and ROI, while Vimeo provides greater video quality and even more customization. Both can host training videos at a cost, and can be configured for private access to videos via account and password.
For internal training videos, hosting on the company’s knowledge base or internal website might be preferred. While this approach would keep all the content on internal servers, that also presents some challenges, such as:
- Server bandwidth needs: Video playback requires significant computer resources and if multiple viewers are accessing content at the same time, servers providing videos will need to be appropriately sized to handle the demand.
- File size and storage space: Large video files may exceed some web hosting providers’ limits requiring upgrading your account. Accumulated large file storage may require additional storage resources and file backup infrastructure.
- Video playback: Seamless video playback requires appropriately sized servers and sufficient data bandwidth for any users watching videos at the same time.
- File formats: A mix of file formats for videos and various browsers may require standardizing on one browser and platform to eliminate uploading multiple video file versions. (example: Windows OS and Chrome browser)
- Mobile formats: While most users will watch videos on laptop or desktop devices, an increasing number will use phones or tablets. Unless standard devices are specified, video formats for several may be required.
- Varying quality across browsers: As with the mobile devices, unless standardized, video format conversion may be needed to address multiple formats and sizes.
- Piracy concerns: You may need additional safeguards to prevent videos being pirated and distributed illegally. Vimeo is one option that can keep videos hidden from the public and only embedded on your site, providing you with more security.
A cloud based LMS (learning management system) will avoid many of the above issues but it should be closely evaluated to see if it will meet your company (and budget) needs. [Check out our blog on selecting the right LMS for your organization]
15. Ensure mobile device compatibility
Mobile devices are increasingly becoming the device of choice for viewing videos, consuming social media content and maintaining contact.
Higher resolution video formats (1080p or 720p) may be suitable for larger screens with higher Wi -Fi bandwidth or ethernet internet connections. Mobile devices may need smaller and lower resolution video file versions to display well on smaller screens and over lower bandwidth internet connections. This may require multiple versions of video files available for all viewers.
Why use videos for employee training?
Training videos are part of a strong training and development program which can help businesses find and select the right people, retain them and grow profits. Here are some of the ways this can be done…
Reduced costs: You pay once for a training asset that can be provided many times to multiple employees. Employees don’t need to travel and they can view videos conveniently from their office desk or home office.
Better engagement: Videos engage employees better than written documents and can be made interesting to keep viewers’ attention better than documents or lectures. With employees 75 percent more likely to watch a video than read a document, employee engagement is much more likely.
Increased retention: Video has been proven to be more memorable than other training methods.
Versatility: Video can be created in many styles to best suit the audience and material being presented. Videos can be used as training tools to introduce new services or products, onboard new team members, support professional development, demonstrate new systems or procedures.
Measurable: Video hosting metrics include data on the number of views, duration of views, time spent viewing per session, and indicate if the videos are watched to the end. Interactive videos add the ability to monitor and assess viewers’ engagement with the training.
Can be interactive: Interactive videos can be tailored for the viewing audience to target specific groups of users as needed. Including a question-and-answer format is a great way to better engage viewers and hold their interest while communicating the desired training content. Responses can be retained and used to understand the effectiveness of the training, allowing learning teams to measure and adjust training content, or address learning shortfalls with additional attention.
Shared experience: Instructor-led training can be different depending on the trainers, groups of learners and learning environments. However, all the viewers of training videos will have the same shared experience.
Can communicate complex concepts: Sometimes simple, easy-to-understand visuals with engaging graphics can make dry topics or complicated subjects more easily understood.
Accessible anytime: Videos are continuously available and can be played as needed to review learnings. They also remove the need to travel, acquire instructors and training facilities, and reduce the high cost of assembling multiple employees together at the same time for classroom training. With video, the entire team can get trained (and retrained) at their own pace and at their learning level.
How LEAi supports video training?
LEAi makes it easy to build the scripts for your employee training videos. You simply import any source document you already have – presentations, product documentation, blogs – and LEAi takes that information and provides you with the learning objectives, text, step-by-step instructions and test questions you need to build your training video – all in minutes.
You no longer have to spend hours reading and developing the content for your videos. With LEAi that work is done in minutes so you can then refine your story and start the review process with your team or go directly to produce the video.
You don’t have to be a L&D (learning and development) specialist to use LEAi. Our tool is so easy to use that almost anyone can convert existing content they have into learning content that follows best practices.
If you are struggling to quickly scale your training videos or you simply just want to get through the script writing phase much more quickly, let us show you how LEAi can be used with your content!