Head of Video Abraxas Photography
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Five key features that make an engaging training video

22nd Apr 2019
Head of Video Abraxas Photography
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video filming at work
iStock/izusek

Videos are growing in popularity as a learning resource, but poorly executed materials can do more harm than good. Here are five tips to make sure your videos are the best possible quality.

As digital technology has advanced, so too have the opportunities to use them to support learning in the workplace. Training videos in particular have grown in popularity, as experienced employees are now able to replicate their knowledge or techniques to show others in the form of videos. (It's also proven especially useful for training remote workers). 

This can be a fantastic learning resource when used appropriately, but employers are increasingly aware of the need to keep these materials looking professional and high quality.

You also need to ensure it provides the correct information for any level of employee to be able to learn from the beginning and understand the crucial details of each task they may be given in their role.

Before you start, here are five key features to look out for when making an engaging training video, to ensure that all the boxes are ticked.

Less is more

Firstly, you need to decide on an appropriate length for the video. You may need to include vast levels of detail and information, but you don’t want to keep repeating yourself or be seen to belittle any employees that may already be quite established within their role.  

Your video needs to include precise information, in a variety of formats including both visual and textual content.

Remember, your viewers’ attention span may be short, so it’s important to grab and keep your learners' attention. Get your point across quickly and accurately to allow them to take note and digest the information.

This doesn’t mean cramming all of the material you have onto one slide either.

Keep the information on each shot to a minimum, ensuring your employees can easily focus on the vital points that are being made.

This is especially crucial if you’re presenting the training video to a large group. Each person’s brain functions at a different speed so bear this in mind.

Keep the content interesting 

Whether the presentation is five minutes or two hours long, you need to keep your employees engaged.

By duplicating the same pattern and format for every slide it can soon become incredibly repetitive and people may switch off, no matter what the content is.

Taking into consideration the advances of technology and people’s fast paced lifestyles, it’s important to make sure that your video can be viewed on various devices.

Utilise the tools you have by including images, graphs and perhaps third party video clips to help portray the information in a different light.

Introducing a consistent colour code throughout the video, such as your company logo colours, can be a great way of watermarking the content without it being too heavy.

If the duration of your video is particularly long, it may be an idea to include several break periods into it.

Viewers can only concentrate for so long, so help your employees to digest the information by allowing them to process different sections at a time.

Add soft background music

Sitting in complete silence whilst trying to learn from a two hour training video can be a struggle.

You therefore need to look at ways in which you can bring the video content to life and keep it as interesting as possible for those that are watching.

Music is one of those elements. Choose suitable songs that are subtle, but will keep to the pace of the presentation and won’t divert watchers from the content they are trying to take in.

Avoid choosing current chart music, or anything that people may know well as this can be very distracting.

Lower the volume and put something soothing in the background to avoid any awkward silences.

Go mobile

Taking into consideration the advances of technology and people’s fast paced lifestyles, it’s important to make sure that your video can be viewed on various devices.

You may already be planning to show your video to a group of employees in a meeting room, but think beyond this.

The last thing your employees want is to see a poorly produced video that they can’t understand due to the sound being low quality.

Set up the training video so it can be played on a smart phone or tablet. This will allow your employees to watch the video whenever and wherever they like, which will help if they’ve missed several bits of information.

It can also be great when employees need a short refresh on different parts of the training as they can watch back certain sections of the video.

Utilise professional equipment

In order for your video to be successful and provide your employees with valuable information, your content needs to be slick, professional and educational.

As much as the newest smartphones produce fantastic video footage, they may not be the right fit for a team training experience.

The same applies to microphones. If you’re planning on incorporating speech into your video, make sure you use a professional microphone designed for occasions like this.

The last thing your employees want is to see a poorly produced video that they can’t understand due to the sound being low quality.

If you don’t have the right equipment in-house, you might consider outsourcing your video production to ensure the best quality learning experience for your employees.

Interested in this topic? Read Digital learning: how L&D can make the most of technology.

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