In part one of this series, we discussed the benefits of using videos in your training programs and how to begin planning the production of your own videos. Here, we move on to the production phase of that process and provide tips on how to ensure your training videos are effective.
Developing a script and storyboard.
Scripting involves putting dialogue and visual descriptions for scenes out of your mind and onto paper — or, most likely, your screen. The idea here is to generate a document (even if your video will be mostly improvised or unscripted) that guarantees nothing of importance will be left out once you move on to production.
Along the same lines, storyboards provide a visual representation of the script that follows the scene sequence of your video through simple sketches or images, allowing you to visualize what you want to show in a more concrete way than your mind’s eye (or even your script) can provide.
Go through the process you plan to show step by step, including what is imperative to say and deciding what can be considered subsidiary. If you want to keep your audience’s attention, being brief is key, so combine your storyboard and script to generate scenes where your visuals back up, reinforce, or expand upon your script’s information. Don’t tell if you can show that sort of thing.
Best of all, once you have a robust and optimized script and combine it with a detailed storyboard, you’ll also have a solid idea of the overall length of your video.
Editing, modifying, and tweaking these tools during pre-production will help you improve the quality of your video early on and cut costs during production by avoiding the need to fix things after you have already started developing assets for your piece.
Moving on to production.
At this stage of the process, you’ll take the script and storyboard you created and start putting it to use.
The production stage of your piece will vary depending on the type of video you decide to go with. Screencast videos will require little more than screen recording software and a narrator to walk viewers through the process, while things like animated explainers or presenter videos will require things like visual asset development and on-screen talent to act out the content.
However, the long and short of it is that once you have a defined style in mind and have produced a script and storyboard to structure what you need for your piece, you can start developing video assets or recording the content that will comprise the bulk of your content.
Once asset production has been taken care of, you’re almost done.
Post-production and distribution.
Regardless of the type of video you go for, post-production is all about polishing whatever assets and footage you have through editing.
When editing, aim to make your training videos interesting and engaging by giving them a structure that makes it easier for viewers to follow your information. Add transitions, intros and outros, and create conclusions to summarize previously discussed points in the video.
In order to enhance the message you want to convey and make your content more accessible, captions are a noteworthy resource to add during post-production as well.
Once you have your video edited, you’ll need to think about the best ways to make it available to your employees. And once more, the best method will vary depending on your specific needs.
That said, it’s often a good idea to create a learning center on your company’s website or internal server that allows employees to access your training videos at their convenience.
Some Extra Advice to Keep in Mind for Better Training Videos
Unlike other types of videos your company produces, training videos are all about nurturing information delivery and retention. Here are a few pro tips you can use to greatly improve your training video’s effectiveness.
- A key to guaranteeing comprehension in training videos is structure. Start your video by stating the main points so viewers get a clear idea of what to expect. When giving instructions, list them step by step. Numbered steps make videos more digestible, as they give viewers a sense of progress and a clear vision of the end.
An engaging training video should be relatively short. If you find your videos too lengthy, you can always split the idea into a series.
- Reinforce your core message through different audiovisual elements.
Voice-overs are a great practice to provide helpful context, which often is too complicated to deliver via on-screen text.
Annotations help draw attention to particular things, guiding the viewers’ attention to where it needs to be. Meanwhile, text can help hammer home key points, but try not to overuse it in your videos. People tend to remember what they see more than what they hear, so supplementing your video with graphic elements is usually the way to go.
- Know your audience. If you recognize the knowledge base of your workforce, you can tailor content to their needs, preferences and familiarity with the subject.
Never forget to involve a professional from the specific area during the making of your video, as their take on the matter will definitely provide useful insight and improve the overall quality of your video.
- Keep your content engaging and interactive. Using humor or asking rhetorical questions can help you keep viewers engaged.
Another effective strategy consists of posing questions without immediately giving an answer: It encourages your audience to further reflect on the topic at hand and draw their own conclusions. If it isn’t interesting and informative, your training video will fail.
Have colleagues or stakeholders review your video before rolling it out. This will allow you to know whether or not you’re on the right track or if you need to make some corrections. Remember: It’s always easier to make changes earlier in a project than after it’s been delivered.
While making training videos is not rocket science, it still requires proper planning, dedication and constant check-ins at every step of the process to get a piece that gets the job done. And if it seems like a lot of work, that’s because it is! But the payoff is worth it.
The decisive point of training videos is how they will allow you to save time and money once the work is done. Proper communication is key to businesses. In ensuring the same practices and information is shared among your whole team, educational videos will become your biggest allies.