4 tips to master the art of company training videos

This post is sponsored by Shootsta.

Think back to the days when you had to watch training videos. Maybe you were just starting a job or taking a refresher course. Whatever the case, I’ll bet you don’t remember most of them.

The easiest training videos to create are a power point slide show and a recording of a person talking to a screen, in that order. However, let’s be honest, both are boring and usually forgettable.

Now I’m not telling you to create a Cannes-worthy internal communications video. However, it goes a long way if it looks like effort was put in; it creates the impression your company cares about every little detail.

Here’s a few easy things you can do to make your training videos downright unforgettable.

1. Keep it simple

The first favour you can do for your employees watching the training video is to assume they have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m a big fan of ELI5, (explain like I’m five years old). If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Don’t patronise your audience, but make sure every concept is easy to understand for people at every level.

2. Don’t just talk

To elevate your video to the next level, you need to go beyond reading facts off a teleprompter. Think about what makes factual TV shows interesting. You need to build a structure for what you’re going to say, have visual effects and keep it human.

A combination of humour, plot twists, cinematic devices and character development goes a long way. Maybe introduce a character, let’s call him Jimmy. Allow your audience the opportunity to be emotionally invested in your video by making Jimmy encounter conflicts, brainwaves and humorous moments. But don’t overdo it - too many on-screen effects can lead to mental fatigue.

3. Know your audience

Just like a filmmaker knows how to appeal to diverse audiences, the best training videos are those that can be watched by everyone from the intern to the managing director. This also means huge time and cost savings as you make a one-size-fits-all asset that can be stored in your company database forever and is still relevant when recycled time and again. When crafting your message think about incorporating a variety of insights that speak to a wide audience.

4. Use your audience

What if I told you that your training video doesn’t just need to use the subject-matter expert? You can get your audience to advocate your message. A trick I use is to collect people’s opinions on a particular subject and compile them into a montage. This can be applied in almost any form, be it best practice, problems and solutions, or office hacks. With enough experience, everyone can be a subject-matter expert, and share insights you may not have previously thought of.

By incorporating these four tips when crafting training assets for internal communications purposes, you can be guaranteed a video that is interesting, relevant to your intended audiences and won’t incite groans.

The writer is Antoine Bouchacourt, vice-president of Asia at Shootsta.