The Five Secrets to an Effective Training Video

And no, none of them involve being on VHS

Effective Training Video

One of the easiest and most frequently used methods of sharing information with new employees is to have them watch a training video. However, as most new employees will tell you, those videos can differ significantly in their actual helpfulness. Creating a successful training video is more than just filming someone talking about the job, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are five easy secrets to making an effective training video.


  1. Cover the necessary material.

This is the first point because it should be the starting point for your video. What material does the viewer need to see? The answer to that question will depend greatly on your intended audience and their job position and responsibilities. However, you should also take into account what they already know. Are you making this video for new employees to your company, or for tenured employees who have been doing this job for decades? Answering that question will set you on the track for determining what needs to go into your video.


  1. Convey information clearly and concisely.

Once you have established what your video will cover, the next task is to work on how to share that information in a way that the viewer will be able to internalize it. If you need to explain complex material that includes numbers or figures, consider using graphics, such as a chart or graph. If you need to provide detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to use a machine, try using a picture of the machine with overlaid graphics explaining what to do when. Ensure you fully explain the basics of what the viewer needs to know, but don’t overexplain or use more words than are necessary. Remember, the video can serve as an introduction to a position, but it can’t go through every single aspect of a given job. (That is better left to instruction with a supervisor.)


  1. Explain how the material is relevant to the viewer.

Simply telling the viewer what they need to do to complete various tasks is not enough to make them as successful as possible. Instead, you need to also spend time explaining how their job fits into the larger scheme of your company’s mission. Give them a quick overview of the process that surrounds their role, allowing them to see what other steps depend on them and what happens after they perform their tasks.


  1. Provide guidance on what to do next.

After finishing your video, what steps do they take next? Who can they contact if they have questions or need more information? Do they need to check in with anyone to say they finished the video? Your video should end with specific guidance about what happens next. Whether they need to watch another video, take a quiz over the covered material, or just head out to start working, make sure the video makes that clear.


  1. Keep the viewer’s attention.

This is perhaps the most important and underappreciated of the secrets to an effective training video. No matter how well you cover the material or how thoroughly you explain your company’s goals, none of that will matter if the viewer isn’t actually watching the video. To some degree, following the previous four secrets will help ensure you keep the viewer’s attention, but there are many other factors that might cause the viewer’s eyes to glaze over. For one, ensure that the video itself is kept as short as possible while still doing what you need it to. The longer the video, the harder it is to keep attention. In general, keeping your video to three to seven minutes is best. Additionally, try to keep things moving, having movement and new information presented frequently. Any more than seven to ten seconds without something new on screen will cause your viewer to start to lose interest.


So, there you have it, the five secrets to making an effective training video. There are, of course, other important things to keep in mind, such as format and distribution, but following these secrets will help to ensure your video is as successful as possible.


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