A lot of companies don’t put a whole lot of thought into training videos because they aren’t sexy. But a well-made employee training video sets the tone for new hires and increases productivity. A helpful tutorial makes customers feel better about the brand they purchased.
When you really think about it, there are compelling business reasons to spend time and money making branded training videos. Here are some quick pointers on how to do it right.
1. Use a Script
You’d be surprised at how many people drop the ball on this crucial first step. A structured narrative is the backbone of any training video. Since they’re loaded with important information, the last thing you want to do is make them confusing.
Oh, and let your reader know that he or she doesn’t have to be stiff as a board. Confusing is bad, but boring is worse.
2. Get to the Point
Chances are anyone watching a training video already knows why they’re watching it, right? So you don’t need a prolonged introduction. Keep things simple and sweet.
The same holds true for actual shots. One of the worst ways to shoot a training video is to do it all in one long shot. Not only will this bore viewers instantly, it also isn’t structured. Without any cuts or close-ups, a viewer won’t really know what to pay attention to.
3. Move the Camera
That’s why you should take advantage of variety. At natural points in the narrative the camera should be zooming in for a close-up of the action or cutting away to different shots. In the same way that people speak with their hands to add color to their stories, a video that requires viewers to pay attention needs compelling engagement.
Keep all your shots brief so interest doesn’t wane. Try your best to keep a training video under 3 minutes (most attention spans lapse after 2). Some people even recommend breaking a video into 30-second chunks and adding a navigable index. Another great way to engage is through the use of simple graphics because graphics can instantly convey information.
Lastly, do multiple takes even if you think you don’t have to – that way you’ll have more to work with during post production.
4. Stick with Simple Background and Lighting
Your background needs to make sense for whatever you’re shooting in order to frame your content. Keep in mind that tutorials and even employee training videos are still pieces of marketing. If you can’t find a suitable location, film in front of a greenscreen and push to white during post production.
Lighting doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, you can get a DIY lighting kit and still make people look great on camera. The trick is to stick with flat, even lighting. Natural light is gorgeous if you can capture it at the right time but isn’t a must.
If anything, make sure everyone who’s going to be on camera gets the memo to dress properly. Colors matter more than you think.
5. Audio Needs to be Audible
Let’s not forget that your video began with a script. If your viewer can’t hear what you’re saying or has to guess even once, try again.
If there’s no reason to go outdoors, stay inside because it’ll be easier to hear things. If you’re using more than one camera, rig the mic to the main camera to improve sound.
There’s also something to be said about producing a version of the training video with subtitles. Even if your reader or voice-over artist enunciates clearly, there’s a chance a small number of your viewers still won’t be able to hear him clearly. Take the hearing-impaired and non-native English speakers into consideration. You want everyone to benefit from your training video.