The Training Video Impact
Training videos are a fantastic learning tool for your employees. Whether you’re implementing leadership training or sexual harassment refreshers, videos are one of the best ways to improve your return on investment and ensure your employees are actually getting something from training.
You want employees to be engaged, excited and interested in learning because that’s what’s going to lead them to comprehend and retain information.
Videos accomplish these goals in many ways, but videos can also go terribly wrong. Some employee training videos have been so bad they’ve earned viral status, for all the wrong reasons, years and even decades later.
If you’re questioning whether or not your videos are valuable it may be time to reevaluate.
Take a look at our list of the 9 signs your training videos are anything from slightly outdated to downright terrible:
- Your Video Is Just a Collection of Powerpoints
Yes, videos are a valuable way to present content, but they can lose their appeal if they’re really just a collection of Powerpoint slides with some background music added in. The point of a video is to heighten the learning experience and make it feel visually exciting and unique. Compiling Powerpoints isn’t going to accomplish this. You might as well just leave the content in slide format.
- It Seems Like Amateur Comedy Night
Jokes are an extremely challenging thing to include in training, and, in particular, video-based training. A few well-placed jokes here and there can improve the quality of your learning, but if your script goes overboard trying to be funny, you risk dumbing down your content and alienating your audience. Yes, you want videos to keep your viewers engaged, but it’s not your job to create entertainment—it’s your job to make sure employees are trained.
- Bad Actors
Producing videos that use live actors can make training seem realistic, but it can also go wrong. Very wrong. Using acting in training videos, much like comedy, is tricky, and it can also be time-consuming or expensive. With the widespread availability of technology that lets you make videos using graphics, animations and photos, it may be best to leave the actors out of the equation if you don’t have the resources to do it right.
- It Goes On, and On, and On
This is a point we reiterate time and time again—your learners have a brief attention span. That’s natural and rather than trying to combat that, just work with that idea in mind when you’re developing content, including videos. Videos aren’t so interesting that it gives you an excuse to go on for an hour. Try to keep videos around the 5-10 minute time range for maximum effectiveness. It doesn’t matter how much information is packed into your video if your audience isn’t willing to watch it to the end. If you have must-know content that you can’t cut, just break a long video into several shorter segments.
To find inspiration for delivering short, to-the-point videos, look to the social media platform Snap Chat, which has seen tremendous growth in popularity over the past year. Their brand stories give users very brief videos that build their audience and quickly capture their attention. It’s the model of SnapChat that you should aim for when deciding on a video length. Go for impact instead of longevity.
- Outdated Imagery
Today’s employees are bombarded with imagery and videos constantly, making them a very discerning audience. Your employees know right away if a video is outdated, and just one image that seems from a bygone era can be enough to turn them off your videos and training in general. Even if someone is typing on an old computer or data and statistics are from a decade ago, your audience will notice and they will be turned off. We live in a world where up-to-the-millisecond updates are available around every corner, so why would trainees want stale content from years ago?
- Overwhelming Content
There are two ways videos can be overwhelming in your e-Learning, and both ways tend to sabotage training impact. The first is when it’s packed with too much content, which we somewhat addressed above with the length issue. The second way videos can be overwhelming is if they have too many things coming at viewers at one time—too many images, graphics, too much text, music— videos need to be used as a learning tool, and that should always be the one goal. Too much in the way of graphics and other video elements can quickly get confusing for your learners.
- Terrible Narration
Narration can be a tricky thing to master, but a lot of time we see it considered almost as an afterthought for the rest of the creative process for e-Learning videos. Instead, narration should either be given a lot of attention from the start or left out altogether. If you have narration not delivered correctly it can ultimately diminish the professional perception of your training video. Either work with a professional voiceover actor, or skip the narration and use something like on-screen copy to get the message across.
- No Branding Consistency
Top quality e-Learning and employee training content should always reflect your brand identity. That helps your messaging feel consistent and cohesive, and you’re simultaneously training your employees on what it is that your brand really is. Even if you spend time making sure the rest of your e-Learning matches your brand identity, but you don’t do the same on your videos, it’s going to be lost. Make sure to design in such a way that your videos reflect who you are as a company and keep it consistent regarding colors, fonts and other visual features.
- Your Video Doesn’t Reflect the Audience
For training to be effective and engaging, it needs also to feel relevant to learners. This extends to videos. If you’re creating videos that showcase a workforce of primarily middle-aged white men and your workers are predominantly made up of Millennials from diverse backgrounds, they’re going to find it challenging to connect. They’re likely to zone out because of the immediate perception that video content doesn’t apply to them.
Share your thoughts—let us know some of the biggest training video mistakes you’ve seen over the years.