Training new employees can be time-consuming, especially if you hire multiple people at once and try to give them the same amount of attention.
In these cases, a lot of companies use corporate training videos. The advantage of the video here is obvious – you only need to film it once. You can show the same video to all new employees that are coming to the same position, saving time and bringing them up to speed quickly.
Once you start going down this road, you might even end up with an elaborate video learning platform containing various lessons for employees in all types of positions.
In this article, we will go over what makes a training video great and we’ll provide you with some good examples that you can use as inspiration when creating your own.
Types of training videos
First, let’s go over some popular types of training videos you might run into online.
Videos in which a person is going through a process step-by-step and explaining how something is done can be categorized as demo videos. These are often highly technical videos where employees need to be taught how to use a certain tool or operate a machine.
These videos usually aren’t too interactive or explanatory. They don’t always explain why something should be done as much as how it should be done. You can recognize them by their matter-of-fact tone and careful instructions that cover every aspect of a process.
This video on how to operate a CNC machine is a typical demo video. The instructor is knowledgeable about the topic, experienced in the craft, and he does a great job of explaining how everything works.
Screen capture videos
We’ve all seen screen capture videos online – most Photoshop tutorials or other PC-related videos use this technique to show you how to perform actions.
These videos have a similar drawback to demo videos: they aren’t too interactive and they don’t allow you to make a stronger connection with the audience. They simply serve as instruction manuals on how to solve certain problems or operate programs.
However, if that’s what you need from your video training – to show someone how a specific program works – then screen recording tutorials are exactly what you’re looking for.
Animated videos are often used when the topic itself is hard, or expensive, to show with a camera.
So, for example, if you’re running a paper company and your training video starts by explaining the origin of paper and its production cycle, you might want to illustrate this through a simple animated video. It would be much more cost-effective than hiring a film crew to go film trees getting cut down and lumber getting processed.
Safety training videos often use animation, as you can see in this example:
Interactive instructional videos
This type of video trainings gives you a chance to involve your trainees and help them learn new skills on the spot. It’s about as close as you can get to being in the room with them and giving them actual tasks to complete.
Although they don’t use video on their platform (but they do have an elaborate YouTube channel with courses), Codecademy takes learning by example seriously. Their whole platform is about completing tasks and seeing those tasks materialize.
Our favorite type of training videos is presenter videos.
These simulate a classroom atmosphere, where the instructor creates a connection with the students by addressing them directly. The best thing about these videos is that you can use them to combine different approaches in one. You can have a whiteboard to illustrate anything you want, switch to screen recording for a few moments, and even ask the trainees to pause the video and complete a task.
Training video production tips
Now let’s say you know which approach you want to take. How do you go about creating your videos?
Here are some important tips you should follow.
1. Have a script or an outline
A common mistake when making a video course is not having a script or at least a general plan of what you’re going to say.
You can’t just set your topic and start recording a video without a plan.
Now, don’t get us wrong – a script that you need to blindly follow is also a bad idea. No matter how good your acting skills are, people will almost always notice you’re reading from a script or memorizing lines.
What you need to do is have an outline.
For example, if you’re making a video about Facebook advertising, decide on what you’re going to start from. Probably from the origin of Facebook advertising and its key rules, right? So, put that in your outline as “1-2 minutes about Facebook advertising” and write down some key points you want to hit.
Do that for the entire video and you’re good!
2. What’s in the frame?
When you don’t have a professional director to help you, you’ll have to set everything up on your own so that the video looks as appealing as possible.
Of course, you aren’t making an Oscar-worthy video lesson but you still have to make sure the frame is pleasing to the eye.
What does that mean? For starters, things that create noise shouldn’t be in your frame. So, no random chairs or piles of clothes in the background. You can stand in front of something that isn’t too distracting, like a bookshelf or a wall with a picture on it. Here’s how Masterclass did it with Neil Gaiman:
One other easy rule that will improve your frame game is the “rule of thirds”. Simply divide the frame into nine equal parts by drawing two horizontal and two vertical lines. Then put your subject (or in this case, yourself) in a position to align with the two “pressure points” where the lines intersect, like this:
Source: Expert Photography
Note that the Masterclass with Neil Gaiman also follows this rule!
3. Keep your lessons short
No matter what you’re teaching, it’s always better to make a curriculum and split the subject into smaller pieces of content.
So, instead of filming a 30-minute video, split it into three or more videos covering one aspect of your topic. Studies suggest that even university students have attention spans shorter than 10 minutes so it’s a good rule of thumb to stay under that mark.
Plan your content in such a way that allows you to film multiple videos around a specific point you’re trying to make.
4. Use helping tools
As much as you can, try to not limit yourself only to your face and voice. While it’s good to show your face and address the students directly, it’s best if you have some things to help you get your point across more efficiently.
It can be as simple as a whiteboard and a marker that help you draw concepts and explain them visually.
5. Include examples and practical applications (screen capture, pause for questions)
Similar to the previous point, you’ll want to stop your lesson once in a while and give a practical example of what you’re talking about. After listening to someone explain a concept for several minutes, it can be hard to remember everything and recall it when needed.
To help your trainees do this, show them an example. Screen recording can come in handy here, as it allows you to jump right into the action.
The best training video examples you can follow and copy from
Now let’s take a look at some examples that take some of this advice and put it into practice.
Ohio State University: Surviving an active shooter
With the help of an officer from their police division, OSU created an instructional video that teaches students how to deal with a dangerous situation. The subject is highly relevant and the potential situation is so high-risk but the instructor does a great job of explaining what you need to do in great detail.
The thing that strikes you with this video is the incredible production value – it’s produced almost as well as a TV show you might catch on weeknights. That’s because this video’s target audience is college students who will hardly respond to a fake, boring PSA video.
The takeaway: Tailor your video to your target audience – you don’t have to be too official if you’re targeting young adults, for example.
Crash Course: The 2008 financial crisis
When it comes to education on YouTube, Crash Course is one of the best sources of fun, interesting content.
Their video on the 2008 financial crisis is particularly impressive, as it tackles some pretty confusing concepts in a very efficient way. They use a mix of animation and a traditional teacher approach to explain all the financial missteps that lead to the collapse of the world economy more than a decade ago. The video is a bit long (a little over 11 minutes) but this topic has been covered in multiple Oscar-winning movies so 11 minutes is actually not so long, considering the complexity of the phenomenon.
The takeaway: Use animation to explain abstract concepts
Masterclass has lessons about almost anything, from photography and cooking to writing for film. All of these classes feature a distinctive style of filming that focuses on connecting you directly with your teacher through intimate, minimalist shots.
The classes offer a healthy mix of useful lessons from the teacher and tasks for the trainee to perform. All the classes have a similar feel but let’s take a look at this example from Aaron Sorkin:
Notice how he’s being filmed in a calming environment that seems natural to his character and the topic he’s teaching about.
The takeaway: Create a connection with your audience. Don’t go overboard with scene design – use something that speaks about your character and doesn’t distract from what you’re speaking about.
Photoshop tutorials by Webflippy: Glow effect
This is a great example of a screen recording tutorial that takes little time to create but provides a lot of value.
In this video, you don’t hear or see the teacher, but everything is explained as detailed as possible. The video uses subtitles to complement the screen recording and make it even easier for the trainee to find everything they need to.
This is a perfect solution if you don’t have the equipment to record your voice or you simply feel too self-conscious about your voice (which most of us do).
The takeaway: Combine subtitles with screen recording to avoid voice over work
Chick-Fil-A: Service and hospitality at Chick-fil-A
In this corporate training video, a senior consultant from Chick-fil-A guides their new hires through the steps that make dining at the restaurant such a pleasant experience.
The franchise is renowned for the hospitality of its employees, which is perfectly explained in this video. It focuses on actionable steps that each employee can take to make the customer’s experience more pleasant.
The interesting thing about this video is that it starts off almost like a promotional video for Chick-fil-A and later transforms into an instructional video with examples at the end.
The takeaway: You can use your training videos to promote the company culture as well as educate the employees on how your company does things
Conclusion: Start making awesome training videos
Training videos are all about grabbing your listeners’ attention and keeping it until the very end.
You do this by making your videos short, directly addressing the trainees, and focusing on interesting examples that make the concepts easier to follow.
If you want to start making captivating training videos with no equipment or editing knowledge, try out Bonjoro. It allows you to use screen recording and other features that will make your lessons more fun and easier to follow.
Register for a free trial now – it’s quick and easy!