Why Training Needs Video

The shift has arrived, and video is King!

You may or may not be shocked by this but not enough trainers are creating videos to help the people in our organizations. We, as educators in the Adult Learning world, have a responsibility to help our organizations move forward and we are not doing enough to practice this craft.

The big question is why aren’t we running with the platform? Why are posts like this one still needed? It seems we are aware video is important and critical, and we even admit that people in our organizations would most likely prefer video to other learning methods used. However, we hesitate to turn on the most accessible video tool we have, our phones. In many cases, we are downright frightened of our video cameras. It seems for a lot of people, video is a skill that is unreachable.

Where does this fear come from? Fear of failing? Fear of looking bad and losing credibility? Fear of creating something really bad that people will hate?

Well, here’s something I’d like to share with you – Video is like pizza, even when it’s not great it’s still pretty good. Especially if you are focusing on short videos to help people do their jobs better, faster, smarter. With a little practice and fear swallowing, you will become skilled with the camera and people will love you for bringing pizza to the party.

(Jump down to the bottom of this post if you just want tips, the Learning Rebels video checklist, and info about this months book “How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck” giveaway.)

Why focus on video versus other training methods?

Let’s admit to this – we knew it was a small world, but now it’s even smaller thanks to the internet. Now, with video, it’s even smaller and easier to connect offices and people in remote locations. Consider the power of ensuring people in your organization receive the same messages or same information on processes or procedures. Videos have the ability to break down silo’s and allow for sharing “just-in-time” information, this is a real benefit.

Now, let’s talk cost. Not only is video time-saving, but it’s also cost-effective. We all know it’s expensive to ship people across cities and states for specialized knowledge. It’s shame on us when we know a video, that has been thoughtfully produced, can be implemented instead. This means company information or training knowledge can be reached by the exact people who need it (when they need to have it), which is perfect if your business operates in remote locations that provide logistical challenges.

No Excuses! 

In this day and age, there is simply no excuse for not producing video for the workplace. Here’s the cool thing…you don’t have to be solely responsible for video production. There is oodles of talent out there! Let the user-generated productions take center stage. Now, some people have control issues. It’s hard to place video creation in the hands of someone else. “What if they mess up? What if they give out wrong information?” But what if they don’t? What if your user-generated initiative is hugely successful? We can “what if” ourselves to death. “What-if’s” are similar to the “Yeah, but’s” that seem to plague us. But sometimes we just have to the thing. The thing the business needs, the things people require.

People are on the move, and podcasts and videos are the way to go. The modern workplace is a busy environment and taking time out of a person’s daily routine for extra training, places them under additional unneeded pressures. Ultimately causing the company potential productivity loss. This is where video succeeds and some older training methods fall flat.

Why you need to get out there and practice now.

Remember, the goal is not to make the perfect pizza. We want to move it from pizza that is just okay, to pizza so good you want to save it and eat it for breakfast the next day. You know what I’m talking about! Therefore, keep in mind:

  1. “How-to” videos can be easy to produce. In most cases, you don’t need to lug around special lighting equipment. With enough practice, you can shoot and edit your “how-to” videos in one day.
  2. Keeping videos short and informative, (and accessible) means they are most likely to be used. This is the goal, to help people…and videos help people!
  3. Video creation allows you to build a knowledge base faster and more effectively. YouTube is nothing but a big fat video knowledge base. Start building your video knowledge platform. You can easily create private platforms for your organization using wistia or vimeo.
  4. Versioning is easier. If your video is short, it’s relatively simple to record another video with the updated information and send it out through the business interwebs.
  5. And let’s just say it. In many cases, people would rather watch a video than take a class. I don’t need to take a class on how to use email. Just show me the videos of how to use Gmail versus Outlook. Why create a class when you can create a video that is sustainable and easy to version?

Yes, video can be tricky, and it can time consuming, and it can try your patience…and…and…and. So? What are you going to do about it? Are you going to pretend that video cannot exist for the people and the business? Or are you going to get out there and do something to help the business and people succeed? It’s up to you. 

Learning Rebels Video Checklist
Click on the box for the Learning Rebels Video Checklist

Let’s get down to the practical stuff!

4 general rules for “how-to” videos:

  1. I know this will seem obvious, but make your video self-contained. A “how-to” video should explain something from beginning to end. As in this Tasty video about Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (Seriously, yum!) in less than 2 minutes, they show us a beginning-to-end demonstration on how to create this simply yummy breakfast.
  2. For the most part, keep videos right-sized. YouTube no more than 7 minutes. This is about telling a short story about how to do the thing. Not the history of the thing, or the inception of the thing, just how to do the thing.
  3. There is no pressure to be picture-perfect. As stated, people just need help. The only hard and fast rule here is to try to be sure your audio is clear.
  4. Use captioning. This is the technique used in the Tasty video above, there is no voice-over to worry about, no narration that might be out of sync. The captioning tells the story

Tips to keep in mind:

  • You are telling a story. Even if it’s an interview or a “how-to” video. It’s a story.
  • Stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. Think about your goal for the video.
  • Experiment with soundbites. You may want to take some video and then try your hand at editing by adding narration.
  • Experiment with captioning. Lots of people watch videos with the sound off, captioning gets the message across.
  • Write out your plan. But don’t stress. Some of the best videos capture the unexpected.
  • Leave room for the serendipitous. Don’t box yourself in, this is practice so have fun!

Help has arrived! 

10 Ways to Practice EVERY WEEK! 

In order to grow proficiency, you have to practice the skill. This means whipping out your video device, be it a smartphone or an actual video camera. Make an effort to practice several times a week. Remember, you have to model the behavior. If you expect others to practice and learn new skills – so do you! Here are some practice suggestions:

  1. Grilling dinner, interview the cook
  2. The dogs playing chase, practice getting different angles
  3. The kids playing chase, play the narrator
  4. Your daily walk, what are you seeing? Get close-ups.
  5. Show the world how you organize your workspace. Deliver tips.
  6. Before and after video. Weeding the garden. Practice your storytelling technique or captioning skills.
  7. The big rain storm! Perfect time to play with the editing features for lighting.
  8. How to make ice cream. Practice fast motion techniques. Try this cool editing app: Filmora
  9. Try moving pictures of your last training class into a promo video: Use Adobe Express
  10. Have a GoPro? Try taking video while you ride your bike.

There you have it. Now, you have no excuses. You have some tips, some tools, some ideas for practice. Are you going to go out there and practice your craft, or are you going to add another “Yeah, but…” to your list? You’re a rebel – #LetsDoThis

In honor of our video themed post, April’s book giveaway: “How to Shoot Video that doesn’t Suck“!

Of course, I had to base this month’s giveaway on video related topics. Get ready to share your video’s or tips as an entry to win this book. Even if you’re a new to all this video stuff, you can still enter by sharing your favorite “how-to” video. This can be from how to navigate the Chicagoland Tollway to how to make the perfect Mai-Tai (happy vacationing).

Good luck!

Making Video’s that Don’t Suck! Book Giveaway

Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

2 thoughts on “Why Training Needs Video”

  1. It was because of you that I learned to use a camcorder to record video clips, and to use Camtasia to compile those clips into a video, and to search for and find background music. I made a video in less than a day, and it’s a darn good video all these years later. You were early on this bandwagon, and thank you for pulling me aboard.

    • Thanks Tricia! We often forget that sometimes stumbling and figuring things out is a big part of mastery. You can’t master a skill unless you have first stumbled and made a discovery. You are great about learning from those accidental discoveries!


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