You - Yes, You! - You can make a video for professional training yourself
It is difficult to imagine training employees without a video. It is likely that everyone reading this article has watched at least one corporate training video at some point in their lives. It seems that the coaches went directly from the boards to the video cameras! Video is often part of introductory training and instruction and can be a great way to illustrate the "mechanism" of a procedure or process.
So why are so many video trainings so... mediocre? Why does this common element of corporate training often make interns look away?
The answer is simple: Coaches are not film producers. And unfortunately, in today's low-budget world, most training organizations will not hire a professional production company - it seems that everyone is targeting designers who are far from video magicians. Should we then use mediocre training videos? Will the training video end up on the shelf of old methods?
Probably not. We, the trainers, will just have to make better videos! The bad news is that somehow making a good video is harder than it looks. This is a painful process and you need patience and desire to do it right. The good news is that there is a way to make it easier than it seems. Most training videos are not worth it because the trainer/producer did not understand a few important guidelines. Here are five tips to help you make your videos more effective and look better!
# 1: Keep them short.
When I look for and want to watch a video tutorial, it often disappoints me. I don't want to watch a whole 30-minute video just to get the little information I need right now. When planning your video, think - "less is more". The short content will keep your learners interested and get them back to their real work faster. Can you say it in two minutes or less? If not, consider creating a few short videos that are easy to understand. The principles of microlearning will serve you well in the production of videos.
And here's a great thing: don't waste your time with "humor" in videos! You probably use a lot of humor during training (right?). But it will probably be difficult for you to convey your humor in a video. Also, humor in a corporate environment must be safe - you do not want to offend or get sued! This means that you usually end up with "corporate funny" and not "actually funny", which actually means "not funny at all". Your audience is probably not interested in entertainment - they just want to get the information, get the job done and go home where they can watch a TV show that is "really funny". Help them!
# 2: Use the "Rule of Thirds" Do not allow poor visual composition in a video. If you're not a photographer, you've probably never heard of the basic principles of composition. Although there are many subtleties, the most basic and easy to use principle is called the Rule of Thirds.
The rule of thirds means simply dividing the screen into thirds both vertically and horizontally. Once separated, use the "three lines" to distribute your most important information. In the photo below, notice how the road is NOT in the center of the photo. Placing it in the lower third gives us a more pleasant image that "leads" us along the way.
Via John R. Daily
In the image below, Mr. Rodgers is placed in the first third using the Rule of Thirds. He looks slightly off camera for his interview. It's much more beautiful, isn't it?
Via Rob Nyland
# 3: Spend time editing your training videos!
Editing is probably the best way to instantly improve the overall quality of your videos. Unfortunately, good editing is not easy or cheap. But here's the thing: You probably won't be able to make a professional-looking video if you don't know how to edit and/or are stuck with "free" video editing software. Good editing requires investment of time and money.
If you're looking for software, programs like Adobe Premiere Pro give you all the features you need, as well as an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Premiere Pro can be purchased on a monthly subscription basis and you can even turn it on and off (subscription) if needed. But don't expect to be the next Steven Spielberg soon. You will need to take the time to watch online training videos (which are free) and learn how to use the software.
And here's the most important point of all: Find some training videos that will teach you the principles of video editing! Learning to use the software will not make you good - it just makes you good at using the software. Good editors and video editors understand the principles of video editing and have learned a lot from experience.
# 4: Now use this knowledge!
It's time to put the new editing skills into action. And here's the rule №1: No more talking heads! I'm sure you've seen countless videos of a person staring at the camera and giving you information without any other part of it. It is almost impossible to stay engaged!
If you don't have an additional video, consider using a photomontage. There are MANY images for free on the Internet * and you'll probably find ones you like. Take a lot of images - you will want your photo montage to be interesting.
If all else fails, create an attractive background and use a graphic background. Professional software programs already have a built-in selection of graphics. And don't forget that good video editing software lets you add music too!
* To find images for free use on Google, start by clicking "Images" below the search box to return only images. Now click on "Settings" just below the magnifying glass in the search box and select "Advanced Search". On the Advanced Search screen, click the drop-down menu next to "Usage Rights" - this is the last field on the page. Click "free to use or share, even commercial". Click the "Advanced Search" box at the bottom and now all your results will be free images. Don't forget to credit the creator and quote the web page!
# 5: Learn from the best
Have you seen a training video that you really enjoyed lately? Have you ever wondered WHY you like it? If not, it's time to become a film critic! It's not good just because you like it - the creator has done something to make the video attractive.
How is it recorded? How is the information organized?
How was it filmed? Are there images that make it fascinating?
How was it edited? Is it short? Did they use music? Does it use graphics?
You can learn a lot from your favorite movies and TV shows. Instead of letting them run in front of you, take the time to look at the filmmaking techniques they use. You'll be amazed at how much you can add to your video creation skills!
You don't have to be Hitchcock...
Here's the last tip: You don't have to be a great director to make a great training video, but it helps! There's a reason professionally made videos look better than the ones you made in the hallway of your office - professional directors know how to make movies. The good news is that anyone can learn to make good video. Although you may not be ready for Hollywood, your videos will look more professional and more effective. Your students may not know WHY they are better - but they will feel better!