A New Way of Looking at Training Videos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is a video worth? If you consider that the average video is 3 to 4 minutes long and is shot at 30 frames per second then a video is worth about 1.8 million pictures. So consider this if you are in the market for a training video.

Video is a very powerful tool and like Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility. A training video conveys your company’s corporate values and commitment do their employees. Done correctly a training video can save time, money and resources as well as eliminate what I like to call the “dumb question syndrome”. Where employees are unwilling to ask a “dumb question” for fear of looking foolish, they will watch a training video over and over again until they understand it. In this sense training videos are actually more effective than in-person training. Done poorly, a training video can become an unintentional source of great humor among its recipients. ( I remember a training video that I watched as a teenager when I worked in a retail store. It was called “Hands Off My Sandwich” and it was intended to train employees about lunchroom etiquette. it was so hilariously bad that I still remember it to this day.)

When we did the training video for The Beer Store we worked very closely with both human resources and marketing. Our goal was to create a video that explained to all Beer Store staff how to install a new piece of hardware on the shelves of The Beer Store. We wanted the employees to know that this piece of hardware would save them time and yet reassure them that it would not replace any of the existing labor force. We had to consider regulatory, technical and human resources issues. We also had to ensure that the video was engaging enough to keep employees watching, but informative and specific enough that The Beer Store wouldn’t have to send out trainers to each of the hundreds of locations that they have around Ontario.

Here are some of the things we considered when producing this video:

Objective: We wanted a clear objective for the video. Who were we talking to? what did they need to learn? what could go wrong? we had to be careful not to fit too much information into one video. We wanted the concepts to be concise and easily digestible.

Video: We shot over two days, on location in two different Beer Store locations. While the locations looked great as a centerpiece for the brand, the lighting for video was terrible so we had to focus on improving the lighting. (we also had to shoot in non store hours, which meant we were ready to shoot at 6am)

Audio: The Beer Store locations had large refrigeration storage units that hummed very loudly. Since we didn’t have the ability to turn them off, we made sure that we shot well away from these fans. Do you know the most significant deterrent to quality training videos is not the visuals? It is the audio. So many DIY training videos have crackling sounds or hard to hear audio that bore the audience.

Animation: We used a few simple animation techniques to illustrate installation points. Animation is a fun way to break up the instruction and can help brand the video.

Trainer: we use actual employees to do the training- not paid talent. Using corporate headquarters with real employees sends a subliminal message. Employees see their colleagues delivering the best product possible. Also, the videos make you feel like you are on site getting in-person training.

The side benefit of training videos is that they are a permanent source of consistent information and can eventually be used to train your trainer. Your training video library can grow over time, so that it becomes a valuable archive. Call Bee Video today to learn more about making a great training video.