Last summer, professional video producer Jonathan Halls offered some important tips in Learning Solutions about making training videos. In this article, Jonathan describes the top three challenges learning professionals face when making video, and offers some suggestions on how to overcome them.

The first challenge is making video efficiently without wasting time (because who has time these days?) The second challenge is making video on equipment that’s cheap and readily available, such as cell phones or consumer cameras (how many training departments can invest in high-end equipment?) And the third challenge is making it engaging so viewers don’t tune out.

According to Jonathan, professional TV production offers trainers solutions about how to solve these challenges. In fact, he believes the best video training is based on professional TV production techniques.

Characteristics of excellent training videos

What makes a good training video? Engaging video content is picture driven—people remember what they see, not what they hear. Excellent training videos are quick and easy to understand. A great training video tells a story. If viewers are left scratching their heads wondering what the video was about, it has failed.

The key is structure—always start with an overview and follow a logical sequence.

The content must be what the viewer needs in order to perform a task. Content becomes memorable when it uses creative repetition, that is, repeats key points in different ways. This ensures learning.

How do you do this with limited time and budget?

A trainer or designer needs to follow a workflow, completing each step of production in the right order. This is how TV professionals work, and it enables them to speed up their production time dramatically.

Basic skills are more important than fancy equipment. When he inquired about the cheapest level of camera he could use for broadcast purposes, a former colleague at the BBC told Jonathan, “it’s not the level of equipment but the level of skill that’s important.” You can capture good shots without having to spend a lot of money on cameras.

Putting these ideas to work

Are you already using video but want to improve what you are doing? Maybe you are a beginner who wants to learn more about the topic. On October 23, prior to The eLearning Guild's DevLearn 2019 Conference & Expo, Jonathan Halls will present a day-long, hands-on "BYOD Video Bootcamp for Learning Professionals". He will illuminate what makes good instructional video, based on professional TV production techniques. Participants will learn how to:

  • Make training video engaging by leveraging video's strengths
  • Create short video, which is simpler/cheaper to produce
  • Implement an efficient, effective planning process for video
  • Adopt and execute the steps in the production process, from storyboard to post-production
  • Develop a professional production workflow

Jonathan will discuss editing software and using cell phones as video cameras. Participants must bring a laptop with Camtasia installed (the free version is sufficient), and a set of headphones.

Registration for DevLearn is required in order to attend this video boot camp workshop. Register for DevLearn by Friday, July 19, 2019 and receive a $200 discount!