In the past couple of weeks I’ve been lucky enough to observe a couple of great webinars and presentations on using video to deliver messages – especially as that medium relates to training.
One was from my friend and former ABC colleague Julian Mather (who runs GetVideoSmart at julianmather.com), while the other was a webinar at a Toastmasters club dedicated to improving online presentation skills – Online Presenters Toastmasters Club.
Both were timely reminders that while most training has been delivered ‘face to face’, that’s likely to change.
The advent of widely-available fast broadband means video training delivery is easier than ever – and as the old saying goes, “You can’t do business today with yesterday’s tools and be in business tomorrow.”
(As an aside, the first citation I can find for that quote is in 1940 – and even then, it was phrased “The attitude … illustrates the old adage that says …” – which means that ‘change management’ is not something new 🙂 )
But back to the point: what can we as trainers do to use video effectively?
First, we need to keep it real.
As part of my business, I do voice-over work – and I’ve been hired, a number of times, to voice training videos and self-paced learning modules for industries as diverse as computer programming to operating rock-crushers or installing home automation systems.
The training is sometimes quite complex and with a video presentation I can’t see the trainees to gauge whether they are taking in the training – so the concepts need to be expressed in a real-world way, so that they can be instantly absorbed.
Second, the video needs to be entertaining enough that it keeps the attention of the trainee (who often has competing calls on their attention!)
That doesn’t mean it has to be all-singing, all dancing – but it does need to be entertaining as well as informational.
Third, there has to be a purpose for the video. I suspect we’ve all seen technology used for the sake of using it (and many PowerPoint presentations fall into that category) so please consider what is the actual value of your video training session.
That doesn’t mean that you should avoid video training – just make it useful 🙂
Finally, video training sessions don’t need to be Cecil B DeMille productions – as you’ll see from the links I provided above, Julian and David both show how a simple smart-phone, a tripod, and some free or inexpensive editing software are all you need.
Well, all you need provided you also think about what you want to say and what you want to achieve before you shoot your training videos.
But if you do, then (to paraphrase Bruce Woolley and The Buggles), “Video Skills the Training All-Star”
(You can thank me for the earworm later 🙂 )