If you do a quick Google video search old business training videos, you’ll be surprised at not only how out-dated the films seem, but how comical the dialogue and scenarios appear. There’s the cheesy music in the background to go with the even cheesier one-liners from some of the actors. Or the video seems so outlandish (see: Funcoland) that the whole training message seems to be more background noise than overwhelming theme.
Take the infamous Wendy’s training video from the early 1980′s on how to cook the perfect burger. It starts with an employee staring at a microwave and wondering how to cook a proper, charbroiled burger and the next scene switches to an all-out rap video complete with a cooking education somewhere within the context of the song. Sure, the video is a bit more tolerable than the hundreds of other cheesy, old-school training videos from the 1980′s and early 90′s, but the message becomes a bit more jaded when it seems the creative team was more focused with spicing up the storyline of the training video rather than make an effective and straight-to-the-point training program.
That being said, what separates today’s training videos from previous ones? Better yet, why are they more apt to get their message across to viewers?
Short answer: slick design, concise, but thorough length and professional in every sense. Plus, the benefit of technology and streaming e-learning video capabilities make them more accessible to the staff.
Let’s elaborate on that a bit more.
Short and Creative
No one likes a training video that stretches into 15 minutes or more, even if that session is broken down into 5 parts. People – not just employees – are more eager to view a training video if it’s short, has a clear and effective message and doesn’t look like it was shot in the basement of someone’s home. Here’s an example of an effective training video on “How To Train Your Dog To Adjust To a Purse”. Why it’s such a great tool is that it clocks in at just under 5 and a half minutes, the quality of the video is above average and it’s useful for pet owners with small dogs to consider when transporting their lap dogs around town. The woman in the video doesn’t transform into a cartoon or wander onto the set of All Dogs Go To Heaven while breaking down how to secure a lap dog inside a purse. And Baha Men’s “Who Let The Dogs Out” isn’t playing in the background, either.
The same rules should apply for not just your average pet education video, but other areas of business such as how to incorporate Microsoft Office training and tools to the staff and so forth.
It’s With The Times
While the 80′s videos were technically in with the times with the “poofy hair styles” and amazingly corny music notes, if those same companies tried showing those videos to current employees, there might be a chuckle or two, or three, and not enough focus to the message. The reason modern training videos are more effective is not just because of the point made above but also because they’re in line with the fast-paced, short bursts of communication either done over the computer or through a mobile device. The message becomes easier to process when it looks more like a PowerPoint presentation with added flair. And not that the video should be adjusted to 144 characters of speech or be pulled off within 30 seconds, but the layout of the video should reflect short and on the money instead of being sated with jargon and buzzwords to the point it looks like a scientific document.
Being with the times means incorporating subtle background music that doesn’t take the punch out of the content on screen. It means creating an attention-grabbing e-learning course that helps serve the entire staff accordingly and leaves the door open for return visits (i.e. Cloud-based accessibility). Think of it as one-step process towards higher efficiency ratings throughout the workplace, which to no one’s surprise, is the main objective for these videos.
The more in-tune your videos are with the audience, the faster the message is relayed and can be enacted on afterwards. Find the perfect symmetry where the video has a bold look, avoids a monotonous robot voice delivering the message and ends within the limits of your audience’s attention span. Twitter was created to deliver shorter, more effective ways to make your statement be known. Video tutorials for one’s business can work along those same lines as well.