How To Make A Training Video - Tips For Staff - FIVE Pictures

How To Make A Training Video – Tips For Employees

You decided to make a training video in-house, using your internal staff as a resource to save some cost. We have some tips for your employees on how to make your own training video.

1. Choose Your Video Style

There is one thing you need to know before you begin. Training video can be done in several different video styles, that take different level of expertise to accomplish. If you know this, you can set your expectations straight and plan things accordingly.

  • Animated Explainer
  • While animated explainer can be a great tool to convey complex ideas, this is the most complex style of video to make. So unless you have a team of animators or motion graphics designers at hand, we suggest you to consider another style.

  • Whiteboard video
  • Whiteboard videos can be computer animated or filmed as a live action. While the first option is still quite complex, the second is fairly realistic to make in-house.

  • Screencast video
  • Screencast can be good for software / app live demonstration or how-to tutorials. This style is the least complex, so your internal staff should handle it.

  • Live Presentation
  • Live presentation is good for live demonstration, online class eLearning or talk points with few visual elements. At medium complexity, your employees should be able to handle this style with some help tips, so keep reading.

    A comparison of different training video styles

    ExplainerWhiteboardScreencast Presentation
    Animated Explainer Video - FIVE Pictures Whiteboard Video - FIVE Pictures Screencast Video - FIVE Pictures Live Presentation Video - FIVE Pictures
    Good forconvey complex ideasconvey complex ideasapp demonstration, how-to live demo, eLearning class, talk points
    Can be made in-houseNoSomeYesYes
    Our advice: outsource whatever can be done remotely and film in-house only the parts that can't. Professionals would make a better screencast, find a more charismatic host for a live presentation and edit your video in a more engaging way.
    What they wouldn't be able to do better is to tell the specifics about your product / technology. Only you know it inside-out and only you have access to it. Filming it in-house will save you some cost while leaving the rest to the professionals will save you a lot of time and trouble.

    2. Get The Equipment

    Once you have decided on the style, it's time to start looking for the equipment. You'll need the following if you decided to make a whiteboard video or a live presentation. In case of a screencast video a lapel mic and a screen capturing software is all you need.

  • A camera
  • If you are making a live presentation video you might want to film it from two angles, so you'll need two cameras. A mobile phone would also do in a pinch.

  • A tripod
  • Stable camera would give your video a much more professional look.

  • A lapel microphone
  • We can't stress enough how important it is to have a good quality audio. Never go with 'camera mic will do'!

  • A whiteboard
  • You might have one already, so get it ready and make sure you have a few working markers.

  • Lights
  • This is another thing that either makes or breaks your video. It does not have to be professional video lights, couple floor lamps might do the job. Position it slightly on the sides to avoid sharp shadows on the presenter's face or on the whiteboard.

  • A Screencast Software
  • If you are making a screencast training video you will need a screen capturing software. There are many options available, you can start from this Google search.

    You want your filming location to be spacious enough and well lit. Avoid clutter and keep unrelated items out of the frame. Try to find a neutral background, unless you are filming a live demonstration on site.
    Getting Ready To Make A Live Presentation Training Video - FIVE Pictures

    3. Create An Outline

    Now that your staff is busy finding the filming equipment, it's time to work on the structure. Start from the top and work your way down to the details.

  • Chapter breakdown
  • Whether you are making a video course or just one video, outline the main topics you need to cover.

  • Prepare all the materials
  • For each topic that you outlined get together a list of PowerPoint slides, images or any other materials that you are going to use in the video.

    4. Write A Script

    Don't let the title intimidate you, you are not writing a Hollywood script. Think of it as two-column table with some notes. The left column would be your talking points while the right one would be your visuals.

  • Talking Points
  • You can write down a spoken script word-to-word, but since you are not going to use a teleprompter, writing down basic talking points would be enough to keep a host/presenter on course.

  • Visuals
  • Write down your visuals to the right against each talking point. It can be a particular PowerPoint slide, an image, a menu point in a software you are making a screencast of, a detail of equipment or on-site live demonstration. Think of titles / annotations or some emphasizing elements to put on top of your video in the editing.

    Making a screencast training video - FIVE Pictures

    5. Record It

    By this point you should have a pretty good idea of what you are doing. You might want to practice it a little bit, but overall it's time to call 'lights, camera, action!'

  • Recording A Voiceover
  • If you are making a screencast video, you have an option to record your voice separately and then capture your screen interaction to put it together later in the edit. If you want to minimize the editing work, you can record your screencast and your voice in one go. Practice a few times. Start recording and don't be afraid if you made a mistake. Just start over from the last good sentence, you can always cut your mistakes out and piece together good takes in the edit.

  • Recording Live Action
  • It's a good idea to record a live presentation from two angles. For example, one camera films the presenter (frame your presenter up to the waist), while another camera films the whiteboard (if you use one) or an equipment you demonstrate (up close, so you can see the details). Roll both cameras and make a loud clap, this will help to sync the video from both cameras in the edit. Again, you don't have to start from the beginning if you made a mistake. Continue from the last good sentence, and cut out the mistakes in the edit.

    6. Edit

    Now that you've got your footage ready, it's time to edit it. If you are making a screencast video, most often you can do it right inside your screencast capture app. For everything else you would need an editing software. You can try out something simple, here is a Google search to get you started.

    Your basic sequence of actions would be:

  • Find and mark good takes
  • Sync multicam video clips
  • Cut out mistakes
  • Intercut between multicam angles
  • Insert slides or presentation images
  • Add titles / annotations
  • Export into a delivery format
  • You might want professionals to do the heavy lifting. It won't cost you much, but it will save you from a lot of trouble. Use this calculator to check the cost of editing a training video.

    7. Get Some Feedback

    Being unbiased is difficult, but releasing a half-baked video to your customers is worse. If this is your first training video, it's a good idea to collect some feedback from your fellow employees. Revisions are a normal part of the process, professionals do that too, so fix what needs to be fixed, aaand... Congratulations, your first video is ready!

    About the Author

    Maksim Varfolomeev

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    Founder of FIVE Pictures, a multi-skilled director, editor and video content producer with a background in advertisement and cross-field in system engineering/analytics. Has worked on TV show, documentaries, shot a number of commercials, won 14 international awards. He has 20+ years of experience in marketing, production, editing and postproduction. View Profile.