Using videos for training is an amazing way to communicate with your remote team. They are fast, reliable, fun, and free!
There’s no reason you wouldn’t want to jump in and start making videos. It’s the fastest, most effective way of passing on information. It’s also great at keeping the person using the video engaged. Videos can be so much more fun for training than poring over written instructions, which can be a mind-numbing experience. If your instruction videos are on point they will keep the team moving and engaged.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
So here are my top 10 tips for making great instruction videos.
Ensure the video is made at a high resolution:
To get this right you need to be sure the person watching the video can see what is happening. Especially when using videos for training! Don’t give your team a blurry video where they can’t see what’s happening on the screen. If you do, it’s just a waste of time, not to mention frustrating for your team.
Introduce the video with a spoken description of the process:
Make sure you tell the viewer what the video is about. It is really important to have a clear, concise title to make sure the person watching the video knows exactly what they’re about to see. This will let them know that they’re watching the right video because they will see how it’s going to be useful to them.
Give extra information to show how this process is different from others:
This is important. Sometimes a process may seem the same as any other, but if it is slightly different that needs to be made crystal clear. Make sure the different information provided in the video is super clear and easy without confusion.
Start the steps of the video at the very start of the process:
I often tell people that you can’t enter a locked room without the keys. You need to know how to initiate a process before you can do it. Make sure you include logging information or whatever is required to initiate the process, not just do the entire process.
Describe out loud what each step is about and why it’s being done:
It’s so useful to describe out loud what you are doing. I’ve seen a lot of instruction videos where people get a bit of stage fright. They’re making silent videos, which feel awkward and do not have enough information! It’s vital to describe what you’re doing and why so the person following the instructions knows what to do.
Make sure spoken descriptions match the actions on the screen:
Make sure you line up your words with your actions. If you go on rambling about other things, you will confuse your viewer. Just say the one thing you’re doing. Explain why you’re doing it right at the time you are doing it. Keep the viewer grounded in the action you are taking at that moment, then move to the next.
Use the mouse to circle important cues or information on the screen:
You can use the mouse as an extra tool to highlight important cues or information. When using videos for training, information can get lost. So if there’s something vital to completing the task successfully, make sure you are highlighting it with the mouse. Make sure it’s not missed.
Go slowly! The user will be following each step:
The viewer will need to follow every step. It’s likely that once you’ve done a step in the video, they will pause to see that step over again. It can help to give them breaks to do that. This especially applies when using videos for remote training.
Summarise what a successful process outcome would look like at the end:
A short statement to let the viewer know what a successful outcome looks like is helpful. That way they understand what the final goal is, and how it should look. Chefs do it all the time with recipes! Have a completed version you include in the video so they can recreate it themselves. So they can compare their work by seeing what a good job looks like.
Create a separate video for each chunk of a more complex task:
The last tip today, is to split up the videos for complex tasks. People always find it easier to see a task broken down into steps. Also, make sure your videos aren’t going for longer than five or six minutes at the absolute most. Having short sharp videos are much easier to follow for your remote team.
I hope you get busy following those instructions. Get started building up resources to support your remote workers. Using videos for training instils information quickly and easily. Then your team can maintain excellent performance and have fun while they’re doing it. It’s a great way of communicating and keeping things fresh in your business.