If you’ve ever had a job, chances are you’ve watched a training video and had to prop your head up as it played. Or, you may have seen one of the hilarious old training videos from the ‘80s or ‘90s floating around on YouTube.
While they have to convey serious information, training videos also have to be compelling to watch so people actually absorb that information. You can get the best actors in the world to star in your training video, but if it’s not done well, nobody is going to learn anything.
That’s why animation is ideal for training videos. Because it’s animation, people are already compelled to watch it more than a live action video. But, animation alone can’t carry the whole video. It still needs a few key elements to be a truly good training video.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to make sure your training video is done well.
Know Your Subject
Obvious advice, but it’s not enough to vaguely know your subject, you have to know what the objective of your video is. For example, it’s not enough to simply say your video is to train staff. You have to zero in on the exact behavior you want your staff to exhibit after they watch the video. Whether it’s improved sales tactics or safety procedures, the real goal is to have them exhibit the behavior they’ve seen in the training video.
- Not an objective: Train staff about safety procedures.
- Objective: Develop a culture of safety in the workplace by training staff to recognize and follow standard safety procedures.
Tell a Story
It’s no secret that if you want people to pay attention, you have to tell a story. Even the most serious of speeches usually has one or two anecdotes tossed in. People relate to stories they can follow and characters they can relate to.
Even the most hilariously bad ‘80s training videos on YouTube have a narrative to them. Whether you are promoting your business or promoting safety in the workplace, you have to connect with people on an emotional level and that means giving them a story they can follow.
This need to make a compelling story that appeals to people’s emotions is why the script is the most important part of the video process. The most amazing visuals in the world can’t make a video compelling if they’re not accompanied by a relatable story. It doesn’t have to be Oscar material, but it needs to give people a reason to care about what they’re seeing on the screen.
Don’t Try to Fit Everything In
You’ve probably seen a bad slideshow presentation at least once in your life. The slides are stuffed with text and the person doing the presenting just reads all that text as you fight to stay awake.
Even the most interesting subject and the most enthusiastic presenter can’t save a presentation that tries to stuff too much information into your attention span. A good presentation will have a few key points on the slides that the presenter delves into. The slide show is only a tool to be used for the presentation. It’s not the actual presentation itself.
This same basic concept applies to animated training videos. It’s not a great idea to try and shoehorn in a bunch of overly complex lessons into a short animated video. What it can do is act as a tool within a larger context and facilitate a larger overall conversation.
Animation is adept at raising excitement in an audience, aligning them with your goals and hooking them with emotional appeal. Then, once you’ve got that, you can have real people handle the details.
Frankly, at least part of the training should be done by real people. They can handle questions that pop up and walk people through especially complex details and they can increase or slow the pace of training depending on how the audience is reacting.
Animation is a superb way to introduce the subject of what you want to talk further about because it sticks in people’s imaginations and is pleasant to watch. Used correctly, it can help immensely in the training process.
An animated training video is only worth it if you actually get good return on your investment, obviously. So, you’ll need to calculate ROI on your video. One way to do this is to test your trainees’ knowledge about what they’ve learned after a given amount of time.
You’ll get a better idea of how well the video is working if you have data of knowledge retention from before you started using animation that you can compare with data from after you started using it.
Also, it’s good to measure the behavior that you’re trying to implement with the training. If it’s safety, look at incident numbers, if it’s better sales, look at sales numbers, etc. Better trained staff should lead to less mistakes, increased productivity and, ultimately, more revenue for your business. The more people you train, the bigger the impact.
There’s no doubt using animation for training purposes is a good idea, but you have to know how to use it to make sure it is as effective as possible.To see how much it would cost to create your own animated training video, click here to use our price estimation calculator.