Creative training videos: the renaissance at last?

Once again we welcome Farai Chirimuuta, video supremo based in Milton Keynes, England, who has delighted me by suggesting that the time has come for the rebirth of what I consider to be the most effective and inspiring of all training media … the capturing, enrapturing “training video.” But before I hand over to Farai, let me share my own two cents’ worth…Sz xx

Creative training videos: the renaissance at last?

Creative training videos: communication in a richer landscape that words alone cannot hope to compete against.

In my observation and  experience (although I write training material for business clients, as a volunteer cancer survivorship worker I watch and go to a lot of medical/healthcare training sessions as a learner) current training offerings may be cheap to produce and easy to be measured for effectiveness. But how much effectiveness? Does the fact that learners can recall XX percent of the teaching points at the end of the session in the feedback forms mean the associated messages will stay with them beyond tomorrow?

Not now. Not today when so much training is tick-box, multiple-choice either on-screen or delivered to a script when it’s live (and Heaven help you if you ask a question that’s not in the script: nearly always, the professional trainer won’t know the answer.) So much of it is bland, boring, done to the book…

I made “training videos” 10-15 years ago that were entertaining, engaging, amusing. Some involved dramatisations; some involved comedy. Comedy, in particular, was proven to work superbly. And I was just following in the footsteps of these brilliant people…  

But sadly, technology has had a robotic effect on the joie de vivre that creative, entertaining training added to the crucial acts of learning and skills development. Could it be that Farai and his generation are bringing this invaluable creativity back? Here he is…  

Why “real” creative training videos can make a huge difference to your staff development…

I’m willing to bet good money that a large number of people reading this article remember the John Cleese/Video Arts training videos of the 80s as in the link above, which are a testament in themselves as to how effective that genre was.

If your organisation employs a large number of staff, you may well need to provide training on a regular or even frequent basis.

Using a video treatment for training staff addresses concerns that are quite important for effective training, and in this brief article, I will share some of those useful benefits with you.

So why should you consider creative video for your staff training?

Well, not only does it save you on costs, it saves you time and energy as well. Just consider the prospect of delivering the exact same training exercise that you have delivered again and again year in year out to your staff, compared with the getting it done once, and done well.

It may seem a costly venture to splash out on a fancy video to deliver the training you provide, but if you consider the possibility that a quality training video can eliminate the need to splash out on expensive ongoing costs needed to employ someone physically to conduct the training, it begins to become a real cost saver over time. Plus, a video ensures absolutely a consistency of message.

I address you once again to the video linked above and how decades later it still has an audience on Youtube viewing it. Speaks volumes, that!

Saves on people-time without boring staff with monotonous “mechanical” training

Once production of the video is finished, it can potentially free up the need to proactively conduct training sessions allowing for a more independent and proactive approach to the learning process.

The trainee is then free to pick things up at their own pace, making the information more likely to sink in, and helping to eliminate the possibility of a room full of trainees essentially falling asleep with open eyes as someone yammers away in front of them in a stuffy training room after lunch.

This then also frees your time to do all of the important productive work that you do day by day if previously you conducted such training personally – or, it frees your staff training provider to pursue other tasks, or even concentrate on the evaluation process for the training itself.

Creative training video – however it’s delivered – is more accessible

Under traditional methods, trainees are bound by the availability of the training provider.

I always think back to my time working as an IT consultant years back when I had to wait 2 months before going live on the phones offering tech support.

This was because there was a bit of a palaver arranging a suitable time for all the newbies in the company to attend at the same time as the trainer who conducted training at multiple sites for the company. It can be a logistical nightmare to arrange this so no stitches are dropped, especially when company turnover is high, and new faces appear frequently.

Critically, videos also make your training much more consistent and reliable.

Creative training video ensures consistency as well as effectiveness

With video content, as I suggested above you get the cast iron guarantee that every single time you provide training to staff, they are given word for word identical training as all the other staff members before.

This is important when considering standardised training that covers important elements. You will know for certain that nothing will accidentally be left out due to – say – your trainer forgetting to add a point or two.

Finally, creative video adds impact to any kind of training

Even individuals who conduct regular training, frequently adopt video to accentuate points because it uses a combination of words, images, and music plus graphic illustrations (where possible) to really drive the message home.

It’s communication in a richer landscape that words alone cannot hope to compete against.

Compare describing something to someone, with showing them … see what I mean?

Creative training videos: the renaissance at last?

Farai Chirimuuta

Any questions?

Farai Chirimuuta is a director of 3rd Lens Productions. You can contact him on farai@3rdlens.com, or on +44 (0) 7743 777 145.
Also see him on Facebook here, and on LinkedIn here.

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