How do I make corporate training videos quickly w/o audience?
March 14, 2017 3:37 PM   Subscribe

How can I make corporate videos quickly? I'd like to start making corporate videos. I want to produce them quickly, but effectively. Tips welcome.

I want to make some training videos. My competitors in this field have gone high end and they have commerical video production backgrounds. I'm not a video expert and it's just me in my business -- I'm solo. I do have an established business and platform, with a lot of experience in content development and teaching and I think (given my other business successes) I have a good opportunity to make connections with people and get the marketing and customer service right. I've been working on this corporate video thing for a year, but I'm really intimidated by my high end competitors. I really need to get where I'm putting out about 3x 15-minute videos a month, maybe more. (My idea is that I take a 45-minute "class" and break it into 3 segments.)

I know how to script. I know how to teach. Usually, when I teach in person, I fill up classes with a lot of student participation and active learning. This isn't just filler -- it's useful. But, in a corporate training video that's just being produced by me, I can't really do the same thing, so it's just more of me talking.

I looked at digital whiteboards, animations, animated PowerPoints and so on, but they either look sloppy (digital whiteboard apps) or they take a long time (animations) or maybe they're boring (Ppts).

So I need to figure out how to get videos out quickly and effectively. Do I just do the talking head thing? I guess maybe what I really need help in doing is making up for the active learning that I can't do when I'm producing video in my home office, without an audience.

(I do not yet want to get into simply recording webinars, because of privacy and permissions.)

To clarify, I'm not looking to produce junk that is taken up by filler. But I can't do pair and share, shout outs, student story-telling or exercises. And the requirements are that this MUST be video, not where the students work on something or send it to me. (Don't get me started on how sad that is.)

My market is professionals and business people who need to watch corporate videos, so they do expect a certain amount of packaging/professionalism. But I'm not convinced I need to be a full-on production firm, at least not to get going.

I think part of my problem is that this area is new and intimidating to me and I don't tend to think in terms of visuals. I think in terms of writing and talking. And maybe I just need someone to help point me to where I can learn some new ways of teaching -- without leveraging audience participation. Yet I am a big believer in student participation and in using those experiences to make learning relevant and to reinforce it for adult learners. So I'm feeling a bit lost.

I've spent a lot of years in teaching and in developing content. But now I have to go to a format where it's all video and all the learning takes place through the video. So no pulling in student examples or going around the class to take a look at what people do. It's just one-way.

I'm not entirely sure if this means I need to just find ways to combine formats (like breaking away to discuss my own examples to reflective questions and using a whiteboard app?) or if I should just really talk about the same points over and over.

So, in effect, I want to figure out how to create interesting corporate videos quickly, but find a way to make up for the time usually spent on student participation, so that it doesn't take forever to develop content.

Thanks and sorry if I sound like a clueless newbie. I am!
posted by shockpoppet to Education (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I used to be in the leadership development business at a major business school, and we produced a lot of video content. 15 minutes is way too long - your prospective clients likely won't buy something that long. You need to be thinking more in the 5-7 minute range, and have a stock of 2-3 minute "quick hit" videos, too.

At 15 minutes, employees start to feel that they can look away at their email in the middle and not miss "too much," but you won't get them back afterwards.

Not sure your plan for lower-quality material will be successful, either. There's a reason all your competitors are going slick and well produced - it's what the market wants.

You also need a platform to bring all this together, and to provide an interactive element. No one is going to watch videos without being able to interact either with an expert or with their peers.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 3:57 PM on March 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Check out Articulate Storyline software. I'm not sure it would fit your needs, but it might.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:03 PM on March 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think you really have to play to your strengths here.

One of your key strengths is talking right? Maybe just do your talking in an interesting context while recording it on video. Are you good at talking into a camera?

If so, just look at some of the tricks that documentary makers use to make "boring" topics interesting. Instead of having a professor of physics explain Newtons Laws of Motion in a lecture room, they will put the professor on a sitting down on a train as he explains Newtons theories while the train zips across the countryside.

Watch the second half of documentary [linked below] to see how a combination of stock footage, old news footage and "talker in an interesting context" can produce some interesting video. Whilst your budget might not allow you to emulate all of these "tricks", you will at least get some ideas which can be economically implemented.
posted by jacobean at 4:17 PM on March 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to clarify, I am stuck with some rules I have to follow. It's not me or my decision. It has to be video. My competitors just have straight video for 15-minute chunks.

I do like the Articulate 360 tool. Not sure that will help me create video quickly or if it would count as video for the specific rules I have to follow, but it certainly looks and feels more compelling than a PowerPoint video or a talking head.
posted by shockpoppet at 4:35 PM on March 14, 2017

Recenty at work I've also started creating instructional videos, with no prior experience. My background is public education and my strength also is in writing, so I've done a lot of technical writing, user manuals, etc. The videos I'm starting with are similar.
You don't mention what the content would be, and for me that narrows my methodology, or the style of the videos. I suppose it may do the same for corporate videos? And mine are always less than 5 min; I agree with notmyself's post.
posted by TDIpod at 5:09 PM on March 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just to clarify, I am stuck with some rules I have to follow.

Who set these rules? Do they have any additional guidelines you must follow? Do you have direct access to your competitors' audience? Do you have access to their video product? How are they addressing these requirements? The
posted by RainyJay at 6:22 AM on March 15, 2017

Response by poster: I'm following professional association guidelines around credit. The audience is there and I have access to my competitors' products, so I know what they offer.
posted by shockpoppet at 12:17 PM on March 17, 2017

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