With the rise of video learning, more and more training professionals are looking to jump in and try creating videos for their own courses. Video content ranges from simple software tutorials to advanced lectures with complex concepts, and they're published with various amounts of editing and production. Instructional designers who are new to video ask for tips and tricks all the time, so I’ve compiled a few of them that can help elevate your video content and make the creation process much easier.
1. Script and rehearse audio
Once your have your learner’s full attention, you want to make sure that you are using it in the best possible way. Script your audio so that your message and content comes across exactly as you want it to, then read and reread it aloud before recording so that you get used to reciting the text as planned. If you do this, you’ll likely be able to avoid hiring costly voice talent, especially for tutorial videos.
2. Invest in the right tools
Great video doesn’t have to cost a fortune to produce, but a few smart investments up front can greatly improve the quality of your finished product. Two of the smallest and most impactful purchases are your microphone and your editing tool. A good microphone allows you to record clearer, louder audio that you won’t achieve with your built-in computer mic or headphones. A program like Camtasia or Screenflow is a quick and easy way to introduce transitions, annotations and effects.
3. Keep them short
Videos are often designed to take 40 minutes to an hour, but most professionals don’t carve out that kind of time for learning. Short videos are easier for learners to absorb and fit in between other commitments and priorities. Try to keep videos under 5 minutes and make the learning objective behind watching a video as explicit as possible. When you start to see several objectives, you know that you have an opportunity to split your content into smaller, more digestible pieces.
4. Use screen shots
Moving screen captures can be helpful at times, but they can take a long time to get exactly right and properly sync with your audio. Instead, you can try using screen shots wherever possible. You can then add annotations and panning using your video editing program. When you use this approach, you can easily swap out the visual later if your software interface changes, and your finished product will often look steadier and more professional.
5. Create a learning pathway in an LMS
You can maximize the value of your videos by curating learning pathways that make sense for your audience and the goals they are trying to achieve. This is a great way to take short videos and combine them for a more robust objective. By uploading your videos into an LMS, learners can work towards a goal and keep track of their progress. You can also use the analytics provided by the LMS to understand when and how often they’re being viewed.