Avoid 7 Common Mistakes with Your Training Videos

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The Massive Open Online Courses can teach you some important things about your own training videos for your franchisees.

While, I've seen many outstanding videos offered on the MOOCs there are still a distressingly high percentage of them that do not even meet the minimum standards of Public Access TV.

Your franchise training videos likely have one or more of the same problems.

If your franchise training videos has one or more of the following production quality issues, you will have a low viewer completion rates.

  1. Bad Sound Quality: Sound is the Achilles' heel of most educational videos. Most people will put up with poor video but if you cannot hear or understand what is being said there is no use in watching any further. These problems are usually caused by poor microphone placement, low recording levels, background noise and talent who do not speak well on camera.

  2. Poor Lighting: Even bad cameras look good when there is plenty of light yet many videos look as if they were videotaped in a closet. If a student is going to stare at your video for 15 to 60 minutes at least make the images visible.

  3. Poor Graphics: Just like unintelligible sound, unreadable graphics are useless. If the viewer cannot read or follow the graphic why include it? This is more than a PowerPoint slide with small text, this includes flow charts that are so dense and detailed they cannot be followed or photographs of such poor quality it is hard to tell what they are.

  4. All Text Presentations: If the only thing the presenter is doing is reading the text off of one PowerPoint slide after another why not just send the student the PowerPoint slides?

  5. Talking Heads: Or even worse, talking shadows on a distant stage. Videotaping lectures is probably the quickest and easiest way to record educational content but it does not have to be the most boring way to present educational content. (I've written several blogs on videotaping lectures, including how I think the TED Lectures get it right.)

  6. Long Videos: One of the best features of online videos is that the presenter is not required to lecture for 50 minutes as they are often required to in a scheduled class. They can make the video segment as long, or as short as it needs to be. Yet many online classes are 50 or 60 minutes because that is the length of a traditional classroom lecture. If students fall asleep in a classroom during a long lecture they will fall asleep faster during a long video lecture.

  7. Not Using the Medium: Why, in this new world of television production where an inexpensive HD video camera can fit in the palm of your hand, do so many of the online video classes take place behind a lectern? Are cameras not allowed in the lab or out in the field? Is it impossible to interview an expert or illustrate a concept with animation? Television is personal and mobile. Take advantage of its strengths.

There are ways to improve production quality and the quality of your programs that will improve the effectiveness of your overall online course.

Are you involved in producing video for training?

What are your biggest production quality challenges?

What obstacles do you face in producing your videos? Let me know in the discussion section below.

If you are involved in producing educational or training video and would like some feedback on your production quality then contact us for a video consultation.

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Timothy is accurate about the MOOC and what makes videos unbearable for training purposes.

I have signed on to a number of online courses in topics I really enjoy, but the presentation reminded why I hated lectures.

Tim - It is mind numbing to have to sit through bad video produced for training. It sucks the life out of you and it hurts to learn.

This reads like an E.B. White's "Elements of Style" for training videos. Excellent summary! Some of the most successful presentations I have delivered relied on images to cue what I planned to talk about rather than bulleted lists that told the audience what I was going to say before I had a chance to say it. The advantage of using well-selected images is that you make the content more memorable, and more emotional.

Thanks Tim,
There is a saying in TV, "Show it don't say it." And I guess we can now say, "Show it don't bullet point it."
And Joe, from the other end there is noting so mind numbing then producing bad training videos!

Tim Piazza writes: " bulleted lists that told the audience what I was going to say before I had a chance to say it"

That is a good point - if the video is just showing bullet points, people read and stop listening.

And image can be stared at while you are listening to the speaker - trying match the significance of the image and words together.

Friends shouldn't let friends have their minds numbed.

For our friends whose minds are already in a perpetual state of numbness, you should never have watched Videodrome over and over again.


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