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Why do 77 percent of US corporations use training videos for employees? Because they work.

It’s no wonder so many companies are developing their own employee  training videos. On average, people remember 65% of what they watch in a video, compared to 10% of what they read.

What’s more, training effectiveness can be maximized by simply following a few e-learning best practices.

Here are some guidelines we recently used while developing sales training videos for Atlanta homebuilder PulteGroup.

Short Modules Are Better Than One Long Video

Human attention spans aren’t what they used to be. One study claims they’ve dropped over 30 percent in the past 15 years, so you shouldn’t expect your employees to focus attention for more than a few minutes at a time.

By dividing content up into short modules, you enable self-directed learning. In other words, each employee can go through your training at their own pace, and will be able to retain the information more effectively.

Organize Subject Matter In a Logical Order

Bouncing back and forth from one subject to another makes information harder to follow. It’s much better to flow from one segment to the next, so viewers can follow intuitively.

Don’t just list random facts. Approach the training video as if you’re telling a story—and keep it simple!

It’s also a good idea to begin with an outline. Each heading becomes a separate video module.

Present Lessons Visually As Well As Verbally

Not everyone processes information in the same way. Some people are visual learners—they process and retain information more effectively when given graphics or video demonstrations.

That’s one of the main advantages of training videos. Video is a visual medium, perfect for showing how things work, demonstrating sales techniques, or explaining processes step by step.

In the PulteGroup sales training, we incorporated graphics and video clips as well as typography. That way, viewers were able to read along as the information was presented.

Choose a Clear and Effective Instructor

Regardless of subject matter, training videos are packed with information, so the choice of instructor is extremely important. Whether you’re using an on-camera presenter or a voice-over talent, that person must be articulate and easy to understand.

I remember back in college, I nearly flunked a chemistry class because it was being taught by a visiting professor from Japan. He was a brilliant scientist, no doubt, but his broken english had a lot of students scratching their heads.

For our PulteGroup training videos, we used a professional VO talent. She was expensive, but worth it.

Give the Videos Explanatory Names

If you use generic names such as “Lesson One” or “Module A,” you’re missing an opportunity. The file names should help communicate the content covered in each video.

During training, employees may want to review certain sections or answer specific questions. Explanatory files names make it easier to find the answers they’re seeking.

In the PulteGroup Sales Training, each video covered a different Smart Home feature. Module names such as “Smart Lighting” and “Using Voice Commands” made the videos intuitively searchable.

Provide Supplemental Course Materials

Training videos are extremely effective teaching tools, but work even better when combined with printed course materials such as brochures or training manuals.

It is also important during training to accommodate employees with disabilities. Hearing-impaired or visually-impaired employees may require detailed transcripts of the videos to help them follow along.

In the PulteGroup example, the videos were designed using the same artwork and typography as the course materials. This gave the entire training program a unified graphic approach.

Compress Files So They’re Easy to Download

Our last best practice has to do with file size. Employees shouldn’t have to wait for videos to load. Whether being downloaded from a server or watched online, each video should be optimized for immediate streaming using your video host’s specifications.

Thank you once again to Diahann Young at PulteGroup for the training video project. Hopefully her sales team will learn as much as we did during the process.

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