Tag Archives: video in training

Three Ways to Promote Training Through Video

The first time I watched myself on video many years ago I really didn’t like what I saw. I was a graduate teaching assistant, and the coordinator of teaching assistants decided to have our classes video-recorded for our benefit. The intention was to show us how we handled classroom activities and worked with students. I focused on how I looked. Other teaching assistants did the same. This exercise flopped and the coordinator stopped having our classes video-recorded and went back to simply sitting in on a class to give us feedback. I was relieved.

Fast-forward a few years and now I’m attending a workshop for people who want to hone their speaking and presentation skills. Participants were required to practice in front of each other as we worked through the material. Our practice speeches were video recorded, and I received a memory card with my video-recorded speeches after the workshop. I have never looked at those files. The card is buried somewhere in a desk drawer.

Why do we not like to watch ourselves on video? My guess is that we focus entirely too much on our appearance and not enough on the message and how well we communicate it. Here’s my insight about being on camera: You are who you are, and that’s enough. When you show up in person, you may give some thought to your appearance, but you don’t obsess about it. When we reject video because we don’t like to look at ourselves on camera, we miss out on an opportunity to use the medium to communicate a message to a broad range of people in our audience.

I have learned to get over how I look on camera. Perhaps I desensitized myself by recording and watching myself many times. I began to realize that I could use video in different ways to complement in-person training and events that can broaden the reach of the messages I wished to convey to my learners. Here are three ways you, too, can use video to enhance a training program:

Event or Program Promotion. Throughout the year, we provide opportunities for our real estate agents to learn from some of the best in the business through multi-week programs or special events. I do all the usual things to promote the events or training programs: e-mails, posters, training calendar notices, word of mouth, and social media posts. Nothing has gotten the response that a video has. It may be a video of me telling people about the event or program and urging them to register and attend.
Whenever possible, I have the speaker or trainer record a video of him- or herself talking about the topic he or she will present. I share these videos via e-mail and social media. People will click on links to videos in an e-mail. They will watch on social media. It has now become a standard part of my promotion of training programs and events to make and publish a video.

Quick Tips. Sometimes you want to share some information or give people a tip they can use. I began recording “quick tip” videos about a year ago. I focus on topics that I can talk about in approximately two to three minutes. These are typically topics that reinforce topical subjects that have been discussed in the field or give agents advice.
I always give viewers information and then urge them to  take action of some kind. I record quick tips in different places. I also record update videos from conferences to give viewers some of the information I learn from attending. I have created a topic list and follow a pattern, but I generally decide to record in the moment when I feel the need to use video to continue instruction outside the classroom.

Live Video. Going live on camera and broadcasting it via social media sounds nerve-wracking, but it can be a very effective way to get people’s attention and create conversation. I have to admit, I haven’t done this as much as I would like, but I envision using live video as a way to create virtual office hours or showcase a partner through an interview. You can use live video to promote an event also. I used it to talk with a speaker prior to his appearance as a way to generate some interest. The social part of social media means that you should engage with the audience. Live video can help you do that, in real time instead of after the video is posted. The bonus?  Your video continues to live online long after the initial broadcast. Facebook live is the option that comes to mind first, but don’t forget YouTube live, too.

I use my smartphone or laptop to record the videos, and I do very little editing (usually just trimming the beginning and end). I do have a lapel microphone that I use, but sometimes I simply take my earbuds with microphone and lay it in front of me on a desk or table. The sound quality is fine (the microphone is closer to your mouth than the one in the laptop or smartphone). I have learned to accept the verbal blunders I make. I choose to appear authentically on camera instead of rehearsed and polished. I might practice once or twice before I record, but what you see is not highly produced.

My videos provide another way for me to reach my audience beyond the traditional classroom setting. I may not always like to watch myself on video, but I have found that the benefit to recording and sharing videos far outweighs any apprehension I may have had.

Seven Tips for Creating Screen Capture Video for Training

I don’t know about you, but I often search for videos to show me how to do something. It could be anything, but often it’s something technology-related. Most recently I needed to download and set up Audacity (a free audio recording software) on my Mac. I consider myself to be somewhat “techie” but this was a challenge for me to get the settings right. What did I do? I searched for a “how to” video on YouTube.

One of the biggest changes in my training world has been the increased need for technology training. There are multiple tools – online and software-based – that real estate agents use in their daily business. The successful agent needs to know how to manipulate data and use online platforms to market to potential clients, create marketing materials, and manage transactions. There are a lot of options out there, and they want to know how to use them quickly and competently.

Hands-on classroom training is good, but it doesn’t help when there’s no class or the agent can’t get to one. Online training fills the gap, but the question remains, how do you demonstrate the tools and motivate the agents to adopt technology in their businesses? Along with the “how,” the trainer needs to sell the “why.”

Classroom training has the benefit of giving the trainer face-to-face contact with the learner. When teaching tech tools, I can readily see if someone understands a concept or action and address any questions or difficulties. When using online training to accomplish the same goals, the trainer has to anticipate the questions and issues that pop up and use that knowledge when creating online training.

Screen-capture video offers me the ability to demonstrate the process for using a tool and give tips and recommendations for successful use. I record my screen while talking, then edit the video to add features that help deepen the viewer’s understanding of the tool.

Here are seven things I’ve learned when making screen capture videos for training purposes:

  • Longer is not better! Most people have short attention spans and are unable to digest large quantities of directions at once. In my experience, learners receive and comprehend videos in the two to four minute range best. Remember, I want them to be able to duplicate the processes learned, not just watch a video.
  • Plan your edits in advance. When considering the process you’re recording, think about which steps or areas of the screen need enhancement or callouts. Most editing software (I use Camtasia) will let you zoom and pan on areas of the screen and add callouts like arrows and circles. Plan what parts of the screen need attention and when so that your editing will be a smooth process.
  • Use intro and exit slides for clarification. I learned that it makes for easier viewing to have an introductory slide/picture that gives the topic of the video. Exit images include a recap of the instructions covered in the video or tips for success. I can choose to talk over those slides, if I wish, but typically I do not.
  • Check your sound quality. When I first began to record screen-capture videos, I used the earbuds that came with my smartphone to record the audio portion. This was a cheap solution, but not the best. If I moved my head, the microphone didn’t necessarily follow my mouth. I invested in a decent headset with an adjustable microphone. No matter how I move, the microphone stays with me. I also recommend recording some test videos to check the sound levels and adjusting accordingly.
  • Know what to say when. This sounds self-evident, but you will quickly derail your video if you’re not sure of the process you’re trying to instruct or you get off track. I used to script my videos, but now I write notes and practice before recording. I make sure I can succinctly move from one action to the next while I describe the process. Practice helps!
  • Record in one take. You will not be perfect in your delivery. You will forget a word or stumble over a phrase. The internet will slow down as you’re trying to get something to process on screen. Take your time and edit out the mistakes or gaps. You can record snippets of the entire process and create the complete video out of the pieces, if you want. I know that I will edit the video to add features, so cutting “umms” and “ahhhs” is part of my editing process. I have learned to pause, then start a phrase over if something happens (like forgetting a word). As you listen to yourself in the editing process, you’ll discover what your verbal “tics” are. I tend to say “so” far too much. I’ve learned to lessen the frequency of certain repetitive words when I record now.
  • Make a plan. Many of the online courses I create consist of multiple videos. I make a plan to determine which videos I need to record and in which order they will appear in the course. I don’t need to record them in the same order, but it is helpful in a some cases to progress through aspects of the tool I am featuring in the course in my video recording. This may also seem self-evident that you need to plan out your course elements, but it’s helpful to consider when sitting down to record multiple videos at once.
  • Captions. I have not yet used captions for my videos; however, I am going to begin to do this. Why? Captions enable viewing on social media (such as YouTube or Facebook) without the sound. It also gives hearing-impaired people access to your videos. Some platforms such as YouTube will automatically create a transcription of the audio portion of your video. Camtasia offers a “speech to text” option to create the transcription. With any automatic transcription service, you’ll need to check the accuracy of the text as compared to the video. The next step is to use your video editing tool to add the captions to the video. I’m going to test this process, then decide whether I want to pay someone to create captions for my videos.

I distilled these tips from my experience creating screen-capture video. With some practice and attention, you can create your own videos and edit them to your specifications. The bonus? You get to tell your learners which features are important for their businesses or positions and how to best use the tool.

There’s something new in our fields almost every day that a video can help explain or demonstrate. That means I need to get back to my computer and get back to recording!

Three Ways to Use Video in Training

Everybody seems to be on the video bandwagon these days – or are they? While it is generally accepted that video is a great marketing tool, training professionals are reluctant to use self-produced video in informal or formal training situations. Maybe they think they aren’t photogenic or don’t really know if their video will work they way they want it to. Whatever the excuse, there are just as many reasons to use video for training – and not just in your LMS.

I started using screen-capture video several years ago to give real estate agents demonstrations of how to use various technology tools as a way to bridge the gap between in-person training and live webinars. Since then, my video repertoire has increased, and I use video in three distinct ways to enhance learning.

For technology training, screen-capture video is very helpful. I use Camtasia to record and produce my videos; however, there are other programs that you can use. If you have a Mac, you have built-in screen-capture video recording capability and iMovie to edit the video. Length of video depends, but generally I try to keep these to less than five minutes. It’s difficult to absorb complex actions in longer videos and be able to duplicate those actions if the video runs too long. I produce the video and add zoom in, callouts, and other animations to draw attention to important functions.

When I first started producing screen-capture videos, I scripted everything and tried to record them in one take. Sometimes I was successful, but often I had to rerecord multiple times to get it “just right.” I take a different approach now. Since I’m going to edit the video anyway, I simply pause, count out loud, and pick up where I need to. This makes it easy for me to cut the mistakes and find the correct spot to continue.

About a year and a half ago, I decided I needed to learn to make videos of myself talking. At first, I was apprehensive (who would want to look at me talking?), but I realized that this could be an effective way to communicate material to a wider audience than those who show up for live training. I happened to stumble upon a video challenge run by Niamh Arthur of Light It Up Marketing. I took the 30-day challenge, created 22 videos in 30 days and learned how to create my own videos using the equipment I already had: a smartphone, computer, and me.

Since that initial challenge (I did it again in the spring of 2018), I have acquired a smartphone tripod and another microphone, but essentially the process has remained the same. I created a list of topics that I wanted to present. I choose a topic from the list and give it some thought. I find a place to record. This could be somewhere outdoors or indoors, but always with sufficient sunlight (I don’t use artificial light except when absolutely necessary). I set up my smartphone and record. Most of my videos are done in one take, sometimes two. I worry less about messing up the words than being authentic and speaking to my audience. The only editing I do is to trim the beginning and the end of the video to cut any unwanted motion.

What kinds of topics do I record in these videos? I focus on anything that might relate to real estate agents’ business: sales skills such as prospecting, presentations, business planning, working with buyers and sellers, and time management. These videos are typically two to three minutes in length. I labeled them “Real Estate Quick Tips” and share them via social media and e-mail.

The third type of video I use is that which is recorded in live, in-person training sessions. When learning skills such as negotiations, contract presentation, and client interviews, it’s often helpful for a salesperson to see what he/she looks like and says. We do role play in classes, and to add another layer to role playing, I have agents form groups of three: one person plays the agent, one person plays the client, and the third person records the role play on their smartphone or tablet.

The recording is shared immediately as the third person gives feedback to the agent. This may be difficult for the agent to watch, but very instructive. There is no judgement – all participants must take their turn and be recorded and receive feedback. The videos are shared with the participants and it is up to them to keep or discard them. I credit David Knox for this technique which he labeled “iPractice.”

One thing to keep in mind is that video assets, when shared on social media, can live on long after the initial training has occurred. I include a call to action on my quick tip videos to prompt people to subscribe to my YouTube channel and give them the ability to sign up for the playlist at the end of the video. I also share videos on my Facebook Business page for increased visibility. The screen-capture videos are also posted to our company intranet site for easy reference, and I have used videos to create online classes for agents to take on demand. One video can easily be used in three places to lengthen the life of the training. (Videos recorded in training for the purpose of feedback are never shared online and serve only to help participants develop their skills.)

Video can be a great way to teach adult learners various skills needed for them to do their jobs well. It can also be a great way to promote the efficiency and efficacy of the training department. If you haven’t tried creating video yourself, what’s holding you back? If you have created videos for training purposes, how do you use them?