Have you ever seen a bad training video or review? One that just doesn’t quite help you learn what you were searching for? Our company works with individuals, organizations and companies to create online training programs. These can range from corporate training to medical certification training to a court appointed online course. And many times it involves video training. We’ve seen the boom of online training and eLearning explode over the past several years. This has brought both good and bad online training to students worldwide. Since we’ve seen a lot of bad courses out there, we thought it would be helpful to provide some tips on how to improve your online teaching. While these tips apply primarily to video related teaching, it can also apply to text and audio courses.
These tips can include the following types of online training:
- eLearning courses for educators in schools
- A product review on Youtube
- A screen capture that teaches software or showcases something else online
- A whiteboard explanation
- Certification courses
- A video product review
- Any other type of online education.
Since people’s attention spans are shorter than a goldfish, it’s important to know what you are going to say and deliver it with clarity. Studies have shown that the ideal length of a tutorial video (which could be for a variety of teaching and training uses) should be shorter than 7 minutes. We’ve found that many types of videos like screen capture software demos, whiteboard explainer videos and other consumer faced training should be shorter than 4 minutes. The point is to get to your point and make it easier to understand. People want to learn something simple and get on their way. You may find great success in breaking up your video training into shorter videos that you can deliver to your audience. This way, they can pick and choose what they want to learn.
Here are 3 tips to improve your eLearning and Online Training.
1. Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it; then tell them what you’ve said
This goes back to a Dale Carnegie quote and still is true today. Your audience needs to know what the video training is about. Don’t ramble on for 30 seconds or have a long introduction and then jump into your content. Prepare them with what they are going to learn as soon as you start recording the video. Since our attention spans are so short, this will grab their attention and let the viewer know if it will be appropriate to the viewer. This can also help solidify the content in the audience’s mind.
2. Get to the point
This is one of the biggest issues with the prevalence of video reviews, screen capture software demos and many video teaching programs, but it can also apply to text and audio courses. Many people do not prep their material before hitting the record button. They simply speak off the top of their head. While that may be easier for the content creator, it makes the video training very hard to watch. We have found that many times people simply don’t know what they are going to say before they start, nor do they really know where they are going.
Here are some tips on how to get to the point:
- Create an outline of the overall point of your training. This is also called the Big Idea
- Build supporting points that all point to the Big Idea
- Keep each point short and sweet
3. Practice and until you’re comfortable with the material
Even though the trend online is to lose the quality and professionalism, it’s still important to practice your material. This might be going over your outline while speaking it out loud. It could also mean that you turn on the video camera and record it 2 or 3 times before getting the best “take”. Remember, if your goal is to teach something, then you want to make it as clear and concise as you can and practicing can be a valuable tool.
If you need help setting up your training material and need some coaching or consulting we’d love to help. We not only produce eLearning and Online Training material, but we also can help you take yours to the next level in quality and clarity.
Photo by Mufidah Kassalias