These days, video is an elemental part of almost any effective training program:

  • 75% of business executives watch work-related videos on a weekly basis.
  • Nearly all millennial employees under 25 expect to find a virtual learning platform within their employer’s work environment.

But it’s not always obvious how to make the most of this powerful tool. Here are 13 video hacks that will improve the quality and effectiveness of your video training program.

1. Go mobile

99% of mobile learners believe the mobile format enhanced their learning. Adding mobile viewing capability gives your audience what they want and opens up new windows of time for training when they aren’t at their desk.

2. Add chapters

Today’s video platforms allow you to easily chapterize your videos, which gives your learners more control of their experience. They can “rewind” or skip ahead to the topics that are most important to them.  This works on shorter videos as well as the long ones.

3. Keep it short

The adult attention span (8 sec.) is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish (9 sec.). The shorter your training videos, the better. Teach your trainers how to be brief. If necessary, break a longer video into several shorter ones.

4. Expand your “faculty”

By limiting training to those with “Trainer” in their title, organizations miss out on the distributed knowledge of their collective teams. With today’s easy-to-use video creation tools, your experts can all contribute valuable training content.  Don’t be too rigid about formats and styles – Millennials learn best from authentic content.

5. Combine slides with people

By adding a friendly (and authentic) face to your training, you add interest and variety to the standard PowerPoint presentation. Face to face communication – even through a camera – conveys meaning better and increases the absorption of your message. Even better is if those slides that you do use aren’t covered with text!

6. Speech search

Search for training videos needs to go beyond simply finding a video – apply the newest search technology to allow users to find the exact point in the video where a word or phrase was spoken. This saves learners from having to watch half of a video to find their content. This is a transforming experience that will dramatically increase the re-use of your content.

7. Don’t get stuck in a format rut

Mix things up for your learners with a variety of lesson formats. Today’s video creation tools have the flexibility to include a video feed with a slide, a screen capture, a talking head alone, or move back and forth between them. Allow experts to train “on location” with mobile capture.

8. Get in a rhythm

Schedule a weekly update video for certain audiences. One national retailer has a weekly video available to sales associates on their mobile phone when they come in to work to share in just a few minutes exactly what they should be selling and saying.

9. Turn meetings into classrooms

80% of all corporate learning takes place via on-the-job interactions with peers, experts and managers. Open up your definition of “training content” to include meetings that weren’t designed for training, but offer knowledge and content that’s valuable to others.  Meeting platforms like Skype for Business, Pexip and others can record and manage meeting videos to be re-purposed as training content.

10. Make it an event

Break out of the “recorded” rut now and then with live training. By offering training live, you can include more interactivity and add value content from questions that are asked and answered. By making the training session an event, you increase viewership, while still creating a training asset that can be offered on demand in the future.

11. Give the learners more control

Video viewers stick with content more when they are actively involved in their learning. Use a video player that allows learners to switch the viewing format – swapping the ‘big’ view from a slide to a talking head, for example. Chaptering and language choices are other ways to put the learner in control.

12. Listen to the data

It’s common to collect feedback from attendees on the class. But you should listen not just to what they say, but what they do. Modern video platforms allow you to view drop off curves and identify rapid drops in viewing. This gives you valuable behavioral feedback on your content and presentation.

13. Make it a game

Nearly 80% of learners claim they would be more productive if their work was more game-like. And 61% of surveyed senior executives take daily game breaks at work. Add gamification to your videos using polling and other features to take advantage of this trend.