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How AI videos can reduce course creation time by 50%

INSIGHTS FROM
Ryan McMeekin
Digital Learning Designer

Forecast is a London-based software company that offers an AI-native platform for work, resource, and financial management. The SaaS start-up helps its clients optimize operations, predict outcomes, and empower every team member to do their best work.

Small Business: <100
Software
London

Key Results:

50%

reduction in course creation time

100+

videos in less than 6 months

5 minuntes

is the time spent on audio & video sync (80% reduction)

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We spoke with Ryan McMeekin, Digital Learning Designer at Forecast, about how he used Synthesia to create engaging video content for Forecast Academy, a new customer onboarding platform launched in May 2022.

The challenge

The goal of the Academy is to provide educational content to help customers realise the full potential of the Forecast tool.

Ryan is responsible for populating the training with a variety of learning formats: Text, interactive quizzes, infographics and videos.

Videos help to visually explain the various features of Forecast’s platform.

Thus creating videos is an important part of Ryan's job. Once he created the script and PowerPoint slides for his lessons, the video production process usually went like this:

  1. Ryan recorded the voice-over himself (using Audacity)
  2. He screen-recorded slides or selected Forecast features (using PowerPoint)
  3. He overlayed audio and visual files (using Adobe Premiere Pro)

To synchronise the voiceover audio files with the video files of the screen recordings, Ryan had to adjust timings across several tools.

This led to numerous pains:

  • Speed: Creating voice-overs and editing videos would take days, often with several recording iterations.
  • Flexibility: it would require additional time and resources to update the videos once created.
  • Video length: Videos would be up to 1 hour long, as additional editing to break them into shorter segments would lengthen the production process.
  • Cost: Third-party providers could accelerate the production process. But they are expensive, with an average price of 3,000$ per finished minute.
I used to record voiceovers myself, which meant hours of recording. It takes so much time just to do this task alone.
- Ryan McMeekin, Forecast

Ryan knew the current process wasn't scalable. Forecast needed to find an alternative that would save him time while ensuring high-quality video content.

The solution

Synthesia enabled Ryan to streamline training video production by eliminating time-consuming voice-over recordings and content synchronisation.

This is how Ryan uses Synthesia to speed up content creation:

1️⃣ Ryan inserts the script into Synthesia’s script box and selects an AI avatar for narration.

2️⃣ Then he uses Synthesia's screen-recording feature, which automatically enables the script to be read aloud by the avatar.

3️⃣ He saves the video, uploads it to his authoring tool and finalizes the course content. Then he’s ready to go live.

Here's what Ryan particularly appreciates about Synthesia:

  • Ease of use: The platform is easy to use and includes all the necessary video editing features to create high-quality training videos without the need for additional editing or recording tools.
  • AI Avatars & Voices: The 140+ diverse stock AI Avatars and 120+ AI voices provide an easy way to create engaging, relatable video content without having to hire actors or record voiceovers.
  • Flexibility: once created, a video can be easily updated at any time, without having to start from the beginning.
Synthesia has made producing training videos an absolute breeze. Whereas before, producing videos was a long, multi-staged process, now many of those stages are condensed within a single software.
- Ryan McMeekin, Forecast

The results

Ryan can finally refrain from recording voice-overs, and the amount of time spent syncing audio and video has been significantly reduced.

In less than six months, Forecast Academy's video library has grown to more than 100 Synthesia microlearning videos, serving the more than 50 external customers who leverage the Academy today.

For Forecast customers not yet using the Academy, this content expansion makes the offering even more attractive.

Ryan measures the impact of Synthesia on business and training metrics, and the results speak for themselves:

  • Time savings: The time to create a full-length course has decreased by 50% - from one month to about 2 weeks.
  • Video at scale: Using Synthesia, Ryan created 100+ videos in less than six months, providing content for about 20 courses.
  • Test scores: By reducing audio & video sync by 80% to 5 minutes per video, Ryan was able to turn hour-long video content into bite-sized training video that pushed average test scores to new highs.
It takes me 15 days to work on a course. In only one or two of them, I create up to 5 videos in Synthesia, simply because it's so easy and fast. It saves us a lot of time and stress.
- Ryan McMeekin, Forecast

Once Ryan is done creating content for the Forecast Academy, he plans to use Synthesia to create bit-size videos for internal onboarding training.