It's no secret: People love videos.
In fact, we watch 100 minutes of digital videos daily!
And videos are far more effective at teaching people a skill than text.
So if you're thinking of using one of these types of training videos to upskill, onboard, or train your next cohort of employees...
... the numbers are in your favor 🎉.
This post makes it easy to understand various types of training videos, when to use them, and how you can get started making them.
What are the types of training videos to use and when do you use them?
Which type of video you choose depends on several factors such as your:
- Learning objective
- Target audience
- Available resources
- Chosen delivery platform
In the below list, we'll cover exactly what scenario you'd want to use each type in to make sure your workplace training excels. But if you're stuck on how to best engage online learners or want to get started immediately, consider choosing a "how-to" tutorial video. It's not only the most popular type of video but also the most versatile.
Type 1: How-to training videos
How-to videos are considered instructor-led training videos and are the most popular types of training videos.
With a person to narrate or demonstrate, these instructional videos teach employees how they can complete a task step-by-step.
To describe any process, you can pair your script — the information you’re teaching — with different visuals like screen recordings, B-roll footage, or whiteboard animation. The goal is to separate content into logical, consecutive steps leading to a precise result that learners can reproduce.
Here's an example of a how-to video that demonstrates using Trello, a popular project management tool. 👇
How-to videos are best for:
- Teaching a skill
- Instructor-led training videos
- Illustrating how to use a product or piece of software
- Conveying complicated concepts with explanatory visual graphics
- Demonstrating technical process instructions
- Software tutorials covering a specific feature
Type 2: Screen-capture tutorial training videos
Screen-capture tutorial videos (also known as screencast training videos) are a simpler alternative to how-to videos. While they're still considered instructor-led training videos, they’re more straightforward and require less production time and budget.
They typically take the form of a video demonstration of a task paired with audio narration. Screen-capture tutorials are popular when you need to work through actual software on screen to help the user learn a new task.
You can create screen-capture video tutorials (without using other visuals) using dedicated software or use other software to edit videos together and make more engaging content.
Hybrid screen-capture videos that include a talking head or animation typically generate a higher response rate over screen-only recordings.
Here’s an example of a hybrid video, combining software tutorial screen recordings with a talking head video 👇
Screencast training videos are best for:
- Instructional videos covering technical processes, software tutorials, or demos
- Customer support content as an engaging alternative to written FAQs
- Over-the-shoulder style tutorial videos
- When you need to create instructor-led videos
Type 3: Animated training videos
Within the umbrella term of animation, there are many styles of animated videos, from sleek infographics to funky whiteboard videos or friendly 2D cartoons.
Animated training videos excel at teaching concepts rather than actual tasks. Because they can quickly adapt to the idea that needs to be conveyed, they're a powerful visual aid when getting your employees to that "aha" moment.
But despite their popularity, creating beautifully designed animated videos can be laborious and expensive. Moreover, they can often feel too kid-like for a corporate brand image.
The below training video showcases how the BBC teaches stress management to their employees👇
Animation is best for:
- Explaining ideas for the ethos of large-scale software companies
- Instructional videos that need to explain invisible or difficult-to-imagine concepts
- Making videos with bland graphics and statistics more visually appealing
Type 4: Presenter training videos
A presenter video (also known as a talking head video) puts an expert or an actor front and center. The presenter guides learners through the topic via audio narration. In the mix, you'll often find demonstration videos to help learners visualize the subject matter.
To create presenter training videos, you'll need to hire actors, lights, cameras, and a production studio. Alternatively you can create training videos using minimal equipment with a text-to-video maker like Synthesia.
Check out how we used AI to create a "make a talking head" video tutorial below👇
Presenter training videos work best for:
- Quickly creating training content from in-house resources
- Showcasing a presenter’s knowledge and skills
- Lending authority and credibility to instructional videos
- Scenario-based training videos that need to cover different topics
Type 5: Presentation training videos
Not to be confused with presenter videos, presentation videos are all about the information you visually show on the screen. Rather than teach, they're best training videos to use for informing and making excellent compliance training videos or report overviews.
Check out the editable presentation video below to see how you effortlessly combine great visuals, animation, and an AI avatar to demonstrate a company’s core values👇
Presentation videos are best for:
- Conveying messages that hype up the audience
- Showing off how a product/service works
- Crafting creative and fun presentations for any business aspect
- When you don't necessarily need instructor-led videos
Type 6: Lecture-capture training videos
Lecture capture is simply in-class recordings that students can access at a later time. These recordings make it easy to refer back to an in-person event or include those who were not able to attend.
Recordings typically include training discussions, visual resources presented during the training (like PowerPoint presentations), and the full-length lecture.
Use these types of training videos when you have a live event. Be prepared to spend a small budget on quality recording hardware and editing software. It's wise to break up recordings into snippets to make it easier for learners to digest.
Check out this example of a lecture capture on the topic of employee retention, for human resources management, by the renowned professor Armin Trost 👇
Lecture capture is best for:
- Live presentations, events, and lectures
- Granting repeated access to valuable, one-time training resources by expert
Type 7: Interactive training videos
Interactive videos, also known as simulation training videos, create a real-life tutorial environment.
Learners don’t just sit and watch passively.
They actively interact with the instructional video by clicking sections of the screen, taking tests, and even switching scenarios.
When creating interactive elements for your training videos, you can use story-based branching scenarios, built-in polls and quizzes, gamification, hotspots, and augmented or virtual reality dispersed through the learning modules.
It takes specialized software to create such complex tutorial videos, but the result is often memorable and spectacular.
User-driven decision-making is a huge benefit of this simulation training videos. People feel more involved and are more likely to pay attention.
Check out this series of interactive HSE training videos that hooks you from the start, makes you select a learning scenario, and shoots questions at you for a practical learning experience.
Simulation training programs are best for:
- Creating videos for safety training regulations
- When you need resources to pair with an in-person regular training session
- Creating high-impact, active learning experiences
- Planning customized learning paths for particular outcomes
Type 8: Micro-learning videos
Micro-learning videos break down complex topics into short, easy-to-follow lessons.
This approach removes the pressure of instructional videos that were otherwise ineffective due to their length. The easily digestible, three-minute format of micro-lessons helps make complex subjects more approachable.
Micro-videos are more about the length and subject matter than the overall look of the instructional video. Frequently, micro-training videos employ kinetic typography and whiteboard animations, webcasts and live demos, or interactive videos.
Here’s an example teaching the challenger sales model in five short microlearning videos. The intro is only one minute and a half 👇
Micro videos are best for:
- Short and sweet product knowledge training
- Speeding up employee onboarding with bite-sized teaching materials
- Simplifying compliance training, especially in highly regulated industries
Ready to choose your favorite types of training videos?
You don’t need to start from scratch, hire an entire production crew, and pay thousands of dollars to create employee training videos.
You can get a head start creating training videos with AI.
👉 Pick a training video template from the Synthesia library to get started today.