The Complete Guide to Creating Training Videos

Karina Kasparova
Updated:
November 16, 2022

If you google 'training video', you will get roughly 2,2 billion results. Everything from top 10 best examples to video tutorials teaching you how to film your own training videos.

That's a lot of information to process and a lot of articles to click on to begin navigating the complex training video world. 😰

We've created this article to make it a bit easier for you to navigate this topic. And included the easiest possible instructions on how to create a training video.

So if you need to create an employee training video but have no idea where to start - you're in the right place.

👈 And if you're looking for specific answers, use the handy navigation on the left-hand side to find it.

🥱 TL;DR

Stick around to learn how to create effective training videos from start to finish.

What is a training video?

Training videos are a staple of many organizations, small or large.

Training videos can be separated into two types: employee training videos and customer training videos. Both types serve the same goal - to educate the viewer on a topic and/or teach a new skill.

For example, an employee training video can be used to introduce new employees to company policies and procedures, provide refresher training for experienced staff, or teach specialized skills, such as safety procedures or customer service techniques.

In this blog post, we're focusing on training videos for employees.

Why are videos important in training?

We have four words to summarize why videos are important in training: they're engaging, convenient, adaptable, and cost-effective.

Let's break down a few key benefits in a little more detail. 👇

Reason #1: Videos are engaging

It is believed that in the US, 65% of the population consists of visual learners.

Further studies show that viewers retain 95% of a video's message vs. 10% of text-based messaging.

Even without looking at the numbers, think of what you would rather do - read long text-based instructional documents outlining how to perform a task, or watch a 3-minute video showing you exactly how to do it?

Reason #2: Videos are convenient

Think of a traditional learning environment, like school classes or university lectures.

This in-person training method requires you to be present in class and in person to receive information. And if you're a busy working professional, carving out chunks of time in your week for training isn't exactly convenient.

Videos, on the other hand, can be watched anywhere, at any time. At work, in the park, in bed, on the toilet (hey, no shame 🤷).

The additional fact that you can stream videos on portable devices like phones makes videos even more convenient. In fact, over 60% of online video content in the US is watched on smartphones.

And lastly, videos can be paused!

Can't process any more information? Pause it. Have an errand to run? Pause it. Don't feel like watching it? You guessed it, pause it, and come back when you're ready.

Reason #3: Videos are adaptable

When it comes to training employees, video courses are a more adaptable solution than in-person training. This is because they can be tailored to each individual's learning style.

For example, someone who is a visual learner can watch a video at their own pace and rewatch sections they didn't understand the first time.

And if an employee needs a refresher? There's no need to schedule another in-person training session.

Besides, videos can be customized to meet the needs of specific groups of employees. For example, a company might create different videos for entry-level and experienced employees.

Reason #4: Videos reduce training costs

Investing in training videos is a smart investment. You only pay once for the video, but you can use it endlessly with multiple employees.

In one case study by Microsoft, launching an internal video portal reduced the cost of learning & development by almost 95% compared to classroom training. That's a reduction from $320 to $17 per person!

Another famous example is IBM. After shifting half of their training into eLearning, the company saved $579 million on Learning & Development in just two years.

Here's another case study with BSH, which used an AI training video creation platform Synthesia to develop more efficient online training. The results include:

  • 70% cost savings compared to traditional video production
  • 30% increase in eLearning engagement
How does BSH develop 70% more efficient training

6 types of training videos you need to know about

Training videos come in all shapes and sizes. When creating training videos, choosing the right video type is essential to its success.

Here are 6 of the most popular training video types. 👇

Type #1: Presenter-style video

Otherwise known as a talking-head video, a presenter-style video features a person (or people) that acts as a narrator, or presenter in the video.

That person is typically a subject-matter expert (SME), instructor, actor, or interviewee. Although the last one isn't usually applicable to training videos.

Presenter-style videos are perfect for training, since humans prefer to learn from learning companions.

Tip 💡

If you're interested in learning why presenter-style videos are so useful for training, check out our webinar on the topic.

How to Use Storyline x Synthesia (1 of 3): Breathing life into your characters

We also have a separate detailed blog post about creating videos with presenters.

Type #2: Animated videos

Animated training videos have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why.

Animated videos can be highly effective at conveying information in a concise and visually appealing way. They can also be customized to specifically target certain audiences and created using a distinct and recognizable style that's associated with the business/brand.

However, fully-animated videos are expensive to produce and often require significant time and effort to create. Some may even find animated videos too 'cutesy' or childlike for their taste, which isn't ideal for training videos. 😬

Type #3: Screen-capture videos

This video type is most commonly used to demonstrate a specific task by recording the computer screen with screen capture software.

A screen recording is perfect for a software tutorial or any type of step-by-step follow-along instruction that can be shown on screen.

Another bonus is that these videos are some of the easiest ones to make, as they don't typically require a video camera.

One drawback is that they can be quite bland to watch, so we recommend incorporating a screen recording into another video type to make it more engaging.

For example, here's how you can easily combine screen recordings with a talking head video.👇

How to Create a Screen Recording Video

Type #4: Interactive videos

Interactive videos are those that support different types of user interaction.

Interaction can be achieved by using clickable hotspots, branching scenarios, built-in quizzes, and 360 views, among others.

Interactive training videos can take a long time to create and require specialized training video software, but the learning experience they provide is hard to match.

Interested in learning more about making engaging interactive training videos in the industry's leading software Articulate Storyline? We have a separate blog post about making Storyline videos more engaging.

Type #5: How-to videos

A how-to video is perfect for walking the learner through a process or task step-by-step.

You can use any visuals to deliver the information, as long as the instruction is easy to understand:

  • b-roll
  • whiteboard
  • screen recording
  • audio explanation

Structurally, it's one of the easiest video types to produce, as the content of the video will logically be separated into steps. This will also make the script writing process that much easier.

Type #6: Microlearning videos

A microlearning video is a short, focused training video that covers a specific topic, ideally under 3 minutes in length.

Microlearning videos are perfect for scenarios where you need to focus on one learning objective, using minimum distractions.

If you want to make training videos that fall under the microlearning umbrella, check out our guide on creating microlearning videos.

Or watch this short tutorial 👇

How to Create Microlearning Videos in 5 Easy Steps

11 most popular employee training video topics

When creating corporate training videos, it's not only important to consider the appropriate video type and visuals but also the topic of the video.

Some topics, like leadership and diversity, are better delivered as talking head videos, while more technical topics should use screen recordings in their video training.

Let's break down some of the most popular topics below and discuss how you can make an effective training video for any topic.

1. Cybersecurity training videos

Learning all the ins and outs of cyber security can be daunting, and it's not always easy to stay on top of the latest threats.

👉🏻 That's where personalized cybersecurity training videos come in handy.

By creating custom videos that focus on the specific risks your company faces, you can ensure your team is learning information in a way that is engaging and memorable.

So if you're looking for a way to help your team stay safe online, read our blog post for tips on creating customized cybersecurity training videos using AI.

You can also watch a quick video if you're a visual learner 😉

How to Make Custom Cybersecurity Training Videos | Synthesia STUDIO

2. Safety training videos

At its most basic, a safety training video is simply a way to communicate information about hazards and how to avoid them.

A few of the most common training topics for workplace safety videos include:

  • fire safety
  • accident prevention
  • first aid
  • safety and health
  • how to wear and use personal protective equipment

However, the latest training techniques go beyond simply conveying information. They also seek to engage viewers and create an emotional connection to the material.

👉🏻 That's where personalized workplace safety training videos come in.

Read the post below to see how you can make one yourself.

Or watch this short video tutorial:

How to Make Safety Training Videos

3. IT training videos

IT training is a wide range of courses and programs that teach students how to use and manage technology for their business.

This can include:

  • working with enterprise applications
  • using desktop applications and programs
  • obtaining necessary certifications
  • protecting the company’s IT networks and systems through cybersecurity training

Check out our blog post to learn why video lessons are the perfect tools for IT training.

4. Customer service training videos

There are many ways to train customer service reps, but one method is to use customer service videos. These videos can be used to teach reps the essential skills they need to provide excellent customer service.

They can also be used to reinforce these skills and help customer service reps stay up-to-date on best customer service practices.

Here's how you can easily make a customer service training video yourself using AI. 🤖

How to Make Customer Service Training Videos

5. Software training videos

When it comes to learning how to use new software, people tend to have different preferences. Some people prefer to read the instructions in the manual, while others prefer to trial and error their way through the program.

However, there is one method of instruction that tends to be more effective than both of these: software training videos.

Find out why in this blog post on software training videos.

How to Make Software Training Videos

6. Compliance training videos

In a world of constant distractions, it is difficult for employees to pay attention to compliance training - it isn't exactly the most exciting of topics. 🥱

However, engaging content like video can help increase employee engagement and improve the overall effectiveness of your training course.

See how you can easily create compliance training videos in this blog post.

7. Diversity training videos

A good diversity training program should cover a wide range of topics, from the history of discrimination to the challenges of creating an inclusive and respectful workplace.

It should also be interactive, engaging employees in discussions and exercises that help them understand their unconscious bias and its negative consequences.

Learn why videos are the perfect instruments for teaching inclusion training and how to create an employee training video with AI.

8. Harassment training videos

There's nothing quite like a sexual harassment training video to lower the office morale. 👎

You know the ones - they always start with awkward encounters between two colleagues, followed by a stern voiceover telling you that this is harassment and it's not tolerated in the workplace. 🚫

The message is clear: harassment is not funny, it's not cute, and it's definitely not something to be tolerated. But the delivery is often so cringeworthy that it's hard to take the message seriously.

The solution to cringy training videos is to create customized training videos.

By creating tailored videos specifically for your company culture and values, you can ensure that employees are engaged and receptive to the material.

Learn how to create harassment training videos in 5 easy steps in our dedicated blog post.

9. Sales training videos

Sales training videos are great instruments for helping your team achieve their quotas, but it's not always easy to know where to start.

In a separate blog post, we're sharing tips on how to make personalized sales training videos that will motivate your sales team and help them crush their quotas.

We also have a short video tutorial on the topic. 📹

How to Make Sales Training Videos

10. Video SOPs

An SOP is a set of step-by-step instructions that outline how to perform tasks.

SOPs are designed to promote consistency and efficiency within an organization/business and can be used for everything from operating machinery to cooking a meal.

Interested in creating one? We have a detailed guide teaching you all you need to know to make your own video SOPs.

11. Leadership training videos

Leadership training is useful for any management level, from newly-promoted supervisors, new hires, and middle managers, to experienced managers and CEOs.

In fact LinkedIn's 2022 Workplace Learning Report identified leadership and management training as the number 1 focus area of L&D programs for 2022.

We have outlined the 4 tips for creating leadership training videos in a separate blog post.

How to make custom training videos using AI

There are a lot of guides out there teaching you how to create training videos from scratch using filming and audio recording equipment, as well as professional video editing software and the like.

Here's the thing: we don't want to repeat the same information over and over - our instructions wouldn't be that much different from everything else you see online.

Instead, we'll show you how you can create training videos without cameras, microphones, actors, studios, and fancy editing equipment, all by using an AI video maker called Synthesia STUDIO.

If you're a visual learner, we have summed it all up in a 5-minute video:

How to Make Training Videos With no Equipment

Otherwise, here's how you can create your own training videos 80% faster using AI.

Step #1: Define the goals and objectives of the video

When creating a training video, it's important to define the goals and learning objectives you hope will be achieved. This ensures that people can learn new skills or improve existing ones as they watch your content.

With this information, you can create a video with the right content and style for your audience.

Here are some questions to help you set the right goals and objectives:

  • Why do you want to create this video?
  • Who is the target audience watching the video?
  • What do you want your audience to take away from the video?

Step #2: Choose the right type of training video

Setting concrete goals will help you hone in on the appropriate video type.

To summarize, there are 5 main types to choose from:

  • Presenter-style
  • Animated
  • Screen recordings
  • Interactive
  • How-to
  • Microlearning

Step #3: Write an engaging training video script

A good training video script is essential for an effective training video. Without it, the video creation process will be messy and unstructured, and the video itself runs the risk of dragging on for too long.

We have a detailed post outlining our 6-step framework for writing and structuring a training video script.

The blog post also includes 5 useful (and research-based) tips for writing training video scripts.

Step #4: Choose a training video template

This step isn't necessary but highly recommended.

The design process takes up a large chunk of time when creating your own training video, especially if you don't have any design experience.

Video templates take the design process out of the equation and speed up the process significantly.

Synthesia has 25+ training video templates to help get you started with video creation: anything from microlearning templates, scenario or setting-based templates, or even Storyline-specific templates.

You can get started with templates in your Synthesia STUDIO dashboard by going to 'Templates' -> 'Featured templates.'

Tip 💡

The great thing about video templates is that they are fully customizable, so you aren't bound to the design as a whole.

You can change the colors, fonts, shapes, animations, transitions, images, videos, and backgrounds to create training videos that fit your brand perfectly.

Step #5: Paste your script into Synthesia

The first 4 steps have been pretty hands-on and required some deep thinking, a.k.a. 🧠-work.

In this step, AI steps into the picture and makes your job easier. 🙌

All you need to do is copy your video script by sections and paste these sections into Synthesia STUDIO slide by slide.

Here's what will happen once you do this:

  • Synthesia will generate a voice over narration of your text using text-to-speech technology (think Alexa and Siri)
  • You will be able to choose a voice from over 200 voice options
  • If you paste the text in another language, the voice over will be generated in that language. In fact, you can choose from 70+ languages and counting.

As you can see, this step completely eliminates the need to record audio.

That means no microphones, no audio editing, no sound quality problems, no voice actors, and no more cringing at the sound of your own voice. 😬

Step #6: Edit the video

Okay, now that you have a visual outline and the narration, let's get into the editing process.

Luckily, if you're using an AI video maker like Synthesia, you won't need any separate video editing software.

In this step, you can do all the things you can in any other online video editor, like adding and editing:

  • transitions
  • animations
  • text on screen
  • screen recordings
  • images
  • videos
  • shapes

... and everything in between.

Tip 💡

Learn all the ins and outs of Synthesia's video editor

Browse Synthesia Academy to learn everything you need about AI video editing.

However, the one thing that separates AI video editors from any other video editing software is AI avatars.

Remember that text-to-speech narration you created in step #5? Well, the narration comes with an optional human-like AI avatar that acts as a presenter in your training video.

That means there's no need for actors, subject-matter experts, or you to appear on camera. In fact, you don't need a camera at all to make a training video. 🤯

If the concept of an AI avatar sounds a bit foreign, we'll let Anna, an AI avatar explain it:

How are Synthesia AI Avatars created?

Step #7: Generate and publish

You're done with the video creation process!

Take your edited video, and generate it by clicking on 'Generate video'.

Synthesia will take a few minutes to animate the avatars, check that the content passes our strict moderation guidelines, and perform some general AI magic to make a great training video for you. ✨

After your training video is generated, you can download the video file, share it using the link or embed it on your LMS/LXP of choice.

Tip 💡

Synthesia has integrations with the leading training video authoring tools and content delivery systems, making it incredibly easy to integrate your video content with the rest of your learning program.

Step #8: Measure the effectiveness of the video

It's not enough to just make good training videos, you need them to be engaging and effective too.

Making sure that your training is measured up for success takes some serious real estate in terms of time as well as resources - which can often mean the difference between a high-quality training video versus one where people only watch halfway through before clicking away.

But there's a secret to making training videos that people actually enjoy watching: constantly measure their performance. 📈

By constantly monitoring how your training videos are performing, you can make necessary adjustments to keep viewers engaged.

For example, if you notice that people are starting to tune out after the first five minutes, consider breaking your video up into shorter segments.

Or, if you notice that people are having trouble following along, try using simpler language or adding more visuals.

3 tips & tricks for more effective training videos

Looking to take your training video game up a notch?

With these 3 tips, you can make great training videos instead of good-enough ones.

How to Make Engaging Video (3 Quick Tips)

Tip #1: Add a (human) face

A 2014 study into how video production affects student engagement found that among different types of videos, informal talking head videos are more engaging in a learning context.

Besides, the fact that humans prefer learning from other humans has long been documented in e-Learning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Colvin Clark and Richard E. Mayer.

The Personalization Principle outlined in this book can be applied in practice by adding a visual character in a training video to simulate a person-to-person interaction and increase viewer engagement.

Tip #2: Change up your visuals

When creating your own videos, it's not only important that the message is clear but also that it is delivered engagingly.

Monotone visuals aren't very interesting for viewers - a lack of visual variety can lead people into boredom or zoning out! 🥱

This has been backed by research from Nielsen Norman Group, which in 2005 did an eye tracking study on web videos where they measured viewer engagement with talking head videos online.

The key to increasing engagement in talking head videos is to vary the visuals.

You can do that by:

  • including interesting background elements
  • showing related text content outside the video frame
  • shifting the camera angle
  • including graphical elements in the video

Tip #3: Shorten your introduction

Make your introduction as concise as possible, ideally no longer than 5-10 seconds.

In your introduction, focus on answering these two questions:

  1. What is this training video going to be about?
  2. What is the learner expected to do afterward?

Keeping your introduction short is key when it comes to creating engaging videos. We've seen time and again that shorter videos tend to not only be more interesting, but also easier to watch and comprehend for learners.

Want to learn more about increasing engagement in tutorial videos? Read our blog post on 7 Research-Based Training Video Tips.

5 examples of training videos made with AI

Thousands of companies have switched from traditional video production to AI to make training videos.

Here are some of the best training videos made with Synthesia STUDIO.

Example #1: Personalized onboarding videos

Antisel is a Greek scientific equipment and services company employing over 200 people in 3 markets, with a growing remote workforce.

The company greets remote workers with a series of bite-sized, personalized AI-generated training videos created with Synthesia STUDIO.

Here is an example of an onboarding video received by a new employee, Christos 📹

Antisel: Employee onboarding video

The video above is personalized for every new employee and is translated into 4 other languages to target Antisel's international employees.

Example #2: Training video with a custom avatar

Cyber Inc. is a security and privacy awareness company based in the Netherlands.

They leveraged a unique feature of Synthesia for their training (custom avatars) and accelerated expansion into 6 markets by creating training programs in 6 languages.

The custom avatar of one of their team members was made to add a differentiated brand feeling to their videos.

Here's a snippet of their video with a custom avatar:

Demo video, Cyber Inc.

Example #3: Training videos for 50,000 employees

WPP is a creative transformation company focused on building better futures for businesses and brands through solving the challenges of modern marketing.

Here's an example of a training video they created intending to demystify AI for 50,000 employees.

Example #4: Compliance training with specialized avatars

The selection of Synthesia's AI avatars is not only diverse in terms of looks, but also their use case.

In this example you can see an avatar dressed in a light-reflective vest, which fits in perfectly with the topic of the video - construction safety.

Here's a snippet:

Safety Training Video Example | Synthesia STUDIO

Example #5: Software training with screen recordings

When teaching software, using the screen recorder function is what makes the training videos effective.

It allows the learner to see the step-by-step process and replicate it in real time.

Here's a sample video teaching users how to use Google Sheets:

Technical Training Video Example | Synthesia

Next: Putting it all into practice

You've made it to the end! (We hope you aren't too overwhelmed with all this information. 😅)

You now know everything you need to make a great training video. Well, almost everything.

The only thing left is to try it out yourself.

If making training videos with AI sounds like something you want to explore, you can find relevant examples, numbers, case studies and more on our dedicated L&D page.

Otherwise, try making a free demo training video with Synthesia to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a training video be?

The answer to this question is still being debated within the L&D community.

Truthfully, the length of the video depends on its type.

A study on online instructional videos and their engagement rates among students concluded that the optimal length is no longer than 6 minutes.

Another study on software instructional videos suggests a length of no longer than 60 seconds to be optimal, although that is more applicable to microlearning videos.

Whether you make video content that is 60 seconds or 6 minutes in length doesn't matter that much. What matters most is that your training video concisely delivers the needed information without overwhelming the learner.

What should be included in a training video?

How you make a training video and what you include in there depends highly on the topic and type of training video.

The content of the video will depend on the topic and your company policies, as well as any relevant laws. If we disregard the legalities, the best tutorial videos mix educational content with engaging visuals and a touch of humor.

So include everything that is legally necessary, that applies to your company and its policies, and sprinkle a touch of personality and humor to make the video engaging to watch.

How do you make fun training videos?

There are a few ways of making videos more fun, or at least more engaging:

  • Humour
  • Personalization
  • Interactivity
  • Storytelling