When it comes to corporate training videos, you can find everything from the completely dreadful to the thriller movie made for Hollywood. Companies both big and small have experimented with all types of video to effectively engage their employees and make concepts stick.
Just take a look at this 2011 corporate training video, which makes use of a music video format to get its message across.
Isn’t this what comes to mind when you think of cheesy corporate training video?
While the intention is right (after all, songs do help with retention), it makes a common mistake of ineffective training videos: Failing to find an adequate balance between entertainment, motivation and actual teaching.
To inspire you in the process of developing your own creative yet effective video that gets this formula right, we’ve compiled a list of award-winning corporate training videos and highlighted the characteristics that set them apart.
1. Good Acting
This training video produced by LDS Church is perfect example of out-of-the-box thinking that gets it just right. Without sacrificing teaching for pure entertainment, it is wonderfully humorous and imaginative, using a cloud as the protagonist of its story.
Viewers are not only compelled to watch every second through the use of professional video, animation and sound effects, they are also drawn in by the unusual storyline, the creative use of personification and the quirky character played by a talented actor.
In the end, the audience has been unwittingly educated on a few safety precautions to heed in the middle of a thunderstorm.
And for those who believe it is necessary to break the bank and hire a professional video company to produce a high-quality video, this piece was produced in-house and earned first place in the Top Training Videos (TTV) awards.
2. Triggers the Right Emotions
This video also accomplishes its goals by skillfully weaving a story that is sure to strike a chord with the organization’s trainees. By triggering just the right emotions–in this case, empathy for a difficult family situation and a sense of having the power to change it for the better–this piece fulfills its purpose of motivating its employees to serve their customers with both head and heart.
Like the previous example, this video was also produced in-house and involved no dialogue, just music and sound effects with high-impact titles.
3. Sends an Effective Message
Another award-winning training video produced in-house, this piece is simple yet very effective. It gets right to the point by visually showing how a very small percentage of Americans actually wash their hands long enough to eliminate bacteria.
It then shows the washing habits of several women in the bathroom and creatively drives its message home by using a song both as background music and to prove the point that 20 seconds of washing is not long at all. In the end, it cleverly makes this hand-washing lesson stick in the minds of its viewers.
4. Makes the Complex Easy to Understand
This video produced by Cohn Creative Group for EY’s Metro Email Service is another noteworthy example of using creativity to communicate a message more effectively–rather than just seeking originality for its own sake.
By resorting to a clever personification technique similar to the one used in the first example, this video represents complex email problems with everyday, low-tech objects and concepts. With the help of a quirky central character and good acting, it gets its message across to trainees in a very palatable and memorable manner: Don’t use any email, application or device to send delicate client data.
5. Creates a Personal Connection
Like the second example, this video also hits the mark by telling a relatable story of a father who juggles work demands with his desire to spend more time with his son. By resorting to a premise that will resonate with many viewers, it establishes an emotional connection with the audience right from the outset.
Like any good story, it then goes on to develop the storyline and even guide the audience through a heart-stopping scene, which could have be taken straight from a drama movie. Although not a long video, viewers still experience every emotion of a gripping story: the desire to know what happens next and the desire to see things end well for the main characters.
Of course, the use of high-quality video, sound effects and editing also create an overall cinematic effect which is sure to impress any viewer.
The clip above is part of a longer video. Here is a link to the entire 12-minute piece: https://vimeo.com/121331360
6. It Stimulates the Audience
British lawyer and former Dechert partner Duncan Wiggetts takes corporate training video production to new heights with this 35-minute educational drama.
Although not all companies may have the budget to create a short film of this caliber, this highly praised piece does give its viewers many insights into what makes an effective corporate training video.
For one, this piece stimulates serious discussion and debate around issues that concern boards of directors and senior executive management. Some of the difficult topics breached include executive compensation, the handling of whistleblower allegations and the evaluation of risk concerning acquisitions in emerging markets.
7. It uses Metaphors to Communicate Effectively
Awarded with the Gold Stevie award for “Best Training Video,” this piece masterfully communicates the importance of following protocol by likening its safety mechanisms to those used in rock climbing.
Besides a compelling script and high-quality video shooting and editing, this video incorporates all of the principles previously mentioned. It uses a classic plot structure by first plopping the viewer right smack in the middle of a suspenseful moment and then going back in time to show how it all unraveled.
8. It Tells a Cautionary Tale
Another award-winning training video, this 35-minute piece is a story of a hard-working employee who gets caught up in a billion-dollar lawsuit against her company.
Designed to train employees on proper conduct, this film forcefully sends its message by telling a cautionary tale of a lower-level employee who is unwittingly preyed upon by forces out of her control.
In the end, the video gets the job done: Employees will watch the entire film and remember its lesson for years to come.
9. It Uses Animation to Clearly Teach Concepts
Although not a Hollywood-style drama or thriller, this training video on back safety has also won recognitions for effectively teaching concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.
Using high-quality animations and graphics, this piece is chock full of useful occupational safety advice that is delivered in a palatable format.
As should be the case with all training videos on dry subjects, this piece also attempts to throw in a few humorous comments here and there to keep the audience’s attention.
10. It Facilitates Experiential Training
This piece – also a winner of a Gold Stevie award for “Best Training Video” – gives trainees a sense of what it’s like to go out in the field.
By following an employee on a sales call using a faux documentary approach, this video fulfills its purpose of experientially training workers in common sales practices. In the end, the intention was to raise curiosity in trainees and have them wonder whether the events were real or not.
After viewing each episode–which was followed by a moderated training session–the question came up time and again: Were those actual employees on real sales calls? The result was that trainees were more engaged in the training process and attentive to the latest rules being discussed.