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Training videos are EXTREMELY boring! And that’s coming from me – a guy who produces training videos (Two Minutes of Tech). Employees are forced to sit at their desk (or home after work) and listen to someone talk about how they can use the new high priced software package the company just paid for. To add insult to agony, professionals are typically forced to take a quiz at the end to make sure they didn’t just hit “Play” and start streaming Netflix to their iPhone (not that I’ve done this).

However, employees need to learn to use the software, grow professionally and master a new technical skill. For managers to make sure their employees get the right content, there are some things they need to make sure NOT to include in their training plans:

  1. No Engagement – As a speaker who trains hundreds of professionals per year (and watches even more training videos and podcasts), I have learned the best ways to engage the audience. However, it’s nearly impossible to engage audience members when they are watched a recorded video. Live speakers work better because a good speaker knows how to draw in the audience with questions, comments and stories. Training videos are “one way” and force the audience to listen, but not speak.
  2. No Fun – People always say my demonstrations and presentations were fun, and I work hard to make them that way. Training videos, however, put the onus on the viewer to “find the fun” in the video. And let’s be honest, most speakers in videos are not trying to be fun. They simply want to educate and get the recording over with. Live presentations allow the presenter the chance to share stories and funny anecdotes that draw the audience in and make the process more enjoyable.
  3. No Audience – I attend conferences and conventions because I can talk to other attendees, network and learn best practices from other experts in the field of social marketing and mobile technology. Videos isolate the listener and do not allow for the conversations that are critical to professional development. Even my most introverted colleagues don’t like being put in educational silos where they can’t learn from others. In many cases, the audience is the best part of the training.
  4. No Delivery – Technology trainers can’t just be knowledgeable; they must have great presentation skills. Steve Jobs didn’t just talk technology; he had flare and style. Live or recorded, speakers should follow the five keys to dynamic presentations. People go to the zoo to see animals; they go to the circus to see a show. Videos and live events should be a show.
  5. No Creativity – One of the five keys to great social media is content. However, to make content go viral, it must be creative. One of the reasons the Dollar Shave Club is so successful is because of that first hilarious commercial (production cost: $4500) that generated 25 million YouTube views. Presenters can creatively feed off questions from the audience or build creativity into the demonstration. Training videos, however, cannot easily build that humorous and engaging creativity into the presentation.

The best YouTube videos are less than 2 minutes, while some corporate training videos are almost 1 hour in length. Combining long, monotone videos with the average human attention span of 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds) is a recipe for training disaster. Hire a versatile and dynamic speaker to deliver your content live or through a webinar. Your employees will thank you by actually learning the information.

Scientifically Speaking, of course