How to Make Great Training Videos

Video is one of the most popular ways to deliver and consume content. That’s not changing anytime soon. And training videos are one of the best ways to share knowledge or information.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all encourage people to watch and share short, informal videos. And your customers are looking for videos to solve their problems more than ever before.

If fact, according to a Pew Research study, 87% of users said that YouTube is important for helping them figure out how to do things they haven’t done before.

LearnLet’s research shows that people increasingly turn to video for their own learning needs. In 2018, 55% of people surveyed reported watching two or more informational or instructional videos. That’s up from 45% in 2016 and 28% in 2013.

So, it’s no secret that video is important. And this makes customers particularly receptive to video as they try to learn your product or service.

That means trainers, instructional designers, and anyone else tasked with training customers should be creating instructional videos as part of their customer education program.

What is a training video?

Simply put, a training video is video-based content that shows someone how to do something.

Whether it’s an employee training video, a software tutorial for customers, or a general topic like how to change a tire, a training video is dedicated to educating or instructing viewers on a specific topic to teach a skill or share knowledge.

Why create training videos?

Video is the perfect media for how-tos and training because you can both show and tell viewers what they need to know. Plus, video is inherently more engaging than text-only methods.

Think about it. Which would you rather do: Read 10 pages of black and white text telling you how to do something or watch a video that shows you exactly the steps to take?

If you’re still wondering why you should even bother creating videos, here are a few key benefits you can get from creating videos this year:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Improve Google search results
  • Take burden off your tech or customer support team
  • Improve your customer satisfaction
  • Create smarter customers and users
  • Grow your business

How to make an effective training video

Even if you’ve never made a video, you can make highly effective training videos. They key lies in having the right software and a little guidance. I use TechSmith Camtasia to make all of my videos, and I highly recommend it.

Camtasia is easy enough that literally anyone can use it, but powerful enough that even seasoned video pros will find it satisfies nearly all their video needs.

But, don’t bust out that video editor quite yet. There are a few key steps that will help ensure success.

Here are some formats you might choose for your training video.


A screencast is a recording of your computer screen. If you are training people on a new software or computer system, this will likely be at least a part of your video. Screencasts can range from informal to highly polished productions.


A microvideo is a very short video – five to fifteen seconds – that demonstrates a single process or idea. Sometimes microvideos don’t have narration but instead rely on visuals or text on the screen. This might be a good choice if you have a number of simple processes to teach that don’t take up enough time to warrant creating a longer training video.

Presenter video

For live training, consider recording it to create a presenter video. Then, you can edit the recording and use it as part of your learning program.

If you’re training people on processes, a product demo video may be the right choice. In these videos, someone usually acts as a “host” and shows the viewers how a particular product, service, or process works. Many of the DIY videos on YouTube use this format.

Role play

In a role play video, a scenario is acted out to help viewers picture and better understand the way a particular interaction should go. They are good for training viewers on how to handle things like sales calls, technical support processes, and other social interactions.

It takes a bit of acting, but if you’re training soft skills, this format might be the best bet as it helps viewers picture actual circumstances and situations.


Animated explainer videos use text and graphics to get their message across. They take some technical and artistic know-how to create, but they’re great for engaging your audience.

Interactive video

Interactive videos are a newer format. One way to think of these is like a “choose your own adventure” video where viewers are asked to respond to situations and then see how things play out depending on their decision. They can be a good way to get your viewers involved.

If you want people to experience how different decisions play out, you might give this a try.

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