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A friend’s son recently started work for a major supermarket and had to sit through 3 hours of 12 videos which bored the pants off him.

Such a total lack of motivation!

But what exactly is “motivation” and how does video “motivate”.


I’d suggest motivation is:

> Enabling people to identify when to apply the correct behaviour or process

> Making them want to behave correctly, or even care about it

Motivating a workforce means asking them to use their natural intelligence to work out work problems.

It sounds easy. But industry and commerce are littered with unseen, unrecorded mistakes

– where the individual either forgot or didn’t care enough to apply the training they’d received.


Mistakes are mostly due to

– corner cutting when “there’s a rush on”

– or “can’t be bothered”

– or thinking they know better “this once”.


Mistake-making is also like the weather. One day the same individual behaves well and the next they’re more like a child. All very fickle & changeable.

Yet the secrets of motivation in a training video production are simple. I’ve reduced this down to 3 expert tips:

1 – Speak to people intelligently

2 – Use peer group influence

3 – Keep their interest

Let’s look at each of these powerful forces in turn.


1 – Speak to people intelligently

The average operative is a model citizen.

They don’t break the law, get too deep in debt, do get their kids through education, don’t drink to excess, are paying a mortgage, and mostly do the sensible things in life.

Until they meet their old school training manager who then proceeds to treat them all like idiots.

Yet the trainer isn’t an idiot and the operatives certainly aren’t.

Yet pushing for greater compliance by hammering home the rules & procedures invariably leads to idiot levels of behaviour.


By contrast, treating people intelligently improves this situation enormously.

In video this means:

> explaining the reasons why we do things the way we do them

> telling people why their individual contribution is important (and why they’re important)

> relating to their real situation, and their difficulties in a smart way.

This needn’t take long to do. It’s more of an additional “thought thread” you weave throughout the whole video.

The takehome: Treat them like they’re smart, and they’ll work smarter for it.


2 – Use peer group influence

People look to their peers when forming their opinions on how to behave (Facebook anyone?!)

For example, operatives look to each other, or a respected supervisor for thought leadership.

They certainly don’t look to management for their ideas.

It’s easy to harness this peer group influence power in a training video production.

The answer is to use short video interview clips.


To illustrate this, here’s a sample series of video clips on Hygiene training in a factory:

Older female operative: “If we don’t follow the hygiene rules exactly as we’re trained then a family could get food poisoning.”

Older man: “It’s against the law to break the hygiene rules.” 

Young Polish lad operative with heavy accent: “We just do it. We have to. It’s that important”

Here’s another sample scene on Corner Cutting:

Older female operative: “It might seem quicker to cut corners and get the job done quicker, but it isn’t”.

Older man: “More accidents happen through cutting corners than any other single cause”.

Young Polish lad operative with heavy accent: “We have to say NO to corner cutting. No means no!”

Filming & editing short soundbite clip sequences like the above are motivational and proactively encourage the correct behaviour through peer group influence.

This principle can be adapted to any training video production, at little cost. It’s an hour of extra camera work on the shoot to capture a few short interview clips.

The takehome: Use your workforce to persuade your workforce


3 – Keep their interest

The enemy of interest is repetition.

In training video terms, this means finding better ways to train than simply showing hours of film with an endless voiceover, and a music track no one in their right mind would ever listen to unless forced.

Yet there are so many ways to make a training video interesting;

1 – Use more graphics, even if only to provide some visual relief

2 – Make any animation more dramatic, sexier, quirkier – without going overboard.

3 – Use actors to play the roles of operatives in your training video. They’ll register intelligence on camera for you, rather than look like woodentops.

4 – Use a professional presenter to host the videos and create a likeable face, as well as make a break from voiceover.

5 – Pay a little more for the music, and then use 3 music tracks to match the different energy levels in the video

6 – Have tests at each section of the video to validate as you go, and keep people’s minds lively, thinking about their responses.


To test these ideas out, watch some training videos on youtube, and decide how long it takes before they get dull – or otherwise. And how the dullness was avoided.

The takehome: Avoid repetition by using your imagination to make scenes more engaging and fulfilling.


2016 Video Training Handbook



All training managers have to work under difficult circumstances, with distributed workforces, weak comprehension of English, tight budgets, and whatever workforce unrest is sitting as a backdrop to your efforts at motivation.

So when the opportunity comes to produce a training video, don’t waste it.

Make it really motivate by:

1 – Treating people intelligently

2 – Use peer group influence

3 – Keep their interest

These expert tips will motivate your workforce, and you’ll see improved results in the workplace.


2016 Training Video Price List

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