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As a training or safety manager, do you know how much of any training video is forgotten?

Recent research surprised me when it stated between 20% - 70% of all workforce training gets forgotten inside a week.

I didn't realise it was this bad, though I had comfort that as a videomaker, I expected to find video as the exception to this Fast-Forgetting Rule.

Not so. No crumbs of comfort here even for video. Video gets forgotten too, though the research did clearly indicate that video training information can be retained 6 months

- better than virtually any training medium available.

So video does get remembered. I knew it.

But what was clear was that only good training video breaks the Fast-Forgetting Rule.

Only good training video.


So what's in a good training video?

Only last week I was lucky enough to see a training video made by an industrial food processing company.

It was 15 minutes of hygiene & safety information packed into 10 minutes of breakneck runtime.

It fairly raced along with voiceover virtually repeating the training manual aloud, while I saw a series of food processing factory shots galloping by

- bearing only a general relationship to the material under discussion.

In truth I'd forgotten videos could be this bad - albeit that the video was professionally produced & edited to a reasonable standard.

So what was missing?

The video had no relationship with the audience.

It was simply a moving catalogue of do's and don'ts

- far too many to remember at one sitting.

And it had no intelligence.

So this prompted me to to list out the 6 things that every training video could include if it's to work as intended, and be remembered 6 months from now.


1 - Find the audience's self-importance

If you produce a training video and it doesn't show individuals what's in it for them, then it's like working with one hand tied behind your back.

For a start, why not explain to your workforce how important they are to you, and invite their cooperation.

Tell them their new skills will make them even more important, as they'll have greater problem solving abilities.

However you do it, you need to awaken your audience's self-interest.


2 - Keep them alert every 7 seconds

If I'm a process worker sitting in front of a tv set watching a training video, then I want to be kept interested or I'll start to yawn.

I'm not expecting the drama of Downton Abbey, but I'd like to see something watchable that keeps my eyes on the screen, and not wandering around the room wondering what everyone else is doing.

The simple rule is to make sure the same shot doesn't carry on for more than 7 seconds.

Changing the shot every 7 seconds - throughout the whole video and not just now and again

- will guarantee a more watched performance.

This is easy enough to do if you plan for it. Ask your video producer how.


3 - Remember the right thing

Too many safety videos, for example, show bad practice so people will recognise and understand what's going wrong and why.

This may be one of the most memorable parts of the video.

Unfortunately it's helping people to remember the wrong thing.

So lead by example and show the right thing.

Drop bad practice.


2016 Video Training Handbook


4 - Dramatise common situations

If the training you want to discuss means people having to think about what they're doing, and exercising their discretionary intelligence, then a great way to bring this out is to dramatise common situations using a cast of actors, or your own staff if you can't afford actors.

Either way, you're bring some semblance of life to an otherwise dry situation.

Having people talk to each other in your training video as they carry out common tasks is more watchable than not.

And it'll be remembered.


5 - Use 24 word soundbite interviews

Short video interviews with staff members get audiences behind your training initiative.

A BBC soundbite is generally 15-24 words, so follow their rules on this and keep soundbites nice and short and to the point.

A few soundbites sprinkled throughout your video training video will keep audiences interested and listening, as it's "them talking about them".


6 - Use graphics & animation

It's not always necessary to have graphics to explain your training message.

But it makes your video much more interesting to watch.

Captions, charts, diagrams, infographics - they all add another layer of interest.

Use them and be remembered.




Training material gets forgotten - even video training material.

To ensure your next production is an unforgettable training video:

1 - Find the audience's self-importance

2 - Keep them alert every 7 seconds

3 - Remember the right thing

4 - Dramatise common situations

5 - Use 24 word soundbite interviews

6 - Use graphics & animation

These 6 professional tips will help your next training video be remembered.


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