Six Reasons to Use Video in Your Training

When a new client approached me, I immediately knew that we needed to include video in their training solution. 

They came to my team with a challenge. They needed to clear up confusion employees were having around how to greet customers and conduct in-person sales calls. 

They also needed a platform to deliver the content we were creating, so I approached Lessonly to partner with us on the project. Our partnership, and this specific use case, also inspired the idea for this blog post series. 

This article is the first in the series. In future installments, I’ll highlight some great video examples unpack what makes them so good, and provide a practical guide for you and your team to create your own high-quality training videos. 

But first, let’s explore six reasons why video is such a powerful training format.

Video is the #1 way people consume information online.

Meet learners where they are. Think about when you have a question or want to learn something. Where do you turn? If you’re like 86% of YouTube’s massive user base, that’s where you go. The proliferation of video on the internet is an increasing trend. In fact, Cisco predicts that by 2022, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic. 

You can now watch live TV on your phone. It’s evident that if we’re going to reach team members, video is the most familiar medium for consuming related training content.

Content is exploding, and video is the fastest way to consume it.

Every day, according to the World Economic Forum, we create:

  • 500 million tweets
  • 294 billion emails
  • Four petabytes (or a million gigabytes) of data on Facebook

We conduct 2.5 billion searches a day. And while the term ‘information overload’ was first popularized in 1970, it’s taken on a whole new meaning since then. In an effort to combat information overload, we need to make training as concise and efficient as possible for any project we take on. That’s where video excels. Still need some convincing? According to MIT professors, the human brain can process entire images in as little as 13 milliseconds. How’s that for concise? 

For example, compare this sentence to the image.

You may not realize the difference because we’re talking milliseconds for a single word, but you processed the image of the lion 60,000 times faster than the words. When you add in video, you can show 25-100 images per second.

As the MIT professor who led the study above said, “The fact that you can do that at these high speeds indicates to us that what vision does is find concepts. That’s what the brain is doing all day long — trying to understand what we’re looking at.”

Learners retain more information from videos.

Video is the fastest way to consume information, but do learners retain it? We had to be sure for this project as we were testing content on a pilot audience. If we couldn’t prove that they absorbed the concepts after the training, there would be no broader roll-out. 

Science came to the rescue again, thanks to research by John Medina in his book Brain Rules. He showed that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of it three days later. However, if you pair a relevant image with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

We saw similar results when we took a look at Lessonly’s reporting as knowledge check scores consistently ranged between 85-92%.

Video is an affordable way to train your people. 

We also realized that training team members at the 33 locations this client operated would require an enormous amount of travel if the training were to be in-person. The organization, which already has a significant amount of travel, needed a cost-efficient strategy. By pairing Lessonly and our video training solution, our client saved tremendous amounts of time and money by not having to fly people around the country.

The rhythm of each individual can tailor content consumption. 

Video is on-demand and available on any device. You can pause, fast-forward, and rewind. You can rewatch videos as many times as you want. 

These are all examples of interactivity that you don’t get with traditional text-and-next eLearning. There’s always a chance that learners will establish their own opinions on training content, so we wanted to give them options to consume content exactly how they wanted. Video training paired with online learning was a great option to do this.

Video creates emotion, captures attention, and stimulates motivation.

There are few things that fire up emotions more than irate or unhappy customers. And few things ignite the emotions of sales directors more than not making targets. 

Video has a significantly more powerful quality that allows us to tap into this passion.

The combination of images, music, and sounds can elevate any written text or spoken word into a potent concoction that captivates emotion.

Andrew Barry, Curious Lion, Inc.

Emotion helps shape information gathering so that relevant stimuli receive heightened attention. Attention is one of the most valuable commodities we possess. Our focus is regularly the object of competing distractions, which is why any good teacher must spend time thinking about how to capture and hold the attention of their learners. We can then stimulate active processing, which is when real learning occurs.

Emotional connection can also produce motivation. For learners to become and remain motivated, video-based instruction needs to meet four conditions: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction. One can ensure relevance through a dedicated understanding of your learner. You can promote confidence with regular knowledge checks and feedback. And by aiming to entertain as well as educate, you produce a more satisfying learning experience.

Motivated learners have higher levels of engagement. They finish courses in less time and have higher rates of retention. And we think those are some pretty great reasons to use video in your training. – everything from working through problem-solving scenarios to pausing and replaying sections of videos helps promote active learning.

In the next post in this series, I’ll break down four training videos to show you exactly what they did well so you can learn from them. Stay tuned!

About the Author

Andrew Barry runs Curious Lion, Inc, a corporate training agency that partners with ambitious companies that know that training is the highest leverage thing they can do. He also writes a bi-weekly newsletter for a growing community of curious humans. Learn more here.

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