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Keeping the attention spans of your learners is challenging. Why take risks for the sake of a lower upfront cost – especially if the resultant product costs you MORE later on? With all the video technology manufacturers touting the benefits of doing video internally, there are definite caveats.

Companies like Sony, Nikon, and Canon want customers to feel empowered to use video themselves, but is that really the best use of time for a trainer or facilitator? While it’s a great idea to get familiar with advancing technology, the skills required to effectively incorporate impactful multimedia into a training is littered with potential problems and failure points. In addition to the technical and aesthetic challenges, DIY video presents concerns around adoption and engagement – as well as potentially becoming a brand liability if the quality is poor.

Richard Fleming, Co-Owner for Sage Media, talks about the pitfalls of doing video at a “homegrown” level, as well as solutions for educators, trainers, and facilitators looking to incorporate cheap video solutions into their programs.

“Get learners to adopt the cheaper methods of video,” he advises. Learners can use multimedia tools to reinforce their learning – presenting material back to a trainer or facilitator in a fun and fresh way. Acting as “video producers” can keep them excited and engaged.

So the next time you feel pressured to produce content for cheap, consider turning the lens around and see how your students can apply their knowledge.


Richard Fleming:             I’m often asked about affordable video solutions or I often hear people telling me that they’re going to try to do video themselves or they hire an intern. Aside from just the buy-in, if somebody sees a homemade video or something that doesn’t look good, they’re not buying into it. Automatically, they’ve checked out.

The additional piece though is that you’re not having an expert who is aware of a brand sensibility, who has worked the brand colors, the brand attitude, the demeanor, the mood, everything else about the brand into every single image. They’re not getting that brand enforcement, but the bigger thing is that it’s a waste of your time as a trainer or a facilitator. You’re not an expert in video. There’s no need to fumble around with it. Making the story dramatic and interesting enough to keep engagement all the way through the production, hiring the actors, finding locations to the editing, telling the story, assembling it, creating pace in a sense of time, move things along to keep people leaning forward, and then we end up delivering it to whatever custom LMS or platform you have.

There are a lot of steps to that process that can go wrong at any time. What might be more empowering is for trainers and facilitators to get their learners to adopt the cheaper methods of video. You’re the expert in learning design, instructional design and learning management. Focus on your business objectives. Focus on how you’re going to engage your audience, and use these user generated tools to help them reinforce their learning. Make them the video producers because then it doesn’t necessarily have to reflect your brand negatively.