In my last post, I shared eight reasons why we love the advantages of video learning here at the Instructional Design Company. So, as promised, this week, I’m giving you my ultimate guide to making instructional videos without breaking a sweat!
If you didn’t get a chance to read about the advantages of video learning, check out that article here. You’ll get all the background info you need to decide if video learning is the best choice for your project or portfolio piece.
Are you ready to make your instructional video? Then, let’s jump into my ultimate guide!
IDC’s Easy Guide to Making Instructional Videos
When was the last time you watched a video or a clip online? I feel pretty confident guessing you’ve watched video content already today! But hey, maybe you’re reading this first thing in the morning. In which case, I’m sure you’ll find yourself engaging with video in the next few hours.
Videos have become an unavoidable part of how we consume all kinds of learning. Whether it’s a news clip, an interview, or a how-to guide. Earlier today, I worked on a task in Storyline (wouldn’t you know, I was making an instructional video). To work more efficiently, I googled a shortcut for a repetitive task.
Do you think I chose the text-based, step-by-step guide for how to perform the shortcut? No way! I clicked on the first video result that popped up and learned how to use the shortcut in under 30 seconds.
Why Choose Video Learning?
Videos are the preferred mode of instruction for most learners. According to Techsmith, two-thirds of employees complete tasks more efficiently when they’ve engaged in video learning based on the task.
Making instructional videos also gets you (or your stakeholders) more bang for the buck. A video is easy to distribute, easily accessible on multiple devices, and easy to review if you need a refresher a week later.
And it’s not just learners that are more likely to engage with video. So if you’re looking for a new instructional design job, including videos in your portfolio is a great way to get noticed.
The best news is this: you don’t have to be an amazing video editor to make effective instructional videos. You don’t even have to buy expensive equipment or software subscriptions. I’m going to let you in on my best-kept secrets! Here are seven simple steps to get you started making instructional videos.
Step 1: Gather your resources
Well-made instructional videos don’t just materialize out of thin air. Just like with any course you develop, an instructional video requires tons of planning.
That’s why the first step to making a great training video is to spend some time with your resources. These resources should include:
Your training analysis: all the data you collected when you were first learning about this project (or the data you organized yourself if this is a project for your portfolio).
Your course content: this is the information that needs to be included in the video. For client projects, this will likely come from a subject matter expert in the form of existing PowerPoints, old training material, or an interview you conduct. For personal projects, you’ll have to collect this information yourself. Do your research online! Either way, you need to make sure you have all the course content in order BEFORE you start working on a video.
Step 2: Outline and Storyboard your content
Now that you have all the data and course content in front of you, it’s time to organize it! This process is the same regardless of your course format.
First, create a general outline of the course. Finalize your learning objectives and make sure they’re all represented in the outline.
Next, take the outline to the next level. Storyboarding your course will give you the blueprint for your instructional video. A Storyboard could be as simple as a list of screens or segments or be a table with photos, more detailed scripts, and screen visuals.
The more thought you put into your storyboard, the easier the video-making process will be, so I really recommend the table version for your Storyboard. You can also choose all the stock images instead of using placeholders or write out your video script to contribute to your storyboard.
Storyboarding is also the step where you see your video as a whole to make sure it really makes sense and supports your learning objectives.
The pre-work that goes into making an instructional video is crucial. If you’re just starting, I highly recommend you check out the Instructional Design and Tech Accelerator System. You’ll get all the tools you need to prepare for a course build. Not to mention a more in-depth guide on developing the course using more advanced tools like Premiere Pro or Storyline.
Step 3: Choose your Tools
Now we’re starting to get into the nitty-gritty of making instructional videos! Now that you have your course outlined and storyboarded, it’s time to decide what tool or tools you’ll use to make your video.
There are some important things to keep in mind first. The specific video-making tools you choose should complement the course content. Let me give you a couple of examples:
- If your course is informational (DEI in the Workplace or A Beginner’s Guide to Internet Security): Having a spokesperson on-screen with supporting text might be an engaging choice for this type of video. Alternatively, a PowerPoint with text and supporting images can be a good fit for information-heavy topics.
- If your course is demonstrational (Navigating Onboarding Software or How to Operate a Forklift Safely): A Powerpoint just won’t cut it for this type of video. For software demonstrations, consider making a screen-sharing video. Record someone performing the steps. For physical tasks, the best video would be of someone doing that task. You can also use a series of screenshots or still images. Pair the demonstrational video or images with onscreen text instructions, and you’re good to go!
- If your course involves interpersonal communication (Conflict Management or many HR-related topics): Consider making an animated video that pulls in different characters. Instead of bullet points, onscreen text can appear as thought or speech bubbles. Animated videos can also work with informational videos.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at some FREE tools for making instructional videos.
Yep, you heard me! You’ve probably used Zoom for meetings, but did you know it’s an excellent tool for recording high-quality videos too? You can use the free version of Zoom to record a spokesperson video or a screen share.
All you have to do is start a new meeting and hit record. From there, you can read from a script, share a PowerPoint presentation, or screen share while you navigate through a software demonstration.
Another great option for recording an instructional video is to do it right in Powerpoint. If you’ve already created your slides in Powerpoint, this is a super easy extra step. Just click Slide Show, and you’ll see the Record Slide Show option.
There is an entire module of the Instructional Design and Tech Accelerator system devoted to designing and recording in Powerpoint if you’re interested in an even more in-depth guide.
For easy-to-make, professional-looking animated videos, many instructional designers love Animaker. Their free version is the perfect starting place for making your first training video. It’s also super user-friendly.
You can choose from several free templates, so you’re not starting a scene from scratch. They also offer a handy tour that will guide you through your first video.
It’s easy to alter character expressions and to add text, sound effects, and audio tracks so you can customize your animated videos to match your learning goals.
When you use Zoom or Powerpoint to record a training video, those programs will capture your audio along with the recording. However, for a more professional sound, a separate audio track is recommended.
Audacity is free software that’s well-loved by instructional designers and video editors alike. You can use this tool to record and edit your voiceover. Audacity will allow you to remove background noise, even out your volume, and give you an overall more polished sound without expensive equipment.
It’s super easy to use. Plus, you can find tutorials that will walk you through all the audio editing features you need for your instructional video.
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice
You didn’t think the process was over once you picked the right recording option, did you? Now that you know what you’ll be using to make your video, it’s time to practice.
Read your script out loud and navigate through your slides (or whatever you’ll be screen sharing). Do this as many times as you need to! First of all, reading your script out loud will help you identify any last-minute changes you need to make.
More importantly, the better-rehearsed you are, the fewer times you’ll find yourself stopping and restarting a recording because you made a mistake! Practice makes perfect, especially if you won’t be using any extra video editing software to remove pauses or mistakes.
Step 5: Record your instructional video
Now you’ve made it! Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for: if you’re using Zoom or Powerpoint, it’s time to record. Make sure you’ve got your finalized script handy. You’ll also want to plan to be in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
For audio and screensharing recordings, here’s where your practice pays off. Speak clearly but conversationally for the most engaging audio effect. If you’re recording yourself as a spokesperson, check your lighting and camera angles. Make sure nothing is distracting in your background before you hit record.
Step 6: Run it Through Quality Assurance
Once you have a draft video, it’s time to do some QA! Rewatch the video and take note of anything you want to change. Next, run it by a colleague and ask them to send you their notes.
If this is a project for a boss or client, you’ll want to record a second draft that incorporates these notes before sending it to your stakeholder. For personal or portfolio projects, send it to your friends and family and let them be your quality assurance team!
Step 7: Share with your Learner
Finally! You’ve planned and prepped. You’ve picked the perfect tool to complement your content. You’ve practiced and recorded, and re-recorded. Now, you’ve got a final product that’s ready to be shared.
I already mentioned that shareability is one of the reasons I love making instructional videos. So this is the easy part. You can now share your video with your learners.
For videos you’ve created for another company, you can post to their learning management system or intranet.
If this was a personal project, you could embed or link it within your portfolio. Consider also sharing it on LinkedIn or other social media.
Feel free to also include this video directly in any communication you have with potential employers.
Wrapping it Up
Are you ready to start making your own instructional videos? Even if it’s just a quick sample video that you can include in your portfolio, I recommend getting started on this process right away.
Have more questions? Join The Hangout to ask questions, get FREE training, and more!
The Testimonials are In:
Working with Shanwtay and Katie at the Instructional Design Company was a dream come true. Their creativity, expertise, and professionalism throughout the entire process was beyond top notch. I engaged them to help turn my first book into a training course, and I could not be happier with how the final product turned out. If you have an instructional design project and you’re considering which company to work with, you can stop your search and thank me later. They are truly the best in the business.
I joined the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program because I struggled to find jobs in instructional design beyond the development phase. I’ve done a couple of training programs with lots of random projects, but I was overwhelmed, not connecting the dots, and not good at structuring my writing to hit learning objectives. I was looking for motivation and direction at beginning a better Instructional Designer.
After taking the Instructional Design & Tech Certificate program and joining my fantastic team for support, I found the structure and approach to be what I need to take my next steps, evening improving my skills in the development stage.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I love how this course let’s you work at your own pace. I got great tips and learned many things. The ongoing support for multiple people and groups is what I love the best. You are never alone in this process. I have been able to adjust my resume and began creating a portfolio of work I’ve completed to add when applying for jobs. I use many of the PowerPoint skills in my lessons and trainings. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to become an instructional designer.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!
L&D Project Manager
The Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator certificate program is one of the most comprehensive ID programs out there for beginners. If you’re looking to grow your schools in ID and development then I highly recommend this program. Not only will this program give you an overview of theory, but you will receive a thorough walkthrough of how to apply what you have learned. Although I had already secured a position in Learning & Development when I bought this course, it helped me to move up into a new position as a Learning & Development Project Manager!
Future Instructional Designer
If you have any interest in ID, sign up for this program NOW! Shawntay and her team are top notch! The course content exceeded my expectations in a big way and the encouragement and support continues to be so valuable. You will not feel alone going through this course, you will learn so much, you’ll have many cheerleaders, and you will have fun!
Future Instructional Designer
I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).
Future Instructional Designer
I can’t say enough great things about the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program! The length of the program is perfect; it doesn’t feel rushed and there’s just the right amount of structure to give you the accountability you need. There are so many opportunities to get live answers to any questions you have related to the course content or anything ID-related! This program gave me the support and structure I needed to both feel affirmed in the relevant skills I already had coming in and to fill in the gaps I had as a career-changer going into ID. Shawntay, Katie, and all the coaches are super helpful and supportive. I now feel confident that I have the tools and access to resources I need to apply for ID jobs without wondering if there’s something I’m “missing” in the preparation process. I’d highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition into ID or who just wants to brush up on their skills in the field.
Krista Johnson Awomoyi
Freelance Instructional Designer
I’d highly recommend the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program. I’m blown away by how much I learned in just 12 weeks. I had ID experience prior to taking this course and was just looking to get a better understanding of applying adult learning principles. This course well exceeded my expectations! Not only did I gain a clear understanding of adult learning principles, I was also able to apply those principles by creating assets for your portfolio using PowerPoint, Adobe Premiere Pro and Storyline. The hands on support that we received was top notch.
This program is one of the most robust yet fulfilling L&D programs I’ve seen. I learned so much about the industry and about the limitlessness of my own capabilities. I am so appreciative of Shawntay and all of the trainers who took part in the program. They went above and beyond with not only guiding, but communicating live and working one on one or in small groups. If you are on the fence, I say take the leap and you will not regret it! There’s so much to learn, not only from the trainers, but also the learners in your group. Everyone comes in with their own skills and can be additional support and guidance for you. Thank you for creating this program!
Instructional Designer Training Facilitator
Shawntay is an amazing individual. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of ID and eLearning. She is also very compassionate and loves to help and see everyone around her grow and prosper. Shawntay has been a great mentor to me and she has helped me mature as an instructional designer and eLearning developer. She has provided me with opportunities when others have overlooked me. I am very grateful to have met and built a lifelong relationship with Shawntay.
I recently got hired into my first instructional design / training position and Shawntay was one of the first people to congratulate me!
Freelance Instructional Designer
My teacher-to-instructional-designer journey began two years ago when I left my teaching comfort zone and started my first freelance ID job. Now, I’m stepping out of the classroom and taking my freelance work full-time, so I’m thrilled to be joining the Tech Accelerator program. Adding technologies like Articulate 360 and Adobe Premiere Pro to my qualifications will help me take my courses to the next level and attract more clients!
Teacher Transitioning into Instructional Design
I am genuinely grateful for this course. I wanted a real-world perspective and feel like I got it. I’m teaching now, but nearing retirement age but can see myself working as an instructional designer well into my retirement years. My other goal is to take as many courses in statistics as possible in hopes of bringing some mathematical precision to the ROI question. Like you say, getting accurate metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but I intend to work on that part. That’s unimportant right now, what is important is the fact that I feel like this course was well worth every penny I spent and I would to it again in a heartbeat. I have too much going on right now, but as soon as I get some time freed up I intend to take your course in project management.
Turns Your Written Thoughts Into a Masterpiece!
Shawntay Skjoldager can turn your written thoughts into a masterpiece. She is great to work with and the most organized person I know!
President and CEO, The Creative Entreprenuer
Shawntay has been incredible!
Shawntay has been incredible and her team is responsive and effective in translating my training programs into professional presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact her for your project.
Beth B. De Lima, MBA, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP
President and Principal of HRM Consulting, Inc.
IDC is My Secret Weapon to Soar Above My Competition!
The IDC team has been my secret and special weapon of success. They have delivered above and beyond with every single project out in front of them. They have met and beat timelines. They have been Uber responsive every step of the way. I keep them on speed dial and have and continue to recommend them to friends and clients. If you are in need of instructional design and plenty more, this is THE ALL-STAR team that will more than deliver and help make you and your project soar above the competition.
LT. COL. Jason O. Harris
U.S. Air Force Officer, Special Operations Pilot, U.S.A.F. Academy Instructor, Motivational Speaker
A Tremendous Asset to the Project Team!
Working with Shawntay and the Instructional Design Company has allowed our university to meet the growing demands of our programs. Shawntay’s expertise allowed for the course development to be completed on time and met all of the university requirements. Shawntay’s project management skills were phenomenal and allowed my team to work on other areas while she completed this project for us. Her work is of high quality and her professionalism and willingness to help made her a tremendous asset to the project team.
Academic Quality Assurance Specialist, Abilene Christian University
Creative & Highly Talented!
Shawntay is a creative and highly talented instructional designer. She brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership that enabled her to own the design and creation of a full scale facilitator curriculum and train-the-trainer program. It was a pleasure to partner with Shawntay, her project management and communication skills ensured the project was on time and on budget.
Breaks Down Mammoth Projects
“Shawntay is quick study and carefully synthesizes information for presentations that are clear, concise and captivating. Her personality draws the audience in and her content mastery is excellent. A team player and organizer, Shawntay has the ability to break down mammoth projects, keep everybody on time and on task.”
Author, Speaker, Strengths Coach
“I have had many opportunities to work with Shawntay—mainly in the support of implementing new eLearning initiatives. I have been very impressed by her ability to quickly learn how to use rapid eLearning development tools and effectively use them to create multiple courses within a short timeframe. Shawntay’s enthusiastic nature, attention to detail, and dedication to her work make her a pleasure to work with and a great asset to both Texas A&M University-Commerce and the broader training community within the Texas A&M University System.”
Director of Learning Strategy, Caveo Learning
Top Notch Professional
Working with Shawntay has been an immense pleasure. She is atop notch professional who brings enthusiasm and extensiveexpertise to professional curriculum development and execution. Her knowledge of tried and true techniques to maximize the effectiveness of presentations is invaluable.
Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research, CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research
Fortunate to Find Shawntay!
“I was fortunate to find Shawntay when our organization was looking to expand and update our educational offerings. Shawntay proved herself to be an educational and personal development expert who immediately made an impact with our clients throughout Europe. Everyone who came into contact with Shawntay was immediately impressed by her level of expertise and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawntay to anyone looking for an education subject matter expert.”
Director of Qualifications and NSD Services, Mary Kay Inc.
Short Turn Around. On Time. Under Budget!
“We hired Shawntay to develop a training facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint slide deck for an operations manual heavy with technical content. The project was made more challenging by a very short turn around, 5 business days, and the fact that the operations manual wasn’t complete and was being updated simultaneously with the facilitator’s guide and slide deck. Despite these challenges, Shawntay delivered as promised. On time and under budget.”
Dave Beeman, CPP
Vice President, Andy Frain Services
Need an Expert Who Consistently Delivers?
“Working with Shawntay you will immediately notice her professional presence and poise, but over time her tenacious pursuit of excellence and her skills in instructional development and adult learning will really impress you. I worked with her at Mary Kay, and was able to experience firsthand her great rapport with regional partners in Europe, understanding their unique sales force training needs. In addition, Shawntay consistently exhibited grace under pressure, made executive decisions to move business forward. If you are looking for an expert who consistently delivers and goes the extra mile to get things done, contact Shawntay!”
Marketing Director, Academic Partnerships
Quality Products & Solutions!
“I had had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shawntay on more than a few occasions. I found her to be a very good business partner and very committed to delivering a quality product or solution in a timely manner. I have always had a positive experience in partnering with Shawntay and would recommend that you consider leveraging her talent.”
Judy Owen, CPC
Transformational Leadership Coach
“Invest in yourself and take your skills to the next NEXT level!”
Get yourself signed up for Shawntay Skjoldager’s Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program today and be on your way to success! Within the first week of taking her course, you will experience growth! Be sure to plug into her Facebook Q&A sessions for personalized help, too. This is THE course to take if you are new to instructional design or have landed on the training team and need help getting started.
Managing Partner, PHiG
“Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!”
Shawntay has exceptional knowledge and experience with all aspects of creating and implementing effective, performance based training for adults. She is exceptional at needs analysis – identifying target audiences and collaborating with business owners to keep training focused on business needs. And she is great to work with – always providing great support to get projects done on-time and on-target. She is always on the look-out for new and more effective ways to engage learners. Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!
eLearning Developer/Instructional Designer, Vivos Therapeutics
I have known and worked with Shawntay as a education program director and use the expertise of ShawntayMichelle for the development of my presentations. The service has always been “spot on” with professionalism, care and attention. Shawntay’s recommendations to my ideas make me look good to my clients.
Al Lomas CMP, CEM, CMM, CFE
Owner, Certified Consulting Services
“Shawntay Skjoldager reached in and made my training life so much easier!”
I am new to the training design and development world and I was SO excited to get in there, but I really lacked the real-world knowledge that would set me apart from my peers. And, then Shawntay Skjoldager walked into my life with an outstretched hand and a seemingly endless list of ways to knock every training out of the park. From the Training Analysis Form to the Tay Tay tips, this course made my life so much easier and even ironed out the review process that I had been struggling with for months.
Take time to invest in your own learning and make sure to put Shawntay Michelle at the top of your personal development list!
Training Specialist, LegalShield