5 video styles and which one to choose for your video training

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Training videos come in all types of formats. In fact, one of the advantages of choosing video as a training medium is that you can choose a delivery format that is better suited to your content, to your training goals and to your target audience. This article focuses on different types of training videos. Our goal is to help you choose the training format that is best suited to your specific situation.


You should always keep in mind that video is proven to increase knowledge retention. According to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, our working memory uses two channels to acquire and process information: one visual, that relies on images, and one auditory, that is anchored on the words we listen. When watching a video, learners are able to use both channels simultaneously. They’re not just watching a video, they’re fostering long term memory storage without even realising it!

Before we dive into these 5 video styles, a quick note to say that there are other video styles available for you to choose from. In this article, we are focusing on these 5 for two reasons: these are the most used styles in video training courses, and these are also the ones that may be easier for you or your team to use without hiring a professional video training production team.


Role play

Role play is the enactment of a real-life situation by two people or more. It is the perfect format to demonstrate how people should act in specific circumstances and how the theory you’ve been covering applies to concrete examples, which makes it perfect for soft skills training, like sales techniques, customer support calls, social interactions…

When creating a role play scenario, it is important to choose both the people and the situation wisely. You should make an effort to make it believable — choosing a situation that is too farfetched will destroy the rapport you want to build with the learners. Role play is one of the strongest formats to help you build a relation with your audience because your audience will be able to relate with the situations portrayed. This is a very useful if you want your message to resonate with your learners and stick somehow effortlessly.



A screencast is a digital recording of a computer screen output. Screencasts often contain an audio narration overlay.

Screencast videos are perfect for when you need to train your audience on how to use software applications, websites, or follow any process on a computer. They can be used internally (teach your customer success reps how to use your knowledge base software, for instance, or CRM tool) or externally (educate your customers how to use your software or platform).

If you have the right tools, screencasts are relatively simple to create, all you need is a screen-capturing software like Camtasia. If you do a string enough preparation, your editing time will be short.


Live action

A live action video is a video with a real person and it is the best way to humanise the action.

It is a simple, quick and inexpensive solution: all you need is someone who is comfortable in from of the camera and who can come across as relatable and empathetic. Just like in a role play solution, a live action video is a good solution to foster a social partnership felling, which in turn stimulates long-term memory learning.

One caveat about the trainer: if you don’t choose this person wisely, you run the risk of having the opposite effect, antagonising your audience. Make sure your trainer (or the actor you hire) is someone people will want to listen to.

You can be creative with your locations. Why not use a mix of in-studio with live location scenarios? Your content and your type of audience should dictate this too.
Also, for this type of recording, it is very important to select a place with good lighting and no background noise.


On-site recording

On-site recording is very similar to live action, but the focus is on the location itself.
Examples of on-site recording include showing a process in an industrial site or showcasing the inside of an office. For this type of recording, many of the rules for Live action apply, such as making sure the place you are recording has good lighting.


Motion graphics

Motion graphics are pieces of digital footage or animation which create the illusion of motion. These graphics are usually combined with audio for different multimedia projects. Motion graphics make for good training solutions that combine animated text with figures or characters. Because it is a professional-looking solution, it is perceived as credible and high-end.

Motion graphics is a great format to use when you need to explain complex concepts and processes.
From these five video styles, this is the one that you may actually not be able to do yourself because it needs a specific technical and artistic skills to be able to produce. There are a few  platforms that can make this type of video creation accessible to a motion design layman, however, unless you have someone on your team that is keen on this type of production, we recommend hiring a professional video training team. Also, it is a time-consuming format so, if you can’t spare resources for this, the best bet is to hire outside help.

Regardless of the style or combination of styles you choose, planning ahead is always vital when creating your video training. You should never kick-off any shooting without having your script ready and validated. You should know exactly what you want to achieve before you jump into action, otherwise you risk taking twice the amount of time you would need in the first place and will need to redo parts of the process.

You already know video is an excellent training tool: it is effective, engaging and inexpensive. Any of the above formats allows you to use learning techniques that are proven to work: signalling (when you highlight important information); segmenting (when you cut the information into easily digestible pieces) and weeding (when you eliminate information that is not essential for that audience or not appropriate for that level yet).

Two more quick tips before you go. When you create your video, you should speak relatively quickly and with enthusiasm; this promotes a sense of alertness and excitement that is beneficial for your learners. Also, if you use guiding questions, they will feel involved and connected — this is also a good learning trick.


In conclusion, remember that your training goals, the type of message you want to convey, and the training audience should help you determine the format that will work best in your situation. If you want help along the way, you can always count on our experienced instructional design team to provide some guidance.

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Writen by Pedro Arede
09-Aug-2018 10:38:00

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