It is now time to describe step six of the process of creating your video training courses: the actual video recording. Shooting video is a hands-on technical step that will transform your storyboard into a real film.
The last time we talked about the steps to create your video training course, we focused on interactions — the interactive additions to your video content that help bring your training content to life. Interactions can only be created after you’ve defined your structure and gave them some thought during the first steps. They are deeply connected to the goals and learning objectives and should always serve the purpose of helping with the retention of knowledge and the facilitation of practice time.
Step 6: Video Recording
The most important rule for shooting your training video is to create and follow a production schedule. Having a production schedule is key to optimise your time and your resources, preventing you from wasting time and money, and allowing you to stay focused on getting the best content. Always keep in mind what is the result you seek – this will guarantee that you have all the elements (images, testimonials, audio tracks, etc.) when you reach the post-production phase.
The production schedule should include all the details of the project and leave no room for misinterpretation or error. Remember that you will have multiple people involved in the shooting — having a master document everyone can refer to is very important to ensure consistency and avoid mistakes.
To prepare for the shooting itself, it is now time to gather all the material you will need. At his point, you will be choosing the recording equipment: remember you can use a professional video camera, a computer or a smartphone. The choice will depend on your budget, preference and purpose. Remember that there is no need to raise the technical complexity to ensure a high-quality production: most smartphones have a robust enough camera and the content is more important than the medium you choose to shoot it. There are many tricks you can use to ensure a high-quality production with a low-budget camera — you can find the top ones at the bottom of this article.
As per the production schedule, it is very important to plan the shooting sequence. You don’t want to leave room for chance and improvisation unless you want that flair in the video itself. Make sure you find a calm and silent environment with a distraction-free background. You can rent a studio, use your own office or think creatively: how about an old warehouse? A library?
When the time to press the “Rec” button, everyone involved should know what their role on set is. Be as specific as you can in your production schedule and remember to answer the “who will be doing what” question. Do everything you can to ensure the presenter has a good image and is comfortable with the script.
Also, dress the part and wear make-up. Don’t forget to tell the presenter to use gestures to reinforce ideas and not to rush when talking. A moderate reading speed will help him to better articulate the speech and the viewer to better understand the message.
Finally, remember that you will need some repetition to get to perfection: it is very likely that you will need a few takes to reach your desired result. Be patient and ready to go over the same content a few times.
What else do you need to do to ensure your video looks professional?
Use a tripod (or a stack of books!) and a lapel microphone; hire a teleprompter, ask the presenter to look straight at the camera lens and ensure there is a strong sense of continuity between different takes. You may be recording over a couple of days but remember your learners will want to feel their training is a sequence that flows naturally.
Avoid switching cameras or angles after a cut: the switch between close-ups and medium shots should look natural. You should never ignore details such as lighting or sound: you should guarantee there are no distracting shadows on the presenter and the audio quality is good.