Rethinking Corporate Training Content with Video and Infographics

Whiteboard animation training

Most of us are familiar with the ‘traditional’ model of training. They tend to be in-person sessions with an instructor explaining policy, expectations, and more to a passive audience.  Using this instructor-student model makes sense. However, studies show more and more that using video and infographics in training makes just as much sense—if not more.  Using video content and infographics as part of your corporate training can have a positive impact on its success. Below, we examine some of the ways you can use visual materials for stronger training content.

Like Most Things, It Starts With Story

The first suggestion to keep in mind on how to use video and infographics in training is to make sure that they include a strong element of storytelling.  Story is our human coding language, and a key principle of content creation at TruScribe.  We leverage stories to reinforce messages with relatable, believable characters and narrative arcs.  

Do the same with your training materials—that is, write them with an engaging story.  When you’re scripting a training video, for example, you could create two characters.  You could tell the story of their first days on the job. Then, compare their approaches and outcomes with company policy to show the proper way to work in your organization.  

Infographics can benefit from the inclusion of story just as much.  Still images, when well-rendered, sequenced, and tied to pertinent data, are just as effective in a visual story as in a video.  The same concepts of relatability and narrative arc apply to the characters in infographics. Creating a composition that follows characters along the graphic’s path of information lets you maintain engagement like you would in a video.

Many of the advantages of video and infographics in corporate training come from the ability to replace in-person sessions. However, it’s worth discussing the two approaches as a supplement to in-person training before we focus on replacement.  Video and infographics can be incorporated into a classroom training setting to great effect.

Heading To The Classroom

When you show a training video or infographic in an in-person session, you create an opportunity for discussion.  This is no small feat. Think of how many times you’ve been a part of training sessions in which the presenter asked for questions and received only blank stares.

Now, think of a session in which an engaging, informative video spurs questions. Examples include: “What did you see in the video that surprised you?” or “Who has been in a situation like our main character?” 

Similarly, an attention-grabbing infographic can promote conversation. “Who thinks they could follow these steps when accessing the system? Did you expect these statistics to be higher or lower?”

When it comes to how to use video and infographics instead of in-person training, the answer is simple. Use them to provide evergreen (or nearly evergreen) content. It will be both cost-effective and reviewable.  

Making a corporate training infographic or video that contains useful information essentially creates a one-time cost for years of use.  Compare this to hiring a trainer for each of your sessions.  Each session will incur a cost. That cost may have more variables than just the duration and amount of sessions. Trainers may adjust their fees based on the number of attendees, cost of materials to be handed out (or sent electronically in advance), number of instructors required, and more.  

Visual Content Removes Variables

Yet there’s another factor besides cost to consider when using video or infographics in training: they’re far more controllable.  By this, I mean that content creation is a well-regulated process. You decide what language and ideas to include. You choose the visuals to reinforce your message, and (in video) you choose the voice that will read your script.  

Each step can be reviewed and revised to fit your needs. Because of this, there should be no surprises when you show your visual story.  The same cannot be said of a trainer. Even if you’ve worked with them before, you’ll never know when the only session you can afford will be marred by an instructor having a bad day. You won’t have to worry about someone who sounded like a charismatic group leader ends up failing to engage attendees.  

Videos and infographics don’t have bad days, and they don’t vary in effectiveness; made well, they’re consistently effective and engaging.

Availability To Content Is Important

Finally, videos and infographics provide the kind of reviewability that non-interactive models do not.  Use video and infographics to increase productivity and correct practices in the workplace. That way, it’s available for review at any time.  

When employees can quickly pull up an infographic to remember a process, or rewatch a video at home on policy changes, you’ll see more retention and more positive action.  It’s not nearly as easy to remember what was said once in a session long ago. It’s also difficult to find discarded training handbooks to revisit.  Videos and infographics are not only reviewable, they’re highly portable when designed for mobile or other devices.

Augment Existing Corporate Training

The best way to start using video and infographics in your corporate training is to use the blended learning approach. This is where you combine the approaches with an in-person trainer.  This ease you into the efficacy of video and infographics while maintaining the conventional training model for comparison.  

This helps you make the decision to continue with classroom instruction, blending approaches, or replacing classroom instruction.  Each organization has different needs and includes different personalities. Because of this, it’s only through experimentation that you’ll know what truly suits your needs the best.

Does your company currently utilize video and/or infographics in its training content?  Does one or the other seem more effective?  Has your organization tried the blended approach, or has it gone directly to video and infographics?  Is there a reason your organization might not want to use video and infographics?  What moments of a training session tend to produce the most engagement, and how can you increase this engagement?