Engage Through Training Videos, Just Like an Olympian

The Summer Olympics are upon us!  There is no other sporting event that can quite capture the competition, pageantry, patriotism, and sense of unification like the Olympics can.  At the heart of each Olympics are the athletes themselves and their years of dedication to their sport.  Today’s athletes train hard and study their craft intensely.  One of the most proven ways they do this is through video content analysis.  

Unlike in the sports arena, use of video analysis in training is not a highly adopted practice in the business world.  How can this integral part of training just about every successful highly tuned athlete use, not share the same success in corporate training rooms?  The answers vary.  Some companies simply stick to what works; PowerPoint presentations, training manuals, even internal tests to encourage self-study.  Some companies cite cost concerns.  The reality is, none of these arguments make sense. 

One of the single largest reason to use video content in the workplace is it allows viewers to more efficiently engage through connections they create themselves.  There is little to interpret when reading a training manual, it’s all there in black and white.  Video content creates engagement and helps define purpose, rather than blind direction.  Consider for a moment a complex topic such as compliance training.  Video content is better because visual communication is just more efficient then text.  90% of all information absorbed is visual.  It also take much less time for us to process images as compared to text.  Company’s often wonder how best to reach millennials.  Video is ideal for this because that is how they have been learning for most of their lives, both professionally and personally.  Their primary source of information for most of their lives has been the smartphone, a distribution device finely tuned for optimized video content. 

Beyond the scientific reasons, it’s also just much more engaging.  Compare a professionally developed training video to a PowerPoint presentation.  Professionally produced content isn’t just about explaining a process or procedure, it should be about relatability through real life applicable anecdotes to push the content’s narrative.  Storytelling allows for person by person interpretation and as a result, better active engagement.   Allow video’s innate personal connection with the audience to shine through and use it to your firm’s advantage. 

Training can take all sorts of forms in the corporate world.  Consider using video content for technical overviews, product and service demonstrations, onboarding new employees, ongoing education, role playing, sales support, even recruiting.  In the sports world, the primary purpose is coaching.  The video example below shows Olympic swimming coach Bob Bowman analyzing breathing techniques for Olympians’ Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff. Imagine Coach Bowman trying to teach these techniques through a manual or illustration.  If video content is the gold standard for our Olympians, it should also be your gold standard in the corporate world.