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Five Tips to Create Professional Videos for eLearning

This is the concluding part of our series on Do-It-Yourself tips to create training videos or tutorials. Click here for Part 1.

If you have budget constraints that prevent you from hiring a professional team to produce videos, here are a few tips to keep in mind while shooting and editing eLearning videos in-house.

1. Pay attention to your camera work and transitions
Do invest in a quality DSLR, a reliable field recorder and a tripod for steady shots. Avoid the temptation of recording in-classroom lectures and putting them online. Online tutorials must incorporate close ups of a whiteboard or blackboard where necessary, medium shots, and cutaways where necessary. However, zooming and zooming out needlessly, using dissolves, wipes, crossfades and other ‘effects’ can make your video look very tacky and amateurish. Minimalism is key, so stick to simple transitions in between frames.

2. Do not underestimate the importance of good audio
Audio is usually the last thing on people’s minds when they are putting together a video. You maybe tempted to use your phone to record audio in a room at work to cut costs, or just press record and read out your script in one go. You could make the mistake of recording outdoors, in a noisy or windy conditions, and expect to be able to ‘fix it’ later. Bad audio is incredibly distracting, and not paying attention to this critical aspect of video production will turn off your learners.

Avoid these mistakes with a little planning. Ensure that you use a lapel mic if you are taping a teacher or speaker, invest in a good quality recorder like a Zoom H4n and record in a quiet place. Ask speakers or interviewees to repeat themselves if there is a glitch, and never speak over them while asking questions. Use a simple software like Audacity to remove 'umm's, 'aahh's and other pauses from speech, before you overlay it on video.

3. Pay attention to the voiceover
Prepare a script in advance and don’t ad lib if you can help it. Also, pay attention to the quality of your voiceover! Strive to sound energetic and positive. Use pauses and modify your tone. Emphasize words, selectively and with care - essentially, don’t sound like you are reading from a piece of paper. A good trick is to always visualise ‘one’ person you are addressing. Imagine you are speaking to your friend, or someone close to you, and convey your passion and zeal for the subject at hand.

4. Think about the use of colour and font
Do not go overboard while using colour and jump fonts to make your point. Use one main colour, or a colour palette, say blue and white and grey, per video. Creating a cohesive, and consistent look and feel for your videos is very important. Do not use more than two fonts per video - use one for making key points, and another to add emphasis. Ensure that the font you choose is easy to read, and also allow for enough time for text to be read when it is on screen. A good rule of thumb is to let text stay on screen for the time it takes to be read out loud, once, at normal pace.

5. Incorporate quizzes and polls
Finally, be sure to leverage the power of online tools like Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline. Include pop up quizzes, surveys, and polls - to ensure that your viewers are on track to meeting their eLearning goals.

Get in touch with us for guidance on how to leverage LMS tools and technology to make your online courses come alive.

Preeti Prakash | Journalist

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