Create Better Training Videos: Learn to be a Better Interviewer


Many recent technology trends are putting the power of developing learning content into the hands of all employees. Traditionally when training was required the only solution was to engage the training department. But more and more companies are implementing enterprise social networks (ESN) and discovering how creative internal subject matter experts can be in creating their own learning content. Video content creation is growing rapidly and the use of video in your training programs should be growing as well.

One of the easiest ways to get training videos created, and delivered online is to simply record a subject matter expert while he/she delivers a course delivered in a classroom style.  In some cases content experts learn to create their own training video content with screen recording tools like Camtasia. While your SMEs may not be trained instructional designers their willingness to create learning content is a big benefit for any training department.  Embrace and support these employees in their efforts.

However, despite all of the advances in technology and the willingness of SMEs to create content, you will find yourself always needing to get more information to employees and customers…faster.  Some times solutions require speed over quality.  But with a little practice there is no reason why you can’t create outstanding learning video content with excellent quality.  This is where the skill of interviewing comes in handy.

The best examples of fast, storytelling come from your local nightly news broadcasts.  In essence your nightly news is a collection of learning content bundled into stories. In the past a reporter would travel with a videographer to gather content and create the stories you see each evening. Today’s journalist does it all. The plan, interview, shoot, edit, and publish stories daily. Some day the training department will function more like an internal broadcast network.  But for now you can learn a lot by studying and practicing journalistic skills like interviewing.

Interviewing a SME is a great way to get learning content recorded.  It works best with SMEs that are too busy or unwilling to create content on their own. It’s not always easy. Just like asking them to teach a class, some will reject the idea at first. But a good interviewer knows how to relate to people and make them feel comfortable. Remember, training is first about people, then about the technology.

Much of the expertise of a good interviewer is left on the cutting room floor. The viewing public only sees the final, much shorter, version of the entire interview. Watching broadcast news is good for learning editing, but watching a live interview is good for learning how to interview.  There are many different interviewing styles.  Over time, and with practice, you will develop your own style. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

And one last thing:  Practice, practice, practice.