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How to Create a Corporate Training Video (and Where Voice AI Can Help)

Struggling to get your corporate training videos out on time? This streamlined process (including TTS) can help.

July 20, 2023 by Amy Foxwell
How to Create a Corporate Training Video (and Where Voice AI Can Help)

Video content is uniquely suited for corporate learning and development (L&D) programs. Training videos are convenient, flexible, and cost-effective. They empower employees to learn at their own pace—and numerous studies support the efficacy of video as a teaching tool.

Given the fast pace of technological change, however, L&D managers sometimes struggle to produce up-to-date learning materials. It’s not enough to create high-quality corporate training videos; you must also produce them quickly, and update them for the needs of the moment. How do you meet all these goals at once?

We asked Nick Leffler, instructional designer and founder of technical training provider Techstructional, about how to quickly create training videos that deliver consistent results. Here’s what we learned—along with our advice on using text-to-speech (TTS) narration for faster, more flexible corporate training content.

A Simple Framework for Creating Corporate Training Videos

Before you begin to plan your video production, it helps to start with a framework for organizing the project. Luckily, Leffler has one in mind.

“For training videos, the process for design and development is essentially the same as that for other effective, quality instructional content,” Leffler says. “The instructional design process known as ADDIE is also extremely helpful for videos.”

The ADDIE model divides the process of instructional design into five steps:

  1. Analyze. Start by identifying learning goals, potential constraints, and the needs and capabilities of your audience.
  2. Design. With learning goals in mind, create a plan for instructional tools, materials, and processes.
  3. Develop. Produce the materials imagined during the Design phase.
  4. Implement. Make your courses or instructional materials available to your audience—but be prepared to return to previous stages if things don’t go as planned.
  5. Evaluate. Not every L&D project works out the first time. Create procedures for testing the results of your instructional efforts, and make necessary changes on an iterative basis.

The ADDIE model—which has its roots in a 1975 collaboration between the U.S. military and Florida State University’s Center for Educational Technology—is a good framework for developing an L&D program. However, you don’t need to follow every step for each video you produce, Leffler says.

“Assuming you’ve done a good analysis and a video fits the requirements of your goals, the Design phase is equivalent to planning. So our process for creating training videos specifically starts with the Design phase, where a large part of the work happens.”

In other words, the core of the ADDIE model—call it DDI—is an effective process for creating corporate training videos. Leffler’s team divides each video production into seven steps nested into these three phases. In the next section, we’ll explain how you can use this method to create your own corporate training videos.

How To Create a Corporate Training Video in 7 Steps

Here’s how the core of the ADDIE model—specifically, the Design, Development, and Implementation phases—translates into the video design process.

How To Create a Corporate Training Video in 7 Steps

The First Phase: Design

“The goal of this phase is to create a good framework or foundation for your video,” says Leffler. The phase breaks down into two discrete steps:

  1. Create an outline for your video. Choose a single learning objective. (You can divide your video into chapters to address multiple objectives, but it’s best to plan for one at a time.) Identify the learning content that meets this objective, then organize it into a high-level outline of the information you need to share, in the most logical order.
  2. Turn your outline into a scripted storyboard. A storyboard is a rough, static illustration of your video, complete with scripted narration. You can use images or written descriptions of images in your storyboard—but it’s essential to match the scripted narration to a corresponding image.

Leffler’s team includes “either text descriptions of what’s happening on screen, or basic images on the left side and the narration script on the right side.”

How to create a training video - Design Tools: What You Need Design Tools: What You Need for Phase 1

According to Leffler, outlines, scripts, and storyboards don’t require much more than your favorite word processing software.

“The primary tools we use in the Design phase are Microsoft Word or Google Docs. These work for the outline and storyboard. You’ll spend as much time in these basic tools as you will in the video editing tool itself—or at least you should.”

Not sure what your outline should look like? Download a free storyboard template from Techstructional.

At the end of the Design phase, you’ll have a complete scripted storyboard. These will guide your production, which begins in the next phase.

The Second Phase: Development

“In the Development phase, your plan from the Design phase comes together,” Leffler says. “Your goal is to build the structure of the video around the framework until the first draft of your video is complete.”

This is where the cameras and microphones (or, more frequently these days, animation and TTS tools) come into play. The Development phase consists of steps three and four in the seven-step production process:

  1. Produce narration. Your storyboard contains a complete script for your video’s voiceover or dialog. Record this narration—or, for faster, more affordable narration, use TTS production tools to turn your script into spoken language in an instant. Even if you record voice actors, TTS can help you edit and time out your video while you wait for audio recordings. Sometimes Leffler’s team uses a TTS tool for draft audio. “That helps with timing until the final narration is complete.” (See the end of this article for more tips on using TTS to produce corporate training videos.)

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  1. Produce video. You don’t necessarily need a camera crew to create a corporate training video. Many of today’s video lessons rely on capturing the action on your computer screen, animation, and/or digital effects.

“We develop the video in a production tool, which requires putting together the final visuals, animations, and more,” Leffler said.

How to create a training video - Design Tools: What You NeedDevelopment Tools: What You Need for Phase 2

Some videos may require the complexity of a full production shoot: Camera crews, actors, locations, craft services, etc. That approach is expensive and slow. That’s why L&R managers create video content using digital tools—screen recorders and video editors—whenever possible. Many such video production tools are available, but Leffler recommends one in particular.

Camtasia is our favorite because it’s relatively simple and is sufficient for most training videos,” he said. “The needs of the video will largely dictate the tool, though. Sometimes you need more advanced features, which may put you in Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro territory.”

You also need TTS production tools for quick, high-quality narration. ReadSpeaker SpeechMaker allows you to go from script to release-ready audio files in seconds, accessing dozens of lifelike synthetic voices, all through a browser-based interface. If you’d rather produce narration files offline, choose SpeechMaker Desktop.

With more than 50 languages to choose from, ReadSpeaker TTS tools support multilingual training content—essential for global enterprises. See the end of this article for more details on how to use TTS to streamline your video production process.

The Development phase ends when you have a draft of your corporate learning video ready for employees to view.

The Third (and Final) Phase: Implementation

“The last stage of creating a training video is Implementation, where the goal is to approve the video, get it to its final location, and work with the teams that bring your video to its audience,” Leffler says.

The Implementation phase consists of the last three steps in the process:

  1. Get your video approved. You’ll probably have a few stakeholders reviewing your training videos; now’s the time to seek their final approval. That may involve reworking some aspects of the content, of course. “Finalizing the video sometimes involves going back to the Development phase to make required changes.”
  2. Post your video on a hosting platform. Employees need to be able to access your videos, which means you need a hosting platform. If you have a corporate learning management system (LMS), upload it there. Otherwise, you can host your video on sites like Vimeo or YouTube. The key is to make it available to your learners.
  3. Spread the word. Most corporate training videos are part of broader L&D programs. Even if it’s a one-off lesson, you have to tell people what it is and where they can access it. Work with the appropriate teams to deliver your video to its intended audience.

“You created this video for someone,” Leffler points out. “You have to work with communications or marketing teams to get it delivered—or you have to do communications and marketing yourself.”

How to create a training video - Design Tools: What You NeedImplementation Tools: What You Need for Phase 3

The primary requirement for implementation is a video hosting platform. As we mentioned, that could be as simple as a Vimeo or Youtube account. Microsoft also offers a business-focussed video platform called Microsoft Stream.

Hosting is not the same as delivery, of course. Many L&D departments use an LMS or similar online course platform to deliver learning content, including video. Depending on the platform, you may have to embed a Vimeo or YouTube video. Alternatively, you may be able to host the video directly within the LMS. Many companies use the following learning platforms:

Text-to-speech tools from ReadSpeaker integrate into all these platforms and more, providing native TTS support across your LMS.

With your video fully produced and ready for learners, the process is complete.

One common production bottleneck: producing narration. It’s expensive to book studio time and hire voice talent. It’s time-consuming to complete recording sessions, even when it’s just you and a microphone. That’s why more and more corporate training managers are turning to TTS for instant narration.

Voice AI for Corporate Training Videos: How TTS Can Help

Text to speech allows you to turn your script into audible speech in an instant. Not only does that speed up your production timeline considerably, but it also allows you to change video content whenever you need an update—all without tracking down voice actors for consistency.

It’s true that TTS wasn’t always pleasant to listen to. Early synthetic voice models could sound stilted or robotic. Thanks to advances in neural TTS—voice AI, as it’s commonly called—that’s no longer the case. ReadSpeaker offers more than 200 voices in over 50 languages, including neural TTS with warm, lifelike delivery.

We even offer custom TTS voices, synthesizing the voice of your choice. Expand the reach of your CEO or brand representative with a custom voice clone, or work with our speech scientists to develop a unique brand voice from scratch.

ReadSpeaker’s TTS production tools allow you to produce video narration on the fly, but our solutions for corporate learning don’t stop there. We also provide TTS tools that support accessibility, inclusion, and employee engagement across training technologies.

For example, Jutten is a company that creates state-of-the-art simulation training for the retail sector. While these high-tech training programs have always incorporated audio, the production process got a lot easier once Jutten partnered with ReadSpeaker.

“There were two reasons [we started using ReadSpeaker TTS],” says Edward Bosma, technical director at Jutten. “Price is obvious … and because Jutten’s strategy consists of doing more international business, TTS technology makes the company much more flexible. We no longer have to search for voice actors, and are in a position to produce audio faster and make corrections if necessary.”

ReadSpeaker TTS can bring these advantages to your L&D program, too. You know how to create a corporate training video; let TTS from ReadSpeaker simplify the process.

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