7 Essential Tips with Creating Recognition Program Tutorial Videos

Creating explainer or tutorial videos to show staff how to use the various features of your many online recognition programs is fun and challenging to make. 

As I am often involved in creating these kinds of videos for our company and for our clients, I thought I would share some insights I have learned along the way. 

Get ready for 7 tips to create recognition program tutorial videos. 

Essential Tip #1: Know the audience for your video tutorial. 

Some tutorial videos are for everyone in the organization, while others are specifically for leaders. Keep that perspective in mind when crafting the scripts and storyboarding of what you will include visually in the video. You’re also tailoring the videos to different job areas, whether staff in the office, or workers in a plant or in the field. 

Employees will need a little more guidance if they don’t get to preview the programs ahead of time. Leaders want to know how to access reporting and analytics and how to interpret the results. General use of the program features will be the same for many of the different target groups. 

Essential Tip #2: Create a flowchart storyboard and a written script. 

You may begin your video preparations with a sketched out, hand drawn storyboard showing the flow of how the tutorial will look like. It’s making sure you capture the major elements to be included. Seeing it in first in rough form gives you confidence for the final output. 

Develop a written script that has two columns, one for the text or spoken script and the other column for the visual components that you want captured to match the text. Most times, the visual focus will be the walk-through demonstration of your recognition program. At other points, you may want some creative collateral images. Also, consider any text or graphic shape overlays you may need to point things out or add meaning during video editing. 

Essential Tip #3: Have key personnel review and track change script. 

As a subject matter expert, I have created videos in a brief time. It is always important to have either your own team members or a client program manager review the script. They may pick up on the need for subtle word changes based on an organization’s internal vocabulary. Or perhaps some organizational changes have just happened that you couldn’t know about. 

Your team might help you in reducing the length of the video script by suggesting removing certain lines. Or there is a new direction taking place with program design and development and it would be worthwhile waiting to capture the transformation.

Essential Tip #3: Video record your finalized script narration. 

Now that your team has reviewed the script, and it is in completed format, you are then ready to video record yourself or someone else to be filmed reading the script.

For minimal cost and equipment, you can use a teleprompter software on your own computer like Speakflow. I have found this software helpful because the script advances upward as you speak. There are certainly other, more expensive teleprompters for a formal camera video shoot. But I have also used a mobile phone teleprompter if shooting video with a smartphone is necessary. 

There are lots of screen capturing and video editing software dependent on whether you use a PC or a Mac. I have a Mac and I used Screenflow to record and edit my video tutorials. 

I tried once, to simultaneously record myself with the written script, while recording the demonstration of using the recognition program. This did not synchronize well with timing and flow. So, I have found it best to record each video element separately and then edit them together afterward.

Essential Tip #4: Video record your screencast and B-roll.

Go over every step you would normally take to use each function of your online recognition and reward portal. Screen capture each action you need to use, scrolling the cursor and holding over key areas. The beauty of video editing software is you can always edit things out, or in, later on. You can also speed up sections to better mesh with the spoken script during edits.

You may need to capture or purchase B-roll video content. B-roll is any supplemental video considered being secondary to your primary footage. Depending on the length of the video, this can really add a neat touch to the content. 

I have used green screen background before and then made it white. And I have also used my office setting and both versions look great. Again, consider the audience and determine which is best suited to their needs.

Essential Tip #5: Make any necessary video edits. 

Using your video editing software, you can now mesh your talking video with your recognition program tutorial video. You can create an overlay of yourself miniaturized in a corner, explaining how to use the program with the tutorial piece filling the rest of the background. 

You can do video editing features like zooming in or out on a program element, highlighting the callout features of the cursor, adding text or graphic overlays, and dealing with video and sound quality. There are lots of things to learn. Besides the video editing software companies having their own video tutorials on how to use the software, there are always plenty of YouTube videos to ask your questions and learn from, too. 

Essential Tip #6: Review and make final video edits. 

As much as you had a team review the written script before recording, it is also wise to have people review your final video production. Once you export your video to Vimeo, Wistia, or elsewhere, you may find that viewers pick up on some quality issues. A concern on a recent video I developed was the sound volume. You can easily change this in the video editing software. 

It’s just good practice to get some feedback on the almost final project so you can make any quick changes needed. 

Another thing to think about is foreign language captions for your videos. I use Rev.com and send them the final scripts. They can make the translation into many languages. Then they create foreign text captions synchronized with the spoken word in the video. All you have to do is upload the “.srt” files with the captions into the video file on Vimeo. Viewers just click on the “CC” caption icon on each video and choose their language of preference—English for hearing impaired, or any of the other languages. 

Essential Tip #7: Produce and send to the right people for sharing.

Finally, you’re done and ready to publish your video to your favorite video hosting site. These sites, like Vimeo that I use, allow you to keep your videos private and only distribute a link to the video to those whom you have allowed to view.

You can then place the final program tutorials on the recognition program website. Then start a recognition communication calendar for highlighting each video to flag the right people to watch at the right time. It is always a two-step process of creating the video tutorials and then broadcasting out to people that they exist. 

Keep a tally of how many people have viewed your videos and ask for feedback along the way from these end users. This will be beneficial for any future updates. 

Recognition Reflection: What tips have you found helpful when creating recognition program video tutorial videos?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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