How to make a training video: Everything you need to know

Computer monitor doing bench presses with a barbell

Training is no one’s favorite part of the job, and yet, it has to be done. Luckily, employee training videos are a cost-effective—and just effective-effective—way to share information with your workforce and customer base.

Making a training video requires some effort upfront, but then it’s there, ready to go whenever you need it. E-learning and online courses have been shown to be cheaper than in-person instruction, and substantially more effective than just having people read a Powerpoint quietly by themselves. They’re also flexible and accessible—employees can engage with them at their own pace, and they’re perfect for the work-from-home trend.

If you’re wondering how to create training videos that boost retention, here are some things to think about as you get started.

An audio/video editor that includes transcription, screen recording, and publishing.
Check out our useful, powerful tools.

What is a training video?

A training video teaches or informs viewers about specific skills, procedures, or knowledge. These educational videos are popular in many settings because they can explain complex concepts in an accessible and engaging way.

In the corporate world, they are used for employee onboarding, teaching job skills, or explaining company policies. In technical fields, they provide step-by-step guides for operating software or machinery. Think of training videos like interactive, visual guides that walk you through new topics or skills.

5 types of training videos

Onboarding videos

Corporations mostly use onboarding videos to welcome and introduce new employees to the company culture and procedures. They often cover the company's mission, values, and structure, so new hires can understand what to expect.

In short, onboarding videos set the vibe for new folks and can make their transition smoother and more enjoyable. Notice in TrueCar’s CEO Welcome Video below how the brand uses humor right away to make the viewer laugh. The CEO seems down-to-earth and friendly as he covers the basics of the company.

This is just one of many training videos new hires will see. Onboarding includes videos that cover role-specific training, HR policy, virtual tours, and service overviews. But those more detailed videos are mostly private, and for good reasons!

Technical training videos

A technical training video is carefully curated to explain, demonstrate, and guide you through a complex topic. Companies use them for many reasons, like onboarding, upskilling, and even to educate customers about their products.

We at Descript, for example, publish technical training videos regularly on our YouTube channel. If you’re a video creator or podcaster, you can learn how to use each Descript feature and improve your editing skills. Here’s an example of one such training video we made about using the Eye Contact feature.

Screencasts

Screencasts are training videos that record your computer or mobile screen to show a demonstration. Also known as screen recordings, they are popular for tech-related tutorials where you want to show the actual interface and actions in real time.

Say you're creating a screencast for a new project management tool. The video script would provide a brief introduction and then walk the viewers through creating a project, assigning tasks, and tracking progress.

You’d record your computer screen as you perform each action, providing clear and concise narration. Depending on what you mention, you might highlight buttons or menus. In editing, you’d add text annotations for additional tips or shortcuts.

The final masterpiece? A comprehensive guide to help a new user get started right away. The following example from Ravi Abuvala shows a screen capture of ClickUp, a popular project management software for teams.

Animated training videos

Animated videos are the picture books of training materials. These explainer videos use illustrations to make stories more engaging and understandable for viewers. They are more colorful and often involve characters and storytelling elements to make concepts more memorable.

The video below from Vyond is a great example of animated training videos. You can follow each character throughout their journey and learn valuable conference call etiquette lessons along the way.

Live trainings

Live training is the most interactive form of instructional content. Unlike pre-recorded videos, they involve real-time demonstrations. Instructors can even engage with learners through live chat and Q&A sessions, building an immediate connection with them.

Clearscope, an SEO tool, hosts regular live training sessions on its YouTube channel. Through these sessions, or webinars, subject matter experts provide hands-on learning experiences for viewers.  

5 benefits of training videos

Consistent training delivery

Traditional training methods can lead to inconsistencies in your program. Factor in different teaching styles, material interpretations, and delivery quality, and you'll soon realize everyone is learning something different.

With training videos, everyone receives the same information in the same way. If you’re running safety training, surely you want everyone to understand and implement the workplace standards. Having one presentation video can guarantee everyone does.

Cost-effective training

Running video-based training online is much cheaper than hosting training in a classroom. No more paying for venue rentals, instructor fees, materials, travel, and meals. Once you create a video, you can use it repeatedly for training sessions, no matter where learners are, with no additional cost.

The advent of AI video generators has also made training more affordable to create. These tools lower overhead because you don’t need expensive production equipment, videographers, or actors. As a result, you can produce high-quality training videos with a low budget.

Flexible learning schedule

Many people these days can’t be present for in-person training at a specific time and place, especially in global and remote environments.

Employees can access corporate training videos during or outside regular working hours based on convenience. As an alternative to attending a several-hour workshop, an employee can watch a 10-minute training video during a break.

Ease of updating content

Training materials often become outdated, so you must update them regularly. With good video editing software like Descript, you can update specific sections of a training video with new features or changes. Simply record your footage and add it into your project timeline, then edit it to match the flow and style of your original content.

With Descript, you can also use AI Voices to create a text-to-speech model of your voice. When you need to update a video section, simply type the new script, and Descript will generate the updated audio in your voice.

Increased retention and understanding

The visual and auditory elements of online videos enhance learners' retention and understanding. People remember visual information better than text.

If you show employees how to use a new piece of equipment with a demo video, it's more likely to be effective than a written manual because they'll see how it all works.

🧠Learn: From stills to motion: A step-by-step guide on how to make a video with pictures

How to create a great training video: 8 steps

Once you’ve got all of that, you’re ready to get started! Here’s our tutorial on how to create your training video, step by step.

Step 1. Determine your audience

Be specific! This isn’t just customers or employees. Think of which department will be watching, and whether you want to gear your video towards onboarding new employees, or refreshing your old hands on a particular topic.

Step 2. Write a script

Start by outlining: break down your topic into a few different components, and decide what order you should tackle them. Then write out how you’re going to explain and discuss each one. Before you go to record, try reading it out loud—what makes sense on the page doesn’t always sound natural when it comes out of your mouth! If you need extra help, we’ve got guides on how to write a script and how to read a script that sounds natural.

Step 3. Plan a storyboard

This is your chance to try a director’s cap on. What images are going to accompany all of those words? If you’re making a hands-on instructional video, it might just be footage of you demonstrating the technique you’re talking about.

But you also might need to use a screen recorder if the process involves digital work. Are there going to be interactive video elements or quizzes? What will they look and feel like? A storyboard helps you think all of this through so you can make decisions and track down resources before you start the recording process. That way you know what you need from the beginning.

Step 4. Record your narration

It’s important that your voiceover sounds clear and professional. We have tons of tips for how to do that, but the two most important ones are to record in a quiet space that’s not too echo-y, and have headphones on while you do it.

Your phone’s internal microphone is okay for recording, but ideally you’ll use an external microphone, which can make a huge difference in quality without breaking the bank. Here are our picks, which do include budget options.

Step 5. Record your screen or film your video

This can be as easy as setting up a screencast, but might also involve some in-person shots that require sets and lighting. If that’s the case, remember to keep things simple—neutral backdrops, no crazy patterns on anyone’s clothing—and to use a webcam or put your camera on a tripod so the shoot isn’t derailed by shaky footage.

If you’re looking for animation templates, we’ve got tips for you right here. If you are doing any screen recording, you can do that all in Descript—check out this tutorial video to get started.

Step 6. Edit the video

If you’ve got a tried and true video editor you like to use, by all means, use it! But if you’re not all that familiar with video production, Descript can really help. It’s video editing software that’s as easy to use as a word document but with powerful editing tools to make a truly professional video.

Step 7. Add an intro

Once you’re done putting your main video content together, go back to the beginning and introduce the content. Let your viewers know who you are, and what they’re about to experience. You might drop in a logo here, too, just to jazz things up.

Step 8. Share the video

Last but never least. Post your video online, share it with your colleagues, customers, and friends, and let the learning begin. If you have a YouTube channel, you can publish the video file there directly from Descript.

Image of user uploading a video to YouTube from Descript

Making a training video: 5 tips and best practices

Center it on a learning objective

Give your viewers something specific to grab onto so they know what the point of the video is from the very beginning. Are they learning a new skill or being refreshed on corporate policy? Either way, having a simple, stated goal in mind will help you make a tighter, more effective training video, and will keep the audience engaged and on task throughout.

Direct it at a particular learner

Again, the more specific you are here, the better. The only downside of video trainings is that participants can’t pause the conversation to ask clarifying questions, so you want to make sure you’re including everything they need to know—without bogging them down with excess information.

It sometimes helps to imagine a specific employee and ask yourself, how would I give information to this person? What would they already understand, and what would they need extra help grasping?

Use a logical sequence that’s easy to follow

Like a story, your video should flow naturally from beginning to end. Make it as step-by-step as you can, linking topics together when possible and highlighting when you’re changing directions so no one gets confused.

Make it relevant

Don’t get wrapped up in minutiae—you’ll lose your audience if you spend your time going over every detail from a handbook or manual. What does your audience need to know in order to understand this topic better? Where will examples and demonstrations be more memorable than just rote recitation?

Make it memorable

You don’t have to go overboard with silly costumes or zany effects, but don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it. Slip a joke or two into the narration, or include some fun animations with your transitions when you edit the video.

Sometimes those little touches can help keep people focused and engaged. It also might help jog their memories later, so that the meat of what they’re learning is easier to recall when they need it most.

The best tool to create effective training videos

There is no better tool for building out your training program than Descript. You can record and edit videos using one dashboard, then integrate them with a customizable, embeddable player for help centers and learning management systems (LMS).

With Descript, you can:

  • Record from a microphone or your computer directly within the video editor
  • Create training videos with crisp, clear, and professional sound
  • Add overlays, text, and animations to spice up your training content
  • Collaborate with your team using built-in commenting features
  • Remove filler words like “um” and “you know” in one click
  • Repurpose videos into social media clips for promotional purposes.

Descript's ease of use and versatility, combined with its ability to involve all team members in the video creation process, make it a great choice for organizations wanting to improve their training and communication strategies.

Hundreds of companies are already using Descript to create world-class training videos. See how it can work for your brand with a product tour.

Featured articles:

No items found.

Articles you might find interesting

Product Updates

Descript is Now SOC 2 Type I Compliant

Since Descript was founded, we’ve treated the security, confidentiality, and privacy of our users’ data with the utmost care. We know that the data our users share with us ranges from the personal to the proprietary, and we take our responsibility to protect that data very seriously.

Podcasting

The best AI tools for podcasters: From scriptwriting to audio editing to marketing your show

You’re not going to love every part of podcasting all the time, and that’s okay. For everything else, there’s AI. We’ve rounded up the AI tools we find most useful.

Other stuff

How to Use Video Proxies to Speed Up Your Editing Process

A proxy video is just a smaller and lower-quality copy of a high-resolution video. Video proxies are typically created to stand in for raw footage during the editing process.

Podcasting

12 best practices for remote recording podcasts

You can capture high-quality audio from anywhere in the world that sounds like all of the speakers were sitting in the same recording studio. Here are some best practices to keep in mind.

Product Updates

Video Marketing Pro Amanda Horvath on Leveraging the Power of Video To Boost Your Business

Amanda Horvath is a video marketer who helps entrepreneurs and creators leverage the power of video through her YouTube channel and in-depth video courses. We recently sat down with Horvath to get her thoughts on what video content can do for businesses, what different types of videos accomplish, and how to get started making your own videos with minimal fuss.

Related articles:

Share this article

Get started for free →