Engaging a Diverse Audience: Movie Trailer Approach to Corporate Training

Customer Education| Employee Engagement| Video
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We were recently approached with a challenge from our client, eBay: To create a custom training program that their audience would opt in to taking. Now, unlike the majority of our corporate training programs, eBay’s training would be available to a very wide audience, the general public.

The focus of this training initiative was to help sellers to get higher ratings by highlighting best practices used by high-rated sellers. It was a challenge that my instructional design team was excited to get their hands on.

After some discussion we decided on an engaging animated approach that would be used to deliver key information. To ensure that our content would hold the learner’s attention we kept the videos quite short and created them in a fast-paced style with high quality visual elements that the public has become accustomed to seeing online and in the media.

We created a “movie trailer” approach, deciding that the videos should be no longer than a movie trailer (just over two minutes). Enforcing this time limit turned out to be one of the most challenging aspects of creating the videos. It is the tendencies of all SMEs (subject matter experts) to want to throw everything they can into a training program, or add extra content to ensure full clarity. Such additions are frequently easy to accommodate in traditional web based training development, but when audio and animation are involved, it is easy for a script timed to 2:15 to stretch to 4:50 after just a few SMEs have made additions.

But, just like a movie trailer represents highlights and key points of a movie, this video training program presented highlights of the most effective elements (best practices and key takeaways) on the subjects that were presented.

To make sure our training videos had impact, we focused on the following:

  • 3-5 best practices
  • Benefits of implementing best practices
  • Tools provided by the client to help the learners with their sales goals

The result was  the “eBay shows you how” video series.

What challenges have you faced when developing training for diverse audiences and how did you overcome them?

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  1. Lynn Miller

    Thanks for sharing this Robert! Many of my current clients see a great deal of application to supporting their business needs. Can’t wait to see more examples.