Behind the Scenes

Effective Short Form Video Production for Learning and Development 

It’s not new news that attention spans are dwindling and competition for talent is fierce, so corporate training (and learning and development) teams need to captivate their audiences quickly and effectively so that learners will actually apply what they learn. 

Upskilling is definitely a hot topic! One powerful way to achieve higher engagement is through short form video production. Short form videos have become an essential strategy for instructional designers  to engage their learners, and drive positive outcomes.

So, what is the secret to creating a truly impactful short form video? How can Learning and Development (L&D) teams unlock the potential of short form video production to make a lasting impact on their audience? This article aims to answer these questions and more, providing valuable insights into the world of effective short form video production.

We’ll explore the key elements that make a video stand out, from storytelling techniques to eye-catching visuals and engaging scripts. We’ll also delve into the importance of understanding your target audience and tailoring the short form video content for microlearning into their needs and preferences.

With the right approach, instructional designers and learning and development teams can harness the power of short form video production and create compelling content that resonates with their learners; ultimately driving engagement, loyalty, and, most importantly, leaving your learners wanting more! 

So, grab your popcorn and a beverage of choice, and let’s dive into the world of effective short form video production!

The Power of Short Form Video in Corporate Training

Short form video has become the preferred medium for consuming information and entertainment, with billions of short form videos being watched online every day. From social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to video-sharing platforms like YouTube and TikTok, short form videos have become an integral part of our daily lives.

One of the main reasons short form video is so effective is its ability to convey a message quickly and effectively. With visuals, sound, and motion, videos can capture attention and engage viewers in ways that other forms of content simply cannot. In fact, studies have shown that short form videos have higher engagement rates compared to other types of content, making them a valuable tool for businesses looking to connect with their employees.

Furthermore, short form videos have the power to evoke emotions and tell stories in a way that resonates with viewers. By tapping into the emotional side of the audience, instructional designers can create a deeper connection and build higher learner engagement. This emotional connection can lead to increased learner retention on the e-learning content you work so hard to produce.

Short Form Video Production Process Overview

Let’s dive into the process of creating an effective short form video for learning and development. Short (or long) form video production involves three key  stages, from pre-production to post-production, each playing a crucial role in the overall success of the content being produced.

Stage 1 Pre-production: Planning Your Short Form Video

Whether your video is three minutes long, or 30 minutes long, the stages require thoughtful effort and planning. The pre-production stage is where the foundation of your video is laid. It involves planning, brainstorming, and defining the objectives and target audience for your video. Here are some key steps to consider during the pre-production stage:

  1. Define your goals or outcomes: What do you want to achieve with your video? Are you clear about your learning objectives and outcomes? Clearly defining your goals will help shape the content and structure of your video.
  2. Identify your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your video? Understanding your learner’s needs, demographics, preferences, and pain points will enable you to create content that resonates with them. It may seem counterintuitive, but we like to design with ONE PERSON in mind. 
  3. Develop a script: A well-crafted script is the backbone of any successful video. It should include a compelling introduction, a clear message, and a call to action. The script should be concise, engaging, and tailored to your learners.
  4. Plan your visuals: Visuals are a crucial aspect of video production. Consider the location, props, and actors or spokespersons needed for your video. Create a shot list and storyboard to visualize how the video will flow. 

Tool Hints – we love using Miro to plan the video flow, Canva for visuals, and StudioBinder for script writing and pre-production planning.

Step 2 Production: Filming Your Short Form Video

Once the pre-production stage is complete, it’s time to bring your video to life through filming. You can shoot lots of great content on a cell phone, but what vibe do you want your learner to feel? An off-the cuff approach to video production can be great, but again, know your audience and shoot for future proofing content so it doesn’t feel trendy. Also keep in mind global audiences and cultures in regions. Here are some important factors to consider during the production stage:

  1. Gather your equipment: Depending on the complexity of your video, you may need a professional camera, lighting equipment, microphones, and tripods. Ensure that all equipment is in working order and test it before filming. Charge your batteries!!
  2. Set up your location: Whether you’re filming in a studio or on location, ensure that the setting aligns with your video’s message and objectives. Pay attention to lighting, sound quality, and any potential distractions.
  3. Direct and capture your footage: With your script and shot list in hand (or loaded on an iPad for your teleprompter), direct your actors or spokespersons to deliver their lines or perform the necessary actions. Capture multiple takes to ensure you have enough footage for the editing process. ORGANIZE your footage. 
  4. Don’t forget B-roll footage: B-roll footage refers to additional footage that is used to enhance the main shots. It could include close-ups, cutaways, or footage that complements the main narrative. B-roll can add visual interest and depth to your video. 

Step 3 Post Production

After you have planned your short form video project and you’ve had fun shooting it, the work really begins! Editing is the magic that brings the production together. Tips for a successful post production experience:

  1. Media management: What is your naming convention, where will the files be stored, how will raw video files be shared (these can be big files!) Decide on a media workflow and stay organized with version control.  
  2. Approvals: What’s the approval process? Who decides what and when decisions need to be made? What is the turnaround time for approvals? Who needs to be involved? How will you track comments and communication?  
  3. Graphics: In addition to scripting and the storyline, short form videos often require overlays and graphics. Make sure you have resources lined up to complete this important part of the process.  
  4. Final Delivery: This step is related to media management, but there are many factors to understand your final deliverable.  What is the aspect ratio? Subtitles or captions? Multi-language support? What file format? 

Post production can be the longest part of any project, so make sure you define roles, workflow, and final delivery variables. 

Best Practices for Creating Effective Short Form Training Videos for Microlearning

Creating effective learning and development short form videos requires careful planning and execution. It’s not just about shooting some footage and putting it together; it’s about crafting a story that captures the attention and emotions of the viewer. Here are some best practices to consider when creating your learning and development short form videos:

  1. Define your objective: We want to say it again, before you start the short form video production process, it’s important to clearly define the objective of your video. Knowing your learner’s outcome will help shape the content and messaging of your video.
  2. Tell a compelling story: Storytelling is at the heart of effective video production, whether a full feature film or a micro short film that’s less than five minutes long! Your video should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a narrative that engages the learner from start to finish. Consider using characters, conflict, and resolution to create a captivating story that resonates with your learners.
  3. Keep it concise: In today’s fast-paced world, attention spans are shorter than ever. Keep your video concise and to the point. Again for emphasis, aim for a video length of under five minutes, highlighting the most important aspects of your content. Avoid unnecessary fluff and focus on delivering a clear and impactful message.
  4. Use eye-catching visuals: Visuals play a crucial role in capturing the learner’s attention. Invest in high-quality equipment, or vetted contractors who know the L&D space, and ensure that your video is visually appealing. Consider using dynamic shots, vibrant colors, and visually interesting locations to make your video stand out.
  5. Craft an engaging script: The script is the backbone of your video. It should be well-written and engaging, capturing the essence of your learning objectives and delivering your message effectively. Use persuasive language, storytelling techniques, and a conversational tone to connect with your audience on a personal level.
  6. Add music and sound effects: Music and sound effects can enhance the emotional connection with you learners, and gets them highly engaged. 


After all is said and done, budgets can vary wildly on video production. We are a scrappy team at Vim and Vibe, and our aim is to disrupt the traditional methods of learning and development by integrating tried and true filmmaking techniques in this age of short form video. 

We take pride in our work and we are thoughtful about every step of the process, including budget. We are not Hollywood filmmakers who have endless budgets; we treat our production process through a lens of quality, timeliness, and budget sensitivity. 

If we can assist you with questions you may have about this process, or if we can guide you in any way, please contact us at [email protected]