How to Use Video Effectively in a Group Meeting

About 15 years ago I attended a Regional meeting of a Fortune 100 company. I was scheduled to make a presentation. Before I was introduced the Regional Manager shared with his group that he had to give them some training on diversity. I thought that was a very worthy topic.

At that point he proceeded to turn on a TV and slip a VHS video into the VCR. Just as it started he began passing a clip board around the group and told everyone to sign off that they had been trained in diversity. He did nothing but show the 30 minute tape. No discussion during or after. He felt by showing the tape he had done his training job, yet nobody walked away with anything.

Video can be the best or the worst tool for training, and I just shared the worst way to use it. To do it effectively, he should have created the importance of the subject and establish a purpose for using the video as a tool. Next he should have asked everyone to take notes. Every 5-8 minutes he should have paused the video and engaged the group with questions concerning the content he just presented. At the end of the video he should have broken his team into smaller groups and given them an exercise to complete and be prepared to discuss with the rest of the team.

The last thing he should have done was ask each person to complete an action plan by choosing  what they felt was the most important idea that they could implement describe it, share how they would use it and by when. Training does not equal education, training equals action. Without action commitments, at best we have educated people, if that. If you ever have to use a DVD video in a meeting I hope this helps! All our trainings systems are designed to be used that way and we have even made it easy with built in stops with questions and exercises to be used at the end. Check us out at:

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