E-learning videos come in many forms—from talking heads and software demos to screencasts, simulations, quizzes, and more. Video is one of the most compelling ways to communicate emotion with authenticity. Frame by frame, videos show what images and words can’t.
The first thing learners see about your video is its static cover frame. That single frame sets the tone, so why roll the dice with whatever ragtag frame is at the front of your video? Instead, create a custom poster frame designed to make a specific impression on your learner.
What is a poster frame?
A poster frame is just a preview image that you set as the cover for your video. It appears like any other image on your slide, until the video plays. It’s especially useful to cover up a blank, blurry, boring, or otherwise uncompelling opening frame in a video.
To set up your poster frame, simply right-click a video you have on your slide and select Set Poster Frame. Browse to an image file and click Open. Your video will display the custom image until the video is triggered to play.
Here are three ideas for using poster frames to make your videos irresistible for learners:
Idea 1: Create an engaging or inviting start screen
You’ve captured your course videos and laid them out across your course. They’re positioned perfectly, and yet something’s off. Could it be the totally black start screen? The blurry floor shot your camera picked up as you were moving the camera into place?
Chances are you discovered that the first frame isn’t the best frame to sell your video. Perhaps it’s actually the least meaningful depiction of your e-learning video content. Assuming that’s the case, time to set up your own poster frame.
Idea 2: Summarize a demonstration or how-to video
If you do a lot of software training or technical writing, or use screenshots frequently to show a process or step, then you know how hard it is to annotate screenshots to capture each step concisely. With poster frames, you don’t have to choose between using screenshots or short screencasts to communicate a step. In the same space on your slide, you give your advanced users the quick snapshot they want and your newer users the contextual support they need. It’s a two-fer!
Idea 3: Use a question headline to engage learners
Let’s face it, learners see a lot of content where they’re told to know something, or do something, or think something. And it gets monotonous, fast! So use poster frames to recast your e-learning video title into a question: instead of telling the learner what they’ll learn, ask your learners if they know how to perform the task. Then, add a call-to-action button to prompt learners to view the video.
On your own
Remember, poster frames are simply covers for your videos. They won’t make a bad video good, but they will entice learners into clicking to find out more.
Have an example of an innovative, compelling, or simply quirky poster frame you’ve used? Tell us about it! Post and share it with the community in E-Learning Heroes.