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  • Writer's pictureNicole Papaioannou Lugara

30-Second Stories for Training

Let's talk about some of the most micro of microlearning-- microvideo. Whether it's TikToks, Reels, YouTube Shorts, or just quick-paced clips shared on social, you've likely watched one in the past year.

In this post, I'm going to walk you through some frameworks for creating microvideo content for training that doesn't suck and isn't just for likes.

I'm also going to ask you to do something for me. I'm going to ask you to try at least one of the options in this post and share your end result. And because I would never ask you to do something I wouldn't, you'll find mine at the end of this post.

Now, let's get started.

The Frameworks

This is a a completely non-definitive list of knowledge sharing formats for microvideos that are 30 seconds or less.


Pose a question-- either with on-screen text and voiceover or having a character ask it.

Then respond. You'll only have time to hit the key points, so plan in advance what you can say. If you pick 3 key points, for example, you'll plan about 5-8 seconds of response time per point.

Who does this well?

Dr. B! His addiction-related content is spectacular and short.

The Transformation

This is the moment where something goes from "this" to "that"-- whether that's for good or bad. It's the big reveal.

There are lots of ways to use this in training. You can show what happens when you press all the right buttons on a machine. You can reveal what a project looks like in the planning stages versus the final product. You can show something you learned on day 1 and how far it advances by day 30 and point out some of the big reasons for the changes. The ideas are limited only by your imagination.

Who does this well?

Unsurprisingly from her handle, @TransformationbyTracy from TikTok, does a wonderful job of showing you how her sewn creations go from pieces to product, and most of her videos are just 30 - 60 seconds long.

The One-Line Lead In

Start with a line that has shock- or comedic-value, and you're bound to get people interested in what you're discussing.

Stumped on where to begin?

  • Try starting with a line about a mistake you made. For example, "Bombing a presentation on tissues almost cost my company real paper."

  • Dispel a common myth. "Most people think you should X, but I'm going to tell you why you should definitely not X/why you should Y instead if you want to Z."

Who does this well?

Harvard Business Review cuts up interviews and starts with the most impactful line to draw in leaders.

Grand Cardone usually goes for the shock factor / conflict factor.

Burnout Coach Carlo does it with a bit more humor and fictional storytelling.

The Microtutorial

What can you accomplish in just a 30-second tutorial? Surprisingly a lot.

Start with an outline to keep you on track and to ensure you've identified the critical steps you need to highlight.

For these tutorials, you may not be able to just press record and send that content direct to delivery, particularly if you're showing a hands-on process. In this case, you'll need to either plan to have samples of each stage ready, like they do on cooking shows, or be prepared to do some video editing after.

Who does this well?

I'd argue that the current Reining Champion of Microtutorials is Miss Excel, who teaches people how to use Microsoft Excel and other Microsoft tools.

If you want to see something a little less software and a little more hands on, @HowtoCardboard from TikTok captures carboard-creation making in 30 seconds or less.

Level Up The Learning Experience

Craft a curriculum. Rather than having a bunch of one-off pieces of information, consider these videos building blocks of a curriculum. You can teach key concepts and cover content areas in bite-sized chunks. Start with the goal and plan backwards, focusing relentlessly on the goals for each short clip.

Closed captions are critical. Whether your audience is hearing impaired or just not able to crank up the volume, sometimes they need to see what they can't listen to.

Add more post-production options. You can use more advanced video editing, including transitions, graphics, and sound effects (SFX) to add a bit more sparkle to your content. My favorite example of this is Jack Corbe's work for NPR and Planet Money. Silly, fun, but effective.

And it's my turn...

Here's a 30-second example for your viewing pleasure.


Ready to delight learners with microvideo? We're here to help with microvideo strategy and development services.

Contact to get started.

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1 Comment

Feb 17, 2023

Thanks for the interesting article. Our company is constantly improving the software to facilitate the work of the personnel department.

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