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Transform Your Training Manuals into an Engaging Visual Learning Strategy

Discover how using a visual learning strategy can help you scale content creation, boost engagement, increase skill development, and accelerate meaningful results.

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Let’s be honest. Training manuals are not anyone's favorite way to learn. They are static, unengaging, and often do not lead to strong knowledge comprehension or retention. That being said, your manuals are not a waste! They provide the perfect framework for a video script, using the content you’ve already spent valuable time developing. And, as an added bonus, your training materials will now be learned faster, retained longer, and provide real impact to those you are upskilling, training, or just trying to help improve.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create and apply the right video strategy for your training content as we dive into the core idea of keeping a balance between face-to-face human interaction while using video as a supportive tool. We will discuss:


The Power of Visual Learning (Video vs. Training Manuals)
Transforming Training Manuals into Engaging Video Content
5 Best Practices To Ensure A Successful Visual Learning Strategy
When to Use Video
Case Study: Video Learning at Scale
Expert Tips to Keep in Mind
The Payoff: Training Manuals Transform to Engaged Learning


As L&D professionals, we’ve all seen the reaction when you hand over a training manual to an employee – new or seasoned. At best, they’re going to give a blank stare and breathe a sigh of apathy. It doesn’t feel great knowing that the learning content, materials, and resources you develop to keep employees safe or advance their knowledge is reduced to a box to be ticked.

But, you can change the negative perception associated with your learning materials. And the best part is, all of the work you put into creating those training manuals is not even close to a waste. In fact, what you’ve done is create the perfect framework for bite-sized, highly engaging videos that inspire a more engaged learner, better knowledge retention, and most importantly, meaningful behavioral change.

You might be asking yourself: is video really that effective? The simple answer? Yes!

The fact is, 65% of your workforce are visual learners. That’s because our brains are wired for visual information, which is decoded 60,000 times faster than written text. Not to mention, written information in the form of PDF manuals, emails, and presentations, fails to provide valuable context or convey important emotions like trust and empathy. This is where visual learning comes in:

You can package all your information into a two minute video.
Learners can visualize the ideas and concepts, making them more memorable.
Frontline workers can view it from any device, anywhere – whether that’s while working the cash register, constructing a building, shifting rooms on the hospital floor, and beyond.

Whether delivered in a physical or virtual setting, it’s important to make sure your learning experiences are visually engaging. This will determine how “successful,” “forward thinking,” or “tech-savvy” your team is perceived in the eyes of employees and company leadership.

Instead of relying on text-heavy manuals, old-school PowerPoints, and outdated training materials, we propose a new approach that leans on visual learning and engages employees on a much deeper level.

Powtoon Videos are Proven Performers:

How can powtoon help?

Built for L&D teams of all sizes, Powtoon makes learning videos and visual content easy to create, flexible to manage, and quick to distribute. In practice, this means that your L&D team can deliver effective initiatives and programs at scale. Over 40M+ people worldwide are using Powtoon’s rich visual library and collaborative workspace to transform complex and scattered information into powerful videos with a professional look and feel.


You probably have one or two training manuals used in your current learning and development strategy. These manuals may be used for a variety of purposes including workplace safety training, cybersecurity awareness, diversity and inclusion training, and many other purposes. If you’re looking to make an impact, training manuals are not the best way. However, they are a great framework for a successful video-based training program.


Let’s start simple. Nobody wants to watch a 54 minute long video on workplace safety. Your learners will get bored in the same way they do with a 67 page training manual. So, break down your manual into sections that can be viewed in 4 minutes or less. Then, turn your new series of videos into a course or playlist for easy viewing at your learners convenience.

“With Powtoon, we can easily create videos that tell a story and immerse employees in an experience or environment. The result is a very engaging video that works much better than a PDF document.”

- Tibco


Let’s use the excerpt from a safety training manual below. While the content inside your training materials may be very important, it relies on your learner to use their imagination to visualize what you mean. However, using this content as your script, and creating an animated video showing them what you mean, will improve your knowledge comprehension significantly. Using point one below, you now have your script!

Scene Title: Make the Situation Safe
Scene: A window is broken. Wind is coming in. Maybe add some snow for additional effect. Have your character act out the voiceover while it is happening.
Voiceover: “During an accident you will want to first make the situation safe. Remove the source of the hazard first to ensure others are not injured. In this case, grab a broom and clean up the broken glass to ensure nobody gets hurt.”


Make the situation safe.
If it is possible to safely remove the source of an ongoing hazard (electric current, broken glass, leaking gas etc.) then do so first.
Render immediate first aid.
Make sure casualties are safe. then administer immediate first aid if appropriate, following the guidelines covered in your "out of hours" training. If you have not had out of hours basic first aid training, or separate first aid training you should seek the help of a First Aider or someone who has. First aid boxes can be found in all laboratories and some offices. They contain the names and contact numbers of trained First Aiders. You may also seek the assistance of any clinically trained colleague.
Summon assistance.
If emergency assistance is required, ring 2222 (RHH & NGH), 444 (UoS) or 999 depending on the building you are in to report the details of the incident and ask for the service required e.g. ambulance, fire brigade etc. If the hospital is unable to provide specific assistance (with chimical spill for instance) it is also worth contacting the University's Emergency Control Room on 4444 (24 hr.).
Leverage Powtoon to Create:
Training Videos
Training for New Technologies
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training
Customer Service Training
Workplace Sensitivity Training
Any Other Video You Need!


Motion is key to keeping your learners engaged. Don’t create a static talking head video combined with a powerpoint. This will get you slightly more engagement but will not be the optimal experience, nor will it save you that much time. With the same effort you can create an animated video that tells your story so nothing is left to the imagination and your learners can engage in the story. Once they are engaged you will begin to see real impact.

How can powtoon help?

Powtoon’s PowerPoint integration allows you to easily upload an existing presentation and transform it into an engaging video. So how does it work? Simply import your PPT file and watch as it converts to a video format. Then, customize your new video with royalty-free footage, images, animation, characters, VoiceOver, or music before exporting it.
Pro Tip: Upload your brand kit into the Powtoon Studio beforehand to seamlessly update brand colors, logos, fonts, and more across your presentation in a single click.

5 Best Practices to Ensure a Successful Visual Learning Strategy

Before diving in and creating your video content, it’s important to map out your visual learning strategy. Below are some tips you should consider in order to ensure a successful learning course.


Before you start creating content, take some time to define a course plan that outlines a clear timeline for the learning lifecycle of your training program. Then, create a step-by-step plan for how to achieve the desired outcome that includes:

• All resources, tools, and POCs to interact with throughout the journey
• Defined milestones along the timeline
• List of clear success metrics or KPIs for each milestone
Pro Tip: Powtoon Enterprise users take advantage of our professional services to kick start their creation process. Our team of experts can create corporate templates for you according to your priorities that your whole team can leverage and customize.

This will help you gauge the learner engagement. The defined milestones along the timeline are also points of opportunity to have face-to-face touchpoints that allow you to assess whether your strategy requires a pivot. For example, having a touch-base with your trainee every 2 days for the first week to check in, then once per week after that through the end of the course timeline.

Pro Tip: Clearly relay and contextualize action items, deadlines, and key milestones that you want your team to remember using video messages or explainer videos. Powtoon enables you to drop the video directly into an email, group channel, or your existing LMS/LXP platform where employees can easily refer to it.


Research has shown that learners only retain only 10% of what they read. The days of sitting down and spending hours flipping through hundreds of pages or courses in 4 hours classroom settings are in the past.

Learning has evolved, especially when it comes to the workplace. Your bulky manuals or text heavy presentations and PDFs can be easily condensed into videos. With learners 75% more likely to watch a video than read text, your thick stack of materials can now be your new training video. This offers a more engaging experience to your learners while helping them move more swiftly in the learning process.

Pro Tip: Creating new learning materials from scratch can be time-consuming. Using Powtoon, you can efficiently customize and update your existing learning videos on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Add graphs and charts, engaging animation, and edit them on the fly.


Since you now have defined success metrics or KPIs for each milestone, this is a good foundation to now determine how many of these metrics are successfully achieved by setting a “Success Grade”. A good rule of thumb is if the overall “Success Grade” of the learner is 70% or higher for the course. This means that the learner has achieved at least 70% of the KPIs during the course. Anything less than 60% is an indicator for adjusting your content strategy or integrating more collaborative learning.

Pro Tip: Your L&D team invests valuable time, energy, and resources into all kinds of initiatives. Help them show off their results in a visual, digestible, and inspiring way with Powtoon’s video infographics to present the results of your latest program or initiative. The structure is simple: introduce your project, state your goals, and reveal whether the results matched expectations. Don’t forget to show off your results to your management team. L&D teams always need a way to show off their work and results! 🎉


If your company has large amounts of content, or even if you’re just starting to build your learning library, it’s essential to keep your video library organized. Depending on the length and depth of your courses, there can be a number of documents, links, and videos for a trainee to comb through. Having defined naming conventions based on the subject of the course, tagging by topic, and scenario of use in place makes your content library more accessible and easy to search through for all trainees.

Pro Tip: Easily manage your videos with folders in the Powtoon Workspace. Organizing your videos in folders is just like organizing anything else – just group your learning videos by course or topic so that you can find what you’re looking for quickly and easily! Plus, you can share them with your teammates for easy access to materials directly in your LMS or content hub.


With so many technical tools, apps, and platforms used everyday, like MS Teams, Slack, WhatsApp, and beyond, it’s important to set clear guidelines on which platform or app is used and for what purpose. This helps define your learning culture and also sets the stage for how your learners can best utilize communication tools at hand to get the best learning experience.

Pro Tip: Seamlessly integrate your existing tools with Powtoon – PowerPoint, LinkedIn, email, Slack, your your LMS or LXP, and more. Then, publish your videos directly to your learners’ favorite platforms to give them access to learning materials all in one place.


Now that you have a framework on how to approach your visual learning strategy, it’s time to start creating video content! But how do you determine when it’s best to use video? Here are our tried and true tips.


Using video to dynamically express the history, culture, and organizational structures of your company, its mission, vision, and goals is a great way to engage your employees. The history of your company and what it took to lead to today is a solid story that only changes with time. Having videos covering these topics can help onboard new employees and set the tone of the learning culture, empowering them to take on their learning journey with more confidence and motivation.

“Powtoon has enabled us to quickly create and deliver content in a format that resonates with our mission to inspire and empower youth culture. Through short, engaging, visual storytelling we are able to get training into the hands of our store teams in as little as 1-2 weeks depending on the subject matter.” 
Jennifer Baker, Senior Manager, Retail Learning & Development at Foot Locker

Our Recommendation:
Guide employees through your company’s leadership principles and clearly explain the kinds of behaviors you value with this Powtoon culture values template. By clearly visualizing your company’s value pillars and helping employees build essential skills, you’re paving the way for the leaders of tomorrow!
Culture Values


Getting accustomed to everchanging tech tools used in your company can feel overwhelming. When a new employee is joining the company or a new software is being introduced company-wide, a video tutorial is a great way to show all the features of a tech tool or platform.

Keep in mind, a video is a good tool for this purpose when a large chunk of your organization is using the tool. By creating a screen recording video, it’s simple to make a software demo with a voiceover to show your team the ropes of a new tool. Plus, you can also enhance the demo video with onscreen text and animation to highlight major takeaways. However, it is best to carve out some time to address questions directly from team members on how to use the tool that is specific to their role or department. An interactive video with access to direct support of existing teammates or a department specific guide is a good way to use a video and make learning a new software engaging.

Our Recommendation:
Kick off your software integration with an engaging video template. This template will help to introduce a new software in your company to your employees. Explain how & why you’ll use it, and how it can improve your business! Don’t forget to try Powtoon Capture for Business for all your screen recording needs.
New Software Training


It’s natural for organizations to grow and scale. But introducing new changes in a digestible way can be challenging with clunky presentations and complex concepts. Using a video to showcase your organization’s change journey, new goals, and structures can be done simply with a video. Of course, with the support of the leadership board being the conductors of change present for questions and fostering connection, a video is a great tool to lead a company into its new vision.

Our Recommendation:
New systems and processes can be highly disruptive to business, yet introducing change is necessary for organizations to innovate, evolve, and stay competitive — especially in this new world of remote work. Use this change management video template to ensure your employees smoothly transition into new processes, technologies, and systems.
Change Management Guide


After having several employees go through a training course or onboarding program, make sure to take note of the questions that come up. Those questions, especially ones that are asked many times, are a great jumping off point to create an FAQ video. This helps ensure the best use of time of your team and resources while avoiding redundant meetings or communication.

Our Recommendation:
Help learners understand upcoming organizational change with this whiteboard template full of FAQs. Explain complex updates within your company in a simplified whiteboard video. Got more questions you think your learners will want to know? Simply duplicate slides to add their burning questions.
Change Management FAQs


Now that you know the best instances when to use video and when not to, we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks gathered from the experts to keep in mind throughout your learning strategy planning. The tips below will help you successfully keep the balance between video and human interaction and creating relevant, scalable video content.

Identify opportunities to create an engaging video by asking yourself, “can this training manual have a better impact if it was a video?”.
Maintain a balance between video engagement while keeping the human touch present and consistent throughout the employee development journey.
For example, recording your screen to explain a concept is better suited for sharing on Slack or Microsoft Teams. An animated video can also work well on your collaboration platform of choice, while a long-form video is better suited for your LMS or for sharing over email.
For longer videos, identify all of the themes and compress each one into titled sections. This helps section off long videos into smaller “chapters” which are much easier to digest. Also make sure to pause to summarize key learnings for each chapter.
At the end of each video, be sure to provide contact details and names of people to reach out to with questions to make sure the human touch is present.
Employees are great sources of feedback when they are on the learning end of the video. Keep a feedback loop open by following up with a survey or having a 1:1 meeting when they are going through a learning program can provide critical information on how to improve your video content and learning strategy moving forward.


Foot Locker is a leader in the footwear industry, celebrating sneakers with a portfolio of brands including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay, Footaction, and Sidestep.

Foot Locker’s purpose is to inspire and empower youth culture around the world by fueling a shared passion for self-expression and creating unrivaled experiences.

With approximately 3,000 retail stores in 27 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, training the company’s in-store personnel in a way that reflects its values and diversity is essential.

Foot Locker needed to upgrade, update, and streamline their training materials across thousands of retail stores, dozens of countries, and all levels of retail staff. From field leadership including Regional Vice Presidents to part-time team members, it was critical for Foot Locker to align everyone on their strategies and expectations of the in-store experience.

Using Powtoon’s video engagement solution allowed Foot Locker to graduate from training by static binders to training by experiential visual learning across 3,000 locations and 27 countries. It helps enhance their in-store experience and create a common visual language across all learning materials company-wide.

Powtoon’s library of characters and branding elements helps Foot Locker enhance their in-store experience and create a common visual language across videos, emails, presentations, and other training collateral. The team uses Powtoon’s animated backgrounds to bridge between virtual and physical.

Before Powtoon, creating learning content was labor-intensive and didn’t effectively get messages across to global employees.

With Powtoon, Foot Locker’s L&D team scaled their content by taking learning materials traditionally put into a binder and turning it into engaging, bite-sized video content with audio, voiceovers, and characters moving on screen.

Foot Locker even uses characters to emulate its diverse employees and create a deeper sense of belonging. As a company celebrating youth culture, Powtoon’s custom character builder helps them showcase characters wearing joggers and streetwear instead of traditional suit-and-tie.

“For decades, companies have focused their enterprise communications attention on information workers, rolling out increasingly sophisticated tools that make collaboration among the office set easier, smarter, and more intuitive. In the process, most companies have left their frontline workers behind. These essential workers are often given second-rate technology (if they’re given any at all) that fails to address their needs.”

In order to ensure consistent employee performance and customer satisfaction, Foot Locker created a hiring training video highlighting best practices and guidelines to follow when hiring for a new role. By using video, this training content was made accessible to frontline workers across 27 regions. The impact? More high-performing employees that match the company values, meet the customer expectation, represent the Foot Locker brand, and seamlessly collaborate with other staff.


Animated training videos are just the beginning. Powtoon’s video creation platform empowers your team to create, manage, and distribute powerful, on-brand videos to onboard, upskill, and reskill learners. Powtoon makes it easy to scale content creation with the freedom of unlimited design styles. From microlearning, training videos, digital signage, and more, here’s how you can deliver inspirational learning experiences every time.

Save hours on creating videos from scratch with 100s of professionally designed training video templates made for training, eLearning, microlearning, and more.
→ Customizable design
→ Customizable animation
→ 1M+ stock images, videos & music
Transform any existing training video or presentation – in any design style – to repurpose your work and complete your vision.
→ Custom layouts
→ 1000s of design combinations
→ Shareable folders
Have access to the right font, color, and logo every time. Easy-to-use without losing control of your brand needs.
→ Font, color, and logo upload
→ Save company templates
Give your team the freedom of unlimited video storage to keep your information, media, and data safe – in one secure location.
→ Free trial for new team members
→ Enterprise-grade security
→ ISO-certified cloud
Get in sync with your team by simultaneously editing, adjusting, and giving feedback on training content.
→ Shareable link
→ Manage user permissions
→ Shareable folders
Easily integrate Powtoon with your LMS! Upload your training videos directly to Canvas, Articulate, Rise, 360Learning, Kaltura, and more.
→ Integrate with your LMS
→ Made for any device

The Payoff:
Training Manuals Transform to Engaged Learning

Video is an incredible tool to make learning engaging. So, what kind of results can you expect? With the right learning content strategy, learners are likely to retain 95% of video content. The key thing to remember is to have a balance between community learning and visual learning. Videos are supplementary tools that L&D teams are bringing to the table to ensure engaging learning experiences that boost knowledge retention and skill development. With visual learning customized for your company, your L&D team can grow your employees and business simultaneously.

So, how can you get started? Powtoon is a visual engagement solution that gives L&D teams the flexibility to create, manage, and distribute all kinds of videos and visual learning content in one place. Powtoon can help you identify your learning and development needs and determine the best solutions to meet your L&D goals. If you’re interested in seeing how video can assist with your learning and development programs and improve your corporate learning results, we encourage you to book a call with our team.