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Why the human face is essential for more engaging, memorable and effective training courses

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Capturing and keeping attention with training videos can be challenging. But when your employee training videos are instructor-led, particularly with a focus on the face of the instructor, learners are more engaged and have a more memorable and effective learning experience throughout a training and development program.

What is Learning and Development?

Most simply put, Learning and Development (L&D) is the process of helping people acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to perform their jobs effectively. L&D can take many forms, but one of the most common methods is employee training videos.

The use of video in training programs is on the rise

The use of video for employee training in L&D is becoming more and more popular. And it’s no wonder why. Videos are a great way to provide engaging and interactive content that can be easily accessed by learners at any time in their training programs.

Teacher on screen with whiteboard
Video is now a normal aspect of training and development programs

Not only that, but videos can also be used to create a more personal learning experience by featuring faces and voices of instructors and other real people. This can help to create a connection with learners and make the content more relatable.

The power of presence

People need people. This is scientific fact, not just the inspiration for sentimental songs and new-age discourse.

As noted by Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, the Science Director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, “human beings are an ultra-social species — and our nervous systems expect to have others around us”. We are designed to need the presence of other humans.

And being in each other’s presence, whether ‘live’ or virtually, doesn’t only make us feel more at ease, and even healthier in both body and mind, it also helps us learn better.

This is where instructor-led learning videos come into play. Simply put, and true to its name, ‘instructor-led’ learning videos are those that feature an instructor who delivers information to learners.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas
Emiliana Simon-Thomas

“Human beings are an ultra-social species — and our nervous systems expect to have others around us”

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, Science Director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

Having the presence of a human instructor in a training and development program is very important for assuring employee engagement and, ultimately, its efficacy. This can be seen in the fact that instructor-led videos are among the most common types of training videos that are found in online learning programs.

Focus on the face

But it’s not just about the person’s presence. It’s also about their face.

And the power of having people present in video content, with a focus on the human face, has long been recognized by the marketing and advertising industry.

In fact, it’s been shown that ads that feature a person’s face get nearly 92% more attention than those that don’t.

We crave connection. We are drawn to people’s faces, their eyes, and their smiles. So, just as advertising that is face-centric is more engaging and impactful, so is a face-centric employee development learning video.

The innate lure of the human face

One of the primary reasons that the human face is so essential to learning engagement is that it’s “one of the richest and most powerful tools in social communication,” according to Rachael E. Jack and Philippe G. Schyns, from the School of Psychology and the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, both at Scotland’s University of Glasgow.

Faces capture our attention automatically. Even as babies, we process faces long before we recognize other objects. This was demonstrated by a study conducted at the Stanford Vision and NeuroDevelopment Lab, in which brain-monitoring technology was used by the university’s psychology researchers to determine that infant brains respond to faces just as those of adults, even when the rest of the infant visual system lags behind.

Evidence shows we process faces long before we recognize other objects

Happy diverse faces

Scientists agree

In another study, also conducted at Stanford University, researchers set out to determine just how important the instructor’s face is to engaging viewers of person-led learning videos.

From the evidence that they gathered from two large-scale field studies, they found that online learners going through development programs, who saw the instructor’s face, reported having a better and more effective learning experience than those who didn’t.

They also noted that constantly presenting the instructor’s face actually enhanced learning and motivation.

Moreover, learners surveyed for the study expressed a strong preference for instruction with a human face, claiming that it was easier to follow a training video and pay attention to the content being delivered when there was a human face doing the delivery.

The Benefits of a Human Face in L&D Videos

Faces create more employee engagement because they are:

  1. The center of emotional communication
  2. A source of personal connection
  3. Attention-grabbing
  4. A vehicle for non-verbal communication

When training and development programs are instructor-led, and focus on the face of the instructor, learners are more engaged and report having a more memorable and effective learning experience.

After all, as it’s been said many times before, there really is nothing more engaging than the human face. And how this truth can benefit your employee training, and learning and development videos.

How D-ID can help

From all this evidence, it’s obvious that the human face is essential to creating employee training and development programs that are more engaging and effective.

D-ID can help anyone in the organization produce such compelling people-led, face-centric learning videos easily, quickly, and cost-efficiently.

We empower corporate employee training and development teams to create learning videos that feature the human face, for more effective learning videos, and all with a simple click of a button.

Our offering is an AI-based solution that takes your script and turns it into high-quality, realistic videos. Output as many videos as you need simply and quickly.

Whether it’s soft skills, leadership skills, onboarding, regulatory or compliance training, we can help you build a training and development program that puts people at the heart of employee development.

And with the human face at the center of your employee training video, you will get higher than ever levels of engagement, effectiveness and memorability.

The bottom line is that the human face is essential for more engaging, memorable, and effective learning videos. L&D professionals looking to bridge skill gaps in their training and development programs should keep this in mind when creating their next instructional video project.

To learn how you can create person-led videos that maximize learning by leveraging the engagement value of the human face, click here.

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