Avnil Media

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Actors or staff in corporate training videos

Darryl Anderson
by Darryl Anderson
15th June 2015

Training videos are a very cost-effective way of inducting new staff and training or up-skilling existing employees.

At Anvil Media, we’ve produced lots of training and education videos over the years.

One of the first questions we get asked when making a corporate training video is whether to use real staff or professional presenters and actors in the video production.

There is no right or wrong answer here. But before going down either path, you need to consider a few things before making a decision.

Using real staff in training videos

Professional actors can give your corporate training video a polished tone. But there’s a strong case for asking your employees to get involved with a film shoot for a training video.


Filming your staff as they complete common tasks can give your workplace scenarios real credibility and authenticity.

Current employees add a more genuine feel. Capturing their knowledge and understanding of the workplace fosters a sense of pride and ownership about what they do.

These benefits are only possible if your on-camera talent feels relaxed and comfortable.

CastingUsing staff in a training video can add authenticity







If you do ask staff to get involved, make sure it’s voluntary.

Not all employees feel comfortable with the idea of performing tasks on camera. Many people feel shy and awkward. A camera, lights and crew can exacerbate the problem.

Careful casting is crucial or you risk wasting valuable time when the film crew is on location. Poor casting decisions could make the training video production process longer and much more expensive.

Pre-shoot rehearsal

If employees are unsure, we encourage a rehearsal or even a pre-shoot session with an Anvil Media director and camera to see how they cope with the experience.

The director should assist with choreographing any moves—even a simple walk towards camera takes practice and timing. A simple thing like knowing where to look (at the camera or off camera) often takes a while to get right.

Pre-shoot preparation of your talent will save filming time.


Remembering scripted lines can also add unnecessary pressure.

Staff will lose that authenticity when repeating scripts that aren’t written to match their normal speech patterns. If your employees know the subject well, ask them to speak naturally. Perhaps prompt them with a series of questions.

Our top tips

  • Think about the location you’ll put these staff in.
  • Avoid placing staff actors in front of an audience of fellow workers.
  • Consider wardrobe.
  • Tell your staff exactly what will be expected of them.

Using professionals in training videosUse professional presenters in corporate training videos to provide polished narration and deliver fast-paced content







For content that requires lengthy dialogue or complex explanations, it’s a good idea to use a professional presenter or business actor.

It’s best to use professionals to:

  • introduce the purpose and content of the video
  • narrate between different segments or scenarios
  • guide employees through complex workplace procedures
  • summarise the key points and take-home messages.

Professional presenters bring a performance ‘level’ that can make mundane, dry material appear interesting. They also have the ability to increase the pace of the delivery, adding energy to the content and getting through material quickly.


One risk of using employees is that they can leave the workplace (and even join a competitor company). This jeopardises the shelf life of your videos. Using external presenters or actors minimises the risk of having to update or re-edit your video in the short term.

Video production companies like Anvil Media can provide samples of professional presenters and experienced narrators to suit your audience demographics.

If you are considering an audio-visual production to use in your staff training program, contact us on 1300 768 101 (local call rate) or [email protected] to discuss your corporate training video ideas.

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