It’s not gonna win the Oscar for Best Animated Short, but…

…for training professionals, PowToon is worth checking out. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an online tool (free and premium versions are available) to create short, animated videos.

I wrote about it last October, but at that time I hadn’t quite figured out how to use it. Over the weekend I watched a short how-to video on YouTube and decided it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. The timeline element is a bit of a pain, but once you figure out that quirky feature, it’s actually pretty easy to work with.

After a few hours this weekend I was able to put together this little sample video, using only the free features and the time I had available while my children napped (or were supposed to be napping, anyway). Using some of the paid features and a little more time, this can be quite a powerful tool.

Why might you want to use PowToon?

1. Create a Super Bowl-like Ad. I’ve written before about using eLearning to generate some buzz prior to your next session. PowToon might be a quicker and perhaps even more fun way to get your learners excited about your next workshop or eLearning module.

2. Seriously, Create a Buzz-generating Video to Show Off Your Product. Next week, a colleague will be using a video created in PowToon as a way to build anticipation and generate some enthusiasm for a new IT system that he will be training users on in the coming months. It’s a quick look at the features of the IT system and describes some of the benefits it holds over the current IT system people are using.

3. Tutorials. Yes, you can create screencasts much more quickly by recording your mouse flying around your computer screen, clicking on tabs or buttons. Sometimes that’s sufficient. Sometimes you want something a little more engaging. PowToon can help with creating a more engaging tutorial.

If you’re using PowToon, how have you found it useful? Inspired by this post? How might you want to put PowToon to use? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section.

7 thoughts on “It’s not gonna win the Oscar for Best Animated Short, but…

    • I’ll be interested to hear what you think, Scott. I found that it was kind of fun when I started to get the hang of a few of the quirks. The biggest thing that was helpful for me was to develop the story first, then record the audio, then sync all the animations with the audio. If you try doing the animations first, then importing or recording the audio, it can make for a tricky (aka: frustrating) experience.

    • Scott Enebo! Hahaha! So funny to see your name on a chat board!

      I just made a couple of powtoons this last week and it is easy and fun to use. If you know how to make courses using Storyline, PowToons will come easy enough. Hope that you and Ellen and the kiddos are doing well!

      • Holly! So happy to find you on Brian “The Real Deal” Washburn’s blog. How weird! I was thinking about you the other day as I was reading about Open Meetings. I miss you lots. Please pass my love to Mike. And Brian…thank you for re-connecting my dear friend Holly and I. Our lives seem to be forever intertwined.

      • Scott & Holly – glad I could play a role in re-connecting you… perhaps it’s a new way to market the blog. Not only is there awesome content, but you never know who you might bump in to!

  1. I found this site a while back and thought it would be good for alternative communication methods. Another teammate and I have been making short promotional videos for our new LMS. There are features I would like to see, but free is free and it animates much better than I can!

    • Yes, I’m with you Todd! There are definitely things I’d love to see… of course I’m not a programmer so I have no idea how difficult it is to code those types of changes.

      But yes, it IS free, and it DOES indeed animate things much better than I can, too.

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