Sunday, June 21, 2015

Digital Critique - Humorous Corporate Training Video

Digital Story:
Youtube - eLearningTV1 - Humorous Corporate Training Video

Humorous Corporate Training Video is a brief animation of a corporate employee asking his boss for a raise. The animation is a bit low quality with over-exaggerated reactions, a robotic voice-over, and a laugh track / audio track. It looks a bit campy but those components contribute to the humor of the story. This video is one of a number of eLearning / training humorous icebreaker videos posted by eLearningtv - a channel on YouTube hosted by Cogentys. Cogentys appears to be a corporate training firm of some sort that is positioning itself as an industry expert through shared content and, of course, digital stories.

I came across this video in a search for corporate eLearning content. I began my instructional design masters with an eLearning emphasis with corporate training - specifically with the company I'm working for. Corporate eLearning is quickly becoming a major shareholder in the eLearning industry and I definitely see a need for it where I work. So corporate eLearning has been a theme of mine throughout this curriculum. Now I can examine it through the eyes of digital storytelling. For this icebreaker video I will evaluate the story, presentation and performance, and writing.


 The title of the video is Humorous Corporate Training Video and humorous it was. At least I could tell that was the intent. The video was found on a Youtube channel as part of a collection of corporate training icebreaker videos. Mr. Employee is sitting across from his boss' desk, Ms. Boss, and is asking for a raise. Ms. Boss informs Mr. Employee of the company's recent billion dollars in losses. Mr. Employee makes the case for his raise by siting various accomplishments that were intented to be irrelevant and humorous. Yet in the end, he makes his case and the raise is granted.

The story is simple and easy to follow. The animation is lower quality and the interaction between the characters is over-exaggerated but that is what makes the story funny. It works well as an icebreaker, especially for a corporate training class because it elicits laughter and warms the crowd to the topic. It's the digital form of an opening joke in a speech!

Presentation and Performance

 I already mentioned the low quality of the animation, robotic voice overs, and exaggerated gestures. However, put altogether the presentation and performance was well executed. Some viewers could be put off by its campiness but that goes to personal preference. If exaggeration is part of the humor then exaggerated animation is what sells the joke. It is perhaps not the funniest material out there but altogether it does the job of telling a joke and breaking the ice for a training.


The video was an animated production and clearly involved a script. The producers used robotic-like characters to run the dialogue which was one way of delivering the content. Live actors could have followed the same script and probably produced similar or even better results. I believe that's how we know that the writing was done well. It was a simple dialogue and was aided laugh / sound tracks much like a tv sitcom. For an icebreaker joke, the writing did the job!


  1. Hi Mike,
    It was a cute video. I agree with you that the video was designed to seem amateurish and silly as part of the humor. Actually it was professionally planned and executed, as you point out. Having just finished my audio assignment, I can see that a lot of work went into the audio effects.

    I actually thought the story, in terms of its narrative arc, was weak. Some jokes are effective stories, some jokes are just gags, and this was a gag. I agree with you about the presentation and writing, though, and you address these traits well.

    A final detail - why not embed the video in your post so it can be viewed directly? I do this in Blogger all the time. If you're not sure how, I'd be happy to help.

  2. What a fun video to critique! If only getting a raise were that easy, haha. I agree that this type of humorous video makes for a great icebreaker. Often when starting a job we are nervous and overwhelmed. Laughter helps with that.

    I think your critique on presentation and performance is far and agree that personal preference does come into play. For me, I'd rather watch something cheesy than some stiff and boring corporate video. It's more memorable, even if the video is low quality.

    PS: I don't know why my name defaults to "emily may photography!" I think I tried making that site years ago. I don't even remember... Either way, WP won't let me log with my actual site. So weird! It's only on blogger.