Localizing International Training Materials

Category: International Business, Multimedia

What will your international employees encounter on their first day of training? Will a PowerPoint deck suffice? Or will you use a blend of webinars and eLearning tools? This is one of the topics we addressed in our Q3 newsletter article on taking your training materials global. Here, let’s examine four options ranging from the basic to the complex:

PowerPoint presentations: Straightforward and inexpensive, PowerPoints are ubiquitous when it comes to international training. While less immersive than other formats, PowerPoint also presents fewer technical challenges. Text expansion is occasionally a problem, especially when presenting material in German, French and Spanish. Reducing English source material and providing more “whitespace” to handle this expansion is a good strategy. Also remember: Embedded multimedia and images need to be adapted to your target cultures.

ELearning: A cloud-based learning management system (LMS) gives your training program global reach in a cost-efficient and scalable format. The primary caveats? Know in advance how robust your LMS is when it comes to multilingual support and be ready to adapt the interface for shifts in user interface norms across cultures.

Video: Video makes an impact, but training videos with high-production values present some of the greatest multimedia localization challenges. Re-recording audio and synchronizing onscreen action with narration can drive up costs, though dubbing or subtitling can provide a more cost-effective alternative. To reduce studio time, spend time preparing your video files and script in advance.

Webinars and instructor-led training (ILT): Highly effective in training, webinars and ILT require native facilitators to moderate or lead training sessions. With this approach, you’ll still ned to localize webinar content and any in-person training materials.

For more info on these points, or guidance on adapting training content for local cultures, read the full newsletter article or contact us today.