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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.

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