Sometimes, the thought of writing induces a nasty headache.
You want to do anything else; tidy your desk, take the dog for a walk, read yesterday’s newspaper. Forget about writing content for your Modlette ‘till later.
But you know your client is anxious to get this compliance programme out to his people.
And you’ve promised to meet a deadline.
How can you construct an enticing introduction and get your creative juices flowing?
Follow this 5-step process to vet your ideas and turn a few measly words into a solid start that your audience will feel good about getting started into a compliance learning programme.
Step 1: Vet your idea
Before you start writing, ask yourself:
Is this topic helpful for my audience?
Am I helping them in their work?
I needed to write a Modlette on safety rules in the office. I decided this could be a useful subject for people who generally did not give much thought to where there were dangers in the office. Most of us become very blasé about rules governing safety where there don’t appear to be threats.
I decided it could be a valuable training because I didn’t think I was the only one fed up with following rules I did not understand.
However, through this Modlette I could boost your confidence as a responsible team member by explaining why rules are important.
Never write instructional material just for the sake of adding another subject to your library. Always aim to help your audience.
Step 2 : Add substance
To create the “safety in the office” Modlette I had to work out how I could create a valuable passage of learning from a rule like:
Observe the proper placement of all electrical, telephone and computer cables.
In a few more sentences I could explain the rules and why you should not break them. But that would be superficial and dull.
To make this exercise more interesting and bring the rule to life, I added before and after pictures that showed first a jumble of cables and then how the area had been cleared by using cable ties for neatness.
Examples are your secret weapon on getting your learning message across. They add substance and meaning. They make your learning practical. They even show that you know what you are talking about.
Step 3: Sprinkle a dash of fun
Because compliance training can be black and white and no shades of grey, I decided a metaphor might add a dash of fun. To dream up a metaphor about safety rules, I thought about other rules that we are more familiar with. Then I came up with road rules. We all need to know about these in everyday life.
I used this metaphor to liken road rules to rules in the office.
“Traffic rules help us drive (or cycle or walk) both safer and faster. We can anticipate what others will do. We know when it’s our turn to cross safely. We avoid chaos on the road.
Office safety rules are similar. They exist to avoid confusion, so everybody observes the same attitudes and practices in running a safe office.”
Step 4: Entice people into your training
The aim of your opening statements is to get people excited about your topic.
And the best way to do that?
Explain the problem your Modlette solves, and promise a solution.
“Did you know that the office hides 100 hidden dangers. Today we talk about these and how easy it is to avoid them. Okay”
When you highlight a problem that strongly resonates with your learners, they get eager to read on.
Step 5: Don’t let your Modlette fizzle out
Inspire your learners to act on your advice. Give them a pep talk on the importance of following up on your solution to their problem.
Remind learners of what matters and why they should follow your advice. A useful training programme that is not put into action is like an exciting book that is never opened. Be a mentor to your audience, and fire them up to implement your advice.