It’s like speed dating. You have less than a minute to get the audience engaged in your modlette from the beginning. So the initial steps are the most important for any learning event. You need to answer the following questions in these steps to ensure that the learners stay on:
- What is in the modlette for me?
- How will it help me?
- Are the content and delivery right for me?
- Is it interesting?
These questions need to be answered in the most effective manner in the first two minutes. If you can achieve this, you have gained the trust and interest of your audience and your efforts are justified.
How can we achieve this? A picture is worth a thousand words
Pictures are a powerful medium to hook a learner. Use powerful and relevant images to make your point. Your opening page gives you the option to use a strong background image; also to introduce the title of the modlette and a description to answer the first two questions.
You then have the option of using moving pictures in video, slide deck, image and quiz. In your initial pictures to engage the learner, try not to use obvious images. For example, if you are talking about compliance, the obvious choice would be to use pictures or signs that signify rules. Avoid the obvious. You could use a picture of an individual behind bars to show that non-compliance may have consequences. This can engage by “shock factor”.
These days’ people are less engaged by stock photos and more interested in images created in their own workplace. The use of “home grown” images both still and video is greatly increased by the ease with which they can be included in the modlette.
- Create a story
Stories create an emotional connect. It is the best way to engage an audience irrespective of their age. Use a story that is relevant to your learner. Personalise it, but keep it succinct. Try using an avatar to present the story and later use it to guide the learner through the modlette.
Don’t forget that if you use the storytelling technique for your introduction, then you have to tie it up with the subject matter at the end.
- Use a video
Starting a modlette with a video is an interesting idea. Get the help of one of your subject matter experts who is known to introduce your modlettes on video. Learners often respond better to experts. They may get the required boost of motivation when successful people in authority tell them how they can benefit from the course.
Once you have engaged your learner at the beginning don’t lose sight of the importance of keeping this excitement up during the rest of the presentation.