How Do You Make a Learner Feel You are Writing for Him or Her?

, , | Colin Dawson

Who do you write your learning dialogue for?

You can’t make everybody happy, trying to write for a mass audience is like trying to fill a swimming pool with an eye-dropper

So, let’s create an Ideal Learner profile so you can write more engaging texts. Then you can make your learners feel like you’re writing for them personally.

As if you were having a cosy chat in your favourite coffee bar.

Let’s talk about Daniella who has been asked to create an on-line training course on visual communication.  Daniella is a creative artist, she has a web design business, she makes illustrations, and she coaches business managers to communicate their ideas.

When Daniella writes, she thinks about the various people who will be taking her training Modlettes, the people she coaches, the people who buy her art; and she sometimes wonders if her fellow artists agree with her teachings.  She also can’t help thinking her high school teacher is watching to check she doesn’t make any grammar mistakes.

Daniella asked me for some advice to help her get started with her Modlettes.

And, the first thing I told Daniella is that her scatter gun approach doesn’t work when she tries to engage so many different people, she ends up engaging no one at all.  She has to make a choice.  Who is her most likely student? Who is most likely to take her course?

Daniella has interviewed her client who tells her that his biggest problem is that his managers (who he wants to be trained) fail to successfully communicate with their team members.  They are mostly technical people and often seem to speak a different language from their people.

Daniella decided she should speak to some of the managers to find out what they wanted out of the course . . . what their goals were.  She found that they wanted to create presentations that captivated their audience and that got their message across.  They wanted to create professional slides that made a lasting impression.  And they wanted their team to respect them.

When Daniella starts to storyboard her Modlettes, she imagines herself chatting to one of these managers over a cup of coffee together.

Why Does the Ideal Learner Profile Work?

Why should you have this one ideal learner?

First it helps select their key learning points.

Let’s average the managers Daniella spoke to and call the Ideal Learner, Nigel. Daniella now understands what Nigel is looking for, and she knows how to help him.

Next, she knows what kind of questions Nigel has about the topic so she can answer them in her Modlette.

Also, when she wants to use examples to illustrate learning points, she can select examples that resonate with Nigel.  That makes it easier for Nigel to understand and implement her advice.

Lastly writing for one learner helps Daniella write in a more human, more engaging voice.  She’s not addressing a faceless crowd.  Instead, she’s writing as if she can pick up the phone and talk to Nigel.

Nigel may be an imaginary reader, but he feels real to Daniella.

When we write on-line learning we need to load as much interpersonal connection as we can to engage our learners.

And to do this we must personally feel who we are connecting with.

Make your Modlettes feel like you are having a cosy chat in your favourite coffee bar.

Take the free trial at www.modlettes.com

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