How to Touch Your Learner's Heart

Do you ever feel that your writing for learning is missing an essential spark?

Do you every feel that the passion you felt in the classroom is missing in your eLearning?

I have included the key points from my classroom teaching in my eLearning script,

But something is missing . . .

Then I realised, the best writing is personal; it’s written from the heart . . . even in training.

When you write from your true person your unique voice shines through, and your messages resonate more strongly with your learners.

The idea of writing from the heart used to feel alien to me

Isn’t it a bit woozy?

I’m writing a training module, not a memoir or a personal letter so why should I write from my heart?

As a trainer, I’ve learned to set my training objectives, and then decide how to achieve those objectives.

When I started designing eLearning, I shared key information in a text book style.

And something was missing . . .

I imagined my training was wearing a business suit, not my faded favourite jeans.

There was no soul in the text.

As I became more involved in eLearning, I have realised that the best writing is personal.

Personal writing can mean sharing your own experiences.  When you tell the stories only you can tell, your unique voice shines through.  Successful classroom trainers are renowned for the way their personal stories are linked to the key points they want their learners to take away.

So, get out of your head and write from the heart.

Over time I have learned to worry less about my professional image.

I’ve let go of the shiny mask of the perfect pro (that I thought I was once).

And, now and then, I allow myself to be vulnerable in my writing for learning.  I share some of my doubts and some of my mistakes. I feel sure my written training today is more engaging because there is more of my personal experience woven into it.

Here are three thoughts to share . . .

(1) Dare to be different

Different is better than better”  – Sally Hogshead.

This means letting your own personality shine through:

  • Follow your curiosity to create your own unique mix of ideas
  • Share your experiences and personal stories
  • Find your own voice

Training is a conversation with your learners, so don’t just focus on yourself.  When you share your ideas and experiences, also think about your learners:  What’s in it for them?

(2) Take off the mask of perfect professional

Perfect professionals are boring, just like robots lack a sparkling personality.

Our quirks, flaws and eccentricities make us human, and more interesting.  So why hide our imperfections?

(3) Write with the door closed

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open” – Stephen King

Closing the door doesn’t need to be a physical act.  It’s a mental state, a choice to focus on your learning design and forget the world around you.

If you allow your inner critic to take over, she’ll kill your voice and suck the energy out of your writing.

So, write from the heart.

Dare to be different.  Dare to be YOU.

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