Map the Journey

In this lesson Vickie learned how to simplify or flesh out ideas and create a map to a happy place.

Creating a map is often called outlining, but Vickie found the idea of maps more useful.  When you have a clear map, it’s easier to guide your ideal learner to their happy place and make their life easier.

What’s a Map?

Creating a map basically means that you breakdown your message into smaller steps that you need to communicate to help your learner understand your training.  This helps you set the boundaries of what you’ll cover and what you’ll leave out.  There are three methods of creating a clear map:

  • Bullet points
  • Questions
  • A mind map

Method 1: Bullet points

A short list of bullet points is an easy way to structure your thoughts.  Each bullet point outlines a point you want to communicate.

To define your bullet points, ask yourself:

What points, tips, or resources do I need to communicate to help my learner reach their happy place?

For instance, Vickie wants to write a Modlette with 3 power point templates for financial presentations.  This Modlette will help her ideal learner, Karl, create better slides faster.  She’s noted down the following bullet points:

  • The benefits of templates
  • Template #1
  • Template #2
  • Template #3
  • How to use a template.

A series of bullet points gives a quick overview of the tips, steps, or resources you need to share in your Modlette to help your ideal learner reach their happy place.

Method 2: Tiny questions

I am a great fan of questions.  Some times a good Modlette can come from one tiny question.  I find it useful to define the tiny questions a Modlette will answer.

To outline a Modlette with questions ask yourself:

  Which tiny question do I need to answer to help my reader reach their happy place?

For instance, Vickie wants to create a Modlette about how to use simple drawings to engage her audience (even if she can’t draw).  In her Modlette, she wants to answer the following 3 questions:

  • What’s the power of simple drawings?
  • Why do simple visuals help sell our ideas?
  • How can you start drawing if you’re no artist.

Defining the what, why, and how as Vickie has done here, is often a good way to structure a Modlette.  But, of course, depending on your main idea, you can answer other quest6ions, too such as:

  • What’s the difference with (something else)?
  • What does science say about this?
  • What are the most common mistakes to avoid?
  • Where or when do you use this?
  • What are the exceptions?
  • Who does this best?
  • What is my own experience with this?

You don’t need to answer all these questions.  You only answer what your ideal learner needs to know to reach their happy place.

Next week:  Mind mapping and how to evaluate your outline.

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