When we use conversational content, the learner feels a connection with us.

We feel like we are getting to know him.  We start to connect and like him.

As trainers, we know this is our aim.  When we train face-to-face, we relax and a conversation occurs.

Why is it that when we write training text, we revert to secondary school grammar?

We know we need to write conversationally, but how?

I’ll show you how to write conversational training text by using these editing techniques.


1. Stop writing for everyone

Imagine the following objectives for a training . . .

“This training is for all of you who have contact with Customers.”

It sounds as if you are addressing a crowd, right?  The phrase “all of you” feels impersonal.

Now, let’s choose your favourite learner.  Imagine your biggest fan, she often gives feed-back on your Modlettes and even asks questions.  Even though you’ve never met, she’s a friend . . .

You feel there are times you would like to slap one of your Customers?”

A conversational tone helps learners feel like you’re addressing them personally.  As if you two are having a drink at a favourite coffee bar.

“I’m going to have a latte.  What would you like to drink”?


2.  Don’t write to impress

When you talk to your best friend, what kind of words do you use?

Do you try to impress with HR jargon?

Do you use complicated words?

Try to write conversationally, skip the gobbledygook and make your content more specific.  For instance, look at this copy:

  “When engaging the higher gear ratio in the product feed to achieve a relatively faster processing speed, take care to ensure that there is a required amount of raw product in the supply hopper.”

Now, here’s the conversational version:

Make sure you have enough material in the hopper before you speed up the process or you’ll damage the machine.


 3.   Add a piece of personality

Think about a friend who you are teaching how to use an app on their phone.  Why do you enjoy chatting to them?

It’s the small stories you share.  When you were teaching in the classroom you told stories to promote engagement.  Why stop when you are designing on-line.

If you only discuss your topic of expertise, you show yourself as a one-dimensional expert.  Boring eh?

Think about how you can inject your personality into your training in the same way as you do in your workshops.

  • Share the mistakes you have made so your learners can learn from them
  • Use a personal anecdote to make a point
  • Create your own style of metaphors.

When you sprinkle a little bit of yourself over your content, readers get to know you.


4.  Engage with Questions

Do you pose questions to encourage learners to discover?

Research has shown  (www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/jeopardy-effect.htm) that questions in tweets can get more than double the amount of clicks.  And what’s more, they can even boost your persuasiveness.

In his book “To Sell is Human” Daniel Pink explains that a question makes readers think – they process your message more intensely.  And when readers agree with you, your question is more persuasive than a statement.

Note the difference between:

You ought to include question marks, so your writing becomes more conversational


  Want to make your training more engaging?  Add a few questions.

Use these four editing techniques to ask yourself if your on-line training is as engaging as your face-to-face training.