On the assumption that you’re not an artist or a video producer (the ones I know don’t do a lot of reading), let’s concentrate for a moment on the verbal channel.
We’re talking words.
Back in 2008, Cathy Moore advised us to Dump the Drone. What she meant was that we should write like human beings and not professors or lawyers.
Why do so many talented designers leave their personalities at home when they set about creating learning materials?
Probably because they believe that is what their bosses and clients expect. Something safe, non-controversial, corporate and impersonal.
No jokes, no anecdotes, no practical examples. Nothing for the elephants at all.
Believe it or not, learning content is written for learners – everyone else just gets in the way. And learners want material that engages, enthuses and explains.
As a general rule:
- use a friendly, conversational tone
- use simple words (if you must use jargon with which your audience may be unfamiliar, then explain it clearly)
- limit paragraphs to a single point
- use the active voice (the passive voice is hated by More Than Blended)
- use lists like this (but not too long nor too often)
- if you’re writing for voiceover, then write like you speak
- keep it brief (edit, edit and then edit again)
And we’d better act fast, because it seems the corporate drones are getting to our children …
A shoe was lived in by an old woman there was
What to do was not known, so many children were had by her
Some broth without bread was given to them
They were all whipped soundly and sent to their beds