Compelling is not the same as compulsory
Meet Meili. She has been working for three months on a 4-hour e-learning programme that teaches employees how to use her organisation’s new CRM system. So far the only people who have used the programme are those for whom it was made mandatory. Other employees have gravitated instead to a collection of quick and dirty software demos produced by an enthusiastic user of the system.
And here’s Paul. He made a video recording of a one-hour presentation he gave at a recent conference and then made it available online. To date, 100 people have accessed the video, but only one has watched it through. Paul suspects that was him. In contrast some 5000 people have read an entertaining account of the presentation, posted by a blogger who was in the audience.
And finally here above is Stephanie. She produced a 2-minute animated video that clearly explained a scientific theory that for most people had been impenetrable. The video went viral and Stephanie was elevated to star status.
You have competition
There is a lot of content out there competing for our attention:
- 100 million YouTube videos
- 5 million English language articles on Wikipedia
- 5 billion web pages
- 25 million songs on iTunes
- 14000 films on Netflix
Clearly we can’t consume more than a tiny fraction of all this. We’ve become adept at ignoring content that isn’t compelling, in our personal lives and at work.
To get attention your learning content needs to be compelling. This isn’t achieved by magic, just focused thinking and hard work.
The six characteristics
That’s six characteristics that you can apply to videos, articles, blog posts, screencasts, slide shows, podcasts, tutorials and interactive scenarios. Characteristics that will help you to cut through the noise, hold your learner’s attention and make a difference.
On to the first characteristic: a compelling concept