Determine Why They Want It: You have to make it clear to the audience why they would want the items on your agenda. Knowing why creates desire—the motivation to stay in their seats and crave every word you have to say. If you can highlight why they want this material and you’re able to provide that before, during, and after class, you have an audience who wants to be there.
Research Teaching Strategies: There are many different teaching strategies that a trainer can choose from in order to deliver new content to trainees. Which teaching strategy you choose depends on multiple factors, including the learning styles and the abilities of your trainees, as well as the content to be taught.
Research Teaching Tools: It is not possible to target all learning styles all of the time, but it is possible to target all learning styles in every topic at some point. It is very important that every learning style be addressed in each topic. If you have chosen a primary teaching strategy that does not address all four learning styles, it is your responsibility to incorporate tools that will address those remaining styles.
Select the Right Strategies and Tools: Your teaching strategies and teaching tools should be varied enough to accommodate all four learning styles. You can vary your teaching strategies every twenty to sixty minutes or use supplemental teaching tools to target learners that the main strategy doesn’t address when used exclusively. Here’s a general rule of thumb.
Make it Real to Them: Do you teach any classes with material that is just plain and dry? Maybe you have a lot of technical content. This is your chance to have fun with the class. It’s time to give you the opportunity to make class more enjoyable for both the trainers and the participants. When you do this, you will make your instructors more credible and your end user workflows more authentic. In the end, this will build your credibility as a writer and an instructor.
This program is the solution to easy curriculum design and production. The following techniques will show you that writing can be simple and easy. It can actually be easy to get over the design hump and produce amazing training curriculum. Once you learn this process, it will become much easier to meet your goals. Eventually, it might even become fun. You may want to start “upping the ante” and working with more and more challenging projects.
You have to make it clear to the audience why they would want the items on your agenda. Knowing why creates desire—the motivation to stay in their seats and crave every word you have to say. If you can highlight why they want this material and you’re able to provide that before, during, and after class, you have an audience who wants to be there.
This chapter represents the unique element of your training: when you tell them the “whys.” When they have their why, you get their buy-in. What’s unique about my approach is it gives you an understanding of how to create desire and work with it to compel your audiences to listen and learn. Telling them what you’ll give them isn’t nearly as important as making sure they know why they would find it valuable. Oddly, when I ask, “Why would your audience want the takeaways that you’re offering them?,” most trainers don’t have a ready answer.
Once you’ve created your lesson hooks, it’s time to keep track of them. Your goal is to have all of the hooks you create in one central place so that when you produce your actual classroom materials, they are easy to find and put into place.
You can do this quickly and easily using the Curriculum Design Spreadsheet you created in chapter 3. Simply copy and paste each of your lesson hooks into the blue cell under the column “hooks” and in the row that corresponds to each lesson. You can see an example of my hook for lesson 1 of class pasted into the Curriculum Design Spreadsheet for this class.
It’s your turn to create lesson hooks for your class.
Step One: If you haven’t done so in chapter one, identify the pain points and pleasure points of your audience by interviewing one to three people using the following questions:
What are your biggest concerns or worries?
What are the biggest challenges you have with those areas?
What are the problems they are causing?
What is your ideal outcome?
What would getting that outcome do for you?
Step Two: Use the answers you received from the interview above to summarize how each of your lessons relieves the pain points and enhances the pleasure points of your target audience.
Step Three: Define how each of your lessons offers your audience more happiness, success, and/or freedom.
Step Four: Using the data you collected in steps 1-3 above, write your lesson hooks for your class. Remember, the lesson hooks each have three main components:
Why will they be more happy, successful, and/or free?
How will you offer them the why above?
One sentence that starts with one of the following:
o “I’m going to show you . . .”
o “I’m going to each you . . .”
o “You’re about to learn . . .”
o “I’m going to offer you . . .”
Step Four: Add each of your lesson hooks to your Curriculum Design Spreadsheet.
Once you have the hooks for each lesson, you can create the main hook for the entire class. Just as the class title is a summary of your lessons, the class hook is a summary of your lesson hooks. Find it this way.
Once you have created your lesson hooks, you’re ready to create the agenda and the takeaways for the class. While this process is actually very simple, it’s important for you to understand the difference between the agenda and the takeaways for your class and when you would use each of them later on.
Imagine the time you and your end users will save when your classes are able to hit all the different learning styles completely the first time. You won’t have to circle back and retrain people again. Discovering the right teaching strategies for your content will save you a ton of time because your class will be successful from the very first time it’s trained.
There are many different teaching strategies that a trainer can choose from in order to deliver new content to trainees. Which teaching strategy you choose depends on multiple factors, including the learning styles and the abilities of your trainees, as well as the content to be taught.
There are four learning styles that individuals use to absorb new information. Each learner tends to be naturally good at learning and teaching in one or two of these styles. Thus, the goal of all good trainers and curriculum writers is to learn to center oneself so that you can learn to teach and write to all four styles of learning, even if you aren’t comfortable with a certain style.
Individual activities are any activities that can be done in class where each individual trainee works on the activity on his own. Below, you’ll see three examples of individual activities you can use to enhance learning for each learning style, based on the tasks and objectives of the course you teach.
Jason and the group fill in the grid in the activity on page 160. We also take a deeper dive into Information Synthesis.
The Information Synthesis strategy is an individual strategy that teaches new material by having trainees research lesson objectives and then synthesize that information. Trainees will complete reading, in-system exploration, visual aids, and etch-a-sketches, and synthesize that material by answering questions and participating in a discussion after the activity. This keeps trainees active and engaged, as well as enables them to learn more challenging objectives in an independent activity format.
Group activities are any activities that require a group of trainees (or the entire
class) to complete. They typically have a group discussion and/or roles that are
required of each group to complete the activity.
Praise and encouragement are important ways to establish and maintain rapport with your learners, but only when used correctly. In order to understand how praise and encouragement work, or fail, with a learner, it is best for you to experience them firsthand.
As a group, research the top-three group activities you could use for your next class.
Jason and the group review the Compare and Contrast, Circle of Knowledge and Concept Attainment Activities.
Think of this activity as an individual Step-by-Step done with partners.
The Partner Guide activity is a guided exercise that presents new information to trainees who work together as partners. One person is the guide and uses only the workbook, and the other is the follower, using only the software or other materials. If it’s done in an EMR software system, for example, the pair shares one patient and login to complete the activity.
The guide reads the instructions in the exercise to the follower and provides the follower with additional clues and feedback as the follower uses the software. The roles of follower and guide should be switched with each new goal or exercise subsection.
Does your lesson target all four types of learners? How can you ensure all four styles are targeted? Teaching tools are powerful ways to supplement your lesson and make a bigger impact on your audience, especially if they are of a learning style that is not commonly addressed by the strategy selected for the lesson.
It is not possible to target all learning styles all of the time, but it is possible to target all learning styles in every topic at some point. It is very important that every learning style be addressed in each topic. If you have chosen a primary teaching strategy that does not address all four learning styles, it is your responsibility to incorporate tools that will address those remaining styles.
One of the best ways to keep students engaged also happens to be a great way to make them feel you wrote the training just for them. It’s referring back to the hooks that captivated them in the first place. This is also a great way to re-engage your trainees when they start “drifting.”
It’s your turn to research engagement tools. Select a lesson for which you want to improve engagement in one of your classes.
Step One: Create reference hooks for your lesson, using the steps below:
Find your class hook and lesson hook you created in lesson 7.
Write down three statements or questions you could make as you teach one of your lessons that refers back to the class hook.
Write down two statements or questions you could make as you teach one of your lessons that refers back to the lesson hook.
Step Two: Write down two recall questions you will ask in that lesson to engage your trainees.
Step Three: Write down one or two expertise questions you will ask in that lesson to engage your trainees.
Step Four: Write down two relevance questions you will ask in that lesson to engage your trainees.
Once your trainees are engaged, the next step is to ensure they are following along with what you are saying. If they aren’t engaged, they can’t follow along. If they aren’t following along, they can’t understand key concepts (which we will cover in the next section). This section of this lesson discusses three key tools to keep trainees following along with you, the workbook, the system, and the material being taught.
It’s your turn to research follow-along tools. Select a lesson that you want to improve the follow-along in for one of your classes.
Step One: Create visual aids for your lesson, using the steps below:
Decide for one of your lessons when you would like to go to the board and when you would like to use PowerPoint or a sticky note and what key visual aids you will use for each.
Decide how you will use the big picture in both your class and that particular lesson.
Step Two: Write down three directional statements you will use in that lesson.
Step Three: Write down when you will use the buddy system in your lesson to keep the trainees following along.
In Bloom’s Taxonomy, a classification of learning objectives, synthesis is defined as “compiling information in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.”
To get trainees to understand key concepts in your class, you need to get synthesis. There are three ways to do it quickly and effectively: leading questions, etch-a-sketch, and the “agree and see if you’re right” technique.
It’s your turn to research understanding tools. Choose one lesson from one of your classes for which you want to improve understanding.
Step One: Write down two leading questions you will ask in that lesson to get synthesis for your trainees.
Step Two: Write down etch-a-sketches for your lesson, using the steps below:
Create an important, but not hard to understand, etch-a-sketch that you want to tell your trainees to write down in class.
Take a moment and think of a challenging concept you teach in your class. Then, create a question from the list of choices in this section of the lesson that you can ask your trainees to answer in a “write-it-down box” that will help them understand that concept.
Step Three: Create an “agree and see if you’re right” for your lesson, using the steps below:
Write down one directional to a leading question you will ask to begin the “agree and see if you’re right” with your trainees.
Write down the words you will use to tell them to agree with the person next to them on the answer, and assign them a relayer.
Write down the words you will use to go over the answer with the class to see if they’re right.
We’ve covered teaching tools to engage trainees, keep them following along, and help them understand concepts. Now, it’s time to find out if they got all the information. These are called assessment tools, and there are three key players: benchmark checks, oral reviews, and independent assessments.
In the last two lessons, you learned that the method a trainer uses to deliver new information to trainees is called a teaching strategy. There are many different teaching strategies that a curriculum writer or trainer can choose from in order to deliver new content to trainees. Which teaching strategy you choose should depend on multiple factors, including the learning styles and the abilities of your trainees, as well as the content to be taught.
Once you have selected the teaching strategy(s) you would like to use for your lesson, it’s time to add it to your Curriculum Design Spreadsheet. Doing so will help you later on when it’s time to create the actual workbook and lesson plans for your lesson(s).
Once you have selected the appropriate teaching strategy(s) for your lesson, the next step is to supplement it with any teaching tools that you need to ensure your lesson targets all four learning styles.
Once you’ve completed the above sections for each of your lessons, you want to go back through each lesson for your class and ensure you have a good balance of lecture and activities.
Inserting relevant stories into your instructional design allows the curriculum to come alive for the learners. It gives them a chance to relate to someone who has gone through the same thing that the learner expects to go through. That someone may be a patient, a client, an end user, a leader, an administrator, a co-worker, or a peer who builds empathy for the learner.
Too many trainings are boring. They lack engagement for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest is that the learners can’t apply what they are being taught. Why are these classes so boring? The answer is that they don’t have “what now” examples that the learners can use tomorrow in their lives.
Almost every instructional designer wants to know how to write to get a laugh out of an audience. They want to know how to “liven up” technical content in such a way that you’re not just showing You-Tube videos (etc.) How do you “spice it up” while still remaining focused on the content at hand so that it is still a learning opportunity?
I want to make this point: People don’t laugh because something is funny. They laugh because they’re feeling good. And they don’t feel good until they feel safe. To make your audience laugh, you need to learn how to write so that the trainer can have fun with the learners in the trainer’s own personal presentation style.
You have already created your curriculum structural design in sessions 1-6 of this program. That includes your roles, modules, lessons (tasks), subtasks, and teaching objectives. It’s time to make sure your spreadsheet is completely aligned with exactly how you would like to lay out the curriculum structural design of your courses.
You have already created your curriculum teaching design in sessions 7-11 . That includes your class hooks, lesson hooks, teaching strategies, teaching tools, stories, “what now” examples, and fun things. It’s time to make sure your spreadsheet is completely aligned with exactly how you would like to lay out the curriculum teaching design of your courses.
Recall the primary reason trainers have problems with pacing is they haven’t done enough advanced planning. You may also recall that in session 6, you estimated the time it would take to complete each lesson, activity, etc. At the time, you didn’t have all the data you needed to estimate perfectly. It was just a placeholder estimate to help you plan later on.
Now that you have finalized the curriculum teaching design in phase two, you can use your newfound teaching strategies and tools for each lesson and the objectives in that lesson to fine-tune the time duration of each lesson and module. We will be updating those course timelines in this section of this chapter.
Jason Teteak knows what it takes to Rule the Room. The master trainer and speaking presentation teacher has taught more than 50,000 people how to flawlessly command attention.
He’s won praise and a wide following for his original methods, his engaging style, and his knack for transferring communications skills via practical, simple, universal, and immediately actionable techniques.
Jason first made a reputation in the medical training industry, where he was known as “the presentation coach and trainer who trains the trainers.” Teteak’s attention to detail and precision in communicating definitive information was honed in serving this lifesaving industry.
In response to many requests, he began to offer personalized services and quickly developed a following as a private coach and a consultant whose clientele includes elite institutions, universities, and top corporate executives.
His new book, Rule the Room, was recently published in the summer of 2013. He has developed more than fifty presentation and communication training programs ranging in length from one hour to three days that serve as the basis for this unique, practical, and comprehensive course.