Good training empowers your audience. It helps them achieve a new state, they become more skillful, more resourceful, more knowledgeable. Good training provides usable and useful information that supports your audience development and ability to solve tasks and problems in a more efficient way. Good training fulfills a purpose, it has a reason to exist. It can engage and inspire your audience to take action or to change a behavior to improve their performance.

But, what do we need to create training that really fulfills a purpose? Many times, it is so easy to get lost in all the content we want to share and pre-selected tools and platforms that we forget to ask a very important question: What do I really want to accomplish with this training? Or better yet, What I want my audience to accomplish through this training? Missing out the purpose and the audience of training materials is a problem that I see over and over again. In this post, I will go through three key steps to start outlining a user-centered and purposeful training content strategy.

Step 1: Identify your main purpose

You start with a purpose, not with the content. And your purpose should be clear, concise and tangible. “I want learners to know this content” is too vague. But, “I want learners to experiment with real world scenarios to be able to address issue X in a more effective manner” makes it much easier to organize your content around this objective and keep it relevant throughout the training (Cathy Moore, 2017).

Step 2: Understand and connect with your audience

Defining your purpose depends a lot on a deep understanding of your target audience’s needs, interests and challenges.

A detailed description of your target audience will help you create content around their needs and also, create strong connections with them. This will make training more memorable and useful at the end.

Step 3: Select your content wisely

Once you have identified your purpose and you have gained a deep understanding of your audience, the third step is to select and organize your content.

Don’t think that everything is essential because it is not. Trying to make all your content fit slide after slide is a big mistake. Only the information that answers the key questions about your purpose and your audience is the information that the learners will need.

Bonus: Choose the right tools and channels but only after steps 1, 2 and 3

We cannot select our tools before identifying the purpose and the audience. Technical requirements and the technology available for the project are important considerations but they may impose constraints when designing a training solution. Focus on the purpose and the audience first and only then, choose the tool(s) and the channel(s) that can help you design the best solution for them.

When you implement an effective training content strategy, you follow a clear plan to achieve a goal. You start by questioning your content with a clear purpose and with your audience in mind. In this way, every piece of content fits into the plan, contributes to a specific aim and caters for your audience’s needs.

 

If you need further analysis and guidance to start your training content strategy, simply click the button below. I’ll schedule a free session with you to go over your training materials and help you identify areas for improvement.