There is nothing less engaging than page after page of bulky text, especially in training materials. There is so much pertinent information to convey, and it seems that pages of text are the best way to share. However, sometimes the text is so overwhelming to your learners that you lose their attention and engagement between the lines.
It’s a sort of conundrum; how can you ensure that your learners have absorbed all of the information they need, without losing their interest? The answer is easy yet difficult- make it more compelling! But how?
Try these six different ways to break up your text-heavy corporate training materials to make them easier for your learners to absorb.
- Utilize the power of white space and bulleting. When you feel like you have so much to say, it can be hard to follow this rule. But using white space is vital to a well-organized and readable document. White space allows your learners to get breaks between chunks of content, so they can absorb and move on. It also makes your documents look less intimidating. A page that runs on without any break in the text can make your readers anxious and disengaged. Bulleting is an excellent way to incorporate whitespace when you’re making a list, offering steps, or showcasing key points.
- Add multimedia to the text. Mixing in audio and video with your text is a refreshing way to break it up and keep the content interesting. It allows your learners to switch gears from reading to listening or watching, and that can give them the break they need in between the text. Of course, multimedia is only an option for a digital delivery of corporate training materials, but it’s worth it to help your learners retain your content.
- Make it interactive. In areas of your materials where you know you need a lot of text, mix it up by adding interactive elements. Make it interactive with quizzes or assessments, open discussions or debates, and group work that applies the key takeaways of the content. Interactivity, like multimedia, gives your trainees a break from the monotonous text and allows them actually to apply what they read.
- Use strategic keywords throughout your training materials. With any piece of writing, it is important to use the same keywords repeatedly to drive home your main points. Same goes with your training content. If you are using the same set of keywords, your readers will notice and better grasp your main points. Use text enhancements like bolding or highlighting to reinforce the significance of the keywords. Doing that also breaks up the text and resonates better overall with your learners.
- Focus on the visuals. Images, charts, tables, infographics and other visual additions help nail the main points and simultaneously break up pages of text. It also adds a sense of curiosity to your learners and encourages them to read more about what the image or visual is portraying. Visuals are a great place to put important statistics/data and to drive your primary keywords and key points home. Visuals make your content more appealing and less intimidating.
6. Enable search for your training materials. To help your learners dial in on what they need to know, it is essential to make your content ready for searching. Your learners might not recall everything the first time they read it, so wouldn’t it make more sense to provide them with the ability to search for the answer to their questions right when they need it? Enabling search turns your training materials into a living reference guide for your trainees to consult whenever they need to. It's a great way to break up text and allow your learners to hone in on your main ideas.
Nobody wants to read an uninterrupted chunk of text. It’s disengaging and monotonous, and it can discourage your learners and limit knowledge retention. Break your text up with these tips, remember the main points you want your learners to absorb, and above all, keep it simple and concise.
Sources: “5 Tips to Deal with Text-Heavy Learning Content Infographic” by William Carey K, blogcommlabindia.com