Ideas To Strike A Conversational eLearning Tone
How to create engaging e-learning conversation content
How do you use dialogue-oriented eLearning without compromising professionalism? It started with complaints about teenagers using the word “like” as punctuation marks. It developed into media celebrities who renamed their unconventional diction to “uppeak” or “HRI”. They are now using it as an identity marker, with companionship and pride. You probably don’t want to make every statement sound like a question just to increase the eLearning engagement factor. However, you could benefit from loosening up the tone of your training materials to connect with your target audience. By speaking “the language of the people”, the training feels less like a stuffy textbook and more like a conversation among peers. This can make your trainees more receptive. You will understand and remember your coursework better.
5 insider tips for a conversational eLearning tone
1. Read your material aloud
This is general advice if you are working with scripts, but it can also apply to online training. Ask a colleague to read you your content. Close your eyes and just listen. Does it sound like the voice or a real person, or is it too mechanical? To make it even better, get someone you don’t work with on a daily basis to read. It should be “blind reading” where you don’t see the person beforehand. Try to get a mental picture of the reader based on their formulations (and not their voice).
What do you think they are wearing? What is your job title? Where did you go to school? These are all aural judgments, so they tell you what your phrase is expressing. Then if it’s too uptown or too mate, tweak it as needed. Use a thesaurus tool to replace any troubling words or phrases and scale them up or down as needed.
2. Choose the right aesthetic
A dialogic eLearning tone applies not only to the written word, but also to the audio and visual elements in your course. Like stories, for example. Choose your audio clips and animated characters carefully. You want to create characters that your trainees can identify with. But you have to be vigilant. Dress your characters according to their roles. Your wardrobe should be smart casual. Their appearance sets the tone before they speak a single word (or a single speech bubble pops up). Similarly, select appropriate voice overs. We can’t all be James Earl Jones, but it’s hard to take someone seriously when they sound like Mickey Mouse. The ‘casual’ ambience is conveyed by both the language quality and the choice of words. Think about the mood you want to convey, then choose a voice actor (and cloakroom options) to match.
3. Include more dialogues
When writing for a professional environment, we often fall into the trap of verbosity. We confuse professionalism with big, technical words. We use so much jargon that it sounds like a foreign language. Remember that the main goal is to communicate in a conversational eLearning tone. Don’t do this if your reader needs a dictionary for every third word. Another common mistake is sinking into “lecture mode” or making grandiose speeches. A quick fix is to review your material and turn the bulk of it into actual conversation.
Break up a monologue into a “discussion” of three or four characters. This creates a relationship that can add a more casual feel to your material. It breaks the information down into smaller blocks that are easier to remember. And it gives your content its context. This natural attitude helps to remember. So take a look at every suspicious block of text in your course and format it as a dialog. You could even present it as an SMS app exchange.
4. Get to know the voice of your learners
Clay is often a matter of perspective. While one person may think you are being too casual, another may find your tone “stubborn” or “superior”. For this reason, you need to get to know your study audience and determine their definition of a “conversational eLearning tone”. A variety of factors play a role, including their background, culture, and experience. For example, seasoned salespeople who are used to meeting customers can expect a more professional tone. A conversational tone that you would otherwise use would seem out of place or too personal.
5. Humor in small doses
Humor is a great way to lighten the mood and connect with your audience in a chatty eLearning tone. But you need to use it wisely so as not to cause offense or detract from your professionalism. For example, word games can make your content feel forced or “cheesy”. While too much sarcasm can put learners off and damage your brand image. The secret is to strike a balance and only use humor when the occasion demands it. Learners need to be able to relate to the trivial, which means that “inside jokes” are usually out. Unless it’s an industry-specific play on words that everyone understands. Avoid controversial humor that completely alienates certain members of your group. You want to create an all-encompassing learning environment. Not an online training course that will make them feel like they are being singled out in a comedy club.
It is possible to make your course more carefree with a conversational eLearning tone without risking professionalism. The trick is to use human language and conversational word choices. Instead, talk to or speak to your trainees. Be kind without being patronizing. Maintain decency at all times, but be authentic, direct and simple in your communication. You can achieve this balance by choosing the right speakers and reading your course aloud. Beware of “preaching” content that shows your range of technical vocabulary. Instead, convert your material into friendly dialogue that is easier to pick up.
One surefire way to hit the right note (and save time and money) is to hire a content creator to do the job for you. Use our free online directory to find the ideal outsourcing partner for your next project. You can also find world-class tool providers, voice actors, and translation service providers.
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