Ever wonder how to get people inspired by your training? The answer lies in the effectiveness of your materials, including handouts, videos, and presentations. Making these assets exciting for learners helps to capture their interest and create a fun learning environment.
The creation of such an environment is where Stella Collins, author of Neuroscience for L&D, is lending a helping hand.
In a recent webinar with Mimeo, Collins discusses the Brain Hacks you can use to make your learning materials more effective. A Brain Hack is anything that affects or changes the mental state, cognitive processes or levels of function in your learners. Using these can help you reach the minds of your audience on a memorable level.
How do we affect the mental state of our audience for their learning journey? As founder of the Brain Friendly Learning Group, Collins employs these 6 tactics to help training material stick to learners in a way it never has before:
Humans are used to learning and moving at the same time. As time has gone on, however, we have started to move less. Despite our best efforts, we have yet to become pure modern learners due to our lack of movement.
Trying to incorporate movement and exercise into your journey is important to the development and memory of your learners. Anything that helps them to stand up, walk around, and group together encourages them to move and puts them in a mental state where they are ready to receive information.
When you’re curious, you want to know more. Piquing the interest of your audience will keep them entrenched in your topic and have them interested in learning more.
To promote curiosity, try one of the following methods:
- Start with a story without giving away the ending
- Take part in a research activity
- Read an article and have group discussion
Giving learners a chance to discover information for themselves provokes their curiosity to come out and will result in a greater opportunity for them to learn.
Context is king. Our brains can remember more of what we learn based on environment, meaning trainers must help replicate the environments where the material can be applied.
By completing tasks in a replicated work environment, learners can retain knowledge easier. Next time you instruct a class, try enhancing the learning experience by doing your best to create a work scenario where they would need to apply their knowledge to fix a real issue.
Distraction is not the same as attention. What you might think is capturing the attention of your audience is actually distracting them from what you’re trying to teach.
To get proper attention, ensure that you use neutral colors in the background of your presentation (to contrast the font in the foreground), refrain from using italics and underlining words, and use easy-to-read font. These will help your learners take in information easier.
One of the best ways to make your learning stick is to incorporate multisensory language that creates strong memory hooks for your learners.
For example, if you give someone a list of words, they are not likely to remember most of them. However, if you include images, noises, or color to connect with those words, that person is more likely to commit some of the words to memory.
Take the time to create detailed and easy-to-read language on your presentation and handouts to improve the opportunity for your learners to take in all available information.
Consider the written content your learners will be viewing in your class. Lowercase writing tends to be easier to process, while uppercase writing requires more concentration.
In relation to the type of font you’re using, make sure to write using lowercase words to help your learners and shape your content in the best way possible.
Anyone can lose an audience’s attention when they ramble for too long. But by incorporating these tactics, you can get learners excited about your materials and help the information stick to their brains like glue.