Let’s admit it.
Writing style matters. It is especially critical for high quality and engaging microlearning lessons.
It is also the most misunderstood design principle.
A great concept can get totally washed away with poor writing style. That’s why writing requires conscious effort to work! Writing is an art, and must be nurtured with the right framework and practice.
This can get even more challenging when writing for a microlearning scenario, where you get just a few minutes to make your point. So, your content needs to be very slick, informal, and impactful.
Writing style influences all your microlearning content – be it a video, podcast, animation, voice over, short simulation, or infographic. In this article, we’ll learn about writing a smart script, and the importance of using active voice in the script.
Let’s get started…
Basics of Writing a Smart Script
Once you have decided on the content and know your subject matter well, writing a script should be easy. Instead, it sometimes becomes even more challenging. Questions like what to include or exclude make things worse.
3 tips to make it easy:
- Keep to the point. Don’t make it too wordy. Extra words cause clutter and hide your real message.
- Don’t try to impress your audience with heavy vocabulary. Use simple words to explain hard to understand concepts.
- Include only ‘need to know’ information, and remove all ‘nice to know’ information. Keep it short and simple!
This means putting in extra efforts to trim your words, and to do it deliberately!
Here are a few examples of wordy versus smart (crisp) phrases:
|Wordy phrases||Smart phrases|
|Book in advance||Pre-book|
|It’s not necessarily a pre-requisite||It’s not needed|
|List down all the tasks you need to do||make a checklist|
|It’s your discretionary call based on common sense||Go with your gut|
|Accomplish your tasks effectively and efficiently||Do it right, do it well|
The 3-Step Writing Technique
This technique helps you to write awesome content that engages the learner and facilitates learning.
Overview • Drilldown • Example
This technique makes it easier to nail your training objectives, whether they are to supplement, reinforce, augment, or remediate. As I said, give your learner only need to know information. Also, support your core message with examples only when needed. Don’t force-fit an example if it’s not needed. Sometimes, the drill-down is good enough to get the message across.
Given here is the 3-step concept followed by an example.
3-step-Outline-the concept and example
|This is your first step to ‘setting it up’. It’s an overview statement- the broadest statement to your content. Think well, keep it simple.||Here you elaborate and share specifics. Your make your point(s). Elaborating makes your overview clearer.||A relevant example puts a perspective to the Drilldown. Learner gets to understand the context better. Give an example if the Drilldown demands.|
An Example- Selling a premium electric car using closing sales technique
|Using Summary and Assumptive close techniques is a great way to sell your premium electric car quickly.||Using summary Close, highlight previously agreed points: Create an impressive package, relterate the features and benefits.Using Assumptive Close, use phrases assuming your customer is ready to move forward and buy!||So, with this car you get- an impressive battery range, massive savings on gas, a dependable charging network, futuristic features, unbeatable luxury, ultimate driving pleasure, it’s eco- friendly, and a status symbol that’s a big bonus.(8 points)So, what’s your color? Will check delivery dates for you.|
|Tracking Levels||Measures obtained knowledge and upgraded skills. Describes progression towards learning goals.||Measures obtained knowledge and upgraded skills. Describes progression towards learning goals.|
|Storytelling||Gives the background, context and purpose.||Gives the background, context and purpose.|
|Aspects of Socialization||Fosters a sense of belonging and upholds contribution. Provides a sense of purpose to efforts.||Fosters a sense of belonging and upholds contribution. Provides a sense of purpose to efforts.|
In this example, microlearning is being used to supplement the primary training and also to remediate – to improve the ‘closing sales technique’ of a salesperson to sell high-end electric cars smartly and confidently!
The Importance of Using Active Voice
Using active voice keeps you from being too wordy. Plus, it keeps your learner engaged. Unlike passive voice, it’s more direct and easier to listen to or read.
Active voice: This electric car gives you massive savings!
Passive voice: Massive savings are given to you by this electric car!
Clearly, active voice is a winner!
Using active voice in microlearning scripts make it more conversational.
Writing with a bit of informality is good for learners. It gives the feeling of having a one-on-one conversation. But don’t get too informal! It can distract your learner.
To conclude, you need to keep your scripts simple and to the point. Avoid unnecessary words, and use active voice as much as possible. Finally, you can never go wrong with an informal, conversational tone in your script. It will help you churn out terrific microlearning scripts!
To know more about “Making smart microlearning lessons using ‘what, why, how’ construct!“. Click here!