How To Create Memorable Online Training Characters
Creating an online training character is not easy as some people might think. It takes a careful balance of personality, backstory, and unique traits to make them stand out. However, finding the right mix of ingredients can help you achieve online training success. Memorable online training characters captivate your corporate learners, which improves motivation and participation. This domino effect leads to an increase in employee satisfaction and online training ROI. Here are 8 tips to create attention-grabbing online training characters that stick with your employees.
1. Give Them A Personality
Every well-written online training character comes with its own distinct personality. These are character traits and behaviors that corporate learners can relate to. First and foremost, there should be a rhyme and reason behind every choice the online training character makes. For example, their drive to reach the top of the corporate ladder is their primary source of motivation. If you aren't using images, clearly describe the online training character's appearance or disposition. This gives employees the ability to visualize the person and understand their thought process.
2. Incorporate A Character Twist
Quirks are great character builders. This makes perfect sense, given that everyone on earth has unique characteristics that set them apart. Give the online training character an unusual mindset or personality flaw to show their more human side. Employees are more likely to remember online training characters who break away from the norm and forge their own path. That being said, don't let character development overshadow the subject matter. Bear in mind that the fictional person is there to support the learning objectives, not distract employees from the task at-hand.
3. Include Vivid Imagery
Imagery creates a sense of immersion. Employees are able to visualize every aspect of the online training character and the story. As such, they form a more meaningful connection with the subject matter. Mention the clothes the online training character is wearing and how they carry themselves. Include details about their appearance that offer insight into their behavior. For example, a man with a polished appearance and tailored suit may be more meticulous or organized. These are all clues to the online training character's innermost feelings and thoughts. However, don't get carried away with minor details. For instance, you may want to omit what the online training character ate for breakfast or the name of their fourth-grade teacher.
4. Frame Online Training Characters With A Story
Some online training characters can stand alone, such as course narrators. But most need the plot to provide structure. For this reason, you may want to frame your online training characters with a story that puts things into perspective. As an example, the situation or setting has a direct influence on the character's behavior. This prompts them to make a decision that is out of their ordinary for their personality. You can also recreate familiar settings or challenges to foster a deeper connection with the online training character. For instance, allow them to solve a problem that employees face on a regular basis.
5. Avoid Static Images
Cut-out characters are a great addition to your online training course. However, you should include different poses to keep your employees fully engaged. It's also wise to show your online training characters interacting with objects or people. This adds more realism to your online training course design, which makes the online training experience more memorable. If you're unable to find different images that feature the same model, create your own or use an asset-rich eLearning authoring tool. Many rapid eLearning authoring tools have cut-outs, images, and cartoons that showcase different poses or facial expressions.
6. Use A Cast Of Online Training Characters
In some cases, you may need to call on an entire cast of characters for your online training course. For example, online training characters with different physical appearance or personality traits. This allows you to cater to a broader audience and add more variety to your online training content. Employees tend to form a connection with online training characters who share similarities. For instance, baby boomers may prefer more mature online training characters that are dressed in the same work attire. Multiple characters are particularly useful for global online training initiatives, as they represent different backgrounds, experience levels, and cultures.
7. Let Corporate Learners Step Inside Their Shoes
Certain employees may find it challenging to relate to the main online training character. Fortunately, you can make the online training experience more personal and meaningful by allowing them to step inside the character's shoes. Start with a story that includes the key personality traits and motivations. Then let your employees take over. Ask thought provoking questions that prompt learners to reflect on the situation. Instead of static images, why not immerse your employees in a character-driven scenario. Or an online training simulation that allows them to interact with the online training character in order to complete a task. This gives employees a fresh perspective so that they can explore the problem from different angles. They also experience the same emotions as the online training character, which improves memory retention and recall.
8. Spruce Up Your Online Training Characters With Multimedia
Put your online training character in the starring role of their own online training video or presentation. A variety of eLearning authoring tools feature eLearning templates to simplify the process. You can also incorporate your online training characters into serious games or drag and drop activities. For example, a compliance mystery featuring a series of online training characters that employees must investigate. This puts employees in the role of active participant, rather than passive observers who are merely reading about the online training character. They have the opportunity to interact with them and learn more about their decisions and motivating factors.
These 8 tips can help you create more dynamic, entertaining, and memorable online training characters for your corporate eLearning program. The first step in the process is audience research. You need to learn as much as you can about your employees' preferences. This allows you to custom tailor your online training characters and add value to the online training experience.
Does your sales online training program need more characters? Read the article The Benefits Of Using Customer Personas In Online Training to learn about the benefits of using customer personas in your sales online training courses.