If you’re interested in startups, business, and finance, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an episode or two of Shark Tank. On the show, small business owners get about two minutes to pitch their life’s work to a room of investors, for better or for worse. In most cases, first impressions are very telling: concise, driven entrepreneurs do well, while those that lack direction and relevancy are torn to pieces by the sharks themselves.
It got us thinking: What if the secret to effective learning was the so-called “elevator pitch”? A description so concise, smart, and relevant someone could catch your enthusiasm in two minutes or less? If it worked, it could revolutionize the way your organization thinks about training and how it executes learning.
1. Identify the pain point.
The phrase “there has to be a better way!” is an often used tongue-in-cheek by the sharks on Shark Tank. That’s because the majority of quick pitches and ideas wind up identifying a key pain point many people can relate to, whether it’s losing your sunglasses or making microwave popcorn. The same tactic can be used to help get others on board for new digital learning and actually executing that content.
Learners always want to know what’s in it for them. Being sympathetic to the struggles they face and explaining how digital learning can make learning easier helps you engage users from the very beginning. Then, make sure you follow through, offering digital learning that really does make a difference (and isn’t just another gimmick).
2. “Let’s make a deal.”
Whether you’re pitching to a room full of sharks or a room full of skeptical learners that have experienced bad training before, you have to sell them on your product. Doing this means making your pitch (and your learning) hyper-relevant to the learner. Respect their time and make sure your language is concise and succinct, otherwise, you could lose them.
Learners are busy and discerning. When you serve up learning that was designed for another audience, is redundant, or simply doesn’t answer their questions. They’ll be out before they ever got a chance to get in. By being efficient with your language and learners’ time, you’ll be able to catch and hold their attention longer.
If you think of your learners as sharks, you know you can’t leave any doubts in their minds: This learning will be valuable to them. Distilling learning to its audience and purpose can help you frame training so it makes sense to them on a personal level. Any ambiguity or irrelevancy is a surefire way to disengage learners before you ever captured their attention.
Think of your learning as an elevator pitch and you might be able to gain a new perspective on what your learners want and how to give it to them–in two minutes or less.