In a previous blog post, I drew an analogy between an elearning project and how a startup works as they both involve dealing with extremely complex matters such as assembling a team, and developing and executing a strategy in order to deliver a great project, etc.One of the hardest and most important parts of running a startup is finding money to fuel your ideas and product development. Just like in a startup, as an elearning project manager you will need to present your project to your superiors and to your end users in order to get approval on the one hand, and participation on the other.
When creating any presentation for a product you have to keep in mind something very important: products are meant to solve problems. If your project doesn’t solve any knowledge gap or training need of your company or audience, your project will not bring value and it’s not going to be successful.When presenting your project or startup one of the first topics of your pitch should be the problem that you are going to solve, how many people have that issue, how they are dealing with the issue right now, and how you are going to help them with what you created.Once you have made clear what problem you are going to solve, you should focus on presenting the value that you are going to give to the learners, such as the skills or knowledge that they are going to acquire through the course, if they are going to get a certificate, and what benefit the company will get from this project.
Tell a story
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Keep it visual
Another presentation tip is to focus on images rather than text; according to this infographic produced by Wyzowl, people retain only 10% of the text their read, while they tend to retain about 80% of what they see and do (you can also take a look at Dale’s cone of experience to get a better overview of how people learn).
Not every presentation has to follow a storyline or be linear from start to finish because your final goal is to grab your audience’s attention and there are many ways to achieve this result.
Imagine a standard pitch for a home security application where the CEO presents the product going from problem to solution, team, business model etc… providing all the elements that an investor would want to see and evaluate. That is fine, but now imagine an empty stage, two thieves breaking into the room and the startup product triumphantly preventing the crime from happening, followed by the CEO explanation on the benefits of the product and its features.
Now obviously the second presentation, presuming that the product doesn’t fail on stage, will attract a lot more interest and that is exactly what you are looking for. You should always look for creative ways to express your content, while making sure that you provide all the information that your audience needs.
People invest in other people, not in projects
If you are asking people to invest, no matter if we are talking about money, time or other resources, there’s one final suggestion I can give you: talk about yourself and your team. Explain why you will be successful with your elearning project because, in the end, it is people that are going to implement projects, ideas and elearning courses and people who are going to determine how good the final outcome will be.
When talking about a startup, it is very important to show passion for your idea and you should do the same with your elearning project. If you don’t think that what you are creating will have a positive impact on your learners it’s quite plausible that no one else will, including your managers, so always try to make something that you believe in.