Avoid Audience Overload: Less Is More
by Guila Muir
Picture it: You’re a student in a classroom. The instructor is throwing out fact after fact. At first, you listen intently, trying to grasp everything that’s going on. After about 15 minutes, your attention drifts. After trying to focus a few more times, you feel so overwhelmed (and possibly irritated and bored) that you just give up.
Hey-how did you like being on the receiving end?
Trainers, have some sympathy. The instructor was just trying to “cover the material.” (How many times have YOU used this line?)
The fact is, more content does not produce more competencies. Information overload can produce confusion, anxiety, and indecision. It does NOT help students transfer learning into the real world.
Training Rule: “Less is More”
Identify the most important pieces of content. Spend training time to ensure that participants can process the information and apply it to real-world situations.
Here is a short list of instructional strategies you can use to bring your lesson’s content alive:
- Case studies
- Reflective writing
- Mind maps
The moral is: By trying to “cover all the material,” you do just that—cover up what’s really important.