How to Convert Your Expert Articles Into A Training Program - The Brilliance Mine

How to Convert Your Expert Articles Into A Training Program

Imagine you have written a pile of articles on a particular subject. You decide to create a training program from it. Imagine furthermore that you are a subject expert who has lived and breathed this topic for years. You might be a software guru, a medical doctor, a chemist, an electrical engineer, or any other kind of expert.

You have extracted some of your brilliance, i.e., expertise and wisdom, into these articles. That is excellent news!

Yet, there are some questions:

  • How close to creating a course are you given that you have done that?
  • Which challenges are before you as you’re converting your expertise into an online program?

Essential Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Who are the people you want to benefit from this course or program?
  • What is this program aimed at achieving? 
  • Which level of knowledge do the recipients already possess? Imagine yourself like a bus driver who has to stop your bus at the correct bus stop to pick up your passengers. Your online program is like the bus. The passengers are your students. By setting the tone and level of your course correctly, you successfully pick up your passengers.

Common Pitfalls

  1. The expert assumes too much and uses buzzwords that the intended recipient doesn’t know and maybe doesn’t want to know. 
  2. There’s too much content in any given article. The content needs to be chunked down into smaller bites. 
  3. There is no clarity on the big picture. It is pretty common that the expert has the big picture in their mind and assumes that the recipient is familiar with it, too. As a result, the big picture is generally not offered – or not with sufficient clarity – until someone else points out that it is missing. 

Recommendations

  1.  Establish a structure first.
  2. What is the big picture? How can you effectively convey that big picture as quickly as possible?
  3. How can you then motivate the recipient to go deeper into the components of that picture? 
    1. The program needs to be engaging. 
    2. It needs to be at the right level, not too high (more common) and not too low (rarely the case).
    3. Put yourself into the shoes of the intended recipients. 
    4. It needs to flow correctly and build on each other. The recipient cannot digest insights B and C before gaining insight A. It is a great idea to map that out before you put too much effort into building the actual lessons.
  4. It may be necessary to pull the existing expert articles apart. This piece of the paper speaks to this aspect. That piece of writing speaks to that aspect.
  5.  All of the content likely has to be simplified.
  6. Most likely, there has to be a better introduction and more context. 

What I’m describing here is part of the process of Brilliance Replication. 

  • Your articles are a form of Brilliance Extraction, i.e., you have made knowledge you held in your brain visible and tangible to others.
  • Yet, when it comes to using those articles in a cohesive program, they’re equivalent to rough Brilliance Nuggets. That means they need to be sorted, sequenced, and polished. 
  • Via feedback and testing (!), you will likely discover that some pieces are missing. Further Brilliance Extraction is needed to close the gaps that have been uncovered. 
  • I recommended creating a minimum viable product (MVP) that can stand on itself. Think of it as a mode of transportation. Perhaps a scooter is good enough as an initial mode of transportation. You can make it into a motorcycle, then a car, and then a race car later. The scooter has to at least get your students from point A to B. It has to motivate your early adopters to embrace later versions instead of being turned off from what you have to offer.

I’m Curious

  • To what extent have you made your expertise (brilliance) teachable? What was the feedback you got?
  • Or, to what extent have you been in training where the expert teacher either lost you or bored you because the course was not tailored correctly for you?

Stephie Althouse

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