In this post, you’re going to discover RockStar techniques you can use to take information out of your head and turn it into a lesson you can teach others in your very own online course in 30 min or less!
While most online courses might contain great information, the majority are presented in a way that is a lacklustre experience for the students. Long videos with boring slides and a teacher that wanders off on many tangents.
This is one of the reasons most online courses have dropout rates of over 95% (according to the MOOC research project by Katy Jordan).
Why do dropout rates matter?
Simply put, the more people complete your course, the more business you get.
High completion rate means that students will be far more likely to buy from you again and recommend your course to their friends and colleagues.
If you want your students to stay excited throughout your course all the way to completion, then use our RockStar Lesson Format to make your lessons interesting and keep your students hooked in.
Rockstar tip: You can release one lesson as a free teaser – to generate more leads for your course, so having killer lessons makes all the difference.
Here’s the format:
- greet your hero
- outline the promise
- tell them why it’s important now
- teach the lesson
- answer any objections
- explain the consequences of inaction
- give action steps and homework
Read on to learn how to use this format to make sure your lessons are awesome.
Ready? Let’s rock!
Greet Your Hero
Always open your lessons with a greeting that welcomes your students and makes them feel like they’re in the right place. This helps them adjust their headspace from whatever it is they were doing and gives them a moment to get mentally prepared for the lesson ahead.
You should also call out the module number, lesson number, and lesson name so your students get a reminder about where they are in the overall scheme of the course.
For example, if you’re a marketing consultant teaching digital marketing to eCommerce Store Owners, you might start with:
Hey Shopkeepers, welcome to Module 3, Lesson 4, ‘Reducing Cart Abandon’.
This is a great way to make your students feel like they belong to a tribe and to get them ready for what’s in store.
Outline The Promise
Once you’ve welcomed your students to the lesson, outline the promise of the lesson. The biggest hurdle you have as a teacher is keeping the attention of your students. If you can promise to transform them in some way throughout the lesson, you will have a far greater chance of them paying attention.
For example, if you’re a marketing consultant and you’re teaching lead generation you might begin a lesson by saying:
In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to attract the right type of visitors to your website so you can increase your conversions, your email list and ultimately your sales.
This is far more powerful than just saying:
In this lesson, you are going to learn how to attract visitors to your website.
Tell Them Why It’s Important Now?
Next, explain to your students why this information is important to them now. You can use economic, technological or social reasons to explain that things are changing in the world and it’s important they pay attention to this information right now.
For example, if you’re a marketing consultant and you’re teaching lead generation you might say this:
This is important right now because the cost of buying traffic for your website from search engines or social media is getting more expensive (economic reasons), the Internet is making every marketplace more competitive (technological reasons) and the human race has published more information in the last two years than we have in the history of time (social reasons). So if you want to remain competitive it’s important that you pay attention to these new trends.
This further positions you as an authoritative teacher and hooks your students in to make sure they’re paying attention.
Teach the Lesson
Now that you have your students’ undivided attention, it’s time to teach them the actual lesson. Try to limit your lessons to one specific topic only and make sure you have three to seven key points to teach in each lesson.
For example, if you’re a marketing consultant and you’re teaching lead generation you might have traffic sources, lead magnets and opt-in headlines as three of your topics. It would be a mistake to try and teach all of those concepts in one lesson, so break them down into individual lessons.
Answer any Objections
Once you have taught the teaching points of the lesson, try and cover any objections or “what if?” thoughts that the students might be having.
To continue the example, let’s say you’re a marketing consultant teaching them to name their target audience in the headlines of their blog posts. A student might be thinking:
“What if I have multiple target audiences like accountants, lawyers, and financial planners?”
As the teacher, your job is to pre-empt these questions and answer them in the lesson.
For example, you might say:
Modern marketing requires us to speak to our target audience as individuals instead of treating them as buckets of leads. So if you have multiple target audiences, you should produce a blog post for each of those target audiences and name each target audience in the headline of their respective blog post.
This one simple tactic will dramatically increase student engagement in your course because you have demonstrated to the student that you understand them and empathise with their situation. The fact that you have gone above and beyond to make sure you can help them will build further trust with your students, and one of the key factors in student completion rates is how much the students like the teacher.
Explain Consequences of Inaction
Towards the end of the lesson, you should explain the consequences of inaction. Remember, your biggest hurdle is your student not taking action on what they have learnt.
For example, as a marketing consultant, you might say:
If you keep producing content that is designed to appeal to everyone, you will most likely appeal to no-one and therefore your conversions and lead capture will not increase.
Now it’s time to recap the main teaching point of the lesson to further reiterate what it is the student has learned.
Give Action Steps and Homework
Finally, make sure you prescribe some action steps and homework for the student so that they are required to actually do something with what they have learned.
If you follow this format and structure your lessons into short presentations of no more than 5 to 10 minutes, your students will be far more likely to complete each lesson, take action and do their homework.
Most importantly, your students are more likely to actually learn what it is you are teaching them because the lesson format is engaging and designed to keep their attention from start to finish.