Simple Idea #2: Make Your Online Training Sticky

In my first post, I talked about how online training should be focused on results, getting your trainees to apply what they’ve learned to their jobs. In this post, let’s focus on the next step: making your training memorable, making it “sticky”. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s also something we as Trainers often overlook. We get hung up on facts & details—the result being that our training is less memorable and consequently, less effective.

  • Quick Tip> Check out the book, Made to Stick for some great suggestions on making ideas stick

Here are some ideas to make your training sticky:

  • Filter the Noise
    Most trainers and e-learning designers would go bankrupt if they were gold prospectors. Prospectors spend their efforts screening the few gold nuggets from the tons of dirt, pebbles, and rock. On the other hand, typical trainers “dump dirt” on trainees. They bury the gold nuggets under piles of irrelevant learning materials and loads of unnecessary information. Then leave trainees to find the gold nuggets for themselves. How well do you think trainees will remember your gold nuggets if they struggle to find them?

  • Tell a story
    Your trainees will learn best when they can relate information to real-life situations. Facts alone are much more difficult to remember and apply. So use anecdotes, illustrations, demos, and metaphors to help trainees learn. Stories in particular are powerful because they contain emotional elements that help the training sink in. Design your online training to rely on stories at the heart of the lesson, not on the facts.
  • Be an Artisan
    Software helps you execute your goals, but quality training doesn’t come out of software. It’s produced by the creativity of the designer and developer—you. Strengthen your skills in writing, image visualization, conversations, storytelling, and other crafts. Then you can create beautiful and engaging online training, using software as your medium (not the message). Here are some links to get you started:

What one idea have you applied to make your elearning sticky?

Ray Jimenez is the Chief Learning Architect and Founder of Vignettes Learning and Vignettes for Training, Inc. He has over twenty years experience in the consulting and training industry. Ray is the author of "3-Minute e-Learning”, “Scenario-Based e-Learning”, “Do-It-Yourself eLearning”, “Micro-Learning Impacts Report”, and soon to be released books on “Micro-Learning Worlds” and “Story-Based eLearning Design.” Contact Ray at or

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