You don't have to be as eloquent as the famous Founding Father. You just have to hustle and get started. Getting all the content from your head and into the course material is the most time consuming part of the process. Without it, you just have a lot of good intentions (and a course outline). It's time to get to work and flesh out your course curriculum.
Don't throw away your shot.
- Start with Who (is your ideal client)
- Get clear about the problem they are facing that your course will solve.
- State the outcome of what their life will be like once they complete the course with optimal results.
- Map the Transformation story in 6-8 milestones.
Now that we have all that, you need to fill out the content of the course. It may seem daunting but it shouldn't be. In fact, you likely have all the content inside your head and heart already. You just have to bring it out now.
All the good stuff you know is jumbled up together in your mind. We just need to sort it out, line it up, and package it differently so that we can present it in a clean and organized way.
The 52 Ideas Challenge helps transform the ideas you've been collecting/researching for years and transfer them from your head to paper. Once they are on paper, these ideas will acts as a filter for the good ideas that will become the content of your course and the ones that you shouldn't have kicking around in your brain anymore.
In our exercise, you take 52 ideas you already know about this topic and write them on sticky notes.
Your 52 Ideas will include:
- Helpful tips
- Evidence and facts
- Your best exercises and stretches
- Analogies that help connect with dots with clients
- Stories (personal, fictional, historic, or current events) that shed light on an insight
- Quotes from authorities that strengthen your point
Write out everything you know about the material you will be covering in your course. Write the stories, main points from articles, quotes, analogies...throw it all there. Just remember to use one idea per sticky note.
Don't stop until you get to 52 - you need every one of them.
Remember WIDOLIF: "Write it down or lose it forever."
Write every idea all down as it comes. Use a moleskin, make a note on your phone or even a scrap piece of paper. Document any time. Even in the middle of the night. You have to get up and write it down...or just convince yourself it’s not a good point so you can go back to sleep in peace. But if you do not write down your idea, you'll certainly forget it.
Going forward, remember the WIDOLIF principle and make sure you get every point into your database of good ideas.
Next, we are going to organize your ideas to provide the content to each module in your course. You've done some thinking and have a list of 52 great ideas. Now it's time to take the pile of sticky notes you created and separate them into the 6-8 milestones you created in module 4.
You'll start from the top of your pile and work your way to the end. By the end the next exercise, you will have a pile of sticky notes under each category or milestone.
You'll need to create a piece of paper (or some space on your wall) and make one column for each of your 6-8 milestones you created last module.
Go through each sticky note and place it under in of the columns. You may now notice that some columns collect more sticky notes than others. That's ok. If you notice that one column is lacking in sticky notes, you'll have to think of some more ideas, points, stories, analogies, studies or whatever to fill it in.
Please note that if one of your sticky notes does not have a column, it does not belong in your course. Painful as it may feel, if you try to jam it in somewhere that it doesn't fit, you are diluting your content by distracting your client from the driving point.
Having a flow of ideas keeps your course orderly and interesting. Imagine going on a journey with a tour guide who wandered around randomly pointing things out. Have you ever been to a lecture where the presenter was all over the place?
What happened? You tuned them out. You didn't get anything out of what they were saying. They may have had great content but since they lacked a logical and emotional flow of ideas, their content never connected with you.
That's a missed opportunity.
We are going to make sure your course is logical and interesting. Here’s a working outline for the structuring of a module:
- Start each module highlight a problem you will solve or a question you will answer
- Use one of your stories of someone who had this problem and overcame it.
- Layout a progression of points that helps people get to a similar outcome.
- Use an analogy to help points connect, improving understanding.
- Include quotes or another story to encourage.
- Review what you have covered
- Add another story
This outline is just to help you create some flow for your ideas. You can swap, delete, or add whatever you want.
Go through each column and take the disorganized pile of sticky notes you have and try to create an order to your ideas.
Use the above outline as your guide. You'll soon find out where you need to do a little more thinking so that you can fill in some holes with great content.
It may sound overwhelming but it's really not. You've already got the outline. You have the points. You even have the subpoints. The last step in this module is to make sure you fill out the points with your word count, good grammar, and whatever else you need to transform your notes into a manuscript.
If your course is heavy on video or if you are teaching behind some slides, you can avoid writing it all down word-for-word.
One point to consider is if you are using a teleprompter to fuel your content (an increasingly popular option), you will still need to write out each word you want to be communicated. If you want to use your content in some form of print media (blogs, articles, or a book) you will need to write it out.
Beware of skipping this step for you may pay for it later.
This may be the time to show your work to a spouse, friend, partner, or colleague for feedback. If they don't think it's an absolute masterpiece by this point, don't take it personally. Just call it a "Rough Draft" and thank them for helping you make the content better.
My guess is that you are:
- sharper in your thinking.
- clearer in your communication
- more organized in your delivery
This may be the content of the book you’ve always wanted to do.