The Learning & Development Holy Grail: Attention

Authored by: Matt Toresco, VP of Account Management & Business Process Training

Let’s take this into the world of Learning & Development (L&D), where we as L&D professionals are trying to reach Account Managers in their daily interactions with customers. How do we do that in such a crowded content marketplace? Learning & Development is already a constant fight for the attention of our learners, but there are several tips you can keep in mind to ensure that you capture (and keep) the attention of your learners.

Here’s what you need to consider when creating content that will stand out:

WIIFM: “What’s in it for me?” is the question learners are asking, so we have to make sure we make the answer very obvious as early as possible. In today’s busy world, if the value isn’t clear, then no one will stick around for the message. Hook your learners early and help them understand why what you’re providing is vital to their success by answering questions such as:

  • Why should I take the time out of my busy day to take this training module?
  • How will this training affect my relationships with my key accounts?
  • Will this training help to speed up my close cycle?
  • Will this training offer me ways to manage my tasks better, freeing up additional time that I can put to good use?

Micro-Learning: I previously wrote about the micro-learning concept here. Micro-learning is paramount in a world where our learners are flooded with content from a variety of sources. If we expect the learner to digest what we need them to know, it must be snackable and take up just 8-10 minutes at a time.

Focused: This relates to both of the previous points. When content is focused, it easily answers WIIFM and maintains brevity. Only focus on what the learner needs to know at that very moment. Whether it’s a new product rollout, new talking points, or a new competitor – only share what they NEED to learn NOW.

Mini-Assessments: Schedule small check-in assessments with your learners. Not only will you feel more informed about your impact on your learners, but your learners will have a better understanding of what they’ve learned and how it benefits them. This will also allow sales management to facilitate follow-up coaching activities to pull through the knowledge and offer any additional assistance.

It’s important to remember that it’s not just about the actual content you’re providing, you also have to consider how you structure and share that content. Ultimately, a learner wants direct value. Make it obvious why your content is valuable, and then structure the content for easier digestion and retention. With this in mind, you’ll have satisfied learners who will walk away with an understanding of exactly what they’ve gained from your training.

The Brooks Group offers customized Learning & Development programs for professionals at all stages of their careers, as well as consulting on e-learning. Our programs can be completed in person or via an online course. You can learn more on our website or contact me directly at


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