How To Write Training That Works: technical training


How to write training that worksWriting training material is a specialized job. But often, in a small business, nonprofit organization, charity or similar circumstances, there isn’t the budget to bring in a specialized supplier. Here’s the HTWB solution, with Jackson Rawlings…

To see all articles in the How To Write Training That Works series, check out the category “Training That Works” in the side bar to the right —>>>

Writing training material for technical subjects like software testing or web development is not an easy task. It involves explaining complex and often confusing subject matter in simple, comprehensible terms.

As such, I’ve put together five tips that will make this process a whole lot easier and hopefully give you some insight into how technical skills can be imparted with ease.

Not too wordy

Technical subjects require clear and concise instructions. With that in mind, when writing your material, make sure that any unnecessarily ‘flowery’ language is avoided.

In fact, keeping words just to those which are essential throughout is a good rule to follow. Something to think about: if you can’t explain it in a few simple words, are more words (and more complex ones) going to help at all?

Wireframing/graphical representation

I have mentioned in previous posts how important it is to use images and visual aids as a means to making your material more engaging.

This is particularly important for technical subjects. In web development for example, it is useful to use wireframing or storyboarding devices to show how each stage of the development process should appear.

This step-by-step visualisation allows learners to fully grasp each individual aspect of the job at hand. Take a look at this post for the pros and cons of wireframing and storyboarding.

Use existing examples

It’s often the case that whilst wireframing may provide a decent account of the individual stages that make up a process, a ‘mockup’ finished product is never quite as impressive as the real thing.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to provide real-life example, so that learners can understand the context of their work.

So if, for example, you are training someone in how to design a basic web site using HTML and CSS, showing them an actual web page that uses the particular bit of code that they are learning will help to cement their understanding.

Don’t try to write from memory

It may be that the particular software or techniques that you are training others in, you yourself have been using for years.

Don’t be tempted, though, to write your training material off the top of your head. To you, a simple oversight will be easy to correct but when training someone with less experience, it will only confuse them.

Follow through the exact process as you write the material, to make sure you haven’t missed any steps.

Write summaries at the end of chapters

In subjects as complex as web or software development, it will be difficult for learners to remember each aspect or point of an often long, convoluted process.

For that reason, write summaries at the end of each chapter or even stage, readdressing the key points that the learner will need to remember.

Writing material in this way will also help you reaffirm the key ‘takeaways’ of your training too.

So remember:

  • Use only essential words
  • Use visuals and existing examples
  • Go through the process yourself as you write it
  • Sum up key points at ‘jumping-off’ stages

Hopefully these tips have helped to make a difficult writing task that little bit easier. If you have any other tips for writing tech-centric training material, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Thanks for reading and see you all next time!

Next time, we’ll be looking at another niche and giving some tips specific to writing for that subject matter.

Don’t forget – to see all articles in the How To Write Training That Works series, check out the category “Training That Works” in the side bar to the right —>>>

How to write training that works

Jackson Rawlings

Thanks for reading!


Jackson Rawlings
Digital Marketer
Silicon Beach Training

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