You’re ready to outline your course. But you don’t just want to put something together and call it a course outline. You want the outline to make sense and stand out. This article is for you even if you already have a course or you’re thinking about it. Read with an open mind and catch those ideas that spark like fireworks as you read and create a Course Outline
There is no right or wrong way of doing this. In fact, you can absolutely find multiple techniques online like using post its and arranging them in a specific order.
Let’s break this pattern and do things a bit differently. Let’s breathe life and energy into your course right from the beginning.
We will be using questions to make it practical for you. As you go through the questions, go into as much depth as you can. The deeper you go, the more the ideas will fall into place and the ones that are part of the outline will begin to light up.
The first step is clarity.
- What is your course about?
- Who is it for?
- What does someone get from taking your course?
Clarity is key in everything that we do. The whole purpose of creating a Course Outline is to take your clients through a natural, progressive journey that leads them to the results they want. When you are clear on those results, the methodology, and the specific clients that you’d love to have to take your course, you’ll easily convey this through your outline as well.
Clarity is also important for your clients. The clearer you are, the clearer your clients will be.
The second step is connection.
- What is your message about?
- Why does the message need to be out there?
- How would you like your clients to feel as they go through your course?
Your message sets the tone for the course. It gets you in that motivational and inspirational place. And does the same for your clients.
When you create a Course Outline, don’t skip the feeling part. Whenever you are working on the course (in our case, the outline), invite that feeling into the creative process. Work from that feeling. Think of a moment or story that made you feel that way. This is incredibly powerful when creating an excellent client experience.
This way, you’ll create a cohesive outline.
The third step is flow.
Imagine the journey your clients go through. Give your client a name. You’re their mentor and you’re walking together, side by side, in a forest. It’s summer. The sun is shining through the leaves. The birds are singing.
It’s the first stage of their apprenticeship.
- How would you like them to feel?
- What do they need to know and do to feel that way?
- What would you call this first stage?
Then, you move on to the second stage. Identify the feeling and then the essential knowledge and the action steps that they need to complete to advance in their journey. Name this stage.
Continue until you reach the end of your client’s journey. You’re at the edge of the forest and they are ready to take on the world. They’ve learned from you. They have taken action. It’s time for their next adventure.
Before they go, you both look back at the journey you’ve been on together. And hover over each stage for a couple of seconds, summarizing them in a few lines.
Once you map out the journey aka outline your course, do an intro going over each section or stage so that your clients know what’s about to happen, what they need, and what to expect.
Answer these questions out loud. Imagine you’re delivering a speech on these exact steps that are part of your outline. The audience is excited to learn about your course. The multiple stages someone goes through. Can you make the presentation of the outline more interesting?
Have fun with this process.
Know that the outline evolves. Think of your course as a living, breathing organism that grows over time. Everything changes and evolves. Don’t try to make everything perfect because perfection does not exist. I keep saying that I have no idea why the word was invented because perfection does not exist… what we perceive as perfect is not the same for someone else anyway.
Focus on the essentials.
Don’t try to add stages just for the sake of having more material in the course. People are not buying courses to occupy their time with a bunch of lessons and modules. They want a result. They want to learn something cool. They want to go through a transformation. They want to achieve something. And if you can help them do that in half the time it would normally take, then you have the advantage. That said, make sure that the steps in that outline are powerful and worthy of being experienced.
Go beyond the idea of a course.
Think of this as an amazing client experience that you get to deliver. Don’t try to resist the ideas that come naturally to you. The expertise is already within you. The outline is how you express it in a contained way. Because your expertise is wild. The outline is a way of taming it to serve a specific purpose.
Time to create that outline. If you find yourself in a state of complete blankness and nothing comes to you, go do something that you are absolutely great at. And then come back to the drawing board, allowing the inspired ideas to flow.
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