Help: Writers block

Hi all,

I was assigned a new project some time ago. I need to develop a training course on how a software package works, lets say Word or XL, or SAP.... SL is very well equipped to do this and technically I do not have any problems developing it. yet it is the inspiration that has abandoned me over the weekend. We have already Video captured all what we want and can split it up as we like. No narration is necessary for the time being…

So for the last few hours I’ve been staring at a white piece of paper and an empty SL project. I’ve browsed the web and couldn’t really find what I was looking for.

I should have asked you guys/girls from the beginning. Has any of knowledge of some nice sides where I can replenish my well of inspiration

As always thanks in advance


4 Replies
Remi Bath

Hi Geert,

If it is graphical and structural inspiration you are looking for, then Justin's recommendations are on the button. 

What you don't say is what the spec is. For example, what is your target audience. Are they tech savvy and will you be be focussing on specialist use of the software or is it a very general high level intro to the software (in which case, how far will you push the learning curve?) That makes a good deal of difference. If it is technical, then content and focus is your starting point. If, as I suspect, it is for an introductory level, then in my experience (which is admittedly not eLearning but teaching technical subjects with the help of graphical computer props), people get bored quickly. I know you know that already, but the point is that to incentivise them to learn, you have to entertain them too; make them laugh while still delivering the teaching. 

That's not exactly a blueprint for inspiration but here is what I suggest: why don't you tell us a bit more about the spec. I don't think you can share the captured sims (if you can, all the better) but the more we understand the brief, the more we can chip in with suggestions and angles that will hopefully help lift the mood. I don't know what value we can add but we're definitely willing to try.

So how about a bit more colour and detail?


Bruce Graham

Hi Geert...

Software, ANY software only exists so that people can produce a "thing", whether that is a presentation, a letter, a contract, an effective workflow, or whatever.

Start by imagining the end product for your software.

What is it?

Why is it important to the audience?

How does it help them or your clients/customers/prospects?

How does it assist with the flying of an aircraft?

How does it sit in the regulatory or compliance piece?

Start to answer those questions, and a story will start to come. Start approximately creating your Scenes, and noting down what existing screencasts fit in each.

What are you missing?

What is the "glue" that holds everything together?

Start like that, and the inspiration will start to flow again.

Hope that helps.


Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Geert,

Agree with all that's been said. And with Remi, that the description is broad. Not knowing the level of the audience, not sure this will help, but when you said, " how a software package works, lets say Word or XL..." my mind jumped back to my past F-2-F trainings where I used to use a lot of analogies.

It wasn't so much how it worked- the code that made it work-


how to get it to work-users getting it to do what they wanted it to do

So, comparing to tools they already use or experiences they already have.