One of the best pieces of advice every given on teaching anything is this: tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, and then tell them what you told them.
It’s a memorable way of telling people what to expect, giving them the information, and then summarizing it so that they won’t forget – and it all builds from the first step of product creation.
The overview is the first step, your jump start. Honestly, you can create this either at the beginning of the product creation process or at the end. Some people prefer one over the other.
The advantage of doing it at the beginning is that it forces you to include everything that you intended. You have to keep referring to your learning objectives and following them in the order you listed them so that you don’t forget anything.
The advantage of doing it at the end is that you’ve developed your ideas sufficiently to know more precisely what you’ll be teaching in the product, and now you can provide a more accurate overview of what they’ll learn.
There is no right way to do it. You have to choose one that works best for you, and you need to be flexible enough to try them both if that’s what you wish to do. You may find, in fact, that you want to do it one way for awhile, and then switch to the other. Or you may discover that one way works better for some products than others.
It’s important thing is that you don’t become wedded to one for reasons other than practicality. No one will know which one you choose to use, and the one is no more virtuous than the other.
It’s critical, however, that your customers are given a solid grasp of what to expect. It will make it easier for them to appreciate your product as a whole, and it will help you to weave together all of the parts.
Any time you make something with a lot of parts, it’s normal to see them rather than how they all fit together, especially if you’ve never dissected the whole until then.
You have to really know what you’re talking about to do that effectively. You have to be able to evaluate it, not only from the outside in, but the inside out. Doing so requires two different skills; different perspectives if you like, and most people only have to do the latter. And so that means that you will have to take special care to make sure that your customers understand both. Don’t take that for granted.