Why an Informal Tone Gets Results in eLearning


Confusing. Boring. Complicated. Difficult. Uninteresting. 

Oh, don’t mind us—we’re just listing adjectives that describe eLearning that relies too heavily on corporate jargon. Think: “in one ear and out the other.” Think: eyes glazed over and mind wandering. Think: the teacher in Charlie Brown.


These are not the reactions you want your eLearning to elicit. As far as we can tell, Charlie Brown and his classmates never learned a single thing from their teacher, and you certainly don’t want your employees to fall into the same fate. 

You see, corporate jargon—while the more formal and traditional option—can be alienating to your employees, which causes them to resist their eLearning objectives. In many cases, simply using an informal tone to get the same information across can make a world of difference in employee experience.

We’re not saying you have to craft an eLearning program that uses only slang and the types of abbreviations typically found in teenagers’ text messages. Far from it (LOL). Instead, we’re merely suggesting you use language to create an approachable and welcoming learning environment that will not only further engage your employees, but also allow them to feel more comfortable.

5 Reasons Your eLearning Needs an Informal Tone

  • It puts your employees at ease: Yes, they’re at work. Yes, you want them to take your eLearning seriously. What you don’t want? To put them on pins and needles trying to stay focused on an eLearning program that is neither interesting nor easy to understand. When your employees are relaxed and at ease with the task at hand, your eLearning will be more likely to hold their attention and allow them to learn, which is the main objective, after all.
  • It makes the information approachable: When employees feel overwhelmed or don’t have a clear understanding of what’s being taught to them, they are more likely to shut down than risk embarrassment asking for clarification. When your eLearning program is easier to follow, your employees will approach the process with an open mind.
  • It makes the process more enjoyable: An informal tone can add an element of interest and playfulness that takes your eLearning from “just another task to get through” to something your employees enjoy. We all know that happy employees are more productive. Creating a training program that doesn’t feel too much like work can go a long way in improving employee morale.
  • It boosts learning retention: It would be quite a shame to invest in eLearning, only to have your employees forget what they “learned” a few days or weeks later. Informal cues, accessible examples and amusing anecdotes can all help to aid in memory retention. Take this post, for example. We’re willing to bet that next time you think about the importance of using an informal tone in eLearning, the nonsense sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher pops into your head.
  • It improves engagement: While “informal” doesn’t always mean “entertaining,” it certainly gives you more leeway in creating an enjoyable eLearning program that engages your employees. If your employees are enjoying their online training, they will remain engaged with the information, which promotes further learning and retention.

Above all, find a tone that works best for your purpose and remains true to the objectives and personality of your company—just don’t be afraid to test those informal waters. You might be surprised at the results you see.

To learn more about creative and innovative eLearning, request a demo of Expand Share.

Will Holland