Susan Riley | December 2015

SmART Ideas: Create Your Avatar

Have you ever listened or seen a commercial and felt like it was speaking directly to you? If so, you’ve been hit with what marketers call “the perfect avatar”.  When advertising teams create a concept, they do so with an image of what their ideal customer looks like, what they say, how they say it and what’s important to them.  That way, when they craft their ad, they can make it seem as though they are hitting all of that customer’s biggest pain points.

Actors do this too when they are preparing for a role.  To get inside of the character and really bring it to life, they have to create an avatar of all the components of that character so that they can respond accordingly when presented with a situation or other character.

In today’s video tip, I’m sharing how to use this idea of creating an avatar to better understand and craft character development.  This is great for reading comprehension, writing, and even understanding historical figures and situations.

Like this?  Be sure to visit our SmART Ideas Video page to view each new episode, as well as the archives from previous posts.  And to really make sure you never miss a tip or idea, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Need that template?

And just in case you’d like to use this strategy, here’s a copy of my avatar example and a blank template you can use (available as a PDF download).

avatar template


About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan