Talk to the brain first, mind second.
Even if a learner is personally motivated to learn a topic, if the learning content itself isn’t motivating, the learner’s brain will do everything possible to look for something more interesting. This applies to both getting and keeping attention, as well as memory. Remember, you can’t do anything until you get past the brain’s crap filter! And to the brain, a dry, dull, academic explanation is definitely CRAP (regardless of how much your mind cares about the topic).