Wrapping Things Up

It’s the end of the year and deadlines are piling up! There is a lot to wrap up this time of year, and I am not just talking about presents. Many folks take holiday away from work to spend time with family during the month of December which also seems to coincide with many end-of-year project deadlines. What happens when our teams just don’t have the bandwidth to meet our year-end goals?

There are several ways to address bandwidth needs, but one of the cheapest ways is to find ways to optimize work processes. At Endurance Learning, we have a lot of little hacks to streamlineour processes. Let’s take a look at a few tools we have developed to make yourwork a little easier.

Templates

Written documentation is required for many projects. Manuals, performance support, and several other document types tend to have several contributors who all come to the project with their own preferences and style. To reduce editing time at the end of your project, start with a style guideeveryone can agree to when your project begins.

Storyboarding is one of my favorite ways to start a project. It helps me wrap my head around the design of my project, and it gives other a visual representation of all of the crazy stuff I think I can make happen in a training. This process is not limited to eLearning development, in fact, here is a great template you can use to storyboard your next PowerPoint presentation.

Checklists

I love a good PowerPoint deck, especially one that complements the presentation. I view PowerPoint development as an art form. Just like any other tool, you should know how to use it properly before turning it on. There are dozens of PowerPoint classes that can make you efficient in the program, but if you short on time and resources, that may not be an option for you. Instead, take a look at this easy PowerPointChecklist and let it guide you through your next presentation development.

Delivering a presentation requires a lot of preparation. I suffer from glossophobia and need to be extremely organized in order to feel confident in front of participants. To guide me through this process, I use our presentation skills checklist as a practice facilitating all of my presentations.

What tools do you use to optimize the work on your team when you are under deadlines? Let’s keep this conversation going in the comments below!

Making Your PowerPoint Slides Effective

I’m not a very good graphic designer, but even I know that PowerPoint slides should look better than this:

Bad Example 1

and this:

Bad Example 2

Knowing the slides should be better than these, and actually being able to put together better slides are two different things.

Over the past year, I’ve written a handful of posts about how to design more effective slide decks, and today I’m putting them all in one place. I invite you to bookmark this page so that you can come back to it each time you’re looking to put together a more effective slide deck of your own. Continue reading

Not All Holiday Parties Have to Be Ugly

It is that time of year again. The time where we conservatively let loose in front of our co-workers and talk about something other than work at the annual holiday party. I enjoy holiday parties, as long as they are not awkward or forced. Just like training, if these parties are well thought out and curated, they can be really fun. Similarly, if they are poorly planned, they are awkward. Continue reading

After certificates have been handed out, how does training continue to live?

I’m currently working with a client who needs to deliver the same online training program to two different audiences. The first audience is located in their US-based headquarters, the second audience is located in regional offices around the world.

The headquarters has a thriving community of practice for training alumni that meets regularly, in-person. Furthermore, the headquarters has a critical mass of people in this role who can see each other in the break room, daily meetings, the hallway or walking by one another’s desks for informal conversations about challenges and key learnings.

People in regional offices are a little more isolated when it comes to ongoing opportunities for informal learning that can reinforce the initial training. So what are regional and remote staff to do?

Online Communities of Practice

Technology offers a lot of opportunities to shrink the distance between people and allow for greater communication, yet the ability to seed an active online community of practice remains elusive to many organizations. Continue reading

Storytelling for Trainers

Last week, my daughter came home from the school library with her first graphic novel. She excitedly showed me how the story moved through the speech balloons and panels. Her excitement came from the novel approach (pardon the pun) to telling a story. She recently graduated to chapter books, and I think she was missing the imagery she had grown accustomed to in her beginner books. Continue reading

When a training program is as stuffed as a guest at grandma’s house on Thanksgiving

Many of us in the United States celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday. A time for family to gather, give thanks, and eat. A lot.

The American Council on Fitness estimates that the average American takes in 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving… and 229 grams of fat!

Is it possible that there’s a training program or two that we’ve developed that can be equally bloated and gluttonous? Sitting on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday, I started wondering this very thought (because I’m apparently always thinking of training). Continue reading

13 (+1) reasons why this L&D professional is thankful this year

The holiday season for those of us in the United States is upon us. On Thursday we shall celebrate Thanksgiving, soon many of us will celebrate Christmas and then make a resolution as we head into the new year.

Last year, each member of the Endurance Learning team made a one-word resolution – a commitment to one word that would serve as a guiding principle throughout the year. My word was “joy”. Part of joy is having the opportunity to look around and be thankful.

Here are some things that I’m thankful for over the past year: Continue reading

No Stupid Questions

Training is expected to yield change. How does change make people feel? I don’t know that we can expect everyone to react consistently when they react to change, but there is a tendency for most of us to ask how changes affect our own lives when we are faced with them. Continue reading

The Role of a Co-facilitator

I like to start my day with positive visualization. In this form of meditation, I enjoy picturing what success looks like. That success may be how my day will go, how a client meeting will go, reactions to my work, or any other permutation of a successful day. When I am facilitating a session, I like to visualize and think through the ways I can support my participants, to help them be successful. Recently, I started thinking about how this may change when I am co-facilitating. Continue reading