Replacing PowerPoint with Play-Doh

“I’m sorry. Can you say that again? You want to use WHAT when we teach the technical aspect of the content?”

“Play-Doh.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said. And you want grown adults, some of them in their 60s and 70s, to do this?”

“Yes.”

Such was the conversation I had with my client when I proposed we swap out a technical, PowerPoint-based presentation with a hands-on activity that called for dozens of canisters of Play-Doh. I admit that, after this conversation, I grew a little more nervous. If the activity flopped, my team stood to lose a lot of credibility with this extremely important client.   Continue reading

Poll Everywhere Leaderboard Review

This week, Poll Everywhere released a new poll option with leaderboard functionality.  If you are unfamiliar with Poll Everywhere, check out this post. This week I reviewed this tool, and I am excited to share what I found.

Before I get to that, I should say that leaderboards are one of those gamification terms that I have to intentionally not roll my eyes when I hear. Continue reading

19 Sites That Can Help Your PowerPoint Slide Design

I’ll start this post by simply saying: Mike Taylor knows how to find things. He’s constantly posting articles and resources on Twitter and LinkedIn that, if curated in one place, would probably serve you better than any masters program in instructional design.

This post borrows heavily from one of his sites on which he’s compiled “a collection of the best free design resources on the web.” If you have some time, I encourage you to check out his site.

Sometimes having too many choices can be overwhelming, so I’ve narrowed his resources down into the following list of 19 resources that may be helpful if you’re specifically looking for new places to find stock photos, fonts or icons.   Continue reading

Cool Tools

I am a geek at heart. I love finding new software to play with and find a way to incorporate into training or training development. Let’s look at a few tools I discovered recently that you can use in your upcoming training.

Post-it Plus

Like many trainers, I have a pretty big affinity for sticky notes. After training, I often take photos of my participants’ sticky note creations and then send out the JPG in an email for reference. As an image, this is a static reference without an easy ability to update. Well, it used to be a static resource. With the Post-it Plus app, you and your participants can keep the conversation going outside of the classroom by updating your sticky note creation. Check out this video below.

Picular

The self-proclaimed Google, but for colors, Picular has been buzzing around my Twitter feed all week. Picular.co has a simple interface with a familiar looking search bar and no menus or About Us section. Picular uses your search terms to crawl Google Images for the top results and returns a color palate base on the top results. It isn’t perfect, but it is a fun way to draw inspiration.

I look forward to playing with these new tools and seeing where they take my next training. What new tools are you using? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

Back to School Deals for Training Professionals!

It’s back-to-school season here in Seattle and I found myself in Staples last week walking through the bargain bin aisles. It turns out, back-to-school sales aren’t just for k-12 students!

Here are 12 sale items that caught my eye, things you may want to pick up if you’re a training professional looking to stretch your budget a little further this fall:   Continue reading

Organizing Training Groups

In his TED talk, Seth Godin argues that Humans are Tribal and that we assemble based on interests. I was led to this TED talk by my Crossfit Coach in an email titled Find Your Tribe.  While the email was about finding a class with people of similar interests and goals, it struck me as an interesting way to think of how success is influenced by your tribe. Continue reading

Are You a Training Rock Star?

At a concert this week, I watched my favorite band walk out with a big piece of paper they laid in front of them before the show. Even many rows back, I knew immediately this paper contained the setlist and I impatiently wanted to know what it said. Setlists are an interesting art, and bands have different approaches to their creation. While varied in approach, it is hard to miss that most bands are using this list to balance the energy of the audience. Continue reading