Engaging Everyone

I had a discussion about the book Quiet Power by Susan Cain with my daughters’ ballet teacher early this week. This book is a follow up to Cain’s powerful book Quiet, which takes a look at being an introvert in a world that favors extroverts. Quiet Power is a look at the secret strengths of introverted kids. Cain sees extroverts as people who are energized by the external world and introverts as people who are energized more by their internal world. Continue reading

Valentines for your Favorite Presenter!

When I was younger, I used to love Valentine’s Day. I loved decorating a cereal box with construction paper to serve as my “mailbox”, and I certainly loved seeing the different Valentines that got dropped into my box. I’d hope for one with Star Wars or G.I. Joe… though I also loved the ones with puns and jokes… and the best ones came with blow pops or Skittles attached.

Every once in a while, in an office, I’ll find a fun Valentine sitting on my computer when I come back from a meeting or perhaps some team will have gotten organized and left a Valentine in everyone’s mailbox in the mailroom. Getting a Valentine still makes me smile.

If they still make you smile, today’s blog might serve to help spread cheer and smiles around your office this Valentine’s Day. Below are five training-themed Valentines Continue reading

Presentations for Non-presenters

Who is a presenter?

I am an instructional designer and a facilitator, I am a presenter.

My sister is a director at a sustainable energy non-profit, she is a presenter.

My husband is a Civil Engineer for the department of transportation, he is a presenter.

The difference between my job and the other two I mentioned is Continue reading

Teaching Style: What Would Jesus Do?

Last week I was sitting in church and I was struck by how the homily held my attention from start to finish. In the homily, the speaker compared the teaching style of Jesus to other rabbis and holy men of his day.

As I listened, I grabbed a pen and found a donation envelope in the back of the pew in order to jot down a few notes. I knew this homily was blog-worthy.

Whether you believe Jesus was The Messiah, just another prophet, just some guy who lived two thousand years ago or just some character made up in a book that a lot of other people find important, the fact is that the teaching style that was attributed to him was very, very different than what was considered normal.

There’s a lot of value for learning and development professionals to take a look around at how they apply their craft and ask: what would Jesus do?   Continue reading

Participant Rewards and Ice Cream for Breakfast

I don’t eat ice cream on a regular basis, but I do enjoy a scoop when the occasion calls for it. This weekend celebrates Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Due in larger part to the sheer originality of celebration, I am excited to surprise my children Saturday morning a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food while we are still in our pajamas.

In spite of the annual limits of this holiday, I may normally be discerning in participating. Continue reading

Charts and graphs in PowerPoint: There’s got to be a better way!

I’ve been reading Nancy Duarte’s slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations and these sentences resonated with me: “Often ideas come immediately. That’s good, but avoid the potential pitfall of going with the first thing that comes to mind.”

As we prepare for presentations, how often do we open up PowerPoint and then either dump information into some sort of SmartArt graphic or create a bar graph (or a circle graph or a line graph) using the Insert>Chart function?

Creative Charts

Do either of these data presentation formats look familiar?

Since it’s what we’ve done so many times before, it’s often the first thing that comes to mind. But what if we didn’t settle for that first thing that comes to mind? What could we create? Could we make our point better for our audience?   Continue reading