A more effective role play

I was sitting with a client last week, trying to finalize a training program, and the client said: “With all of these case studies and vignettes already in here, it seems like having people do role plays would be redundant.”

I explained that while it was true that we had a lot of case studies and shorter vignettes in the curriculum as discussion tools, but adding role plays was not redundant at all. You can talk about case studies with others. You can point out how things should be. Role plays, on the other hand, challenge participants to show they know how things should be, and challenge them to actually demonstrate how things should be.

With that, the client seemed satisfied and was ready to proceed. Putting together an effective role play, however, can be complicated. I believe there are four parts to an effective role play. Continue reading

Asked to speak about a topic? You may actually be an imposter… just not for the reason(s) you think.

I’ve seen a lot written about “imposter syndrome” on LinkedIn recently.  In short, imposter syndrome is when you doubt your own abilities, especially when you’re asked to publicly show them off.

My colleague, Heather, wrote about this phenomenon among L&D professionals last year in this blog post.

I’ve worked with a number of people – from early career professionals to senior staff – who express doubts about what kind of wisdom they could possibly have to offer others. It’s quite a natural sentiment.

The truth is, however, that I’ve seen more actual imposters among those who have been asked to share their expertise with an audience and who feel confident in their wisdom and their experience. I’ve seen imposters among doctors, lawyers, tech executives and learned academics (among others). They’re smart people, to be sure, but where they come across as true fakes is Continue reading

The S.T.O.R.Y. model for storytelling

Sometimes the simplest way to bring your content to life is to tell a story. Storytelling is a means of educating people that has been around for millennia.

Just because you have a story to tell, however, doesn’t mean you know how to tell a story in an engaging, effective way. The S.T.O.R.Y. model can help give structure to the way in which you plan for, and ultimately tell, your story. Continue reading

How an “anchor” is different from an icebreaker (and why you should be using anchors in every presentation).

“If we’re running short on time, I’ll typically cut the anchor activities and jump right into the content.”

I was leading a train the trainer workshop and some of the people who were using our curriculum were sharing tips and tricks for how to facilitate a session, especially when the curriculum was so packed and it was so easy to fall behind.

I cringed.  Continue reading

When a presenter tries using a pick-up line on the audience…

A friend of mine was sharing her experiences recently on a dating site. She had met an international man of mystery – Tomas – on a site. He seemed good looking enough and successful. Tomas was Portuguese and apparently made his money by doing something with gold bars and China.

And then on his most recent trip, Tomas got stuck in China and couldn’t get his gold bars out, unless… Continue reading

Your attention span is shorter than a goldfi… Squirrel!

The year was 2015. I was sitting in a breakout session at a training conference and the speaker was about to discuss ways to easily bring animation into an elearning course. As she introduced her topic, she shared a bit of research that was new to me: Thanks to all of today’s technology and distractions that surround us, the average human attention span had dwindled to under nine seconds, which is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish! She even cited this article in Time magazine as her source.

The problem with this eye popping statistic is Continue reading

What are training professionals actually doing with their time?

Several weeks ago I introduced our presentation design tool — Soapbox — and asked for volunteers willing to test it and provide feedback in our Beta phase. This week we’ll begin Beta testing on this tool intended to save people time in the design of their training programs.

As our Beta testers have waited to get their hands on Soapbox, we’ve asked them to participate in several short surveys about how they’re currently spending their time. Following are some insights from their responses.  Continue reading

3 job seeking tips from an L&D hiring manager

Several weeks ago I wrote some observations for job seekers after reviewing 50 L&D manager job descriptions. In today’s post, Mary Cropp, Director of Training and Development at Bluetooth SIG, writes this guest post to share some very blunt advice for anyone looking to land their next role on an L&D team.

Job-seeking advice from an L&D Director

Mary Cropp - Head ShotAs the hiring manager and in-house consultant for all things L&D within my organization, I am choosy about who will be on my team and who will be providing contract work for the organization. Choosy? Make that very choosy. If I lift the veil for a moment on hiring practices within the L&D realm, I want to prepare all you facilitators, trainers, and instructional designers out there with a bit of what a hiring manager looks for in a candidate.   Continue reading

5 Out of Office Reply Ideas for Trainers

This morning as my blog post is sent out, I will receive hundreds of automatically-generated Out Of Office responses from people who are traveling. Most of them contain standard language about how long someone will be away from the office and who to contact in their absence. Every once in a while, I’ll stumble across an Out Of Office notification that makes me want to read the whole message.

Out Of Office messages are currently the “lecture” of the email world – lots of people send them out, but few people pay attention to them. With summer vacation season around the corner, why not use your Out Of Office message to bring a smile to others’ faces, give them some fun facts or even equip people with new ideas or knowledge?

Following are five ideas for training professionals to use for their Out Of Office messages: Continue reading

Today’s new blog post. Observations on training. Written as Haiku.

I’ve written in the past about how Haiku (a form of poetry written in three lines, the first having five syllables, the second having seven, the third having five) can serve as a fun, effective icebreaker. You can have people introduce themselves or write about the topic at hand using this structure.

In today’s blog post, I offer some general observations about training, all written in Haiku. Continue reading