20 Ways for L&D Professionals to Spend Use-or-Lose Budget Before December 31

The holidays are fast approaching, which means the Train Like A Champion 1-word resolution post will soon be here. Before we get to resolutions, however, we have some ideas for you in the event you find yourself with some extra funds that need to be spent before your finance team can close out the books for 2019.

Books for Your Professional Library

While you can always browse our list of must-read books for any L&D professional, a few more have come to my attention in the past year, including:

Handy Gadgets

There are a few little gadgets that can make any trainer’s life a little more fun, including:

Cool Online Tools

  • Snagit for screen capturing and more
  • Camtasia for video editing
  • Soapbox for creating your in-person training sessions in about 5 minutes
  • Storyline for rapid authoring of elearning

Professional Development Opportunities

What did I miss? If you have extra use-or-lose money budgeted for this year, how would you spend it?

Great Presentations Start Here

A great presentation involves planning, evidence-based instructional design, engaging delivery, compelling visuals and some way for people to do something new or differently or better as a result. Easy, right?

Maybe not so much. I’ve never met a single person who could do every one of those things well. So how can someone cobble together a great presentation with all of those elements? Continue reading

292 Training Activity Ideas For Your Next Workshop

“I just wish I could have access to your training activity library.”

We spent the summer beta testing a tool that can help anyone design a training session in under five minutes. Soapbox is the name of the tool and it will hit the market in about two weeks (if you’d like to sign up to be notified when it’s available, click here).

One of the most common pieces of feedback we received from our beta group was that they’d simply like access to our library of training activities. We listened to that feedback and in this post, I’ve included links to almost 300 different training activities.

Happy training! Continue reading

A tool to help design strategic planning workshops

In about a month, my team will be launching a tool we’ve developed to help create better presentations, faster. Our original concept was to dramatically reduce the amount of instructional design time spent on developing training sessions.

I’m currently working with several clients on facilitating strategic planning sessions, which got me to wondering: would our tool be useful in helping to design elements of strategic planning sessions?

After three or four minutes of playing with the tool, here is the lesson plan it generated for me Continue reading

A place for research and insights into digital-based L&D initiatives

At the end of last year, I made a one-word resolution: “new”.

For my organization, I was thinking about “new” as in customers. For the L&D community, I was thinking about “new” as in launching a new product (stay tuned, it’s coming in November!). And for this blog, I was thinking about “new” in terms of research.

Recently, I began taking a look through some of the reports and research that’s been compiled by the UK-based organization, Towards Maturity. If you’re looking for insights, research and data around digital-based L&D initiatives, you ought to check out their site. Continue reading

Webinar Engagement Strategies

It’s been a while since I’ve had to deliver a webinar, but over the next several weeks I’m working with a client on instructional design and visual design skills. We have a series of webinars that we’re working with them on, and I’d forgotten how different it can be to deliver content virtually.

Most of the credit for the activities in today’s post really should go to my colleague, Lauren Wescott, who helped me plan this series of webinars.  Continue reading

Instructional Design Lessons from the State Fair

Over the past several years, my kids and I have started a tradition of going to the Washington State Fair on “opening day”, which has turned out to be the Friday before Labor Day. As we rode rides and won stuffed animals and ate fried food, some parallels between the state fair and instructional design began to emerge in my brain. Continue reading