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

Four Steps to More Engaging Training Design

A little while back, I was showing a tech industry executive – someone who knows both his way around the C-suite and who knows his way around training design – a lesson plan that was generated by our training design tool, Soapbox.

“Hmmmm. When you first told me about this, I thought I’d see some sort of instructional design model integrated into the way you designed this.”

I pointed out that the lesson plan actually did follow the formula of a 4-step instructional design model. He looked at the lesson plan again and smiled. “Ah, I see it now. Yes, this is good.”

Being intentional about the design of your next training program by using a model rooted in adult learning theory can make the difference between a meandering, ineffective session and an engaging session that leads to change. Following is the model we use Continue reading

Training Game: Elimination

We’ve put together a lot of training programs in which participants need to be able to take in information and then quickly determine the most appropriate options to move forward while eliminating other choices.

To help participants accomplish this, we’ve created a game that we’ve ingeniously named: Elimination. If you conduct sales training or onboarding or manager training or really any type of training program in which you want to help your participants make decisions quickly, feel free to steal our game.  Continue reading

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