On Training and Wedding Officiating

A couple of friends asked me to officiate their wedding last weekend. There are a lot of special things about being asked to perform this ceremony and this being a first for me, I worked to make it special. I wrote a ceremony unique to the couple and their families, I practiced diligently, and I arrived at the venue to rehearse with the wedding party. As I stood at the altar, preparing to make minor adjustments, someone 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 STORY 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

Rethinking Inclusivity

Every year my kids’ school has spirit week where they are encouraged to dress in themed clothing for each day of the week. As a person who facilitates activities for a living, I’m a good sport about most things that serve a purpose and cause no harm. Up until this year, I’ve taken no issue with the silly shenanigans of Crazy Hair Day and putting my children in backward clothing.

This year, however, I’ve observed a lot of anxiety over one spirit day that has me thinking about the inclusiveness of activities. Continue reading

Not All Holiday Parties Have to Be Ugly

It is that time of year again. The time where we conservatively let loose in front of our co-workers and talk about something other than work at the annual holiday party. I enjoy holiday parties, as long as they are not awkward or forced. Just like training, if these parties are well thought out and curated, they can be really fun. Similarly, if they are poorly planned, they are awkward. Continue reading

Storytelling for Trainers

Last week, my daughter came home from the school library with her first graphic novel. She excitedly showed me how the story moved through the speech balloons and panels. Her excitement came from the novel approach (pardon the pun) to telling a story. She recently graduated to chapter books, and I think she was missing the imagery she had grown accustomed to in her beginner books. Continue reading

5 Ideas to Get Participants Exploring Your Content Before You Begin Speaking

Over the weekend I walked to the playground with my children and as they charged toward the play structures, I noticed that they suddenly stopped before they could reach the monkey bars and the slides. As I caught up with them, this is what I saw:

ASL

They had both found this board with instructions on how to sign each letter of the alphabet using American Sign Language, and they were trying to spell their names.

They had the entire playground to themselves and they stopped to interact with this board. It made me start to wonder: how can we capture our own learners’ curiosity in order to get them to want to interact with our content even before we begin our presentations?

Here are five ideas:  Continue reading

Why does it matter if people in your organization don’t like to lead training sessions?

There are a lot of reasons why someone may not like being asked to train others in your organization.

Perhaps they’re busy and don’t have time for “one more thing.” Maybe they have anxiety around speaking in front of others, especially their peers. Perhaps they feel like they’re not an expert, or worse, they suffer from a touch of “Imposter Syndrome“.

Whether or not they like to do presentations at work, it is essential that high performers have an opportunity to share their expertise. In his book The Leadership Engine, Noel Tichy writes, “Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. all… had strong ideas, values, energy, and edge, but without disciples to spread their mission, both during their lifetimes and after their deaths, their legacies would have been short-lived.”

Organizations need disciples to buy in to their mission and carry out the myriad tasks that keep the organization running. To do this, organizations need people who will embrace training others. How can we set people up for success every time they present, and perhaps help people across the organization embrace the opportunity when they’re called upon to train others?   Continue reading