Diary of an Ultra Successful Training Workshop

Last week, I had been asked by a client to offer a training design workshop for some of their presenters. It was a different kind of workshop than I’ve ever had to design because I would not own the entire two days of the learning experience. In addition to the training design elements, the vast majority of the 2-day workshop would include a series of technical presentations.

Further adding to the challenge was the fact that my audience was made up of people who had been presenting for years, and they were both subject matter experts and people who saw themselves as seasoned presenters.

Here is how the workshop played out, in diary form:

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Case Study: How a Financial Services Company Refreshed a Tired Training Program

On Monday, Betty Dannewitz of If You Ask Betty, shared some insights to help you get started using augmented reality or virtual reality technology in your training programs (if you missed her 9-minute podcast, click here). Today, she’s back on Train Like A Champion as a guest author, sharing how her financial services company was able to breathe new life into their tired old training programs using a new, rapid authoring tool for face-to-face instruction called Soapbox. Here is Betty in her own words:

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What happens when instructional designers are partners, not order takers?

When a long-time friend and I decided to leave the safety and comfort of our respective jobs to start our own instructional design company, Endurance Learning, we made a conscious decision that we were going to be different. We didn’t simply want to bring our clients’ initial ideas to life, we wanted to make sure our clients ended up with the best learning experience possible.

It was a nice theory. In reality, it proved to be a risky proposition. After all, pushing back on a client could mean that they take their training project (and their budget) to someone else who will do exactly as they say.

Recently, Michelin presented our Endurance Learning team with their Dealer Experience Partner Award. As he presented this award, Tim Cunningham, Michelin’s Director of Customer Training and Development, cited our ability to be a partner with his team and to push back as necessary as some of the reasons he found our instructional design contributions to his team so valuable.

Endurance Learning receiving Partner Award

Following are four takeaways from our experiences with Michelin that could be applied by instructional designers everywhere – whether you’re internal to the organization or coming to work on a project from outside the organization.   Continue reading

Case Study: The Impact of Training One Year After Launch

A year ago I found myself in Birmingham, AL, helping to lead a train the trainer session as part of the launch and roll-out of a new sales training program.

A year later, we’ve been able to look at the impact of training through the lens of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation and see the results and impact on each level, including a double-digit growth in sales for those stores who have implemented this program compared to those who haven’t.   Continue reading

Case Study: Continuing the Learning after a Conference Session

Last fall I had an opportunity to deliver a pair of presentation skills sessions at the Arkansas Early Childhood Association Annual Conference in Little Rock. Everyone I encountered during the few days that I was in Arkansas showed me an amazing time, the session participants were engaged throughout, and then I got on a plane and returned home. What did the participants do with the concepts I’d taught?

Recently, I exchanged a few messages with one of the conference organizers – Michelle Pounds – and was amazed to hear how they had extended the learning from my sessions. It can serve as a model for how organizations can get the most out of their investment in sending people to a conference, maximizing the possibility that the learning is applied in the real world. Following is a brief description of what Michelle and her team did to keep the learning going, written in Michelle’s words:   Continue reading

Case Study: Get Training to Stick

Following is a guest post from Betty Dannewitz, who generously offered to share her experiences with the Train Like a Champion community. Be sure to share your thoughts about this case study with her in the comment section.

The Scenario

We know how the story goes.

  • Step 1: Trainee hears about a great class.
  • Step 2: Trainee shows up ready to learn.
  • Step 3: Trainee loves the class and soaks up all the knowledge like a sponge.
  • Step 4: Trainee leaves class excited and energized.
  • Step 5: After class, all content falls out of trainee’s head.
  • Step 6: Trainee does nothing with the new skill set.
  • Step 7: Cycle repeats.

Techniques to Get Training to Stick

How do we stop the madness?  How do we make training stick?  How can we help them remember?  We have all asked these exact questions.

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Case Study: Add Staff to Improve Training ROI

On November 5, 2015, I happened to be speaking with a training colleague from another department when she began telling me the story of how she was finally able to add a .5 FTE to her training team. I asked how it was working out for her, and she began rattling off all the benefits she was seeing.

It had helped lighten her workload. She had a new partner in crime with whom she could kick ideas around. This new training person was super-high quality.

“This is exciting,” I said, “but have you seen any impact… as in anything you can quantify?”  Continue reading

Make End-of-Training Action Plans Obsolete

Transfer of training: the Holy Grail for training professionals. So how do we get there?

Traditional training design includes a rockin’ presentation followed by an action plan and finally an evaluation form.

I’ve been reading a lot of Will Thalheimer’s blog lately. If you’re a training professional and you’re not familiar with Dr. Thalheimer’s work, you ought to be. He’s dedicated to the integration of evidence- and research-based training methods while de-bunking models, theories and traditional practices that fly in the face of scientific research (such as Kirkpatrick’s 4 levels of evaluation).

Recently, he wrote about building a better action plan. He calls it “triggered action planning”, and he cites research that suggests this method may “double the likelihood that our learners actually apply what they’ve learned.” Double the likelihood that learners will apply what they’ve learned! Not too shabby.

When I shared this idea with a co-worker, she told me that she liked this idea… though she didn’t like this idea as much as the idea of eliminating the action plan altogether. She asked: why not send our trainees on their way with a work product they’ll be able to use as soon as they get back to their offices?

She reminded me of our organization’s Presentation Skills training. We don’t ask the participants to complete an action plan, we ask them to put everything they learned during the day’s session together in order to craft a lesson plan they’ll be able to use when they return to their offices.

The traditional action plan is well-intentioned, but not very effective. With the Triggered Action Plan, Will Thalheimer has built a much better and potentially more effective mouse trap. Giving your learners an opportunity to build something they’ll use as soon as they get back to the office, well, that might just be the key to ensuring new skills are transferred directly onto the job.

Interested in a transfer of training case study? Read this: Transfer of Training: A Case Study

Case Study: Technology Fails

Last week, a colleague had an unfortunate run-in with technology at the start of his presentation. What’s one piece of advice you’d share with this subject matter expert?

The Scenario

“I had been asked to deliver a 30-minute lecture on the anatomy of the eye and I was concerned about two things:

1)      How on Earth would I fill up a 30-minute block of time on this subject?

2)      How on Earth am I supposed to present on this topic when there will be eye surgeons in the audience? They’ve forgotten more about the eye than I could ever teach.

I put together a slide deck and I rehearsed my session. Continue reading