Glossophobia

Halloween may be one of my favorite holidays. Elaborate costumes and makeup are my forte, and scary movies are a must. In the spirit of Halloween, I would like to share a spooky short story. I call this story Fear.

In a dark room a faint blue light illuminates the face of woman in her thirties. Her face is stark and pallid, and her hands tremble as she reads aloud the words on the computer screen.  She stands up, abandoning her laptop as she strains to calm her heart and paces around the room, talking to herself. She wrings out her hands, takes a deep breath, and returns to her computer. Looking at the screen, she reads the words again. Continue reading

Have you ever tried Pecha Kucha? I just did, and this is what I learned…

I’ve written about Pecha Kucha-style presentations before (here and here), but I’d never actually put one together until last week.

For those unfamiliar with Pecha Kucha-style presentations, they are tightly structured presentations that require you to present on your topic using exactly 20 slides, each slide lasting only 20 seconds. The slides are generally set to auto-advance. The entire presentation is six minutes and forty seconds.

I had an opportunity to serve as the emcee at this year’s ATD Puget Sound Chapter annual workplace learning conference. One of the breakout presentations was on the topic of Pecha Kucha-style presentations and, in the spirit of showing participants one potential way to apply what was learned during the day, I thought it would be fun to issue a closing call-to-action using the Pecha Kucha format.

Here is a video of my presentation, and a few lessons Continue reading

Personality Tests and Training

Personality-Test-personality-test-18054186-400-327

Generally speaking; Doctors and nurses are the worse patients, waitresses are the worst restaurant customers, and trainers are the worst participants. I fall into the last group, I struggle in trainings unless I find them relevant and engaging and I can be a bit of a critic.

I attended a training recently where the facilitator had some interesting ideas about keeping the session fun and interactive, ideas I am sure were well intentioned and were there to help us learn. Unfortunately new to the facilitation world, he chose to start the session with an activity he was familiar with. The objective of our meeting was to learn a bit more about team dynamics and help us determine a team style. To do this, he had us take a personality test. Continue reading

Facilitation Lessons from a First Grade Teacher

connectionMy daughter’s first grade teacher called me the day before school started. She was calling to remind me that the school’s open house was that evening. As we introduced ourselves, we talked about how she and my daughter share the same first name. During our conversation, we also discovered that they share the same middle name, same initials, and same birthday. When they finally met in person that evening, my daughter and her teacher were elated to meet the person with whom they share so much in common. When I dropped my little girl off on her first day at school the next morning, she comfortably greeted her teacher as if they had known one another for years. Continue reading

Preparing for the Great American Eclipse

Eclipse2

For some, August 21, 2017 is a big day. Many people have spent months preparing for the events of today. Today is first day in 38 years that the moon will completely block the sun from the view in many United States cities as well as partially block the sun in the majority of the rest of the states.

How we prepare for major events influence our experiences. Many people maybe simply aware of the celestial event occurring today, caring little more than to wander outside and check it out if prompted. More dedicated individuals have been planning vacations to be in a location that celebrates a full eclipse; they know the location of the totality, possess correct eyewear, and have researched total eclipse facts, i.e. it can only happen during a new moon, to get the most out of their experience. I am somewhere in between. I live in a place where we will see 93% coverage around 10:30 AM, and all of the news surrounding the eclipse has me moderately interested. Continue reading

“But he’s a heading west from the Cumberland Gap to Johnson City, Tennessee”

Map_Johnson_City_Cumberland_Gap

When I was in Birmingham, AL, last week, someone re-introduced me to Darius Rucker. I loved listening to his band, Hootie and the Blowfish, when I was in college, and I’d heard he’d “gone country” but I hadn’t kept up with his music.

The song Wagon Wheel was played for me. It was a catchy tune. I liked it. It sounded like it was about some guy hitchhiking, but I couldn’t quite figure out what all the lyrics meant, so I Googled the song. I found something very, very wrong…   Continue reading