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

How an “anchor” is different from an icebreaker (and why you should be using anchors in every presentation).

“If we’re running short on time, I’ll typically cut the anchor activities and jump right into the content.”

I was leading a train the trainer workshop and some of the people who were using our curriculum were sharing tips and tricks for how to facilitate a session, especially when the curriculum was so packed and it was so easy to fall behind.

I cringed.  Continue reading

When a presenter tries using a pick-up line on the audience…

A friend of mine was sharing her experiences recently on a dating site. She had met an international man of mystery – Tomas – on a site. He seemed good looking enough and successful. Tomas was Portuguese and apparently made his money by doing something with gold bars and China.

And then on his most recent trip, Tomas got stuck in China and couldn’t get his gold bars out, unless… Continue reading

Your attention span is shorter than a goldfi… Squirrel!

The year was 2015. I was sitting in a breakout session at a training conference and the speaker was about to discuss ways to easily bring animation into an elearning course. As she introduced her topic, she shared a bit of research that was new to me: Thanks to all of today’s technology and distractions that surround us, the average human attention span had dwindled to under nine seconds, which is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish! She even cited this article in Time magazine as her source.

The problem with this eye popping statistic is Continue reading

What are training professionals actually doing with their time?

Several weeks ago I introduced our presentation design tool — Soapbox — and asked for volunteers willing to test it and provide feedback in our Beta phase. This week we’ll begin Beta testing on this tool intended to save people time in the design of their training programs.

As our Beta testers have waited to get their hands on Soapbox, we’ve asked them to participate in several short surveys about how they’re currently spending their time. Following are some insights from their responses.  Continue reading

Leveraging Pinterest as a Learning and Design Tool

People have their opinions about social media. Believe me, I have my own. I do, however, play on Pinterest every so often and I have found a few useful things when searching for ideas for my kid’s school project or gardening tips. As a site that is geared toward the DIY mom type, there is a surprising amount of teaching resources. Continue reading

Is it possible to design an engaging, effective training session (and accompanying slides) in 5 minutes? Yep.

How much time do you typically spend putting together a good presentation?

Beginning with thinking through your learning outcomes, mapping an outline of activities, putting together the slides and handouts you’ll use – how much time does that typically take? Half a day? Two days? A week?

There’s a new online tool that will soon be available that can get you 80% of the way to a well-designed, engaging presentation in about five minutes.

Soapbox is a tool that the Endurance Learning team has been developing for several years. This Thursday at a Seattle-based conference called Learnapalooza, the world will get the first glimpse of Soapbox in action. Today on Train Like A Champion, you’ll get a sneak peek. If you’re intrigued to learn more, we’re looking for a limited pool of beta users who can help us identify bugs and find gaps in the content.

What is Soapbox?

Soapbox is a job aid that takes several key factors of your next presentation into consideration and instantly designs a training presentation for you that includes:

  • an outline of activities,
  • detailed instructions,
  • a slide deck, and
  • a template for any suggested handouts

How does Soapbox work?

You tell Soapbox a few details about your presentation:

Initial Details

You decide what should happen as a result of your presentation:

Outcomes

Then Soapbox offers you a lesson plan with a series of activities (that you can re-order if you’d like), slides, a materials list and handout templates.

Initial Outline

Don’t like an activity? Swap it out.

Swap Activities

Want to customize your content? All text and PowerPoint slides are completely editable.

Editing

Want to help with our limited beta?

We’re looking for a handful of people who might have a training presentation coming up and who would like to test Soapbox and give us some feedback. If you fit the profile, sign up here and we’ll get in touch with you in the next few weeks.

Coming to Learnapalooza? Hope to see you in our session where we’ll see just how fast you can put together a presentation!

What are the elements of amazing learning experiences? There’s a periodic table for that!

If professional development experiences are a sort of lab, in which learners can test new knowledge and skills and instructional designers and trainers can concoct new and engaging ways for people to learn, I wonder what the basic elements for this lab would be.

Being inspired as the son of a science teacher, I put together this periodic table with elements of amazing learning experiences organized by solids, liquids, gases, radioactive elements and interactive elements.  Continue reading