What’s the right formula when working with SMEs on training?

“How do we get subject matter experts (SMEs) to be better trainers?”

It’s a question I hear often, especially in light of the recent presentations I’ve been doing on the concept of radioactive elements, which comes from my book What’s Your Formula?

Before I dive more deeply into SMEs, I want to remind everyone what “radioactive elements” are. Radioactive elements are components of training that can be very powerful, but they can also be very dangerous or even harmful if they’re not used very well. As you can see from the image below, these elements include some of the most commonly used pieces for training today: lecture, PowerPoint, SMEs, handouts, smile sheets (level 1 evaluation forms), icebreakers, elearning, augmented reality, role play, games and data.

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Experiments in Learning Design: Ex + Lp = Much More Engaging SME Presentations

Last week I began to share some “experiments in learning design” based upon the following periodic table (which is the basis for my upcoming book, What’s Your Formula: Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Training):

This week we’ll take a look at another experiment. Today’s experiment revolves around the question: Are there ways to support SMEs to help their presentations to be more engaging and effective when they’re asked to train other people?

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Stop Stressing About Virtual Training Activities

The United States went into lockdown mode as it responded to COVID-19 back around St. Patrick’s Day of last year. It’s been almost a year since the world of learning and development has gone almost exclusively to virtual design and delivery, and there’s really no end in sight.

Are you still able to come up with original virtual training activities to keep people engaged?

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Virtual Training Session in 10 minutes

Virtual training delivery has always been tricky, but since COVID-19 basically eliminated business travel, just about everyone has made a push to convert existing training programs to virtual.

Sometimes converting programs to virtual can be fairly simple, but usually, the best results come from keeping your learning objectives the same, but starting from scratch when it comes to activities. Virtual training programs and in-person programs are simply two different experiences, and retrofitting in-person programs to fit into virtual delivery may have been appropriate when we were desperately looking for quick ways to continue offering professional development, it’s certainly not the best long-term solution.

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Free Lesson Plan: Training Your Staff on Converting Programs from In-person to Virtual

Here in the United States, after a year of COVID-19 we are hopefully slowly starting to return to resuming some training activities in person again. But everything will not suddenly return back to “normal”. We now know that may need to be ready to deliver in-person training or in-person conference sessions in a different way. So how can organizations best help their presenters convert their programs from in-person to virtual delivery?

Retrofitting your existing programs to try to do the same thing, just in a virtual environment is tempting. Keep in mind, however, that virtual delivery offers opportunities for which in-person instruction doesn’t allow… and there are some things you can do in-person that you just can’t do online. Below, you’ll find a lesson plan that we’ve created for a 90-minute session that you can use to help educate your staff, co-workers or clients on ways to think through the conversion from in-person to online instruction.

Retrofitting your existing programs to try to do the same thing, just in a virtual environment is tempting. Keep in mind, however, that virtual delivery offers opportunities for which in-person instruction doesn't allow. Click To Tweet Continue reading

Scary moments in Presentations

Happy Halloween. Fun scary days call for spooky stories…

In a dark room, a visage is backlit by a square projected light. Ghost-like and monochromatic the visage speaks, is he speaking directly you? Should you answer his indirect questions? No, the words are abstract and generic, almost as though he is reciting an old childhood adage he has recited over and over before he has brought them before you today. Continue reading