Recently I took my kids to The Strong National Museum of Play. As we walked through the seemingly endless interactive exhibits, I looked up to find this sign:
There may not be any hard science behind this statement, but we don’t always need empirically-tested data to be inspired by an idea. When it’s integrated into a learning experience with intention, play isn’t just a gimmick. Play can engage participants’ hearts and minds which in turn can capture their attention and can allow them to explore and navigate complex concepts on their own terms.
Here are a handful of ideas to bring play into your next session. Continue reading
Training is expected to yield change. How does change make people feel? I don’t know that we can expect everyone to react consistently when they react to change, but there is a tendency for most of us to ask how changes affect our own lives when we are faced with them. Continue reading
I’ve written about PollEverywhere in the past, but after using it during a keynote presentation last Wednesday, I wanted to draw your attention back to this easy-to-use, powerful audience interaction tool.
Here are three different ways that I set up polls for three different purposes during the course of my presentation: Continue reading
On Saturday, I attended a memorial service for my 101-year-old grandfather. The stories that my aunts and uncles and cousins shared were phenomenal. Storytelling is such a powerful means of communication, especially when you can picture what’s happening in the story.
But what happens when you aren’t quite as familiar with the subject matter or situation in the story?
In his book Brain Rules, John Medina writes: “Vision trumps all other senses… we learn and remember best through pictures, not through written or spoken words.” So how do we add the sense of sight to our storytelling? Continue reading
I was talking with a colleague recently who shared with me how much she hates icebreakers. Confession time: If I’m being honest, I hate being a training participant and having to engage in icebreaking activities, too.
So how do we take the sting out of icebreaking activities for our participants? My guiding principle is pretty simple on this point: Continue reading
This week, Poll Everywhere released a new poll option with leaderboard functionality. If you are unfamiliar with Poll Everywhere, check out this post. This week I reviewed this tool, and I am excited to share what I found.
Before I get to that, I should say that leaderboards are one of those gamification terms that I have to intentionally not roll my eyes when I hear. Continue reading
In his TED talk, Seth Godin argues that Humans are Tribal and that we assemble based on interests. I was led to this TED talk by my Crossfit Coach in an email titled Find Your Tribe. While the email was about finding a class with people of similar interests and goals, it struck me as an interesting way to think of how success is influenced by your tribe. Continue reading
When it comes to designing an effective presentation or training program, there are some fundamental questions that need to be asked.
- What will success look like? (Specifically, what will success from the participants’ perspective look like?)
- How much time will it take to put together the presentation?
- Will investing more time to put together the presentation mean that it will be a better presentation?
A recent ATD study suggested that it takes between 28-38 hours (on average) to develop one hour of training. The amount of time spent on presentation design matters for several very important reasons. Continue reading
This week, I stumbled upon Seth Godin’s blog post on Five Ways to Make Your Presentations Better. In this post, he advises presenters to
- Keep it short
- Make it clear
- Avoid reading slides
- Keep is straightforward
- Be yourself
What I assume Seth is doing in this post is helping people move past their fear of public speaking and presenting. Continue reading
Last month I had an opportunity to write a 20-page booklet for ATD entitled PowerPoint: Your Co-facilitator.
Since then, a number of friends and colleagues have asked me to boil the booklet down into the top five or ten tips that lead to effective PowerPoint presentations. As I reflected on that question, I think there are three guiding principles that can make any PowerPoint deck better. And these principles have very little to do with conventional advice such as “bullets kill, so eliminate bullet points” or “only use three lines of text, no more than 8 words per line, and no smaller than 36 point font”. My principles have little to do with the need to hone your graphic design skills, either. Continue reading