Setting SMEs up to be more successful presenters

Subject matter experts (SMEs) bring deep technical knowledge to any training program, but when they’re asked to put a presentation together and deliver it to an audience, many SMEs struggle to keep their audience engaged. While some SMEs may appreciate the idea of learner engagement and the application of adult learning principles, it’s a fool’s errand to try to turn SMEs into de facto instructional designers through train the trainer programs.

Should training professionals simply step out of the way and allow an SME to get in front of an audience of eager learners, simply hoping that the SME can be charismatic and the learners arrive ready to hang on every last word? Probably not.

If you think of the array of elements available to turn any learning experience into an engaging and effective program, there are a number of things that training professionals can do to help SMEs be more effective. In today’s post, we’ll examine one very short combination of these elements.

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Real Cost of Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-left training costs can come in many forms. Financial costs are the traditional way in which this question is answered. “We were able to develop this training program for about $2,500.” But what’s the cost to you?

real cost of instructor-led training includes time

Just because you develop a training program in-house, doesn’t mean it was designed for “free”. Yes, your time is already budgeted and paid for, but it’s certainly not “free”.

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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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Rapid Virtual Training Design is Here!

You never know what is around the corner or what the world will look like in the next few years. One thing is for sure, there is a drastic increase in virtual tools to facilitate meetings, and we need to be successful working with them. The pandemic has shown many of us that virtual meetings may well be a way of working for many more of us than we ever anticipated. Now that we have the tools to do it, we somewhat expect our colleagues and coworkers to intuitively know how to create engaging experiences with these tools. Has that been your experience?

We recently spoke to Lauren Wescott and Tim Waxenfelter about how they are leading a team that has released an advanced version of Soapbox to create engaging virtual training in just a few minutes. The Endurance Learning team talks about how we moved from a tool that prioritized the instructor-led experience to a virtual experience, some lessons we learned, and what to expect from Soapbox going forward.

Tune in this week, and every week to learn more about what other professionals are doing to push our industry forward!

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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

Six Scary Mistakes You Can Make In Course Design

Course design can be scary. There are a lot of logistics to consider, the content needs to be correct and put together in a way that makes sense, and the participants must engage with the content to learn. There is a lot of art and a lot of science to course design, and many books/principles/etc. have been written to simplify the process.  So far, simplifying course design has been fairly unattainable. Continue reading