Solve the Crime of the Century (A Training Murder Mystery)

I’ve been reading many upbeat accounts of presentations and experiences during the recent ASTD ICE. But what happens when an industry conference is a terrible experience?

There are a number of learning and development blogs that have recently focused on how to maximize your experience at a conference. The Elearning Guild’s blog, TWIST, has begun a series called “What’s in your conference bag” which highlights ways that various learning professionals prepare for attending a conference. Michelle Baker’s Phase(Two)Learning blog recently ran a contrarian post on ways to have a bad time at a conference. And the Learning Rebels have run a series of posts offering perspectives and take-aways from the recent ASTD ICE. If you or someone you know is getting ready to attend a conference, I highly recommend reading these articles (or passing them along) – tons of tips, ideas and strategies to make the most of your investment in professional development.

As learning professionals, we get pretty psyched about the opportunity to attend training events and conferences. What about the other 99.7% of working professionals? The attorneys who are required to attend workshops to earn CLEs and the medical professionals who go to conferences to earn CMEs? What about the array of other professionals who need to attend training to maintain professional certifications and the employees required to attend industry conferences for whatever other reasons?

While I read a lot of enthusiasm from my colleagues in the training field, I spend the weekends listening to non-training professionals and friends complain about the recent, mind-numbingly boring conferences, symposiums, workshops, compliance training and professional development sessions.

How do training professionals make an impact on the presentation skills of those who do not have words like “training” or “talent development” or “learning” in their title?

Nobody wakes up in the morning and says: “I hope my audience walks away complaining about how boring I was today!” My hypothesis is that many presenters lack the basic awareness of what an amazing learning experience can be, and more importantly they lack competence in how they can transform a room into a vessel of learning, engagement and behavior change.

In an effort to begin to raise that awareness, I recently created a short elearning program – it’s a sort of murder mystery called “Death by Boredom”.

Death by Boredom Title Page

Death by Boredom - Line Up

Click here to check it out. Have fun with it. And if you know someone who has an upcoming presentation, feel free to pass this along to them. See if they can identify any presentation elements they’d like to bring into their own presentations… and any elements they’d like to do away with.

8 thoughts on “Solve the Crime of the Century (A Training Murder Mystery)

    • The mention was well-deserved.

      “Death by Boredom” is fun, but I guess it puts a negative spin on it all… perhaps I’ll need to design a sequel. Something along the lines of: “Resurrected by Engagement and Innovative Delivery”. The learners will be challenged to design a presentation so amazing that it can resurrect the poor meeting attendee(s) who died from boredom.

    • That’s awesome, Jenn. Share away. Let me know what they think. And let me know if anyone solves the crime… and whether or not anyone disagrees with the rap sheets given to each of the guilty parties.

      Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

  1. Pingback: Want to Improve Your Articulate Storyline Skills? Try These 5 Tips. | Train Like A Champion

  2. I cannot seem to access the “Death by Boredom” presentation – a blank Google drive page opens up instead. Is the link broken? I’d love to see the presentation.

  3. Krista – I’m not sure what’s going on with the Google Drive page at the moment (still trying to trouble shoot); shoot me a message at bpwashburn @ gmail.com and I’ll find a way to get you the demo…

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