Fun with Storyline: A Man’s Guide to Holiday Party Attire

For the longest time, when I opened Articulate Storyline, I felt I needed to create an entire course. I’m not talking a read-all-this-content-then-click-next-through-50-slides-of-text type of course. I’m talking choose-your-own-adventure, multiple branching scenarios course.

While that type of course development is fun and exciting and allows for a lot of creativity, it also takes a lot of time to put together.

Storyline is also a great tool to create simple job aids. While there’s certainly a time and place for building entire courses, there’s also a time and place for simple, just-in-time, on-demand job aids to help people look up information when they need it.

In the spirit of the holiday season, when holiday parties abound, I put together the following job aid to help men with their choice of attire Continue reading

Choosing An Icebreaker That People Will Not Hate

The phrase “Let’s get started with an icebreaker” will inevitably be followed by groans from your participants. Yet, breaking the ice at the beginning of a workshop or presentation is an essential ingredient to building rapport between audience members and establishing a relationship between the audience and you.

Choose an Icebreaker Related to Your Content

The first step is choosing an activity that is related somehow to your content and sets an appropriate tone for the remainder of your time with your audience. Here is a list of sixteen icebreaking activities that you may find useful.

Five Questions About Your Icebreaker

Once you think you have an icebreaker that’s going to work for you, here is a list of five questions you’ll want to ask before you finalize your choice of ice breaker.

Icebreaker Challenge 1

Icebreaker Challenge 2

In the spirit of this weekend’s Sweet 16 stage of the NCAA basketball tournament, I’ve concocted a little game – a bracket challenge – if you’d like some help narrowing your selection of icebreaking activity. You can fill out your Ice Breaker Bracket here. If you do decide to take me up on this bracket challenge, I’d love to hear which ice breaking activity would be your 2015 champion. Drop a line in the comment section.

Do you have a preferred ice breaking activity that didn’t make it to my Sweet Sixteen list? Let’s hear about it in the comment section below.

Using eLearning to Promote Classroom Sessions

“What’s in it for me” is a common mantra for learners, especially because they probably have more pressing things to take care of. Your upcoming training session is competing for their time and attention.

In order to grab potential attendees’ attention for an upcoming face-to-face workshop, I recently used Articulate Storyline to create a brief online quiz (click this link if you have 3 minutes and want to take it for a test drive).

eLearning Promo

Putting together a short, fun online activity can do several things for you:

  1. Creates intrigue as learners get a small taste of what’s to come.
  2. Creates a greater sense of urgency for your content, especially if learners take a quiz like this and realize their New Employee Orientation program (or whatever your content might be) is simply “average” or “needs some work”.
  3. Gets your learners invested in your content before you session even begins (“how exactly can I go from “average” to “world class”?).

Even if you develop in-house training sessions that people are required to attend, creating a sense of intrigue and urgency can help your colleagues get excited to set aside some time for your next workshop.

Have you found other creative ways to engage your audience and promote your training sessions? Let’s hear about them in the comment section.

Know someone who might be need a little inspiration to promote their training sessions? Pass this post along to them!


Interested re-imagining and revising your New Employee Orientation so that it can truly be world class, inspiring your new employees as they begin their journey with your organization?

Join phase(two)learning’s Michelle Baker and me in Indianapolis on March 9-10 for a New Employee Orientation re-design workshop that will be one part networking event, one part learning lab.

Contact me at brian@endurancelearning.com or click here for more information.

 

A New Tool to Help You Decide how to Spend Professional Development Dollars

Budget season has descended upon my organization. While we try frantically to meet the deadlines set forth by the finance department, we’re also trying to pay for as many 2015 expenses as possible by spending 2014 funds prior to December 31.

If you happen to be in the same boat, I spent some time this weekend inventing a cool new tool (at least I think it’s cool) to help you decide how to spend some of your “leftover” 2014 funds.

I’m assuming most readers of the Train Like A Champion blog are in the training or human resources field, which explains the limited nature of this tool. If you have 3 minutes, go ahead and check it out. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Cover Page

Click here to launch the “How-to-Spend-Your-Professional-Development-Dollars” wizard.

If you know of someone in the training or human resources fields who might need to spend down their professional development dollars by the end of this year, please pass this along to them!

Want to Improve Your Articulate Storyline Skills? Try These 5 Tips.

Articulate Storyline may be the greatest thing to sweep through the learning and development field since the creation of the action-oriented, learner-centered objective. Why? It’s insanely intuitive to use, and the Elearning Heroes online community is a place where you can instantly learn how to do anything you ever wanted to do in an elearning environment.

If you’re using Storyline and haven’t been taking advantage of the Elearning Heroes online community, here are five reasons to start:

  1. Adding and displaying a learner’s name throughout your module. Want to have a learner input text – whether it’s their name or some other text – and then have that same text come up later in the module? Nicole Legault’s handy tip walks you through an easy way to set this up.
  2. Create custom characters for your elearning. Sick of looking through free image sites and not finding exactly what you’re looking for? This post from Tom Kuhlman walks you through the steps it’ll take to help any non-graphic designer modify existing clip art images to create custom characters.
  3. What are other people working on? Every week, David Anderson posts an “Elearning Challenge”, asking Articulate Storyline users from around the world to come up with creative ideas or share work samples around a common instructional design theme. This is a fun way to put your own skills to the test, and to see what kinds of amazingly creative ideas other Storyline users can come up with. What is perhaps the most stunning thing about this particular series of posts is that many of the people who take on these weekly challenges will gladly share their source files.
  4. Free Assets! Looking for free clip art, images, fonts and other visual assets? Create an account on the Elearning Heroes site and you get access to lots and lots of free assets and templates.
  5. Share your module without uploading it to an LMS. Want to have other people check out your latest elearning module or preview your most recent creation without having it go live on your LMS? Mike Taylor walks you through the several simple steps you need to take in order to upload a course to Google Drive.

There are a lot of other tips, tricks and tools that are available – FREE – through the Articulate community. If Articulate Storyline is your thing, check it out.

Want to see Storyline in use? Check out this post which includes an elearning demo which allows you to solve “The Crime of the Century” and identify which meeting facilitator(s) could have been responsible for boring an audience member to death.

Know someone using Storyline? Be sure to pass this along.

5 Questions to Ask before Sending Someone to Training

I’m going to share a dirty little secret with you. Please don’t tell my colleagues in the training field that I shared this with you. I’m a training professional. When people need training, I have job security.

The secret is this: training isn’t the solution to every performance problem or skills gap. There are time – a lot of times actually – when training is not an appropriate solution.

How can you know when training might be appropriate? Below, you will find a link to a series of five questions. A complex algorithm will then calculate the probability that training will be an appropriate solution.

Here is a preview of what you’ll find when you click the link (note: the following photos are just sample screen shots; if you’d like to find out if training is the right solution for you, you must click on the link below):

Is Training The Right Solution

Is Training The Right Solution Q5

Click here to find out if training is the right solution for you.

Know someone who might need some help deciding if training is the right solution? Pass this post along.

Want a steady stream of tips, techniques, tools and insights into training, learning and professional development? Subscribe to this blog by clicking on the “Follow” button above.

I think I’m engaging, but why doesn’t my audience seem engaged?

As a presenter, I have my favorite techniques and strategies to engage my audience. Ironically, the more I attempt to engage an audience with some of these techniques and strategies, the less I’m actually able to engage them. As I’ve reflected on this over the past several years, the issue seems to be related to people’s preferred learning styles.

You may be familiar with the three basic learning styles: auditory, visual, kinesthetic.

I’ve found that the techniques that I favor are generally presentation strategies that appeal to my own preferred learning style. I’m a visual learner, and when I present I spend a lot of time working on visual aids which I think are clever and engaging. And of course they are clever. But those in my audience who may prefer to process information through things they hear or say (auditory learners) and those who prefer to roll up their sleeves and experience the learning by doing something (kinesthetic learners) may feel a bit neglected.

If you’d like to learn more about the three basic learning styles or if you need help coming up with some activities to engage all of your learners during your next presentation, here is a link to a short elearning module I spent some time developing this weekend.  Here’s a sneak preview:

Learning Styles (Auditory)

Learning Styles (Visual)

If you have any feedback on this elearning module or if you think it can be improved, drop me a line in the comments section.

If you know someone who might find this program helpful as they gear up for their next presentation, pass this post along to them.

And if you want a steady stream of tips and techniques on learning and development, I invite you to hit the follow button at the top of the screen I order to subscribe to this blog.