Train Like… You Listen: An L&D Podcast

The Train Like You Listen podcast is a series of short audio clips offering insights and bite-sized nuggets on trends, cool tools and tips for L&D professionals.

You can also subscribe on Spotify!

  • Learning Campaigns (podcast)

    What is it like to be on the other side of the training? In other words, do your participants have a working world that lives beyond attending your training? In all of my experiences, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. In fact, often I have to account for not only meeting the training objectives, but also making sure there are several ways for the learned to access information and find various was to prompt them to engage with those tools, events,  and resources.  

    The more we can access our learners, the more likely we are to be successful in our training outcomes. This week on the Train Like you Listen podcast, Amy Lou Abernethy, President, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Strategist at Amp Creative, stops by to talk to us about how we can use learning campaigns to increase learner engagement and promote a learning culture.

  • Troubleshooting for Trainers

    Do you walk into every training development project knowing exactly what needs to happen to make it a success? If you are like me, probably not. As a junior trainer, a lot of my lessons were learned from failure and feedback. While those are wonderful ways to learn, it isn’t always ideal to put yourself or your team at risk for failure if it can be avoided. Is there a way to be proactive about troubleshooting your next training event?

    Sophie Oberstein, author, coach, adjunct professor, and L&OD consultant, joins us on the Train Like You Listen podcast this week to discuss how you can find solutions to training problems.

    Make sure to check out her book, Troubleshooting for Trainers, which is available October 6, 2020.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

    Give Soapbox a Try to Change the Way You Train

  • Can Curiosity Be Taught?

    Like many other parents right now, I have children at home who are learning online. While our school is doing a good job with this new approach to early childhood education, screen -time limits and other obvious factors have me playing the role of a part-time teacher to fourth and second grader. While my forte has always been training adults, I am noticing a lot of overlap in our young learners and adult learners.

    One of these overlaps is curiosity.  Facilitating and training people, young or adult, to be curious is important, but is it really an outcome that can be trained and measured? On this week’s podcast, we talk to Bethany Kline from www.Rover.com about her approach to training learners how to be curious and how she applies her methods to scale innovation across an organization.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • How to Engage Learners

    When it comes to how to engage learners, finding the magical formula can seem like catching a mythical creature. In theory, it is absolutely attainable, however, in practice, unexpected obstacles abound.

    Speaking of rare encounters, on this week’s podcast, Brian finally meets Cara North to talk about her approach to unlocking learner engagement. During this episode, she talks about the three legged stool of engagement and why it is important not to put all of your weight on one leg, why content will always rule, and some tips and tricks to engaging learners.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Trainer’s Approach to Effective PowerPoint

    Most trainers have a love/hate relationship with PowerPoint. Why is that? There are probably a lot of reasons, but one reason I see over and over is that many trainers are taking the wrong approach to creating PowerPoint slides.

    Mike Parkinson is not only the founder of Billion Dollar Graphics and author of A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint, he is also one of only 36 Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs in the world! This week, he took some time with the Train Like You Listen podcast to really dig in to how to create engaging and effective PowerPoint slides. During this podcast, we discuss the number one issues that experts see when users open this tool, why a simple mind map can help you become a better PowerPoint designer, and how to approach building a good slide.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • What You Need to Know Before You Gamify Your Next Training (podcast)

    In what seems like a lifetime ago, I had a director who read an article about gamification and decided our team needed to include gamification in our next program. After months of trying, our team put together a leader board. It went over like a lead balloon. Our team didn’t understand enough about gamification to make a successful program or how to fit it properly within our objective. I know for a fact my experience with gamification is not unique. I have failed more than once to make games work in training. The lessons learned from those failures have lent themselves to some much better training development, but that is another blog post.

    This week on the Train Like You Listen podcast, Marci Morford, manager of onboarding, culture, and innovation programs at Salesforce stops by to talk about how to properly apply gamification to training. Marci and Brian worked together to build an on-boarding game that took new-hires through a days-long game to acclimate to their new roles. She takes some time to cover a few examples of game that work in training, how to find inspiration to gamify your next training, and discusses the why the dynamics, mechanics, and components of a game are play a huge role in game play success.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • How do I show up to Virtual Training?

    If you have been in training for more than a few years, it is likely you are familiar with the Ken Blanchard Companies. The Ken Blanchard Companies have more than 40 years of in-person training experience and are a power-house of instructor-led training. Like many other companies, this group of individuals is looking forward to a more agile approach to training development as our world shifts to new approaches to training.

    In episode 31 of the Train Like You Listen podcast, we sit down with Britney Cole, Associate Vice President, Solution Architecture and Innovation Strategy at The Ken Blanchard Companies, to talk about how this company planned a new approach to training development even before the pandemic hit, knowing that things can change drastically from the start of a project to the end of one, or as an evergreen training needs to fit a new modality.  Britney takes some time to discuss how she and her team used their puzzle pieces to fit various modalities and how the companies look forward to new processes based on what they have learned in recent months.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Voice User Interfaces and Training

    “Alexa, play the podcast Train Like You Listen from Spotify” .

    Voice-activated digital assistants are household items for many of us. Smartphones, speakers, even watches can be voice-activated to help us with any number of things. My mom and her 81-year-old neighbor spent the weekend setting up and activating skills for several smart speakers in her house. They set up entertainment, reminders, asked questions, and set up some safety features. What else can we do with devices with a voice user interface?

    On episode 30 of Train Like You Listen, Myra Roldan, author of Design A Voice User Interface, sits down with us to talk about how she leverages voice user interfaces as a training tool. In this short podcast, Myra helps us to understand more about what a voice user interface is and some examples of how they can be used to train in a variety of situations. For more information from Myra, be sure to visit her website http://myraroldan.tk/.

     

     
    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

    Script of Voice User Interfaces Discussion

    Brian Washburn: Welcome, everyone, to the Train Like You Listen podcast…a short podcast about all things Learning & Development.  I’m Brian Washburn, co-founder and CEO of Endurance Learning and today I am joined by technologist, Myra Roldan, who maybe you’ve seen as a presenter at a conference…whether its an ATD conference or a Learning Guild conference or any, sort of, L&D-focused conference.  She has definitely been a prominent speaker.  Myra, thank you for joining us today.

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, thank you for having me!

    Brian Washburn: I’m excited.  And as you know, we start each of these podcasts with a short 6-word introduction.  Today we’re going to be talking about a topic that’s near and dear to you, which is voice user interface.  When it comes to a 6-word biography, when i think of this topic and myself, my biography might be “Alexa, remind me of today’s date.”  Here in the age of COVID I’ve kind of lost track of time.  How about you?  What would be a good 6-word biography for yourself?

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, so i’m a fan of 6-word memoirs so this is right up my lane, right.  So my 6-word biography…I actually have two.  I’ll give you my main one, so “Life’s a journey, let’s be crafty…”  “…let’s be creative”, like plugging your descriptor word in there, right?  So that’s kind of it…be creative. 

    Brian Washburn: Yeah.  Do you have a 2nd one?

    Myra Roldan: Yeah.  So my 2nd one… So I love “Meet the Robinsons”..the cartoon movie… “See a need…fill a need.”

    Brian Washburn: Nice.

    Myra Roldan: That’s my… yeah, that’s my 2nd one.

    Brian Washburn: (laughing) I like it.  So let’s jump into some questions here and just so that we can get everyone on the same page, what IS a “voice user interface”?  Like what are some examples of how it’s used to make life better in the real world?

    What is a Voice User Interface?

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, definitely.  So “voice user interface”…. So let’s start by defining that.  So a “voice user interface” is a program that allows humans like ourselves to interact with the computer, or computer program, using our voice, right?  That’s it.  Plain and simple.  If you have a smart speaker, like an Alexa device, or, you know, Siri on your phone, or Google Home web browser or either Google search browser you can use voice, think of the VUI as the engine that propels the car forward.

    How Can Voice User Interfaces Work in Training?

    Brian Washburn: So I think that anybody who has a smartphone, who’s familiar with Siri or Alexa or things like that…that makes sense.  Now you’ve recently released a workbook suggesting that this can be a game-changer in the Learning & Development space.  How do you see this working for those of us who aren’t computer programmers or coders or engineers who make this happen?

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, so i’ve been preaching this for like the past 3 years…right now, yeah, going on 4 years…trying to push this whole, like, voice interface/design piece.  I believe that in the learning space, because we have such short attention spans and because people, as we know, retain 10% of what they’re learning when we create like e-learning or put them through a course… With voice – that can become part of their brain, because we are so bombarded with information that we have to release information from our brain and then we need another mechanism to retrieve it and a voice interface, or a digital assistant, can become that second brain.  So we don’t always have to remember, like, the details.  For example, if you work in corporate, a lot of times you have to do an expense report or file some kind of report and so…I don’t know how many…like every time I have to fill out an expense report I have to, like, look it up…see what I have to do…  Where I can have a digital assistant say, like, “How do I file my expense report?” and so that immediately…it can trigger my brain.  The voice assistant can be programmed to say, like, “these are the steps,” right? Or “Go to this page and do this.”  And if she is integrated into a web browser or to my computer, she can pull up the website for me.  So from an instructional design perspective, you don’t have to be a coder.  I say that we need to really worry about the design piece of it.  And make sure that that interaction is seamless, and its useful and relatable.

    Brian Washburn: So you’ve, kind of, given this example of expense reports, and i’m with you…any time that I need to fill out an expense report or maybe a vacation request form I need to figure out “Where can I find this?”, “How do I fill out field G…what does that even mean?”…in that certain line of the expense report…”What’s the code – the budget code –  I need to use?”  So you’ve given us that example.  Can you paint for us, like, a picture or two of ways that you’ve used this maybe to solve a real-world training problem.

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, so, first of all we have to define what we think training is, right?

    Brian Washburn: Yeah, yeah.  Great point.

    Myra Roldan: So everyone… when you think about, like, training people think e-learning course, or live-instructor led course or some kind of schooling, right?  That’s the general picture we paint when we think about training.  But training really is more than just building a skill, right?  Training can be about giving information.  Training can be about describing something.  It can be about building a micro skill that you need immediately. So I worked with a real estate company to…who were doing home shows… to build those model homes and you can go into the model home and pick your plan and stuff.  And so we created a voice skill.  Where we put the devices inside of the homes, in different rooms where people who were coming in to learn about the models were being trained on the features that they could request.  So they could ask the device “can you tell me more about the bathroom?”  or “can you tell me more about, like, my options for flooring?”… “can you tell me more…?”  So the device really filled in that human piece, where you had someone that was repeating that same stuff over and over and over and over again.  And that person was able to focus on, like, financing and the paperwork and, you know, whatever … instead of focusing on, like, “oh, do you want spanish tile…” or “do you want, I don’t know, like hardwood floors?” right?  Or “these are your options.”  And it was an unusual way to – right, because it was a different need.  But it’s still training…it’s still helping people learn about specific things, right.

    Brian Washburn: Yeah, and it’s fascinating.  It’s different than, you know, a lot of times folks say, well, sometimes giving people what they need in their moment of need is the way to go, right?  So let people Google something or use YouTube, but what you’re talking- like Google or YouTube – is stuff that already exists that you have to find and kind of retrofit into your needs.  What you’re talking about here in this voice-user interface is a much more dynamic solution that seems like it, kind of, gives you – or answers your question – answers the exact question that you have, when you have it.  And so my mind is just racing in terms of different sorts of applications it could be used for in just, kind of, the work setting…if not real life.  You know, i’m tired of work.  This seems to be a technology that really requires learning & development professionals to approach a project design with a very different – maybe “fearless” could be the right word – mindset. 

    How To Get Started with Voice User Interfaces

    Brian Washburn: What advice or suggestions do you have for somebody who’s listening to this right now and thinks it’s a good idea but isn’t quite sure where or how to get started? 

    Myra Roldan: I really focus on design, right, so I think people get too caught up in, like, “I need to write this – I need to create this skill and it’s going to be fantastic.”  But they don’t take that step back to think about who’s their user, who’s going to use that skill, what’s the goal, what’s the expected outcome?  Like really defining those design pieces ahead of time can help you really figure out what is the problem that you’re trying to address.  That’s what you really need to get down to because its also not a silver bullet, right?  You may have to couple this voice-user interface with, like, a traditional live course or an e-learning course.  Or it could be a micro learning situation where – so when I run the workshop I created this fictitious company called “Adulting 101”.  And so we – our goal is to help young adults learn basic life skills, like, you know, how to boil water or how to do laundry.  We walk through those steps and I always – like, I just recently did it.  And I started off by just asking people “how do you… specific task?”  So, my favorite task is “how do you make toast?”  And so how do you take those steps? And how do you turn that into a conversation with someone?  When you’re trying to guide them through with no visuals, right, in order to ensure that they can complete this task.  So, it’s about taking those steps back and really looking at the ultimate goal and what you want someone to be able to do at the end…and taking those little basic skills and figuring out, like, how do you make it work in a conversational style?

    Brian Washburn: I really appreciate you taking some time out just to talk to us a little bit more about something that – and you mentioned it – and i’m on board with this idea that this can really be a game-changer in terms of how people learn and how people get information to solve their problems.  Myra, thank you for, kind of, just blessing us just with a brief taste of this.  I’m going to end here with a little bit of a speed round so our listeners get to know you a little bit more.  Are you ready for a few quick questions?

    Myra Roldan: Yes, always, ready. 

    Brian Washburn: Alright excellent.  So, like I said, you present a lot at a lot of different conferences about a lot of different topics…what’s your go-to food just before you step up for a presentation?

    Myra Roldan: Oh, man, I’m an ice cream girl all the way.  Like give me some ice cream and I’m good to go.

    Brian Washburn: Even in the morning?

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, I don’t care what time it is.  Give me some ice cream.

    Brian Washburn: I love that.  That might be the best answer to that question I’ve ever heard.  What’s a piece of training tech that you can’t live without?

    Myra Roldan: Oh, training tech?  Man, I have to say pen and paper.

    Brian Washburn: Yeah, and it’s great – sometimes people think technology has to be something digital but technology – as I learned it in middle school – doesn’t necessarily need to be computers.  Pen and paper is a good one.

    Myra Roldan: Think about it – a pen is like a computer.

    Brian Washburn: That is true and we probably wouldn’t have computers if it weren’t for the mighty pen. Is there a book or a podcast that L&D folks should be paying attention to?

    Myra Roldan: Alright, so i’m going to be honest.  The podcast that I listen to…I’m a true crime and paranormal kinda girl, so I don’t think that’s useful for L&D.  As far as books go, I read a lot of different genres and I really feel like marketing books are great because they’re not trying to push a theory on you – a learning theory on you.  They’re just sharing us to, like, “what are some methodologies that marketing people use that are efficient?”  And right now I’m reading a book – and it’s a data analytics book but it’s towards marketing.  It’s about finding big trends. And so its… I really feel like you need to go outside of the L&D world because it’s so saturated with the sameness and homogeneity of messaging that you need to look outside.  Read an engineering book.  I love “Wired” magazine.  I love, you know, “Technology Today”.  I don’t read a lot of L&D books. (laughing)

    Brian Washburn: Yeah.  Well, and it’s interesting.  I had Mike Taylor on here a little while back and he’s all about what lessons can Learning & Development folks take from the advertising and marketing field because there’s a lot of crossover.  But going back to your podcast thought and true crime…one of the things that I think that L&D folks can take away from something that isn’t even related, like you were talking about with books.  Podcasts, and  – there’s a lot of true crime podcasts – it’s the storytelling –

    Myra Roldan: Yes!

    Brian Washburn: It’s what makes it compelling listening.  And there’s a lot of lessons to be learned in there for L&D folks who want to make their content more compelling I think as well.

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, wait.  And so when you think about it…so like I have 2 favorite podcasts that I listen to.  One is And That’s Why We Drink and the other one is Aliens, Theorists Theorizing. Like, they’re the most ridiculous podcasts ever, but what captures me every single time – and I can listen for hours – is the storytelling. I think that’s a HUGE piece, because if it was a bad narrator or just like a dry, ughhhh, like, lifeless, like flat storytelling I wouldn’t listen to it.  These people are animated and they interject and they go off-topic, and they….and that, to me, is entertaining.  We need to learn from that, alright?

    Brian Washburn: Absolutely, absolutely.  Now the last question I have for you, but do you have any shameless plugs to leave us with before we sign off today.

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, yeah… a few.  So I’m going to speed round this.  So my workbook, you can get it on Amazon…

    Brian Washburn: What’s the name of it?

    Myra Roldan: Yeah, it’s called “Design a Voice User Interface Workbook” and you can search for it under my name – Myra Roldan – or you can go to bit.ly/vuiworkbook, so I have a short link for that.  I’m going to be at DevLearn in October.  I’m doing a session on Human-Centered Design, productizing your courses and productizing your team, also.  And we’ll do some design thinking and some product development.  I’m also going to be at ATD Core.  That one is the week after DevLearn and that will be virtual and there we’re going to – I’m going to do a mini-session on, um, I did this, kind of, mood-mapping back at ATD over the winter or early spring.  I’m going to be doing another session on that and machine learning at DevLearn.  So, yeah, I have a lot of things going on so just check it out. (laughs)

    Brian Washburn: (laughing) Awesome.  Well, Myra, thank you so much for joining us and giving us some time here.  And thank you to everyone else for listening to Train Like You Listen. It is a podcast that can be found on Spotify, Apple iTunes, or anywhere where you get your podcasts.  And if you like what you heard, we’d love if you could just go ahead and give us a rating.  Let us know, and let everybody else know how well you like the podcast.  Thank you so much for listening.  We’ll find you again next week.  Until then, happy training! 

  • Taking a Conference Virtual (podcast)

    Conference season is coming! What do conferences look like during the time of Covid-19? One of our favorite conferences, Learnapalooza, is taking things virtual this year and we sat down with Chief Innovator Erin Peterschick to hear what she and her team are planning.

    This conference is typically set in the Seattle area and offers an affordable and engaging conference experience. Facing the disruption of Covid-19, Erin and her team have moved quickly to create a virtual experience accessible by anyone while still keeping the cost reasonable. To learn more about the speakers, panels, and engaging activities at  Learnapalooza, please visit LapJam 2020 or keep up with real-time updates on their Twitter feed.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • The Business Case for Learning (podcast)

    Recessions and economic downturns happen. Many of us have worked – or tried to work – through more than one economic downturn. As training departments tend to be small compared to other departments, how do we stay relevant in tough economic times?

    Chris Pirie from the Learning Futures Group sits down with the Train Like You Listen team this week to give us a little history of his experiences in training department during economic downturns. He takes some time to discuss how this economy is different than others in his experience, and what the business case is for learning and development, no matter what the economy.

    If you are interested in hearing more from Chris, be sure to check out his work and his podcast at learningisthenewworking.org

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

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • eLearning Development with Ashley Chiasson (podcast)

    Training isn’t created in a vacuum. Many learning professionals spend hours reading about and looking for inspiration and the latest trends in design and development. There are a few key people in our industry who are interested in helping all of us move forward and push the limits of engaging and creative training. Award-winning eLearning developer Ashley Chiasson is one of those people.

    On Train Like You Listen this week, we sit down with Ashley to talk about how she found success in her role. Ashley shares the story of how she got started, like many of us, in a circuitous way, how she approaches stake-holders with differing visions, and she takes some time to shares some great resources!

    Ashley provides our community with a wealth of information. Be sure to follow her website and blog, and find her contributions to the eLearning Heros Community.

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

     
    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

     

    If you’re intrigued by our discussion of Soapbox, sign up for a demo. 

  • Rapid Virtual Training Design is On The Way! (podcast)

    Nobody knows what the world will look like in a few weeks, months, or 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. This time 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?

    This week on the podcast, we talk to Lauren Wescott and Tim Waxenfelter about how they are leading a team to release 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 in the near future.

     

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

     
    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

    If you’re intrigued by our discussion of Soapbox, sign up for a demo. 

  • Connecting With the Learning Community – Podcast with Bianca Woods

    The Learning and Development community is not always easy to break into. Even in an office setting with a relatively large training team, finding one’s connection into the community can be a herculean purist.

    In this week’s podcast, we talk to someone who works hard to solve this problem. Bianca Woods of the Learning Guild discusses how to leverage free tools like Twitter to connect with like-minded, or maybe like-questioned – groups of people who have regular discussions about topics in our industry.

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

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

     

     

  • Getting Started as an eLearning Developer (podcast)

    How did you get into training and development? Did you study for this job in school? Or, like many of us, did you find your way here unexpectedly? No matter how you wound up in your role, you started the same way we all did, green and looking for resources and a community to help you along this path.

    This week, we take a deep dive into getting started as an eLearning developer on the Train Like You Listen podcast. Anne Gerken, Communications Specialist at State of Montana’s Gambling Control Division, talks to us about her journey to eLearning development. During this podcast, we talk about resources, inspiration, and Anne gives us some advice she has taken to make her projects successful.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • How To Design An Effective Onboarding Program (podcast)

    The first day on a new job can be daunting. People are walking into a group who have already established relationships with each other and found their place in a company. Like being the new kid at school, new employees may feel lost and out of place before even walking through the doors of the organization, virtually or physically.

    This week on the Train Like You Listen podcast, Marci Morford, manager of onboarding, culture, and innovation programs at Salesforce, spends some time with us to discuss onboarding. During this podcast, she takes this time to discuss onboarding as a concept and how to use that concept to set practical goals for new-hires. She takes some time to  highlight important moments for new employees to consider when designing an onboarding program, gives us advice on how to design an effective program, and explains what needs to be asked of  managers to make these programs successful.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • The Value of Being Active on Social Media in L&D (podcast)

    What value can learning and development folks get from being more active on social media? Well one opportunity is to talk with people like Mike Taylor from Mike-Taylor.org about all of the cool things he finds on the internet. You can also geek out with Brian Washburn about all things training and development, or Heather Snyder about eLearning design and development. You can virtually talk to anyone in our industry with a quick post.

    In this week’s podcast, we talk to Mike Taylor about how he found his way into social media and how he now uses it as a tool for himself and to share information with others. On our 22nd episode on the Train Like You Listen podcast, we learn more about how to get started with social media, who to follow, and what effect it can have on networking in-person.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Addressing Challenges and Getting Help (podcast)

    How do you move forward when a project challenges you and you don’t see a clear path? On the podcast this week, Brian sits down with his colleague and Director of Instructional Design at Endurance Learning, Heather Snyder to dig into this topic. During this chat, they discuss some challenges they encounter during the training development process and how they can be addressed. Heather and Brian talk about a few recent projects and how they made them successful, some resources they use when they are stuck, and why and how to ask for help.  

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Training In The Age of COVID (13-min Podcast)

    What does training look like in a COVID-19 or even post-COVID-19 world?  A lot of people are talking about how their jobs are changing. Whether it be working from home, adapting to new norms, or changing their skill set as an essential worker, these changes are impacting the way we work and how we approach and embrace technology.

    In this week’s podcast, we sit down with Brent Schlenker of dominKnow and the Instructional Designers In Offices Drinking Coffee Crowdcast (better known as IDIODC) to gather some of his thoughts on workplace change as a result of the pandemic. Brent took some time with us to point out some interesting trends we didn’t expect, share some wisdom about how to up-skill as we move forward, and gives us advice on how to be successful in our own careers.

    You can join Brent every Wednesday morning on the IDIODC Crowdcast to learn more about his colleagues’ and his perspective on learning and development. If you can’t make it on Wednesday mornings, all Crowdcasts are recorded and available on the dominKnow Crowdcast page.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • How to Approach Training Like a Marketer (podcast)

    Do you ever find yourself putting on your marketing hat and trying to “sell” a new process or implementation in your training? In this week’s podcast, we sit down with Mike Taylor of MikeTaylor.org and discuss what instructional designers can learn from the advertising and marketing approach and apply it to training.

    If you are a training professional, we suggest you follow Mike on social media. He regularly puts out a wealth of information on training and design. During this podcast you can hear how he lifts inspiration from the advertising industry, a few best practices on things as simple as naming your training, and his recommendations on how to begin thinking like a marketer.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Keys to Successful Training with an International Audience (Podcast)

    Good instructional design may be universal, but are there considerations we need to take into account when training an international audience? This week on our Train Like You Listen podcast, Mary Cropp, Director of Learning and Development at Bluetooth SIG,  joins us again to talk about her experiences working with international audiences and how that can change your approach to training design.

    Mary has spent the past several years presenting to participants from various cultures, countries and continents. During this podcast she discusses some lessons learned, how to approach designing for a culture with which you are not familiar, and some things you’re really going to want to avoid in your approach.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Keys to being an effective “producer” in your next virtual training

    How many people does it take to put on a successful webinar? A facilitator is obviously necessary to present the content and facilitate activities. If you want to present information while using polls, having participants white board on the screen and getting people into small groups using the breakout rooms feature all while responding to private messages in chat – both about your content and about technical difficulties – then you’re going to want a “producer”.

    Unlike in-person sessions, this role isn’t the same as “co-facilitator”. An effective producer can make the difference between top notch virtual training and a well-intentioned virtual train wreck.

    In this week’s podcast, we talk to Lauren Wescott of Endurance Learning and Soapbox content developer extraordinaire to talk about the very important role of the producer in webinars. We discuss how this role differs from co-facilitator, what it takes to be a producer, and tips to make your next webinar more successful with the support of a producer. 

    If you’d like to learn more about how someone in your organization can be an effective producer, Lauren will be leading a free webinar this week that will go into more detail about the responsibilities of a producer and will take you through several exercises to simulate the duties of an effective producer. You can register here for this session. Click on a date to get started.

    Listen to this episode using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

    Soapbox

    If you’re ready to start designing better sessions, faster, sign up for a Soapbox demo.

  • Lessons Learned in Quickly Shifting to Virtual Training (podcast)

    Things have changed for many of us very quickly. Many of us are at home, but we haven’t stopped working. As we get used to a new way to interact with one another, the dynamics of our interactions need to change. As many people have probably experienced, an online meeting or training is a different experience than in-person and it takes a lot of creativity to engage participants.

    In this week’s podcast, we sit down with Todd Hudson of the Maverick Institute to hear about a recent experience he had quickly converting a training he had planned as an in-person session to a virtual program. He shares with us how he keeps participants engaged, some cool webinar tools, and some rules of thumb he sticks to when virtually meeting with people.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Innovation In L and D

    As professionals in the learning and development community, it is important to push ourselves to find new approaches to problems. Being innovative can be defined many ways, but it isn’t necessity as complex as we may think.

    On the podcast this week, Darren Nerland Learning Strategist at Degreed sits down with us to talk about his experiences with innovation. Both as co-founder of Learnapalooza, and a leader in the L&D community, Daren has observed several approaches to innovation. In this podcast we discuss how to connect with the Learnopalooza community, how to push the boundaries of learning, and one of the main elements that proceeds nearly all innovative solutions.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Tips For Engaging Learners From the Bob Pike Group (podcast)

    A while back we shared almost 300 activities you could use to engage your learners.

    Some folks say they don’t care about “engaging” training. What does “engagement” even mean, and is it important?

    On the podcast this week, Becky Pluth author and CEO at the Bob Pike Group sits down with us to talk about how they approach learner engagement. During this episode she talks about some of the research behind how we engage our learners, the difference between activities that add value and activities that don’t add value, and  some evidence-based tips on how to engage learners both in-person and virtually.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Creating an L&D Portfolio (10-min podcast)

    Last week, Brian wrote about 4 productive uses of your time while quarantined. Today, Mary Cropp, Director of Learning and Development at Bluetooth Sig, offers us a fifth idea with today’s podcast: putting together a portfolio of work samples that can help open doors and turn heads as you look for your next L&D role.

    Mary has spent the past several years presenting at conferences across the country about the importance of putting together a portfolio, and in this brief podcast she shares her thoughts from the perspective of a hiring manager.

    During our chat, we talk about the benefits of portfolios, what kinds of things should be included in a learning professional’s portfolio and how to navigate proprietary information that you may want to include in your portfolio.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • The Path to Getting Published

    Becoming a published writer can be tricky to navigate. Now that many of us are working from home and have a bit more free time, stretch goals like writing an article or even a book may feel a bit more realistic. In this podcast, we chat with Eliza Blanchard who is the Learning & Development content manager at the Association for Talent Development– ATD – to discuss what it takes to get published. She has several recommendations including how to get started, what writers should focus on, and how to get past imposter syndrome as a new writer.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • How To Keep Learning Going After Training (podcast)

    A lot of magic can happen during a training, conference, or webinar, but what happens after the session ends? Keeping the learning going after a session enables trainers to build on what happens in a session; however, designing this may not be easy. This week we sit down with Nancy Bacon of Nancy Bacon Consulting to learn how she finds ways to engage after training. She discusses tools, resources, and a few ideas on how others can approach learning after a session.

    It should be noted that this podcast was captured before social distancing recommendations were put into place. While gathering may look a little different than it did a few weeks ago, everything in this podcast continues to apply for those of us who can meet and talk virtually. Whether virtual coffee or virtual meetings, now more than ever, it is important to find ways to continue to come together in new ways.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Successfully Working in a Remote Office (podcast)

    Many workers are being asked to work remotely, but how does that change the way we work? In a post last week, we looked at some resources and tips around shifting to a home office. Recently, Gus Curran wrote a timely blog post about successfully adapting to a remote team. This week, Gus sat down with the Train Like You Listen podcast to dive deeper into how people can be successful in this work situation to which many workers are rapidly shifting.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Trying New Things with Mel Milloway (podcast)

    In a post last week, Brian asked a variety of questions, including whether people are inclined to experiment with new technologies or if they’d prefer to use their old stand-by’s. 83% of respondents said they like to experiment with new technologies.

    Recently, Brian had a chance to sit down with Amazon’s Melissa Milloway to discuss how she pushes herself and others to experiment and try new things. Mel not only falls into that 83% category of people who are interested in trying new things,  she takes it to an extreme. In today’s podcast, we talk about how experiments can lead to big wins… and sometimes big fails (but always big lessons), and the support system that is needed to keep pushing yourself further.

    If you want to know more about Mel, check out her website Mel’s Learning Lab which contains a wealth of information about her adventures trying new technologies and best practices.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Designing Webinars with Kassy LaBorie (podcast)

    Recently, Brian had a chance to sit down with Kassy LaBorie  of Kassy LaBorie Consulting to discuss her approach to designing and delivering Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT). They discussed how to make webinars more engaging, where she finds inspiration, and a few tips you can bring to your next live, web-based session.

    If you want to know more about Kassy, check out her book Interact and Engage! which is chalk full of activities for virtual training sessions, meetings, and webinars.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • 2019 ATD State of the Industry Report (podcast)

    Each year, the Association for Talent Development publishes its annual State of the Industry Report. The data is gathered from organizations across the country and around the world who report on things such as average amount of money per employee spent on professional development and the average number of hours that employees spend in formal training. It can offer some useful data points against which you can benchmark your own organization’s professional development strategy.

    In this podcast, we talk to Sarah Schillen, Director of Research at ATD Puget Sound, and look at the ATD 2019 State of the Industry report. We take some time to discuss the data, how it was captured, and surprises we encountered while sifting through the findings. We also take some time to discuss how smaller organizations can capture and learn from similar data.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Engaging eLearning Design Tips with Tim Slade (podcast)

    This week on the Train Like You Listen podcast, Brian sits down with Tim Slade of  timslade.com to discuss eLearning. During this conversation, Brian and Tim discuss how to create engaging eLearning, share tips on how to manage expectations with clients who want amazing eLearning developed quickly and cheaply, and discuss where to find new inspiration for creative eLearning approaches.

    If a 10-minute conversation with Tim isn’t enough for you, you can also check out his book: The eLearning Designer’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to the eLearning Development Process for New eLearning Designers.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Applying Lean Principles to Onboarding (podcast)

    This week on the Train Like You Listen podcast, Brian and Heather sit down with Todd Hudson of The Maverick Institute to discuss lean principles and how they apply to the design of corporate onboarding programs. We discuss the value of lean principles to the onboarding process, recommendations on how to get started, and even discuss an example of a successful application of these principles.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.


    Want to read a bit about how one organization gamified their entire onboarding process? Click here for the case study.

    Want to read about how an organization measured the impact of their onboarding program? Click here for a summary of the overhaul and how it was measured.

  • Are people the biggest barrier to an effective organizational learning strategy?

    This week on the Train Like You Listen podcast, Brian and Heather sit down with JD Dillon of LearnGeek to discuss big picture learning strategy for organizations. Whether you work in a small training team, are embedded within a huge organization or are an outside consultant working on learning strategy, JD offers some nuggets for you.

    In this episode, JD shares what a modern learning ecosystem is, how organizational issues are best supported, and how learning fits in with professionals during the flow of their workday.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR & VR) in Training

    We are back this week with episode 3 of Train Like You Listen. This week, we sit down with Betty Dannewitz from If You Ask Betty to discuss what role Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality play in training, her experience with these realities, and the future of these technologies.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Competitive vs. Cooperative Games in the Training Room (Podcast)

    We are back this week with episode 2 of Train Like You Listen. This week, we sit down with Lauren Wescott from Endurance Learning to discuss a few key things to keep in mind when incorporating games into training, and how to decide which type of game supports your content.

    Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

  • Train Like You Listen: A New L&D podcast

    Welcome back and happy new year!

    In 2020, we’ve decided to mix things up a bit. You’ll still find two posts each week, but now on Mondays, you’ll find our new podcast – a short audio clip offering insights and bite-sized nuggets on trends, cool tools and tips for L&D professionals. Our first episode explains a little more about what it is and offers some thoughts around the best piece of career advice we’ve received as L&D professionals.

    Give it a listen and let us know what advice helped you become more successful as an L&D professional in the comment section below!

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