Before anyone else sees your presentation, take a second look

As I scrolled through the Washington Post on my phone the other day I noticed something odd:

Editing - WaPo

Apparently there’s a template that’s used by the Post to let their writers know where to insert blurbs.

The Washington Post has been around for almost 140 years and gets a lot of views. My guess is that this little oversight won’t impact the readership or reduce the Post’s credibility.

For presenters, however, type-o’s are a sign of carelessness and lack of respect for your audience, and can damage the credibility of your presentation.  Continue reading

The parallels between our learners and elephants

Last week I had the opportunity to spend a day at the Elephant Freedom Project in Sri Lanka. I had the opportunity to take an elephant (her name was Manika) out for a walk (kind of like walking a big, big dog), give her a bath and learn more about Manika and Asian elephants in general.

Elephant Bath

As I listened to the project coordinate, Nishan, talk about Manika, I was struck by the parallels between elephants and the learners in our training sessions. Here are five such parallels:  Continue reading

What’s been your favorite moment in training?

Sometimes it’s nice just to pick your head up from the hustle and bustle of life and reflect on some of the best moments ever. I’m feeling like now is one of those times for me.

Below are six of my favorite moments as a training professional. I’d love to hear if any of these resonate with you and I’d love to hear about your own personal favorite moments in the world of training and development in the comment section!  Continue reading

Job Aids can come in all Shapes and Sizes

Two weeks ago I was asked to deliver the keynote speech for the Desert Produce Safety Collaboration Conference. This was a group of people who are responsible for keeping the food that goes onto your dinner table safe and healthy. Making sure they and the people they work with are well-trained and well-equipped to do their jobs is kind of important.

I certainly talked about standard elements to more effective training programs – incorporating principles of adult learning, identifying clear objectives and the like. But in speaking with the conference organizer about some of the challenges this audience faces – only having 15 minutes at the beginning of the day, needing to train people in English and Spanish, having a new group of workers in the fields every day that may or may not have received earlier training – I realized I was going to need to go beyond traditional instructional design basics.  Continue reading

Want to play “trivia” in your next meeting? This free tool could help!

In the past I’ve written about how to create a Family Feud-style game and I’ve offered a PowerPoint template for a Jeopardy-style quiz game.

For a meeting I have coming up on January 30 I wanted to try something new in order to review a litany of things that were accomplished in 2015. An L&D buddy, Enzo Silva, suggested I try Kahoot!. I kicked the tires on it a bit and I really like it.

Kahoot Sample

Here are five reasons why:  Continue reading

PollEverywhere is great for audience interaction, but…

Last Tuesday I was invited to give a keynote speech and I resolved to make sure it would be memorable. Not memorable as in outrageous or as in a wardrobe malfunction, but rather memorable as in information people would want to remember so that they could apply it as soon as they returned home.


My talk was on presentation skills and the “stickiness factor”, and to make sure it would be relevant I spent considerable time talking with and emailing back and forth with the event organizer to learn about the audience.

She encouraged me to use PollEverywhere with her audience and I jumped at the chance. While engaging the audience by polling them and asking them to respond via SMS messaging is a great concept, there are a few things to keep in mind before taking this technology in front of a live audience.  Continue reading

Is this the tool that finally ends email?

I was in the airport earlier this week and spotted Inc. magazine’s “Company of the Year” issue.


The brazen claim on the cover: “Say goodbye to email.” I’m not sure that it’ll kill email, but tools like Slack and HipChat are worth a look if you’re seeking to find a collaboration tool that can help organize communication between program or project teams.  Continue reading