Looking for some training inspiration? Try these sources…

Lightning in a bottle

I’ve been on the road a lot recently, and I realized I’ve been recycling a lot of my go-to ideas for a variety of projects. The airline miles, the steady diet of fast food, the jet lag, the unnecessary late nights flipping through tv channels instead of going to sleep just because I have access to a tv with HBO, the simple busy-ness of being on the road – it can all conspire to wear me down after a while and leave me looking around desperately for some fresh, new ideas.

Following are several sources of new ideas that have given me a boost over the past several weeks. Hopefully you can find some inspiration in here somewhere, too!   Continue reading

“How do I become a more dynamic presenter?”

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I was having coffee with a colleague earlier this week. She’s been working in training and development for a while, but felt her boss was looking for her to up her game. When she reached out to me, I told her to come to the coffee house with some specific thoughts on what she’d like to work on, and I asked her to bring her current training materials, too.

When she asked: “So, how do I become a more dynamic speaker?” I broke my advice to her down into three categories.   Continue reading

Turn your learners loose to explore

Over the Fourth of July weekend, my family spent some time at our neighbor’s cabin near Mt. Rainier. Our days were filled with hiking and whiffle ball, while the evenings featured camp fires and s’mores.

On one outing through the still-thawing meadows of Mt. Rainier, where there is still snow on the ground in July, we had to keep reminding our kids to stay on the hiking path because we didn’t want to trample the budding wild flowers. They didn’t love the restrictions, but they conformed.

On another outing, we came to a section of the hiking trail where we could stay on the path, or we could turn the kids loose in a scramble up the side of a hill. The kids took off like a shot, grabbing roots and trees and fallen logs in order to scramble their way up the steep incline. It was the highlight of our hike for them.


It made me think of several workshops I’ve recently designed. As instructional designers, we should probably be allowing our learners the equivalent of the freedom and euphoria of being able to veer off a prescribed path in order to scramble up the side of a hill.  Continue reading

Puzzle Me This: An activity for team dynamics

Effective working groups thrive on healthy team dynamics.

Over the past month or so I’ve opened several different multi-day workgroup sessions with an activity that has gone over quite well with audiences that have ranged from executive teams to frontline staff.

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Following are the guidelines for the activity. It includes teamwork, puzzles, lockboxes and the need to listen to instructions. Continue reading

The Need to Process: What L&D Pros can Learn from AMC’s The Talking Dead


A little while back, my family tried “cutting the (cable) cord” and we moved exclusively to local channels plus streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

After about a year and a half, we returned to cable and we enjoyed the ability to watch a brand new episode of The Walking Dead on the same night that the rest of America was watching it.

One night, after an episode had ended, we kept the tv on. We found a show called The Talking Dead aired immediately after The Walking Dead. In The Talking Dead, a panel of people (sometimes actors who had just been killed off on the most recent episode of The Walking Dead) would discuss the episode that just aired. It helped me process what had just happened in the show… and in the panel discussions, I found new ways of looking at events that had taken place.

Giving learners a similar opportunity following a training exercise is something facilitators and instructional designers should be building into their lesson plans. Here are five strategies Continue reading