Hmmm. Maybe it is actually a training problem.

Riding a Bike

Written by: Heather Snyder

Like many parents before me, I have spent several hours running next to my daughter shouting words of encouragement as I try to teach her to ride a bike. We have spent a lot of time preparing for this goal. We have practiced on tricycles, strider bikes, and even training wheels. There are several techniques to teaching a child to ride a bike, as I have learned by scouring the internet for less frustrating ways to train her in this rite of passage.

This summer’s goal is to finally ride on two wheels, although I have forgotten if it is her goal or mine at this point. As we meander up and down my sidewalk, I reach deep into my bag of tricks to say the right words, demonstrate techniques on my own bike, show her the right picture or video on my phone, or have her visualize herself successfully riding to the end of the road.   Continue reading

One presentation can change the world. Here’s proof.


I honestly don’t remember what the occasion was or when he gave his speech, but I remember sitting on my couch, watching Barack Obama talk about ways that American citizens could make a contribution.

It spoke to me because I was looking for a way to make a contribution. At the time I was working for an organization dedicated to eliminating blindness, so I guess that was one small way that I was making the world a better place. I was looking for more. Something I could directly do to make a more significant contribution.

I’ve searched and searched for the exact speech so I wouldn’t misquote him, but apparently he’s given a lot of speeches. I’ll just have to paraphrase the part of his presentation that has had a ripple effect, with the enormity of the changes still to be determined. It’s a lesson that anyone who presents or trains others could borrow from.   Continue reading

“Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees?”

Elephant in a Tree

It’s grilling season in Seattle. Last weekend I was at my sister-in-law’s house for a cookout and over dinner my niece and nephews decided to play a round of: “Who can actually get Uncle Brian to laugh?”

From the sound of this game, I started to get the impression that I don’t laugh enough around them. Then my niece asked: “Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees?”   Continue reading

Ask not what the L&D community can do for you…


Last week, I was flattered to receive a notification on LinkedIn that I had been mentioned in this post from Zsolt Olah.

The conversation in Zsolt’s post revolved around who to follow – both inside and outside of the L&D space – in order to become a better practitioner. Following the various people he mentioned in his post is an important step in anyone’s journey to being a more perfect presenter, trainer or instructional designer.

Sometimes, however, I wonder if: “Who should I be following” is the right question.   Continue reading

A 4-question Level 1 Evaluation Form

Evaluation Form

Level 1 evaluation: gauging the learner’s reaction to training.

Why is this such a tough thing to get right?

My world used to come crashing down when participants would score me anything under a 4 on a 5-point scale.

Then I started reading up on post-training evaluation forms and learned that there was no correlation between high scores and on-the-job performance, so I stopped doing them completely.

Then my boss insisted I do evaluation forms, so I tried to make them more meaningful. I added a net promoter score component. I read Will Thalheimer’s excellent book on the subject and tried to simply use every sample question he offered in the book. Participants revolted at an evaluation form that took 20 minutes to complete.

A few weeks ago I reached deep into my bag of tricks and tried something new.   Continue reading