A time and place to think inside the box

Have you ever wondered where the phrase “think outside the box” comes from?

After a quick search through several sources and sites, it seems to have originated from some management consultants who used the “Nine Dot Puzzle” to challenge their clients to think more creatively.

9 Dots

You will find no bigger advocate than me when it comes to the need for training professionals to be creative and innovative. But there’s a time and a place for everything. Continue reading

Are you limited in the time you have to give a presentation? Try an Ignite-style presentation!

Hour Glass.jpg

Sometimes we have a lot of really, really important and brilliant things to say, but we’re not given much time in which to say it. There are times when we’re invited to give a 15-minute presentation in front of a coveted audience or we have a paper accepted to be presented at an academic or scientific symposium. Sometimes we’re simply asked to give a short 5-minute presentation in a staff meeting.

And there a lot of people who have mastered the art of making a short presentation feel like it will never actually end. They cram slides full of bullet points and they speak really fast and it’s mind-boggling how quickly these presentations manage to lose our attention (yet how long it seems until they wrap up)!

Instead of jamming all that information (that people won’t remember) into a presentation, why not try something a little different? An Ignite-style presentation, which (if you’re lucky) you can see every once in a while at a conference, uses the following structure:

20 slides + 15 seconds per slide (usually on auto-advance) = 5 minute presentation  Continue reading

35 Reasons this L&D Professional is Thankful this Season

Thanksgiving 2015

Tomorrow, millions of Americans will sit down to watch football and fill up on turkey. Then they’ll fall asleep on the couch.

It’s Thanksgiving!

Before the turkey and the football (and the nap on the couch), I wanted to take a little time to share my thanks for so many things I’m grateful for in my journey through the world of L&D this year.

I’m thankful for:  Continue reading

One Word all L&D Professionals Must Take to Heart

Praxis

Last week I had a chance to facilitate a presentation skills workshop. A colleague had helped me re-tool the lesson plan for the workshop and I was curious how it might turn out.

Instead of introducing a number of concepts and then asking participants to put together and facilitate a sample lesson plan, we instead introduced a lesson plan template and let people design a 15-minute lesson plan. Every 30-45 minutes we would stop participants to give them some content around adult learning, engagement strategies and how to tighten up the language they use (eliminate those uhs and uhms). Continue reading

67 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Learning and Development Professional

washburnBrian2

In spring 1998, a young, brash bureaucrat at the United States Office of Personnel Management delivered a presentation on the federal government’s early retirement policy. It was his first presentation and as the room cleared out, someone pulled this young, brash bureaucrat’s boss aside and asked: “Who’s the asshole?”

It was me. And apparently I didn’t quite hit my first presentation out of the park. I’ve learned a lot over the past 17 years. Here are a few of those lessons learned, in no particular order: Continue reading