A Word Cloud from 147 L&D Professionals’ 6-word Memoirs

Word Cloud - Blog Post

Above: This blog post as a word cloud

Last week I was having coffee with TD magazine editor Alex Moore and I was telling him about the 6-word memoir post I had published in February. He suggested it might be fun to see what everyone’s 6-word memoirs might look in a more visual format, like a word cloud.

I loved that idea!

The post itself featured 6-word memoirs from 25 L&D professionals and there were a dozen or so comments with additional memoirs. I also posted this particular blog in the ATD LinkedIn discussion forum where more than 100 other L&D professionals added their own brief memoirs.

Here’s the word cloud (I created it in the shape of an apple since we’re all teachers in one way, shape or form):   Continue reading

One tip to change the outlook of your PowerPoint slides

At the beginning of the month, I wrote a post about some small tweaks to a slide deck that could lead to a much better visual presentation. One reader, Dan Jones, posted this comment:

powerpoint-comment

I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I actually suggested this particular tip within my organization recently after attending a monthly stats meeting. The more I look around, the more I see this particular engagement strategy being used… except it doesn’t seem to be used very frequently in the world of presentations or learning and development.   Continue reading

A Slide Deck Makeover with Before and After Images

This week I had an opportunity to sit in a high level meeting and team up with my boss to make a brief presentation. My initial instinct for any presentation is to find ways to get people involved and engaged in the presentation. A presentation to executives is a bit different than your run-of-the-mill presentation (Nancy Duarte has a great, short article about presenting to senior executives here), so I felt it wise to follow the script outlined by our CEO.

While this was going to be a straight-forward, informational presentation, I still wanted our slides to tell a story and offer a better visual experience than we’d get if we just lined up a bunch of bulleted points.

Here is an early version of some data:

slide-1-before

Continue reading

“Should we be using Prezi?”

I was sitting across the table from a colleague yesterday and we began talking about presentation skills. When our conversation turned to PowerPoint, I shared this presentation with her:

She looked it over and felt that the concept made sense: PowerPoint slides, when projected, are meant to augment a presentation and enhance the audience’s experience through a powerful visual journey. If people want a bunch of data and statistics and content, then save it for a handout.

Then she asked: “Should we be using Prezi? What do you think of it as a tool for presentations?”

I was honest with her, Continue reading

When you present, your audience wants to feel something. So give them what they want!

In his book Brain Rules, John Medina writes, “Emotionally arousing events tend to be better remembered than neutral events.” A key goal, then, is to tap into the audience’s emotion and try to stir up feelings that will make their learning experience memorable.

What happens if you don’t feel like you’re able to tap into your audience’s emotions? How then can you help them to feel something?

Chris Ernst from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently offered a solution to this quandary.

keynote-cards

Continue reading

When it comes to the people in your PowerPoint or eLearning programs, do looks matter?

Over the weekend, I found myself chatting about visual imagery with a co-worker as we zoomed in and out of traffic on our way to the Pune (India) airport. She recently joined my organization after working in marketing and communications with GE for several years.

We began to talk about marketing materials, then we began to talk about the sorts of visual images that I’ve inserted into PowerPoint slides and even elearning presentations. We debated whether the content of the presentation or the visual representation of the material was more important.

Almost as if on cue, I noticed this card sitting on the reception desk when I walked into my hotel in Delhi:

People

My immediate reaction was Continue reading

An Interesting App for Better Visual Aids in the Training Room

A few weeks ago I had a chance to attend a session by Bianca Woods, in which she shared her insights on dozens of free and low cost apps that could help you create better visual aids for your next training program. You can check out her full list of recommended apps and accessories for better visual aids here.

As I began to download a few apps that were recommended during her session, I found myself going down a bit of an App Store rabbit hole, finding all sorts of ideas and inspiration for upcoming training programs. Continue reading