Tips to Not Suck as A Presenter

A few months ago, I wrote a post on Tips to Stop Sucking at PowerPoint. But as we all know, you may have the  snazziest presentation on the block, but you’re only half-way there. You, yourself, have to bring your A game. In other words, you have to offer the total package.

Clive Shepherd shares with us his 50 tips for better presentations, a little gem he found in his archives and a fantastic list that cover all the bases with a touch of humour. In addition, I’ll share another resources from my bookmarked archives that compliments Clive’s post: The TED Commandments.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

I Know What Learners Need

Last Saturday, I was talking with a past colleague and good friend Virginie, an instructional designer working in the field for 10 years now. We talked about some of the struggles we go through in this profession. We tried to pin point what was the one character quality that all instructional designers should have. We both agreed that it was empathy, that is the ability to put one’s self in the learner’s seat and anticipate their needs. This, coupled with competency in applying sound instructional design techniques is what makes an instructional designer great.

When I read a recent post by Archana Narayan, I heard her strongly say “I know what learners need“. As professionals in the field of development and training, we all need to say it stronger and louder if we want to be respected as the professionals that we are. It can be a constant struggle to have our expert opinion heard, but it’s crucial that we do, both for the learner and for our professional integrity.

Whether it’s with dealing with clients who want to micromanage their learners, whether it’s dealing with outrageous requests or whether it’s dealing with subject matter experts and trainers that dismiss the instructional design process, Archana provides some great tips to get you started.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Enhancing Our Creativity by Tackling Others Challenges

In a recent research report published in the Personality and social psychology bulletin, Polman and Emich demonstrate how when we make decisions for others, we are going to make decisions that are more creative than the ones we make for ourselves.

This is just the latest extension of research into construal level theory, an intriguing concept that suggests various aspects of psychological distance can affect our thinking style. (link from quote)

I see this as a important validation of one of the benefits of case studies and problem-based learning for boosting the creativity of participants.

In addition, it is yet another argument for the importance of communities of practice which promotes the community-based tackling of issues in order to find creative solutions to advance the practice.

Again, this only further promotes the benefits of open innovation which consists of the gathering of external inputs to advance a concept, a product or a technology.

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How thinking for others can boost your creativity | Research Digest | Christian Jarrett | 1 Mar 2010

This post is cross-posted with Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

 

Which Content Curation Tool is Right for You?

Managing all the content that comes at us can get overwhelming. We can set up systems to tag, categorize, filter, sort, organize and essentially manage content at various levels. And once we’ve sifted through all the content that is sent to us, and we’ve decided what it is that we want to share, how do we select the system we want to use to curate it?

Pawan Deshpande has compiled a good Pros and Cons list of select content curating tools. Though the list does not cover the myriad options available, it does a good job at describing how certain tools work and why their functionalities may or may not work for you.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Do Your Users Understand Your Content?

Not only is this blog post by Angela Colter a great reflection piece on the difference between liking content and understanding it, it also is chock full of tools to help you analyse your content and better it. In addition, the pros and cons of these tools are outlined.

Though primarily targeted at Websites, this article gives a series of instructional techniques to help test the understanding of your content.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Tips to Stop Sucking at PowerPoint

The title is bold and direct, I know. I like it actually, because when a PowerPoint presentation sucks, it really, really sucks. So sometimes, we just have to call it what it is.

The bottom line is that we cannot escape PowerPoint in today’s business and/or academic world. And as Jessee Desjardins wrote, it’s really not a bad tool at all. In fact, I think it is a fabulous tool. One just needs to learn how to use it efficiently and effectively.

About 3 years ago, I read Edward Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint, and though he did not convince me to abandon PowerPoint completely, I did take into account his main criticisms of the tool—such as it being a tool used to support the presenter on what s/he wants to lecture about rather than supplement with supporting visuals—and try to find ways of working around them.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today



Innovation: The Top 50 Inventions of the Past 50 Years

Absolutely fascinating.

Of course the jet airplane and in-vitro fertilization are there.

But what surprised me was that GPS technology is around since 1978! And even more surprising, to find high-yield rice. You *do* learn something new every day!

To select the 50 most pioneering inventions of the past 50 years, PM consulted 25 authorities at 17 museums and universities across the country. Their collective expertise spans aeronautics, biology, physics, medicine, automobiles and technology. An initial call for suggestions resulted in a list of 100 inventions, which was then circulated for a formal vote and reduced via a points system determined by each expert’s top picks. Any such list is open to debate, of course.

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How Some HR & Training Professionals are Informing their Practice with Research

Last night I attended a CSTD event focussing on how Research Meets Practice and how some HR & Training Professionals are informing their practice with research. I personally attended 3 of the 5 sessions (which was the formula for the evening).

Dali Hammouch, Senior Advisor-Capability Development, Rio Tinto, discussed on the impact of space on human dynamics and had us reflect on the importance of the physical spaces of the environments in which we learn. Dali is interested in how the configuration of training or meeting environments enhance or hinder communication. Fascinated by the results of his own experience, he decided to look at studies in human and physical geography in order to inform the way in which he set up his environments.

Saul Carliner, Associate Professor, Concordia University, discussed the perception of customers of workplace learning services that is how do other individuals in the organization perceive training and its overall impact. There are a lot of things we assume about training and how others perceive training efforts but Saul decided to start looking at the research and see what it informed him about perceptions. Surprising results so far!

Kenneth Brown, Associate Professor and Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow, University of Iowa discussed how he leverages theory and research to improve utilization of e-learning. Kenneth draws on the validated theory of behavioural change (transtheoretical model of change) and a theory of technology usage (technology acceptance model) to develop a practical model which aims at predicting e-Learning adoption and use. He is currently testing his model.

Being a huge believer of research into practice, it is encouraging to see how other professionals are focussing on the evidence provided by research into to design environments, make statements or implement programs.

For more information about the importance of research into practice, I dug up the two following blog posts: What Is Scientifically Based Research? by Stephen Downes and The worst of best practices and benchmarking by Clark Quinn.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Brushing Up On Your User Experience Design Skills? Take A Look At These Books

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of user experience design testing as part of the overall eLearning course testing process. Paul Seys compiled a fantastic list of books on user experience design (or UX). Borrowing mainly from Web and multimedia design best practices, much of this can inform the design of your online learning environments and resources.

The list comprises all sorts of books including those that focus on

  • user experience design
  • storytelling & conversations for user experience
  • information architecture
  • search analytics
  • grid systems for the Web

As well as two specialized books focusing on best practices and innovation in the field of user experience design.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Taking Into Account User Experience In Your E-learning Design

Two months ago, Tom Kuhlmann wrote a piece on the importance of thoroughly reviewing your e-learning courses before launching them. One of his key tips was to watch learners go through the course in order to understand how they experience it. Web and multimedia designers call this user experience design testing.

ZURB, a team of interaction designers and strategists, put together a guide to facilitating feedback on user design which can be implemented throughout the design process. These techniques are very useful for understanding the user experience while following an e-learning course.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today