1024px-Frank_Schulenburg_giving_a_presentation_at_Wikimania_2011

10 tips for getting a powerful presentation

  1. Base your presentation on your audience and what you want them to do, feel and/or remember afterwards. Do not base it on what you think is interesting, fun or important.
  2. Have a clear and easily remembered Main Objective!
  3. You don’t have to tell them everything for them to understand anything. Do the opposite and think “How little could I tell them and still get them to do what I want them to do?” If you feel you could talk for hours on the subject – don’t.
  4. Everything you DO tell them must be relevant, i.e. lead to the Main Objective. Say phrases like “Why am I telling you this? I tell you why…” to remind you to eliminate non-essentials.
  5. The audience will forget almost everything so be clear about what few things you want them to remember and repeat it again and again.
  6. The PPT supports YOU – not the other way around. Don’t put text on the slide that you read out loud! That’s a cardinal sin. If they can read it themselves – you shouldn’t be there.
  7. Make sure your diagrams are clean and clear by removing all non-essential objects, text, lines and numbers. If an object doesn’t support the message – it disrupts the message.
  8. Concrete examples and anecdotes are always better than text, bullets, pictures and diagrams. Stories are remembered thousands of years but facts are forgotten in a second.
  9. Nobody has ever complained about attending a too short presentation.
  10. Use the Structure below to guide your audience from the beginning to the very end. People’s attention span is horrifyingly short so if you let go of the structure, you risk losing them!

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The Zero dollar Academy is where we learn to maximize the company’s performance

The most important part of developing skill is of course the formal training taking place in training centers around the world. The second most important part of the companies’ learning is what happens amongst the staff in all of their communication and helping each other. The third and least important thing is what the employees learn while working. You know, experience and such.

formal-people-otjWait a minute. I am of course joking here but sometimes I’m under the impression that this is how we do things at most companies. Let’s back up a bit and try to think about the reason for learning – individually and organizationally. Continue reading

"Math lecture at TKK" by Tungsten - photo taken by Tungsten. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Math_lecture_at_TKK.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Math_lecture_at_TKK.JPG

How we learn – A comparison of theories

For the last couple of years I’ve been researching how to improve my own department’s training offer to get more result and end-performance out of our participants. In this quest for learning on learning I’ve come across a multitude of ideas and theories that sometimes contradict each other but mostly actually agree with one another. I interpret this as serendipity, i.e. that they look alike since they’re close to reality, and have now done a comparison of four of the ones with the best end-results:

  • Holistic Learning – Making sure everything you want to learn is connected, with an emphasis on creating mental models
  • The Circle model – A way of increasing reading comprehension by writing, with an emphasis on learning from each other
  • Peer Instruction – Utilizing your peers in class to increase the assimilation of new knowledge, with an emphasis on making sense of instead of transferring information as a focus in class and on lectures
  • Story Centered Curriculum – Building courses as realistic stories with all assignments and tasks building upon the previous ones, with an emphasis in letting the students do the reading and fact finding with teachers set only as facilitators.

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Eric Mazur, Abridged “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer”

If you haven’t watched the above video you’re in for a treat. An earth shaking one at that. Eric Mazur came to the conclusion that his lecturing didn’t increase the understanding of his students and thus removed lecturing and in-front-of-class-problem-solving. He transformed his classes using Peer Instruction which utilizes the class mates to help each other understand the subject. Continue reading

Chemistry Teacher with Students in Class

Using a KPI to get the managers to protect the training investment

The biggest driver of them all to get success, change and impact in your organization out of a training event is to have your participant and their manager do pre-training preparation and post-training follow-up. As described in research by Robert O. Brinkerhoff (Telling Training’s Story, 2006):

Low focus on pre and post training activities

When the focus is on the design and development of the training itself the success rate of the training is around 15%. Continue reading

Work-based performance model

A couple of months ago I published the post Work-based learning (based on work by Niklas Angmyr and Charles Jennings‘ “Re-thinking workplace learning“) and the time has now come to update the model presented and take it to the next level. In short the change can be attributed to:

Beneficial knowledge is nice to have but
beneficial behavior is what gets you results

competence-behavior

Let’s start at the top left. The classic L&D sector is the blue box of competence building activities. Here I’d suggest one would place activities described in the post Multi-Layer Learning, i.e. not only formal ones like classroom training but also informal stuff like communities, role-modeling and databases. And yes, by saying that the top blue box is the classic L&D sector I also say that L&D often doesn’t do anything else of what’s shown in the model above. This model is more applicable for a department working as a Knowledge and Performance Partner than that of a Learning and Development department.

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A school system that aims for compliance get docile pupils as an end-result

A friend of mine is married to a woman from India and the stories that he’s shared regarding the school system in India is something else really. Several of her relatives and friends tell the same story – if you are a good pupil you sit still, quietly and do not interfere. In any way at all. If you talk back at the teacher, you are beaten. If you answer questions wrong, you are beaten.

In essence, they are rendered docile, tractable and submissive. In my last post we learned that these are synonyms of the word Compliance. While I focused on docility as a result of compliance training for adult employees there, the theme of docility comes back in full effect here as well.

My friend’s been telling be about how the majority of his new family and friends from India all are bright and intelligent people but in some cases there’s something amiss when compared to his Swedish acquaintances.

They can’t think for themselves.

I’m not saying that people from India is stupid or docile. Quite the opposite! What I’m saying is that they’ve been conditioned into compliance, submission and docility and that it’s therefore a rare thing to meet a really confident and mind-strong Indian guy or girl. Someone who’s gotten their own passion, creativity and logic thinking in spite of their schooling instead of, as more often is the case in Sweden, because of their schooling. Continue reading

Compliance training leads to docility

What does the word ”compliant” mean? A quick look at Merriam-Webster’s dictionary gives the following explanation:

  1. ready or disposed to comply: SUBMISSIVE <a corrupt regime aided by a compliant press>
  2. conforming to requirements <compliant software>

Submissive, huh? A look at synonyms gives the following suggestions:

  • Amenable: Answerable, capable of submission, readily brought to yield
  • Biddable: Easily led, taught, or controlled
  • Obedient: Willing to obey
  • Conformable: Consistent in form or character
  • Docile: Easily led or managed
  • Law-Abiding: Obedient to the law
  • Submissive: Submitting to others <submissive employees>
  • Tractable: Capable of being easily led, taught, or controlled: docile <a tractable horse>

Well that makes you excited to create or take some compliance training, doesn’t it? Continue reading

Never start at Level 1

Start with 1?This isn’t going to be a tirade of criticism like the last post but more of a reflection of how I think most people uses the Four Levels of Kirkpatrick, namely wrong. I’ve heard the following quite a few times:

“Yeah, we do course evaluation but we’ve only come as far as Level 1 and 2.”

So what’s wrong with this? Of course it’s very much easier to just measure what people think of the course (Level 1) and what they’ve learned (Level 2) than mess with change of behavior (Level 3) and result (Level 4). And of course people tend to do what’s easy instead of doing what they should do. Continue reading