Tip #766: Why We Need WhiteSpace

On April 20, 2019, Posted by , In learning, By , With Comments Off on Tip #766: Why We Need WhiteSpace

Take 5-15 seconds of whitespace before every important meeting, phone call or conversation to focus on the task, situation and people at-hand.” Juliet Funt

Juliet Funt is the CEO of WhiteSpace at Work. She gave a keynote address at the 2019 Training Conference promoting whitespace, which she defines as “the strategic pause taken between activities.”

WhiteSpace at Work has found that 95% of people are interrupted over 5 times per hour; 69% of workers feel highly overworked; 86% of employees agree that taking breaks would make them more productive; 61% of workers feel significant stress about the ever-present pressure of work email. And, as a result, 54% of employees are disengaged and have simply checked out.

According … Read the rest

Tip #516: What Do You Want Your Audience to Do?

On May 5, 2014, Posted by , In presentation, By ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #516: What Do You Want Your Audience to Do?

“Every choice you make has an end result.”  Zig Ziglar

I recently reviewed a number of 20-minute videos of trainers in a global organization. I found three major issues. First, there was a heavy reliance on PowerPoint. Second, there was a huge amount of information. Third, it was unclear what the audience was supposed to do with the information.

Let’s look at the issues, one at a time.

When I say that there was a heavy reliance on PowerPoint, this is what I saw:

1.   The slides were filled with text.

2.   The text was too small to see from the back of the room.

3.   The trainers read the slides to the participants.

4.   The PowerPoint slides comprised the … Read the rest

Tip #366: How to Manage Time Limitations for Lots of Training Content

On March 14, 2011, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #366: How to Manage Time Limitations for Lots of Training Content

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” Charles Swindoll

Companies are doing more with less, so their employees have limited time to spend in training sessions. As a result, many trainers are frequently charged with what appears to be an impossible expectation: deliver training in a fraction of the time necessary and usually allotted for it.

The bad news is that trainers may react to imposed time limitations in two ways that produce ineffective learning results.

First, trainers eliminate learning activities in order to have more time to lecture on content. There are at least two problems with this response:

(a) Learning activities are designed to help learners achieve desired levels of … Read the rest

Tip #339: Five Content Mistakes That Trainers Make – And How to Avoid Them

On September 6, 2010, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #339: Five Content Mistakes That Trainers Make – And How to Avoid Them

“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject and how to avoid them.” Werner Karl Heisenberg

Whether you are a new or seasoned trainer, there are five mistakes you should avoid when you design your training programs.

 Mistake #1. Not conducting a training needs assessment. Make sure that you know who your participants will be, why they will be attending, and what they are supposed to know or be able to do when they leave the training. Otherwise, you may end up providing the wrong training to the wrong people, wasting everyone’s time.

Mistake #2. Not identifying the desired level of learning. The fallback instructional method for trainers tends to … Read the rest

Tip #259: Bullet Points and PowerPoint Design

On January 16, 2009, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #259: Bullet Points and PowerPoint Design

In his article: The Cognitive Load of PowerPoint: Q&A with Richard E. Mayer,” “Cliff Atkinson poses two questions which I have combined for our discussion purposes:

“The use of bullet points in PowerPoint presentations has been widely criticized. Based on your research, what effect does on-screen text have on learning- and what are the characteristics of a PowerPoint that is compatible with the way people learn from words and pictures?”

I have adapted the following from Richard Mayer’s responses to both questions:

“Bullets don’t kill learning, but improper use of bullets kills learning. In order to create effective PowerPoint presentations, it is important to understand how people learn. In particular, cognitive scientists have discovered three important features of the human Read the rest