One of my very first training assignments was teaching new employee orientation at Walt Disney World.  That set the bar pretty high as far as fun at orientation.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to help create and teach other companies’ new employee orientations as well.  Using what I’ve learned throughout the years, here are seven ways to make your new employee orientation more fun.

  • Start with an icebreaker
  • Tell stories that illustrate your points
  • Use real life scenarios in activities
  • Have giveaways to encourage participation
  • Play relevant and fun games
  • Take a break from the classroom
  • Schedule guest speakers

Continue reading “How to Make New Employee Orientation Fun”

As a corporate trainer, you always need to be on your toes.  Part of that includes staying informed and working on improving your skills.  Here are five books to help you do just that!

Troubleshooting for Trainers by Sophie Oberstein
Telling Ain’t Training by Harold Stolovitch
Virtual Training Basics by Cindy Huggett
Confessions of a Corporate Trainer by Jonathan Halls
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte

While not a comprehensive list, I think these books are a great starting point for anyone who wants to build their career as a corporate trainer.

Continue reading “Five Must Read Books for Corporate Trainers”

Joining a professional organization can be a very beneficial way to advance your career.  Most professions have at least one and corporate training is no exception.  Here are a few I have been involved with throughout my career that I think are worth checking out.

Continue reading “Four Great Professional Organizations for Corporate Trainers”

If you are interviewing for learning and development jobs, there is a good chance you will be asked to give some kind of presentation.  It is particularly likely if the position requires training delivery. This is usually one of the final stages if not the final stage of the process so you want to make sure to get it right.

There are a few key things to keep in mind as you prepare including:

  • Picking a topic
  • Customization
  • Practice
  • Timing
  • Interactivity

I’ve been on both sides of the process and will give you some tips to help you prepare for your training presentation interview.

Continue reading “Creating a Job Winning Training Presentation for Your Interview”

Even before COVID-19 hit my team was doing a lot of virtual training in the form of webinars, e-learning and mobile learning.  After COVID hit that increased as we had to quickly pivot to transform in person learning programs to online.  While there does appear to be some light at the end of the tunnel with more and more people being vaccinated, it’s still a good idea to be prepared to continue with virtual learning for the foreseeable future.

Here are some things you need to do as we all continue to flex.

  • Be flexible
  • Stay patient
  • Maintain positivity
  • Keep innovating
  • Continue to blend
  • Create a transition plan

I fully expect to continue holding classes that were formerly in person online for a while.  That being the case, here is my planned approach.

Continue reading “Six Must Do’s for Employee Training During a Pandemic”

Being a Corporate Trainer can be very exciting.  The laughter, the applause, the adulation.  At the same time, there is a very real chance of burnout in this role.  What are the causes and what can you do about it?

The causes of burnout for a Corporate Trainer can include:

  • Travel
  • Repetition
  • Constantly Being “On”
  • Difficult Participants
  • Lack of Control

Some ways to overcome burnout for corporate trainers are to:

  • Get Real (with your manager)
  • Get Creative
  • Get Involved
  • Get Away
  • Get Out

In my over twenty years of conducting training, I have experienced burnout on plenty of occasions.  It can be overwhelming and sometimes I just wanted to quit.  Luckily, I found several ways to understand and deal with it.

Continue reading “Corporate Trainer Burnout: Causes and What You Can Do”

title - how to get Adobe Captivate for free

If you want to include e-learning samples in your portfolio, you need to have access to e-learning authoring software.  Most offer free trials which is helpful.  Ideally, though, you want to have your own copy. The software can be pretty expensive, though, which may be prohibitive for many.  It was for me which is why I was excited to find out I could get one (Adobe Captivate) for FREE.  Read on to find out what I did.

Continue reading “How to Get Adobe Captivate For Free: One Cheapskate’s Journey”

Ultimate Guide to Getting a Learning and Development Job (title) Three circles with "Resume and Portfolio", "Job Postings" and "Interview Strategies"

Job searching sucks.

Hoops to jump through, a whole bunch of unknowns and a lot of rejection along the way.  In this article, my goal is to take away some of the pain by sharing my advice and experience from over 20 years in the learning and development field.  All of my experience comes from working in corporate America and I’ve been on both sides of the job hunting process. I’ve been the job seeker and I have also been part of the decision making process for hiring new L&D team members.  I’ve applied, interviewed, been hired (and rejected) by small non-profits as well as huge billion dollar companies and everything in between. If you are thinking about applying for a Learning and Development job, this article is for you. In it I’ll share strategies and advice that I’ve used throughout my career to help you land a great paying job doing what you love.

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Instructional Design Models listed alongside a puzzled woman

If you are getting started with instructional design, you have probably come across several of the instructional design models.  ADDIE, SAM, Action Mapping, Dick and Carey, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction… to name a few…  As you read about each one, you may wonder “which one should I use?” or “which instructional design model is the best?”

It basically boils down to these three:

  • Which one does your class/course use?
  • Which one does your company use?
  • Which one do you like to use?

I know that may seem a bit glib but I can tell you that in most corporate environments (that’s what I can speak to) nobody except you is going to care about which one you use. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use one.  Each model has benefits and if you are serious about working in the field, you’ll want to get familiar with at least a couple of these.  Do you need to be an expert in every one?  No, you don’t.

Most articles I see on this are pretty high falutin’ and go into a bunch of detail about each model without really giving any real life examples or context.  Or they do a brief summary of a whole bunch of them. That’s fine and can be a good way to start learning the differences. What I want to do here is give a very real world view of the ones I actually use and why.

Continue reading “What is the Best Instructional Design Model to Use?”

Do You Need a Masters Degree to be an Instructional Designer

I’ve noticed that there is a lot of interest lately in becoming an Instructional Designer/Learning Experience Designer and/or an E-Learning Developer.  Maybe that’s just because I tend to follow a lot of ID related forums though.  At any rate, a question I see that comes up quite a bit is whether or not a person should pursue a Masters Degree in order to get started as an instructional designer.  (Or they ask it about getting into e-learning development which is usually a part of instructional design.  I discuss each of these roles in more detail here and here.)

I understand why people ask this.  Many people in the field DO have a Masters (myself included) and many of the job postings I’ve seen list it as a requirement. But do you really NEED one to get into the field?  In my opinion and based on my own experience, no, you don’t.  There are plenty of other ways to get experience and there are plenty of jobs that do not require it.  I did instructional design in various capacities for about 15 years before I got my Masters.  When I did decide to pursue the Masters, it was a personal choice and not due to any requirement or pressure from anyone.  Was it worth it?  Yes, for me it definitely was.  But, as I said, it is a personal choice that you will have to make for yourself.  In this article, I am going to share some questions you should ask yourself along with my experience which will hopefully help you as you embark on your own career path.

Continue reading “Do You Need a Masters Degree to be an Instructional Designer?”