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Tuesday Snapshot: Highlights of Virtual Conference Sessions


Tue Jun 02 2020

Tuesday Snapshot: Highlights of Virtual Conference Sessions

The Association for Talent Development’s Virtual Conference offers 100 hours of on-demand content, and many of these sessions are eligible for certification and recertification points. Here are highlights of some of the sessions. To explore all on-demand content, visit virtualconference.td.org.

A Little Help From Apps

Track: Learning Technologies

The session “Even More Awesome Apps for Trainers,” led by Daniel Jones, training manager at Daniel Swarovski AG, is proof positive that you don’t have to be a tech genius to incorporate technology into a training course. In this session, Jones provides an overview of apps that can enhance the learning experience.

Whether you want to create an infographic, develop a training ad for your internal social media, or even learn how to create an e-book for free, there’s an app for that. The apps that Jones details throughout the session put professional tech solutions in the hands of the one-person corporate learning shop as well as the talent development professional who lacks resources or who isn’t tech savvy.

The app options include artificial intelligence–fueled chat bots and graphic design resources for creating design elements, such as social media–friendly flyers. Simple plug-and-play solutions can add a wow factor and enhance the training experience for learners. Best of all, many of the apps are available at no cost.

With a little help from these apps, trainers of all levels can bring their best ideas into fruition. You will end this session with a list of ways to foster greater interactivity, collaboration, and engagement throughout your organization’s learning ecosystem.

The Enterprise as a Living Ecology

Track: Leadership Development

Building a learning enterprise entails creating an ecological organization, notes Patricia A. McLagan in “Building the Learning Enterprise.” To deal with the pace of change today, both organizations and people need to transform. That requires a change in how relationships are viewed, the enterprise, and how learning happens.

Specifically, the transformation requires learning professionals to change their mindset and how they look at learners. The shift must include looking at learners as agents rather than as objects.

Talent development professionals can’t control either the organization or the learners. Rather, the learners must rise up through the “personal learning evolution,” as McLagan defines it, from self-directed Learning 3.0 to SMART Learning 4.0, in which they co-evolve alongside technology and apply neuroscience to themselves.

Individuals in a learning enterprise need to be lifelong learners, applying what they have learned and valuing it. It makes them 100 percent powerful. Their personal learning evolution should occur alongside relationship and consciousness evolutions.

A learning enterprise also includes:

  • a change in organizational design relative to structure, systems and processes, strategy, and technology

  • strategic leaders who are change nurturing, who look at failure in a different way, and who serve as sponsors and mentors

  • teams with learning enterprise status have learning agendas and are where mutual learning occurs.

The learning enterprise also requires a change in managers and formal leaders as well as institutional learning support. In short, that means that the enterprise needs to become smart everywhere, in every facet.

Never Run Out of Activities for the Virtual Classroom

Track: Training Delivery and Facilitation

In a time when training delivery increasingly favors virtual platforms over face-to-face experiences, one constant across learning environments is the need to incorporate engagement. Activities invite the attention and engagement of participants and can be instrumental in reinforcing key learnings.

From warm-up to wrap-up activities and everything in between, principal consultant Kassy LaBorie presents ideas for virtual engagement activities for learning professionals in her session “All-New Spectacular Virtual Classroom Activities.” Participants will gain ideas of easily implementable virtual activities that learners can take part in by themselves, with a partner, or in small groups.

LaBorie also discusses how to take popular face-to-face classroom activities and translate them into successful virtual experiences, and she details the affordances and limitations of popular virtual platforms, such as Zoom and WebEx. In addition to covering instructional strategies and the ingredients of successful learning experiences, LaBorie leads a special bonus activity that focuses on the importance of voice.

Trainers as well as instructional designers seeking new ways to capture and keep learners’ attention and reinforce learning objectives in a virtual environment will find this discussion of great value. It is a conversation that anyone involved in virtual training needs to hear.

Join LaBorie on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. ET for a live session, where she will answer questions about virtual classroom sessions.

Speaking Volumes Without Saying a Word

Track: Management

Whether you are leading a meeting, participating in a call, or presenting, how do you show up? In “Influence Emotion to Motivate Action: Communication Techniques to Engage Any Audience,” G. Riley (Gary) Mills, COO and co-founder of Pinnacle Performance Company, states that the “ability to communicate with purpose and clarity is a key to personal and professional success.” Some say that the ability to communicate is the key.

The journey to effective communication, Mills points out, is just that—a journey. You can always improve upon your skills.

To better communicate the what’s in it for me to your audience, be clear, concise, compelling, credible, and confident. A persuasion equation helps you better reach your goal: I want to (intention) my audience so that my audience will (objective). This may entail a manager conveying to her direct report that showing up late is unacceptable.

Voice, body language, gestures, and intention are all important when it comes to relaying that message. Begin a training session with your body in a home-base position, open, confident, and neutral.

Intention cues are your body language, voice, or gestures that send signals to your audience. If you slouch, rather than stand upright with your hands above your waste, you portray timidity and will not inspire confidence. Similarly, verbal miscues and hedging language hurt your credibility. Mills shares further tips, including ones relative to eye contact and gestures.

Share your ATD Virtual Conference experience on social media. #ATDVirtualConference

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