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Dry, Boring, or Technical Content Can Still Be Engaging

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A recent survey showed that 67 percent of employees admit they plan to multitask at their next virtual training session. And 100 percent admit to actually doing it.

Virtual or in-person training must engage participants for learning transfer to occur and for people to feel that their time has been well-spent. We want our participants to be wide-awake and learning, so at a previous ATD International Conference & Exposition, I presented a session on how to add caffeine to your training design and implementation.

While I had rave reviews, I had a few people ask me how to add some energy even when working with dry, boring, or technical content. Another participant asked me for some advice about ways to engage accountants and engineers. Sound familiar?


Different subjects and audiences require different approaches and options for interactive strategies, but there are some activities that work for most content and learners. For instance, “Fill It In” is a simple strategy you can try. The title is self-explanatory: instead of showing your learners a completed flowchart, list, or graph, let them engage their brains to make predictions about the missing text. And depending on your audience, you can opt for more serious, intellectual, or creative slide design.

For more tips on how to liven up your content, join me during ATD Virtual Conference.

About the Author

Anne M. Beninghof is an internationally recognized consultant and trainer, with more than 32 years of experience in the talent development field. She is also the author of Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.

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