Meet ASTD 2014 International Conference & Exposition Featured Guest Speaker: Judy Ravin

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Welcome to the Global HRD Featured Guest Speaker Blog Series. The purpose of this series is to introduce the topics and guest speakers from the Global HRD track of the ASTD 2014 International Conference & Exposition. This week’s featured guest speaker is Judy Ravin, presenting, “Best Practices: Designing Training for a Multinational Workforce.” We have asked her to answer a few questions to help our community members gain insight into some of the content she will cover at this year’s conference.

What is the topic of your presentation?

This presentation, "Best Practices: Designing Training for a Multinational Workforce," provides actionable tools for using language cues—verbal, written, and visual—for trainers to achieve optimal results in a multinational and multilingual environment. These training techniques ensure maximum comprehension of training material, regardless of subject matter content. This session will be presented within the contexts of both live and e-learning training methods.

Why is this topic important for L&D professionals?

The percentage of non-native English speakers in Global 1000 companies is now greater than 70 percent. This creates both an opportunity and a challenge. Diversity engenders new ways of innovating, problem solving, and conveying a company’s value propositions to new business markets. However, linguistic diversity also creates communication challenges, which have never before been experienced. Trainers at global corporations have a responsibility to ensure they're maximizing learning transfer to native and non-native English speakers alike. Not only does this level the playing field for all training participants, it ensures that investment in human capital is optimized to its greatest potential.

What will be the top three takeaways from your presentation?

After this session, you will:

  1. Acquire 15 critical speaking techniques for creating seamless knowledge transfer among multinational teams.
  2. Apply instructional design practices that have particular outcomes with a multinational audience.
  3. Learn an approach used at NATO and Fortune 500 companies to systematically “tune the trainer’s ear” to unfamiliar accents. This communication competency minimizes the need to ask training participants to repeat themselves and creates greater participation for all learners.

What is your experience with ASTD or the ASTD International Conference & Exposition?


I attended ASTD 2013. It was an exceptional conference; the best conference I’ve attended to date. While the different tracks addressed a variety of interests, all were relevant to current L&D needs, trends, and practices. Because this conference is global in nature, it creates an opportunity to see L&D challenges, and prospective solutions, from a unique set of vantage points.

What do you expect to get out of this year’s event?

I’m expecting two things: an opportunity to learn what’s new and exciting in the world of diversity and inclusion, and an opportunity to grow my professional network with like-minded professionals, who are dedicated to empowering others through training and development.

What are some suggestions you have for attendees to get the most out of their experience at ASTD 2014?

Attendees are eager to learn and to share. Be ready to draw on your own areas of expertise and contribute during discussions, Q&A sessions, and interactive sessions. ASTD 2014 is a wonderful way to build new relationships, strengthen old ones, and broaden our horizons.

About the Speaker

Judy Ravin is the founder and president of ARI, Inc. and author of best-selling software-based learning systems for rapid language acquisition. Ravin’s objective is to minimize communication barriers in a global economy, while maintaining each person’s unique cultural identity. She has earned international recognition for her expertise in helping DiversityInc Top 50 corporations create effective cross-border communication, improve employee performance, and promote women and minorities to leadership positions.

About the Author
Nan Kim is the international coordinator for the Association for Talent Development (ATD), the world's largest association dedicated to to those who develop talent in organizations. She supports the International department by facilitating the exchange of knowledge among the global learning and development community. She also helps manage the Global HRD Community of Practice, where she supports professionals around the world to share regional best practices, conduct global benchmarking, and discuss cross-cultural and global talent development issues. Nan graduated from The University of North Carolina with a BA in sociology.
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