December 2023
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TD Magazine

December 2023 TD Authors: What's on Your Bookshelf?

Friday, December 1, 2023

Contributors to the December 2023 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.

Brooke Winston
Killer Visual Strategies: Engage Any Audience, Improve Comprehension, and Get Amazing Results Using Visual Communication by Amy Balliett


Many instructional designers still struggle with choosing or creating great visuals for their experiences. But it's a necessity because visual information gets to the brain 60,000 times faster than any other form of communication. Balliett shares easy and effective ways to enhance visual design for engagement and comprehension.

Kali Maginity
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

This book is a quick read dedicated to performance support. It addresses training versus improving the cognitive system. Gawande's premise is that, even with ultra-specialized and robust training, mistakes still occur due to the highly complex nature of tasks modern workers perform. Rather than doubling down with more and more training, instructional designers should provide simplified job aids to ensure no steps or ideas are missed.

Kara Hardin
Hello Sleep: The Science and Art of Overcoming Insomnia Without Medications by Jade Wu

Strivers often struggle with their relationship with sleep, making it another to-do chore. I love the articulation Wu presents as sleep being like a friend, and she provides clear, evidence-based guidance to reconnect with that friend.

Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto
By Tricia Hersey
Challenging productivity culture with thoughtful, incisive ideas and generous prose, Hersey implores the reader to reconsider how we come to view our time, energy, and attention.

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
By Oliver Burkeman
Humorous and so on point, I've underlined almost the whole thing as a reminder to read and reread whenever I pick it up. Burkeman encapsulates the challenges of our relationship to work and articulates viable solutions.

The House in the Cerulean
By TJ Klune
A fictional story that reminds me to imagine and dream, Kline's characters are warm, charming, and kind. It's a wonderful way to spend a fall weekend.

Kerri Acheson


The Voice Over Actor’s Handbook: How to Analyze, Interpret, and Deliver Scripts (Second Edition)
By John Burr
This book is a complete compendium on voiceover performing. It covers everything from articulation to active/passive voice to pitch and breath control. It is not only a must for voice actors, but would be invaluable to anyone who records audio.

Speak to Influence: How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Voice
By Susan Berkley
Everything from conversations, public speaking, leaving good voicemail messages, and keeping your voice healthy is discussed in this interesting little book. It offers valuable tips on how to avoid pronunciation mistakes and adjust your tempo and rhythm. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on holding your audience's attention.

Shannon Tipton

"Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries" by Peter Sims is a book that I highly recommend for anyone in the Learning & Development (L&D) field, particularly those who are new, transitioning from other roles or looking for a different approach to training development. The book's core principle of making small, calculated risks aligns perfectly with the need for innovation in L&D. Traditional training methods often fall short in meeting the complex and ever-changing learning needs of today's workforce. That's why the concept of "little bets" resonates so deeply with me.

When I'm developing a new program, I often start with a "little bet." This means designing a small-scale, low-risk experiment to test my hypotheses before going all-in. It's a practical approach that allows for manageable risks and provides valuable insights that can be used to refine the program further. So, if you're looking to upskill, innovate, and contribute effectively to your organization's goals, "Little Bets" should definitely be on your reading list. It encourages you to see failure as a stepping stone to success, a lesson we could all benefit from in the L&D community.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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