Fried Training Talk- Instructional Fireworks

Published: Thursday, July 2, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 02, 2020

In the US, July 4th is an occasion for Fireworks. Many folks love the spectacle of them. Many buy their own & shoot them off (legally or illegally). Those with sensitive pets & small children may hate them. Some military veterans have PTSD reactions to certain fireworks.

Much like designing training, it isn’t possible to satisfy everyone’s needs/wants.

Many years ago, I attended a fireworks show expecting the standard slow 30 minute build to a roaring finale typical of most shows. The 2nd test rocket rose about 10 feet over the huge bank of fireworks and exploded (too low). Those close by saw technicians running in a panic as sparks ignited everything. Rockets, ground works, EVERYTHING went off at once. It was a spectacular 45 to 90 seconds of ear-splitting noise, incredible lights, & even at a safe distance just a tinge of fear. No one died or was even hurt, but the moment will live in my mind forever.

Though studies show the bells & whistles we add to some trainings are often not effective, it should be possible for us to design moments like that show to stick in learner’s minds for “many years”.


Here are my discussion questions:

Have you ever had a spectacular learning accident stick in people’s heads?
How do we make those kinds of fireworks accidents happen on purpose?

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