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Blog Post

Good Presenters ≠ L&D Experts

Thursday, January 18, 2018

 

Handyman ≠ Plumber or Electrician

Weekend Warrior ≠ Working for a Living

Enthusiast ≠ Professional

 Ok, so we don’t need an extensive list here as I think you get the idea.  And don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to be negative here either- I would take good presenters over bad ones any day.  The point I’m trying to make = even though people can be good at giving or making a presentation does not make them a learning expert. 

This weekend I was looking through some old files and came across an old Mead notebook and in one of the covers it discussed Bloom’s Taxonomy.  In all the years of school, I probably read it dozens of times, but it wasn’t until I got into L&D that the lightbulb went on.  Now, if you’re a good presenter that’s still reading this… and Bloom’s Taxonomy makes sense then you might be closer to being a L&D expert than you might think!

The fact of the matter is that even if you know that people need breaks, crowd interaction, or visuals for the 'V' in VAK it doesn’t mean you’re ready to make the call for what and how best to provide ‘learning’.  In some instance, maybe that great live presentation wasn’t even needed. Maybe, they just needed a good job aid.

I have also found that as I create great content for learning it is sometimes mistaken for what I’ll call a ‘given output’ from the L&D team. Have you ever heard of the infamous “PPT Wizard/Guru/Ninja?”  I also hear sometimes, “Well, on the last project you provided a live training, a webinar, an eLearning and a video and this time you only want to give me a recorded webinar and a piece of paper with steps on it- what’s up with that?”

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Now, sometimes what client wants client gets... but the argument here is to trust your L&D professional.  Just because it can be a video doesn’t mean it always should be a video- no one likes to watch a 30-minute mono-tone talking head. (Maybe I shouldn’t say ‘no one’?). We don’t just wake up and say “I don’t feel like doing a video today”- we’re taking into consideration many different elements and different learning theories before we make the decision. (Yes, sometimes it does go through the filter of 'is the juice worth the squeeze' but that's a whole other blog topic for a different day.)

In summary, I like to call it learning our craft. VP’s don’t become VP’s overnight (for the most part). Great chefs don’t wake up one day and cook a soufflé. Great professional sports athletes don’t just pick up a ball and step onto the court without years of practice. ‘Googling’ YouTube videos on how to replace a toilet doesn’t mean you’re a professional plumber. The same concept applies to L&D.  Just because you can give a great presentation or make a good presentation doesn’t equate to being an L&D expert.

My call to action for you- trust your L&D team to make L&D calls. If you’re on the L&D team because you’re a great presenter that can make great presentations- then make sure to ‘learn your craft’. It's not hard to get started... you're on the ATD website- look up one of their trainings or do a gut check/reality check with the CPLP?! There are many philosophies out there and studies on adult learning principles- make sure you take the time to learn and understand them. Maybe the next time you read this blog again, Bloom’s Taxonomy will make sense?

  

"Bloom's Taxonomy"... I know you probably just Googled that. J Until next time- how do you leverage your L&D experts?

 

 

Photo credit: Rita Morais on Unsplash

About the Author

Richard Stange, CPLP® was born and raised in the great state of Iowa.  He studied art, design, and photography at the University of Iowa where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.  Prior to beginning his career at The HON Company, Richard was a personal trainer where he honed his skills for helping people to improve. Richard has since expanded his expertise in different departments and positions at The HON Company including Customer Service, Sales, and now Learning & Development where he now manages the Instructional Design side of L&D at HON.  Richard's passion is around organizational development, performance, and helping to bring actionable learning to both employees and partners of The HON Company. 

2 Comments
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Great article, Richard and so spot on!
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Great piece. Love this line: "VP’s don’t become VP’s overnight (for the most part). Great chefs don’t wake up one day and cook a soufflé. Great professional sports athletes don’t just pick up a ball and step onto the court without years of practice.... The same concept applies to L&D. Just because you can give a great presentation or make a good presentation doesn’t equate to being an L&D expert."
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