If you're responsible for coming up with fast, interesting, and effective training for your company, here are some truly creative ways to spice things up. And surprise.they're CHEAP! DEVELOP A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION INTEGRATING DIGITAL AUDIOCLIPS.
Wow! Microsoft PowerPoint has really come a long way. Originally designed to support presentations and speeches, PowerPoint is a nifty tool for non-techies who want to create self-directed learning modules. Looking good is a snap if you use some of the professionally-designed templates available on Microsoft Online (http://office.microsoft.com). Then, build your slide points from existing written references or policies you need to train.
By simply "cutting and pasting," you can probably transform most of your existing manuals and printed material into this more modern format rapidly. Finally, using a digital recorder, tape yourself reading each slide or expanding on the key points. Attach each audio file to the corresponding slide-click PowerPoint Show, and viola, you have a training presentation with audio. CONDUCT TELECLASSES USING A FREE BRIDGELINE. Set up a teleclass or teleconference with your target audience using http://www.
FreeConference.com. With a free bridgeline, you can gather literally hundreds of people on the line to discuss a new program or brainstorm solutions to a problem. You can even use these as facilitated study groups to support a larger training program-I have students listen to an audioclip lecture of Dale Carnegie or John Maxwell. Then, I have them call into the bridgeline to discuss their thoughts, ask questions, and explore leadership themes with other peers who call in from all over the operation. Oh, and did I mention, no travel time involved? You can also digitally-record calls and post them as audioclips or podcasts almost instantaneously.
PRODUCE A NEWSCAST DIRECTLY FROM YOUR COMPUTER. I use Visual Communicator (http://www.seriousmagic.com), an awesome application that transforms your computer monitor into a "teleprompter." Attach a camcorder, select from a library of professionally-designed templates, and before you know it, you'll have a cool informational newscast in the same amount of time it would take you to put a PowerPoint presentation together (which is pretty fast!). Visual Communicator can publish the final newscast file into a variety of formats, including Real Video, Windows Media Video, and AVI.
You can even compress small enough to send by e-mail. REPLICATE BEST PRACTICES BY "MODELING" YOUR MASTER PERFORMERS. If you have a way to identify your "master performers," you can bring them together in a focus group to identify best practices. You can then develop trainings and activities that strive to replicate these best practices and masterful performances in other employees. START A TRAINING BLOG. Use http://www.
Blogger.com (it's free) to create a training website portal for your company. No HTML necessary-just set up an account and start blogging updates to the troops. If my 13-year-old daughter can whip up a whole blog website in less than an hour, then so can you. You can also integrate audio and video by using http://www.
AudioBlog.com (cheap). I can even call it using my cellphone to record lectures while driving, press the # button, and post an audioclip that instantly posts onto the blog website-now, how cool is that?.
RYAN YEE is an instructional designer, trainer, and writer with over 20 years experience specializing in print-based instructional design. He maintains a very active blog at www.RyanYee.net.