An extremely athletic friend of mine recently convinced me to do a “girls’ weekend” with her by attending an intensive swim clinic. While I can swim, no one would ever accuse me of being super proficient at the sport, so I thought “Why not?”
Our instructor was four time Olympian, gold medal winner Sheila Taormina. Clearly, Taormina knows her stuff when it comes to swimming. She has developed the STGRID, a metal contraption placed in the pool, so that when a person swims past it an underwater camera can capture the movements against the grid. This allows swim mechanics instruction to be articulated in measureable, definable, specific terms rather than vague, abstract verbal terms.
Using this grid, Taormina has filmed elite swimmers from all over the world. She has catalogued the common movements, collecting evidence for what contributes to the most successful careers.
Do you have a strong grid against which to measure the skills you are teaching? Have you assessed, in an objective, reliable way, what your most elite workers do to be successful? By developing and implementing a system like Taormina’s grid, you will be able to more clearly articulate to your learners what they need to do to improve.
I significantly increased my distance per stroke after seeing my performance against the grid. Now, if I could just stop eating brownies…
I found my new love on Valentine’s Day – Pexels! Pexels photos are super great quality and completely free (!) licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to find through their discover pages. They currently have over 40,000 photos to choose from and add approximately 3,000 more each month.
This will definitely be my new go-to site. Thanks to all of the generous photographers who are willing to share their fabulous pictures!
Two distinctly different events this week have me considering the importance of poise over panic when presenting.
On Tuesday, I had the amazing opportunity to watch the SpaceX rocket lift off from Kennedy Space Center. The pleasure of watching the rocket soar and the boosters return to land was amplified knowing that Elon Musk believes that we need more fun in life. To emphasize this, Musk chose to use a red Tesla sports car as his payload, with an empty astronaut suit in the driver's seat and a sign that read "Don't Panic."
Then last night I watched the Olympic Biathlon competition, in which athletes have to cross-country ski, then shoot a rifle while their hearts are beating at approximately 190 beats per minute! Winners are adept at calming themselves enough to hit the targets with amazing precision.
Presenters need this poise when things go wrong - which they inevitably do. Technology failure? Yup, I've had it. Stranger walking on stage mid-speech? Yup, been there. Fire? Yup, had that, too. In every case I managed to avoid panic because I knew I had two solutions.
1. I am comfortable telling my participants to turn and talk with their colleagues or to take a ten minute break. This allows me to handle the problem without the anxiety of having everyone watching and waiting.
2. I always have predetermined material or activities I can cut if I am running short on time. This pro-active step provides me with a sense of patience, so that I am not rushing to try to solve a problem (and potentially making it worse.)
Do you have tips for staying poised instead of becoming panicked? If so, please share so that we can all learn from each other.
For additional tips, check out my book "Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training."
There are three video clips that I wanted to share with my seminar participants this week. Instead of the typical, old-fashioned approach – projecting them to the whole group - I decided to turn them into QR codes and set them up at three separate stations.
Quick Response Codes (QR) are two dimensional bar codes that are usually linked to a URL. When scanned with a mobile device, this visual code quickly takes the user to the linked content. Easy to generate, QR Codes can be linked to expert interviews, demonstration videos, Google documents or content related web sites.
By hanging the QR codes on the wall at three different stations, I had participants up and moving. I also provided questions at each station to guide them in their discussion with their colleagues.
Not only were participants more actively engaged, but this approach freed me up to wander, check-in with people and assess how the learning was progressing.
No more sage on the stage – instead honor your participants’ expertise and be a guide on the side!
Click here to see my favorite QR code generator.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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