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The Annual Conference Helped This Attendee Take Control of Her Training

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In continuation of the insider’s view series, I had the chance to talk with Ava Varelas from Spokeo. She attended the 23rd Annual Creative Training Techniques® Conference. Here’s what she had to say.

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Tell Me a Little About Yourself

Ava - When I’m not travelling, I work as a Lead Trainer at Spokeo. Spokeo is a tech company empowering people with publicly available data to help friends and families reunite. Primarily, I train call center employees. I lead a two-week training class that averages about 4-8 people. At the end of training, they need to be able to hit the ground running. I then repeat this training once a month with new employees. I also do training for current representatives to refresh their skills.

What brought you to The Bob Pike Conference?

My Director received an email and recommended the Instructional Design Workshop. I researched the Bob Pike Group further and thought it sounded like a great way to engage reps and make training fun. I was looking for ways to do less lecture and add more interactivity to my training. I needed new ways to communicate the same content.  

I really liked the research behind the Bob Pike training. The Creative Training Techniques® are based on neuroscience data. I shared my learnings by presenting internally to my management group and discussing my plans to implement the Creative Training Techniques®. My managers were able to experience the activities as well with some hands-on energizers.

The interactivity makes the difference at this conference. I found that I wasn’t thinking about lunch or checking my phone. I was too involved in the material to be bored.

I completely changed my training to fix some core areas. I added interactive activities, created new workbooks, incorporated an opener, closer, and after lunch energizer. I found the window pane and flip charts on the walls made a “world of difference.”

Trainee feedback has been positive. I changed my power point presentation from a 150 slide presentation to a briefer, more visual deck. I coordinated the power point with a workbook and referenced fill-in-the-blank pages in the workbook. This resulted in better retention. I’m planning to include more group discussions with next month’s group since it’s a larger group. This is a “whole new way of training”.

What’s One Takeaway that You’d Like to Share?

My favorite takeaway is the 90/20/10 rule. The need to take periodic breaks is based on studies that show people can listen to content with attention for 20 minutes before they need a break. A 10-minute break allows people to process the information. The break is best spent with an interactive activity that engages the group. Sharing your thoughts on the content with a learning partner or discussing the content with a small group keeps the room energized and more alert. Having participants discover the answers to their own questions through engaging with others helps them retain the information. People don’t argue with their own data.

What Do You Plan to Try Next with Your Training?

I’m looking forward to working on a Rapid Based Design. This is a great way to work with a cross-functional group and let everyone’s voice be heard. I’m planning to expand these design elements into other training areas besides the call center. I'm helping my CFO and recruiting manager to build-out their power point presentations and add activities to their meetings to help engage more participants. It’s becoming more company-wide than customer care. It’s a unique way of training. I feel it was a huge blessing to be at the conference. I feel more in control of my planning.

Help People Learn Twice as Much in Half the Time

The Bob Pike Group has helped 95% of Fortune 100 companies with measurable training and performance solutions. There are several workshop options to choose from:

  1. Public Workshops – Choose a city and date that works for your schedule. Experience for yourself our instructor-led, participant-centered approach.
  2. Onsite –The Bob Pike Group will come to your company and coach your team. It’s a great way to build teamwork and set clear expectations.
  3. Design Consulting – The Bob Pike Group will work with you to customize an Onsite Workshop for your team. This includes high level strategy and facilitation across functional areas to ensure corporate training objectives are defined and carried through. Team members are assessed afterwards to ensure information is retained and applied.

Learn how to write effective training objectives with this “Free Guide: 5 Tips for Writing Effective Objectives.

Becky's Book: Creative Training Techniques