August 2015 Chapter Meeting Photos

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Five Ways to (NOT) Engage Your Audience!

Bored learnersThis article was written by ATD Detroit Board Member, Swati Karve, with her tongue-in-cheek of course.

Do you know how to ensure that your audience has a nice nap when you are training? Can you be sure they will do what they really, really want to do – that is to have some fun away from the daily grind of work?

Here are some sure shot ways of making that happen:

Rule # 1: Don’t take too much trouble thinking about activities or other methods of training that have the danger of involving participants more than necessary. Make slides. Lots of them, with lots of text. And then, READ from your slides- each and every line that you have painstakingly typed on the slide. Don’t bother to insert pictures or graphics; you may at the most use some standard clipart. This will definitely draw a few yawns and some shut eye.

Rule # 2: Watch your voice and pitch- that’s important- Don’t modify your tone and pitch lest someone suddenly gets interested. Speak in even tones throughout the presentation. The soporific effect of your voice will be sure to get some folks in the room snoring. It would also help if you look at no one in particular, or look vacantly in the distance as you deliver your piece.

Rule # 3: Mind your body language- Keep your hands still, and body stiff all through the session, and preferably stand in one place to deliver your presentation. This will fix you, not just in one place, but also fix you in a state of bliss, where you won’t be bothered by participants. In this unique state, participants will also find their own state of bliss. Some of them will take time to catch up on their precious sleep, or catch up with each other in their little groups. Displaying a stoic aloofness in your approach to the entire topic of the presentation may prompt some folks to open their computers and catch up on their real work! In any case everyone remains motivated one way or other.

Rule # 4:
A dull and a dark room, a room with unsuitable seating may also allow the participants to engage in whatever they really like doing, other than listening to you. Don’t go out of your way to ensure good light, and audio, or technology. If you are not bothered by such little things there’s no danger of participants paying attention to what’s being said or shown on the screen.

Rule # 5: Make sure you don’t involve the participants in any discussion, or seek feedback through questions or interactions with them. There’s a danger that the participants may get involved more than necessary. Be sure to engage in one way communication, and don’t bother about whether participants are paying attention or not. And yes, don’t bother to manage your audience. Allow them to do what they really want to do. And that will keep them engaged- in whatever they are doing.

These are some very simple rules that will ensure a smooth session for both you, and your participants. Since your session would probably be more or less of “Do what you want” participants will be greatly motivated to attend your sessions, and you could become one of the most popular trainers around! Of course, be sure to forget all the pesky issues such as learning objectives, and outcomes, and don’t be bothered too much one way or the other about any feedback or evaluation.

However, a word of caution- be prepared for a career change yourself if you find yourself too popular for your own good!!
Dr. Swati Karve

Swati Karve

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Valerie Santoro, ATD International Conference and Expo

Valerie Santoro, ATD International Conference and Expo

Interviewed by Laura Vavrek,
President Elect ATD Detroit

This month, the spotlight is shining on Valerie Santoro, an ATD Power Member holding ATD membership since December 2013 and ATD Detroit membership since February 2014.

Since joining us locally, Valerie has been an involved and passionate member with almost-perfect monthly member meeting attendance. She also attended the ATD International Conference and Exposition this past May in Orlando, Florida, where I got to know her better. To say Valerie is involved may be an understatement… here’s a little taste of Valerie’s background and experience.

Valerie is the Director of Training at Great Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS), Michigan’s largest distributor of alcoholic beverages, supplying over 6,500 wine, 1,500 spirit, and 1,000 beer items, and servicing all 83 Michigan counties. To stay current in her industry, Valerie is also a Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Specialist of Spirits, and Wine and Spirit Education Trust Certified, with a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology from Michigan State University. She also currently serves on the Membership Committee of the Society of Wine Educators.

Beyond the resume, Valerie is passionate about training and development. She entered the field as a classic and dynamic SME, coming to the table not only with her extensive wine and spirits experience but also with background in both sales and customer service. In September 2013, and in-house training program request came across her desk and her career took a turn directly into the ADDIE model. It wasn’t too hard for her to adjust as the concepts really resonated and she realized she was already implementing a lot of them in her daily work. Plus, Valerie immediately joined an awesome local professional association that has helped her along the way, to toot our own horn a bit…

Now Valerie is a one-woman-band responsible for employee training in wine, spirits, and sales. With approximately 900 employees in this family-owned and –operated business, this is no short order. She has worked through needs analysis, moved into curriculum architecture and learning paths, and is currently designing and developing the resulting comprehensive online learning and onboarding programs.

What makes Valerie successful? She would tell you it is because she is personable; thriving on building relationships and getting to know everyone she works with on a deeper level than perhaps the norm. This helps Valerie know her actions in her role are truly impacting the employees and helping to create a high-performing culture at GLWAS.

New to our roles or not, that’s what we all strive for everyday!

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This month’s Member Spotlight features BARBARA A. BOLDT, Owner/Trainer, Dynamic Global Communication LLC and Ecole Ploytechnique Federale de Lausanne

by Guest Author & ATD Detroit Member, Joan Allesee

 Barbara Boldt in MontemarteHave you ever met someone who you thought would make the most interesting travel companion? Consider someone who speaks four languages, has taught courses in over 15 countries, and often commutes from Michigan to Switzerland for work (wow!). This describes our very own ATD Detroit member Barbara Boldt, who has seen and done things in her career that many of us have only dreamed about.

Barbara graduated with a degree in dietetics from the University of Iowa in 1978. She then spent time honing her negotiation and sales skills as a medical sales representative with Mead-Johnson Nutritionals in the Chicago area. After 10 years, she decided to expand her horizons and moved to Tuscany, Italy where she immersed herself in the culture and learned to speak Italian. Within a few months of landing, she joined an organization where she trained Italians to speak English. This endeavor sparked a passion for intercultural communications, and led to a strong career creating and teaching intercultural and business communication skills. Over the 19 years that she lived, traveled, and worked in Europe, she learned to speak Italian, French and German and taught at several European Universities.

During this time, she also completed her M.A. in Intercultural Relations from the University of Pacific in Portland, Oregon. She was able to do this remotely from Europe by utilizing videos and snail-mail, long before “long-distance learning” was even a concept.

You can find Barbara in Lausanne, Switzerland in September and October every year as she teaches a course she created for the Universidta’ di Carlo Cattaneo. She has been honored as the best teacher at the university for four years in a row. When she’s not in Switzerland, you can find her on our native soil consulting with American and European companies on cross-cultural management skills, relocation training, negotiation skills, principles and practices of supervision, intercultural business skills, multi-cultural team skills as well as leadership and HR practices. Her long term goal is to continue facilitating programs for both domestic and foreign companies to improve interactions between colleagues from different cultures.

As an ATD Detroit member since 2013, Barbara joined with the goal to network with others in the training community. She likes the format of the meetings and learns new concepts every month. Always up for an adventure, she threw her name in the hat for the 2014 Top Trainer Throwdown and walked away with the Top Trainer title! If you haven’t had the pleasure to meet Barbara yet, pull up a chair at our next chapter meeting and prepare to be inspired!

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May Chapter Meeting: High Impact Learning… By Design

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Jeffrey Hill

Jeffrey Hill

Interviewed by Esther L. Jackson, VP of Membership

Detroit ATD is pleased to welcome Jeffrey Hill aboard! Jeffrey currently runs Jae Louis Media & Entertainment, a firm that specializes in producing commercials, videos, and related media tools. In addition to this endeavor, Jeffrey has many other talents and interests.

Jeffrey began his pursuit of a career in journalism in Detroit, before moving to Georgia where he advanced his career in the television industry. As he developed an appreciation for the entertainment industry, he felt a calling to coach and motivate others. That passion fueled the design and implementation of an internship program in Atlanta for students interested in writing, television broadcasting, reporting (field production, news gathering), directing, producing, and professional speaking. The program was customized to address the greater needs of students enrolled. Through this work, he was able to serve as a liaison between schools such as Clark-Atlanta University, The Atlanta College of Art, and Georgia State University as he recruited student participants.

Completing the internship program and related projects helped him realize his true calling in training & development and instruction. This took him in the direction of working on training programs for health departments, county departments, the Detroit City Council, and others. Jeffrey was prompted to seek out teaching opportunities in the school system. He worked as a grade school teacher before pursuing the higher education environment.

Jeffrey enrolled in a Master’s Program for Leadership which he completed in 2009. He now teaches management and business ethics for a heavily diverse population of students who are local along with others from Egypt, Africa, and other long distance locations. He finds enjoyment in having primarily older and more professional students who are already working in the business arena.

Never one to sit on his laurels, Jeffrey is now completing his doctoral work in behavioral psychology, and he’s designing an operation in workforce development to develop listening, communication, management, and other skills for adults. Jeffrey recognizes his gift in the ability to inspire others to motivate themselves, and relishes experiences that allow him to stretch himself and grow. He joined the Detroit ATD to connect with other professionals, and is hoping it may lead him toward a position in workforce or organizational development.

Please say “hello” to Jeffrey at an upcoming chapter meeting, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Jeffrey Hill’s LI profile

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Industry Spotlight: What’s all the hype around “ICE?”

This month, our industry spotlight will focus on ICE. Not the ICE that has recently melted in Southeast Michigan (thank goodness!) but rather the ATD International Conference and Exposition; coined “ICE.” In this feature, Member Larry Gelfund will share his experience related to attending ICE, which will be held this May 17-20 in Orlando, FL.

What’s in it for me? Larry G’s Top 5

Every May for the past 69 years the talent development community has come together for the annual ATD (formerly ASTD) International Conference & Exposition (“ICE”). Over the last 10 years, I have attended 6 of these conferences and since my very first, I make every effort to attend each year. ICE is the premiere industry-defining event for talent development!  Below are the top 5 reasons I suggest you consider attending this worthwhile event:

Top 5 Reasons to Attend ATD 2015 ICE:

  1. Find Real Solutions to Top Challenges. There are more than 300 educational sessions focused on 10 content tracks. Learn what’s going on in the industry, find out what strategies your peers are implementing, and discover how they are tackling similar issues you are facing. In short, learn how to solve some of your biggest challenges.
  2. Meet and Learn From Trendsetters. Attendees, presenters and exhibitors are at the forefront of the industry; all of us are the game changers. They’ll be sitting next to you, attending sessions with you, and having lunch with you. This is your opportunity to find out how to stay ahead of the curve!
  3. Networking. Meet 10,500 peers (well, perhaps not all 10,500) who are also passionate about talent development. You’ll walk away with a new set of contacts for collaboration and sharing best practices.
  4. Stay Relevant. If you want to stay relevant, you have to know the latest trends and how to implement them in your organization. With several sessions focused on innovation in each track, trendsetting speakers, and an EXPO hall filled with more than 400 suppliers offering today’s latest products and solutions, there is no better place to learn how to stay current than ATD ICE 2015.
  5. Inspire Your Team. Take what you learn from ATD ICE 2015 and share it with your team and your company. You’ll have the tools and know-how to implement the latest talent development strategies. It’s not just about your personal development. By successfully using what you learn, you’ll improve your organization’s bottom line and talent development goals!
Past President of DATD poses with Ken Blanchard, author of coauthor of the One Minute Manager books among others

Past President of DATD poses with Ken Blanchard, author of coauthor of the One Minute Manager books among others

Over the years, ICE continues to be the best resource of new ideas and learning for someone like me, even with my 30 years in talent development. Yep, I celebrate my 30 year mark this year since my first formal talent development role! Just call me Yoda! Some of my most successful initiatives were inspired by what I learned at ICE; some of the most vital contacts I’ve made were at ICE.

With that being said, I encourage you to attend ATD ICE 2015. Visit the ATD website for details and registration, and see you in Orlando! (Which isn’t too bad a place to me in May!)

Larry Gelfund, Member at Large and Past President, Detroit ATD


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Photos from April’s Chapter Meeting

Susan Dooley presents Breaking the Ice in Your Classroom

Susan Dooley presents Breaking the Ice in Your Classroom

A record number of members attended

A record number of members attended

Members were engaged at the April meeting

Members were highly engaged at the April meeting

Practicing one-on-one engagement

Practicing one-on-one engagement skills

Highly interactive activity at April DATD meeting

Everyone enjoyed the hands-on learning activity

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New Member Spotlight: Heinz Plaumann, PhD

Dr. Heinz Plaumann, Technical Manager, BASF,  joined the Detroit-ATD in January 2015. Heinz has over 34 years of experience in the Chemical and Plastics industries, with advanced degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Heinz has been with the BASF Corporation for over 25 years, currently working as a technical manager in Wyandotte, Michigan. In addition to a drive for excellence in technology – he also contagious enthusiasm for life, and a passion to help coach and inspire others. Read below to learn what brought him to the ATD…

Heinz Plaumann, PhD Technical Manager, BASF

Heinz Plaumann, PhD
Technical Manager, BASF

What enticed you to join ATD?
It’s always been part of my life’s vision and mission to help mentor others. In my career, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor over 200 men and women. It’s not my day job, but certainly is a professional passion! I really like helping people exceed their own perceived potential, and accomplish even more than they might think they’re capable of. I see ATD as an avenue for me to continue to learn and grow – so that every day I go home a little bit smarter than the day before!

What Changes Have your Observed in the Workplace?
The dazzling “speed” of communication. Many believe that it is more efficient, but I’m not convinced. Also, there seems to be more of a hunger to find a purpose in life. For many years, there was somewhat of a “gotta go to work” attitude which led to people working too hard, burning out, and killing themselves. Now there seems to more of a focus on creating meaning and having fun at work.

In your work, you manage 20 scientists. Are there any special considerations that should be made with working with technical professionals?
The work that I do really does cross all disciplines. I suppose you could say that, in general, the technical community is more analytical, more introverted, and may have a preference for more data to make decisions. I try to help coach my team members to be bold and courageous. It’s true our business does need to be profitable, and that is a key business driver, but I like to focus on the people as a key driver of that performance.

If you could have any job on the planet, and money didn’t matter – what would it be?
A successful and accomplished jazz guitarist

What hangs on the wall in your office?
One of my favorite quotes:
Get input.
(only what you do counts).

In my opinion, only want you leave behind counts, and I like to think that I am leaving the world a bit of a better place.

Heinz lives with his family in Brownstown, Michigan. Please introduce yourself at our next Chapter meeting, or connect with him on LinkedIn here.

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Register Now for September’s Chapter Meeting

Monica Tracey

Monica Tracey

We are excited to welcome instructional designer, author, and professor, Monica Tracey, to our next chapter meeting.  She has presented programs for us in previous years, and they have always been met with rave reviews. The last time she presented for us, we had one of the most-highly attended meetings ever.

Monica Tracey is an Associate Professor of Instructional Technology in the College of Education at Wayne State University. Continue reading

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