The Secret to Engaging and Memorable Training? Deliver The Unexpected

NOTE: This is an updated version of my post originally published on In my previous post, I introduced the 6 core principles from the book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, and discussed classroom and training applications of the first principle, Simple. But by far, my favorite principle is today's: Unexpected. I love unexpected so much that I made it a core component of The EMU Experience methodology. Personally, it's the principle that has captivated me in a few unforgettable situations: The Roger Schank e-learning video demo from 2000 As a young teen, listening to a recording of the original 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast and learning about the re

How To Use "Made to Stick" To Develop Simply Amazing Training

NOTE: This is an updated version of my post originally published on If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you've probably picked up on my core message: designing and delivering engaging, memorable and unexpected learning experiences - what I call The EMU Experience. There are six principles that I use when teaching facilitators how to deliver engaging, memorable and unexpected learning experiences in their classrooms. These principles come from the book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. What makes an idea, message or communication "stick" with your audience? Authors Chip and Dan Heath describe the following six principles: Simple Unexpect

Is Video Content a Priority in Your Company?

Like most bloggers, I too have an occupation that takes up the better part of my day (what some might call a "day job") - I lead the in-house video production team at Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. I actually created my Video Production role 3.5 years ago, after spending the first 9 years at Mitsubishi Electric building our Training team. The incredibly sloth-like pace of getting training deliverables out the door finally took it's toll, and I needed a change - but I didn't want to leave Mitsubishi Electric. So in the span of 24 hours, I wrote my current Video Production job description and got it approved by my (then) manager. What We've Accomplished in Video Production Over the pas

Are You Delivering a Learning Experience That is Engaging, Memorable and Unexpected?

NOTE: This is a revised post from my original blog site at This week, let’s talk about what you deliver to your learners. Not the specifics of the end product that you deliver, but your learners’ actual experience with you as the trainer/teacher/instructor or with the training product that you create. And staying true to my company's name and philosophy, I have 3 specific criteria that I feel truly lead to a great learning experience: Is it Engaging? Is it Memorable? Is it Unexpected? Would They Describe Their Experience as Engaging? If yes, why? What specifically makes your training engaging to your learners? Webster defines engage as: To hold the attention of. Notice the ver

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