TLDC18: Rounding up a recent event

Written by Bethany Taylor on 13 March 2018

Over the last month I can’t help but reminisce about the warm weather and the truly unique and inspiring experience I gained at The Training, Learning and Development Conference (TLDC18). It was a collection of interesting people, inspiring talks and integration of multiple forms of technology at once.

A truly modern conference where all of the talks were live-webcasted and the questions came from inside and outside of the building.

Day one began with Brent Schlenker (@bschlenker) explaining the key aim of the TLDCommunity, sharing. Brent challenged us all to use the down times between talks and during talks to share our origin stories. From these origin stories, we continue making connections and continue to learn from each other.

After being challenged to share our individual stories, we learned about the convergence of all sciences for understanding of neuroscience of learning from Margie Meacham (@margiemeacham). We then heard from a new vendor, (@Picmonic), that has created a mnemonic picture-based active recall tool, they even have the results in how their tool works with medical students published (you can find it here).

Our afternoon was spent in sessions where we heard from a range of experienced instructional designers and behavioural change coaches. Here are a few of my key takeaways from this afternoon:

A truly modern conference where all of the talks were live-webcasted and the questions came from inside and outside of the building.

Tim Slade (@sladetim), during the initial building of his department, created a ‘reset bootcamp’ for his elearning team at GoDaddy to help define and determine the language used in their development processes. This clarified how they communicate with the rest of the business. 

Essentially, he allowed his team to set the language of what they do together. This really highlighted the importance of ensuring the language used in our processes is consistent and understood by all involved so that the meaning of the product we produce in learning and development is not lost.

Michelle Fanfarillo and Bill Harrison from PeopleFirm (@PeopleFirm) highlighted their work in transformational behavioural change in organisations. They focused on their ‘secret sauce’ of transformation change: safety, support and connection.

They start everything they do as ‘Duck and Bunny,’ meaning that you start the story as a children’s book. This simple, concise and focused message allows you to meet the learners where they are at and then build up from there.

The second day began with a number of different, but not entirely unrelated, keynotes from a diverse array of backgrounds. However, they each had insights that related so well with the needs of the modern learning and development department.

Brian Fanzo (@iSocialFanz), digital marketing and social media extraordinaire, spoke about the power of video communications in both learning and media. His focus was that video allows everyone to share their story and build community. This community is the future of business, to make meaningful interactions and make messages grow.  

Elizabeth Pierce (@EPierce100), global talent advisor, spoke to the hyper-growth experienced by us in our technological world and how this impacts on the workforce. We can leverage this new perspective by incorporating ‘new eyes’ in our work.

Anne Wolf (@annekwolf), chief marketing officer and branding expert, spoke about her experiences working with Steve Jobs and Apple during their Think Different campaign. She spoke about the storytelling that is required to really set apart a marketing strategy.

The key to this outward marketing strategy is a strong internal communications and training strategy. Allowing the employees and culture to be the reflection of the story the company tells, this is Apple’s success.

During this morning of keynotes, we even got to hear from people in our community that are doing some amazing things. These small keynotes highlighted the tireless work of the TLDC social media marvel, Cara North (@caranorth11) with Learning Camel LLC, and the new venture of creating a Digital Learning Asset Framework from our resident video expert, Sam Rogers (@snapsynapse).

The morning really highlighted the talents and accomplishments that everyone brings to the table, from different sectors or roles and from the different range of experiences. The heart and soul of TLDC.

Even though the conference is over, and I am missing the warm weather, I know that there is warmth to be gained from continuous sharing

The afternoon of the second day got even better when our sessions ranged from panels of speakers on the growing influx of learning and development focus in Phoenix, Arizona to the hands on work of creating quick and easy videos from our own tech. Here were a few of my takeaways from the sessions I chose.

Matt Pierce (@piercemr), video creator and storyteller, set us the task of making our own videos. He helped us begin with the video goal and then use the audio, lighting and picture to tell the story.

Toddi Norum (@tnorum), online course creator with a long L&D history, spoke about the importance of the personal brand and our way of standing out. She focused not only on moulding our authentic brand story but also on building our coalition. Re-telling the stories of others, sharing our opportunities and allowing others to build us up too.

Two days at TLDC18 provided a multitude of insights and ideas. I shared with others and equally heard quite a few eclectic origin stories. Most of all, I was able to put a face to the community that I have been a part of for over a year. I got to rub elbows with all the amazing people who frequent the community and have contributed to my career growth, and thank them.

Even though the conference is over, and I am missing the warm weather, I know that there is warmth to be gained from the continuous sharing in the daily webcast, TLDCast, and the Slack channel, TLDChat. This community is for everyone and you can gain the same amount of value by accessing the live webcasts of the sessions at TLDC18 or by joining the daily TLDCasts.

As Brent said on day one, the aim of the community is sharing, so come share with us.


About the author

Bethany Taylor is a junior instructional designer for eCom Scotland. 

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