#ASTD2013 Linkedin Networking for Crazy Busy Professionals: Wendy Terwelp

The first real presentation for ASTD 2013 was Linkedin Networking for Crazy Busy Professionals given by Wendy Terwelp. She did a great job talking about the importance of LinkedIn in your career, and how to get more out of LinkedIn.

As Terwelp pointed out, Linkedin is useful for building careers and selling products. Approximately 73% of recruiters successfully hired a candidate because of LinkedIn. An important lesson learned is that if you are not on LinkedIn, a recruiter cannot find you. Linkedin shows up on page one of a Google search. It is not an option to be on social media:

  • Recruiters will look at linkedin before looking at a resume.
  • People will Google you and look at your LinkedIn profile before meeting with you.


During the presentation, Terwelp had us make updates to our LinkedIn profiles. Before we did, she instructed us to turn off activity broadcasts before making multiple updates. Before making updates to our profile, she had us collect business cards from those around us. It was interesting that no one had a picture on their business cards. Lesson learned: 97% of communication is visual. Having a current color picture on your LinkedIn profile helps with the know, like, and trust factor. People tend to remember faces they have seen. However, not having a picture on your LinkedIn profile detracts from from your credibility.

Next on the list, we reviewed and tweaked our headlines. Check out Terwelp’s headline for an example that she recommended. She advocated for including your personal email address to be used rather than your business email address… just in case you change jobs on short notice.

Terwelp had us enhance our profiles with the various LinkedIn tools such as Publications, Skills and Expertise, and Certifications, etc. She recommended highlighting presentations and clips of training; basically, building a portfolio. She stressed that we are CEOs of ourselves; we have to manage our own brand.

Build Your Network

Terwelp moved onto networks and invitations. She stressed to only add individuals whom you know and trust because this is your professional network and brand. I totally agree with this advice. When sending out invitations, it is important to customize your invitation by explaining how you know the individual. Canned invitations raise suspicion and lack of sincerity.

The conversation moved to receiving invitations. Terwelp noted that you do not have to accept invitations. She advised the following when you do not recall the individual:

  • Look at their profile. Do they have value added content? Do they have a picture?
  • Look at shared groups. Are they members of shared groups?
  • Look at shared connections. Do they have shared connections with you? How many?
  • If you want to know more, you can call someone to learn more.
  • You can also reply to the individual without accepting the invitation. 


First order of business – join the ASTD National group. It is possible to join up to 50 different groups. Terwelp recommended selecting groups that focused on audiences that you wished to target as well as groups relevant to your clients. One of the significant benefits of groups is the ability to send messages to individuals in your group as well as the ability to invite them to connect. 

I need look into the interest of creating a group for University of Wyoming Extension.

Skills Endorsements and Recommendations

Terwelp also addressed skill endorsements and recommendations. She began with skill endorsements. Skill endorsements are a new feature for LinkedIn. They have less importance than a recommendation but are nice to give if you know about an individual’s performance.

Recommendations on the other hand are testimonials about your performance. You should solicit recommendations from your clients, vendors, coworkers, and bosses. As trainers, you should also solicit endorsements from learners. When asking for a recommendation ask for a specific recommendation… let people know what you would like to be recommended for. You should not only ask for recommendations but also give recommendations. Terwelp challenged us to identify 3 people to receive recommendations from, and 3 to give recommendations to.

Do one thing a day

Terwelp pointed out that it does not take much time to tend to your LinkedIn profile and contacts. You should touch base with your network on a regular basis. Here are some recommendations:

  • Endorse or recommend someone
  • Invite someone to join your network
  • Update your status
  • Congratulate someone for their accomplishments

If you are interested in learning more, you can always check out Wendy Terwelp’s book: Rock your network.

Wendy Terwelp can be reached in a number of different ways:

As a bonus, here are some LinkedIn tools that will extend your experience.

My Evernote and #ASTD2013 experiment

In a previous post, I talked about an idea I found in a blog post. Basically, this idea was to share conference notes as they were being taken. Well, here  are my raw notes as they are being taken: ASTD2013.

Feel free to follow along as I take my notes for ASTD 2013. Each evening, I am planning to blog about my experiences and fill in the blanks.

If you are an Evernote user, you can subscribe to the notebook; however, this is not a requirement.

While I am at the conference, if there is something you want to explore, please let me know.

#ASTD2013, a time to remotivate

Welcome to ASTDEvery year since working for University of Wyoming Extension, I have had an opportunity to attend the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) conference. It is one of the highlights of my year. Simply put ASTD has their act together when putting together conferences. This year is no different.

Each year, I have an opportunity to rub elbows with the authors of many the books I have been reading over the past year. These authors are thought leaders in the industry. Sa far, at this conference, I have attended sessions by Sir Ken Robinson, Jane Bozarth, Catherine Lambardozzi, and Wendy Terwelp. I have also met Clark Quinn and Karl Kapp. Tomorrow, I start the day at a John Seeley Brown presentation.

ASTD has put together a highspeed mobile application. This application is available for smartphones and tablets both PC and Mac. The app allows you to review and plan your personal schedule. You can find breakout sessions by program, speaker, or time slot. Each session has accompanying slides and documents. A button on the session will show you where the session is on a map. You can also take notes for each session. Finally, you can export your entire schedule to Android, Google, or Outlook calendars.

At this year’s conference, there are approximately 9,000 attendees. An estimated 2,000 attendees came from over 75 different countries.

ASTD does a fantastic job catering to members and attendees. At the beginning of the conference, they host a newcomer’s orientation to help newbies best navigate the conference. In the session, the presenters talk about other great tools such as the schedule, exhibitor listing, and conference guide. The guides also include a learning transfer action logs to help keep your training focused. These are some of the best guides I have ever seen for an event. Lots to learn, even for the smallest of conferences.

ASTD has 8 content tracks:

  • career development
  • designing and facilitating learning
  • global human resource development
  • leadership development
  • learning technologies
  • measurement, evalation, roi
  • human capital
  • workforce development

And 3 industry tracks:

  • government
  • higher education
  • sales enablement

ASTD also provides great mentoring opportunities and tools for career development. This year, I took advantage of some of these opportunities. Throughout the conference, they provide speed mentoring opportunities where you can get advice on your career. At the conference, there was also a career resource center. This center provided the following tools and events:

  • ASTD job bank and career navigator tool
  • Career development library
  • US department of labor career one stop shop
  • Career center educational sessions

I personally tried out the career navigation tool and was very impressed. After doing a self-evaluation, the tool provided a training plan with recommended resources to help me come up to speed.

ASTD also invited world class exhibitors. This year there are 368 different exhibitors present. Many of the exhibitors also conduct classes and demos.

Throughout the conference, attendees are encouraged to network as much as possible. Many events such as “Meet to eat” are geared towards networking opportunities. The Tuesday evening event is focused on a conference wide networking opportunity. This year it will be at Gilley’s Dallas.

If you are interested in following the proceedings of the ASTD conference, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #ASTD2013.


Session notes: The Yin and Yang of Formal and Informal Learning

The second afternoon session I attended The Yin and Yang of Formal and Informal Learning by Allison Rossett and Frank Nguygen. They started their session by explaining that formal training was the primary training method used by the enterprise; however, personal preference is informal learning. Rossetti cited Bozarth when reporting that 83% of companies saw value in informal learning, but only 36% employed it.

In the enterprise, courses are not dead and very much alive ,but there is an interest in employing informal learning strategies. Individual informal learning makes great sense, but for the enterprise there are more concerns. One of the challenges is that informal learning lacks certification, thus does not meet the promise of the enterprise. Enterprise or companies have a promise of service they must meet.

Here are some important questions to ask.
Is success defined?
Who chooses ends and means?
Must we prove that we can do what we say we do?
Are we in a position to go towards more choice and freedom? Is the culture forgiving?

Rossetti and Nguygen created a study to examine the disparity between what is wanted (informal learning) and what actually happens (formal learning). Their study resulted in a tool of 15 questions and two table of strategies. This tool is called the YinYang Tool, and it can be found at Http://yinyang.frankn.net. This tool helps to determine if a program or company is a good fit for informal learning strategies.

The Coast Guard used the YinYang tool to see if informal learning was good for them and new boat program. They stuck with a formal approach because of dangers of getting it wrong.

When you are talking about informal learning, you are talking about choice. The tool helps you determine the choices you have for delivering training. It will help you identify opportunities how to present training. Use the tool as a conversation starter to discuss training options and possibilities. Remember, you can evaluate a whole program or just sections of a program with the tool.

The goal is not to be informal or formal. The goal is to be better at what we do.

Attending my first ASTD Chapter Leader Day

What a great day! It started with the Chapter Leader Day, and ended with a report out by Tony Bingham, the President and CEO of ASTD. In between, I attended three great learning sessions. I plan to share what I learned.

The meeting began by describing the theme for this year’s conference: Achieving New Heights. It is a focus on Networking, Sharing, and Learning. There was a tremendous amount of emphasis on social media and communities of practice. They were displaying a Tweetchat of the meeting using the hashtag of #ASTD2012CLD. This was definitely an example of the Networking part of the conference.

Tweetchat of Chapter Leader Day
Tweetchat of Chapter Leader Day

The next part of the meeting addressed the idea of Sharing, specifically, sharing our successes. In fact, they introduced the Sharing Our Success (SOS) stories portion of the ASTD Web site.

Next, chapter leaders by briefed on the “new” Next Level Tool. As the ASTD Website explains, “Find out if your chapter is an emerging, solid, or high performing chapter. See what resources are available to help move your chapter to the next level. Take this assessment now as part of your board planning and build a stronger chapter today!” It looks like a promising tool to help me get my feet under me as I take on my new role. The tool  addresses six dimensions: communication, community outreach, financial, governance, membership, and professional development. The tool can be found in the chapter leadership section of the ASTD site.

Next, we broke up into groups to brainstorm ideas on various topics. There were three different sessions, and you had to find a new session each round. I focused on membership, professional development, and the southwest region. Lots of great ideas were shared. I will be bring back  a number of them to the Northern Rockies Chapter board to discuss. Here are some of the ideas that resonated with me:

  • Increase volunteerism within chapter by soliciting  for specific help.
  • Create VP of Human Resources to manage volunteers.
  • Conduct a regional conference with chapters along the Front Range.
  • Recognizing volunteers with free or discounted meeting
  • Publish annual report.
  • Recognize the volunteer of the month with certificates and web recognition
  • Create a wish list for projects that could be handled by volunteers.
  • Establish or publicize open door policy for board meetings.
  • Conduct virtual training meetings for learning CPLP.
  • Show how meeting presentations are linked back to core competences.
  • Allow new members to sign up and pay for both ASTD and NRC membership through the chapter website and have chapter pay for ASTD membership.
  • Explore the use of Google Voice as phone capability for the chapter; it could result in money saved.
  • For volunteer opportunities, play to our skills, e.g., conduct train the trainer course for habitat for humanities.

For the first time working with this group, I was pleased with the product and results. The rest of the day went equally well.

I am excited for the rest of the session. I will let you know how it goes.


Engaging participants through interactive activities

In my previous post, I mentioned I was at the 2012 ASTD conference in Denver attending a pre-conference workshop called Interactive Techniques for Instructor-led Training. This workshop was led by Sivasailim Thaigarajan, Ph.D. and Tracy Tagliati. The entire session was great, and I picked up a number of ideas. In this post, I am going to share with you some of the interactive activities and games presented in the workshop. All of these can be found on The Thiagi Group Web site. If you are looking for ideas for your instruction, I suggest exploring their site and subscribing to their newsletter.

Here are the interactive activities demonstrated and modeled in today’s class:

Hello Game – A great game to obtain information from your participants either to start a program, to do a midday review, or to summarize at the end of a day.

Missing Sentence Game – This is an interactive lecture activity which is very useful to summarize a conversation or lecture.

The Thiagi Group has 36 free activities for interactive lectures.

Pages Game – A useful game for reviewing terms or concepts such as those found in a glossary.

$10 Auction – This was a fascinating game that illustrated the importance of debriefing an exercise. In our case, it was played with a $10 bill and a $5 minimum bid. This is a great exercise for facilitators.

Menu of 20 Reasons Game – This game was a quick way to learn new concepts. I enjoyed participating in this exercise.

Audio Tic Tac Toe – This exercise demonstrated how you could overload participants, and observe the results. This an cognitive simulation.

Envelopes Game – I see this very similar to the World Cafe. It is a great tool for learning about participants attitudes and opinions about a subject.

Thirty-Five Game – This is a quick Delphi exercise to rate ideas that are generated from a group of participants.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of games and activities that can be use and according to Thiagi should be used to replace content presentations. These activities are to pass on principles, concepts, and content through engagement. See what you can replace in your lectures by incorporating interactive activities. If you are at the University of Wyoming, and are curious, please come see me.

Let’s do a better job of engaging!