October 20, 2005

Examples of Podcasting in theTraining Field

I wanted to post some examples of podcasting in the training realm and see if I could generate some feedback. I will try elaborate more on these, but I just wanted to get them out there and see what you thought.

Training Examples

New Employee Orientation - Wouldn't it be great to create a sight seeing tour of you building or campus. It would be even cooler to had your new employee their new iPod with audio covering a wide range of topics. That's a company I would want to work for.

Sales Training - Let's imagine that your company has seven sales representatives, covering 4 states, that sell up to 1000 items from parts to suppliers for the mining industry. They currently live on the phone discussing the newest products, the availability of products, and the application of products. Developing a weekly podcast to support them would be obvious. But let's take it a step further and think about purchasing an iTalk attachment for $30 and having them develop podcasts, based on their experiences that could be posted back to the feed. A pilot effort might just have your highest revenue generator sharing tips and techniques. Also, ROI on this effort is some what measurable. Did revenues go up?

Location-based Safety Training - some large facilities require location-based safety training prior to going to the base. Could this be posted as a podcast? Additionally, could critical safety information be published timely?

Executive Announcements - it would seem that managers will begin to take advantage of podcasting in a big way. The ability to talk directly to each employee at a very low cost with minimal disruption to the workplace environment will be profound.

New Product Training - as mentioned earlier, the pressures of getting new products to market on an ever-tightening timeframe should push podcasts to the forefront in providing flexible information about the product. Some training insight... think about your goals. Do you want them to new the specs or do you want your audience to know how to use the product in a certain environment?

Customer Education - I would love to get a podcast or a series of podcasts with my (fill in any product here). I would love to hear how to calculate my resting heart rate based on data from the heart monitor I bought this summer, (It was in the directions, but I didn't get a chance to read them all.) I would love to hear how to do regular maintenance on my new car. Really think customization. A RSS feed for podcasts on the drug that I am taking, on the laptop that I am typing this on, the running shows that I bought. Again, I want it to be training, not marketing. Teach my how to use my new product better, I'll bet I buy it again?

Timely Tips - This can be anything. Almost any company could use timely tips, How to fill out your timesheet? How to renew your security code? How to anything? It would be interesting to see a company put these out and monitor behavior changes within 24 to 48 hours of the podcast release.

Capturing Events - finally, capturing all the events that happen around the workplace. Grab them with an audio record and post them to the web. This may fall under informal learning, but this could really improve the ROI of these events. Think about capturing brown-bag sessions, benefits review by the insurance company, team meetings (when appropriate), CEO presentations, any presentations inside or outside of the company. I would suggest that you open this up to anything employees want to post. Maybe the attend civic events, local concerts, whatever, develop a simple copyright policy and let them have at it....

What do you think? I'm sure there are many more and that these need to be broken down even further, but we need to start here and go.


  1. Ellen Verhaagen6:00 PM

    I was looking at the ASTD TechKnowledge 2006 Conference Speaker list and I am very interested in your breakout session entitled "Podcasts A Real Mobile Learning Model"... I have a local Charlotte, NC training business called "Training at Work" but I have been intrigued by the idea of rolling out training via podcasts... seems to me you are on the cutting edge of something big! I am tech-savvy, but the podcast world is new to me. (I just got my first iPod Shuffle for my birthday two days ago!)... My husband is a HUGE iTunes/iPod fan using his Macintosh. I love the Mac, but use a PC because of clients' training needs. Can I ask you some questions as I think of them re:podcast training???


  2. Feel free to ask away. I was a Mac user for about 5 years through graduate school, but moved to Windows when I started working at a small college and then starting my own business. Podcasting is pretty easy to get started and can have some real impact for those who learn well with audio. I happen to be one of those people.

  3. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Glad to have found your blog. Keep up the good work. Now, what if you could collaborate using this enabling technology to impact learning retention? What if you could map and track all the interactions to a process or methodolgy? What if the author became learner and learner the author? Mobile training in hand. Stay tuned...I'm watching.