I’m a Trainer and My Icons are Disappearing

There I was, sitting silent in the project meeting. I was quiet, meek and mild, bored in truth, for nothing was relevant to me. That was, until the external consultants spoke. They stated (and everyone agreed) that all live training would be using the (unstable) software test area. I sat there and silently contemplated the potential disaster that awaited the training team.

I tapped my pencil on the table in front of me. I metamorphosised from passive trainer to software change manger.  Then came the awkward questions. “Will we be informed when changes occur? What about being emailed when the test area isn’tworking? Etc.”

My words didn’t even echo in what was now a soundproof booth.  No-one answered me. But there was an ancillary benefit.

The next email I received stated that my colleague and I would have to attend project meetings for a while. Neither my colleague nor me were unhappy about that ! But…

We went live. I was off-site. The second training session. My audience, mental health professionals were most attentive. I resisted the compulsion to tell them about my unfriendly share house.

I had accessed a medical record . I started showing the patient information first. Then I clicked to show the individual documents for that patient. And they appeared. And as I turned back to the screen, one by one, like the stars in a famous science fiction story, the document icons disappeared. A few attempts to try that record and others didn’t work. As one does, I kept going.

I said, “What you would now be seeing would be document icons. Each icon is a thumbnail : miniature views of the first page of the document.” No one stirred. Then I asked if anyone knew Acrobat Reader. Everyone nodded with complete focus. I continued,”If you double clicked one of the icons, you would be viewing the document just like Acrobat. ”

And still by then, it wasn’t working. What I only recalled later was how understanding and attentive the audience were. Truly they encountered greater crises each day.

Afterwards, I returned to my desk at work.  I then wrote a protest  email describing what had happened. My colleague also affected created a PowerPoint presentation consisting solely of screenshots (which did see use when the network in a venue failed!!).

For some reason, the project team did ensure that training was carried out in a separate area.


Welcome to Geek Free Consulting

Andrew Whalan Facilitating
Andrew Whalan Facilitating

Geek Free Consulting is a boutique end-to-end consulting firm specialising in technical writing, instructional design, training and facilitation as well as change management. We are dedicated to achieving quality outcomes that satisfy our clients requirements and add long-term value to their business.

Check out our blog.


How to give and receive better feedback as a remote team

From Kate Kendall and Tessa Greenleaf of CloudPeeps, a better alternative to performance reviews (I only ever found a handful useful).


Reflect, Renew and Relaunch….Unwrapping My Secret Santa Blog

Andrew James Whalan

Sometimes the best Christmas presents have more than one layer of wrapping!
A few weeks ago I signed up for a secret Santa Blog. Much like the Christmas tradition, I’m given a name and then asked to write a blog for them. As well, I become the recipient of a blog written just for me.
And today it arrived. Unwrapped here it is!

Reflect, Renew and Relaunch

Dear Andrew

Well it is that time of the year again and we find ourselves reflecting on what has transpired and what have we achieved. Some would say that they have accomplished much and others may be harsher on themselves and say that they have not accomplished as much. Either way, if you are reading this, you have accomplished and achieved.

How do we measure this? While this is a personal approach and each one of us has our own measuring stick…

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