Real learning is a part of the work, not apart from it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Easy Podcasting with Articulate Presenter '09

I have begun a venture into podcasting.... well, the design of it anyway. Although we have not implemented a thing yet I have fleshed out a “program” strategy based on the needs in the org. One thing is for certain, we need to leverage the “wisdom of the crowds” (cliché, I know…but it fits). I have maintained for some time that our top down approach to organizational learning has its limitations in that we do a pretty good job of on boarding new hires. However I believe we need to increase our support of mid-level and expert-level performers.

Enter the Podcast!

To me podcasting is the perfect vehicle for the org to recognize the power of bottom up, pull learning. Start talking SoMe and the fear mongers come out. But podcasting can be a first step in harnessing peer-power!

My strategy is simple: try to mimic driveway moments. If you ever listen to NPR and their local affiliates you will no doubt have a driveway moment. Basically it means that you are so riveted by a story that even as your car pulls in the driveway you feel compelled to sit there and hear it out. As a kid my best friend’s parents used to drive us to school and we would fight to hear Paul Harvey and The Rest of the Story before dragging ourselves through the elementary school doors…Same principle. Compelling company podcasts could do this.


The advantage of podcasting over written text is the opportunity to conduct personable interviews. Podcasts convey unmistakable enthusiasm, place a human voice with the content, and are conversational which is much more compelling. Like driveway moment stories…they can convey 1st person reality... and a little guerrilla is OK by me.

OK, now to the tactics. First, we reach out to find best of kind operations from our employees. We connect with those who have developed innovative ideas that have shown measurable success (bottom up!). A pre-interview is conducted to capture the key elements of their success and from there we derive a series of interview questions. The key elements are listed simply on a series of PowerPoint slides and in the notes pane we prepare the interview questions. PowerPoint acts as a teleprompter to ensure the interviewee and interviewer remain faithful to the content. Articulate Presenter ’09 plug-in serves to capture the interview in the record narration mode. Since the key ideas and questions are distributed among several slides, each slide serves as an easy to replace/edit audio file in case interviewer or interviewee mess up. No need to start the interview over or spend time carefully editing one segment out and blending in a second take for one miscue.

When the interview completes, Articulate Presenter ’09 can publish to podcast. The published elements including the easy to use player (play, pause, slider, and volume control) and audio is published directly to a limited access SharePoint Library. I simply open the folder, copy the player location and create a link to the podcast. The link can then be placed within a blog for example to allow for comments and insights from the listeners and since the interviewee is accessing the blog as well, he or she can respond accordingly to any inquiries.

Peer sharing; pushed out in a matter of minutes and pulled at the time of need.
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