The Association for Talent Development knocked it out of the park with the International Conference and Expo (ICE)! I just got back, and I am pumped about the future and filled to the brim with new knowledge. I am thrilled to share my key takeaways from ATD’s ICE with you!


Hopefully, you were there to experience Oprah, Seth, and all of the many fantastic teachers on your own. If you were, please share your favorite takeaways in the comments! Let’s start a chain sharing key takeaways from ATD’s ICE to benefit everyone.


Before I share my key takeaways from ICE, I have to say that one of my favorite aspects of the entire event was meeting up with old friends as well as meeting new friends and followers of my blog. I am humbled by the fact that people who follow me took the time to meet with me and allow me to get to know them. Such a beautiful and memorable experience for me!


To each of them, THANK YOU!!!!!


The Instructional Design Company, Shawntay Michelle, Trainologist


Key Takeaways from ATD’s ICE:


#1 How to Use and Design Microlearning


Microlearning and Nano learning are definitely trending right now, so I was really appreciative of the session by Carla Torgerson of Bull City Learning. Oftentimes, people will hear a smidge of something and make big judgment calls about it.


For example, I once worked with a leadership team that heard about microlearning. Microlearning was all the rage. The result was that every training we created needed to be 5 to 10 minutes long. Period.


Of course, this is not the correct approach, but someone heard it somewhere and that was that. It was so nice to hear Carol share that training can be 2 hours long and composed of a series of micro or nano learning episodes. The key is to ensure that each lesson can stand alone and doesn’t need to reference other lessons to provide value.


So, how might you use Microlearning in your role? You can use it for:

  • Prework
  • Boosting Learning
  • Short-form Learning (single stand-alone)
  • Performance Support (moment of need)


To design effective microlearning, you should:

  • Be Specific
  • Focus on Performance
  • Be Brief
  • Be Engaging
  • Focus on the Learner


#2 Remove Friction from Learning


Danny Inny of Mirasee, shared an interesting point in one of his sessions about friction. Learners often come into a learning experience with momentum. They are ready, or at least somewhat ready to learn, but can often be stalled by friction.


As architects of learning, we need to evaluate the cause of friction and where it is occurring. Once we have identified these things, we need to do what we can to mitigate or remove the friction. Friction can impact the effectiveness of learning.


Friction could be poor technology, a difficult registration process, poor sound, an inability to see the screen, uncomfortable seating, and etc.


#3 What’s the Intention?


Some of my favorite key takeaways from ATD’s ICE came from this session. I could write an entire post on my key learnings from Oprah! I took so many notes! For the sake of time, however, I will just focus on intention.


The Instructional Design Company, Shawntay Michelle, Trainologist


She suggested that we always do a gut check and take a pause to ask ourselves, “What’s the intention behind that decision or action?” Why do you want to do that project? Why do you want to take that position? Ask yourself why.


To be authentic and true to yourself, you must ensure that your intention is good and not driven by ego or other personal motivations. Oprah shared personal examples of how making decisions for the wrong reasons impacted her life.


It was so refreshing to learn from a mega-celebrity how important it is to be true to yourself and not let ego drive you.


One thing she shared, which really touched me was,


“Everyday, your life is speaking to you. Start exactly where you are, in the seat you’re in.”


My life speaks to me. I never thought about it, but it does! Truly, it does. And, start where I am in the seat where I am. Gosh, you mean I don’t have to wait for perfection to get started? Where was she when I was a teen? I needed that message then, but I will take it and run with it right now, today!


#4 Create Animated Looking PowerPoint Presentations


OMGeeee!! This session by BrightCarbon was by far one of my favorite sessions. I saw the session on the schedule and thought, “Whatever, it’s just PowerPoint. Aren’t we all over PowerPoint?” So, I skipped the session and went to something else.


A strange thing happened… that session generated a huge buzz. Everyone who went to it was blown away. I mean seriously blown away.


Thankfully, there was another scheduled session. I went. YAY ME!




I am so glad I did. PowerPoint 365 has some amazing features. You can record into PowerPoint and produce a video. Did you know that? I knew you could do it on Windows machines, but you couldn’t do it on MACs in the recent past. Well, you can now, and it produces HD or Full HD videos. I tested this for myself yesterday. It worked, and it was EASY!


You can create animations that look like animated videos! What? No, really, you can! I saw it with my own eyes! First, you create bookmarks where you want things to happen. Then, you set the animation to be triggered by the bookmark. I am so looking forward to tinkering with this feature!


Have you ever seen a video of a map or a diagram where a magnifying glass zooms in and hovers over a particular area to enlarge it? Would you believe you CAN do this in PowerPoint too? I know it’s hard to believe, but you can.


You will need to use the Morph transition, crop a circle, break your image into multiple slides, and magnify specific areas, but I saw this happen in a matter of minutes LIVE, so I know it can be done. This is another feature that I am pumped about exploring.


Now, I know this is a super simplistic explanation of how to do what I just described. You can find all of the details in the tutorials on their website. Just sign up to get access.


#5 “If failure is not an option, then neither is success.”


I almost skipped Seth Godin’s session. Yup, I’m so glad I didn’t.  I ended up with more notes from Seth than I did with Oprah. He was truly AMAZING!


The quote above moved me enough to make the session worth attending, but that was just one teency weency nugget of many.


The Instructional Design Company, Shawntay Michelle, Trainologist


“People with good jobs are going to be replaced by art.” – Seth Godin


Not art as in painting, sculpting, and etc. He defined art as the human who creates possibility. The opposite is the human who is copying what everyone else is doing. Mmm, powerful. Right?


“What are you doing? Are you creating art or are you creating copies?”


#6 Storytelling


Have you ever watched the Walking Dead? I haven’t but I know it is a hugely popular series. Even though I haven’t seen the show or read the books, I did get to learn from the author of the books, Jay Bonasinga and his co-facilitator, Gary Mills of Pinnacle Performance Company.


These two fellas shared how to create a story using their 5-point process as well as the 5 Business Stories you should always have cued up, perfected, and ready to share.


Here are the 5 Business Stories to add to your storytelling repertoire:

  1. The Origins Story – How’d you/it start?
  2. The Crucible Story – A challenge you got through.
  3. The Leadership Story – How you forged a path and people followed.
  4. The Helper Story – How you helped someone.
  5. The Pie in the Face Story – A mistake you made.


These stories are key to have in Training Development because they can help you create connections with learners, establish your credibility, show you are authentic, help learners feel safe and comfortable during the learning experience.  


What’s Next?


These are just a handful of the many things I learned and experienced at the conference. I hope you find these key takeaways from ATD’s ICE valuable and useful. As for me, I will be starting where I am today, in the seat that I am in to perfect my PowerPoint skills and build my 5 business stories.


If you have key takeaways from ATD’s ICE to share, please add them to the comments for all to benefit from.


Got Questions?


My Facebook page is a great place to add your questions and engage with other instructional designers on different topics related to instructional design, so jump on in and join the conversation. 




The Testimonials are In:


Shola Richards

Working with Shanwtay and Katie at the Instructional Design Company was a dream come true. Their creativity, expertise, and professionalism throughout the entire process was beyond top notch. I engaged them to help turn my first book into a training course, and I could not be happier with how the final product turned out. If you have an instructional design project and you’re considering which company to work with, you can stop your search and thank me later. They are truly the best in the business.

Shola Richards


Graphic Designer

I joined the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program because I struggled to find jobs in instructional design beyond the development phase. I’ve done a couple of training programs with lots of random projects, but I was overwhelmed, not connecting the dots, and not good at structuring my writing to hit learning objectives. I was looking for motivation and direction at beginning a better Instructional Designer.

After taking the Instructional Design & Tech Certificate program and joining my fantastic team for support, I found the structure and approach to be what I need to take my next steps, evening improving my skills in the development stage.

Gayle Bower


Teacher, Future Instructional Designer

I love how this course let’s you work at your own pace. I got great tips and learned many things. The ongoing support for multiple people and groups is what I love the best. You are never alone in this process. I have been able to adjust my resume and began creating a portfolio of work I’ve completed to add when applying for jobs. I use many of the PowerPoint skills in my lessons and trainings. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to become an instructional designer.

Laurie Henderson


Teacher, Future Instructional Designer

I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!

Wendy McMillian


L&D Project Manager

The Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator certificate program is one of the most comprehensive ID programs out there for beginners. If you’re looking to grow your schools in ID and development then I highly recommend this program. Not only will this program give you an overview of theory, but you will receive a thorough walkthrough of how to apply what you have learned. Although I had already secured a position in Learning & Development when I bought this course, it helped me to move up into a new position as a Learning & Development Project Manager!

Gabby Grimaldo


Future Instructional Designer

If you have any interest in ID, sign up for this program NOW! Shawntay and her team are top notch! The course content exceeded my expectations in a big way and the encouragement and support continues to be so valuable. You will not feel alone going through this course, you will learn so much, you’ll have many cheerleaders, and you will have fun!

Shanna Howe


Future Instructional Designer

I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).

Aviva Berkowitz


Future Instructional Designer

I can’t say enough great things about the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program! The length of the program is perfect; it doesn’t feel rushed and there’s just the right amount of structure to give you the accountability you need. There are so many opportunities to get live answers to any questions you have related to the course content or anything ID-related! This program gave me the support and structure I needed to both feel affirmed in the relevant skills I already had coming in and to fill in the gaps I had as a career-changer going into ID. Shawntay, Katie, and all the coaches are super helpful and supportive. I now feel confident that I have the tools and access to resources I need to apply for ID jobs without wondering if there’s something I’m “missing” in the preparation process. I’d highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition into ID or who just wants to brush up on their skills in the field.

Krista Johnson Awomoyi


Freelance Instructional Designer

I’d highly recommend the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program. I’m blown away by how much I learned in just 12 weeks. I had ID experience prior to taking this course and was just looking to get a better understanding of applying adult learning principles. This course well exceeded my expectations! Not only did I gain a clear understanding of adult learning principles, I was also able to apply those principles by creating assets for your portfolio using PowerPoint, Adobe Premiere Pro and Storyline. The hands on support that we received was top notch.

Darlene Dalgleish


Instructional Designer

This program is one of the most robust yet fulfilling L&D programs I’ve seen. I learned so much about the industry and about the limitlessness of my own capabilities. I am so appreciative of Shawntay and all of the trainers who took part in the program. They went above and beyond with not only guiding, but communicating live and working one on one or in small groups. If you are on the fence, I say take the leap and you will not regret it! There’s so much to learn, not only from the trainers, but also the learners in your group. Everyone comes in with their own skills and can be additional support and guidance for you. Thank you for creating this program!

Shawnice Edge


Instructional Designer Training Facilitator

Shawntay is an amazing individual. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of ID and eLearning. She is also very compassionate and loves to help and see everyone around her grow and prosper. Shawntay has been a great mentor to me and she has helped me mature as an instructional designer and eLearning developer. She has provided me with opportunities when others have overlooked me. I am very grateful to have met and built a lifelong relationship with Shawntay.

I recently got hired into my first instructional design / training position and Shawntay was one of the first people to congratulate me!

Brian Hightower


Freelance Instructional Designer

My teacher-to-instructional-designer journey began two years ago when I left my teaching comfort zone and started my first freelance ID job. Now, I’m stepping out of the classroom and taking my freelance work full-time, so I’m thrilled to be joining the Tech Accelerator program. Adding technologies like Articulate 360 and Adobe Premiere Pro to my qualifications will help me take my courses to the next level and attract more clients!

Sarah Smith


Teacher Transitioning into Instructional Design

I am genuinely grateful for this course. I wanted a real-world perspective and feel like I got it. I’m teaching now, but nearing retirement age but can see myself working as an instructional designer well into my retirement years. My other goal is to take as many courses in statistics as possible in hopes of bringing some mathematical precision to the ROI question. Like you say, getting accurate metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but I intend to work on that part. That’s unimportant right now, what is important is the fact that I feel like this course was well worth every penny I spent and I would to it again in a heartbeat. I have too much going on right now, but as soon as I get some time freed up I intend to take your course in project management.

Lee R


Turns Your Written Thoughts Into a Masterpiece!

Shawntay Skjoldager can turn your written thoughts into a masterpiece. She is great to work with and the most organized person I know!

Sheryl Rhoades
President and CEO, The Creative Entreprenuer


Shawntay has been incredible!

Shawntay has been incredible and her team is responsive and effective in translating my training programs into professional presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact her for your project.

President and Principal of HRM Consulting, Inc.


IDC is My Secret Weapon to Soar Above My Competition!

The IDC team has been my secret and special weapon of success. They have delivered above and beyond with every single project out in front of them. They have met and beat timelines. They have been Uber responsive every step of the way. I keep them on speed dial and have and continue to recommend them to friends and clients. If you are in need of instructional design and plenty more, this is THE ALL-STAR team that will more than deliver and help make you and your project soar above the competition.

LT. COL. Jason O. Harris
U.S. Air Force Officer, Special Operations Pilot, U.S.A.F. Academy Instructor, Motivational Speaker


A Tremendous Asset to the Project Team!

Working with Shawntay and the Instructional Design Company has allowed our university to meet the growing demands of our programs. Shawntay’s expertise allowed for the course development to be completed on time and met all of the university requirements. Shawntay’s project management skills were phenomenal and allowed my team to work on other areas while she completed this project for us. Her work is of high quality and her professionalism and willingness to help made her a tremendous asset to the project team.

Amanda Buckley
Academic Quality Assurance Specialist, Abilene Christian University


Creative & Highly Talented!

Shawntay is a creative and highly talented instructional designer.  She brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership that enabled her to own the design and creation of a full scale facilitator curriculum and train-the-trainer program.  It was a pleasure to partner with Shawntay, her project management and communication skills ensured the project was on time and on budget.

Susan Gatti
President, IMMIXID


Breaks Down Mammoth Projects

“Shawntay is quick study and carefully synthesizes information for presentations that are clear, concise and captivating. Her personality draws the audience in and her content mastery is excellent. A team player and organizer, Shawntay has the ability to break down mammoth projects, keep everybody on time and on task.”

Rick Miller
Author, Speaker, Strengths Coach


eLearning Development

“I have had many opportunities to work with Shawntay—mainly in the support of implementing new eLearning initiatives. I have been very impressed by her ability to quickly learn how to use rapid eLearning development tools and effectively use them to create multiple courses within a short timeframe. Shawntay’s enthusiastic nature, attention to detail, and dedication to her work make her a pleasure to work with and a great asset to both Texas A&M University-Commerce and the broader training community within the Texas A&M University System.”

Ashley Christian
Director of Learning Strategy, Caveo Learning


Top Notch Professional

Working with Shawntay has been an immense pleasure. She is atop notch professional who brings enthusiasm and extensiveexpertise to professional curriculum development and execution. Her knowledge of tried and true techniques to maximize the effectiveness of presentations is invaluable.

Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research, CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research


Fortunate to Find Shawntay!

“I was fortunate to find Shawntay when our organization was looking to expand and update our educational offerings. Shawntay proved herself to be an educational and personal development expert who immediately made an impact with our clients throughout Europe. Everyone who came into contact with Shawntay was immediately impressed by her level of expertise and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawntay to anyone looking for an education subject matter expert.”

Jonathan Burt
Director of Qualifications and NSD Services, Mary Kay Inc.


Short Turn Around. On Time. Under Budget!

“We hired Shawntay to develop a training facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint slide deck for an operations manual heavy with technical content. The project was made more challenging by a very short turn around, 5 business days, and the fact that the operations manual wasn’t complete and was being updated simultaneously with the facilitator’s guide and slide deck. Despite these challenges, Shawntay delivered as promised. On time and under budget.”

Dave Beeman, CPP
Vice President, Andy Frain Services


Need an Expert Who Consistently Delivers?

“Working with Shawntay you will immediately notice her professional presence and poise, but over time her tenacious pursuit of excellence and her skills in instructional development and adult learning will really impress you. I worked with her at Mary Kay, and was able to experience firsthand her great rapport with regional partners in Europe, understanding their unique sales force training needs. In addition, Shawntay consistently exhibited grace under pressure, made executive decisions to move business forward. If you are looking for an expert who consistently delivers and goes the extra mile to get things done, contact Shawntay!”

Mellora Moore
Marketing Director, Academic Partnerships


Quality Products & Solutions!

“I had had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shawntay on more than a few occasions. I found her to be a very good business partner and very committed to delivering a quality product or solution in a timely manner. I have always had a positive experience in partnering with Shawntay and would recommend that you consider leveraging her talent.”

Judy Owen, CPC
Transformational Leadership Coach


“Invest in yourself and take your skills to the next NEXT level!”

Get yourself signed up for Shawntay Skjoldager’s Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program today and be on your way to success! Within the first week of taking her course, you will experience growth! Be sure to plug into her Facebook Q&A sessions for personalized help, too. This is THE course to take if you are new to instructional design or have landed on the training team and need help getting started.

Patrick Hodges
Managing Partner, PHiG


“Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!”

Shawntay has exceptional knowledge and experience with all aspects of creating and implementing effective, performance based training for adults. She is exceptional at needs analysis – identifying target audiences and collaborating with business owners to keep training focused on business needs. And she is great to work with – always providing great support to get projects done on-time and on-target. She is always on the look-out for new and more effective ways to engage learners. Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!

Mike Stubblefield
eLearning Developer/Instructional Designer, Vivos Therapeutics


“Spot on”

I have known and worked with Shawntay  as a education program director and use the expertise of ShawntayMichelle for the development of my presentations.  The service has always been “spot on” with professionalism, care and attention.  Shawntay’s recommendations to my ideas make me look good to my clients.

Owner, Certified Consulting Services


“Shawntay Skjoldager reached in and made my training life so much easier!”

I am new to the training design and development world and I was SO excited to get in there, but I really lacked the real-world knowledge that would set me apart from my peers. And, then Shawntay Skjoldager walked into my life with an outstretched hand and a seemingly endless list of ways to knock every training out of the park. From the Training Analysis Form to the Tay Tay tips, this course made my life so much easier and even ironed out the review process that I had been struggling with for months.

Take time to invest in your own learning and make sure to put Shawntay Michelle at the top of your personal development list!


Katie Carter
Training Specialist, LegalShield

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