I recently stumbled upon Bill Gammell's ebook on marketing lessons learned from Seinfeld. Because of Seinfeld's ongoing pop-culture resonance, I've been mulling over the idea of a Seinfeld-themed post for a while now - but I'd never taken the time to further conceptualize it. Thankfully Bill's ebook demonstrated not only how to make some meaningful connections between Seinfeld and the real world, but how to do so in a way that was surprising and fun. It got me thinking: Are there any meaningful training lessons to be learned from Seinfeld?
After doing a bit of what I can only loosely refer to as "research" since it involved putting my feet up on my desk and watching clips on YouTube, I found several examples of Seinfeldian lessons we can apply to training. So in tribute to what I consider to be the best “show about nothing,” it gives me great pleasure to share a few of these lessons over the coming weeks.
“A Festivus for the rest of us!”
In this classic Seinfeld outtake, George Costanza's father Frank, explains why he invented “Festivus” (an alternative to Christmas).
Training Lesson: Embrace your creativity!
While there are tons of fantastic (and often free) design resources on the Web, when you're up against deadlines and struggling with SMEs, it's not always easy to think creatively. But Frank Costanza's Festivus for the rest of us, reminds us that adversity is the very thing that feeds creativity! Next time you're in a pinch, don't settle for bullet points, stale templates, or distracting images when you can easily create your own visual design elements. Use some of these pointers from the Mindflash archives to help you embrace your inner Frank Costanza.
Working with stock photo images
- Use simple techniques to remove backgrounds from stock images
- Make your training designs pop by adding visual emphasis
Working with clip-art
- Create your own ipad-inspired icons using just PowerPoint drawing tools and free Microsoft clip art icons
- How to use cohesive clip-art styles to enhance your visual design
PowerPoint Tips & Tricks
- Use Free Tools to Take Your PowerPoint from Good to Great
- Leverage PowerPoint’s Shape Tools to create cool special effects
- Learn from experts by watching these 5 PowerPoint Tutorials
- Unleash the power of PowerPoint
In my next post, I'll talk about what Seinfeld can teach us about overwhelming trainees (i.e. managing cognitive load). Any guesses which episode I'll feature for that topic? Or do you have examples of other classic TV shows we can learn from? Share your ideas with us by leaving a comment.
Trina is a learning and communications consultant with thirteen years experience designing, developing, and delivering smart, engaging training. When her skills aren't being tested by her children, you'll find her helping others to develop their own training design muscles.