What the Superbowl Teaches Us About Training

Every year around this time, I’m invited to attend a Super Bowl party. The party usually consists of all kinds of cheese-filled bacon-wrapped fill-in-the-blank, a bucket full of beer, and people who have not watched a football game all season.  When the game starts, a handful of party goers are glued to the TV and watch every play (we will call them “enthusiasts”), while everyone else is chatting away, watching only the half time show and a few commercials (we will call these people “indifferent”).

These parties show that the Super Bowl is not just for the football enthusiasts. It is about the celebration, the food, and the show. There is more talk about what was in the spinach dip than Peyton Manning’s performance (or lack thereof). And I know I was more excited about the Full House men’s appearance on the Dannon commercial than I was concerned with the Seahawks CB getting hurt.

So, why am I writing about football and the Super Bowl on a blog about learning?  I think there is a lesson to be learned here. Just like football, learning can be an exciting subject only if you are enthusiastic about it. For most subjects out there (except, maybe, ice cream) there are some enthusiasts but a majority of the public will be indifferent. But when you make a celebration of a subject, it now becomes something everyone is able to enjoy.

Let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting throwing chicken wings along with some multi-million dollar videos at your eLearning just to get people involved. But what I am suggesting is sprucing it up and help people to enjoy it. If you’re making the learning experience as fun as possible, they are more likely to get excited about it –  which leads to retaining the information and reaching the ultimate goal: learning.