When you attend a conference you expect the keynote speeches to deliver inspiration. Training Magazine’s conference held this week in Atlanta did not disappoint. In fact I found myself laughing loudly and crying softly while listening to Tuesday’s keynotes.

First a note about economic impact: Yes, attendance was down, especially pre-conference participation. The headline of the Show Daily magazine read: “Game On or Game Over” Oops…double meaning? My article on project managing game and simulation development certainly came out at a pretty inopportune time.

Chester Elton’s keynote brought the house down. As co-author of The Carrot Principle his topic was all about how managers need to acknowledge employee contributions frequently. “How often do you tell your significant other you love them?” People do need to hear they are appreciated. The compliment needs to be sincere and specific.

Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author of the famous book-The Last Lecture- gave the afternoon keynote. He provided a touching reminder of what should matter. Yes, I knew about Randy Pausch’s story, and yes, I cried.

I also almost cried when reading my session evaluations. The session called Moodle Doodle was well attended. However, I received a wide-ranging spectrum of ratings. Some participants praised me for providing real demonstrations of the simplicity of building a learning activity in Moodle while others felt that I should have stuck to my slides. The Open Source LCMS, Moodle, seems to bring out the emotion in people. In any case, I do agree I need to better organize the presentation. Watch for a similar but revamped session at the next conference I am speaking at: The eLearning Guild’s Annual Gathering, March 10th in Orlando.