L & D Kiss, Marry, Kill

It’s possible that right now, a pizza, pop, and Wonderstruck scented room has a lively game of “Kiss, Marry, Kill” featuring the three Prince Chris’s of Hollywood  (Hemsworth, Pratt, and Evans). For those not familiar with the game, someone names three people, (celebrities, fictional characters, etc.) and the group decides which one they would choose to kiss, marry or kill. Odds are, being the consummate professional, you aren’t playing such mindless games. Lucky for you, I’m not above such distractions.  So for the L & D professional who hasn’t played a version of this game in a while, I offer three rounds of  Learning and Development Kiss Marry Kill. Oh, and for the record, Kiss Hemsworth, Marry Pratt and, well, sorry Evans. On to round one!

Visual Auditory and Kinesthetic

Many of you have probably heard of  Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK) “learning styles.” Generally speaking, these styles are said to reflect the preferred method of how a learner receives, processes and learns information. Instructional designers try to classify audiences into certain styles and optimize the learning experience to fit into a visual, auditory or kinesthetic format. Here’s the thing, research suggests there is no evidence that knowing a person’s learning style leads to better learning outcomes*. Certainly, we should incorporate a strong design that includes seeing, hearing and hands-on elements to session activities and materials.

That said, humans are overwhelmingly visual creatures. A picture really does say what words often fail to communicate. Think about international street signs. Because of language barriers, they have to communicate potential danger, community laws and traffic information with little to no words. And for the most part, they do it. Duck crossings are recognized everywhere.**

Duck Crossing
I stand corrected

Joan Jett asked the world if we “wanna touch” back in 1981. Research in L & D since has resoundingly responded, “Yeah. Oh Yeah!”  Learners like to use their hands. Especially if it helps to demonstrate a skill or process. Be it games, puzzles, or simple stress toys, giving learners something to touch and use is a great way to make learning stick.

Final Verdict: Kiss Kinesthetic, Marry Visual and Kill Auditory

In-Person, Online and Blended

Quick: Without Googling it, what’s the name of Charlie Brown’s teacher? The image of Peppermint Patty nodding off in class while listening to Miss “Trombone Sounds” has come to represent an in-person classroom, even for adult learners. Allow me to suggest before we go on to sing the praises of E-Learning technology, that that assessment is not entirely fair. (Miss Othmar. Her name is Miss Othmar.)

Despite what you may have heard, in-person communication is still highly effective, produces outstanding results and provides memorable experiences.

Despite what you may have heard, in-person communication is still highly effective, produces outstanding results and provides memorable experiences. Frankly, for high-level critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and team building, a physical classroom is the ultimate learning experience. Plus, it’s the form of delivering training most of us learned to do first. You always remember your first.

That said, this game doesn’t allow for sentimentality. The obvious long-term program delivery choice is a blended classroom approach. As Learning and Development needs continue their global expansion, our industry relies on technology to reach varied audiences in disperse locations.

Final Verdict: Kiss Classroom, Marry Blended and Kill Online Only

Two Truths and a Lie, Audience BINGO, and Introduce Someone Else



Who doesn’t love taking frozen water and attacking it with a hammer? Icebreakers are a learning and development staple. A staple many participants have either seen and have grown tired of playing for yet another workshop or class, or have enjoyed them so much they have pains of anticipation for the next session when they can use a more creative “lie.”  The three listed above are some of the simplest, and therefore most used, icebreakers in our industry.


“Two truths” is great until that one person over shares (thankfully shares?):

  • “My parents literally abandoned me while I rode the teacups at Disney”
  • “I have a tattoo of Hervé Villechaize somewhere on my body and I’m unable to see it.”
  • “My favorite movie is ‘The Hottie and the Nottie‘”

Introducing another participant, while saying something awesome about them, builds morale and is extremely easy to do. However, it feels too much like the old “Okay everybody, state your name and say why you’re here.” yawner.

Final Verdict: Kiss “Two Truths,” Marry “BINGO” and Kill “Introduce Someone”

Tell me how wrong I am or what are better suggestions for the game in the comments below. Leave a comment below and have a chance to win our monthly giveaway.

*Biech, E. 2017. The Art and Science of Training. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.
**I have no proof of this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: