Jonathan is an experienced talent development professional who has worked with organizations in 25 countries, for almost 30 years.
He has published a several books on media and learning and is currently working on some titles about communication and learning that draw on cognitive psychology and neuroscience. (Out in 2018)
Jonathan speaks at conferences, leads seminars and facilitates in-depth workshops on:
Jonathan was born in the country town of Young, New South Wales. South west of Sydney, Young is known as the cherry capital of Australia. His family moved to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney where he went to high school.
He started his career in local radio, doing current affairs and station management for 6 years.
Broadcasting was a passion he pursued in his teen years. While still at high school, he and his brother played non-speaking characters in two episodes of a famous Australian soap opera.
But Jonathan’s passion was in radio current affairs. He presented a daily talk show, scooping numerous news stories. He followed his radio gig with a brief stint in public relations for the NSW Government.
In 1999, he moved to London and joined the BBC’s pioneering New Media Training Unit, responsible for the corporation’s workplace training to people pioneering the BBC’s award-winning website.
In this role, he introduced a systematized instructional design processes to professionalize training quality and introduced a new strand of editorial skills training for digital media.
In 2003, he was appointed as a learning executive to run the BBC’s prestigious Production Training department. In this role, he focused on developing the professional learning side of the business.
BBC Production Training was widely considered to be the leading broadcast trainer in the world. It delivered cutting edge training in all aspects of television production, radio operations and digital media.
Jonathan saw his leadership role as one of stewardship as BBC Training was effectively a national prize, with almost 300 of the world’s leading broadcast trainers.
Jonathan left the BBC at the end of 2007 and started Talkshow Communication Ltd. The company provided media production training for media companies transitioning to the digital world.
Talkshow Communication partnered with IFRA Newsplex to deliver groundbreaking training for newspapers transitioning from paper and ink to digital first strategies.
This included the much talked about Daily Telegraph Converged Newsroom project, where Talkshow trained 300 print journalists in multimedia reporting.
The company delivered multimedia journalism training around the globe through its partnership with Newsplex to journalists at brands as the Financial Times, London Times, Metro, DeVolkskrant, LeMonde, Espresso, and many more.
Talkshow also delivered digital media training for radio and television professionals working at ITV, Channel Four, Endermoll and many other independent production companies.
In 2009, Jonathan and his wife moved from London to Washington, DC.
The move marked a deliberate sea change for Jonathan who wanted to broaden his expertise, working less with media companies and more with professionals in on other industries and professions.
He formed Jonathan Halls LLC and focused his energies on change management, leadership training and train the trainer programs.
He also started running media production workshops for learning professionals, as audio and video became more important training tools.
He offered these workshops with private clients and through a partnership with the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD).
Jonathan was also invited to teach some of ATD’s certificate programs which include Change Management, Rapid Video and Media for Learning, and ATD’s flagship Master Trainer Program.
During this time, Jonathan also wrote books on digital media, and learning and cognition. He also contributed to a number of other industry books and magazines on learning.
Jonathan never truly left the digital media world. In 2010 he joined GW’s faculty of the Graduate School or Political Management, and became an adjunct professor, teaching digital media strategy and production.
And after a presentation on change management, at the World Newspaper Congress in Bangkok, he was reacquainted with his media pals and agreed to deliver training in India, Mynmar, Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai. His workshops were digital storytelling, leadership and leading newsroom change.
In 2018, Jonathan is re-branding his company to “The Learning and Media Company”. It will focus entirely on helping learning leaders get better results through.
The company is premised on the notion that much training today is about delivering content, when training needs to be about delivering change.
As such, he will be launching a new train the trainer program for companies who theirtrainers to go beyond showing PowerPoints to delivering transformative learning.
The Learning & Media Company will also offer programs in how to create engaging digital learning content based on Jonathan’s books, Rapid Video for Trainers and Rapid Media for Trainers.
Jonathan will be scaling back his work with professional media companies and taking on only a limited number of professional media projects.
Jonathan’s academic background is purely in adult learning. He has a B.Ed in Adult Education with a major on HRD and a M.Ed in Adult Education with a major in HRD. He also completed the BBC’s Single Camera Directing Certificate.
Jonathan’s professional interests are in cognitive psychology and neuroscience applied to adult learning. His train the trainer programs have been based on a cognitive framework since 1999. With the emerging research into neuroscience, he has expanded that to include a two-stage learning model.
Jonathan has worked either directly for, or through partnerships for hundreds of companies around the world. They include (but are not limited to) Association for Talent Development, WAN IFRA, IFRA Newsplex, Aflac, Charles Schwab, Boeing, State Department, US Army, R.J. Reynolds, Office Max, A&P Supermarkets, Florida Dept of Transport, Audi, Boeing, GoDaddy, Scholastic, State Department, Marsh, The Capital Group, Daily Telegraph, DeVolkskrant, Straights Times, New Straits Times, Nottingham Post, Espresso, Saudi Electric, Saudi Aramco, The Nation, and many more.
You may have heard Jonathan speak at a conference somewhere in the world. It may have been at ASTD ICE, ATD TechnKnowledge, Streaming Media East, MLearnCon, Internet World, World Newspaper Congress, Middle East Newspaper Conference, WAN IFRA South Asia Newspaper Conference, or one of many more over the past 20 years.
Jonathan loves vacation travel, wine and food. In his spare time, he tends to his urban garden, builds furniture and plays the piano. He enjoys reading topics from theology and philosophy to business and leadership.
Jonathan comes from a family of interesting people. His grandfather was a global pioneer in education radio in the 1940s who worked around the world for UNESCO with his wife author Geraldine Halls, recipient of the Mystery Writers of America inaugural “Best Novel” award (The Edgars), one of which was made into a telemovie with Charlton Heston. (Writing as Charlotte Jay.) Jonathan’s brother David is a jazz pianist and author with several albums under his belt and his sister Naomi is a former professional classical flautist, also with several albums, who now practices as a clinical psychologist.