It’s so easy to simply open up PowerPoint and start cranking out a deck for training. It’s also a little too easy to make a poor training session that way. My colleague, Erin Clarke, has spent a lot of time recently on projects requiring PowerPoint presentations, and in today’s post she shares some helpful hints (and a template) for how to organize your thoughts before throwing those slides together.
Sometimes it’s helpful to get a “peek behind the curtain” and see what other people’s internal processes look like. In my many years as a one person training department, I often found myself googling things like “storyboard example” or “sample script” to get an idea of what best practices were out there. In the end, someone else’s exact processes don’t matter much, as long as what you are doing works for you. Of course, borrowing some things that could be useful from someone else and then leaving the rest is what all sorts of creative people have been doing since time began. So in that spirit, I want to share what we’re doing at Endurance Learning to organize our thoughts when it comes to creating PowerPoint decks and invite you to find what’s useful (and discard the rest)!
Most trainers have a love/hate relationship with PowerPoint. Why is that? There are probably a lot of reasons, but one reason I see over and over is that many trainers are taking the wrong approach to creating PowerPoint slides.
Mike Parkinson is not only the founder of Billion Dollar Graphics and author of A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint, but he is also one of only 36 Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs in the world! This week, he took some time with the Train Like You Listen podcast to really dig into how to create engaging and effective PowerPoint slides. During this podcast, we discuss the number one issues that experts see when users open this tool, why a simple mind map can help you become a better PowerPoint designer, and how to approach building a good slide.
“Ugh, I hate Valentine’s Day! I never know what to get.” If you’ve ever uttered these words, well we have a deal for you! FREE Valentine’s for that special trainer in your life!
This year we have two new Valentines for you to share. You can download a pdf to print your own valentines. It may sound silly, but printing these out and dropping them into some colleagues’ mailboxes tomorrow may help keep you and your training team front of mind around your organization.
A friend recently asked for some help giving a presentation to a board. She was doing this outside of work, and I love a good pet project. We started by working through her objectives, studied slide design, and I sent her off with what I thought was an excellent concept for her team. The group she was working with had a very different idea of what a presentation means and when she came in with her concepts, to put it bluntly, ripped them apart. Continue reading →
It’s the end of the year and deadlines are piling up! There is a lot to wrap up this time of year, and I am not just talking about presents. Many folks take holiday away from work to spend time with family during the month of December which also seems to coincide with many end-of-year project deadlines. What happens when our teams just don’t have the bandwidth to meet our year-end goals?
There are several ways to address bandwidth needs, but one of the cheapest ways is to find ways to optimize work processes. At Endurance Learning, we have a lot of little hacks to streamline our processes. Let’s take a look at a few tools we have developed to make your work a little easier.
Written documentation is required for many projects. Manuals, performance support, and several other document types tend to have several contributors who all come to the project with their own preferences and style. To reduce editing time at the end of your project, start with a style guide everyone can agree to when your project begins.
Storyboarding is one of my favorite ways to start a project. It helps me wrap my head around the design of my project, and it gives other a visual representation of all of the crazy stuff I think I can make happen in a training. This process is not limited to eLearning development, in fact, here is a great template you can use to storyboard your next PowerPoint presentation.
I love a good PowerPoint deck, especially one that complements the presentation. I view PowerPoint development as an art form. Just like any other tool, you should know how to use it properly before turning it on. There are dozens of PowerPoint classes that can make you efficient in the program, but if you short on time and resources, that may not be an option for you. Instead, take a look at this easy PowerPoint Checklist and let it guide you through your next presentation development.
Delivering a presentation requires a lot of preparation. I suffer from glossophobia and need to be extremely organized in order to feel confident in front of participants. To guide me through this process, I use our presentation skills checklist as a practice facilitating all of my presentations.
What tools do you use to optimize the work on your team when you are under deadlines? Let’s keep this conversation going in the comments below!
I’m not a very good graphic designer, but even I know that PowerPoint slides should look better than this:
Knowing the slides should be better than these, and actually being able to put together better slides are two different things.
Over the past year, I’ve written a handful of posts about how to design more effective slide decks, and today I’m putting them all in one place. I invite you to bookmark this page so that you can come back to it each time you’re looking to put together a more effective slide deck of your own. Continue reading →
Recently I’ve facilitated several sessions on more effective ways to use PowerPoint in a training setting. The simple truth is that your PowerPoint slides, like any other element of your presentation design, should align with the fundamental principles of adult learning theory.
Adult learners like to have some sort of control over what they’re being asked to learn. So how can PowerPoint possibly support this principle? Continue reading →
I’ll start this post by simply saying: Mike Taylor knows how to find things. He’s constantly posting articles and resources on Twitter and LinkedIn that, if curated in one place, would probably serve you better than any masters program in instructional design.
This post borrows heavily from one of his sites on which he’s compiled “a collection of the best free design resources on the web.” If you have some time, I encourage you to check out his site.
Sometimes having too many choices can be overwhelming, so I’ve narrowed his resources down into the following list of 18 resources that may be helpful if you’re specifically looking for new places to find stock photos, fonts or icons. Continue reading →
Since then, a number of friends and colleagues have asked me to boil the booklet down into the top five or ten tips that lead to effective PowerPoint presentations. As I reflected on that question, I think there are three guiding principles that can make any PowerPoint deck better. And these principles have very little to do with conventional advice such as “bullets kill, so eliminate bullet points” or “only use three lines of text, no more than 8 words per line, and no smaller than 36 point font”. My principles have little to do with the need to hone your graphic design skills, either. Continue reading →
I’ve been working with a number of presenters to help them develop more effective, engaging presentations for upcoming conference or training sessions. While PowerPoint should never be the focal point of a presentation, effective slide design is important for those presenters who choose to use PowerPoint in their sessions.
To help presenters determine whether their slides are any good, I put together the Effective PowerPoint Checklist to help them perform a self-assessment. Continue reading →