When it comes to the people in your PowerPoint or eLearning programs, do looks matter?

Over the weekend, I found myself chatting about visual imagery with a co-worker as we zoomed in and out of traffic on our way to the Pune (India) airport. She recently joined my organization after working in marketing and communications with GE for several years.

We began to talk about marketing materials, then we began to talk about the sorts of visual images that I’ve inserted into PowerPoint slides and even elearning presentations. We debated whether the content of the presentation or the visual representation of the material was more important.

Almost as if on cue, I noticed this card sitting on the reception desk when I walked into my hotel in Delhi:

People

My immediate reaction was Continue reading

Pecha Kucha: PowerPoint presentations as performance art!

Performance Art

I’ve spoken with several clients recently about overhauling the format of their annual conferences. More engaging, better presentations are essential to better conference experiences. One obvious route is by offering assistance, coaching and lesson plan feedback to presenters that will help them design and deliver more interactive, hands-on sessions.

Not all presenters, however, are cut out to deliver a session that’s engaging through audience participation and interaction. For these presenters, perhaps traveling the route of a Pecha Kucha-style presentation could be an alternative way to capture the audience’s attention while delivering a highly structured, informative and engaging session… in less than 7 minutes.   Continue reading

Fun with PowToon Templates

I have a confession to make: I’m not a big fan – at all – of using templates for things like PowerPoint or even in elearning design.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and earlier this week when I opened up PowToon to create a short promo video for an upcoming training initiative, I stumbled upon a host of templates that are actually pretty fun to play with. You can see them for yourself here.

Below is an example of something I could see using in our new employee orientation program. It took me less than 15 minutes to edit the template and get it to a place where I was happy with it. Continue reading

20 reasons training experiences should be more like vacation

Hello again! It’s Monday morning and I’m back, fresh off a two-week vacation to the east coast of the United States, visiting family. Toward the end of my vacation, I posted the following on Facebook:

Vacation Photos

This was my 6th or 7th summer at Squam Lake in New Hampshire. My wife’s family has been going there for four decades.

It got me thinking a bit about training as well. Not only should life be like the images in the photo more often than not, training experiences should be as well. Does this mean we should allow our learners to just sit around for two weeks, not accountable for anything? No.

But enjoyment and effective training are not mutually exclusive. Continue reading

Tired of presenters who miss the mark? Show them what they’ll be evaluated on!

Last week I sat with a colleague, walking through her line-up of speakers for an upcoming conference. She asked if I had any suggestions to help the presenters deliver more effective presentations.

It’s an age-old, intractable question. Do conference speakers (or consultants who may come into your organization to train your staff on one specific topic) really care?   Continue reading