The Best Things in Life Are Free

Price and quality are not always directly proportional. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a basic economics lesson, but we are going to talk about finances. You don’t always have to spend a lot of money on software to put out great training. With all of the software options out there, it can be difficult to pick the right one without spending hours testing and reviewing. At Endurance Learning, we use a lot of software to create our training. Let’s talk about a few of the fantastic free or low-price tools we find useful throughout the life-cycle of our training. Continue reading

Getting Started with Photoshop Hacks

Written by: Heather Snyder

Adobe Photoshop is a massive program with a lot of great tools and features. Learning the full capacity of Photoshop takes a great deal of time, which can be intimidating. Many of us who are unfamiliar with Photoshop turn to PowerPoint for graphic design, which is a great choice, albeit not as powerful.

The internet is full of instructions to make Photoshop more accessible to causal users. That, too, can be overwhelming unless you know exactly what you are looking for. I have had the opportunity to work with many talented graphic artists who have helped me distill the information I need to get the power I want out of Photoshop when I am designing training. Let’s take a look at a few of the tips and hacks I have picked up over the years.   Continue reading

A Word Cloud from 147 L&D Professionals’ 6-word Memoirs

Word Cloud - Blog Post

Above: This blog post as a word cloud

Last week I was having coffee with TD magazine editor Alex Moore and I was telling him about the 6-word memoir post I had published in February. He suggested it might be fun to see what everyone’s 6-word memoirs might look in a more visual format, like a word cloud.

I loved that idea!

The post itself featured 6-word memoirs from 25 L&D professionals and there were a dozen or so comments with additional memoirs. I also posted this particular blog in the ATD LinkedIn discussion forum where more than 100 other L&D professionals added their own brief memoirs.

Here’s the word cloud (I created it in the shape of an apple since we’re all teachers in one way, shape or form):   Continue reading

One tip to change the outlook of your PowerPoint slides

At the beginning of the month, I wrote a post about some small tweaks to a slide deck that could lead to a much better visual presentation. One reader, Dan Jones, posted this comment:

powerpoint-comment

I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I actually suggested this particular tip within my organization recently after attending a monthly stats meeting. The more I look around, the more I see this particular engagement strategy being used… except it doesn’t seem to be used very frequently in the world of presentations or learning and development.   Continue reading

A Slide Deck Makeover with Before and After Images

This week I had an opportunity to sit in a high level meeting and team up with my boss to make a brief presentation. My initial instinct for any presentation is to find ways to get people involved and engaged in the presentation. A presentation to executives is a bit different than your run-of-the-mill presentation (Nancy Duarte has a great, short article about presenting to senior executives here), so I felt it wise to follow the script outlined by our CEO.

While this was going to be a straight-forward, informational presentation, I still wanted our slides to tell a story and offer a better visual experience than we’d get if we just lined up a bunch of bulleted points.

Here is an early version of some data:

slide-1-before

Continue reading

“Should we be using Prezi?”

I was sitting across the table from a colleague yesterday and we began talking about presentation skills. When our conversation turned to PowerPoint, I shared this presentation with her:

She looked it over and felt that the concept made sense: PowerPoint slides, when projected, are meant to augment a presentation and enhance the audience’s experience through a powerful visual journey. If people want a bunch of data and statistics and content, then save it for a handout.

Then she asked: “Should we be using Prezi? What do you think of it as a tool for presentations?”

I was honest with her, Continue reading