PowerPoint

PowerPoint is the industry standard for presentations due to its ease of use and adaptability. Aside from its versatility as a visual aid in group meetings and presentations, it’s also valuable as a one-on-one training method. Many companies also use PowerPoint for customized training modules to teach employees as their schedule permits, without the need to meet at a specific time and date. When developing a training course this way, there are several points to consider in both the content and the delivery.

The Basics

Be clear about the objectives of the training:  What do you want the employees to learn? The objectives should be action oriented and allow the instructor to measure how well the student learned the material. When developing the outline, make sure each section of the training is relevant to the key objective. If multiple topics need to be covered to properly understand the objective, consider dividing them into separate sections or even separate courses.

Make sure the training adds value to the company’s goals and best practices: You may want to tailor the course to review legal policies such as compliance with privacy laws, or to review a recent update to internal processes.

From a technical standpoint, there are several best practices to develop an effective training module in PowerPoint:

Add quizzes to the training module: The simplest way to create this is to have one slide with three questions, and format each question to a hyperlink with the answer for self-study. This is especially useful for multiple-choice questions since you can link the wrong answers to a specific slide saying “Try Again”, with a hyperlink back to the original question. Several websites have instructions on how to build macros into PowerPoint that score the totals.

Convert the backgrounds to a consistent standardized format:  If your company has a standardized PowerPoint template and you plan to use training material from a different source, the company template can be imported into the training material. Under the Insert tab and the New Slide drop-down list, click “Reuse Slides”. Choose the company template and when it opens, check the “Keep Source Formatting” box. Select the slides in your original presentation, find the company template slide with the format you wish to import and right-click that template slide. Choose “Apply Theme to Selected Slides”. You may need to delete extra background pictures or resize the title text to polish the final look of the slide.

Embed your fonts before sending the presentation to others for ease of legibility:  Sometimes, the employee’s computer won’t accurately display certain fonts. There is a way to make sure the font you selected appears as you intended, and avoid disrupting the flow of the presentation with formatting errors. To embed the original fonts in your presentation, click Options – Save – and click the checkbox for “embed fonts in the file”. A sans serif font usually reads clearly on most workstations.

Moving Forward

Once you’re familiar with the process, it’s possible to develop the training module even further, with more complex text templates. Using PowerPoint to develop training modules lets your employees train more flexibly while still ensuring they learn the material. 

Lara Smith

 Operations and Client Specialist | Afidence

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