Pure PowerPoint or Prezi Training Doesn’t Work

Thursday, June 30th, 2016 by Simon Morton

Since we relaunched our portfolio of training services a year ago, Eyeful trainers have never been so busy. Timing may play a part in it – a recent study by IDC showed that communication skills and proficiency in software like PowerPoint are top of the ‘must have’ list for businesses today.

Never ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, our trusty team have been wowing delegates with a range of presentation skills and insider tricks both here in the UK and overseas.

Feedback has been great, repeat business has gone through the roof and the Air Miles have been building very nicely. So far, so as per the business plan for this presentation design company…

Yet there are a few things that have surprised us along the way. In particular, one interesting lesson learned has been around our technical training suite (collectively known as ‘Presentation Technology’ – training people purely on how to do more in PowerPoint or Prezi doesn’t work.

Of course, after some consideration this is blindingly obvious… Making someone more efficient at creating meandering and complex presentations does nothing other than creating more time for PowerPoint jockeys to fill more and more slides with content clutter (albeit beautifully aligned and colour scheme compliant content clutter).

Nope – to make technical Prezi or advanced PowerPoint training powerful, the new skills need to be put into context.

rsz_presentation_technology

 

Our training arch shows the journey from start to finish every good presentation should go through and as you can see ‘Presentation Technology’ is way over to the right…

Becoming a good presentation designer with fancy new technical skills is important, but it’s just one part of the puzzle when it comes to creating GREAT PRESENTATIONS. The slides are NOT the presentation – they are merely there to provide visual support to aid presenters in the task of sharing their message*

So with this blindingly obvious discovery in mind, we started adding a short ‘Think Act & Deliver Differently’ section to kick off each technical training day. It allowed delegates to understand WHY being more proficient at PowerPoint or Prezi could help improve the impact of presentations (hint – it has nothing to do with clever transitions and everything to do with sharing valuable content in a visual way).

We’ve found that half the battle is getting people to shed the bad habits they’ve built up over decades of PowerPoint tweaking. Once we’ve got people thinking differently, the value and impact of the technical training multiplies exponentially.

The good news is that by putting these new technical skills into context, we’re not only helping delegates see the bigger presentation picture but also embedding this knowledge so it hangs around a lot longer. thus meeting those oh-so-hard-to-measure ROI requirements incumbent on all training). A report by 24×7 Learning, “Workplace Learning – 2015”, pointed to a paltry 12% of learners applying new trained skills to their job. Rather than have delegates leave the Eyeful Lab with heads full of short cuts and clever PowerPoint wizardry, we want to equip them with skills to use PowerPoint or Prezi to deliver more powerful presentations. It seems to be working:

“The presentation training was absolutely excellent, it was tailored to what we needed and was perfect for what we trying to achieve. I can’t say enough good things about both the presentations created for us by Eyeful, or the training that followed.”
Andy Williams, Jaga Heating Products

So if you’re shopping around for some technical PowerPoint or Prezi skills training, we’re here to help (and we’d love the opportunity). BUT please let us put the new skills into context for the simple reason that the world doesn’t need another generation of super-efficient but ultimately clueless PowerPoint robots.

* If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself this simple question – what do you want your audience to remember 2 days after your presentation? Your clearly defined message or how fancy your PowerPoint animations were? Thought so…

To learn more about Eyeful’s suite of training solutions, click here or better still, get in touch and let us know what your business is looking for.

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