3 Tips for Using Company-Mandated Slides (reposted)

laptopI’m reposting this blog entry because I’m still often asked, “What do you do about company-created slide decks that you have to use for a mandatory company training?”

Many company slide decks are still text-heavy, template-bound, with lots of bulleted points and no images to break up the monotony. This is a brain-antagonistic way to present information.

Here are 3 quick ways to infuse the slides with brain-based learning strategies, and to lessen “slide boredom,” while still using the company slide deck:

1.  Let participants read the slide text silently to themselves. Say, “You can read faster than I can talk, so please read this slide to yourself.” Then STOP TALKING for a few moments while participants read the slide silently to themselves. Afterwards, you add verbal details to the slide content that are NOT on the slide. By doing this, you allow participants to use two learning modalities separately – visual (reading), and auditory (listening) –  without trying to do both at the same time. Plus, you aren’t insulting their intelligence (or wasting their time) by reading the slides to them.

2.  Use full screen, relevant images between text slides. Insert a full-size image on a slide between two of the text-heavy slides. The image should be a photo (not clipart), large enough to fill the screen, with NO text, and one that is relevant to either the slide before it or after it. The image can accompany a short story or case study that you verbally share in order to illustrate the content. Or the image can be a metaphor, which you verbally explain, that represents the slide content. It can also be a photo of real-life people in your company (with their permission, of course) who are applying the content in some fashion.

3. Create a quiz question between text slides. Have the question posted on a separate slide or a wall chart page that is large enough to be easily read by all participants. Or verbally state the question. If possible, the question should have more than one right answer or should be more reflective than a simple “yes/no” or “true/false” response. Of course, the quiz question should be relevant to the information you just presented.

Examples are: “What do you now know (about the topic) that you didn’t know before?” “How can you use this information in your own job?” What do you think some benefits and challenges might be (related to the content)?”

Allow time for participants to discuss the quiz question either in pairs or in small table groups or standing groups. If time allows, have a few pairs or groups verbally state a short summary of their discussion.

The following “bonus” tips are from the article below (you can download the article to read the details for each tip):

1. Cut your slide show in half.
2. Use images to teach concepts.
3. Use the “need-to-know” versus “nice-to-know” rule.
4. Keep it simple.
5. Lose the template.
6. Check for distance and color.
7. Use the 10/20 rule.

And be sure to view the Micro-Course below, as well as the other image-rich slide presentations about using PowerPoint on this website’s Slides About PowerPoint page.

Preventing Death by PowerPoint!

If you are interested in attending an official 2-day “Training from the BACK of the Room” Practitioner Class, please log onto the What’s New? Or Training Events pages for information and registration links.

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