Courtesy of The Broadcat
Ricardo Pellafone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You already know best practices for in-person training—keep the slides minimal, make the visuals high-impact, know your material. But trying to figure out how to do that can be surprisingly difficult, especially when you’ve got other things to do.
So we’re here to help. We’re doing a three-part series on how to turn regular slides into a high-impact presentation in the shortest time possible.
Today, we’ll start with a simple workflow for paring down on-screen content in order to get better slides.
First, just write the slides the way you normally would. All the bullets, all the text, whatever you want. It’s OK if things look a little complex at this stage—you’re basically storyboarding your presentation. This is the most time-consuming step.
Second, go through the deck and decide what the key message is for each slide. If you’re more visual, you’ll find it easier to do this step if you print out the deck and just mark it up by hand. If you find that you’ve got multiple key messages on a slide (like the example above), you’ll want to break it up into multiple slides.
Third, figure out how to represent each of those key messages in a word, phrase, or graphic. Again, this step is often easier to do on paper for visual folks.
Pro tip: graphics are better, but only if done correctly. That is, don’t use a picture for the sake of using a picture. If you don’t have something that works, just use a few words—text isn’t ideal, but it’s better than a random stock photo of a guy in a suit.
Fourth, go back to your computer. You’re going to cut-and-paste all of the content from each original slide into the notes section of that slide. (If you can’t find the “notes” section, you might need to drag upwards from the bottom of the screen.)
Then, put just your key phrase or picture in the slide itself. (Don’t worry about the background/font choices just yet—we’ll get to that next time.)
Your slides are now ready to go—but let’s do one more step to give yourself a safety net for when you deliver the training.
Print out your slide deck in “Notes” layout—it’ll be an option when you bring up the print dialog. This creates a handout that has all of your “notes” content underneath a picture of the corresponding slide.
Now, just take this with you to your presentation. If you lose your place (like if you’ve just responded to a question from the audience), you can look down at your notes to remind yourself what content each slide represents.
Bonus Tip: Employee Take-Aways
If you want to do a leave-behind for your employees, use your key messages to assemble a separate one-page handout. You can go nuts with the text on that since it won’t affect your visual presentation, and it’s much better customer service than handing out a thick slide deck anyway.
Next time, we’ll talk about a few easy ways to make those key messages and pictures really pop on the screen without spending more time or money.
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