The question of how to create a supremely engaging presentation when training staff is one that’s rumbled on for decades now. There’s plenty of rhetoric surrounding how long is the perfect duration of a training presentation, and how many slides to cram in before the audience begins to lose focus.
When creating a presentation with the aim of training staff, it’s important to manage your time effectively. If you’re training 10 employees for one hour, that’s 11 business hours counting yourself as the presenter. It’s vital that you’re as effective and engaging as possible to ensure that the audience understands your content and has few unanswered questions at the end.
To help provide you with some of the best tips and tricks when it comes to the tricky world of training presentations, here’s a list of the five most effective ways that you can supercharge your presentation to ensure that everybody has a comprehensive learning experience throughout.
Find the perfect template
It may not seem like the most pertinent issue surrounding the need for creating engaging content, but utilising the right template can make all the difference in giving your audience an appealing series of slides to follow.
The themes that templates provide bring a level of consistency that many presenters lose when creating presentations from scratch - leading to a loss of focus in the audience, who will instead spend longer familiarising themselves with a different layout.
The right template also provides a much-needed element of professionalism that will encourage staff to stay engaged throughout. Keeping your slides blank but for the content may seem like a smart way of keeping attention on the information that matters, but it runs the risk of making the whole endeavour seem rushed and ill-thought-out.
There are plenty of great options for accessing pre-prepared templates online, and there’re plenty of platforms that offer thousands of themes that cater to a range of common scenarios - including various levels of staff and recruit training.
Cater for all learning styles
Different staff will no doubt process information differently. While some may be perfectly capable of interpreting written content, others may rely on listening to what’s being said, and more visual learners are likely to excel best when they’re presented with tables and charts.
The essential point here is that it’s important to diversify your presentation techniques. Whatever you do, don’t rely on simply turning your back on the audience and reading slides word-for-word. Also, try to avoid using verbose passages of text where possible.
Make sure you establish eye-contact with your staff regularly - it’s a sure fire way of keeping them engaged, and explore the possibility of converting complex information into graphs and charts if you can because this could make all the difference in catering to the more visual learners in your audience.
Utilise technology for interaction
What’s more engaging than genuine audience interaction? PollEverywhere is a potentially revolutionary way of establishing audience participation on a scale that’s, until recently, been impossible.
PollEverywhere is an audience response system which enables the creation of polls within PowerPoint and Google Slides. This handy add-on can be used for creating opinion polls, questionnaires, encouraging real-time feedback - just about anything that’s compatible with a vox populi.
The beauty of this add-on is that it’s a great way of getting less vocal members of the audience actively participating in training exercises and providing feedback.
Of course, there are more analogue ways of creating user interaction, through the use of props like whiteboards and writing pads that are also highly recommended in training scenarios.
Simplicity is the key
We’ve touched on the faux pas of baffling your audience with verbose sentences and too much information crammed into one slide, but it’s worth emphasising that simplicity really is the key when it comes to keeping audiences engaged.
Ultimately, you want attention to be firmly fixed on you, as the presenter. Too much information within your slides will only conspire to force your audience to take their eyes and ears off of you in order to read their way through what you’ve written.
Be sure to keep your slides simple, and if you have any extra content that could be of use in your presentation, copy them on to cue cards for ease of reference when talking.
The same goes for your template. It can be tempting to use an exciting, colourful theme, but remember that the more eye-catching your background is, the more distracting it will be too.
Brace yourselves, augmented reality and virtual reality are set to have a say in many technological avenues in the coming years and PowerPoint is no different.
There’s no better level of engagement than full immersion, and through VR and AR, audiences can be introduced to intricate 3D models and structures to help aid their learning.
Virtual reality presentations will enable audiences to fully interact with the information that’s being relayed. Users will be able to physically walk through development, or gain a 360-degree view of videos and data visualisations.
Augmented reality holds a similarly immersive power that could take presentation capabilities to the next level. With the right hardware, AR can overlay data onto the real world - enabling a room or space to effectively become a huge canvas.
AR is already beginning to make waves in presentations thanks to integrated table tops that are capable of projecting an interactive image for audiences to interact with - provided they’re wearing the right enabled eyewear.