Organizing training materials in PowerPoint

Presentation management for training divisions

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Training in the company

Seminars, training courses, staff development programs and company academies are important factors that contribute to the success of companies – at various levels simultaneously. Internally through staff qualification, recruitment and motivation. Externally through customer loyalty and improved sales. Many divisions and departments are involved. From sales and HR to IT, sometimes even a company academy with freelance or permanently employed trainers. The topics are as varied as the participants. And the contents are as varied as the topics. Often involving thousands of slides for ump-teen modules, training topics and courses. Perhaps encompassing both eLearning and classroom sessions. For sure with a whole bunch of overlaps, where identical slides are used in different modules. And depending on the size of the company, with everything in two or more languages.

Ensuring consistent, permanently updated content is an organizational challenge. Or even just knowing that a slide already exists, and doesn’t have to be newly created by each person involved. And the situation gets really critical as soon as changes in format, design or company structure are introduced. In times of digitalization, the magic word is automation. With a few small and intelligent adjustments, you can enter this new era at any time.

Three steps to efficient slide management for training divisions

You only need to make adjustments in three key areas to make life so much easier for everyone involved, from organization to application. Benefits include time-saving, increased efficiency, greater security and fewer errors.

1.

The organizational adjustment

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Make someone centrally responsible for everything concerning PowerPoint in your company. They hold all the threads in their hands: feedback from the field, and from liaising with marketing, brand management, IT and any third parties or external service providers involved. This gives one central contact person an overview of everything that’s going well – or not so well. Someone who can channel people’s wishes and needs and initiate rapid and targeted solutions by networking with the departments involved. It also allows better management of internal or external service providers to ensure optimal quality and keep an overview of costs. It simplifies things and eases the burden, steering clear of patchwork, go-it-alone or piecemeal solutions. Don’t worry: once the issue has been properly addressed, the task won’t eat away at your schedule . Generally, division assistants or PAs are a good choice. It should ideally be someone who’s familiar with PowerPoint, who is well networked within the company, and is in close contact with management. Please note: this person is not there to prepare your presentations for you. They’re there to smooth the ground, making your work with presentations easier.

2.

The IT and software tool adjustment

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Step 2.1

Define the requirements for automating your slide management. Preferably at a round table in a moderated workshop. Identify in advance all the training modules, topics, courses and the approximate number of slides currently in use, together with the methods of production, the people involved, their roles and points of interaction. Get yourself a detailed picture of your current processes.

With this overview, you can quickly identify your bottlenecks. This gives you a clear profile for software support. Things to consider include:

  • A data repository for all slides
  • Eliminating the “reinventing the wheel” trap, by eliminating sources of error, such as email distribution, sharing central folders, intranet, wikis, etc.
  • The possibility of maintaining and updating all copies of frequently used slides at one central location, also for slide deletion
  • Security through allocation of responsibilities and access
  • Convenient provision of the complete stock of up-to-date presentations and slides when PowerPoint is opened
  • Easy access and precise search function
  • Keywording, with the possibility of centrally defined categories, as required
  • Simplification of slide production, for instance through automation of any necessary translation processes, links to image databases, including icons and illustrations, etc.

Step 2.2

Hold a meeting to clarify the environment and the software support with your IT department. Prepare a document with your requirements to give IT some rapid orientation. Find out in advance which tools could be useful to you, and the kind of presentation management you’d like to have, so that the meeting has a positive outcome. IT needs to quickly understand your requirements, challenges, goals and benefits, so smooth the path for them in a service-oriented way. From now on it becomes a little project, at the end of which all involved parties will be able to handle PowerPoint, and every kind of presentation, much more easily.

3.

The content preparation and implementation adjustment

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Training divisions, academies and institutes typically have a sheer unmanageable number of slides, modules and presentations. Once you’ve found the software for automating your slide management, first transfer everything you have into the underlying slide pool. Use a well-structured, methodical system, to subsequently exploit its full potential.

Now the newly defined workflow comes into action. Every slide that’s edited, deleted or newly created is correctly linked and keyworded, and integrated into the specified automation process. Gradually achieving your desired degree of perfection.

You can decide to do all of this straight away, or allow a gradual transition. Both possibilities give you advantages from the word go. The decision depends on your available resources and how you view investment and ROI.

In conclusion

A bit of effort, some analysis, a few organizational tweaks and a little project with marketing and IT are all that’s required to send you on your way to a digitalized presentation future. Under the heading “modular training kit,” and with a significant degree of automation, you enable your training division to produce PowerPoint presentations much faster and more easily. And make them clearer and more appealing in the process. Plus, always accurate and up to date. You should plan a three-month project timeline. This will equip your training colleagues with a future-proof system. Time invested in this project though is nothing compared to what they would otherwise have to spend on admin instead of being “out there” delivering training sessions.

Modular training kit

Modular training kits in PowerPoint are part of the “organization” aspect. They are a key focus of the presentation management component of the PowerPoint add-in, QuickSlide. Intelligent integration into the existing IT environment allows presentation activities to be controlled and automated from a central administration, whether in a HR training division, departmental training units, company academies or further education institutes, or even in global group structures. This is a significant element in optimizing input and benefits, thereby enabling staff to concentrate on its core competencies

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