We do a lot of work to make existing training material more visual. Companies often realise that their training content doesn’t look right, and they want something more professional. Here are some quick tips on making your training content more visual, and more effective.

PowerPoint can give the right balance between quality and cost

Some eLearning and training content providers use PowerPoint for eLearning, but they use it badly. It’s quick, it’s easy, but the results are tedious ‘click through’ learning material that puts people to sleep. PowerPoint is great for rapid learning content. But only if used properly, to create animated visuals. If you want to learn how to make interactive slides for eLearning using PowerPoint, read this article.

Bad design puts learners off

If your training looks awful (100 slides on a white template, six long bullet points in unmatched fonts, anyone?) learners will expect the worst. It the content is good but the presentation sucks, your training becomes demotivating and demoralising. Attractive training content is necessary for success. But, it isn’t sufficient.

Bullet points are a poor choice

Training content often falls unsuccessfully between positions. “Proper” writing – like in a book – works fine. Animated or video content – like on TV – works fine. Audio-only content – like the radio -works well too, But a lot of training content somehow fits in the middle – mixing trite bullet points (not full prose), with audio that conflicts with the text. Even though this approach doesn’t work, many persist with it.

Decoration isn’t enough

Decorating text-based training content isn’t enough to actually create visual training content. It isn’t visual training content unless the visuals actually help do more than just make things look nice. Printing a book on patterned paper doesn’t create a graphic novel. Putting a nice picture in the corner of a PowerPoint slide doesn’t create visual training content.

Visualisation is essential for visual training content

If you want to create visual training content then you need to use visualisation to create material that actually helps your learners understand what it us that you are trying he help them learn. Think charts, diagrams, pictures, animated sequences. Think of the thing you might sketch on paper or a flipchart if you were trying to explain something face-to-face. Then make that visual training content using a tool that works for you. PowerPoint isn’t the only way but it can be one of the easiest, and it plays nicely with Articulate, Brainshark, and (to an extent), Captivate.

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Joby Blume


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