Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions are designed to change audience behaviour. When done well, they’re an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and expertise. But…CPD sessions are often squeezed in between other work projects or hosted during lunch breaks and not given the thought they deserve.

With such a short timeframe for success, these sessions need to be engaging, persuasive, and memorable and not all CPD makes the cut. Confusing structure, lacklustre engagement strategies, dodgy design and poor accessibility means that sessions can fail to make an impact. As a presentation agency, we know a thing or two about keeping audiences engaged with effective storytelling and eye-catching design. So, we put together a few pointers to help your CPD blossom and get your audience buzzing!

Download our full guide here for tips on how to improve key areas of your CPD.

Structuring your CPD

Creating a CPD lesson can be tough. It’s tempting to throw as much information as possible at your audience and hope some of it sticks. But starting with an info dump or leap frogging between topics can leave audiences confused and unsure of your overall message. Content with a clear structure can help you deliver a lot of information very quickly. Think of it as providing a guide for plants to grow – by giving your training materials direction and purpose you’re making it easier for your audience. Learn more about storytelling in presentations here.

Engaging your audience

So, your CPD story is well-structured, but people are still losing interest? It’s easy to bore your audience by talking at them about yourself. Focus more on ‘you’ than ‘we’ to help your audience stay focused. Break up your content with audience interaction and time for questions and customize your materials for the audience by adjusting to their specific needs, like skill level or how many people are in the room. You might find some ideas for audience interaction in our guide to Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT).

Improving accessibility

When delivering CPD, accessible and inclusive design is essential. To make sure everyone can participate, it’s important to incorporate accessibility considerations from the very start. Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to make your content accessible. Use meeting platforms with built-in closed captioning and add alternative text to any digital materials you’re sharing with your audience. Make sure your materials have good colour contrast and a sensible combination of colours as this can help people with dyslexia or colour blindness access content more easily. We’ve got more content on this here: 5 tips for more accessible presentations.

Designing for impact

Trust us, no one wants to look at purple Comic Sans on a bright yellow background. Even groundbreaking research loses credibility when presented in rainbow WordArt. At the other end of the spectrum, dull, text-heavy slides dampen audience enthusiasm and can make you look unprofessional.

Use the power of human nature to your advantage by creating visually appealing designs to showcase your CPD content. On-brand colours, clear layouts, and dynamic animation can help presenters direct the audience’s attention and make information easier to digest. Need some insipration? Check this out: Presentation design principles for better PowerPoint design.

Don’t have a green thumb?

BrightCarbon is a presentation design agency. We design clear, compelling, and persuasive presentations and eLearning and we’d love to chat about how we can help make your CPD bloom!

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Written by

Amy Dowler

Communication consultant

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The goal of presenting inclusively is to make sure none of your audience are excluded due to their background or abilities. Even if you think you know your audience – many people could be experiencing invisible disabilities or situational limitations that could affect their ability to participate. But taking steps to ensure your presentation is inclusive and accessible is likely to benefit everyone!

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    I wanted to make sure I send you both a HUGE thank you for making this story come to life and creating amazing graphics to help. We really appreciate BrightCarbon for stepping up our presentation game massively!

    Sarah Walker Softchoice