Every business needs PowerPoint training
Professionals in every industry rely on PowerPoint to share information, nab new clients, and move their businesses forward. But despite the ubiquity of this powerful presentation software, few people are ever taught how to get the most out of the program.
Whether that’s because people don’t understand the value of PowerPoint training, or because they simply don’t see the full return that it can offer, the reality is that PowerPoint training is an easy and effective way to help individuals, teams, and entire enterprises to save time and money, all while improving their communications skills and effectiveness in the workplace.
In this blog, we’ll address some of the benefits of training, the common objectives that prevent people from pursuing PowerPoint training, highlight some opportunities that it creates, and help you to identify the ways that it might benefit your organization.
Benefits of PowerPoint training
The main benefit to offering PowerPoint training is probably obvious: your team will get better with PowerPoint. But what does that really mean? Here are a few of the benefits that you can expect to see:
Better presentations: from sharper messaging to stronger visuals, PowerPoint training can help improve the way your team uses presentations.
More consistency: people often build presentations by adding in slides from other decks, resulting in a mash up of styles, type, and colors. PowerPoint training can help teach them the best practices they need to ensure your brand is consistent across every presentation.
More efficiency: whether you’re using templates or just teaching people how to use the software more effectively, PowerPoint training will help them make better slides in less time.
Stronger collaboration: most presentations are a team effort, from crafting content to editing slides and prepping for the presentation. With everyone’s skills on the same page, you can help them focus on the content, not the process.
Common objections to PowerPoint training
It’s common for people to use PowerPoint throughout their careers, yet never receive any formal training on either the program or presentations in general.
Here are a few of the common objections to offering PowerPoint training, as well as responses that demonstrate why they miss the mark.
Objection: PowerPoint training isn’t necessary.
Since lots of people can “get by” without training, it’s not really necessary, right? Wrong. PowerPoint training isn’t just about getting better at software: it’s about communicating more effectively, reducing time spent on development, and presenting a more unified brand to your customers.
Objection: PowerPoint is simple, what could you even teach my team?
We just mentioned that many people aren’t trained on PowerPoint at all. If that’s true, then they probably don’t even know what they don’t know. In psychology, this is considered the first stage of becoming competent at a skill. Beyond better presentations, there are many ways that PowerPoint training can help improve your organization beyond just better presentations.
Objection: You can’t teach creativity.
Some people believe that you either have creative skills or you don’t. This is not the case. Much like anything else, creative thinking is a skill that can be developed. And while that might take time, brushing up on basic principles like font selection, color matching, and page layout can be achieved quickly, and with great return for a minimal time investment.
Objection: Office training sessions aren’t really effective.
There’s a difference between a mass market online course that needs to be all things to all people, and a customized training session that’s tailored to your unique needs. And like all learning, you get back what you put in: by sharing the benefits of PowerPoint training with your team, you can prime them to stay focused on the content and get the most out of their training.
If any of these sounds familiar from your company, read on to learn more about the benefits of PowerPoint training.
How PowerPoint training helps your team
Just like there’s no single way to create a presentation, an effective training program should be based on how your team uses PowerPoint, what areas you want to improve on, and what your ultimate goal is.
At a high level, training is typically broken down into a few categories.
PowerPoint basics covers how to use the software more effectively, and strategies for creating better presentations.
Template skills is all about creating, using, and getting the most out of your brand’s template. It helps build consistency, and makes it easier to create new slides on the fly.
Storytelling techniques help slides make a stronger impact on audiences, and help your team to communicate more memorably.
Design techniques can help demystify topics like typography, layout, color choice, and other visual elements.
Depending on your team’s skill and experience level, specific challenges, and more, you can choose training in specific areas, or take a blended approach that covers all of the basic information.
It can be difficult to pin down exactly what your team already knows or needs to learn.
Questions to ask before you pick a training program
If you’ve decided that your team would benefit from PowerPoint training but aren’t sure where to start, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine the specific areas that you might want to focus on during training.
What’s your process for creating and reviewing presentations?
How would you describe the general proficiency of your team when it comes to presentations?
What strengths and weaknesses does your team have with presentations?
What are the specific presentation/slide issues you are currently struggling with?
What challenges would you like to reduce in future presentations?
If you could fix just one aspect of your team’s presentations, what would it be?
What steps have you taken to educate your team on presentation skills?
What is your team more likely to actually follow: a broad strategic direction, or specific guidelines/tips?
Are there any specific features, skills or techniques that you think might be useful for your team?
Which of these best describes your ideal approach to presentations? Choose 2-3.
I want general consistency across the board
I want simplicity
I’d like visuals to “wow” the audience
I want the audience to remember the message, not the aesthetics
I want people to make their own presentations
I want to use a strict template
I want powerful infographics
I want exciting animations
By thinking through these questions, you’ll be able to zoom in on both your team’s training needs and your brand’s presentation strategy.