My Answers from LinkedIn (Fifth in an Occasional Series)

Do Good Trainers really NEED PowerPoint?

I’m not a fan of PowerPoint, and find it too restrictive for learner-centric training. So, I don’t create PowerPoint slides for my materials unless they are specifically requested. Am I out of step with most trainers out there, or DO PowerPoint slides restrict sessions unnecessarily?

You phrased it very interestingly, “am I out of step?” Once we become concerned about whether we are in step or not, we have lost the focus as to why the training is being conducted, and the effectiveness suffers. There is no one “step,” lest we get someone
believing every single training project must be executed the same way. My use of Power Point depends on the type of training taking place. In most cases, Power Point serves as a reference point for the discussion: I use it as a personal placeholder, but also make it available (by providing a set of slide prints in my course materials) for those class attendees who like to take margin notes for each slide. I will also use the animation features of Power Point to illustrate process actions (paths of chemicals through a process,
e.g.). A very general plan of attack, but very effective is to do the following: identify why the training is taking place, and where the learners need to be (in terms of understanding or capability) at the end of the training. Then I determine what tools, learning, activities, etc., will best achieve the desired outcome. If Power Point fits into the plan, use it for all
it’s worth. If it provides no benefit, then set it aside. But the answer will change from project to project. Power Point is a great tool, just like a hammer is. But not every training process you face is a nail.

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About Tim James "Mr. Procedure"

A communicator; all-purpose capability in writing, designing and presenting training for all facets of organizational function. While my focus has been manufacturing, my training/development experience includes supervisory and lead person development, audit processes, continuous improvement and Lean, and Quality Management System implementation.
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