Trends in Learning and Development: Moving Away from PowerPoint

By Freddy Mitchell, Dr. Laura Hume & Kenny Simon

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: I worked with a client recently to revise a lot of their training content, and they used PPT as a crutch for facilitating their training. The slides were full of text, had very few graphics, and the graphics they did have were pretty amateur in their style.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: So in some ways, moving away from PPT is great, and it’s innovative because so many companies equate training with PPT. And we know from learning theory, that people really don’t divide their attention well. So if you put a lot of text on a screen, they will read all of that text while the presenter is presenting. It’s so bad.

Kenny Simon – Client Director: So why do we use it? For the most part, because it’s comfortable. And because most facilitators aren’t professionally trained or have no training at all on how to properly facilitate.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Presenters really like the crutch of having all of the text there.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: Instead of a facilitator just reading a slide or reading bullets on a slide, that they actually can tell the story.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: You have to have great faculty training.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: That may require more facilitation notes, but it also may require different techniques, like socratic questioning or coaching techniques, and not just giving away the answer.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: So when you take away that crutch, you really have to let the faculty know you’re comfortable with the content, here’s how the activities are going to go, you need to hit these three points — they need a very robust faculty guide. So in some cases even though you’re stripping out content from your participant materials, you’re having to make your faculty materials very robust and make sure they have enough time in advance of the class to absorb that material and even practice.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: What did I just say?