Course Overview

Welcome to this guided self-study course to make your PowerPoint presentations more effective. Presenting ideas effectively is a sought after skill by employers and this course, along with your commitment to applying the ideas you learn, will result in a noticeable improvement in your presentations.

Here is what we will cover in this course.

Module 1: Insights from Audiences – this module covers what audiences have told me about the presentations they see and the advice they have for us as presenters. I always start my live sessions with these insights because it sets the stage for why we cover the rest of the material.

Module 2: The GPS approach to presentation planning – this module represents most of the morning of the first day of my two-day live workshop and is based on my book GPS for Presentations. This module is broken down into six sections, one covering each of the three steps in the GPS approach, a module covering how to reduce information overload, a module on documenting your presentation plan, and a module on planning your slides like a GPS unit displays each step in the trip. I start with planning the presentation because unless you are clear on your message, the visuals you choose won’t matter. This module contains videos of me presenting these topics in a live workshop.

Module 3: Slide Design – this is a shorter module that I cover in the middle of the first day of my workshops. Since most organizations already have a corporate template they require staff to use, I focus in this module on key decisions about colors and fonts within the confines of a corporate template.

Module 4: The HVF Approach to Selecting & Creating Effective Visuals – this module takes up most of the afternoon of the first day of my workshops and is based on my book Select Effective Visuals. Once you are clear on the messages you want to communicate, the content in this module shows you how to create the visuals to communicate those messages. This module includes the method I created to determine which visual works best for the different messages business presentations communicate. This module contains videos of me presenting the six categories of visuals in a live workshop.

Module 5: Creating Visuals – this module is the second day of my live workshops. In live sessions, the second day is a hands-on practice creating the visuals we discovered on the first day. I guide the participants and they practice on their own laptops. You get the same handout with step-by-step instructions to create the visuals. There are five Implementation Guides in this module, and you can look at the Table of Contents of each Guide to find instructions for the visual you want to create. This module also includes videos on creating some of the visuals.

Module 6: Preparing to Deliver the Presentation – this module cover tips on getting prepared for and delivering the presentation you have created.

Putting this into Practice – the final lesson gives you tips on implementing these ideas in your own presentations.

The modules are sequences in the same order as my live workshops. They are deliberately ordered to cover audience insights first, then message planning, and then selecting and creating the visuals for those messages. I suggest you follow the modules and lessons in the order they are listed to get the most from this course.

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