In part three we identified the need for a set-up budget to create your induction and a budget for the on-going costs of running your induction through each financial year. We also looked at using external resources and typical timescales for production. In part four we want to start helping you with designing your induction material and we are going to start with your PowerPoint slides if you choose to use them.

The starting point for us is whether your company has templates in place, for example Microsoft office e.g. PowerPoint (PP) templates (Or if you use alternative software or systems to present like Prezi or Google hangouts etc).

If you have a marketing department they will have created a brand toolkit and help guide on using the logo, images, fonts, colour palettes, slide format, use of language and words (sometimes called your companies tone of voice).

It’s often an easier starting point however if you do not have these, do not panic. You do not need to get this all created and pay an external company to do it – you have two options;

  1. Create the templates yourself in PP using your company logo, which you should already have, and then choosing a font you like or one that represents your company and can be clearly seen if displayed on a screen. I was always told to stay away from fonts like comic sans and apple chancery as these do not necessarily work well for training PP’s and displaying on a large screen. They also do not look very professional for representing your brand.
  2. Ask around your organisation to see if anyone has experience and is willing to help you create a PP template. It could be an opportunity for them to shine and show their skills.

Using PowerPoint in training

A mistake often made with PP’s when training is having too much info on your slides. PP’s should be used to highlight key points/messages in your induction.

That should be all you need on a slide!

The general rule is three key bullet points max per slide. If you have lots of detail/info/step-by-step guides, then hand-outs or a workbook with this detail would be the alternative. Furthermore, just the top line key points/statements on the slide to discuss is enough. PP’s are a support tool for the trainer, to be used to highlight the key points, make statements and display examples. It is also used to help the trainer identify where they are at each stage of the day and show your group the key points and use main header slides when you are moving to another subject.

Using images on your slides is a great way of relating to your subject when using PP and grabbing your group’s attention, creating discussion, stimulating ideas and, often, as the saying goes “a picture paints a thousand words”. Websites like Shutterstock or are a great way of accessing 1000’s of images that can be easily searched for and can be paid for either for a set amount of images or setting up a monthly subscription if you need regular updates with new images. Your own marketing department may have a stock of images you can use and an account with a supplier already.

Here are some examples:

The cleaner and simpler your message on each slide the easier it is for your group to remember the important points, and font size & colour can always be adjusted to accommodate the amount of text on the screen, just remember if your displaying on a projector screen or TV we try not reduce to a font size lower than ‘18’ to ensure everyone can read it clearly.

Fun, comedy & shock – If we can, we will try to find and use images that can add humour or the funny/lighter side to a given subject. An example might be that you are about to cover a section on Manual Handling in the Workplace, so the opening slide may have an image that represents the idea that we think we are stronger than we are, it gets the groups attention, is memorable and allows the trainer to refer to good practice and the risks if not followed in the slides that follow.

Or you may want to start a discussion on answering the company telephone, or how to use the company phone systems, or opening your customer conversation using an image like this shown below, it is memorable and as long as the trainer delivering it focuses on the content to be delivered and the final summary messages are clear on good or best practices then they work really well

Some things to consider:

  • Humour is very subjective and personal.
  • Any image could be offensive to peoples culture, religion, race, gender or beliefs.
  • Consider how other people will interpret the images you use, especially if you are going for humour.
  • Always get other peoples opinions before you use it in your slides.

Images (or videos) that shock a group into the reality of risk or what could happen in their role have a place, often Health & Safety subjects can have images & videos showing the outcomes of bad practice or events, however we always need to be mindful of our audience and ultimately what the message is we are trying to get across, making a group feel sick, awkward, frightened or offended is not the outcome to go for in training so it is worth checking with various people in your business before showing this type of content in your induction.

How many slides?

So how many slides are the right amount of slides?

We have come across companies that had 200+ slides per day in their inductions, in my opinion and from experience this is too many slides to be shown in one day if you want to keep your audiences attention and interest throughout, what to consider:

  • Is your slide a holding slide – used to confirm the subject/content you will cover next?
  • Is your slide to share knowledge in the form of a key point, a learning objective or a statement?
  • Is your slide an image that shows an example of good & bad practices, makes a statement or shows the outcome?

If you are just using slides to ensure all content is covered in the training you need to rethink your strategy. Hand-outs and workbooks are for details, not slides. Keep your slides clean and unfussy, specific & relevant and where possible fun & engaging for your audience to look at.

In Blog 5 we specifically look at the trainer notes and how to write them. For now you can start to create your PowerPoint template and even start to add subject headers and key points to them.

If you’re thinking about putting a new starter induction together and need support and resources to get it done, why not get in touch today and talk to us about your ideas.

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