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 obvious starting point for us as a training consultancy is whether your company has templates in place for Microsoft office e.g. PowerPoint (PP) templates. Often 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 ‘our tone of voice’).

If you have these available, then it is often an easier starting point. 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 – again you have two options;

  1. Create the templates yourself in PowerPoint using your company logo, which you should already have, and then choosing a font you like or 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 PowerPoint’s (PP’s) and displaying on a large screen.
  2. Ask around the office/company to see if anyone has experience of creating a PowerPoint template and if they could help you do this.

Using PowerPoint in training

The biggest mistake often made with PowerPoint’s (PP’s) when training is having too much info on your slides. PP Slides should be used to highlight key points/key messages! That is all! 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 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 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 through 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 Shutterstock already.

Here are some example PowerPoint slides to give you some ideas to start with:

 

As you can see, the cleaner and simpler your message on each slide the easier it is for your group to remember the important points, and font size can always be adjusted to accommodate the amount of text on the screen, just remember if your displaying on a 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, 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 also very subjective and personal and can easily become offensive to peoples culture, religion, race, gender or beliefs. Consider how other people will read the images you use, especially if you are going for humour and consider getting others 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 in your induction.

In Blog 5 we will carry on with designing the induction materials and 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.