“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.” Paul “Bear” Bryant
The misuse of audiovisuals can seriously detract from an effective training. Avoid these four mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not removing or turning off AV
We consciously use audiovisuals to focus the participants on a key point or picture. However, we forget that, unless we remove the flip chart or turn off the PowerPoint, that is where their focus will remain. When the audiovisual has served its purpose, remove it or turn it off. Flip the page on the flip chart easel or use a computer key or remote to blacken the screen until you need the next slide.
Mistake #2: Staying anchored to the projected AV
In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why a trainer needs to continually stand close to the projector or computer. There are lots of inexpensive remote controls on the market. A trainer who is tied to the audiovisual equipment is just as static and uninteresting to watch as a trainer who is tied to a lectern. Besides, it is pretty difficult to physically engage with participants when you can’t move.
Mistake #3: Placing all content on the AV
If all of the training content is really on the PowerPoint, then there are two basic conclusions to make. First, either there are a lot of slides or the font size is too small to read and the slide is too filled with text. Second, there is no real need for a trip to a training room. Save travel costs, cancel the training and simply mail the PowerPoint out to the participants.
Mistake #4: Keeping the room lights dim
Yes, we want the participants to be able to see any projected audiovisuals. Yes, dimming the lights can make those projections easier to see on the screen. But there are three problems if you keep the room dim. First, if the participants are only expected to sit and watch the screen without taking notes, they will easily fall into a relaxed mode and possibly nod off. Second, the energy in the room will dissipate quickly. Third, if the participants are expected to take notes, they won’t be able to see. So find a happy medium. If possible, just dim the row of lights directly in front of the screen. If that is not possible, make sure that the projected audiovisual can be clearly seen in full light.
Avoiding these four mistakes and improving how the audiovisuals are presented should improve the participant’s learning experience. In next week’s Tip, we will look at four more mistakes to avoid when using audiovisuals.
May your learning be sweet.