“Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.” Oscar Wilde
There are very simple steps that a trainer can take to save time and energy when designing, delivering and duplicating content on audiovisuals. Just avoid these four mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not having a pointer
There are inexpensive laser pointers, there are laser pointers incorporated into remotes for computer and LCD, there are even wooden and metal extendable pointers. Get one and use it, because pointing your finger at a projected image or text is absolutely useless to the participants. Even if you are standing right next to the screen, it is unlikely that your finger will reach whatever it is that you are pointing out.
Mistake #2: Not considering movies or animations
PowerPoint is not the only game in town. Don’t forget the possibility of using movie clips, animations or YouTube videos as your audiovisuals. They can serve as case studies, provide examples, model desired skills, and/or prompt analysis and discussion.
Just make sure that whatever you choose to use is short, relevant, and supplemented with a participant assignment to be completed during or after they are shown. Either don’t dim the lights- or plan to serve popcorn and hand out pillows!
Mistake #3: Not taking digital photos of completed flip charts
Whether you or the participants created the content on flip charts, you can save everyone a lot of time and energy if you take digital photos and email them to the participants after the workshop. This will validate the importance of their work products during the session. It will also lessen any stress they may feel about copying down what is on the flip charts during the session. If you have ever promised to send the information on the flip charts to participants in the past and have spent hours transcribing the information, you will particularly appreciate the ease of using a camera instead.
Mistake #4: Not having a backup plan
Be prepared. Have your PowerPoint slides on a USB flash drive. In the event that equipment fails or is incompatible, you can easily plug into a different computer. Bring a printout of any slides. In a pinch, you can write the text on flip chart pages. Whatever you do, don’t panic. A training program can still engage the participants and be an entertaining and effective learning experience without any audiovisual aids.
Trainers who avoid these four mistakes will have a much easier time designing, delivering and duplicating the content on their audiovisuals.
May your learning be sweet.