Table of Contents

Avoid Bad Slides with Good Process

Microsoft declared war on bad PowerPoint slides. If you have Microsoft 365 for Windows desktop or Windows Mobile, you’ll have access to PowerPoint Designer (for better slide design) and PowerPoint Morph (for better animation).

Then there’s Canva, which is a freemium design tool that can be used to create amazing visual experiences by limiting the number of poor design choices you can actually make.

There are other tools for interesting ways to present visual information, too. Haiku Deck. SlideRocket. Prezi. PowToon.

Yet, contrary to popular vernacular, the slides actually aren’t the “presentation.” A presentation is the total experience that you offer to the audience. Slides? Yes. And finding ways to engage your audience with your content.

Bad Slides a Slides that Don’t Support Your Goals

What I’ve found most presenters to be missing is a way to organize their thoughts, a way to get the audience curious and interested and excited about the topic at hand, and a way to allow the audience to experience the content.

The place I’ve learned to start is by organizing my thoughts using a lesson plan template, and then building slides (or other supporting materials) after I know exactly how I want to engage my audience. Bad slides would be slides that do not support what I want to achieve in my presentation.

Lesson Plan 2

Would you Rather…?

The thing about PowerPoint and Canva and all the others is: you still have to have some desire to design pretty slides. This brings me to one of my favorite games: would you rather…?

Would you rather spend a bunch of time putting together slides that will never be as pretty as a professional graphic designer? Or would you rather spend a little time figuring out how to engage your audience (even if your slides aren’t going to be that awesome)?

I’ve found that most presenters, when exposed to what’s possible in terms of engaging an audience, choose engagement over slide design.

How about you? Which do you choose? Trying to tinker with your slides to get them marginally better? Or trying to tinker with the design of your next presentation in order to allow your audience to experience your content?

If you choose the latter, here are several resources to get your mind going for what to fill in your new lesson plan template:

Have a webinar coming up? Try using one of these ideas toward the beginning of your lesson plan:

[slideshare id=46920379&doc=5waystostartawebinar-150412233216-conversion-gate01]

Have an in-person session coming up, here are five ways to get your audience engaged:

[slideshare id=44585014&doc=5waystosharethelove-150212025001-conversion-gate01]

Want to avoid PowerPoint all together?

[slideshare id=37775564&doc=10alternativestopowerpoint-140807144258-phpapp01]

And finally, here is a blog post with 18 additional ideas and strategies to build into a lesson plan in order to engage your audience (most of which require no PowerPoint at all!).

If you do decide to use this lesson plan template to avoid bad slides and want to brainstorm some ideas or have someone with a fresh set of eyes take a look at your next plan, feel free to contact me. I’d love to connect and talk further about engaging your next audience!

Articles Similar to Avoid Bad Slides with Good Process

Nate Martin on Escape Room designs for training
Instructional Design
Brian Washburn

Instructional Design & Escape Room Design

If you’ve ever been to an escape room, you can observe what a group of highly engaged people look like for 60 straight minutes. Is there a way to harness escape room design elements and bring them into the world of corporate training?

How to create a training plan in under 10 minutes

Using a lesson plan template (which is the most downloaded resource from this blog) can help give you structure. Using Soapbox can save you all sorts of time (and still give your presentation some structure)!

Does training actually change behavior?

Does training actually change behavior? It’s a question we should be able to answer honestly. (And the answer is: No, not 100%… and yes, but seriously, not 100%)

Hybrid Learning: When to use it

Recently I had an opportunity to talk with the folks at Mimeo about hybrid learning and when to use it. In today’s post, I share a link to that podcast, which is one in a series of podcasts they did with industry leaders on hybrid learning strategies.

Subscribe to Get Updates from Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn, Author

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll send you the latest updates from our blog. Thanks for following!

activities cookbook

Download the Training Activity Cookbook

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the Endurance Learning Activity Cookbook.

Find Your L&D Career Path

Explore the range of careers to understand what role might be a good fit for your L&D career.

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the What’s Possible in L&D Worksheet.

What's possible in L&D

Let's Talk Training!

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn
CEO & Chief Ideas Guy

Enter your information below and we’ll get back to you soon.

Download the Feedback Lesson Plan

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the lesson plan as a PDF.

feedback lesson plan
MS Word Job Aid Template

Download the Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the Word version of this template.

Download the Free Lesson Plan Template!

Enter your email below and we’ll send you a Word document that you can start using today!

free lesson plan template
training materials checklist

Download the Training Materials Checklist

Enter your email below and we’ll send you the PDF of the Training Materials Checklist.

Subscribe to Endurance Learning for updates

Get regular updates from the Endurance Learning team.