Tag Archives: training

PowerPoint Wannabes, Check This Out

Want some tips to make your PowerPoint time more effective? Got em right here!

1: Test your slides with random text
Adding random text to your slides can help you test fonts and spacing, but it can be a pain creating the random text. Microsoft introduced an undocumented feature in PowerPoint 2010 that lets you achieve this with just a few keystrokes.
First place your cursor in the text box you want filling with random text, now enter “=rand()” in the text box and press the enter key, and automatically three paragraphs of five lines each, of random text will magically appear. If you want random latin text then substitute “=lorem()” for “=rand()”.

2. Reformat all of your document text with one click
Use the Format Painter to apply changes to all of your text. The Format Painter icon is located next to paste on the Home tab.
First click on the text you want to select, then double click on the icon to select the format painter, the cursor should change to a paintbrush, then click on the text you want to alter.

3. Brand it
Use the same color schemes, fonts, and logos that you use on your website or company literature.

4. Use good images
Don’t use generic clipart unless you’re speaking to third graders (We’ve all seen enough hands holding a bag of money or shaking hands to last a lifetime! The same goes for logos with white boxes around them.)

5. Minimize your animations
Avoid the animation effects where movement is outside the boundaries of the text or graphic. The preferred build effect is the Appear effect where the text just appears in the correct spot on the slide.

Want more? Danny Rocks, of The Company Rocks, is giving a how-to training audio conference on Powerpoint on Friday, October 11 at 2:00 PM ET. Join him to learn how to create isually stunning and effective presentations. Learn more about it here and sign up now: PowerPoint 2010: Top 10 Steps to Creating & Delivering Killer Presentations



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Can Training Boost Productivity and Morale?

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Effortlessly Learning Through Games

Or, look, a unicorn!

Because effortless learning is about as common as a unicorn. In other words, it doesn’t exist. So adding gaming to education doesn’t make it effortless. It may make it more fun, but to truly learn something, effort must be put in. So says Karl Kapp in a recent article. Games are just tools to help you learn, they don’t just inject information and knowledge into your brain magically.

These employees are learning about FMLA.

Do you use games as part of your training toolbox? They have a place in your arsenal of tools to use to help your employees learn. But they don’t replace other forms of learning, and they’re not always the appropriate method of giving information.

Adding points randomly to a learning management system will not magically drive learners to the LMS to spend untold hours exploring the ins and outs of the thousands of courses you have loaded onto the system. It will not propel a learner through tedious, meaningless content that some manager somewhere believed everyone must know without verifying a real need. Gamification can’t and won’t transform your organization into a learning organization alone.

Think about what content may be best used in games, and transform that into something more interactive and fun. But remember your school days – learning isn’t always fun, and that’s okay.


More Twister, II

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Draining The Labor Pool?

Even with a weak economy with high unemployment, there are still certain occupations that Human Resources Representatives have problems filling. Each year the staffing company Manpower conducts its Talent Shortage Survey showing certain industries that are difficult to find trained individuals to fill vacancies. Among the fields that employment representatives have difficulty finding qualified applicants are healthcare, engineering, and skilled trades.

Certain recent actions by state governments may have made the job of filling these positions much more difficult for employment representatives. States are coping with a loss of revenue and increasing budget shortfalls. In a time when immediate cuts are necessary, higher education is one of those areas facing cutbacks. As a result, the number of qualified applicants may diminish.

Many state colleges in Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Florida and Texas have eliminated entire engineering and computer science departments. State funding for colleges fell by 7.6 percent in 2011-12, the largest annual decline in at least five decades. Some studies have now found that the value of a college education may not be the investment it used to be.

The trend has affected enrollment in community colleges as well. Community colleges experienced an increase in enrollment in the recession as a cheaper and more flexible alternative to going to private four year schools. However, enrollment has declined. In Illinois the number of community college students were down almost 3 percent  to 370,816 from 381,582. The number of full-time students is also down by about 4.5 percent. A lack of professional jobs and down economy are cited as major reasons for this.  


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Investing More In Employee Development

Information has become one of the most valuable commodities in business. Advances in information technology have made processes quicker and more efficient.  Some experts state that information evolves so quickly that something learned before you go to bed will be obsolete by the time you wake up the next morning.

Many organizations understand more than ever well trained employees may be their best asset. Skilled workers are a resource that can contribute to productivity and corporate goals of bringing revenue and protecting assets. Organizations are devoting more resources to keep employee skills current. They also recognize it is cost effective to retain workers in times of continual change and innovation.

Investing In Employee Development

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has released its 2011 State of The Industry Report. Findings indicate that senior executives recognize and support the value of learning and development within their organizations. The report stated there was a 13.5 percent increase in the amount organizations spent per employee on learning and development. Programs are becoming an essential part of organizational strategy especially in times of economic pressure. 

Mobile Applications

Part of the ATSD study found use of technology to deliver training, especially mobile learning, continues to grow. Companies used 40.1 percent of formal learning hours delivered through technology-based methods. Mobile Technology will also drive development of talent with employees. Increasing numbers of consumers will use the internet and mobile devices. Demand for employees in these fields will be needed as will keeping them trained in the constant changes of the industry

Retention Policies

It makes sense for companies to do what they can keep employees they invested in training. The key to a comprehensive program of employee retention is when the employee’s career goals match what the company is trying to achieve:
1.  Clarify company goals and values.
2.  Empower employees to make decisions and be innovative.
3.  Challenge employees and reward for efforts.
4.  Give employees the opportunity to grow in their careers.       


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The Value of Mentorship for Young Working Professionals

98% of Millennials believe working with a mentor is a necessary component in development.  

In the 14th Annual Global CEO Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Millennials also rank training and development three times higher than cash bonuses when it comes to employee benefits.  

The younger generation has been generally more difficult when it comes to developing employee retention strategy. Millennials tend to feel less connected with the organization, and 1 in 4 potential employees plan to leave their jobs in the next 12 months.  

According to Vineet Nayar, Vice-Chairman and CEO of HCL Technologies in India:  

“With Generation Y coming into the business, hierarchies have to disappear. Generation Y expects to work in communities of mutual interest and passion — not structured hierarchies. Consequently, people-management strategies will have to change so that they look more like Facebook and less like the pyramid structures we are used to.”  

Read the Business Insider article

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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E-Learning Tools that Can Improve Employee Engagement in Corporate Training

If you are looking for ways to modernize employee training, there are a number of e-learning resources that can improve the knowledge that employees take away and apply in their daily jobs.  

With older training videos and presentations, human resources should consider using cutting-edge technology to take the workforce to the next level.  

From Small Biz Technology News: “The future of e-learning is just-in-time training; small sessions only 10-15 minutes long that include video and are mobile. This is how the current generation learns, with video and short blasts of information.”  

While an effort to update your employee training modules will not happen overnight, there are many ways you can take steps towards interactive and engaging training. For instance, you could begin by adding surveys, quizzes, video clips, and audio to your presentation.  

Mindflash and Knoodle are a couple of interesting resources to consider. Both combine cloud-based, social learning features with a presentation system, where anyone can augment PowerPoint slides with audio, video, or voice-recordings to create a social learning environment.  

Read the Small Biz Technology article

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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