Outline for PowerPoint & presentation training workshops

I thought I would share with you a brief outline of the workshop/seminar I did in Trinidad. As you can see from the cover slide on the right, it was called “From Death to Life by PowerPoint: How to Create Winning Presentations.” Consider this an outline version of the workshop! If you follow the links in this post, you’ll get some free mini-lessons.

PowerPoint & presentation training workshop

The audiences in Trinidad hadn’t heard of the expression “Death by PowerPoint,” but as soon I said  it, they knew what it was. I asked them to volunteer a definition and I got the same types of answers I would hear at home in the United States:

  1. Too much text
  2. Illegible text
  3. Distracting animation
  4. Distracting images
  5. Unorganized content
  6. Reading the slides

We also had a discussion about why presentations were important to them. The reasons varied, because some people were doing sales presentations, others in-house presentations and other training presentations. In the public seminar, some were also doing inspirational/motivational presentations.

We talked about why it’s important to end Death by PowerPoint, and I had my own list:

  1. You won’t achieve your goals, whether selling, persuading or training.
  2. You’ll make your audience hate you
  3. Poor communication can be dangerous (Challenger story)
  4. People will think you’re a poor communicator – it’s bad for your career. Presenting is an important career skill.
  5. You have an important message to convey, so do it well

I started by listing 9 problems, in the categories of Content, Design and Delivery, with many presentations today.

3 problems with content

  1. Not relevant to the audience
  2. Doesn’t meet goals (Paul-Ringo story)
  3. Not organized or logical


3 problems with design

  1. Forces people to read & listen at same time, which is hard
  2. Overwhelms short term memory
  3. Ignores “picture superiority”


3 problems with delivery

  1. No engagement during delivery
  2. No enthusiasm or energy
  3. Unprofessional – filler words, no eye contact


Of course, the next part of the workshop was to explain how to solve those 9 problems. I also introduced my Tell ‘n’ ShowSM method as a guide to creating content and designing slides.

Topics from “Slide Design for Non-Designers”

The workshops were based on my newest ebook, Slide Design for Non-Designers. In fact, I had copies printed and shipped down to Trinidad for the workshops.

Here are the rest of the topics I covered:

  • 4 layouts that always look good
  • How to create custom theme colors to match your branding
  • How to format the slide master for consistency and a professional look
  • How to format diagrams, charts and images so they communicate your point clearly (An image-formatting technique that got oohs and aahs was fading in an image.)
  • Layout principles that designers use and that you can use, too
  • How to use contrast for memorable slides
  • Finishing touches to add a professional flair

Makeovers and hands-on exercises and practice

I asked participants to send me presentations in advance and did makeovers on a couple of slides for each presentation, explaining why and how I made the changes.  (There was a masculine version of this slide, too; it was a video of a transformer.)


Finally, in all sessions, attendees had the opportunity to work on their own presentations and/or do hands-on exercises.  I walked around the room and was very impressed with their work!

Here’s a comment from one of the attendees.

“I found the seminar to be highly informative and useful and I love the hands-on approach that you took. I could not stop commenting on how simply amazing your slides were compared to the ones that we are accustomed to – the wordy, boring slides. Thank you so much also for sharing your tips and tricks and I cannot wait to get a chance to put these into practice.”– Stacey-Lynn, Trinidad

For more information on training, see my Training/Consulting/Coaching page.

What would you like in a day-long workshop? Leave a comment!

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