If you’re starting to use applications like Camtasia to put together videos for training material, have you ever thought of incorporating additional items into the videos such as PowerPoint presentations or including the PowerPoint presentation as part of the package that you are selling?
Although videos are probably the best way to learn, some people like to have information summarized. PowerPoint is the perfect tool to help you with this. Now don’t go out and spend $$$ on PowerPoint – you can get OpenOffice FREE that includes a presentation application called Impress.
A close “cousin” to PowerPoint, Impress will let you do what PowerPoint lets you do for no cost.
IMPRESS is a truly outstanding tool for creating effective multimedia presentations. Your presentations will stand out with 2D and 3D clip art, special effects, animation, and high-impact drawing tools.
A complete range of Views are supported: Drawing / Outline / Slides / Notes / Handouts to meet all the needs of presenters and audiences, plus an optional multi-pane view to put all the tools at your fingertips.
IMPRESS has a complete range of easy-to-use drawing and diagramming tools to spice up your presentation.
Slide show Animation and Effects bring your presentation to life. Fontworks provides stunning 2D and 3D images from text. Create lifelike 3D images with astounding speed and response.
Save your presentations in OpenDocument format, the new international standard for office documents. This XML based format means you’re not tied in to IMPRESS. You can access your presentations from any OpenDocument compliant software.
Of course, you are free to use your old Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, or save your work in PowerPoint format for sending to people who are still locked into Microsoft products. Alternatively, use IMPRESS’s built-in ability to create Flash (.swf) versions of your presentations.
You can view a great little presentation of what Impress does over at Open Office > click here to see a demonstration of IMPRESS in action.
As you develop your training material, remember to use bullet points to draw your user into the main points you wish to get across. Keep them short, and simple. You want them to use the video as the primary source of information, the presentation is to present the keypoints and ideas — think of it as the Coles Notes version of your video.
When you are developing your training material, don’t go for outlandish fonts, colors and graphics. It’s perfectly fine to use graphics and color — but only to make a point. I’ve purchased many e-books in the past where you wonder “why the heck did they include that in there?!” – you want to put a professional image on your work, not something that looks like it was slapped together.
Stick to one font – personally I like Verdana, but Times New Roman is a standard and is easy to read. Garamond might be another option for you — avoid “designer” fonts, they look pretty but are difficult to read when put into presentations. Don’t forget the goal of your presenation. If you’re a graphic artist and are trying to impress, then it may be find to get fancy.
Applications like PowerPoint and Impress are great presentation tools and learning aides you can use for business, in presentations and for training. A good presentation will help underline and get the message across while giving your audience pieces of information that will stay with them.
One caveat though: a good presentation will help your business and add to your product, a low quality one can do just the opposite.