PowerPresentations - Presentation Tips & Secrets

Empowering Companies to become PowerPoint Experts

Written by Kevin Lerner.

empowering-companies-to-become-powerpoint-experts

Training Workshop helps employees from FedEx, Whirlpool, Dart Container, American Express and Aramark create world-class presentation visuals.

Valarie Thomas of FedEx with boring presentation

Like her employer FedEx, Valarie Thomas helps companies improve efficiencies and save time and money.  But back in April, 2014, Valarie looked inward and discovered inefficiencies in her own process of creating presentations.

"They were taking too long to create and they looked cheap," the senior strategic sales analyst explained.  "Management was satisfied with things, but I wasn't."

So Valarie invested $500 of her own money for a four-hour, two-part web-based PowerPoint Training Workshop, focused on advanced PowerPoint techniques and skills.  The return on her investment were immediate and measurable.  

"My productivity improved, and my manager even commented on how much better my slides looked," she boasted.

Kevin Lerner presenting to clients

A passion for helping people present

For Presentation Team trainer and founder Kevin Lerner, sharing his knowledge and 20 years of experience is personally and professionally gratifying.  "I'm blessed to have a job where Im able to help people," he shares, adding that, "I've had clients hug me after our workshops."

Lerner founded The Presentation Team in 1995, built upon a lifelong passion for presentation design and communications.  Over the years, the firm has worked with some of the world's largest companies, including Oracle, Motorola, Tyco, and Verizon.  More recently, the firm has augmented its presentation design services with PowerPoint Training and Presentation Skills Coaching services, which in 2013 accounted for nearly half of their revenue.

Confused by PowerPoint

A Popular Program...Poorly Practiced

With over 300 million users and a market-share of 95%, PowerPoint is the presentation standard.1  And yet, most people have a general working knowledge of it.  Most people are left to learn it themselves, or take a basic class.  Simply knowing how to use the program doesn't make a person a presentation guru.

That's exactly what compelled General Electric Executive Vice President Michael Dahlweid to seek the coaching of a PowerPoint Presentation expert.  In January 2014, he and a colleague traveled to DC for a two-day coaching program designed to sharpen their skill and expertise in presentation design.  By the end of the second day, Dahlweid was creating top-quality graphics with the ease and efficiency of an expert.

To some companies PowerPoint is embedded within their culture; a meeting without PowerPoint is tantamount to a student not doing his homework.  And although some companies have dedicated departments or individuals focused on presentation graphics, most employees are on their own for presentation production.  Employees who have mastered PowerPoint to support their communications are often recognized as stronger leaders or managers.

Presentation ROI

A measurable and valuable ROI

And there's often a great disconnect between a company's brand image, and a company's typical internal PowerPoint presentation. Some companies are recognizing the importance of improved presentations, and investing time and money to train their employees.

Katie Farmer, an senior executive assistant at Whirlpool traveled from Benton Harbor, Michigan to work with The Presentation Team, spending two intense days learning the intricacies of PPT, practicing keyboard commands and sharpening her skills.  She returned home with a cadre of skills and resources to help her create better presentations in shorter timeframes.

The payoff on presentation training can be immediate and significant.

"If our training can help a client create a presentation that helps win a multi-million-dollar contract, we've accomplished our mission," explains Lerner, who adds that many clients have shared stories of presentation success.

Best presentation practices with hands-on learning

The Presentation Team's training is more than just a PowerPoint 101 class.  The interactive workshop emphasizes effective design strategies and creative techniques to help make presentations more impactful and memorable. Some benefits include:

  • More focused headlines with reduced body text
  • Greater emphasis on clean design with respect to white-space
  • Telling story through bold iconic imagery
  • Increased Use of Title & Section Slides for improved flow
  • Spanning key messages across multiple pages for greater memory retention

Under the hood of PowerPoint

The PowerPoint Training workshop also gets "under the hood" of PowerPoint, demonstrating technical strategies, and lesser-known features of the program including:

  • Use of Keyboard shortcuts control keys
  • Development of Themes, Masters, and Layouts
  • Customization of PowerPoint ribbon and shortcuts
  • Resources for finding graphics and digital content
  • Improved development efficiency and better time management

Training that sticks

Most students will they forget the majority of training material.  But for students at The Presentation Team's Advanced Training Workshops, their training is long-lasting. Beyond a program that's fun and memorable, the classes apply easy-to-recall techniques. Additionally, students have the full 500-page training program to review long after the course.  And every engagement comes with a several coaching calls.  Clients can check-in to sharpen their skills or gain feedback on a presentation up to one-year after their training.

Kevin Lerner is burning the midnight oil, working at 12am to customize a training curriculum for an upcoming class.  He says the preparation has gotten easier, but he still spends time preparing each training workshop for his clients.  He says he's proud of his accomplishments, and has great visions for the future of The Presentation Team.  But his happiness for now, he says, is in the joy he brings to his clients helping them do their job better through great presentation skills and design.

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Recommendations

  • "We engaged The Presentation Team to do a Presentation training for our team and he did a great job. He spent time understanding our requirements and the skill level of our team members and created a course which met our expectations and goals. I highly recommend The Presentation Team as a Presentation (PowerPoint) trainer."

    Navdeep Sidhu
    Senior Director, Software AG
  • "Kevin Lerner provided best-in-class services when hired to work on promotional materials for the launch of a key product at Motorola. The expertise and quality that he brought to the project were second to none and as a result, he delivered a top-notch presentation that was quickly adopted throughout the organization. Kevin is great to work with, delivers on time, is a great team player and is always willing to go the extra mile."

    Maria Cardoso
    Motorola
  • "Kevin has been a working with Cox Communications to deliver world-class PowerPoint presentation visuals since 2009. His ability to meet our specific needs, timeframe, and budgets has been exceptional. His professional interaction with our team reflects his deep expertise in the industry, superior presentation design skills, and commitment to superior service."

    Jonathan Freeland
    VP, Video Marketing at Cox Communications
  • "Kevin is an enthusiastic, creative, and passionate presentation guru. Our company was impressed and felt the value of his training in 2013 that he was invited again recently to again share his knowledge. Both times he has been energetic and addressed many areas for presentation development. From planning to follow-up Kevin is personable and easygoing, motivating our teams to take their presentations to the next level."

    Yoshimi Kawashima
    Project Coordinator, Nissin International
  • "Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from tips & tricks to aesthetics, all with the intent of getting the message across crisply and creatively. I've already received praise for decks that incorporate the skills obtained from his training. I highly recommend Kevin's services."

    Era Prakash
    General Electric
  • "The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting."

    Leah Gordillo
    Saint Francis Medical Center
  • "Kevin was a pleasure to work with. He was well-prepared and was an excellent example on how to give effective presentations."

    Seminar participant
  • "The PowerPresentations seminar gave us the tools we need in order to create effective presentations that sizzle."

    Seminar participant
  • "Kevin has always had vision, creativity, and enthusiasm for his professional and works tirelessly perfecting whatever he is working on."

    Marty Smith
    Zenith Goldine Pharmaceuticals
  • "[Kevin and The Presentation Team have] always delivered 110% in terms of meeting our objectives for finished product and budget"

    Paul Price
    Watsco Corp.
  • "I had more people come up to me after I spoke, commenting on the visuals you created, than I did on the subject matter!"

    Andy Smith
    Smith & Robb Advertising
  • "By working together, we have been able to substantially improve the quality of services and products originating from our department"

    Myrlene Clifford
    Ryder
  • "As a Fortune 1000 company, we sought to produce a classy, yet conservative presentation for our shareholders. It was evident that you and your team listened to our thoughts as you developed the presentation..."

    Will Flower
    Republic Services
  • "We were told by the customer's selection committee the presentation of our solution was the deciding factor in NextiraOne winning a five-year contract valued at over $35 million at Miami International Airport"

    William McGlashan
    NextiraOne
  • "Your presentation added an extra dimension to the program and was very well-received."

    Tom Feltenstein
    Neighborhood Marketing Institute
  • "Kevin is an excellent speaker, effective team worker, passionate about his craft, enthusiastic, well-organized and reliable."

    Marilyn K. Volker
  • "Lant & Associates will never look as good as we do today - because of the relationship we created with The Presentation Team.  'We came...You pushed...and We are flying!' "

    Tom Lant
    Lant & Associates
  • “Kevin is a professional. He did a complete overhaul of my power point presentations and I have had excellent results with his work. He was on time, he sent as many betas as was necessary until we got a great final outcome.” 

    Joachim dePosada
  • "Your expertise in the filed of PowerPoint and general presentation techniques helped elevate us to the level necessary to beat the competition."

    Mike Geary
    James Pirtle Construction
  • "The contrast between the old version and The Presentation Team's version is like night and day."

    Keith A. Bostian, Ph.D
    Iconix Pharmaceuticals
  • "Kevin and his team never failed. The persistence and discipline enabled my projects and other others to be completed in a quality fashion."

    Kent Rodgers
    I2 Technologies
  • "Every day, someone, somewhere, is viewing the training presentations you and your team created for HelmsBriscoe. Indeed, this interactive 12-module PowerPoint presentation has become a powerful tool for our sales team, and has helped HelmsBriscoe in achieving our mission."

    Kari Moberg
    Helms Briscoe
  • “I came into a new position but inherited a lifeless ppt presentation. Kevin and his team reworked my ppt and turned it into a powerful presentation tool for me . . . which I used without much need for revision for several years. Kevin's great. He's that good.” 

    Greg Kreuziger
  • "One of the things I appreciate most about our relationship is peace of mind.  Your team has the latest technology and knoweledge, yet maintains old-fashioned respect for your customers." 

    Kathy Watkins
    Eastman
  • "Your dedication, diligence and professionalism was very much appreciated and helped us achieve a complete multimedia presentation including voiceover all in a 4 day period."

    Jennifer Cassandra
    Designline Construction Services
  • "Over the past twelve months, your dedication has demonstrated a true commitment to a common goal."

    Adam LaWare
    DePuy Spine
  • “Kevin redesigned PowerPoint slides for clients of mine, as well as some of my own slides. As an executive presentation coach for nearly 25 years, I'm very picky. Everything he did looks great.” 

    David Greenberg
  • "We worked well together; his work style was relaxed yet focused, and our email and frequent phone calls helped us to communicate clarly and timely."

    Sherry Alumbaugh
    Data Solutions
  • "You and your team hit the mark with what you delivered.  Many thanks for your outstanding customer service and design ideas."

    Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.
    Corporate Coaching International
  • “I have worked with Kevin for over 15 years. He has consistently distinguished himself not only as a creative expert but a valuable business partner. There have been many times I needed someone with excellent creative skills to help me take complex business issues and make them simple and easy for high level professionals. Kevin never failed me and always exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with his commitment level and do "whatever" it takes attitude. I recommend Kevin as a valuable and creative business partner.” 

    Bruce Frcek
  • "The City of Oakland Park has successfully received the ranking for grant money it was seeking thanks in part to the great presentation that the Presentation Team created.  Thank you for your hard work, creativity, and expertise in brinking this dynamic video presentation to life."

    Stan Brown
    Ambit Marketing Communications
  • "Kevin brought a high level of creativity, enthusiasm, and deep multmedia experience to our team.  He worked dillegently with the team to produce an outstanding proposal which we subsequently won."

    Jeffrey Keller
    Accenture
  • “Kevin has on more than one occasion taken on a project for me and provided a great product when my budget was limited. I felt he had my best interest at heart at all times.”

    Derrick Witt
    Corporate Fitness & Wellness
  • “Kevin is a high energy, creative professional very focused on achieving customer goals. I enjoyed working with him very much and would recommend him without question.”

    Ellen Mughal
    TQ3
  • “Kevin brings a great deal or knowledge and professionalism into his presentations. He conveys valuable information to his attendees that prove beneficial in their day-to-day operations within their own organizations.”

    Jeff Parrish