Original content by AlexAnndra Ontra and James Ontra
Enhanced by Geetesh Bajaj
In the last part of this Presentation Management series of posts, we explored the culture of presentation content management. In this part, we look at how proper training can help overcome many challenges.
Training provides a two-fold opportunity.
- First, it teaches the users how to use the new platform—click here, drag and drop there, etc.
- Second, training provides an opportunity to help your team embrace this new communication strategy called presentation management.
Cooper Standard is a world leader in automotive and aviation parts with over 30,000 employees. We developed a training program with them that covered the “how” and the “why” for presentation management and included multiple touchpoints to reach such a diverse and geographically dispersed group.
Chris Andrews, the Director of Digital and Marketing Communications for Corporate Communications, and her marketing team of writers and designers created a library of branded, compliant presentations.
- For their presentation management launch, Andrews served as the presentation director and her team acted as the presentation task force.
- They started their slide library with high-level information about product lines, including sealing systems, fuel- and brake-delivery systems, and fluid-transfer systems.
- They also included a slide about each facility. And then, the team started talking with their division and regional leaders about presentation management.
Here’s how Andrews’ team approached the task:
1. Training the influencers
Once Andrews and her team had a foundation for their library, they scheduled sessions with the regional leaders in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Since the attendees were joining from four continents, Andrews’ team conducted the sessions via web meeting.
We showed them Shufflrr’s features and functions, but more importantly, Andrews discussed why Cooper Standard was moving toward a presentation management platform, and how this new platform was going to make it easier and better for employees and partners to distribute and share accurate and branded slides all over the world.
While the products may be the same, business protocols and cultures are very different from country to country. So, Andrews asked each attendee how he or she thought it would affect that region and how the system should be rolled out. For example, Asia required a different language and alphabet. So, we worked specifically with that director to tailor a separate training program for the Asia region. The meetings were less how-to tutorial and more conversation. Everyone participated.
2. Training the users
With such a dispersed group, our team at Shufflrr collaborated with Cooper Standard and created several means of training with different touchpoints.
The first and, we believe, most impactful was in-person classroom training. We hosted several training sessions in different offices around Michigan, where Cooper Standard is headquartered. Those who could not physically attend could log in through Webex.
Andrews began these sessions with the reasons Cooper Standard launched a presentation management initiative. She explained to her colleagues that presentation management would make it much easier for them to assemble a presentation.
She started each session by showing off all of the new content that her team had created, the library of polished, professional product and facility slides, the videos, and other materials that were now so easy to find and use. She also emphasized that the slides in the library coincide with Cooper Standard’s larger brand initiative. Users could get their jobs done and build the company’s image. It balanced the enterprise marketing goals with the daily needs of employees.
We then showed them how the system works. However, with every feature demonstration, we gave a reason why that feature was important. We showed them how to receive a slide update, but we also explained that slide updating would ensure that they had the latest, branded version of that slide. Since Cooper Standard is continually innovating, slide updating is a feature that users will want so they can keep up.
3. More web training
It’s impossible to get everyone in the same room or on the same webinar. This is also true for smaller companies. We scheduled multiple sessions across several months to give everyone an opportunity to participate.
4. Ask for feedback
Andrews understood that training doesn’t end with the session. It’s easy to lose people’s attention once they leave a meeting. Her team sent out a survey asking for feedback and suggestions on the presentation management program and the training sessions so we could improve as we continued. The request for feedback is a means to keep the conversation going.
5. Make it fun and rewarding
Adoption is usage, and the marketing team needed to get their colleagues to embrace and start using the new presentation management solution. So, marketing created a contest.
- The game consisted of a series of exercises to complete in Shufflrr, using features and functions highlighted during training sessions. The catch is that they hid a slide in the library, the Golden Slide.
- As part of the game, aka practice exercises, users were asked to create a new presentation that included the Golden Slide and send it back to Andrews using Shufflrr’s share feature.
- To play the game, they had to search, preview, drag and drop, save a new presentation and share. They had to use and learn their tool’s features.
- Those who completed the task got a prize. While playing the game, employees were learning how to use their new slide library. And they could win cool stuff.
6. Training materials
With the understanding that you will never get everyone with one program, Andrews provided her colleagues with how-to videos, long-form recording of live training, and cheat sheets. The idea is that anyone can reference any of these materials within their presentation management system when it’s convenient for them.
Andrews and her team at Cooper Standard understood that training is an ongoing conversation. She did not expect a global team to change their habits and thinking around presentations after one 45-minute session. She also understood that it’s not a one-way lecture. She engaged her colleagues, each group at their own level, and step-by-step, encouraged them to think differently about the role of Cooper Standard presentations within the company.
Launch in Phases
If your company is a large enterprise with 1,000-plus users dispersed over several different divisions, start small. Pick a subset—one division and its content. First off, it makes content collection easier. You only have to collect and organize content for one product instead of 15. Second, a pilot team of 50 instead of 500 is much easier to manage. It gives you an opportunity to work out the kinks before going live to the entire organization.
When U.S. Bank started deploying presentation management, its objective was to implement the solution across the organization, for 1,000 users. But it started small, with 100 users, and progressively added content and users every month. The bank hosted regular training sessions for new users and was able to accept feedback and make changes as it went along. Management created a cycle to:
- Add content,
- Get feedback,
- Add more content,
- Train another group,
- Get feedback,
- Adjust, and
- Keep going.
It was a step-by-step process of managed growth. Through that process, the bank onboarded its goal of 1,000 users and then got 500 additional requests to join the system. Word got out, and presentation management spread throughout the bank.
In the next post of this series, we will look at how your presentation management strategy is only as good as the content provided and collected.
Presentation Management Series: All Posts
All posts from the Presentation Management series are listed on this page, Presentation Management: The Entire Series.
First, try and answer these questions. Feel free to read the post again if needed. Then, scroll down to below the author profiles to find the answers.
Q1: Training provides a two-fold opportunity. First, it teaches the users how to use the new platform—click here, drag and drop there, etc. What is the second opportunity that training provides?
Q2: If your company is a large enterprise with 1,000-plus users dispersed over several different divisions, how would you typically start implementing presentation management? Would you start with a smaller subset of users, or would you do it all in one go?
AlexAnndra Ontra, co-founder of Shufflrr, is a leading advocate for presentation management. She has been providing presentation technology and consulting services to global enterprises for over 15 years.
At Shufflrr, Alex advises Shufflrr clients through the process: from trial, to content architecture, through the launch, training and then on-going software upgrades. She’s hands-on. She is a leading expert in presentation management strategy, implementation, and adaptation.
James Ontra is co-founder and CEO of Shufflrr. His 30-year career has focused on the highest profile presentations for world class companies. His clients have included: American Express, Bloomberg, Epcot Center, Mercedes Benz, NBC Olympics, Warner Bros. and many more.
His vision and strategy have been driving Presentation Management to become a recognized communication discipline. James combined this passion with technical development to build Shufflrr. Presentation Management is smart communication strategy.
Geetesh Bajaj is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional), and has been designing and training with PowerPoint for more than two decades. He heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India.
Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like story, consistency, and interactivity — and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He explains how these elements work together in his training sessions. He has also authored six books on PowerPoint and Microsoft Office.
A1: The second opportunity that training provides an opportunity to help your team embrace this new communication strategy called presentation management. You can learn so much about presentation management in this ongoing series. Read the entire series here.
A2: Start small. Pick a subset—one division and its content. First off, it makes content collection easier. You only have to collect and organize content for one product instead of 15. Second, a pilot team of 50 instead of 500 is much easier to manage. It gives you an opportunity to work out the kinks before going live to the entire organization.