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Briefing: Improving Training Sessions and Presentations With Technology


Training departments and professionals are constantly under pressure to deliver engaging, relevant and inspirational programmes in order to maximise knowledge transfer and retention of information; Steve Dracup, Managing Director of Promethean (AV Distribution) reports.

To be effective, presentations must retain audience attention, which means the content must be motivating and powerful. Often working to strict timescales, trainers and presenters have to constantly adapt their strategies to ensure sessions continue to meet learning objectives.

For businesses to maintain a modern standing in this multimedia age, they need to keep up to date with technological advancements. One way to do this is to incorporate interactive solutions into training and presentations, which enhances traditional practices and increases learning through improved group interaction.

Technologies such as interactive whiteboards, panels, pads and voting systems are innovative training tools that help presenters and group members to make the most from a training session or meeting. Proven in education to enhance teaching and learning, businesses are beginning to realise the benefits that these systems can provide.

Selecting The Technology
For in-house training departments, a fixed installation interactive whiteboard would be preferred, as training sessions generally take place in the same area. Interactive whiteboards enable trainers to interact with material at the front of the room and group members to come up to the board and actually get involved with their training.

There are a number of interactive alternatives available to the interactive whiteboard, as meetings and training sessions frequently take place in different rooms and across various locations. Since training requirements differ from group to group, interactive pads and panels can deliver portable and flexible alternatives to wall-mounted interactive systems.

Interactivity On The Move
Where training sessions need to be mobile, interactive pads offer a convenient and portable solution. During training these can be passed around group members for ultimate involvement, and enable the trainer to engage in, or control the session from anywhere in the room.

Trainers also have the choice of using a number of pads within the same session or just one, depending on the size of the group, learning objectives and required level of interaction and participation.

Even if the group is very large, the session can benefit from interactive delivery using an interactive panel, because the size of the projected image is unrestricted and trainers can personalise, annotate and control the material whilst facing the audience. These lightweight interactive solutions can be easily transported between rooms, or installed at a lectern if preferred.

The accompanying interactive software used with any interactive whiteboard, panel or pad, is key to the technology’s interactivity. As such, it is important for the software to be consistent across a range of tools, so that the same resource material can be used for all training requirements.

Using a number of interactive presentation tools in any one session is an effective way of further enhancing delivery.

Facilitating Feedback
Obtaining group feedback at the end of a training session is essential to assess whether the learning objectives have been achieved. One interactive solution that is particularly effective as a supporting evaluation tool, is the audience response system.

Designed to enhance training sessions, meetings and presentations, interactive voting systems allow group members to provide immediate feedback by using individual handheld response devices. Some voting systems have the advantage of seamless PowerPoint integration, which makes it easy for the trainer to incorporate a live question and answer element into an existing presentation.

Question slides in a variety of formats (multiple choice, yes/no, true or false or a sliding scale for gauging opinion) can be created, with results being instantly exported to Excel. For a more formal assessment, the findings can be displayed with names. This is a key feature for training requirements, as it removes the need for a paper-based review, further saving time and resources.

Results can also be displayed anonymously to simply facilitate group discussion. This is particularly useful for encouraging individuals to give more honest feedback, as it removes the need for a show of hands.

Presenters and trainers can benefit from audience response systems in a variety of settings. At the beginning of a session to determine what group members already know or at the end to assess if key learning objectives have been achieved. However the technology is deployed, it adds a dynamic and innovative touch to group interaction in any situation.

Taking Group Sessions Forward
With modern advancements in technology, people are constantly exposed to new and evolving products, and as a consequence, traditional delivery practices often fail to inspire audiences. By increasing group interaction, interactive presentation tools offer an innovative and effective solution for overcoming barriers faced in training environments.

With a wide range of interactive presentation systems available on the market, there is a tool to meet every requirement. The type of interactive solution selected to streamline training sessions and presentations will ultimately depend on specific group needs.


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