ATD Blog

How Are Your PowerPoint Skills?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Harnessing the power of PowerPoint to create slides, graphics, and educational materials that increase understanding, recollection, and adoption is not as easy as most people think. I recently spoke with Mike Parkinson, who facilitates ATD’s Creating Effective PowerPoint Certificate, for some insight.

Mike is one of 16 Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs in the United States. He is a PowerPoint and visual communication expert, a professional speaker, an educator, and an award-winning author. He regularly conducts workshops and creates graphics, presentations, and content for companies like Microsoft, FedEx, Xerox, Dell, and Boeing, as well as at learning institutions and small organizations. In 2015, Mike sold (a PowerPoint graphics product) so that he could focus on helping others achieve their presentation and educational goals.

He explains that number 1 reason many PowerPoint presentations fail is that they are developed or created by the author for the author. We see the content “through our own lenses, our own biases,” he says.

Many developers think, “I’ve got my content, so let’s start getting content on the slide.” But that’s the wrong approach. According to Mike, before you start loading content to a PowerPoint deck, it’s important to really understand the learner and “get inside the learner’s head.”


Listen to the complete podcast for more insight into how you can avoid other PowerPoint development traps and become skilled at making professional learning content. Also, be sure join Mike for an upcoming Creating Effective PowerPoint Certificate to learn the tips, tricks, and secrets the pros use to eliminate errors, save time and money, improve success rates, and deliver with confidence.

The next session of this certificate program is being held as a preconference offering at ATD 2017 International Conference & Exposition. Register today.



About the Author

Justin Brusino is director of content at ATD. In his role, he’s responsible for developing new content and products, including articles, webcasts, books, conferences, workshops, and more, on a variety of talent development topics. With a strong interest in technology, Justin is always looking at new trends and emerging topics that can impact the talent development industry. He is the editor of the book ATD’s 2020 Trends in Learning Technology.

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