Learning by Observation

The ongoing virtual learning avalanche occasioned by the COVID-19 conundrum is compelling a barrage of exposure to presentation slides, presenters and facilitators. Just like the next person, I’ve been in a number of virtual sessions and facilitated a bunch. Quite frankly, I’m tired of seeing slides that bring me to tears – well-almost.

Thing is, I find that many of these awkward-difficult-to-look-at-slides are from my fellow professional colleagues who really should know better. The other day, I saw a set of slides having a hot pink background with black texts bursting through the slide seams! Arrrrrŕrrrrghhhh!!!

If only these ‘defaulters’ could simply observe what others are doing!

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Granted, we all have our areas of growth but quite frankly, many of these gaps could easily be fixed by plain observation.

Nothing ever remains the same, especially in this present era. If as a professional trainer, you’ve been working with slides since forever, you simply cannot assume presentation, styles, designs and techniques will remain the same without any form of improvement. Things evolve. It’s your call, therefore, to find out the evolutions in your industry and try your best possible to align – at least. To have a presenter/facilitator project relevance yet can’t move their slide design from ‘death by PowerPoint era’ to present ‘day-fluid-simple-graphical-less-texts’ format is indeed a sacrilege!

For me, Learning Agility begins with asking the right questions. Questions like: ‘Who are those most likely to have the best, contemporary slides in town?’ or ‘How can I tailor my presentation slides to generate big impact?’ I’m sorry but when facilitators behave like they’re unaware that people have become very sophisticated viewers and are unable to project that understanding through effective slide designs, then it’s a problem.

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Personally, I find that people from the Consulting big 5 have really interesting and fascinating slides. I imagine there are several others but this has been my personal observation. What I would advise, therefore, is for facilitators to actively lookout for opportunities to attend open presentations by persons in that domain – or indeed to take notice of any presentation slides that evidently appear better than theirs, take notice of the slide designs, pen down observations or screen grab the slides then step aside and try to reproduce learnings for their next presentation.

Learning by observation is a thing, not every time paying to learn new things.

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Enough said. I pray the next virtual session I attend leaves me in a better emotional state. Here’s Cheers! to your Learning Agility. 

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