Training for State Office Staff

Please note: I developed this session in 2009-2010 for the Food and Nutrition Management office at the Florida Department of Education.  I conducted the training over two days for all FLDOE's state staff who regularly go out in the field and present information to sponsors and directors using PowerPoint presentations. 

The description below outlines an intensive two-day seminar (approximately 5 hours of teaching time each day), but the material can also be configured for a single day.


Seminar Title:
Making Your Case:
Essential Presenting Skills for State Office Staff 

Day One:  "The Fine Art of Public Persuasion"

The first day will focus on the marketing strategies and presenting skills that should underlie every successful presentation that child nutrition professionals give to increase awareness and understanding of their programs and regulations.  Participants will examine several existing presentations used by child nutrition administrators around the country. They'll learn to consciously impose a "rhetorical structure" on their presentations that will greatly increase their odds of success.  They'll also learn more mundane (but no less important) skills, like how to practice effectively, how to succeed in any room, and how to anticipate and field questions.  They'll achieve a greater mastery of the art of presenting, and, in doing so, they'll gain a crucial understanding of the interdependence between the way they present and the knowledge they are trying to impart to their audiences; indeed, the material your field staff members are teaching can only make an adequate impression on their current and prospective sponsors if the form of the presentation is just as compelling as the facts. 

Day Two: "Building an Effective Presentation"

On the second day, we'll focus on the nuts and bolts of creating an effective presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint.  Participants will gain a solid working knowledge of creating and editing computerized presentations; they'll achieve a more complete understanding of the elements of design that make for an effective presentation in any situation; they'll learn how to prepare a script and visuals that work well together; and then we'll put all this new knowledge to the test by working together to create a presentation from scratch.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computers to work along in this process (PowerPoint 2007 is optimal for this workshop, but older versions will work, too). 


If time permits and if there is a demand for it, I will set aside the last hour or so on the second day for working with interested participants on beginning or fine-tuning actual presentations they need to give.  And all participants will have access for one year to editing and advising assistance from me on any presentation they are preparing or revising -- so they'll be able to effectively leverage all of the knowledge they take in during these (very full) two days of training.  All participants will also receive a CD with sample presentations and summaries of everything they learn during the workshop, and access to an on-going web forum where I will answer questions and provide further tips throughout the ensuing year.