Creating the Program

We will look at the beginning steps to follow when creating a plan to improve your Presentation Skills. The first thing to look at is to perform a Needs Analysis. This will help you to understand your audience and provide you with the answers to a few basic questions. A basic outline and some minor research would then be utilized to help create the basic program that will assist you in developing greater Presentation Skills.

Performing a Needs Analysis
A needs analysis measures what skills employees have — and what they need. It indicates how to deliver the right training at the right time.

The results answer the following questions:

  • What is the audience with the problem or need for change?
  • What tasks and sub tasks does an expert perform to complete a work process?
  • What gaps exist between experts, average, and poor performers of a work process?
  • How do we translate the needs into objectives to promote a strong learning outcome?

The method can be simple; observation, careful note taking, and asking questions work.

Question Methods
  • Interview key stakeholders and listen to their concerns about the problem.
  • Define who needs help to overcome the problem.
  • Identify and describe the audience and the work.
  • Observe the work being done by recognized experts.
  • Take careful notes and ask questions where needed.
  • Document the proper performance of the work tasks.
  • Observe other workers doing the tasks.
  • Compare results with the performance of experts. Document identified skill gaps.
  • Develop a complete list of tasks for performing the work completely and correctly.

Example: Although the call center reps are empowered to assist customers, several are not solving callers’ product problems. Instead, they are passing them on to the Escalation Desk, creating a bottleneck — and unhappy customers. The needs analysis identified a task called “Resolve customer complaints”.

Some of its subtasks are:

  • Answer call
  • Listen to customer’s problem
  • Express empathy for the trouble
  • Open a new support ticket
  • Resolve complaint per the list of allowable resolutions
  • Document resolution in the call notes
  • Close support ticket.

Writing the Basic Outline

To develop the outline, group the tasks that fit together logically, and create headings that reflect the goal of the subtasks.

  • Handling a Call
    • Answer call
    • Listen to customer’s problem
    • Express empathy for the trouble
    • Open a new support ticket
    • Resolve the complaint per the list of allowable resolutions
  • Documenting Call Resolution
    • Document the resolution in the call notes
    • Close support ticket

Add headings for an introduction and Course objectives at the beginning — and a wrap-up and evaluation at the end, and your basic outline is complete.

Researching, Writing, and Editing

  • Researching: The needs analysis has likely produced much of the supporting content required to build the program. However, if information gaps exist, return to your expert performers (also termed subject matter experts) and ask questions.
  • Writing: If you’re using a word processor, create a template so your material is consistent from the beginning. Assign a preliminary time length to each module based on the total time available for the presentation. (You’ll validate it later.) When writing, aim for brevity. The more you say, the less the audience remembers. Make sure to validate your finalized content before you move on to editing.
  • Editing: As you edit, write for the ear, not for the eyes. Make sure sentences are twenty words or less and only convey one thought. Use simple, familiar words. Make sure that you have provided the definitions of any terms important to the learning experience. Try to spice up your module titles.