Customer and Employee Education

Your PowerPoint Deck is Not Your Documentation

Oct 28, 2016 4:17:45 PM  |  Greg DeVore

Oh, the all powerful PowerPoint Deck. PowerPoint is a part of almost every training event you will deliver or participate in. Whether it be live, a webinar or an e-learning module PowerPoint will probably be involved in some part of the process.

So much work goes into the preparation of the slides that at the end of each presentation it is customary to deliver the deck to all of the participants for future reference.

There's nothing wrong with the process, but treating these "decks" as your company's documentation is a huge mistake.

We run into organizations all of the time that have file servers filled with old PowerPoint decks. They come to us because they are frustrated that no-one is using the documentation.

Storing your documentation in a PowerPoint deck is like locking fresh baked bread in a safe and then wondering why no one is eating it.

PowerPoint is for presentations not for documentation.

Documentation needs to be easily accessible via an online knowledge base. You should not have to open a file (be it Word, PDF or PowerPoint) to view documentation.

Documentation needs to be searchable. PowerPoint Decks are not easy to search.

Documentation needs to link out to and reference other documentation. It is very difficult for one PowerPoint deck to reference another.

Documentation needs to be easily scannable. PowerPoints force you to go through one slide at a time.

PowerPoints are designed to be presented. Documentation is designed to be referenced.

Don't make the mistake of just stuffing your old PowerPoint files somewhere and calling it your "documentation". Create real documentation that is designed to be referenced and you will see the use of that information increase dramatically.

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