Training materials are one of the main means to deliver new content and educate learners. Most trainers use PowerPoint presentations and PDF files on a daily basis, they are even experts at designing good presentations and they might feel that there is no need to change anything. After all, if it’s not broken why fix it?
Well, as times are changing, you might want to tweak your training materials a little bit. Don’t feel that you shouldn’t invest more in presentations if you have great content. Do that effort, go the extra mile, and you will see better results!
Granted, high-quality content is a must in any successful training program, but keep in mind that the means you use to deliver that content are equally important.
Moreover, when it comes to adult learners, time is a precious resource, so try to present your content in an effective manner if you want to maximize results. Your learners don’t have time to read hundreds of pages, so instead of sending a detailed PDF file, try to summarize the information, add illustrative infographics or other visual tools and help them absorb as much information as possible in the time they have.
Read more: Giving a go to whiteboard animations in your training program
5 great online tools for great training materials
Let's see a few online tools that will help you design the best training materials and boost learning outcomes!
Ok, PDF files are so yesterday, but they are still a staple for many trainers and learners out there.
If you need a free tool to merge, split, extract pages, this site will do the trick. It is also good for most of the conversions a trainer might need (PDF from and to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, JPG).
Last but not least, if you want to add a watermark to your PDF files, for instance, the company logo, you can do it in seconds.
This tool, as its name suggests, removes the background from images. It works 100 percent automatically, you don’t need to select the background — and the results are very good.
If you want to add to your training materials only an element from a picture (a person, a piece of equipment, a fire extinguisher, etc.), now you can do it without having to master any complicated photo editing software.
Read more: My favorite free images resources for online courses
Remember what we said about busy learners? An image (or an infographic) is worth a thousand words.
Read more: The 5As model to deliver results with busy learners
Instead of going through an Excel file with data about various countries of the world, you can create a visual representation of that data on a world map.
With this app, simply upload the information in an Excel file (countries on the first column, the respective data on the second), and you have the visualizer in a few seconds.
It’s great for presentations and reports.
For all the learners and their inner child, this app will help you create cool comics that look really professional.
The free version has quite a few options (characters, backgrounds, actions, effects, etc.) and it will help you create great visual stories for your classes. You can choose from a wide range of characters, from the Average Joe or Average Jane to famous superheroes.
Use your imagination and create content “with a twist”.
Granted, Canva is good for most of your designs, but we think it’s absolutely great for infographics.
There are many templates that you can choose from if you want to better integrate visual elements in your training materials.
You can also create teams and work with your colleagues, so give it a try whenever you get the chance.
Remember, image is not everything, but it is something a trainer should not disregard. Make your materials more engaging and more interesting but adding visual elements. You don’t need to hire the best illustrators on the market; just start with baby steps and use tools available on the internet. Ask feedback from your learners to see if you are going in the right direction, and keep on improving your materials.