'Ten ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint' wins World of Learning Award

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Above and Beyond have been awarded two of the highest accolades in the UK training industry at the prestigious World of Learning Awards 2004. �Ten ways to avoid death by PowerPoint®� won Generic Solution of the Year and Clive Shepherd, Director, won the Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry Award.

Above and Beyond’s ‘Ten ways to avoid death by PowerPoint®’ won Generic Solution of the Year, sponsored by Centre for Management Creativity, on 17 November at a glittering ceremony at the NEC, Birmingham, during the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition. One of the key judging criteria for this category was the ease with which a generic product could be adapted for a variety of organisations and achieve significant demonstrable results.

The judges’ comments were:

“Ten Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint® is a novel and innovative way of teaching presenters how to create visual aids that really make a difference. This entry kept judges fascinated with its novel usage and innovative format for a potentially dry subject. It was cleverly put together, and an excellent example of a truly generic solution.The high level of both national and international sales is testament to its success.”

Ten Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint’ was co-authored and designed by the stimulating combination of Clive Shepherd, one of the UK’s leading experts on the use of technology for learning and communications and David Kori, former Oxford University lecturer in Fine Art and award-winning multimedia developer.

‘Ten Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint’ is the first course in Above and Beyond’s ‘Doing the Business’ series, and is aimed at the 200 million PowerPoint users worldwide who want to improve the effectiveness of their presentations.

The course contains three hours of highly-interactive and media-rich self-study material, and is equally suitable for those working in the public or private sector, for students and for those who make presentations outside work.

So what makes ‘Ten Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint’ different from other courses aimed at the 200 million PowerPoint users worldwide?

David Kori, co-author and designer explained:

“What makes this different from other PowerPoint courses, is the emphasis on designing words and images to create maximum impact. It’s filled with practical design exercises and contextual examples providing design insights and genuinely useful feedback that is accessible to anyone who wishes to dramatically improve their presentations.”

Clive Shepherd, co-author and designer, said:

“Ten Ways to Avoid Death by PowerPoint is from Above and Beyond’s ‘Doing the Business’ series using ‘the new IT Training’ – a much-needed synthesis of IT and business communications training, which assumes you know enough about computers to do the basics and you know where to look if you need to do more. You’re efficient at using the software and now you want to become effective.The ‘new IT training’ is about using software to do the right things in the right way. In many ways, it’s about encouraging users to do fewer things than before but to do them more effectively.

That means less PowerPoint presentations assembled using templates, clip art and auto content, and so full of text bullets that they send their audiences to sleep. That means less emails, reports and web pages that are poorly structured, written and presented, that leave a poor impression of the author and which fail to communicate. For every sentence published in print, there are 30,000 sentences published on computer, many of which are unreadable and unusable.”

Clive Shepherd, director of Above and Beyond, won Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry, sponsored by Learndirect. This award recognised the impact of an individual not only on the organisations with which they have worked but, more importantly, on the industry as a whole.

The judges’ comments were:

“Spanning more than 20 years, Clive Shepherd’s career has been devoted to the promotion and advancement of e-learning. A tireless innovator and communicator, with endless enthusiasm for technology-assisted learning, Clive’s passion is now shared by hundreds of his readers, students, clients and colleagues.”

Alison Church, Awards Manager at World of Learning 2004 commented, “This year saw a record number of entries across all categories and the standard of all submissions far surpassed previous years.”

Above and Beyond’s ‘Doing the Business’ series of courses is available in a wide variety of formats and examines vital ingredients in professional life: making presentations, writing reports and proposals, and communicating online. It provides the tools needed to both achieve your goals and stand out from the crowd. Look out for ‘WordWise: Ten ways to save a forest’ and ‘WebPower: Ten ways to survive in cyberspace,’ to be released at the end of this year.

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Joanna Biggs
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