Death by Powerpoint: why CPD training needs to change

Death by Powerpoint: why CPD training needs to change

By Beth Pipe

I remember the helpless look on the delegates faces as I left the room. I was working as an in-house Learning and Development (L&D) Manager at the time and they were about to embark on their Management Stage 1 training course. As is often the case, most of the delegates had left it until the very last minute to attend the training and, as I was new to both the firm and the legal sector, I’d booked one of the big name providers to come in; they had an excellent reputation for delivering black letter training, so who was I to cast aspersions?

My first concerns came when the trainer arrived with an enormous box of materials. Not activities, games or other interactive learning materials, just a huge pile of handouts. Next up came their presentation – 210 very wordy PowerPoint slides. I double checked my facts. “This is just a one day course isn’t it?”, I asked the trainer. “Oh yes”, they replied with a cheery grin, “just the one day.”

As the delegates arrived and eyed the inch thick pile of documents awaiting each of them, their faces fell and, as I left the room, I knew that 10 minutes later most of them would be fighting the urge to nod off, and praying hard for 4:30 pm to come. The feedback forms were some of the most scathing I’ve seen and it’s fair to say they learned very little, but at least they’d ticked the box: “Management Stage 1”

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About the author:
Beth is a learning and development consultant with over 19 years experience working solely within HR and L&D. Beth has worked both in the UK and internationally with a number of high profile law firms including Trowers and Hamlins, Kingsley Napley, Bird & Bird and Shoosmiths.