PowerPoint for training, you say? You want me to use the same program that I used 15+ years ago?? 


No way. Not possible. Isn’t there something more… dynamic?


If you were like me the last time you heard “you should use PowerPoint” you turned up your nose at the very thought of using such a dated, blah program. Just not for me. 


I mean, I’m a forward-thinking, tech-savvy, training professional. I research all the newest programs, and I always try to use the best and the brightest.


Can that really be PowerPoint? Aka, your mother’s slideshow presentation? The thing that I’ve avoided because it just CANNOT be interactive and engaging??


I’m here to tell you–I was wrong. 


My name is Shawntay and I am a reformed PowerPoint hater. And I’m about to change your mind, too, with some hard truth and a few new features to keep PowerPoint working for you and your learners.



Why does PowerPoint have a bad rap?


So where does PowerPoint get this bad rap? Let’s look back and see where the love died out for all of us.


Back in 1987, PowerPoint (formerly known as the artist Presenter) was brand new and CRAZY exciting. This is also when overhead projectors were the standard in presentations, so having anything digital was just blowing everybody’s minds. 


By the late 1990s, Windows 97 had the new and improved PowerPoint with it’s dazzling two dimensional clip art and mesmerizing slide transitions. We were all simply captivated. AOL chat rooms were buzzing. 


In 2009, Prezi came glittering in with its fancy zoom and animated features and I, like many of you, left PowerPoint for greener pastures. 


Left PowerPoint for Training for Greener Pastures


(Here’s a cool little infographic on the history of PowerPoint if you want to dig in a little more.)


We got bored of the clipart and the page curl transition. But another big reason PowerPoint continued to be overlooked was because we all saw it being used BADLY. The tool wasn’t the problem. The designer’s design was the problem.


We’ve all experienced the presentation (or created the presentation) with a ton of great and useful information, but the learner just didn’t get it. Or they were asleep in the back because they were seeing a slidument (Slide + document) in lieu of a quality designed slide. 


Hard Truth…


PowerPoint in itself is not a bad program, but we made this amazing tool “bad” when we used PowerPoint for training presentations to completely overload the learner with too much or not engaging with enough stuff to make important brain connections.


Cognitive load theory is used to explain how we intake valuable information and then use it. And, there is a sweet spot for how much or how little our brains can take when it comes to processing information.


When we find the sweet spot–germane load–the learner can store this new information or content in the long-term memory to be used later. Which is exactly what we want!


When that goes into overload, or the information becomes extraneous to our processing brains, we shut it out. Which is not what we want, but many of us have seen and experienced.


Get ready, I’m going to hit you with a hard truth:  the tools will never be the problem. 


We have to change how and what we present to learners in order for them to take it and use it for the long haul. 


That’s when the tool becomes useful and gets a good rap. PowerPoint for training can be an amazing resource for rapid development when it’s used right.


No more endless bullet point lists or teeny tiny text. Only useful visuals, simple key messages, and engaging features that don’t distract from the content.


I’ve got a great program that can help explain these learning strategies without overloading your learners. Check it out here.


storyline 360 training

PowerPoint has always had some great features, but let’s look at some really cool new ones that are engaging, animating, and pretty easy to incorporate for you.



PowerPoint does a 180 with Office 365


Before the new Office 365, PowerPoint with the other Office programs were only updated when you bought the new version. Which could have taken years!


Now that Office 365 is web-based, updates and bug fixes happen regularly. This means that new features and new fixes are rolled out with the same subscription.


I had no idea the new power of PowerPoint until I attended the 2019 ATD Conference earlier this year. You can read about my entire experience here, but today I’ll just be focusing on PowerPoint today. 


Knowing what I know now, Office 365 was such a game-changer when it came to PowerPoint and the entire Office suite.


One of the coolest sessions was led by a company called BrightCarbon and they really turned this skeptic into a PowerPoint for training believer again. Out of the doldrums and back into your hearts with these cool new features:


  • The Morph Transition
  • Animation Triggers
  • Record Audio to Video (Bug Fix for Macs) 


Mighty Morphin’ Animations


A new feature of the Office 365 PowerPoint, is the Morph transition. So. Cool.


When applied to several slides, the morph transition can animate the features you want to highlight. No Adobe certification required, just a simple transition selection.


For example, let’s say you wanted a slideshow to explain a road trip and you’d like to show a car moving across the bottom of the screen with changing text boxes.


Simply make each slide with the car in each position with the text you’d like to display and select the Morph transition for all the selected slides. 


Morph will automatically recognize the images and text from the previous page and continue them to the next slide. And this will appear like a seamless animation that you spent hours trying to create.


And if you needed more convincing, Morph can also create a Prezi-like zoom transition feature!


For the same road trip slideshow example, you could use a top-view animated map and enlarge the map to show a different part over several different slides. Morph will automatically make this look like an animated map just like in Prezi.


I’m finding more and more reasons to use Morph. And it is just so cool. 



Animation Triggers


If you’re still not convinced, here’s another powerful PowerPoint feature: triggers. Triggers can be used for interactivity and microlearning–so many possibilities! 


So let’s say you want to play a video for learners, but would like to stop in the middle to stop for a learning knowledge check or other animation. You can actually trigger a bookmark in the middle of the video to pushes the user to a new slide. 


Or you can use buttons (clip art) to trigger another animation. As a previous Adobe Captivate user, I used buttons quite a bit to create interactive features or knowledge checks. 


I once struggled with Captivate because it was a lot to figure out, but the good news for those just starting out is that you can still get the same interaction with PowerPoint for way less money and way more pizzazz. 


For an in-depth tutorial on Animation Triggers, click here


Recording for All (Even YOU Mac users!)


Now you might have heard about this if you are a Windows user. But as a Mac lover, I have missed out on the opportunity to record audio to PowerPoint for training presentations and save the files as videos. 


There was a bug in this feature and obviously a little bad blood between Microsoft and Apple. We Mac users were left out in the proverbial cold. But, with Office 365, the fog has lifted.


During BrightCarbon’s very cool presentation on how to record and export as a video file, I ooohed and ahhhed just like everyone else. But I didn’t want to get my hopes up about this really cool thing if my Mac was never going to be invited to the party.


I raised my hand and asked the question, “does this work with a Mac?”  The answer: YES! I still didn’t believe them so I came home and tried it for myself.


RecPowerPoint for Training Presentations Record Audio


And. It. Does. With Office 365, the bug that kept Mac users from recording audio and exporting as a video file has been fixed. 


And as Office 365 has been updated more often as a web-based program, we all get to bask in the glow of these super cool features without waiting on the newest version years in the future.



Everyone loves a good comeback story. And, PowerPoint is no longer the bad word it used to be when YOU use it right.  


My name is Shawntay, and I am here to tell you PowerPoint is no longer a bad word! You can use PowerPoint for training presentations and get positive results!


Got Questions?


My Facebook page  is a great place to add your questions and engage with other instructional designers on different topics related to instructional design, so jump on in and join the conversation. 



The Testimonials are In:


Shola Richards

Working with Shanwtay and Katie at the Instructional Design Company was a dream come true. Their creativity, expertise, and professionalism throughout the entire process was beyond top notch. I engaged them to help turn my first book into a training course, and I could not be happier with how the final product turned out. If you have an instructional design project and you’re considering which company to work with, you can stop your search and thank me later. They are truly the best in the business.

Shola Richards


Graphic Designer

I joined the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program because I struggled to find jobs in instructional design beyond the development phase. I’ve done a couple of training programs with lots of random projects, but I was overwhelmed, not connecting the dots, and not good at structuring my writing to hit learning objectives. I was looking for motivation and direction at beginning a better Instructional Designer.

After taking the Instructional Design & Tech Certificate program and joining my fantastic team for support, I found the structure and approach to be what I need to take my next steps, evening improving my skills in the development stage.

Gayle Bower


Teacher, Future Instructional Designer

I love how this course let’s you work at your own pace. I got great tips and learned many things. The ongoing support for multiple people and groups is what I love the best. You are never alone in this process. I have been able to adjust my resume and began creating a portfolio of work I’ve completed to add when applying for jobs. I use many of the PowerPoint skills in my lessons and trainings. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to become an instructional designer.

Laurie Henderson


Teacher, Future Instructional Designer

I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!

Wendy McMillian


L&D Project Manager

The Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator certificate program is one of the most comprehensive ID programs out there for beginners. If you’re looking to grow your schools in ID and development then I highly recommend this program. Not only will this program give you an overview of theory, but you will receive a thorough walkthrough of how to apply what you have learned. Although I had already secured a position in Learning & Development when I bought this course, it helped me to move up into a new position as a Learning & Development Project Manager!

Gabby Grimaldo


Future Instructional Designer

If you have any interest in ID, sign up for this program NOW! Shawntay and her team are top notch! The course content exceeded my expectations in a big way and the encouragement and support continues to be so valuable. You will not feel alone going through this course, you will learn so much, you’ll have many cheerleaders, and you will have fun!

Shanna Howe


Future Instructional Designer

I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).

Aviva Berkowitz


Future Instructional Designer

I can’t say enough great things about the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program! The length of the program is perfect; it doesn’t feel rushed and there’s just the right amount of structure to give you the accountability you need. There are so many opportunities to get live answers to any questions you have related to the course content or anything ID-related! This program gave me the support and structure I needed to both feel affirmed in the relevant skills I already had coming in and to fill in the gaps I had as a career-changer going into ID. Shawntay, Katie, and all the coaches are super helpful and supportive. I now feel confident that I have the tools and access to resources I need to apply for ID jobs without wondering if there’s something I’m “missing” in the preparation process. I’d highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition into ID or who just wants to brush up on their skills in the field.

Krista Johnson Awomoyi


Freelance Instructional Designer

I’d highly recommend the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program. I’m blown away by how much I learned in just 12 weeks. I had ID experience prior to taking this course and was just looking to get a better understanding of applying adult learning principles. This course well exceeded my expectations! Not only did I gain a clear understanding of adult learning principles, I was also able to apply those principles by creating assets for your portfolio using PowerPoint, Adobe Premiere Pro and Storyline. The hands on support that we received was top notch.

Darlene Dalgleish


Instructional Designer

This program is one of the most robust yet fulfilling L&D programs I’ve seen. I learned so much about the industry and about the limitlessness of my own capabilities. I am so appreciative of Shawntay and all of the trainers who took part in the program. They went above and beyond with not only guiding, but communicating live and working one on one or in small groups. If you are on the fence, I say take the leap and you will not regret it! There’s so much to learn, not only from the trainers, but also the learners in your group. Everyone comes in with their own skills and can be additional support and guidance for you. Thank you for creating this program!

Shawnice Edge


Instructional Designer Training Facilitator

Shawntay is an amazing individual. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of ID and eLearning. She is also very compassionate and loves to help and see everyone around her grow and prosper. Shawntay has been a great mentor to me and she has helped me mature as an instructional designer and eLearning developer. She has provided me with opportunities when others have overlooked me. I am very grateful to have met and built a lifelong relationship with Shawntay.

I recently got hired into my first instructional design / training position and Shawntay was one of the first people to congratulate me!

Brian Hightower


Freelance Instructional Designer

My teacher-to-instructional-designer journey began two years ago when I left my teaching comfort zone and started my first freelance ID job. Now, I’m stepping out of the classroom and taking my freelance work full-time, so I’m thrilled to be joining the Tech Accelerator program. Adding technologies like Articulate 360 and Adobe Premiere Pro to my qualifications will help me take my courses to the next level and attract more clients!

Sarah Smith


Teacher Transitioning into Instructional Design

I am genuinely grateful for this course. I wanted a real-world perspective and feel like I got it. I’m teaching now, but nearing retirement age but can see myself working as an instructional designer well into my retirement years. My other goal is to take as many courses in statistics as possible in hopes of bringing some mathematical precision to the ROI question. Like you say, getting accurate metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but I intend to work on that part. That’s unimportant right now, what is important is the fact that I feel like this course was well worth every penny I spent and I would to it again in a heartbeat. I have too much going on right now, but as soon as I get some time freed up I intend to take your course in project management.

Lee R


Turns Your Written Thoughts Into a Masterpiece!

Shawntay Skjoldager can turn your written thoughts into a masterpiece. She is great to work with and the most organized person I know!

Sheryl Rhoades
President and CEO, The Creative Entreprenuer


Shawntay has been incredible!

Shawntay has been incredible and her team is responsive and effective in translating my training programs into professional presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact her for your project.

President and Principal of HRM Consulting, Inc.


IDC is My Secret Weapon to Soar Above My Competition!

The IDC team has been my secret and special weapon of success. They have delivered above and beyond with every single project out in front of them. They have met and beat timelines. They have been Uber responsive every step of the way. I keep them on speed dial and have and continue to recommend them to friends and clients. If you are in need of instructional design and plenty more, this is THE ALL-STAR team that will more than deliver and help make you and your project soar above the competition.

LT. COL. Jason O. Harris
U.S. Air Force Officer, Special Operations Pilot, U.S.A.F. Academy Instructor, Motivational Speaker


A Tremendous Asset to the Project Team!

Working with Shawntay and the Instructional Design Company has allowed our university to meet the growing demands of our programs. Shawntay’s expertise allowed for the course development to be completed on time and met all of the university requirements. Shawntay’s project management skills were phenomenal and allowed my team to work on other areas while she completed this project for us. Her work is of high quality and her professionalism and willingness to help made her a tremendous asset to the project team.

Amanda Buckley
Academic Quality Assurance Specialist, Abilene Christian University


Creative & Highly Talented!

Shawntay is a creative and highly talented instructional designer.  She brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership that enabled her to own the design and creation of a full scale facilitator curriculum and train-the-trainer program.  It was a pleasure to partner with Shawntay, her project management and communication skills ensured the project was on time and on budget.

Susan Gatti
President, IMMIXID


Breaks Down Mammoth Projects

“Shawntay is quick study and carefully synthesizes information for presentations that are clear, concise and captivating. Her personality draws the audience in and her content mastery is excellent. A team player and organizer, Shawntay has the ability to break down mammoth projects, keep everybody on time and on task.”

Rick Miller
Author, Speaker, Strengths Coach


eLearning Development

“I have had many opportunities to work with Shawntay—mainly in the support of implementing new eLearning initiatives. I have been very impressed by her ability to quickly learn how to use rapid eLearning development tools and effectively use them to create multiple courses within a short timeframe. Shawntay’s enthusiastic nature, attention to detail, and dedication to her work make her a pleasure to work with and a great asset to both Texas A&M University-Commerce and the broader training community within the Texas A&M University System.”

Ashley Christian
Director of Learning Strategy, Caveo Learning


Top Notch Professional

Working with Shawntay has been an immense pleasure. She is atop notch professional who brings enthusiasm and extensiveexpertise to professional curriculum development and execution. Her knowledge of tried and true techniques to maximize the effectiveness of presentations is invaluable.

Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research, CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research


Fortunate to Find Shawntay!

“I was fortunate to find Shawntay when our organization was looking to expand and update our educational offerings. Shawntay proved herself to be an educational and personal development expert who immediately made an impact with our clients throughout Europe. Everyone who came into contact with Shawntay was immediately impressed by her level of expertise and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawntay to anyone looking for an education subject matter expert.”

Jonathan Burt
Director of Qualifications and NSD Services, Mary Kay Inc.


Short Turn Around. On Time. Under Budget!

“We hired Shawntay to develop a training facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint slide deck for an operations manual heavy with technical content. The project was made more challenging by a very short turn around, 5 business days, and the fact that the operations manual wasn’t complete and was being updated simultaneously with the facilitator’s guide and slide deck. Despite these challenges, Shawntay delivered as promised. On time and under budget.”

Dave Beeman, CPP
Vice President, Andy Frain Services


Need an Expert Who Consistently Delivers?

“Working with Shawntay you will immediately notice her professional presence and poise, but over time her tenacious pursuit of excellence and her skills in instructional development and adult learning will really impress you. I worked with her at Mary Kay, and was able to experience firsthand her great rapport with regional partners in Europe, understanding their unique sales force training needs. In addition, Shawntay consistently exhibited grace under pressure, made executive decisions to move business forward. If you are looking for an expert who consistently delivers and goes the extra mile to get things done, contact Shawntay!”

Mellora Moore
Marketing Director, Academic Partnerships


Quality Products & Solutions!

“I had had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shawntay on more than a few occasions. I found her to be a very good business partner and very committed to delivering a quality product or solution in a timely manner. I have always had a positive experience in partnering with Shawntay and would recommend that you consider leveraging her talent.”

Judy Owen, CPC
Transformational Leadership Coach


“Invest in yourself and take your skills to the next NEXT level!”

Get yourself signed up for Shawntay Skjoldager’s Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program today and be on your way to success! Within the first week of taking her course, you will experience growth! Be sure to plug into her Facebook Q&A sessions for personalized help, too. This is THE course to take if you are new to instructional design or have landed on the training team and need help getting started.

Patrick Hodges
Managing Partner, PHiG


“Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!”

Shawntay has exceptional knowledge and experience with all aspects of creating and implementing effective, performance based training for adults. She is exceptional at needs analysis – identifying target audiences and collaborating with business owners to keep training focused on business needs. And she is great to work with – always providing great support to get projects done on-time and on-target. She is always on the look-out for new and more effective ways to engage learners. Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!

Mike Stubblefield
eLearning Developer/Instructional Designer, Vivos Therapeutics


“Spot on”

I have known and worked with Shawntay  as a education program director and use the expertise of ShawntayMichelle for the development of my presentations.  The service has always been “spot on” with professionalism, care and attention.  Shawntay’s recommendations to my ideas make me look good to my clients.

Owner, Certified Consulting Services


“Shawntay Skjoldager reached in and made my training life so much easier!”

I am new to the training design and development world and I was SO excited to get in there, but I really lacked the real-world knowledge that would set me apart from my peers. And, then Shawntay Skjoldager walked into my life with an outstretched hand and a seemingly endless list of ways to knock every training out of the park. From the Training Analysis Form to the Tay Tay tips, this course made my life so much easier and even ironed out the review process that I had been struggling with for months.

Take time to invest in your own learning and make sure to put Shawntay Michelle at the top of your personal development list!


Katie Carter
Training Specialist, LegalShield

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