Customized training workshops to visually present data effectively to executives
Does your team present data to executives?
You are a director, VP, or executive in charge of professionals who use Excel to analyze business data, such as financial, operational, research, engineering, or technical metrics. Your staff prepare slides in PowerPoint and deliver executive presentations to senior leaders and external stakeholders.
Unfortunately, often the presentations of data are not clear in the messages, use overloaded slides, and end up confusing the executives. You spend hours fixing the slides so you won’t be embarrassed when presenting to the executive team. You need customized executive presentation training for the analysts and professionals in your group so they can create executive presentations of data that communicate effectively.
Customized session with makeovers of their own slides convinces participants they can improve
I don’t deliver a canned workshop. I discuss your goals, current issues, and analyze sample presentations from the attendees. I tailor the content to what your group needs to focus on and the time allotted for the session. I prepare makeovers of some of the slides so the participants see how the training will improve their executive presentations immediately. The makeovers are always the hit of the session, that’s why I send them to the participants so they can use the makeovers as a starting point. Participants receive a customized handout to take notes on and you have the option of providing them with two of my books as additional resources.
Virtual delivery of training
I have totally redeveloped and reimagined the delivery of my workshops to work with the current reality that professional development will be delivered virtually. This actually gives you a number of advantages. My two-day workshop is now a series of eight 90-minute web-based sessions that cover the content you see described in detail below. This gives you tremendous flexibility in scheduling the training so it suits the team. It can be once per week for eight weeks, two sessions back to back twice per week for two weeks, or any schedule that works for the participants.
Because the training is delivered over the web, you can have staff in different locations attend without additional travel costs. I deliver sessions using Microsoft Teams or Zoom, whichever platform your organization uses. Participants don’t have to learn a new platform and you don’t need IT involved to get everyone up and running.
I engage participants with new content, short video clips, polls, exercises to test application of what is being taught, bringing web content into the session live, and accessing content in other applications such as Excel to give live demonstrations when needed. This is not a “sit and hear Dave talk” session. This is active engagement from the participants that keeps the learning interesting and practical.
I have totally redesigned the portion of the workshop that teaches techniques in Excel and PowerPoint. It is not practical for participants to try to follow me teaching them in the software. So I use a blended approach where they watch videos of me teaching the techniques, complete exercises that apply the techniques to real-world situations, and attend a review session where we can discuss what was learned and help with any challenges or extend the concepts with more techniques.
One of the new modules is the virtual delivery of presentations. I have written over 25 articles and published more than 20 videos since March on presenting effectively in Teams and Zoom. I am now recognized by Microsoft for my contribution to the Teams community. I share what professionals can do and how it helps make virtual presentations effective.
I set up a private course portal online for each cohort of participants. This is where they access handouts, resources, the slide makeovers I use, and watch the videos for the techniques sessions. Materials don’t get lost in email and I can make additional resources available as prompted by discussion in a session.
When discussing a potential session, I meet with you via Teams or Zoom and demonstrate some of the techniques I use to engage your staff. You will know how effective this training will be because you will have experienced it before the first session starts.
I think my virtual training approach delivers more value and more learning than I was able to in my in-person workshops. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what someone who has experienced both had to say:
I had the chance to attend a two-day workshop which you were giving in person several years ago. That training was eye opening and I used the guiding principles in my presentations for years.
It is really great that we were able to bring your training to my colleagues, and I am fully enjoying the class as well. I would not say that I am taking it again, as your virtual approach with recordings and videos supplementing 90-minute sessions are outstanding and a totally new learning experience! I think you are mastering the virtual teaching so well. I am getting a much better learning experience than in-person. The course is perfectly paced – by conducting 90-minute sessions each time it allows students to keep up with the work and accommodate busy calendars. Breaking down the two-day workshop is a brilliant idea and your execution has been very powerful. I already see a difference in my team’s presentations and see the learning put to work!
I would like to thank you for all the work you are doing in our “new normal, virtual world.”
Participants use what they learn because it is practical and real-world applicable. A month after that program and the day before I started another program with her group, Olga wrote:
“Folks received great benefits from attending your training, and another 11 from my team are starting with you tomorrow. I see significant improvement with the presentations already, and many follow your rule – outline first, get feedback, then work on the slides in PowerPoint… Thank you again for teaching!”
Here’s what participants have said about how practical the virtual training is:
“I started implementing the lessons into my slides from the very first session. I was happy with the results but was blown away by the compliments I received from my peers who noticed my slides and really liked them!”
“This is one of the best courses I have ever attended!! I was really looking forward to it based on the preliminary info that was shared with us, and you did not disappoint! Everything you covered is excellent information and so applicable to our jobs. And as you said, extremely useful info not covered in “school”. Again, really excited to start using many of these techniques, and also video presentation options at work. Thank you again!!”
“Great content and approach Dave. I liked the amount of thought and effort that went behind presenting every single detail on slide design and financial data visualization. Very informative & power-packed session!”
“Great and powerful learning experience, well paced, supported by recordings and exercises to practice. Relaxed experience for hard working colleagues sometimes not being able to join one or two sessions in person and not being stressed out about it.”
“Great job! What you taught will help me in many ways when presenting. So many things I didn’t know or have the time to figure out that I wish I’d known years ago after seeing what a difference they can make. Especially the zoom and morph features….WOW!”
60 second summary
- Your staff create executive presentations of data that are unclear, overloaded, and confusing
In a customized workshop, I can teach your staff how to visually communicate data effectively to executives
This practical, focused training provides a positive ROI within a few months
The four topics included in the workshop
There are four areas that I cover in a workshop. The depth of coverage depends on your goals and the time allocated.
The GPS approach to planning the content
Instead of grabbing slides from previous files to start a new presentation, I teach a repeatable, structured approach to planning the content for an executive presentation. I share my GPS approach, based on the way a GPS plans a trip. It starts by deciding on the goal of the presentation, similar to the destination for a trip. Next, examine the present situation, including the audience and logistics of the presentation, similar to the current location when starting a trip. Finally, plan the topics, points, and supporting information that will move the audience from where they are to the desired goal, similar to the best route calculated for a trip. Here’s a video of me explaining the GPS approach to financial professionals.
Strategies to reduce information overload in executive presentations
Information overload is the single biggest issue in executive presentations today. I share how presenters have three additional opportunities to share information with the audience outside of the presentation. I show them how moving details Before, After, or Behind the presentation focuses the key messages and allows them to access details if asked during the presentation. This also creates a file that contains their presentation slides and backup details so those who review the presentation later have all the required details.
Three steps to create effective visuals (dataviz, diagrams, and more) in Excel and PowerPoint
Analysts and specialists don’t have to be designers to create effective visual slides. I teach a three step process any business professional can follow. It starts by writing a headline for the slide that summarizes the message. Next, select the best visual using a six category decision model based on the message being communicated. This is where the participants see most of the makeovers that convince them that they can improve their executive presentations right away. The final step is to incorporate strategies to focus the audience during the delivery of the slides. Here’s a video of me introducing the six categories of visuals in a public workshop for CPAs.
Virtual presentation best practices and techniques
With many presentations now having participants who are remote, business professionals need to learn how to engage audiences using the online meeting platforms and tools. I take you behind the scene and show you how I create and deliver effective remote presentations. Get a preview of some of my ideas for Microsoft Teams and Zoom meetings. Watch this video to see how I engage participants during virtual sessions.
Hands-on Excel and PowerPoint techniques to create effective visuals
Without the hands-on practice of techniques in the software they use, participants leave knowing what they want to create but not how to create it. I use some of the makeover examples to show them how to create effective graphs, charts, and other data visuals in Excel. I show them the techniques and features in PowerPoint that make creating diagrams less time consuming, using images more effective, and making text more visual. Participants practice on their own laptops and walk away with a file of visuals and the tips and techniques they can use immediately. Here is one of the techniques for giving the audience context before explaining a complex topic.
How this training is different
My clients tell me that my customized executive presentation training workshops are unique. They are not traditional presentation skills training with videotaping and feedback. I don’t do basic Excel and PowerPoint skills sessions. And I don’t do design training. I provide skills that your staff wishes they learned in school or their professional designation courses. This is training on how to structure an effective message, eliminate the overload of information that confuses executives, select and create effective visuals to support your message, and prepare the presentation efficiently using the software you already have. The skills are practical, required for success in today’s business world, and relevant for data or information intensive roles.
Hiring an expert is an investment that pays off within a few months
As a senior manager or executive, you understand that hiring an expert is an investment, not an expense. You expect the investment to pay off quickly. Investing in this training for your staff will have a positive ROI in well under a year. The time your staff spends in the workshop will pay back within a few months with the time they save preparing executive presentations more efficiently. The cost of bringing me in is paid back within a short time from the hours you and others save not having to revise slides and from the benefits to the organization of executives making quicker decisions from clear presentations.
I have a simple fee structure so it makes the decision to set up a session easy. The fee for me to customize and deliver a session is based only on the length of the session (plus travel costs as incurred). The most popular delivery format is an in-person workshop for up to 25 people. We can also discuss online small group training where up to 12 people attend a series of 60-90 minute live web-based sessions followed by 1-on-1 time with each participant to address their specific questions and needs. If you need 1-on-1 coaching to improve your presentation and PowerPoint skills, I can customize a plan for online sessions followed by evaluation of your application of what was demonstrated and feedback on areas to improve. Any of the formats can include copies of my books as an additional per person investment. Simple and easy to budget for.
If you haven’t already noticed, I live in Canada. This may be a concern if you are in the U.S., but you don’t need to worry. I hold an E-1 visa that gives me full access to deliver workshops with no issues at the border and no letters or forms for you to fill out. I am familiar with the forms your accounting department will ask for, like the W-8BEN, so I’ll make sure that this is smooth and easy for you. I know you want the least hassles possible, so I’ve done the work to make sure that booking a workshop is simple and easy.
I am a recognized expert in communicating data effectively to executives
I have authored or co-authored ten books on effective presentations. I am one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for my contributions to the PowerPoint and Excel communities. My thoughts and ideas have appeared in publications all over the world. I have co-authored a case at the Queen’s Smith School of Business and my information gets used by universities such as UC Berkeley, Vanderbilt, Southern New Hampshire University, Baruch College at CUNY, and many others in their coursework and as teaching reference materials. I was invited to be one of the first expert contributors to the Microsoft Office Creators video program that supplies videos to PowerPoint and Excel users through the Help function in the program.
I have spent over 20 years developing approaches, systems, structures, and tools for effectively communicating to executives and have delivered over 400 training sessions. I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA so I can understand the financial or technical information being presented by your staff and show them how it can be presented more effectively. When I present the makeovers during the day, I commonly hear that people think I have worked for the company because I present as if I know a lot about what they do. I have the background to quickly figure out the key messages and communicate them.
Call or email today to get started
You know the pain presentations are today in your group. You can relieve that pain with a focused, practical two day training course. Email me or call me today at 905-510-4911 (Eastern time zone) so we can start discussing how to customize the session for your group.
Dave is amazing! This session is undoubtedly one of the best communication/ presentation training sessions I have EVER taken. Thank you!! This has already been super helpful. (sent to the organizer during the session)
This was one of the best courses I have ever taken. The instructor was knowledgeable, engaging, and presented the information in a format that was easy to understand. It was a great learning experience!
The instructor took a number of slides from our existing financial presentations and provided an updated view of those pages based on the principles we learned in class. I found this to be very effective because he took presentations we were familiar with and demonstrated how that same information could be applied differently on a slide.
Without a doubt, the best training I have ever been a part of and I am thankful for the opportunity. I especially liked the integration of our current slides and how Dave would present them differently. Later, he shared with us how we can duplicate them.
This was honestly one of the best courses I’ve taken in my 11+ years with the company. It should be mandatory for anyone who presents. Full of useful information and tips presented by a motivating, professional, expert who really knows how to engage the audience. Truly an excellent course!
This was extremely helpful – learned a new way to look at slides, pull data together and hope to now effectively provide information to senior management.