Re: Converting .DOCs to PPTs?

Subject: Re: Converting .DOCs to PPTs?
From: kelley -at- pulpculture -dot- org
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 06:11:55 -0500


At 05:23 PM 3/17/2004, Geoff Hart wrote:

<...>
The really hard part: Word documents tend to be rather <ahem> wordy. Moreover, policy documents bear little relationship to training documents. In addition to eliminating vast expanses of mind-numbing policies and procedures prose to leave only the 50-some words that fit legibly on a typical slide--a formidable task in itself--you'll have to convert the rhetorical approach from one based on vomiting forth large quantities of prescriptive and proscriptive regulations to a rhetorical approach based on instructional design. Not a trivial task.

Say it brother! I actually said all this two years ago wrt to another project I was heading up--*real* online training. But, alas, this is what the client wants in this particular case. They aren't really interested in teaching anyone anything. They want to demonstrate compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley.

In my experience, it's usually simpler to create the PowerPoint files from scratch, using the Word documents solely as reference material. Only simple Word documents translate nicely into Powerpoint, and even then, it helps if you write them specifically so they'll translate nicely.

Yah. That's what I normally do with the training materials I produce, albeit in other formats.

<<How long might it typically take an experienced person to convert 30 Word .DOC pages (in the typical *yawn* policy manual style) into .PPT?>>

Doesn't matter in the least how long it _typically_ takes. The correct question to ask is: "How long will it take me?" And the only way to answer that question is to try converting a couple of pages. Then you'll know how long it'll take _you_.

Agreed. I would, however, like a reality check. The proofreading thread was a good example. _I_ am a horrid proofreader. I can achieve perfection, but it takes fooooooooooorever.


<<As I understand it, he's only interested in making the .PPT it look pretty with consistent styles, the client logo, some images placed strategically to illustrate concepts and generate interest, etc. .PPT.>>

That's a recipe for failure. The goal is to communicate, not make it pretty. <...>


*sigh* I know. I resigned from an online training project that I'd conceived and managed for over a year because of this very issue.

In this instance, though, it is what the client wants. They're trying to satisfy Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, one of which is, to paraphrase, to ensure that "everyone in a firm understands politcies and procedures."

You and I both know that clicking through PPT slides |= understanding. However, they want the policies word for word, dumped into a PPT, so they can set up an an inexpensive mechanism for distributing the policy, tracking how long people spend reading it, administering a brief quiz, and issuing a certificate "I have read the policy manual" which employees must sign.

They want it word for word for legal reasons.


As Vinton Cerf noted, "power corrupts; Powerpoint corrupts absolutely". Don't let yourself become corrupt. If you're interested, my article "Powerpoint presentations: a speaker's guide" just appeared in the March 2004 issue of _Intercom_. (Strategically timed to help presenters at the May STC conference. <g>) It won't help you much with the technology, but will give some good guidelines on how to use the technology effectively.


Thanks Geoff. I have spent far too much time trying to explain this but, alas, the boss (CEO/Prez) remains unconvinced for reasons that are market-driven. *sigh* Yes, I know, short-term thinking. I've said my piece and, if I think it's going to sink the company, the only thing I can do at this point is move on. In the meantime....


Kelley


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References:
Converting .DOCs to PPTs: From: kelley
Converting .DOCs to PPTs?: From: Geoff Hart

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