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(In my last post, I showed you the finished product:  an online Job Performance Support System created entirely in PowerPoint.  In this post, I’ll show you how to build your own, step-by-step.)

Here’s an online Job Performance Aid for creating an online Job Performance Support System, using only PowerPoint:

Preliminary Steps:

  1. Choose a theme that is easy on the eyes—a light-colored background with dark type.
    • A dark colored background is fine if your text boxes have a light background.
    • Semi-transparent text box backgrounds add a nice, more sophisticated look.
  2. Reduce the font sizes of the header and body text in the slide master(s) to be as small as possible without forcing your performers to squint to see them.
    • Assume they will be viewing your slides at 67% of full size.
  3. Don’t attempt to number your slides—this will become a maintenance nightmare and will confuse the performers…”Why does slide 1.3.6 follow slide 3.7.11?
  4. Create a nice cover slide:

Create an Introduction Slide:

Develop a prototype content slide:

  1. Create a prototype for your bottom-level “steps” slides. Use placeholder text for the header and body text.
  2. Change the bulleted items to a numeric list.
  3. Add to the prototype a forward arrow button and a backward arrow button in the lower right corner, arranged as shown.
  4. Attach a hyperlink to each button and make these target the prior and next slides in the deck.
  5. Make roughly as many duplicates of this slide as you’ll need for your content.

Next, create a prototype menu slide:

  1. Next, decide whether you want menu items to display as underlined, highlighted text.
    • This is the easiest, quickest way to proceed, but not the most aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Skip over steps 4 to 7 if you’ll be content with underlined/highlighted text.
  3. Insert a rectangle and size it to cover one of the cells in the table.
  4. Change the fill of the shape to No Fill.
  5. Copy the shape and then paste seven new instances of the shape.
  6. Arrange these transparent shapes roughly in a column to the left of the display area of the slide, as shown below:
    • You’ll move them later so don’t bother aligning them.
    • Do not leave the shapes over the cells of the table.
  7. Make roughly as many duplicates of this slide as you’ll have menus.

Next, create your first content slide from one of your prototypes:

  1. Type the header and body text.
  2. If the content will be on a single slide:
    1. Remove the invisible rectangle over the next arrow.
    2. Change the color of the forward arrow to a medium gray to suggest that it is inactive in this context.
    • The back arrow should, of course, link back to the prior menu.
  3. Create as many content slides as you wish.

Next, create your first menu slide from one of your prototypes:

  1. Type the header and body text.
  2. For every menu item:
    1. Drag one of the empty rectangles over the menu item.
    2. Hyperlink the rectangle to the corresponding content slide or sub-menu slide.
    3. Edit the rectangle to have No Border.
    4. Hyperlink the boxes atop the Return to Prior Menu and Return to Main Menu text to the corresponding slides.  Here’s what you’ll see at this point:
    5. Edit these boxes to have No Border.
  3. Preview the slide and test the hyperlinks.
  4. Go to the slides targeted by your hyperlinks and hyperlink the back arrows on your content slides to your newly-created menu slide.
    • Remember to “gray-out” the “next” arrows on the last of each series of content slides.

Continue as above until you’ve created all of your slides. 

  • Be sure to check your links as you go; trying to remember which slides you’ve hyperlinked later on will be difficult.

So there you have it:  lots of steps, but none of them are difficult;  it’s more an organizational challenge than a technical one.  (If you don’t have time to do this yourself, e-mail me and we can talk about outsourcing the job;  the cost will be very reasonable.)

I’ll be back soon.