If you are a training practitioner—internal or external—you are almost certainly leaving money on the table when you walk away after delivering your handiwork. Let me suggest several services you could be providing that could put money in your pocket or, if you are an internal resource, increase your stature and enhance your reputation.
One service you could be providing is to train those who join your client company or
unit after your initiative has ended or who missed out owing to vacation or maternity leave. You can’t stage an event for one or two people at a time, of course, but you could make an online, self-study learning experience available as an alternative.
Another service is to provide follow-up training or simple reminders to your learners. You can do this by sending a just-text e-mail, of course, but consider delivering “miniature” online, self-study experiences or interactive quizzes.
One more follow-on service you might offer is to survey your learners at intervals after they’ve participated in your training. Use surveys not only to evaluate the impact of past learning, but also to identify needs for additional training interventions.
You can build these services into your initial proposal to earn greater credibility with your client and, if you are external, to require a higher fee.
If you haven’t developed online, self-study learning experiences before, don’t think the above services are beyond your capability. Take your PowerPoint presentations, dub in your narration and then make the presentations available via your client’s internet, your own website, or a content-sharing service like SlideShare, MindForce or OpenSesame. (The latter two options even allow you to collect a fee from each learner who accesses your content.)
Some eLearning pros will turn up their noses at a simple PowerPoint learning experience, but don’t let them hold you back. Your narrated PowerPoint is much better than nothing—and your client isn’t likely to find fault with your “primitive” approach. By all means, aim higher, to eventually create world-class ultra-interactive experiences, but don’t be ashamed to crawl first, walk later and run when you are able.
To really get into the business of creating online, self-study content, you’ll need an “authoring” tool—something that will help you present your content inside a “skin” with the usual controls—Play, Pause, Volume, etc. If budget is a consideration—and when is it not?—try a free tool like CourseLab or Moodle or a moderately priced one like iSpring. A somewhat bigger budget will bring within reach the Cadillacs of the eLearning creation world, Articulate Studio, Articulate Storyline, Adobe Presenter or Lectora. You don’t even need to scrap your existing PowerPoints—most of the authoring tools will permit you to bring them inside the “skin.”
Of course, you may be too busy to add the creation of online learning experiences to your to-do list. In that case, consider bringing in a hired gun. Be prepared, though, to dicker over matters like the amount of interaction and graphics to be incorporated into the project. Depending on the number of learners who will see the finished product, you may be justified in keeping interaction and graphics to a minimum and letting “text-on-a-slide” carry the message. Your erstwhile designer may leave in a huff, of course, and you may end up talking to several others, but finding one who understands what you need—and don’t need—will be worth the search.
Use these ideas to “extend” your product line. Make more money, win more applause and have a bigger impact. Sweet!