Spring 2015 User Group Tour Recap^* Part 1: PowerPoint Training

Spring 2015 User Group Tour Recap^* Part 1: PowerPoint Training
June 1, 2015

From March to May, the Brainshark Customer Community Team met with hundreds of customers in 21 cities. The focus of this User Group series was Building a Better Brainshark Presentation.  In the coming weeks we will be blogging about some of the themes that emerged.

  • Sourcing royalty-free music, videos and photography

  • Where to get PowerPoint training

  • Embedding presentations into webpages

  • Storyboard templates for Brainshark presentations

There are so many versions of PowerPoint (2003, 2007, 2010, 2013), flavors (Mac or PC), and skill-sets that it is very difficult to provide meaningful PowerPoint training at a User Group Meeting.  The three most useful resources sent to participants were:

  1. How to use the Selection Pane, so that you can try richer animations

  2. How to set animations timings in 3 ways (covered on page 11 in the 2015 Guide to Building a Better Brainshark Presentation)

  3. Information on scripting, slide design and more in the just released 6-part Brainshark Author Integrated Training (BAIT)

These are great, but do not represent formal PowerPoint Training. For those that just want to get better with PowerPoint, there are quite a few options. My comments are based on perceptions of the program, though I have not experienced an entire curriculum. 


YouTube: Type PowerPoint Training and you will find 346,000 titles. Add quotation marks to “PowerPoint 2013 Training” and it knocks it down to 4,000.  Still way too many, but not sure how valuable they are. Some of the more popular providers are PowerPoint Spice, SimonSezIT and O’Reilly Video Training.

Microsoft: They offer 7 beginner, 10 intermediate and 19 advanced PowerPoint 2013 tutorials that range from 10-15 minutes. There are a few which are quite engaging. The others are all screen shares.

Bright Carbon: This U.K.-based agency offers monthly live webinars and 15 on-demand presentations that focus on using PowerPoint to tell visual stories.

Paid Subscriptions

GoSkills: They offer a 4-hour curriculum of 34 classes broken into 7 sections of basic, intermediate and advanced instruction for both PowerPoint 2010 and 2013. They are very focused and this is one of only 5 curricula they offer. The subscription includes cheat sheets, transcripts, knowledge checks and certificates of completion.

Costs: $25-35 for 30 days to access their PowerPoint curriculum. Contact Brainshark Customer Community for a coupon code to bring your costs way down.

Lynda.com:  Recently purchased by LinkedIn, they offer a 9-part on-demand series for PowerPoint 2010 and 2013. Geared towards all levels, their catalog can be confusing. But, once you get into the actual class, the navigation is quite good.

Costs: $20-25 per month for 3,400+ classes.

Pluralsight:  Taught by PowerPoint MVP Heather Ackerman, their 7-hour on-demand curriculum of PPT 2013 essentials consists of 19 courses geared towards the beginner. They offer exercises and assessments as part of the package.

Costs:  $29-49 per month for 3,700+ classes.

Paid On-site Classes

In many cities you can attend on-site PowerPoint classes and can choose from a local or a national vendor. New Horizons offers on-site classes across the country as well as an online version. If you are a learner that wants a live experience, this is a viable option.

Costs:  1 or 2-day classes at $295 per day

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Spring 2015 User Group tour recap about creating lightwindows for embedded Brainshark presentations.

Spring 2015 User Group Tour Recap:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4