The Top Three Tools for Creating Participant Guides from PowerPoint
If you’ve decided to read this article then you likely recognize this scenario:
You have a PowerPoint file, and it contains what’s needed to support the delivery of a training session that will be run by you, or by someone who knows the subject. However, it would help if you also had something to give the participants, and that either doesn’t exist or is no longer acceptable.
If your reaction is “Welcome to my life” then here are three paths to a happy ending. All of them involve tools that are easy to use. They are listed here in ascending order in terms of sophistication of output, and cost. Don’t worry, they can all be licensed for a month at a time at affordable rates.
george! is a PowerPoint publishing tool specially designed for sending slides and notes into Word to create attractively formatted handouts.
george! builds a Word document from your PowerPoint file, with a cover page that can include your logo, an acknowledgments page with a placeholder for your copyright, a Table of Contents, your slides, your slide notes if you want to add them, lined capture space for note-taking if desired, page numbers, and headers and footers. The frosting on this cupcake is that you can select and combine 18 different page layouts to present your material in the way that best supports the mode of delivery.
Scripter is george! plus an upfront time-saving method for cleaning up a slide file before you use it, making Scripter an excellent choice for preparing a PowerPoint file for transfer into an eLearning tool or Word.
Scripter pulls your existing PowerPoint file into an automated Word draft document that streamlines your ability to straighten out the slide notes, allows you to add “time per slide” markers, and makes it easy to designate who the notes are for: presenter, producer, participant.
The ability to parse the notes by the audience is brilliant because the slide notes area often contains a mix of content that you normally have to untangle by hand. Marking the notes by who needs them makes the production of a participant guide that much easier.
Once your slide notes are ready, Scripter will update your PowerPoint file. Then, you use Scripter to publish your participant guide with the same functionality george! provides, except that with Scripter you can create a formatted Word document that contains only the participant notes (or just the facilitator notes.) In other words, your PowerPoint file can hold all of the notes and you can publish only the notes and slide images you want the participants to have. You won’t have to manually edit the Word handout to delete content that’s not for the intended audience.
As a bonus:
If you happen to be a LeaderGuide Pro user, your Scripter-marked PowerPoint file will auto-feed the LGPro Virtual Facilitator Guide page layout.
If you don’t have a PowerPoint file yet, you can use Scripter to start the build of your slide file in Word and then use Scripter to send the scripted slide text and notes into PowerPoint to finish off the build with a slide design template and images.
Elements Pro ups the game. It is a course authoring tool, but it is so easy to use that you’ll find it hard to believe that’s what you are doing.
With Elements Pro you start a new participant guide in Word, choosing from one of the two included templates, and then you follow a couple of prompts to feed your PowerPoint file into the participant guide, choosing the page layout that’s best suited to support your delivery method.
Once the participant guide is populated, you can use Elements to build out the pages further if desired, using the built-in Text and Table Formatting tools and the easy-to-insert Icons.
Elements Pro includes customization features that allow you to set up custom cover pages and style guides. If you find yourself wanting more functionality, Elements Pro files can be converted to LeaderGuide Pro.
Live Demo and Free Trial
You can try all of these tools for free. To get the most out of the free trial, contact us to arrange for a live demo first.