Creating Professional Development That Works


It doesn’t matter what industry you’re employed in. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to sit through professional development of some sort.

Like most people, you’re hoping it won’t be painful. Like most presentations, it probably will be, unless the presenter keeps these tips in mind.


Less is more.

That’s true whether you’re speaking to a group, preparing handouts or building a slidedeck for your accompanying visual. Audiences today are overwhelmed with an onslaught of information. Knowledge is doubling every 12 months, and the pace is picking up, making knowing everything impossible.

As a presenter, your priority is to give your audience what they need and the resources to explore further on their own. You can’t give your audience everything.


What you do share has to be relevant. Your audience wants to know, “How can I use this?”

The best presentations are immediately applicable. Your audience should be able to put into practice at least one take away from the training as soon as they leave the room. If you’ve left them feeling as though they have to look over their notes one more time before implementing a single strategy, the information might not have been as relevant as you hoped.


Audiences remember stories. We’re wired to connect with each other through shared experiences, and it’s stories that most people remember.

Active learning techniques like small group discussion, role-playing scenarios and solving puzzles increase the likelihood of finding a presentation relevant and memorable.

Learn how to ace a presentation, and you’ll find yourself becoming an even more valuable and well-respected contributor to the organization.