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During this video, we will look at the effectiveness of resources. Before we start to explain different resources we need to explain why we use them. Resources are effective tools. These tools are used have a huge amount of benefits, these include a visual aid to explain a complicated theory, it ‘backs up’ the information that you are providing and adds variety to the session. The more resources you can incorporate into your session the better.

Let’s look at the individual resources and the dos and don’ts of each;

The most obvious resources to start with is PowerPoint;
PowerPoint is an effective resource if it is used correctly. If you are using this resource you must ensure that you get the key points across in a clear and concise manner. Do not fill the page with too much information.

Pictures can also be used. However, it is important to ensure that the PowerPoint is not too cluttered and distracting. PowerPoint is the most common resource used for presentations and is by far the most time-consuming resource to produce.

PowerPoint can be effective in teaching new ideas and concepts, just be sure that the presentation is clear with a good font – such as Arial and a minimum font size of 24 is best. Think about the colours that you use, try not to write in red or green as this causes problems for those individuals who are colour blind or who suffer from some forms of dyslexia.

One problem some people do is to have too many slides and graphics that draw the attention away from the presentation. Keep powerpoints simple and use them to keep your session on time and so they support your talking. One other thing some people do wrong is to talk to the screen, not the group. Do not turn your back on the group, and this applies to using a whiteboard as well.

When powerpoints are prepared, it can be saved and used again and again, and it can be shared with others.

Models are excellent resources when used appropriately. Models are visible objects that can be used to illustrate points. They can be passed around the group to increase understanding of a complex subject. You can also show examples of products you sell in a sales presentation.
Some models are interactive and have moving parts. This also increases learner understanding and is often a welcome break from PowerPoints.

Many individuals like to have a handout to take away with them. In reality, most of the time these handouts aren’t referred to after your session. Therefore, consider the amount of time and money you are investing in handouts.

Generally, a 1-page document summarising key points works well. Consider the timing element of providing handouts. If you want to encourage discussion, don’t give them the handout with all the answers on it at the start of the session.

Sometimes trainers can give a lot of manuals out which can confuse people. Give them enough to support them without overwhelming them. A printout of your PowerPoint can sometimes help and give them somewhere to write notes.

If you are using flip charts or whiteboards try to ensure that your writing can be seen by all learners. This means you must have good handwriting, writing clearly and in blue or black.

If you want to use a flip chart but have poor handwriting then ask a member of your group to do this for you. This gives them a break and helps with interaction.

Flip chart paper is good to give to a group for exercises in the class. They can write down their answers and share visually with the group.

Other resources can be video, posters, books, computers, to name a few. Make sure these are relevant and you can either directly refer to them while teaching, or have posters in the room to support your session or give additional information.

Whatever resource you decide upon always ensure that you have a backup plan for when something goes wrong. Always consider the skills and abilities of your group and minimise any embarrassment.