Are you old enough, as I am, to remember the time when education in any shape or form revolved largely around a dusty old blackboard and a few starchy textbooks? Hardly stimulating, really, was it?
It’s little wonder that some of us suffered the ignominy of having a piece of chalk launched towards our heads, through our failure to ‘pay attention’. The fearsome Mr Brown was a chief offender of such tactics. I still bear the mental scars to this day. But to be fair, it can’t have been much fun for him, either, trying to motivate a group of bored, uninspired adolescents with their minds on other things, and with precious little in the way of exciting material to stir their interest or to feed their appetite for learning.
Thankfully, everything’s very different nowadays. Over the last twenty years or so, high quality audio visual aids based on ground-breaking developments in technology have revolutionised the world of training, transforming it from a passive and often tedious occupation to a fascinating, enjoyable and highly participative activity.
From the simple to the sophisticated, no matter what your budget or the application or space available, an efficient audio visual installation can be designed to meet your requirements exactly. A competent and experienced supplier will be able to help you identify those needs and will advise on the options available.
It may be that you want nothing more elaborate than an uncomplicated training room, equipped with a projector and screen suitable for offering presentations for a handful of students. At the other end of the scale, you may be looking for a large, state-of-the-art lecture room or auditorium, complete with complex, fully automated control systems, plasma screens, interactive whiteboards, surround sound and even video conferencing facilities. Whatever your final choice, all will be backed up with the guarantee of full technical support, free of charge, in the unlikely event that you need it.
Thinking back to those days gone by, written words and diagrams have their place, but the most appealing feature of today’s audio visual solutions is that the entire scenario is brought to life and made tangible. It’s one thing to be shown a stark photograph with a big red cross through it, illustrating the wrong way to operate a potentially dangerous piece of machinery. How much more effective, though, to be able to see actual film or animation of the process, complete with sound, demonstrating the safe way to do it? Immediately, the risks are highlighted and we are taken from a hypothetical ‘classroom’ condition to a real life situation with which we can identify and which drives the message home. This has to be the best possible training.
In the field of Sales, too, innovations in audio visual techniques have proved to be invaluable in honing the skills necessary to produce the person that will really stand out. It takes a special individual to shine in an area that is critical to any business; one who appreciates the importance of positive body language and of overcoming objections in order to close a sale successfully. With the aid of audio visual technology, candidates can be filmed in a role-playing situation which is then played back to be shared with and analysed by the rest of the group. Scary for some, maybe, to be forced to witness the odd, embarrassing idiosyncrasy of one’s own – tugging at the chin or fiddling with the tie ‘ but essential if one is to recognise what makes a winning salesperson in a hugely competitive market.
It would be a most unusual student who could fail to be enthused by today’s learning experience. It’s all a far cry from the chalk-hurling days of Mr Brown. I wonder what he would have made of all of this…