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Wednesday, May 27, 2015
posted by Geetesh at 9:30 AM IST

Matteo CasseseMatteo Cassese is an interactive consultant and an entrepreneur passionate about innovation and technology living in Berlin, Germany. Before starting his consulting business, La Fabbrica della Realtà, in 2011, he has held technical and marketing roles in the internet, telecommunications and entertainment fields. His experience with presentations spans more than 10 years, were he has applied his skills to bigger corporations and startups alike.

In this conversation, Matteo discusses The Magic Play Book, a SlideShare presentation that contains the 8 basic components that are needed for any great speech.

Geetesh: Tell us about your new Playbook for successful presentations – what motivated you to create it?

Matteo: I don't believe in keeping secrets. If I have something valuable I feel compelled to share it.

This is what I am doing with the Playbook for successful presentations. It's a blueprint that you can apply to any type of presentation.

I'm providing a step by step guide to structure your presentation. Once you've got a solid structure you can achieve any goal. Without a dependable structure your presentation unfortunately will go nowhere.

The best part is: the deck is very visual and it's really easy to comprehend the storytelling principles that guide it.

Geetesh: What is the one thing that people can do to deliver a better presentation?

Matteo: A good presentation is like a good joke. It has a beginning, a middle and an end.

In a good joke there is a first moment that is the "setup". A situation is presented, usually a location and some characters.

A good presentation should have a clear beginning where the subject and characters are clearly outlined. Let's take the beginning of a joke as an example: "Two hunters are out in the woods".

The second part of a good presentation is the conflict or action. This is the moment where you provide some dynamic information.

Let's see how our joke continues: "One of the two hunter collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services."

Presentations need to have strong, memorable endings. They should always end on high. Like a good joke, after you deliver your punchline there is nothing more to say.

Let's see how our joke ends on a high: "The hunter is on the phone with the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?”. The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?".

This advice and example may sound simplistic, but this is what great storytellers do. They simply create presentations with a great beginning, a strong middle part and an unforgettable ending.

See Also: Presentation Hero Academy: Conversation with Matteo Cassese

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, slideshare, training

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posted by Geetesh at 9:15 AM IST

Content and appearance are the two major components of presentation slides. Among them, the former is always more significant than the latter -- but that does not mean that you should neglect the latter. A simple looking presentation with a clean background is always a great idea since that doesn't overpower your message. Yet, there are plenty of opportunities to go beyond a plain background and use a less restrained background instead -- your choice for a slide background should complement the content of your presentation. For example, you'll want a flashier background for slides created for kindergarten students -- or if you were creating a PowerPoint greeting card. On the other hand, you may want a washed out, faded, or even a subtle patterned picture for a typical business presentation.

Learn how to apply custom backgrounds to both the Slide Master and Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2013, templates, tutorials

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015
posted by Geetesh at 10:30 AM IST

We begin with an exclusive conversation with Scott Kabat of Prezi who talks about 50 million Prezi users. We then explore a list of activities you should do before delivering your slides -- let's call this a presentation delivery checklist. Thereafter we learn how you can add new SmartArt graphic variants into your PowerPoint slides. Rodney Saulsberry talks to us about his new book, Tongue Twisters and Vocal Warm-Ups in an exclusive interview.

PowerPoint 2013 users can learn headers, footers and slide numbers -- and also about changing backgrounds within the Slide Master. You will also learn about Language Options visible in the Status Bar. For PowerPoint 2010 users, we have a tutorial on switching views between multiple presentations. Finally, don't miss the new discussions and templates of this week!

Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh at 9:15 AM IST

When you change Background Styles within the Slide Master, the Background Style for all dependent Slide Layouts will change. However, it is not necessary for all your Slide Layouts to possess the same Background Style as the Slide Master -- or even another Slide Layout. Each Layout can have its own independent Background Style.

Learn how to apply Background Styles to individual Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2013, templates, tutorials

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Monday, May 25, 2015
posted by Geetesh at 9:30 AM IST

Leon ConradLeon Conrad is a highly experienced voice-centered communication skills specialist who has run training courses in voice-centered communication skills for business for over 20 years. He is co-founder and lead trainer at The Academy of Oratory and teaches communication skills for negotiators for The Negotiation Lab. Leon is passionate about traditional arts and crafts, storytelling, and about reviving the integrated approach to classical liberal arts education. Leon performs as a storyteller and performance poet. He lives in London, UK.

In this conversation, Leon discusses his book, Odyssey - Dynamic Learning System.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your new book, Odyssey - Dynamic Learning System – and how you conceptualized and evolved this book.

Leon: Odyssey, in a nutshell, is a simple approach to education that makes learning more effective, engaging, inspirational, and fun.

Odyssey works like a game. It's based on a grid of colored shapes -- each with an intriguing word, diagram, or picture on it. The goal is to travel through the grid, starting at the top left, visiting a set number of shapes. The goal is to end up at the blank shape at the bottom. The blank shape symbolizes a key learning point -- because we don't know what that will be, the shape is left blank. The content will emerge as a result of going on the journey.

David Pinto first developed the idea when he taught Maths to secondary schools students in the UK. He developed it as a desperately needed alternative to the traditional jug-mug approach to education, realizing that students were crying out to be inspired, engaged, and that they wanted things to just make sense. Odyssey allowed the delivery of necessary syllabus-based content, while fulfilling the need for being inspirational, engaging, fun learning -- and encouraged students to make sense of the subject matter for themselves, each in their own way.

The results he got were impressive -- in one case, after 5 weeks using an Odyssey Grid with a class of 13- to 14-year-old students working at level 3 out of six levels, they all moved up. Of the 24 in the class, 21 moved up a set -- already outperforming those in the set above them -- and three shot up to the top set.

David and I became friends after a chance meeting on the top of a double decker bus in London. We shared a common interest in a holistic, integrated approach to education, but it was around 3 years after our initial meeting that I found out about Odyssey. David explained how it worked and I used it when I was teaching an Oracy to Literacy program based on storytelling at a primary school in London, which the students loved and did really well with. When I told David what I'd done, we were both surprised to find I'd developed a new way of using the system. As a result we decided to write a book which covered both approaches.

I found PowerPoint really useful in developing teaching materials. As we recommend presenting material in riddle format, and vary the type of content as much as possible, the ability to hyperlink from shapes on a navigation slide and embed different kinds of content was really useful.

Geetesh: Presentations such as those created and delivered using PowerPoint can be both linear and dynamic (non-linear) -- in which scenarios, can a presenter and an audience benefit more from a slide sequence that's dynamic rather than linear?

Leon: Since the book came out in January, we've given presentations on the system using PowerPoint. We've designed presentations using an Odyssey Grid approach and have got audience members to select their own journey through the grid, learning about the approach by being immersed in it -- which has increased engagement, and enjoyment, made presenting and learning more fun.

I'm a big fan of PowerPoint - used well. The great thing about the program is that both linear and non-linear approaches can be used alongside each other as appropriate. Why go for an either/or scenario when it can provide a both/and option? While the overarching approach to going on an Odyssey journey is non-linear, any shape could link to a linear slideshow sequence if the content lends itself to being explored that way.

Odyssey is an incredibly flexible system. It's got four main advantages over traditional approaches to presentation or education. It's content-free, it's scalable, it's adaptable and it can work at any level.

OdysseyFirstly, being content free, it can be used to teach any subject. It can literally be used by anyone to teach anything to anyone. Secondly, because it's scalable, it can contain anything from a whole year's syllabus, a term's project, the content for a single training day, but can also be used in an even shorter intervention. Thirdly, because it's adaptable, you can design Odyssey Grids to suit different requirements -- and there are many variations described in the book. For instance, you could explore David's approach to delivering a syllabus which is cumulative, in which one segment develops out of another, or Leon's approach to delivering a syllabus which is interconnected, but not necessarily cumulative. Last but not least, we've used Odyssey Grids at many different levels -- they work for corporate training and tertiary education as well as at primary and secondary levels.

Odyssey is released under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial License.

The book is available from major on-line retailers worldwide and can be ordered from independent bookstores or you can get a signed copy from OdysseyGrids.com.

If you're an Indezine subscriber, you can use code 'Indez15' at checkout to benefit from a 10% discount on your first purchase from OdysseyGrids.com.

A sample Odyssey Grid that introduces the concept of what an Integrated Approach to Liberal Arts Education means can be downloaded for free from the OdysseyGrids website here.

David explains the very simple idea behind Odyssey on this YouTube video.

Categories: books, interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh at 9:15 AM IST

While changing the Slide Layout of any given slide(s) in PowerPoint 2013, you typically access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the Layout button. This brings forth the Layout drop-down gallery. The number of Slide Layouts that you see within this gallery may differ depending upon the Theme of your active presentation -- but with PowerPoint's default Office Theme applied, you may see 9 layouts.

Explore Slide Layouts within Slide Master view in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2013, templates, tutorials

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Friday, May 22, 2015
posted by Geetesh at 9:30 AM IST

In addition to creating SmartArt, and including a bunch of some great variants out of the box, Microsoft also created a way for individuals and developers to create their own custom SmartArt Layout files - these new SmartArt Layouts had the file extension, GLOX -- and could be dropped into a designated folder -- and that would result in additional SmartArt graphics being available to you.

Learn how you can get more SmartArt graphic variants.

Categories: powerpoint, smartart, tutorials

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