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Thursday, April 24, 2014
posted by Geetesh at 9:30 AM IST

Rick Altman is a California-based presentation consultant who has been helping organizations communicate better in public since before Microsoft developed PowerPoint. He has been hosting end-user conferences since 1989, and is the host of the annual Presentation Summit, now in its 12th season. He has authored 17 books on presentations and graphics, including the now-notorious Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck.

In this conversation, Rick discusses the upcoming twelfth edition of his Presentation Summit conference, to be held in October 2014 in San Diego.

Geetesh: You've been holding the Presentation Summit for a long time now -- tell us what can patrons expect to experience in the upcoming season of the conference? What's changed? And what's not?

Rick: What has changed: More and more, people are showing an interest in exploring other software applications. They've heard about Prezi, but how might it fit into their workflows? They need to present from their iPads, but what's better the way to go, the new iPad version of Office or SlideShark? What about Haiku Deck or eMaze? There are lots of solutions today, not just PowerPoint, and knowing as much as you can about the industry's offerings makes you more valuable in your role as presentation professional.

What hasn't changed: As we have since 2003, we cover the whole of the presentation experience: message crafting, presentation design, software technique, and delivery. No one of those skills is sufficient by itself and we take a holistic approach to the process of presentation skills development.

Not to make it sound too mystical -- the other thing we do is focus sharply on relationship building. Presentation professionals make up a tight community and in many cases, the most important resource you could hope to have are the peers who can support your efforts. We consider that to be one of the greatest contributions the conference makes: putting you in touch with like-minded, caring, and supportive individuals whom you would be proud to call your colleagues and your friends.

And we're returning to San Diego, regarded by many to be a favorite destination. It has been four years since we've been back there and it will feel like returning home to many. And those joining us for the first time will get to experience one of the nicest cities during its nicest time of year.

Geetesh: Among the various experiences at the Presentation Summit, there's something about the Help Center that evokes different emotions. Tell us what prompted you to create a Help Center at this conference?

Rick: The Help Center is a direct reflection of Microsoft's MVP community and its culture of sharing and helping others. It's no coincidence that the Help Center is staffed almost entirely by members of the MVP team and that the planning for the inaugural event took place at an MVP dinner. It's like a match made in heaven: we bring in inspirational speakers and we develop provocative seminar topics, and then we fill in all the gaps with a completely free-form and 100% hands-on experience. Included in their admission, patrons can visit the Help Center at any time and for any reason.

No question is too menial, no challenge too small, and at the same time, no issue is too large. I don't think it is hyperbole to proclaim that the Help Center offers the finest instruction on the technical aspects of presentation that you will find anywhere on the planet.

See Also: Presentation Summit 2013: Conversation with Rick Altman

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, presentationsummit

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posted by Geetesh at 9:15 AM IST

Connectors are lines that link different shapes, and yet they are somewhat different from conventional lines because - connectors, as the name implies stay connected to the shapes they link -- even if you move the actual shapes. You have already learned about connectors, and the types of connectors in previous tutorials -- in this tutorial, you will learn how you can draw connectors that link shapes.

Learn how to draw connectors in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
posted by Geetesh at 9:30 AM IST

Jeremy DonovanJeremey Donovan is Group Vice President of Marketing at Gartner Inc., the world's leading information technology research and advisory company with $1.6 billion in annual revenue. During his career, Jeremey has led successful teams focused on market research, new product development, marketing, acquisitions, and product management. He is a three-time TEDx organizer, a TEDx speaker, a coach for many TED and TEDx speakers, and long-time member of Toastmasters International. His other books include What Great Looks Like, How To Win the Toastmasters World Championship, and How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World's Most Inspiring Presentations.

In this conversation, Jeremey discusses his new book, Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public Speaking.

Geetesh: Tell us about your new book, Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public Speaking. What was the motivation behind this book. Also tell us about your co-author.

Jeremey: As a student of effective communications, I'm always on the hunt for examples of inspiring storytelling. After deconstructing TED Talks, I turned my attention to the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. While there are countless speeches delivered in clubs every week, I figured the winning speeches represent the pinnacle of the Toastmasters experience. However, when I started writing what became "Speaker, Leader, Champion," I got completely stuck. You see, I had been a Toastmaster for over a decade, but I had avoided the competitive part of the journey.

Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public SpeakingFor help, I decided to 'phone a friend.' Ryan Avery, the 2012 Toastmasters World Champion, and I had traded some emails mostly in admiration of each other’s work. Ryan, despite the fact that he was only 25 when we met, has an unparalleled wealth of public speaking knowledge that he gleaned from self-study, practice, and the best mentors on the planet. It did not take me long to ask if he would team up with me to write the book.

During the process, we actually wrote three completely different books but ended up throwing away the first two. We are pretty proud of the end result. It uses Toastmasters world championship speeches as examples of the kinds of techniques that people can leverage in work presentations to share their ideas and accelerate their careers.

Geetesh: Your book has many examples of Toastmasters speeches yet all the advice can be used in any speaking scenario including business presentations. Please do share some thoughts.

Jeremey: You hit the nail on the head. Every type of speech I write about, be it Toastmasters, TED, The Moth, whatever..., has techniques that can be applied in personal and professional settings.

The key is to remain authentic to the situation. Take storytelling for example. In Toastmasters, storytelling is often dramatic and highly theatrical. That level of performance would not be suitable for most corporate settings. However, the fundamental structure of stories is the same. One of my favorite personal storytelling frameworks is the Pixar Pitch. It is a 3-act structure that goes like this:

Act 1 is: Once upon a time and every day... Until one day...

Act 2 continues with: And because of that... And because of that... Until finally...

Act 3 concludes with: And after that... And the moral of the story is...

Business stories have the same structure but use different language. Act 1 is the situation, Act 2 is the complication or opportunity, and Act 3 is the resolution. Some people call that problem solution, but I prefer the three-part version by splitting the problem into situation-complication. .

Categories: books, interviews, opinion, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh at 9:15 AM IST

While working with charts in your presentation, you may want to move the location of the legend, or you may need to add a Data Table. Or perhaps the default layout doesn't work well for you. If you find any of these scenarios familiar, you can always choose from different layouts for your charts using the pre-defined Chart Quick Layouts feature. This essentially is a collection of some pre-arranged layouts containing various chart elements. With just a couple of clicks, you can change the entire look of your chart, as explained in this tutorial.

Learn how to apply preset Quick Layouts to your charts in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh at 9:00 AM IST

Unlike the Windows versions of PowerPoint which shows the active Theme name on the Status bar, the Mac version does not show the active Theme name anywhere on its interface. If you need to know the active Theme's name for any open presentation, how do you find this information? You can find the name of the Theme applied to the presentation following the steps explained here.

Learn how to identify the active Theme name in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, themes, tutorials

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
posted by Geetesh at 2:41 PM IST

Microsoft has reinstated the support for YouTube videos in both PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 for Windows. You may recall that the option to insert online YouTube videos was removed a while ago due to code discrepancies in the syntax that Google started to use for YouTube embeds. During the time that this option was no longer available in PowerPoint, users had to opt for a longer process or even do this entire task manually. Now that automatic insertion is again possible, this will go a long way in making this task easy to accomplish.

Learn about support for YouTube videos now reinstated in PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 for Windows.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, powerpoint_2013, tutorials, video, youtube

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posted by Geetesh at 10:30 AM IST

We start with an exclusive conversation with Sam Haddad who discusses PowerPointWriter, a solution that lets you create PowerPoint files with code.

PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about manually embedding YouTube video, Smart Connectors, changing the default Theme or template -- and also about Table Style options. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can learn that there are ways in which you can make your chart Plot Area look different with texture and pattern fills. We also explore how you can alter Chart Gap Width. And if you are using PowerPoint 2010, learn how you can repair your Office installation. PowerPoint 2003 users will learn about editing, creating, and renaming Slide Masters.

And finally, do not miss the new discussions and templates of this week!

Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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