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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: May 2007

Thoughts and impressions of whatever is happening in the world of PowerPoint

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Father's Day: New PowerPoint Template Set From Ppted

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 2:59 PM IST

Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called Father's Day.

None of the templates at are free -- these are all designer templates. I just wanted to say that because lots of readers write in to say that their Indezine passwords don't let them download all the Ppted templates for free!

Categories: powerpoint, templates

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 2:28 PM IST

Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called Roads.

None of the templates at are free -- these are all designer templates. I just wanted to say that because lots of readers write in to say that their Indezine passwords don't let them download all the Ppted templates for free!

Categories: powerpoint, templates

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posted by Geetesh on 1:55 PM IST

Terry Irwin is a consultant surgeon in Belfast, Northern Ireland working for the National Health Service (NHS). Terry is also a long time PowerPoint user and co-author of a book on PowerPoint geared towards the designing of medical presentations.

In this interview, Terry discusses the use of PowerPoint in medicine, and his book.

Read the interview here...

Categories: interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:47 AM IST

Mike Pearce says the best history teachers in today's schools will tell stories, make students relate to the people and events and use technology in order to do both. Starting in 2001, when he was teaching eighth grade, Pearce began integrating his own lesson plans into a PowerPoint system. "It hits every learning style. We live in an electronic age and kids are now very impressed by instruction that is more contemporary," he said.

Read more on the Killeen Daily Herald site...

Categories: case_studies, education, powerpoint

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Monday, May 28, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 1:39 PM IST

Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called Meetings.

None of the templates at are free -- these are all designer templates. I just wanted to say that because lots of readers write in to say that their Indezine passwords don't let them download all the Ppted templates for free!

Categories: powerpoint, templates

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Saturday, May 26, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 2:07 PM IST

Jeff Brenman (pictured to the right) is a graduate from Northwestern University where he studied psychology and business. It was pretty early on in his college experience that he became disenchanted with the conventional presentation styles, and started to independently study the theory behind what makes great presentations great. It wasn't long before he was helping out professors and student leaders on campus with their slide decks, eventually having a position created for himself with the university as a presentation design consultant. He started a design firm called Apollo Ideas, based out of Chicago that specializes in presentation design and consulting.

Geetesh: Tell us more about Apollo Ideas, and the type of presentation related services you provide.

Jeff: Apollo Ideas was created from the collision of a huge demand in the market for innovative communication methods and my personal passion for creating and developing stories and presentations. I first started presentation design consulting while in college, working for professors and lecturers who were speaking at academic conferences and delivering grant proposals. After I graduated, I branched out from the academic market into the business markets, forming Apollo Ideas and building a team of people who share my passion. We're a storytelling company. Services range from taking an existing slide deck and restyling it (similar to what was done to Karl Fisch's original presentation for ShiftHappens), to a full consulting process in which we help generate the original content for the slides, working with the client to design the story from the ground up.

Geetesh: How did your prize winning entry in SlideShare's World's Best Presentation Contest evolve -- and what do you think set it apart from other entries in finally emerging as the winner.

Jeff: I came across Karl Fisch's "Did You Know" presentation online, and thought the content was fantastic. I had just finished reading The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, so the globalization themes in Karl's presentation resonated hard with me. I decided to re-stylize the presentation as a challenge to myself, to re-make it how I'd like to see it. I am glad ShiftHappens has received so much attention through SlideShare because the reality of the 21st century is a subject we all ought to know about.

I think what set ShiftHappens apart from the other entries was its visual style and the power of its content. At over 50 slides the presentation contains a lot of information. It was a challenge creating a visual style that would be bold but still stay visually interesting in a stand-alone presentation with so much content.

Categories: interviews, presentation_samples, powerpoint, slideshare

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posted by Geetesh on 1:55 PM IST

Rick Altman (pictured to the right) is a presentation consultant based out of Pleasanton, CA. Rick is well known as the host of the annual PowerPoint Live event and has a strong sense of the needs of the presentation community. In this conversation, Rick discusses his new book called Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck -- and goes on to explain what goes wrong with many presentations.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your new book, and what prompted you to do such a book.

Rick: I have had the idea for this book in my head for over three years, and candidly, I could have authored it years ago, from a big publisher, with a lot of marketing muscle behind it. But each of the publishing houses that I spoke with wanted the book to contain introductory material, and I was unwilling to do that. There are plenty of books that cover PowerPoint basics and rudimentary presentation skills training. Too many, in fact! What is there for the more seasoned user? I wanted this book to pick up where the others left off, and I wanted it to be uneven, full of bias and commentary, and not be afraid to be inflammatory. As I say in the introduction, "you are invited to disagree -- in fact, if you agree with everything I say in the book, its value is probably diminished."

The best way to accomplish these objectives was to publish the book myself, and today there are plenty of resources to support that. I might not sell a half-million copies in the first year, but I'm confident that I'll get it out there to the people who might be interested in the message and that the message will strike a respondent chord with them.

Geetesh: What are the most common mistakes that PowerPoint presenters and presentation designers do, and how can this book help them?

Rick: If I had to boil it all down to just one thing, I would cite the popular sentiment that the PowerPoint file is the presentation. I have colleagues who even refer to the resultant effort as "a PowerPoint." This is way off. A collection of images projected behind you is not the presentation; you are the presenter and what you have to say is the presentation.

Once you approach from that point of view, then tactics around use of the software can begin to make some sense. If the PowerPoint file is not the presentation, then for heaven's sake, don't dump your entire speech there.

And if it is to remain subordinate to you, then don't fill it with a bunch of attention-getting devices that undermine you.

Projected slides should not work so hard and they shouldn't make the audience work so hard. If that dramatic photo takes too much attention away from you or the text on your slides, then it performs a disservice, no matter how beautiful it is.

My hope is that through all 278 pages, this book never loses sight of the primary role of presentation software - to support the presenter - and the most effective way for it to play that role.

Categories: books, interviews, powerpoint

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Thursday, May 24, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 3:16 PM IST

Although it's easy to add reflection effects in PowerPoint 2007, there is a less obvious way of recreating a similar reflection effect in earlier versions of PowerPoint as well. This tutorial will provide the steps to recreate a reflection effect using Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 or 2003.

Sandra Johnson shows you how...

Categories: photos, powerpoint

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Monday, May 21, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 1:51 PM IST

Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called Accounting.

None of the templates at are free -- these are all designer templates. I just wanted to say that because lots of readers write in to say that their Indezine passwords don't let them download all the Ppted templates for free!

Categories: powerpoint, templates

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Friday, May 18, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 7:34 PM IST

Jeff Koke (pictured to the right) is a graphic designer and creative marketing expert who has been designing professionally since 1992. He is the co-founder of two businesses: Koke Creative, a creative marketing firm that helps innovative companies build strong brands and executes on those brands through Web, print and presentation design; and PointClips, a site that sells high-quality professional graphics for PowerPoint. Jeff lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two children. He enjoys Tae Kwon Do, soccer, writing and music.

Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself and PointClips.

Jeff: I've been involved in graphic design professionally since 1992, and have been working in PowerPoint since 1997 when I was creative director for an enterprise software company, helping them craft effective sales and marketing presentations. More recently, my design firm Koke Creative has built a practice around creating beautiful and powerful PowerPoint presentations for all kinds of companies.

The idea for PointClips came from the fact that one of our clients required that all the artwork in their presentations be built within PowerPoint, not imported from JPEGs or other external graphics. This was for file size reasons as well as to increase the quality of the presentation when given over NetMeeting. We developed a method for creating beautiful icons and objects using PowerPoint's built-in drawing tools. Our illustrator, Russell Moore, used this method to build the hundreds of objects that we offer on PointClips.

Geetesh: How are PointClips different than other graphics for PowerPoint.

Jeff: When people think of graphics for PowerPoint, they usually think of backgrounds and templates, or stock photography -- or they think of the cartoony clip art that comes with the program. We wanted to break that paradigm with PointClips. PointClips are unique illustrations that convey the benefits of native PowerPoint objects (scalability, transparency, editability) while having the detail and beauty of graphics that are usually created in other design programs, like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. If you've spent any time working with PowerPoint's drawing tools, you'll know that this isn't easy.

Being vector illustrations, their main advantage is flexibility: they can be scaled to any size, from a tiny icon or bullet, to a graphic that fills the slide -- all without any loss of detail or quality (no jagged, pixellated edges); they have transparent backgrounds, so they can be placed on top of other elements without white boxes around them; and they are easily editable by ungrouping their components and editing the colors or individual points. If needed in other applications, they can be copied and pasted into Word or Excel, or exported as JPEG or PNG for any other application, including web sites.

PointClips are available here...

Categories: clip_media, graphics, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 12:49 PM IST

This book extract from Special Edition: Using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 is a full chapter on Working with SmartArt that I authored -- it has been put up on with permission from Pearson Education.

The book, which I co-authored with Patrice-Anne Rutledge and Tom Mucciolo is probably the most detailed volume on PowerPoint you'll find anywhere -- in addition it also looks beyond PowerPoint to design sense, presentation and speaking skills. The book has been completely updated for PowerPoint 2007 and includes a free CD that contains software that you can use.

Read the free chapter here...

Categories: books, powerpoint_2007

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Thursday, May 17, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 11:08 AM IST

Helius Inc. announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire PointeCast Corp., a leading global provider of rapid-communication and online training solutions. PointeCast's Publisher product allows users to enhance Microsoft PowerPoint presentations with real time quizzes, surveys, response tracking and other multimedia features and then instantly convert them into the Adobe Flash format for easy integration. PointeCast's robust learning management system (LMS) enables customers to administer and track e-learning and training courses.

More on

Categories: add-in, elearning, online_presentations, powerpoint, powerpoint_flash

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posted by Geetesh on 11:03 AM IST

Microsoft's Mac BU continues to work in the development on Office 2008 for Mac, but in the meantime they have just announced the release of its standalone, drag and drop Word converter for Office 2004 for Mac and v. X users.......PowerPoint and Excel drag and drop updates to the converter will be released this winter.

More on the Geekzone site...

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:25 AM IST

Some GMail users have reported that they see a "View as Slideshow" option in mails that contain PowerPoint attachments.

Doug Caverly on says that "whether it's being polite, trying not to scare its competitor, or somehow believes this is true, Google has repeatedly claimed that it isn't challenging the Microsoft Office Suite. But now a feature within Gmail looks a lot like a presentation tool, and onlookers are having an even harder time accepting the search engine giant's word."

Rafe Needleman adds on Webware -- "This is probably the presentation player that will be part of Google's upcoming competitor to PowerPoint. It's not, though, what we're all waiting for, which is the slide show authoring tool that will presumably have cool collaborative features similar to Google's word processor and spreadsheet."

Categories: google, powerpoint

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