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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: November 2007

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

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muvee: Halloween in New Orleans

Friday, November 30, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 6:59 PM IST

This muvee was created with pictures clicked during PowerPoint Live in New Orleans -- Halloween coincided with the last day of the user conference. I imported some of these pictures in muvee and used their Halloween Horrors superStyle to create this video.

Categories: movies, powerpointlive, youtube

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Thursday, November 29, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 3:30 PM IST

This book, authored by Geetesh Bajaj and Echo Swinford is not as much about reading as it is about seeing and doing! That’s why it's called a kit. Full-color pages show you exactly how your slides will look as you follow the makeover steps, and all presentations in various stages of the makeover are on the accompanying CD.

Read a free chapter here...

Categories: books, powerpoint_2007

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posted by Geetesh on 2:20 PM IST

Ppted released a new PowerPoint template set -- this one is called Construction 01. Not only do you get five great template designs, you also get the actual backgrounds so that you can use the same designs elsewhere. In this collection, you also get wide screen templates and backgrounds, and ten transparent PNGs you can use in your presentations -- at no extra cost.


Transparent PNGs

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 12:34 PM IST

This tutorial shows you how you can create a full slide puzzle effect in PowerPoint. Although I use PowerPoint 2007 in this tutorial, the technique works the same way all the way back to PowerPoint 97.

Learn here...

Categories: powerpoint, tutorials

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 12:58 PM IST

George McCaskill (pictured to the right) was a founding investor in Perspector and currently enjoys the role of Chief Technology Officer. George is responsible for product strategy and development. He earned his startup stripes by joining QSS in 1993 where he was one of two developers building the market leading requirements management tool DOORS.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the new features in Perspector 4.0.

George: The major new feature in Perspector 4.0 are 3D lists. You can convert from the bullet lists in your existing PowerPoint presentation into 3D list images, or you can start from scratch with our library of list images and fully featured 3D list editor. This presents PowerPoint users with a first easy step in the journey of breaking free from bullet point paralysis towards acquiring a much more visual style.

Perspector 4.0 now uses the presentation color scheme to give your images colors that match the rest of your presentation. This is a real time-saver compared with earlier versions of Perspector.

Professional Edition users can now add their own Perspector images to the Library so that they can save their 3D work for reuse in future presentations.

More information on Perspector 4.0 is available here...

Geetesh: Can you share some case studies on the use of Perspector.

George: Many Perspector customers are consultants and other communicators working with commercially sensitive information, so their presentations often cannot be shared with a wider audience, much as we would love to work with them on case studies. The other thing we have noticed from conversations with customers is that they like to keep Perspector as their 'secret weapon' that gives their presentations a distinctive edge when compared with their competitors' (or even other colleagues'!).

Our website has some example presentations which have come from the Perspector community. Community resources and case studies are areas we are actively seeking to improve, so if any Perspector users are reading this - please consider sharing your work with us if that is possible!

Categories: add-in, interviews, perspector, powerpoint

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Saturday, November 17, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 4:06 PM IST

Just read this informative article that combines a little history of PowerPoint with screenshots of the upcoming PowerPoint 2008 for Mac. And there's also a small comparison of PowerPoint 2008 with Apple Keynote 04.

Read it here...

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 2:31 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 User Conference and has a strong sense of the needs of the presentation community. In this conversation, Rick discusses the PowerPoint Live in New Orleans that was held in October 2007.

Geetesh: Five PowerPoint Lives in as many years -- give us some retrospective thoughts.

Rick: I can speak on behalf of the entire team that we had a simply terrific time in New Orleans, and judging by the feedback that most patrons shared with us, so did they. The keynote addresses were perhaps the strongest we have had in our five-year history. Breakout seminars represented high-water marks, as well.

The Birds of a Feather discussion groups were well received, as was the Expo, which saw almost 20 vendors set up for an entire day. Even the fluff stuff, like the PPTLive Trivia Contest and the Killer Slides competition, were popular.

I was especially gratified to see how well the patrons mixed. Sometimes, conferences that have several years of history can spawn cliques of attendees, and that is their right. We can't legislate how they choose to interact. So it was particularly pleasing to see how well they met, mingled, bonded, and became friends.

And Bourbon Street was just downright insane...

Geetesh: You announced that the next PowerPoint Live will be held in San Diego in 2008 -- tell us more, and do you want to share some secrets?

Rick: September 21-24, and the secret stuff is so deeply classified and sensitive, that even I don't know what it is yet...

Categories: powerpointlive, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 1:50 PM IST

A refugee from 18 years in corporate management and marketing, Rikk Flohr (pictured to the right) turned his attention inward to his 20-year love affair with Photography. He founded his design firm Fleeting Glimpse Images in January 2006 and divides his days between various print and screen design projects, presentation consulting and, of course, photography. He lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself, your work, and how you got started with photography.

Rikk: My first serious camera arrived in the form of a wedding present. I still remember it-Minolta XGM. I still have it. It still works. Within months, I was burning through a dozen rolls of film a month and spending my free time packing my burgeoning gear around they Wyoming countryside. I ran the gamut, shooting weddings, graduations, fine art, landscape and anything I could think of. It gave me a good grounding in the basics. Soon I graduated to Medium Format and things got really expensive.

At the same time, my career with a diesel engine distribution company took off and I found myself having little time for photography any longer. My degree was in Computer Science back in the day in which personal computers were a dream and mainframes the reality. But, as the PC revolution hit the corporate world, I found I could leverage myself into the graphics end, eventually taking over marketing, print and web development and presentations for my company. I still remember my first presentation program, Applause II from Ashton Tate. I did a lot of amazing things with that on that lowly 286.

In 2005, I dusted off my photography passion and invested in the new-fangled digital gear. Eight months later I relapsed and spent all my spare time in the field shooting. My company received a letter of resignation and I founded my design firm to leverage my hard-won marketing and design skills and pursue my twin passions of writing and photography. My firm now works in capture, high-end digital stills or high definition video; design, for prepress, web or other media; and present, building presentations and coordinating events. Photography is where I like to be and when I am not shooting, I am conniving ways to teach photographic skills or teach image editing. Recently, I had the good fortune of serving as Artist In Residence for the National Park Service spending 35 days in the field perfecting my craft.

Geetesh: How can PowerPoint users benefit from using their cameras.

Rikk: PowerPoint users have a unique opportunity to leverage digital photography. Presentations, visually at least, consist of essentially three elements: Words, Illustrations (Including Charts) and Photographic Images.

For content creators, the immediacy and ease of digital capture is a great benefit. An image of a person for the next slide deck is just a digital photograph away. Whether that person needing photographed is in the office next to you or across the country, today's digital imaging, coupled with email, puts that image into your next slide in the next ten minutes. That was something film could never deliver. The low resolution nature of presentations means that any camera is capable of creating acceptable content for PowerPoint. With a little imagination, modest amount of technique and some basic understanding of image editing software, you can create a photo of your company's latest product and have it into a slide before the film could be taken to the developer. No longer are slide jockeys limited to the canned clipart or the antiquated photos gathering electronic dust in lost folders on the corporate servers-fresh content is always just a click away. Why use a cheesy clipart image of two hands shaking when you can take a picture of your company president shaking hands with a real live customer? Why settle for predesigned slide backgrounds when you can set your point-n-shoot on close-up (the little flower on most digital cameras) and find a real, contextually accurate image to use?

I feel one of the greatest ways a slide wrangler can enhance their capitol at a company is to embrace digital photography and image editing as a way to enhance and distinquish their company's presentations. Pictures are worth a thousand words-none of them bulleted.

Categories: interviews, photos, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 11:53 AM IST

Presentations with pizzazz require a lot more than slides with text content. To make the slides look relevant, interesting, and coordinated is almost as important as the content these days -- but probably something that's even more important is that your presentations need to look different and stand out in the crowd. The addition of visual content and rich media can help, and PowerPlugs: Ultimate Combo 2007, the product I am reviewing is a one stop solution to resolving that problem.

Read the review here...

Categories: add-in, crystalgraphics, powerpoint

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Friday, November 16, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 2:48 PM IST

Visual Exemplars announced the release of Perspector 4.0, a major new version of their 3D add-in for PowerPoint.

Look here to view all the new features in Perspector 4.0...

Categories: add-in, perspector

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posted by Geetesh on 12:23 PM IST

No one is born a great speaker. Period. Granted, people are blessed with certain strengths in the area of public speaking, but every great speaker has worked hard to become the influential person or legacy that we see.

Scott Schwertly explains more here...

Categories: delivery, techniques

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posted by Geetesh on 12:13 PM IST

This page shows some pictures of the just concluded PowerPoint Live event at New Orleans.

Look here...

Categories: photos, powerpointlive

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posted by Geetesh on 10:57 AM IST

Carmine Gallo (pictured to the right) is a communications coach for the world’s most admired brands. His client list includes Intel, Chase, Barclays, IBM, Nokia, and many others. He is an Emmy award-winning journalist and former anchor, host, and business correspondent for CNN, Fox, CNET, and CBS.

Geetesh: Tell us more about Fire Them Up!, your new book, and what motivated you to do this book that helps motivate others.

Carmine: Americans are uninspired at work, in school and in their communities. At work, only 10% of employees look forward to going to work. Believe me, you don't want to be in the other 90%! In school, 7,000 U.S students drop out of the school system every day. In our communities, out of 172 democracies, America ranks 139 in voter turnout. We are discouraged, disillusioned and unmotivated. The same holds true for workers in many other countries as well. Leadership is in short supply. But it doesn't have to be that way. Each and every one of us has the ability, and I would argue, the obligation, to inspire, motivate and positively influence everyone in our personal and professional lives. You can do if you learn the language of motivation.

Fire Them UpFor more than a year, I spent time with extraordinary men and women who are considered inspiring communicators. These people run companies like The Ritz-Carlton, Google, Travelocity, Cold Stone Creamery, Starbucks, 24-Hour Fitness, Cranium, Virgin and many others. Some of the participants sketched ideas on napkins and through their power of their presentations, convinced investors to follow their vision. Some leaders transformed their company from one of the worst places to work to top of the Fortune list as the best place to work in the country. One man became a famous teacher for taking a class of underachievers and helping them outscore the gifted classes despite seemingly insurmountable hurdles. His story was turned into a movie but he offers his techniques for readers of Fire Them Up.

You will never be a leader unless you inspire those around you. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be." Imagine what life could be like if you satisfy that chief want? Recruiters will want to hire you, customers will want to buy from you, investors will want to back you, employees will want to work with you, and everyone will feel energized by your presence!

Geetesh: If you had to explain your book in a generic paragraph to a prospective reader, how would that read?

Carmine: Fire Them Up reveals the 7 simple secrets of motivation as practiced by the world's most inspiring business leaders, entrepreneurs and educators.

Categories: books, interviews

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Thursday, November 15, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 4:39 PM IST

Ppted's Ayurveda collection has been updated with extras! Take a look here to see...

Not only do you get five great template designs, you also get the actual backgrounds so that you can use the same designs elsewhere. In this collection, you also get wide screen templates and backgrounds, and ten transparent PNGs you can use in your presentations -- at no extra cost.


Transparent PNGs

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

Labels: ,


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