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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: June 2009

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting Notes
PowerPoint and Presenting Glossary
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PPTools PPT Merge: The Indezine Review

Saturday, June 27, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 1:20 PM IST



Out of the box, Microsoft builds little or no integration or relationships within PowerPoint to other Microsoft Office applications. To provide a quick example, PowerPoint users have nothing close to the mail merge options in Word or Outlook that can access data from an Excel or database source. And that's sort of sad, since PowerPoint is one application that can act as a glue to all sorts of content -- from text to pictures, and movies to charts! Our review product, PPT Merge does try to cover this vacuum -- does it succeed?

Read more to find out...

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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Thursday, June 25, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:04 PM IST



PowerPoint 2007 offers two password choices. The first one is a Password to Open option that lets you type a password in the field, and the next time you or anybody else opens the file, PowerPoint will prompt to enter the password. The second is a Password to Modify option that lets you type a password in the field to make the presentation readable and visible, but not editable.

Learn more now...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 1:42 PM IST



Why would anyone want to password protect their PowerPoint presentations? There are many reasons, and here are some of them. A presentation with confidential content is safe if it is password protected -- nobody without access to the password can open it. Also, the password protected presentation is more safer to share -- you can provide the password to the person whom you are sharing the presentation with. In addition to providing a password-to-open option, PowerPoint provides a less restrictive password-to-modify option. So your presentation can be opened by anybody, but can't be modified - this makes your content non editable.

Learn more now...

Categories: powerpoint, tutorials

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 12:49 PM IST



In the previous tutorial of this PowerPoint to Secure PDF series, I showed you how to set PDF to play in full screen mode. If your PDF is playing full screen, and you want it to look like a presentation, it's a great idea to add slide transitions so that it mimics a PowerPoint presentation.

Learn more now...

Categories: pdf, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 4:20 PM IST



Continuing my discussion on circles (see Circles I and Circles II), this time I look at creating circles in an application outside PowerPoint.

Specifically, my office team was helping me with a review of Artlandia's new SymmetryWorks plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that lets me create organic looking patterns from all shapes. Since we are biased towards circles at this point of time, we decided to create a repeating circular pattern using SymmetryWorks. These patterns were intended as a starting point for PowerPoint backgrounds.

Look at these patterns here -- they are all uploaded to my Flickr account so feel free to click on these thumbnails to see larger previews:

Circle Patterns

Circle Patterns

Circle Patterns

Circle Patterns

Circle Patterns

Since this was a fun project, we also made a presentation-full-of-circles with the first pattern -- we uploaded this to SlideBoom so that we could embed it within this post:


So what do I do with circles next? Wait and watch -- or send me your thoughts and feedback...

Categories: design, powerpoint, shapes

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Saturday, June 20, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:06 PM IST



I shared a few "circle" thoughts with you in the first post in this series: Design Shapes: The Circle, Part I -- and now it's time to look at some more circles. What could be better than an entire book on circles, and my favorite is a book that's entirely filled with color pictures of any sort of circular pattern that you might have seen!

The book is called Circles and Dots: Communicating with Pattern, and it contains 250 pages worth of circular inspirations for you to feast on.



This is a book that will inspire every individual in a way that's different for each reader. Some people may get ideas about doing crafts and hobbies, others may launch their PowerPoint or Photoshop, and start creating circles -- and others might just start doodling. But each of them will have their own circle of inspiration.

So how does it inspire me? I love to see how color and texture can make so much of a difference between one circle and the other -- how light alters a circular concept in a photograph, and how many circles we have around us all the time that we are not even aware of!

Categories: design, photoshop, powerpoint, shapes

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Friday, June 19, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 2:57 PM IST

In this new Design Shape series of posts, I'll look at concepts that are not limited to PowerPoint alone, although you can expect me to relate them to PowerPoint and presentations in some way or the other because as you must have guessed it, I am in a circle that revolves around presenting!

Talking about circles, that's also the shape that I talk about in this post. There are many reasons why you should like circles:

  • They are round and balanced.
  • They are not limited by starting and ending points.
  • They work great in single color and two color designs.
  • They also work well when you have many of them overlapping each other in the same media.
  • They represent continuity.
  • They represent celestial objects we see every day, such as the sun and the moon. Circles also represent our planet Earth.
  • They make great PowerPoint slide backgrounds if you mellow them down a wee bit!
Of course, there's so much more that I can tell about them -- but for now, let's just leave them here as far their virtues are concerned.

I searched a few visuals depicting objects as circles, and here's what I found on Shutterstock, a well known stock photo site:


Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock

So will visuals of circular concepts shown above work within PowerPoint slides, or slides created in other applications? Will you have to adapt or edit them? And would you do those edits in PowerPoint or another program? That's a lot of questions, even if I am prone to thinking aloud! But that's also a direction for future posts in this series—watch this space!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 12:15 PM IST



At last count, I found that there were at least 3 PowerPoint presentation contests happening online.


Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock

On the top of my list is Microsoft's own PowerPoint Template Contest called Create a Spark. The rules are simple enough:

  • Create a PowerPoint 2007 presentation template that motivates and inspires.
  • Choose a business or education topic that you feel passionate about. Some ideas include sales, marketing, sports performance, leadership, and volunteering.
  • Please limit your template to 10 slides or less.
The second contest from SlideBoom is called the SlideBoom Presentation Contest 2009. They have fewer rules, but that's not always an advantage:
  • Introduce any concept as a presentation on business, education, career or on any other interesting subject.
The third contest is from SlideShare, and is called the Tell A Story Contest. They seem to be offering the best prizes! The rules are:
  • The presentation must be your original creation. Please do not upload the work of others. It will be disqualified.
  • You can enter up to 10 presentations into the contest.
  • Slidecasts & presentations having videos are also eligible for the contest.
So if you have created a cool presentation that you can share, there are at least three places that they can be uploaded to -- wish you all the best!

Categories: online_presentations, powerpoint, slideshare, templates

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 3:56 PM IST



Brent DykesBrent Dykes has used PowerPoint for more than 10 years in various marketing and consulting roles. His presentations have been seen by executives at Fortune 500 companies and various marketing conferences. In 2008, he started the PowerPoint Ninja blog. Brent has an MBA from BYU and is Director, Consulting at Omniture.

In this conversation, Brent discusses his PowerPoint involvement and his blog.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your involvement with PowerPoint.

Brent: I’ve been working with PowerPoint for more than 10 years in a variety of contexts: sales and marketing, business school, business start-ups, consulting, and management.

My first significant exposure to PowerPoint came when I interned at Microsoft for a couple of semesters in the late 1990s in Vancouver, BC. As a sales and marketing intern, I gained access to Microsoft’s vast marketing slide repository so that I could build presentations for various speaking engagements. Seeing what other very skilled users had created with PowerPoint really opened my eyes to what could be done with this presentation software.

After graduating from Simon Fraser University with a BBA in Marketing in 1999, I joined a successful web design agency, Blast Radius (WPP), as a marketing analyst. A core responsibility of my role was to create reusable marketing presentations for our sales and executive teams. I also worked on several sales pitches for Fortune 500 companies.

In 2002, I went back to school for my MBA from Brigham Young University. As an MBA student, I was able to leverage my PowerPoint skills on a weekly basis in my various class projects. I was also able to participate in a couple of business plan competitions where my presentation skills helped my team to place as a semi-finalist in the 2004 BYU competition and second in the 2004 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. It was great to get exposure to VC pitches.

For the past five years, I’ve been working for Omniture as a web analytics consultant, manager, and director. In that time I have worked extensively with PowerPoint in building various client presentations for Fortune 500 companies, which focused on data analysis and strategy. I’ve also been fortunate to present at several marketing conferences including a 2008 keynote presentation in Japan. For better or for worse, PowerPoint continues to be a big part of my life.

Geetesh: How did PowerPointNinja evolve? What sorts of thoughts do you post?

Brent: Throughout my career I’ve had several co-workers, managers, and clients praise me on my PowerPoint skills. In 2004, I finally decided to purchase a web domain that related to my PowerPoint expertise. I chose “PowerPoint Ninja” because ninjas are skilled, mysterious, and just plain cool.

After a few years of sitting on the domain and telling people that I would eventually create a PowerPoint presentation website, I decided it needed to happen in 2008. Eventually, I’d like to publish a PowerPoint Ninja handbook.

In terms of the types of thoughts I post on my site, I believe I bring a very practical or pragmatic perspective to PowerPoint design and business presentations. As someone who is using PowerPoint in a corporate environment, I can relate with many of the limitations and challenges that business users run into because I’m battling those same issues.

I post tips and tricks on how to use PowerPoint features and how to design effective business presentations. I try to focus on all three phases of PowerPoint presentations: planning, design, and delivery. If you’ve already read some of my articles you’ll also know that I like to have fun with my posts.

Categories: interviews, opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 2:26 PM IST



A prospective customer has invited you to showcase your company's products and services, and the stakes are high. This contract could be huge. Your marketing department and executives have been fretting over the necessary PowerPoint slides for weeks. Every word has to be perfect. Every slide must be in exactly the right order. Your mission is to lay down a faultlessly planned and executed sales strategy that persuades this customer to buy exclusively from you ... but you are worried!

Robert Lane  Andre Vlcek

This article by Robert Lane and Andre Vlcek explains how you can sell better using PowerPoint.

Read this now...

Categories: design, opinion, powerpoint

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 10:21 AM IST



SmartArt graphics are a new feature in PowerPoint 2007 (and Office 2007). Like charts, these are info-graphics but the similarities end there. Whereas charts are based on figures, the foundations of SmartArt graphics are based on logic, which helps convey relationships, hierarchies, and flows through a combination of simple shapes and text. Organization charts and cycle relationship drawings are all common examples of SmartArt graphics.

Learn more here...

Categories: powerpoint_2007, smartart, tutorials

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Friday, June 05, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 12:28 PM IST



Many times, users just remove an animation and apply another one instead. The need to change an animation may arise for several reasons: You realize that another animation type would work better in a given slide, or you want to make all animations across the entire presentation consistent, or you want to use a more subtle or exciting animation. Whatever your need may be, you need to remove an animation, and then add another one -- PowerPoint's Change animation option makes this a one-click step.

Learn more now...

Categories: animation, powerpoint, tutorials

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Thursday, June 04, 2009
posted by Geetesh on 10:17 PM IST



SlideBoom, a leading slide sharing platform announced support for Open Document Presentation (ODP) files. The ODP file format is increasingly being used in free office suites like OpenOffice, NeoOffice or IBM Lotus Symphony and proprietary software packages like Sun Microsystems’ StarOffice. SlideBoom continues support for PowerPoint and some other file formats.

More info can be found on the SlideBoom blog...

Categories: odf, online_presentations, slideboom

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