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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: March 2010

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting Notes
PowerPoint and Presenting Glossary
PowerPoint Programming

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SmartDraw For Dummies: Conversation with Daniel Hoffman

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 12:11 PM IST



Daniel HoffmanAs Vice President of Marketing at SmartDraw, Daniel Hoffman is responsible for the continuous improvement of both the Internet and product customer experience, and for growing the installed base through online and offline marketing efforts. At Microsoft, Mr. Hoffman was a key member of the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office teams, and is a graduate of Stanford University. In this conversation Daniel discusses his book: SmartDraw For Dummies.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your book, SmartDraw For Dummies.

SmartDraw For DummiesDaniel: SmartDraw for Dummies was written originally to provide new and potential users of SmartDraw with a solid how-to understanding of the product. It became clear through the process, however, that many people need to learn as much about how and when to use the proper visual to improve their communication skills, as they do “how-to” instructions for creating a specific visual. SmartDraw is an amazingly easy-to-use product for many people, but its breadth and power need to be explored further in some cases. This is why traditional graphics software has had such great difficulty becoming standardized in businesses – it is much too difficult to use for untrained users, and businesspeople have very little understanding why they should take the time to learn in the first place. They just don’t see the benefit for their most common forms of communication (written documents, presentations, email).

Geetesh: Who is this book addressed to, and how can it help them?

Daniel: SmartDraw for Dummies is a book for any business user who wants to improve their communication by using visuals – which we know can be up to 6 times more effective than written text alone. The book can help someone get started very quickly in creating visuals with SmartDraw, or it can also help someone who is already familiar with the product learn about all of the 70 different visuals that they can create, and when and how to apply them to solve real business communication issues.

Categories: books, graphics, interviews, powerpoint, smartdraw

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posted by Geetesh on 12:05 PM IST



By default, PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 use white as the color of any negative series in your charts -- I know, this does look very unimaginative and there's a workaround to get over this issue. You can learn how you can change it to any color you want!

Learn more here...

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2003, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 11:54 AM IST



In an ideal world, we would like to have charts that had all positive values -- but sometimes growth rates may plummet and you might end up seeing negative values in your charts. Or sometimes, negative values may be something good that you need to highlight. In this tutorial, I teach you how you can highlight negative values in a chart by using the "Invert if Negative" option of a data series in within PowerPoint 2002 or 2003.

Learn more here...

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2003, tutorials

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Monday, March 29, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 12:39 PM IST



PowerPoint provides several chart types to choose from, and even allows the user to customize the look of any chart by changing the fills and outlines. To start with, the default fills and outlines that PowerPoint uses for charts can be a little uninspiring -- so in this tutorial, you'll learn how you can change the fills and outlines of a data series within a chart.

Follow these steps to learn more...

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2003, tutorials

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Friday, March 26, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 4:30 PM IST



Rick Altman, a presentation consultant based out of Pleasanton, CA, USA is well known as the host of the annual Presentation Summit and has a strong sense of the needs of the presentation community. He has also authored books on PowerPoint.

In this conversation, Rick discusses the upcoming Presentation Summit being held in San Diego this October.

Geetesh: PowerPoint Live has been such a successful brand for seven years now. What prompted the change of name to the Presentation Summit?

Rick: We just felt that it was time to acknowledge that we're not just about PowerPoint training, that we cover the whole of the presentation process, from message, through design, slide creation, software technique, and delivery. There is just so much more to giving a good presentation than knowing how the software works.

Geetesh: And yet, almost everyone who attends the conference is a PowerPoint user.

Rick: That's right, they have that in common, no question. There will always be a track of seminars for nuts-and-bolts software technique, and we're sure that this year, many people will want to attend the sessions on PowerPoint version 2010 features.

Geetesh: But...

Rick: Yes, there is a "but" coming! When you get people giving our keynotes like Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds, and Nigel Holmes (former art director for Time magazine), speaking on such dynamic and broad topics that transcend any particular piece of software, it just seems like a bit of a disconnect for the conference itself to have a relatively narrow name.

Presentation Summit

Geetesh: Will the name change signal a big change in the content?

Rick: Maybe no change at all, to be honest. There isn't much broken with the conference that needs fixing, in my view. This is about a change that has already taken place, evolution we have already undergone. When our regulars arrive this year, the biggest change will be the fact that they can walk about 100 feet from their hotel room to get to the beach.

Geetesh: Sounds dangerous, what if nobody attends the sessions?

Rick: They're all grownups; they make their own decisions about that!

Geetesh: Have you encountered any resistance to the name change?

Rick: Just the opposite, and I'll tell the story of one of our six-time conference patrons -- she missed only in 2004 -- who submitted her request to her supervisor to attend in 2009. He said to her, "how much PowerPoint training do you need? Don't you know it by now?"

Geetesh: You can only learn about animation for so long.

Rick: Exactly -- PowerPoint training should not be a lifelong journey! I don't blame the boss for scrutinizing that. She said it was a much easier sell this year with the conference name suggesting a broader treatment of topics around a discipline that very few people ever truly master.

Geetesh: Giving a good presentation might be a lifelong journey.

Rick: That's right, no matter how well you know the software, the art and science of delivering a truly engaging presentation and getting the results you hope for is a never-ending quest.

Geetesh: Not to mention that a "presentation" is such a moving target.

Rick: Tell me about it -- what's left of my hair will be gone come October from our just trying to keep up with the technology. It's scary to imagine that two years ago, nobody was talking about sharing presentations in the cloud and only a handful had given a webinar. And presenters were still telling people to turn their phones off -- now it's like "oh, and here's the Twitter tag for this talk, so you can be broadcasting this out to the rest of the universe."

Geetesh: Will you be covering all of that?

Rick: Absolutely. But hey, by October, it might be passe. There might be a whole new set of services and technologies to talk about.

Geetesh: This gets back to the whole question of content and whether the name change might result in some dilution of the topics. Do you think there is any danger of that?

Rick: I suppose we live with that danger every year -- the name change won't make it any more or less so. Choosing topics is equal parts lost art, black magic, and dumb luck, any conference organizer will tell you that. But I like the way we have structured the conference, because it allows us to keep a tight focus within a more diffuse framework. For instance, we have the track on technique for the PowerPoint hounds, and we offer a presentation design track for those who need help structuring the presentation, honing the message, or designing the slides. This year our third track is entitled Special Delivery, to pay homage to all of the ways, conventional and cutting-edge, that a presentation can be delivered to an audience. Of course, our Help Center keeps long hours to deal with specific questions and concerns that people have. And finally, we will have a fourth track this year that will remain completely blank when the conference begins and will be filled in with topics based entirely on requests from the patrons.

Geetesh: That is very responsive -- how will you pull that off?

Rick: Simple, we just won't sleep.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, powerpointlive, presentationsummit

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Thursday, March 25, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 10:35 AM IST



Visual content often scores higher than pure textual content -- and this has been proved by several scientific studies and surveys. Yet it is not always easy to create and use visual content in slides, documents, or even web pages because the tools required in creating such content typically involve a long learning curve, and familiarity with some new terminology. Our review product, SmartDraw 2010 overcomes these limitations and allows normal office people to create good looking and effective business graphics. How does it fare? Read on...

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, smartdraw

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posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Sang-Eun LeeSang-Eun Lee graduated with Master of Arts from the School of Arts in Korea, and works in the areas of medical illustration and photography for the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea. She is a PowerPoint power user who uses a variety of advanced features for creation of Samsung Medical Center Template Designs, Q&A slides, and other stuff. Her projects are used by doctors for oral presentations or posters at symposiums, scientific lectures, learning books, and theses. Her activities in the hospital have been considered very valuable and important to over 7000 staff personnel, including doctors. She has been awarded as a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) since 2009.

Geetesh: Tell us a little about your work using PowerPoint in the medicine sector.

Sang-Eun Lee: I create engaging and attractive slide decks with my medical knowledge from experiences in the hospital. The results are considered good enough to be used at external seminars and internal staff meetings. Many colleagues and faculty members (doctors) show strong interests in my lectures during the community seminars and have requested me frequently to help out with their work.

I use combination of PowerPoint and other applications to create digital illustration projects. I do use professional illustration software as well but have found that by using PowerPoint, I can quickly and easily help communicate accurate information during doctor’s visits.

Let me share this project which shows my workflow of creating medical illustration using PowerPoint.

  1. The medical staff brought me a video of a procedure that needs to be translated into illustrations. The illustrations are to be included in a video that will be submitted to a spring seminar in ophthalmology. As I watch the video, I save out the parts that I need to illustrate (see Figure 1).


    Figure 1: Saved pictures collected from a video clip

  2. I then sketch a simple thumbnails on paper to get a feedback from medical staff to ascertain that I have got the accuracy, and areas that need to highlighted right (see Figure 2).


    Figure 2: Preliminary sketches

  3. Finally, I draw this content using PowerPoint's drawing tools, referencing both sketch and video often in the process. Once this goes through an editing process, it can be used for slide show with animation if required to maximize the visual content we already have as a presentation (see Figure 3).


    Figure 3: Sequenced visual content
Geetesh: What’s different in the way that the folks in the medicine industry use PowerPoint, compared to how the business people use it?

Sang-Eun Lee: Both business people, and the medical industry share the commonality that they both use PowerPoint as a visual tool for creating presentations such as visual-heavy report materials, effective multimedia enabled materials, various drafts for internal and external use, etc.

However, using PowerPoint graphic tools to create mimetic diagrams and drawings of up-to-date medical information that the medical staff includes in their journals and presentations has been appraised as a new application of PowerPoint by audiences from around the world. This was obvious during this year's Microsoft MVP Global Summit’s MVP presentations.

Categories: design, interviews, medicine, powerpoint

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 11:49 AM IST



Dave ParadiDave Paradi is the author of "The Visual Slide Revolution" and "102 Tips to Communicate More Effectively Using PowerPoint". He helps presenters communicate more effectively by using persuasive PowerPoint presentations. He has published over 200 issues of his bi-weekly newsletter, produced more than 45 slide makeover video podcasts and appears in media regularly. His web site is www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com. In this conversation, Dave discusses his new book.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your new book, 102 Tips to Communicate More Effectively Using PowerPoint.

102 Tips to Communicate More Effectively Using PowerPointDave: The idea for the book came to me last summer when I was speaking at a conference in New Orleans. I noticed that many presenters were looking for quick tips that they could use to improve their presentations. They don’t have the time to attend a multi-day course and don’t want a thick technical manual. Participants in my workshops would tell me afterwards that it was the tips that I shared that would make the biggest impact. So I decided to look at what I shared in my workshops and through my writing, and collect the tips that people found the most helpful. I focused on those tips that would help presenters communicate more effectively, since that is what the goal of any presentation should really be – effective communication of our ideas. I’ve organized the tips into categories: Structure, Slide Design, Slide Content, Delivery, and Handouts. Each tip is practical and easy to apply so presenters can make immediate improvements to their presentations. I’ve set up a special web page for readers to download sample PowerPoint files that illustrate some of the tips. That web page also has links to all of the web sites I refer to in the book. There is virtually no overlap with my previous book “The Visual Slide Revolution”, which focuses on my five-step KWICK method for creating persuasive visuals. Presenters can benefit from both books to create more effective PowerPoint presentations.

Geetesh: If there’s just one thing I ask you to explain about what PowerPoint designers can do to make their slides communicate better, what would that be?

Dave: My perspective has always been what works for audiences, and my advice would be to remember to focus on what the audience needs for this presentation. Too often I see elements added to slides for a purely design purpose. The element does not add to the audience’s understanding of the message. Prof. Mayer’s research tells us that anything we add to a visual that is not directly connected to our topic will cause confusion and reduce the understanding of the audience. I would remind designers to ask whether that gradient fill, the reflection of the photo, or the complex diagram created in a graphics program is being added to make the message clearer, or is it really being added because it is "cool." As I say in my workshops, "clear" comes before "cool" in the dictionary and it should be the same when considering our slides. Seek to be clear first, instead of trying to be cool.

Categories: books, interviews, powerpoint

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 3:35 PM IST



Brad CrainAs Vice President and General Manager of ToolBook at SumTotal Systems, Brad Crain is responsible for ToolBook products, including strategy, research and development, and product management. Brad previously held various positions at Click2learn/Asymetrix including Director of Learning Management Systems Engineering and Directorof Enterprise Products. In this conversation, Brad discusses how the new ToolBook 10 from SumTotal makes conversion of PowerPoint content into interactive learning even easier and faster than before.

Geetesh: How does ToolBook help PowerPoint users effectively use their existing PowerPoint content?

Brad: With the ability to import Microsoft PowerPoint files into ToolBook, you have even more choices when developing content. For example, you can quickly re-use existing PowerPoint content to cut development time—simply import the PowerPoint file into ToolBook as described in the picture below. Then, add assessments, interactivity, media, and rich effects using ToolBook. For deployment, publish the content to the SCORM format using ToolBook Web publishing feature.

ToolBook 10 PowerPoint Screen

You can also increase the involvement of your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in content authoring. After instructional designers create a PowerPoint-based storyboard, SMEs can populate the storyboard using the familiar PowerPoint interface. Next, these PowerPoint files are imported into ToolBook. For deployment, just publish the content out to SCORM format using ToolBook Web publishing feature.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the new PowerPoint import enhancements in ToolBook 10.

Brad: With the new features of SumTotal ToolBook 10, superior content creation has never been so fast and easy. Now you can create new learning materials with more speed and expertise, and then enhance those materials easily with assessments, interactivity, media, and rich effects.

Import more from your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. With the ability to import Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, the previous ToolBook release helped you get your Subject Matter Experts more involved in content authoring projects, and you gained the ability to quickly reuse legacy content. Now with ToolBook 10, PowerPoint speaker notes and audio files can also be imported, giving you even more options when reusing PowerPoint content.

To learn more visit us here...

See Also: An Interview with Brad Crain

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

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posted by Geetesh on 12:05 PM IST



Yury Uskov is a founder and CEO of iSpring Solutions Inc., an innovative software company with the development center in Russia. Yury has a Masters degree in Software Engineering and since 2001 have been working in rich media industry inspired with the idea of making the best solution for online presentation sharing. iSpring Solutions has already launched several Flash technology projects including iSpring, a PowerPoint to Flash converter, and SlideBoom, an online service for presentations sharing. In this conversation, Yury discusses the new iSpring Online service.

Geetesh: Tell me more about iSpring Online -- what exactly is this service, and what need does it fulfill?

Yury: iSpring Online is a new flexible Learning Management System (LMS) that works as an online platform to deliver and manage e-learning content, get detailed reports on e-learning activity, manage users and organize classes. With iSpring Online you can manage your audience: create new users and groups, assign rights and control access to your content.



iSpring Online allows inviting people to access the files you upload by registering at your private virtual portal. Alternatively, you can make your presentations public and send out the links to the files you want to share. That’s a great way to market learning content you create. This way no registration will be required to view your content. iSpring Online gives you unrestricted traffic flow, so any file can have unlimited number of views.

Additionally, iSpring Online gives detailed data on how exactly your presentation is being viewed and how your users answer quiz questions. Both individual and overall group tracking is available.

I'm glad to share a brief demo presentation on iSpring Online features and appearance overview. Learn more about iSpring Online and sign up for free 30-day trial account at iSpring website.

Geetesh: Can you share some scenarios in which a user can benefit from iSpring Online?

Yury: Here are three different user scenarios for people of certain occupations.

  1. If you are a school, college or university teacher and you would like to track how your students go through the online materials you offer them and grade them accordingly, iSpring Online can be of great help. It is an easy-to-use tool for tracking your students’ progress without having to need any additional software.

  2. If you are an instructional designer in a corporation and would like to arrange advanced professional training for employees and check their qualifications for positions they take.

  3. If you work as an independent instructional designer and you would like to sell you courses online through a website. In this case you need a system that would not just host your materials securely, it should also provide detailed statistics and can guarantee protection from illegal distribution and gets easily integrated into your website.
Categories: delivery, interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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Monday, March 22, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 12:25 PM IST



Jim EndicottJim Endicott is an internationally-recognized consultant, designer, speaker specializing in professional presentation messaging, design and delivery. Jim has been a Jesse H. Neal award-winning columnist for Presentations magazine with his contributions to the magazine's Creative Techniques column. Jim has also contributed presentation-related content in magazines like Business Week, Consulting and Selling Power as well as a being a paid contributor for a number of industry-related websites. In this conversation, Jim discusses the just concluded 2009 Annual Presentation Impact Survey conducted by his company, Distinction Communication, Inc.

Geetesh: Can you tell us more about this survey, and what is its purpose?

Jim: It seems like there are thousands of resources available to the world of presenters these days; websites, books, articles, new technologies, PowerPoint add-ins, training videos and the list goes on and on. Everyone seems to think they know what presenters need to be more effective and some probably do. But every once in a while it’s a good idea to stop and ask them. That’s exactly what our survey did in December of 2009 when we sent a brief Presentation Impact Survey out to nearly 2000 people in our database. (Not all responded) They were a pretty diverse group with a mix of sales professionals, senior executives, human resource managers, training people, company owners, marketing managers and just about every job title you can think of.

Geetesh: What about the findings? Were most of them on expected lines, or were there some surprises?

Jim: For the most part, it wasn’t a whole new list of challenges that seemed to frustrate most presenters today, rather just more of the same things that have stymied their best efforts for decades. They have little time to do things right - not the right skill set to do all things well and rarely got the feedback they needed to get much better at presenting.

Some of the responses seemed to be contradictory at first. For example, the vast majority (86%) indicated that solid presentation skills definitely do affect their career and income. That was a pretty strong consensus as to the importance of the skills. But when it came to getting feedback on those all important skills, nearly 70% indicated that got little or no feedback! This certainly helps us understand why presenters still seem to struggle with the basics.

When it comes to their actual presentations, the majority, nearly 60%, still think their presentations are too complex or too simple. There were some nice surprises in the survey as well. Over 54% indicated they actually practiced their high stakes presentations for an hour or more and their managers were pretty good presenters! To read about how these presenters answered questions about PowerPoint, their biggest frustrations and how they prepared for important presentations, check out all the survey results.

Distinction’s 2009 Annual Presentation Impact Survey by Jim Endicott

Categories: interviews, opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:05 AM IST

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 3:49 PM IST



Vijay RajVijay Raj is a a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in Setup-Deploy, and a Springboard Series (STEP) Member for Windows 7. He is passionate about technology evangelism, and blogs at msigeek.com. He is also a regular speaker at the user group communities and events.

In this conversation, Vijay talks about ZoomIt, a convenient tool that allows presenters to zoom into a part of their presentation, application, or the desktop.

Geetesh: Tell us more about ZoomIt, and how you discovered this tool.

Vijay: Like many others, I do presentations at offices and user group meets. While doing so, I tend to show programing codes or configurations (or a section of the desktop or even a zoomed in portion of a slide) during some demos. Now, when you have a large audience or a large venue, the audience may not be able to see the little fonts or the small detail that appears on your screen! That’s when you need to zoom in and show them exactly what you are talking about. ZoomIt helps you in doing just that, and it provides options to annotate as well.

Sysinternals, who create ZoomIt provide some amazing tools as a part of their Sysinternals Suite -- and ZoomIt is definitely one among them. You have keyboard hotkeys to control the zoom and annotations. ZoomIt runs quietly in the system tray until summoned, and it gets activated whenever you use these hotkeys. Once you zoom into an area, you can move around, draw annotations, and even draw images to showcase a particular section. The best thing I like about this tool is that it is a small download and it can work in almost any machine that runs Microsoft Windows.

I first saw ZoomIt while watching a session by Mark Russinovich (incidentally Mark created ZoomIt), where he used it in one of his demos. That was a wow moment for me -- I have been using ZoomIt ever since.

With ZoomIt, I can easily emphasize and showcase some section of my presentation, or the desktop without using a pointing device. I always end up using this tool during my presentations, no matter what size the audience is!

Geetesh: Can you share scenarios in which ZoomIt can be helpful for presenters within PowerPoint, and beyond.

Vijay: ZoomIt can be used anywhere while presenting. I recollect an incident -- I was once traveling back from office by public transport and a few of the passengers were discussing whether Windows 7 would be a hit. After some intense discussions, I thought it was time to pull my laptop out, and show them what this OS is really about! I moved to the last row and several passengers flocked around. ZoomIt was really handy in showing my laptop screen to the people who were sitting 2 seats away from me! That’s so powerful.

You can use ZoomIt in many scenarios wherever you want to zoom, draw, or annotate on the screen. Let me explain more.

Zoom: In this screenshot below, you will see that I have zoomed into my desktop to show the 'progress status', which is one of the Aero features of Windows 7. I have also drawn an arrow to showcase this to the audience. This is so much clearer to the audience, rather than asking them to see the bottom of the screen!

Zoom Into A Section

Draw Sections and Annotate: As an IT Professional, some of my demos evolve around the command prompt. In the default command prompt window, the text might not be clear and the audience would hardly see any difference when you show them multiple lines of output. As you can see in the screenshot below, I have actually showcased a schema file and explained that each DLL contains references to their respective virtual DLLs. If you observe, I have created 2 boxes in different colors to show the Virtual DLL groups. This keeps the presentation and demo more lively and interactive, and the audience knows what they are seeing!

Showcasing Different Sections

Also, if you are a developer who needs to do presentations, you'll have plenty of programing scripts and code snippets to show during a demo. This annotation feature in Zoomit will really be handy.

I have more info on ZoomIt on my site.

Categories: delivery, interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 3:05 PM IST



Carmine GalloCarmine Gallo 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. He is a sought after speaker and author of the new book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience -- read what Carmine has to say about his new book.

Read the interview here...

Categories: books, delivery, design, interviews

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posted by Geetesh on 11:24 AM IST



Art HoldenArt Holden has been in the animation and presentation industry since 1996. He helped start Animation Factory in 1997 and served as general manager of Animation Factory for thirteen years. He currently lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA and works with PresenterMedia, a media content creating company.

Geetesh: Tell us about PresenterMedia -- in which ways can this site help PowerPoint designers get good content?

Art: PresenterMedia is a unique design company. We utilize 3D design and video animation applications to create vibrant and compelling imagery exclusively for PowerPoint. Some may call what we are doing 3D clip art, and while that may be appropriate, the term ‘clip art’ really fails to do justice to the high quality 3D imagery we are producing on a daily basis.

We have created 3D animations and images in a variety of business subjects tailored directly to the PowerPoint user. Our special PNG images fit seamlessly into existing presentations due to their unique transparent backgrounds.

PresenterMedia is also unique in that each of our images and animations can be customized before downloading. A customer can control the amount of reflections and the shadow strength our 3D images cast on a presentation slide.

We also are one of the first PowerPoint template designers to release animated templates for PowerPoint 2010. The new video features of PowerPoint 2010 have allowed us provide our customers with a very rich media experience.

PresenterMedia

PresenterMedia customers are able to download unlimited templates, animations and clip art through a PresenterMedia subscription.

Geetesh: I looked at your web site, and one page in particular caught my attention -- this page is about the team at PresenterMedia -- can you tell us more?

Art: PresenterMedia is a company made up entirely of artists. Since 1996 we’ve created animations and art work for other design companies and distributors. We’ve created hundreds of thousands of images for companies such as Animation Factory, Clipart.com and JupiterImages. PresenterMedia is the natural extension of the talent and skills we’ve learned working for others.

Categories: clip_media, interviews, powerpoint, templates

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posted by Geetesh on 10:42 AM IST



Expressing ideas using visuals is always a great option as long as you use relevant content. Visuals are actually a much larger family than just pictures -- they can also include content like maps, illustrations, charts, etc. In addition, they often include collections of shapes that function as frameworks. Our review product is called PowerSLIDES, and it is a collection of such multi-purpose framework slides.

Read the review here...

Categories: powerpoint, presentation_samples, templates

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Monday, March 15, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 4:25 PM IST



One of the worst things that you can do to your PowerPoint presentation is to add a busy, multi-colored background to your slides. However, people do that all the time and in the process, they compromise the subtlety and contrast of any content on their slides. One option is to recolor your backgrounds to make them more understated, and I do agree that this is a slightly difficult task to accomplish unless you use the new Recolor options available for pictures in both PowerPoint 2007 and 2010.

Learn more here...

Categories: photos, powerpoint_2007, powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Saturday, March 13, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 12:49 PM IST



Rouwen StallwangerRouwen Stallwanger studied physics and astronomy in Munich, Potsdam and England. His business career started in large companies for insurance and banking in Germany and France. In 2007, he created his own company involved in development process and control that creates individual software solutions (business intelligence) for clients in finance, human resources and real estate. In this conversation, Rowen discusses his GanttChart Generator for PowerPoint product.

Geetesh: Tell us more about your GanttChart Generator product for PowerPoint.

Rouwen: The GanttChart Generator is a helper application that lets you create GanttCharts right within Microsoft PowerPoint. In general, you need lot of resources and time to generate these Gantt charts and to maintain them, especially if you want to implement them inside Microsoft PowerPoint.

Clearly you can use Microsoft Project to maintain and create Gantt charts, but in practice a lot of project managers, CEOs, and CFOs want to see a simple chart without using any extra software. All they want is a clear visual that shows where they are, what are the next steps, and what is the current status of the project.

Therefore, we decided to develop a Gantt chart generator especially for PowerPoint users, where you can easily manage the data within an Excel spreadsheet and visualize it later in PowerPoint through a simple macro. An additional goal for this product was to ensure that an office secretary, or an amateur PowerPoint user can create professional Gantt charts quickly and easily.

Our GanttChart Generator product is not a full software solution, but an add-in that saves you time.

GanttChart Generator

Geetesh: What are the scenarios you witness for use of Gantt charts within PowerPoint?

Rouwen: We are developers of products for IT in finance and controlling for human resources departments. And lots of clients want to know where they are with our analytics. So my team and I use the GanttChart Generator internally to create a timeline to analyze how often the salary increases in different departments of a company in last 3 or 5 years. For real estate (finance departments), we use the GanttChart Generator to see when it’s the next time to pay the interests (loans). And for myself I use the GanttChart Generator to see how long it will take for my team to create different geographical maps for PowerPoint or what is the next step for developing software products. With the GanttChart Generator, it's easy to create slides to show to my clients, and receive feedback from them.

Categories: add-in, charting, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:35 AM IST



I have some news to share with you all -- especially if you work in the legal field, or if you have friends or colleagues who do.

The legal profession is one of the most high profile users of PowerPoint presentations, and I am glad to announce the launch of a whole new site, LegalPPT.com to address the needs of this niche market.



This site has been a work in progress for far too long! I wanted to make sure that I was not doing any training sessions, or traveling to conferences, or even on vacation when I get this moving ahead. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done -- hence the delay.

Now that we are going ahead with launching this site, let me tell you that we already have a few legal PowerPoint templates for you to download -- more templates and other stuff should be coming soon.

By other stuff, we mean PowerPoint sample presentations, book reviews, resources, interviews, and more -- all for PowerPoint users in the legal domain!

Categories: legal, powerpoint

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