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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: June 2010

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

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Brainshark Mobile: Conversation with Joe Gustafson

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 12:19 PM IST



Joe GustafsonJoe Gustafson, CEO of Brainshark, Inc., founded the company in 1999 to help knowledge experts accelerate the flow of information to their audiences in a highly effective format. Under Joe's leadership, Brainshark has become a leader in on-demand business communications and a successful Software-as-a-Service company. Joe has been instrumental in the development of Brainshark Mobile, which Brainshark is launching today.

In this conversation, Joe discusses Brainshark Mobile.

Geetesh: What is Brainshark Mobile, and how does it make viewing and delivering presentations easier for smartphone users?

Joe: We’re excited to be launching Brainshark Mobile today – which enables Brainshark-delivered communications to be viewed on mobile devices and platforms, including the BlackBerry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Palm Pre and Android. Now, with Brainshark presentations automatically mobile-enabled, it’s easy for our users to create content that can be viewed anywhere, anytime and on just about any device.

Brainshark Mobile

With video and other rich media playing an increasingly important role in business communications – and with business becoming ever-more mobile and geographically dispersed – being able to provide ubiquitous availability of Brainshark multimedia content is an important capability for our users. They can reach their on-the-go audience instantly, and let that audience choose the most convenient and productive way to experience their content.

This means salespeople can view a Brainshark presentation while walking into a big meeting, and employees can view training materials and other content while killing time at the airport. Companies can also take advantage of Brainshark Mobile to improve mobile marketing, as well as HR, corporate and in-the-field communications. Plus, with Brainshark’s analytics, they can see who viewed their content and when, as well as what type of mobile device was used.

For Brainshark’s customers, Brainshark Mobile is included at no extra cost as part of our core platform. The new mobile capabilities are also available to users of myBrainshark.com, our site where you can create, narrate, share and track multimedia presentations for free. Users can share a link to a Brainshark presentation via e-mail, text message, mobile IM, etc., for viewing on the mobile Web. And, with one Brainshark presentation already viewed every 3.5 seconds in locations all over the world, this is exciting news for our company as well.

Geetesh: Apple products like the iPhone and iPad don’t support Adobe Flash – so how does Brainshark Mobile get over that limitation?

Joe: Good question. As you know, when people upload PowerPoint slides and other content to Brainshark to create multimedia presentations, we do convert the file to Flash for playback on PCs. The final product – which is shared as a link – can include voice narration and/or other audio, slides, video and more.

However, when viewed on a mobile device, Brainshark presentations appear as streamed video files, and it’s not necessary that the mobile device support Flash. When you access a Brainshark presentation, Brainshark detects the type of device being used and serves up a compatible format. So for Apple products including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Brainshark delivers an MP4 file.

As I mentioned, the platforms and devices supported by Brainshark Mobile currently include the Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Palm Pre and Android, and all must support streaming video.

Categories: brainshark, interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:23 AM IST



Having seen the vertical credits screen, inspired from the end-of-the-movie credits so often in PowerPoint, I wondered why no one did a horizontal credits animation? Yes, it is a little more difficult but you only need to do the task once as you can see in the downloaded presentation. Feel free to use the content in this slide – all you need to do is change the words in your credits screen, and the entire text formatting is Theme friendly so it should work within whichever presentation you add the slide to.



This file can only be downloaded by Indezine members, and membership is free.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples, shapes

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Monday, June 28, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 10:59 AM IST



These triangles dramatically enter the stage area (slide) with three animations happening simultaneously: Fade (an entrance animation), Grow and Shrink (an emphasis animation), and a right to left Motion Path. Click once and three similar animations help the triangle in doing a graceful exit. As soon as the exit is over, the next triangle animates into the stage. The trick here is that I started with just one triangle in this animation -- then I added the animations. Thereafter all I did was make copies of the triangle and changed the fill picture within the shape. Copied triangles duplicated the animations too! Download this presentation and reuse as required in your PowerPoint slides!

  

This file can only be downloaded by Indezine members, and membership is free.


Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples, shapes

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posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Presenters need to make a connection with their audiences, and if you have an audience that's curious, it is not uncommon for you to have a need to navigate quickly between various slides in a presentation. It can be cumbersome moving back and forth slides if they are far apart, and fortunately many presenters use hyperlinks between slides to alleviate this problem. However, maintaining and editing these links and creating the actual menu structure for something of this sort can be more tedious than creating the actual presentation! Our review product, ActivePresentation Designer can help.

Read the review here...

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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Friday, June 25, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 2:46 PM IST



Inspired to create this one when I saw a series of tangram-like triangles, I just went a little ahead and added a second set of smaller triangles to ensure that every part of the slide was covered. And then these triangles were filled with pictures and animated to do a fade and wipe at the same time. PowerPoint 2010 does the simultaneous fade and wipe the best, and if you don't have access to that version, look at the YouTube video I embedded at the bottom of this page, where you can also download the actual PowerPoint file. This file can only be downloaded by Indezine members, and membership is free.

  

OK, I like the second slide with the duotone like pictures better -- and these are all Theme driven, so change your Themes and change all the colors. You can also use this slide, and change all the picture fills and still retain the triangles and animation in your next presentation! Learn fill techniques for PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 and PowerPoint 2003 to change the pictures.


Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples, shapes

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 4:21 PM IST



Nate Anderson is Senior Product Manager for FILEminimizer solutions at balesio AG, a leading provider of file optimization and compression solutions. He is a software industry veteran and was part of the core development team of the company’s FILEminimizer product line consisting of FILEminimizer Pictures, FILEminimizer Office and FILEminimizer Suite as well as for the enterprise solution FILEminimizer Server.

In this discussion, Nate discusses the new FILEminimizer Suite product.

Geetesh: You combined several of your file optimization technologies to create FILEminimizer Suite, a single product that works with so many common file formats – what convinced you that users wanted a product like this?

Nate: FILEminimizer Suite now offers the possibility of compressing PowerPoint, Word and Excel files as well as images, without the need for zipping, under one comfortable and user-friendly interface. The creation of FILEminimizer Suite was driven by the demand of our happy users of FILEminimizer Office and previous versions. They desired a program which could optimize image files without the need for zipping and without losing any quality. Firstly, we designed FILEminimizer Pictures and soon realized that our big corporate customer base wanted this functionality under one interface because they did not want to manage two applications. So we combined the two functionalities and created FILEminimizer Suite. We feel FILEminimizer Suite is enjoying rapid adoption among users who like the high compression factors without the need to zip the file. In fact, we feel that many users choose our file optimization technology over classic zip algorithms as offered for example by WinZip.

Geetesh: Can you share some scenarios or case studies where users or organizations have made substantial gains by using FILEminimizer Suite.

Nate: Yes, sure. In fact, there are many scenarios where FILEminimizer becomes handy. Look for example at email. Corporate customers often implement restrictions to the usage of email storage and to the size of attachments either by implementing a direct limit to the size of an attachment or by using group limits which takes into account not only the size of the attachment but also the number of recipients. All this to control email storage and network capacity. The end users have problems getting their big PowerPoint presentations across to their colleagues or clients and this is exactly the scenario where FILEminimizer comes into play, especially with the Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes add-ons. While this tool immediately resolves the end user's frustrations, its benefits are enjoyed as well in the data center of corporations. Our large customers who deployed the software to their user base, such as ABB, Audi, Siemens, GE to name just a few, experience not only tremendous improvements on email storage, bandwidth and network traffic but they also benefit from faster backups of email servers and contained growth of unstructured data on primary storage.

Categories: add-in, interviews, microsoft_office, powerpoint

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Thursday, June 10, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 4:26 PM IST



Tommy Powell is from Neuxpower, a software solutions company based in the UK. Neuxpower custom-builds both stand-alone applications and add-ins that enhance existing software such as Microsoft Office. Their commercially-available file optimizer, NXPowerLite , radically reduces the size of PowerPoint, Word, Excel and JPEG files.

Geetesh: What are these two new file-server versions of NXPowerLite, and whom are they targeted towards?

Tommy:
There are two new file server versions of NXPowerLite:

NXPowerLite for File Severs is aimed at storage/network administrators in large organizations. Microsoft Office and JPEG files are among the most prolific (and the most bloated) files on most networks. By optimizing these files, organizations can instantly reclaim 30-40% of their overall storage, improving network performance and delaying expensive (and environmentally unfriendly) hardware upgrades. We've a white paper that describes these savings in more detail at http://snipurl.com/reclaimstorage

NXPowerLite for Small Business File Servers is a version of the software created to run specifically on Windows Small Business Server. Small Businesses also struggle with the problems caused by bloated Microsoft Office and JPEG files on their networks, and NXPowerLite for Small Business Files Servers offers a cost-effective way to deal with those problems at the source.

Geetesh: Would individual users still need the standalone version of NXPowerLite once any of these file-server versions have been implemented for them?

Tommy: The new file server products are designed to be used by the IT department, so that it can optimize all the files on a network. However, there is is still a need for individual users to use the Desktop version of NXPowerLite.

If an individual users creates a large PowerPoint presentation that they need to immediately share with somebody, that presentation may well be too big to email. As it's a brand-new file, it won't yet have been optimized by NXPowerLite for File Servers. In cases like this, the individual would still need to optimize the file using the Desktop Edition of NXPowerLite. We make this process as easy as possibly for individuals – NXPowerLite Desktop Edition can be configured to automatically optimize email attachments as they are sent.

Using a combination of the Desktop and Server versions of NXPowerLite, organizations can ensure that their networks and email systems are free of bloated files, saving their IT departments a great deal of time and expense.

Categories: add-in, interviews, microsoft_office, powerpoint

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