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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: October 2010

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

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Nancy Duarte and the Duarte Annual Pumpkin Contest

Thursday, October 28, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:28 PM IST



If it's Halloween again, then it is the time of the year when Duarte does its annual pumpkin design contest. Over the years, I have voted for what I thought was the most original pumpkin makeover -- and yes, these are not real pumpkins, just virtual ones.

Duarte Pumpkin Contest

The contest is now open for voting to everyone -- you can just go and enjoy looking at all the pumpkins, in all their creative fearfulness! And then vote for the one you want to be the winner.

Nancy DuarteWho could be better than Nancy Duarte to talk about this contest. When asked about what she enjoys most about this contest, Nancy says: "I love the anticipation around the carving. We start getting e-mails early October asking when the pumpkins will be done. The contest has been going for 15 years and each year as I’m working on mine I think, “for sure this time I’ll win” but I never have. So this year as I was working on my pumpkin I kept telling the poor thing that “I think you’re pretty but you’re not a winner” knowing that freakin’ brilliant pumpkins were being worked on at the same time."

See Also: Resonate: The Nancy Duarte Interview

Categories: contest, design

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posted by Geetesh on 9:20 AM IST



Several slide objects such as pictures, clip art, multimedia, and AutoShapes can be inserted into PowerPoint slides so as to help convey your message better – however most of these objects are inserted elements sourced from outside PowerPoint. AutoShapes differ since they are built right inside PowerPoint. In this tutorial, you'll learn how you can insert an AutoShape into a PowerPoint slide.

Learn more about inserting AutoShapes in PowerPoint 2003.

Categories: shapes, powerpoint_2003, tutorials

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Friday, October 22, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



The Slides/Outline pane in PowerPoint 2010 looks and works almost the same as it did in previous versions. Unfortunately Microsoft took away the Outlining toolbar in PowerPoint 2007 and provided no replacement commands in any Ribbon tab -- this state of affairs continues in PowerPoint 2010. Yes, this does mean that most of the outline tasks now have to be accessed through right-click options -- and I'll show you how you can do that.

Learn more about options within the Outline Pane in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: outline, powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Thursday, October 21, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



SmartArt graphics are essentially diagrams based on logic or relationships. First introduced with PowerPoint 2007, SmartArt has been improved in PowerPoint 2010 (and Office 2010). Using a combination of simple shapes and text, SmartArt can be more effective in expressing information than plain bulleted text.

Learn how you can add a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, smartart, tutorials

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



PowerPoint 2010 provides all the basic chart types such as column, bar, line, pie, etc. and also some advanced charts like radar, surface, bubble, doughnut, etc. Together, all these chart types cater for almost every kind of graphical data representation. Sometimes you may want to experiment with different chart types to see what works best with your data -- fortunately changing chart types in PowerPoint 2010 is very easy.

Learn how you can change chart types in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Andy ZimmermanAndy Zimmerman is the vice president and general manager for myBrainshark – Brainshark's free site for creating, sharing and tracking multimedia presentations. He oversees myBrainshark strategy, marketing, partnerships and sales.

In this conversation, Andy discusses myBrainshark’s newly announced availability in the Google Apps Marketplace.

Geetesh: What does the availability of myBrainshark on the Google Apps Marketplace signify to you, and what does it mean for end users?

Andy: We’re pleased to have myBrainshark available through the Google Apps Marketplace, a site that makes it easy to find and deploy applications that integrate with Google Apps – the Web-based office tools hosted by Google. With more than 3 million businesses running Google Apps, this is a great forum for us to showcase our platform and provide users with a service that helps them do their jobs better.

So many people prepare presentations every day, and myBrainshark gives them a way to really invigorate their content – adding voice narration, background music, video clips, surveys, polls, attachments and more to slide decks and other documents. Our service is frequently used to engage in high-impact online video marketing; create trackable sales pitches and presentations; deliver eLearning courses for employees, customers and partners; and promote thought leadership and expertise. As Google Apps users look to improve the efficiency and results of their business communications, we’re glad to provide access to myBrainshark in a convenient, intuitive way.

Geetesh: Users of Google Apps now have a convenient way to work with voice-over led slide content which is seamlessly integrated within their existing environment – how simple will it be for them to work with myBrainshark within that environment?

Andy: Google Apps domain administrators can instantly add the myBrainshark app for free so that any of their users can use the service. Each user will then have the benefit of single sign-on convenience, with hassle-free access to myBrainshark through the universal navigation bar in their Google Apps interface. From there, Google Apps users can immediately get to work with myBrainshark, using our platform to create, narrate, share and track online video presentations. It’s as easy as that! And if they decide to upgrade to myBrainshark Pro or myBrainshark Pro Trainer, any of the users in the organization can take advantage of the advanced features in those offerings as well.

Categories: brainshark, google, interviews, online_presentations

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Reusing slides that you already have is a good idea as long as you make sure you don't end up using outdated content! I always suggest you to first create and import an outline so that you have a structured presentation in place -- thereafter do use the option that lets you import slides to add more slides or even replace existing ones. Finally you can add any new slides that you need to create from scratch. PowerPoint provides a quick command that locates specific slides, and enables you to add it to the active presentation. While this process works the same way in all versions of PowerPoint, there are small interface changes -- in this tutorial, I'll show you how to reuse slides in PowerPoint 2008 for Mac.

Learn how to reuse existing slides in PowerPoint 2008 for Mac.

Categories: powerpoint_2008, tutorials

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Monday, October 18, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Reusing your existing slides can be a great help: first you need not recreate stuff you already have and secondly you are saving so much time that you can use more effectively to practice your presentation! Having said that, always start by creating an outline of your presentation -- thereafter reuse any existing slides. PowerPoint provides a quick command that locates specific slides, and enables you to add it to the active presentation. While this process works the same way in all versions of PowerPoint, there are small interface changes -- in this tutorial, I'll show you how to reuse slides in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows.

Learn how you can reuse your existing slides in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Friday, October 15, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 4:46 PM IST



Chris WittChris Witt is a coach, consultant, and trainer who works with executives and technical experts who want to communicate what they know more effectively. His clients include IBM, Intuit, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, Sony, Biogen Idec, Pfizer, the San Diego Zoo, and the School of Medicine at Yale University.

In this interview, Chris talks about his book, Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPoint: How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas.

Geetesh: Please tell us more about your book, Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPoint, and what inspired you to author this title.

Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPointChris: As an executive speech coach, I found that leaders speak not primarily to communicate information, but to make a difference, promote a vision, and change the way people think and feel and act. I wrote Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPoint to show readers how to speak in a way that advances a leader’s primary goals:

  1. To promote the organization’s identity both internally and externally,
  2. To influence an audience’s outlook and behavior, and
  3. To inspire people to take action.
In order to accomplish those three goals, leaders appeal less to people’s critical thinking and to their need for more information than to their imaginations and to their emotions. Leaders know that telling stories is a more effective way of motivating people than showing slides.

Geetesh: In a series of mediocre PowerPoint led presentations, a single speaker who shuts down the projector and speaks without her slides comes across as an amazing success (an anecdote from your book) -- and that scenario is very real indeed. On the other hand cleverly designed slides that work as visual aids have worked very well for leaders such as Al Gore or Steve Jobs. I observe that you do not use a completely anti-PowerPoint tone in your book, but it borders on "you can be a great leader even without PowerPoint". Please share your thoughts.

Chris: Half my clients are engineers, and I wouldn’t think of suggesting that they swear off PowerPoint. Whether they’re giving a project update, a technical briefing, or an oral proposal, their primary goal is to communicate information in a way that other people can understand and put to use. And communicating information is what PowerPoint is good for. So I work with them to use PowerPoint as effectively as possible.

I’ve slowly begun introducing some of the principles I set forth in Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint into my work with them.

So, for example, I have them use as few slides as possible. I suggest using one only when it’s the best way to demonstrate what they’re talking about. Andrew Lightheart, a presentations coach I respect, put it this way, “You only need a slide in a presentation if you’d need one in conversation.”

I also urge them to approach a presentation as if it’s a conversation—an intelligent, well thought-out, and clear conversation, but a conversation nonetheless. When they dim the lights and stand off to the side of a screen in darkness, they lose one of the most effective ways of connecting with their audience and establishing credibility: eye contact.

But mostly I ask them to establish a goal for each presentation that goes beyond simply communicating information. What do they want people to do with the information they’re presenting? They can learn from leaders—like Gore and Jobs—the value of moving people to action.

Categories: books, interviews, opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



If you have existing slides that have reusable content, you can import them into any new presentations you create. I reiterate that you must first create and import an outline so that you have a structured presentation in place -- thereafter do use the Reuse slides option to add more slides or even replace existing ones. Finally you can add any new slides that you need to create from scratch.

Learn how you can reuse existing slides in PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: powerpoint_2003, tutorials

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Thursday, October 14, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Reusing slides from an existing presentation (or several presentations) is a great way to add some common slides that you end up using in most presentations. I always suggest you to first create and import an outline so that you have a structured presentation in place -- thereafter do use the Reuse slides option to add more slides or even replace existing ones. Finally you can add any new slides that you need to create from scratch.

Learn how you can reuse existing slides in PowerPoint 2003.

Categories: powerpoint_2003, tutorials

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0 comments




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Many procedures for PowerPoint work the same way whether you are using the program on a Mac or Windows. Importing outlines created in various external applications also works the same way -- it's very easy to import it in the form of slides into PowerPoint. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to import outlines in PowerPoint 2008 for Mac.

Learn importing presentation outlines in PowerPoint 2008 on Mac..

Categories: outline, powerpoint_20008, tutorials

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0 comments




Tuesday, October 12, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 12:50 PM IST



Creating outlines for PowerPoint in various external applications lets you stay away from distractions in PowerPoint-land -- once you have the outlines done, it's very easy to import it in the form of slides into PowerPoint. While this import process works the same way in all versions of PowerPoint, there are small interface changes -- in this tutorial, I'll show you how to import outlines in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows.

Learn importing presentation outlines in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: outline, powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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0 comments




Monday, October 11, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 4:01 PM IST



Andrew AbelaAndrew Abela is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Chairman of the Department of Business & Economics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and author of The Presentation: A Story About Communicating Successfully With Very Few Slides.

His consulting clients include Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Motorola, Burger King, eBay, and Kimberly-Clark. Prior to academia, he ran the Marketing Leadership Council, was a consultant with McKinsey & Co., and a brand manager at Procter & Gamble. He lives with his wife and their six children in Great Falls, Virginia, and was born and raised on the island of Malta.

Geetesh: Tell us about your new book, The Presentation: A Story About Communicating Successfully With Very Few Slides – it is a long title with a very short and interesting story. Also, what motivated you to write this book?

Andrew AbelaAndrew: The title is long because I wanted to emphasize the critical difference of this book: “Communicating Successfully With Very Few Slides.” The managers at the companies I work with on presentation design (Microsoft, Volkswagen, Wrigleys, HJ Heinz, Starbucks, and others) really value, almost above everything else – brevity. “Be brief, be bright, be gone” is what the senior executives they present to are telling them.

That’s what I tried to reflect in the book itself: how to develop presentations that are powerful and brief, often four, three, maybe even just one slide long. That’s why the book is so short (though the title isn’t!) I wanted readers to be able to sit down and complete the book in one sitting.

The motivation in writing the book was that, while I received lots of really positive feedback on my first book, Advanced Presentations by Design, the one negative comment I received was that it is too “academic.” I wanted to be sure that it was solidly based on scientific research, and it was, which made it not necessarily the lightest read. Since one of the topics I cover in that book is the role of storytelling in presentation, it occurred to me that I should try to capture the same principles, but in story form. Hence this new book, The Presentation.

Geetesh: You bundle all the existing presentations that include more visuals and less text into a category called ballroom style. And then you go ahead and explain what a conference room style presentation is. Is there really a distinct dividing line between both of them, can the line never be blurred?

Andrew: I believe that there are actually many different types of presentation style. And that’s the key point: you have to choose the right style for your particular presentation goal. So Ballroom style—visuals with minimal text, the kind promoted by Nancy Duarte and Garr Reynolds, for example—is for presenting big ideas to large audiences. Conference room style presentations: printed, lots of detail, but very visually attractive—the sort of thing that Edward Tufte advocates for—are more appropriate for when you’re trying to persuade a specific audience to do a particular thing or make a particular decision.

So if you’re selling a product, seeking approval for your project, raising funds, etc., then Conference room style is the way to go. That’s because if you’re asking someone to agree to or approve your proposal, then you need to provide them with all the details they need to make the decision. And that is done best through a paper handout, as Tufte argues.

I don’t claim that these are the only two styles. The Lessig method, for example, is another style, although it’s clearly related to Ballroom.

But there is a bright line between Ballroom and Conference room style presentations, and it’s specifically around the treatment of details. Details are for printed slides, not for projected slides. If you try to project details (thereby blurring both Ballroom and Conference room styles), that’s when you get “Death by PowerPoint.”

More information:

The Presentation: A Story About Communicating Successfully With Very Few Slides is available on Amazon.com for US$ 7.50.

It’s also available as a free ebook to anyone who signs up for my email list

Some additional details about Ballroom vs. Conference room style are also available in a “Change This” manifesto I wrote, called Presenting to Small Audiences: Turn Off the Projector!

Categories: books, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:41 AM IST



Outlines are typically text files that you can create in applications such as Notepad, or even Microsoft Word. Creating an outline and then importing it in the form of slides into PowerPoint is a great way to create a new presentation from scratch. While this import process works the same way in all versions of PowerPoint, there are small interface changes -- in this tutorial, I'll show you how to import outlines in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows.

Learn importing presentation outlines in PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: outline, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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0 comments




Friday, October 08, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 12:13 PM IST



Creating outlines for PowerPoint in various external applications lets you stay away from distractions in PowerPoint-land -- once you have the outlines done, it's very easy to import it in the form of slides into PowerPoint. While this import process works the same way in all versions of PowerPoint, there are small interface changes -- in this tutorial, I'll show you how to import outlines in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows.

Learn importing presentation outlines in PowerPoint 2003.

Categories: outline, powerpoint_2003, tutorials

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0 comments




Wednesday, October 06, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 3:01 PM IST



Duncan PeberdyWith too many years in the AV industry behind them, Duncan Peberdy and his business partner Jane Hammersley set up their own consultancy company in 2008 – Space 2 Inspire – to advise corporations on meeting room technology and the meeting process itself. Quickly establishing themselves as meeting experts, Prentice Hall commissioned Duncan and Jane to write "Brilliant Meetings" for their business series, which was published in 2009. In 2009 the Multi-Slides plug-in for PowerPoint was developed, and provides users with all the advantages of multiple display, all from a single computer running a single PowerPoint slide show.

In this conversation, Duncan talks about the Multi-Slides add-in for PowerPoint.

Geetesh: Tell us more about Multi-Slides – does this work with multiple projectors, and what does one need to benefit from this PowerPoint add-in?

Duncan: Monotonous PowerPoint presentations have been the main catalyst in the development of Multi-Slides combined with results from research which suggests presenters and lecturers alike are looking for a better way to display, interact and capture the material they are presenting.



For many years now single slides have been viewed in isolation, forming disconnects in processes, comparisons, equations etc. Multi-Slides offers the ability to change this, without changing the way that people want to work – with PowerPoint.

Multi-Slides provides communicators with an effective tool to actively engage and influence their audience through the power of being able to show multiple consecutive slides from the same PowerPoint presentation. University lecturers and business executives can better connect with their audiences, using the power of information persistence to gain attention, build stories, and establish connections, using graphics and information that best support their material.

For a meeting room or lecture theater with 2 or more displays, Multi-Slides is simply loaded on to the host computer ensuring that all the displays are connected to individual outputs and Windows is extended across the desktop onto each display. When using Multi-Slides for a presentation, via the new icon found in the Slide Show menu of PowerPoint, the first slide appears as normal, but when the show is advanced, slide 2 replaces slide 1 and slide 1 moves across onto the next display (projector or LCD display) and remains on view. The same pattern occurs for as many displays as you have connected. As each new slide appears, all custom animation, hyperlinks, etc., work as normal.

A further benefit of having simple control from a single computer is that Multi-Slides allows you to quickly exclude a display. Now, for example, you can display pre-prepared PowerPoint slides on projectors 1 and 3, leaving projector 2 to display additional information that supports it; this could be an embedded video, a live webpage, a Twitter forum to gauge feedback, or an image from a video conference camera or visualiser.

Customer feedback has recently driven us to develop an entry level, single display device solution called Multi-Slides Presentation +, which displays 2 consecutive PowerPoint slides on a single monitor or projector. Without the need for any additional hardware, it’s a fantastic tool for previewing a presentation that you’re about to deliver, or for reviewing information provided in PowerPoint format.


More info can be found on the Multi-Slides and the Presentation Plus sites.

Geetesh: Can you share some case studies in which Multi-Slides can add an extra layer of benefits to a presentation.

Duncan: Here is some information on two such case studies:

Vodafone: Vodafone’s Unified Communication Division uses Multi-Slides in customer-facing meetings. Displayed on two wall-mounted 50” LCD displays, the presentation is controlled from the table with a Smart Sympodium touch panel. PowerPoint slides with quite complex information are shown together, and during negotiations additional information can be added to the slide using PowerPoint’s annotation tools. If something needs greater clarification, Multi-Slides inserts a new blank slide as the next slide, without leaving presentation mode. The additional information, which previously would have been written on a disconnected flip chart, is now captured straight into PowerPoint, and can be viewed alongside the information that required additional detail.

With everything captured into PowerPoint, a true archive of the real-time meeting is achieved, and the information can be immediately circulated as a native PowerPoint file, or easily converted to PDF.

University of Nottingham: The Visual Learning Lab at the University of Nottingham hosts a Multi-Slides installation with six projectors; a facility that can be used by all university departments. Results from research conducted into the teaching of Classics has shown that with more information visually arrayed around the room to compare and contrast, the higher the levels of student engagement. This was achieved through more significant and detailed discussions on the material displayed which in turn led to quicker conclusions.

Communication to the students in any area of learning is improved further by having information displayed for longer, and is proving exceptionally valuable where students have different first languages or conditions such as Dyslexia. Another option is to have the information meaningfully displayed in two or more languages simultaneously.

Categories: add-in, delivery, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 11:39 AM IST



Typically, the last thing I would want to do is create my presentation outline in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel. In one of my training sessions, I was showing participants how they could create presentation outlines for PowerPoint in Notepad or Microsoft Word -- and one of the attendees wanted to know how he could create an outline in Excel! To understand why anyone would want to create an outline in Excel, you probably need to be an Excel junkie -- but rather than go and discuss what an Excel junkie means, I'll show you how an outline can indeed be created in Excel -- this works on all versions of Excel for Windows and Mac OS X.

Learn to create a PowerPoint outline in Excel.

Categories: powerpoint, tutorials

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0 comments




Tuesday, October 05, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 1:57 PM IST



When presenting financial results on a PowerPoint slide, do not overwhelm your audience. Use the power of your numbers to support your conclusions. Do not make the mistake of thinking that "the numbers speak for themselves." They do not! Do not allow your numbers-filled slide deck to overshadow you, the presenter.

Learn more in this guest article by Danny Rocks.

Categories: opinion, powerpoint

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1 comments




Monday, October 04, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 5:05 PM IST



It used to be that when you needed to embed a PowerPoint presentation on your site, you had to upload the PowerPoint file to a site like SlideShare, authorSTREAM, or SlideBoom and then use their embed code to show up a Flash file in your blog or web site. However, Microsoft has added new abilities to its SkyDrive hosted PowerPoint Web Application that lets you create embeds of the original PowerPoint files with no conversions required to Flash or any other format. Change your source PowerPoint file and the embeds update instantly too!

Learn about PowerPoint's new embed options.

Categories: online_presentations, powerpoint, powerpoint_web_app, skydrive

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posted by Geetesh on 4:57 PM IST



Typically, there are three common ways in which you can create slides in PowerPoint. All these three ways can be combined with each other but it is best to start with creating an outline for your presentation in another program. Mac users can create outlines in TextEdit -- in addition you can use Microsoft Word as well. In this tutorial, I'll show how you can use Word 2008 for Mac to create an outline for a PowerPoint presentation.

Learn more here.

Categories: powerpoint_mac, tutorials

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0 comments




Friday, October 01, 2010
posted by Geetesh on 3:49 PM IST



A participant in one of my training sessions wanted to create a simple animation that shows the flow of elecricity through a thin tube -- this presentation was created as a result of that question. Each animated tube is actually a long rectangle placed one over the other -- and only the top one is animated with a wipe animation. A small shape such as a circle or rounded rectangle was animated simultaneously on a Motion Path to sync with the wipe -- you could even use the lightning bolt shape within PowerPoint's shapes instead of a circle!



Download, view, and use this presentation!

Categories: animation, animation, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 12:44 PM IST



Outlines are stories that contain sequential structures of any text content that you use in a presentation. In many respects, an outline is more like a script for a movie production than a bunch of slides -- however, it does form an ideal starting point for a bunch of slides! PowerPoint can import outlines created in many applications and we have already shown you how you can create outlines for PowerPoint presentations in Word 2003 and Word 2007. In this tutorial, we'll explore the procedure of creating a structured outline in Word 2010.

Learn more here.

Categories: powerpoint, tutorials

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