PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: January 2011

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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PowerPoint on iPad

Friday, January 28, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 4:09 PM IST



A client asked us recently "can I use the PowerPoint content you’ve developed for us on an iPad?" The answer we gave was "what a great question, can we get back to you"! We like our gadgets at ActivePresentation so this gave us a great opportunity to learn about a new one, even if at the core it should be familiar to any designer due to its Apple heritage. So we eagerly set out to test the experience of using PowerPoint presentations on the iPad.

Read this guest article by Jamie Garroch
.

Categories: ipad, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 3:50 PM IST



Symbols for PowerPoint are ready to use clip-art style icons that you can use within your presentation slides. All icons can be recolored using PowerPoint's native options for fills, lines, and effects. These symbols are contained within a sample presentation you can download. Just copy the icon you like and paste into another PowerPoint slide, or even a Word document or Excel worksheet. Choose symbol icons from themes such as business, travel, music, etc. All these symbol icons are vector shapes, so you can easily edit them within your Microsoft Office program.



Download, view, and use the symbols in this presentation.

Categories: clip_media, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 3:43 PM IST



After learning how to add different fills for shapes in PowerPoint 2010, now its time to learn how to remove any fill from shape so that your shape only has an outline without a fill. Whenever you insert a new shape into a PowerPoint slide, it is filled with a solid color by default (or fill may be different depending on the Theme applied to your presentation). Most of the time, you may leave that unaltered, but it's easy to remove any fill.

Learn how to remove fill from a shape in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, January 27, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 1:25 PM IST



Symbols for PowerPoint are ready to use clip-art style icons that you can use within your presentation slides. All icons can be recolored using PowerPoint's native options for fills, lines, and effects. These symbols are contained within a sample presentation you can download. Just copy the icon you like and paste into another PowerPoint slide, or even a Word document or Excel worksheet. Choose symbol icons from themes such as business, travel, music, etc. All these symbol icons are vector shapes, so you can easily edit them within your Microsoft Office program.



Download, view, and use the symbols in this presentation.

Categories: clip_media, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 10:45 AM IST



You have already learnt how to add different fills for shapes in PowerPoint 2010. Just like the Pattern fill option, there is one more hidden shape fill option which you can't access from Shape Fill gallery. The Slide Background fill option is different from other shape fill options because instead of filling something into the selected shape, it makes the slide background area behind the shape visible into the selected shape.

Learn how to add slide background fill to a selected shape in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:39 AM IST



In this series on fills for shapes, I have already explored solid fills, gradient fills, picture fills, and texture fills for shapes in PowerPoint 2010. Now I show you how you can use the Pattern fill option. If you are a PowerPoint old-timer, you will remember that Microsoft removed this option in PowerPoint 2007 although it existed in PowerPoint 2003 and previous versions. With PowerPoint 2010, they bring back this option but they have buried it in a dialog box rather than including it within the Shape Fill gallery.

Learn how to add (or change) a pattern fill to a selected shape in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 8:57 AM IST



Joe GustafsonJoe Gustafson is the CEO and founder of Brainshark, Inc., whose cloud based software enables users to create, share and track online and mobile video presentations. Joe has been instrumental in bringing Brainshark’s content to a mobile audience, so anyone can access and deliver important content on-the-go.

In this conversation, Joe discusses Brainshark’s new app for the iPhone and iPad, which the company announced today.

Geetesh: Brainshark presentations can already be viewed on the iPhone and the iPad – what extra functionality does the Brainshark App for the iPhone and iPad add?

Joe: Great question, and you’re right – through our Brainshark Mobile offering, which we announced last year, smartphone and tablet users can view Brainshark and myBrainshark.com presentations on their mobile devices. Among the mobile platforms we support are the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Android-based phones. We’re committed to enabling our users to create content that can be easily viewed at any time and on any device.

Brainshark iPhone app - eLearning TabOur iPhone and iPad App, downloadable for free in Apple’s App Store, provides an enhanced user experience for the mobile viewer. We’ve included advanced capabilities that let iOS users more easily view, share, and access Brainshark and myBrainshark presentations from their mobile devices. These new features enable:

  • Enhanced presentation viewing, via the table of contents. This shows thumbnails, titles and the duration of each slide, and lets users click to better navigate through presentations. Viewers can also see presentation attributes (including description, length and author information) and download attachments associated with the presentation they’re watching.
  • Easy sharing, with the ability to click to post a presentation link on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Delicious. Users can also click to share a presentation via e-mail.
  • On-the-go learning, with free access to a searchable, growing library of eLearning content, created by Brainshark’s community of subject matter experts.
  • Instant content accessibility, with the ability to see a history of all recently viewed presentations. Brainshark enterprise customers and myBrainshark users who download the app can also access their company’s/their own content.

Brainshark iPad app - eLearning Tab

Geetesh: Existing Brainshark users can log into their accounts straight from the Brainshark App for the iPhone and iPad – what options does this open up for these users?

Joe: Right – while you don’t have to be an existing Brainshark customer or myBrainshark.com user to use the app (anyone can use it to view our online video presentations), our customers can take advantage of additional benefits to help them do their jobs better. As you mentioned, they can log into their Brainshark and myBrainshark accounts directly through the app. This lets them instantly access their company’s and their own content – enabling salespeople to view and deliver sales presentations, employees to consume "just in time" training content and HR communications, and people in the field in general to access the information they need when they need it.

We’re pleased to make these benefits available to our users and to continue to support their mobile needs.

Categories: brainshark, interviews, ipad, iphone, online_presentations, powerpoint

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 2:50 PM IST



Steve RindsbergSteve Rindsberg has been associated with PowerPoint since the product originated -- his PowerPoint FAQ site is a treasure trove of PowerPoint information. When he's not updating his site, he's creating new PowerPoint add-ins that expand possibilities. Steve's also into a lot of print technology related stuff.

In this conversation, Steve answers my questions about finding links to missing picture fills in PowerPoint slides.

Geetesh: Let's say I have a shape on my PowerPoint 2010 slide that I filled with a picture. Now I opted to override the default option to insert it as embedded, and went ahead and linked that picture. Six months thereafter, after some spring cleaning on my computer resulted in deletion of the linked picture, I find a small red X icon with no info about the name or path of the linked picture! What are my options?

Steve: There's no way to learn the name or path of the original picture either by normal means or using VBA, but you can find them in the XML files contained within the PPTX container that PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 use.

Unzip the container, and you'll find a slidexx.xml for each slide in the presentation, where xx is the slide number. Similarly, there'll also be a slidexx.xml.rels for each slide in a sub-folder. Open this file, and in the XML for the picture filled shape, you'll find:


Type="http://long/string/of/stuff/we/don" t="" care="" about="">
Target="file:///c:\blah\path\to\linked\file.jpg"


To avoid problems you can use the Insert and Link option that is available in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010. This option puts a copy of the image into the PPTX file but also remembers the path to the source image. When you open the file it checks to see of the source image has changed; if so, it updates it in the PPTX. If the source image isn't available, PowerPoint just uses the last-updated embedded version of the image.

This gives you the ability to do image swaps by changing filenames of linked images, just as linked images would, but without the fragility of the links. The only downside is that the images are embedded; the PPTX files will be bigger because of it.

Categories: fills, interviews, powerpoint_2007, powerpoint_2010, shapes

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posted by Geetesh on 10:41 AM IST



Tiling options come to use when you have added texture fills to shapes or used a picture as a fill to a shape and want to provide a tile effect to it. In this tutorial you will learn about the tiling options available for filled shapes in PowerPoint 2010. Before you start, I am assuming you already have a shape filled with a texture. Then right-click the shape, and choose the Format Picture option.

Learn how to use different tiling options for texture fills in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:26 AM IST



I have already shown you how to add solid, picture, and gradient fills to shapes within your PowerPoint 2010 slides. In this tutorial I'll show you how you can use texture fills, which incidentally are not too different from picture fills that can be tiled.

Learn how to add a texture fill to a selected shape in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, January 24, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 12:44 PM IST



Bess GallanisBess Gallanis is the founder of Speaking with Power and Persuasion, an executive communications consulting firm based in Chicago. She is a communication coach, speaker, journalist, a student of yoga and insight meditation and the author of Yoga Chick (Warner Books, 2006). For more than 25 years, public and private company CEOs, senior executives, portfolio managers and financial advisors have sought out Bess to help them develop their leadership voice and to make an impact through skillful communications. She prepares clients for high stakes presentations, media interviews and sensitive conversations. Bess draws from the universal wisdom of yoga and insight meditation as a model for Presentation Yoga, which emphasizes leadership from within, personal authenticity and storytelling.

In this conversation, Bess discusses the concepts of Presentation Yoga.

See Also: Bess Gallanis on Indezine

Geetesh: What is Presentation Yoga and how can it help everyday presenters be better-equipped delivering presentations?

Bess: Effective presentations are the product of a combination of skills. Presentation Yoga is a set of exercises to help presenters stay centered under pressure, manage their physical energy and project their authentic, best selves.

These also are the skills of great storytellers. The minute you open your mouth to speak, the audience is thinking: “So what? Who cares? What’s in it for me?” Effective presenters get ahead of these questions by telling stories. Stories can touch people in their hearts, stir their emotions, stimulate them to question their beliefs and motivate change.

Presentation Yoga begins with exercises in mindfulness, which is the practice of being focused on and present in your experience. Effective speakers use this skill to relive the experience of the story they are telling. As a result, they project a genuine and powerful emotional energy that resonates with their audience at a physical level. This is authenticity. We can use a dictionary to define authenticity, but most people trust that they know it when they feel it.

Meditation, breathing and stretching exercises help reduce stress and manage energy. The breathing exercises also help to develop breath control and vocal vitality. Vocal energy takes your audience from passive listeners to actively experiencing your message.

As a reflective practice, yoga cultivates listening to – and challenging -- your inner voice. Every presenter at some time or another has heard that voice, the one that screams about performance anxiety and fear of failure. Challenging your insecurities and trusting your gut instincts are powerful tools to use in scripting a new mental talk track. Presentation Yoga includes confidence boosting visualization and mantra exercises.

Geetesh: How and when did you discover and practice the relations between how yoga principles can benefit presenters – tell us more.

Bess: After a few years of serious study, yoga and meditation practice with master teachers like Deepak Chopra and Thich Nhat Hahn, I began to connect the dots between my personal and professional worlds. Yoga and insight meditation are a set of practices that emphasize mindfulness and self-inquiry as the primary tools of self-mastery. If you are not the leader of your inner world, you won’t be much of a leader in the external world.

Like the strands of a braid, leadership and communication skills are integrally linked. As leadership guru Warren Bennis says, “Leaders are driven to express themselves.”

If you study powerful presenters and watch how they connect with their audience – whether it’s around a conference room table or from a stage -- you can see that they are communicating from all three levels of consciousness: body, mind and spirit. This is where yoga provides a model for presentation performance. I don’t mean ‘acting’ performance, but rather the impact a great presenter makes on the audience.

It did not take long before I began to develop business tools based on yoga to help my clients expand their presentation skills to meet the leadership demands they faced.

My challenge was to develop tools that were accessible, particularly to people who were not familiar with Eastern wisdom technologies. Though the tools are different, the concept of self-management and authenticity translates across cultures. My clients have been very receptive to the centering, meditation, breathing and visualization techniques in Presentation Yoga. One of my clients, a middle-aged, public company CEO, practiced yoga to prepare for a challenging presentation to investors.

Storytelling is the most difficult skill for business people to get comfortable with. We’re conditioned to trust data as infallible and to mistrust our own judgment. Presentation Yoga helps the most hardened data cruncher bridge the divide from communicating to connecting.

Categories: delivery, interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 10:35 AM IST



Once you have added gradient fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2010 you may want to make some changes to the gradient fill. You have already seen how you can use the More Gradients option to add different types of gradients as fills to the shapes. In this tutorial, I'll step into a little more detail and show you how gradient stops work. When you are done with this tutorial, you can create your own gradients, or edit existing ones.

Learn how to make changes to gradients and make your own new gradients in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:28 AM IST



I have already explained how you can add gradient fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2010. In this tutorial you will learn about More Gradients option, which leads to a detailed gradient editor that's very capable -- and there's a lot to learn!

Learn about the different options within More Gradients in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Friday, January 21, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 2:42 PM IST



This page is a continuation of the tutorial where I showed you how you could add picture fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2010. In this we'll just cover more advanced options for picture fills in PowerPoint 2010. Before you start, I am assuming you already have a shape filled with a picture. Then right-click the shape, and choose the Format Picture option. This opens the Format Picture dialog box.

Learn how to use advanced picture fill options in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 2:36 PM IST



It may happen that you add a picture fill to your shape, and may opt to link the picture rather than contain it within the presentation. You may thereafter forget about this altogether and delete the linked picture file or even rename it. Or you may move the presentation itself to another computer -- and since the linked picture file does not exist on that other computer, PowerPoint may get some hiccups!

Learn how to troubleshoot any small red X icon in PowerPoint indicating missing linked pictures within the shape fill.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, January 20, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 3:54 PM IST



Sandra SchriftSandra Schrift is the president/owner of CoachSchrift and Associates, a San Diego based consulting, training and coaching firm. Since 1996, Sandra has been coaching speakers who want to become highly paid professional speakers as well as executives and business professionals who want to develop persuasive presentations. She is connected to her international clientele by telephone and email. She also works in-house with organizations on their communication and presentation skills. Sandra started the first national, professional speakers' bureau in San Diego in 1982 and brokered over 1500 professional speakers to the meetings industry nationally and internationally. Her clients included a variety of corporations, associations and medium and large size companies. Her speaker clients included well known celebrities, sports coaches, media personalities and other people who speak on a wide range of business and personal topics.

In this conversation, Sandra talks about her experiences in being a presentation coach.

Geetesh: Can you tell us more about your role as a presentation coach, and how it helps wannabe presenters, or even anyone who wants to become better at what they do.

Sandra: I typically work with three types of clients. Since I formerly owned a national Speakers Bureau and brokered professional speakers to groups that had meetings all over the U.S. and somewhat internationally, I know what a speaker needs to know and do to launch a career as a well paid professional speaker. I also work with the experienced professional speaker who needs more help with selling themselves and marketing their services to meeting planners, associations and corporations. Another client is the business professional/CEO type who realize that public speaking is the #1 way to advance their career. Many come to me to learn how to be more motivational and persuasive in their presentations. If they integrate between the calls, what we discuss on the calls, they will get the results they want and deserve in a short time. More recently, I also have been working with teenagers and young adults who want to improve their communication and presentation skills. I am familiar with this age group as I was a high school teacher and enjoy working with young people.

From time to time, I work in-house with a group within an organization on their communication and presentation skills. To see the types of people who have been my clients and the results we achieved, please visit http://www.schrift.com/testimonials.html



Geetesh: What are the challenges that presenters face while speaking in front of an audience, syncing with their slides, or practicing – and how does your involvement help them.

Sandra: There are mixed reviews on giving a PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint is a passive form of communication and cannot help you establish rapport with your audience. Some presenters cling to their slides and others use the slides in an interesting, informative and entertaining way to enhance their presentation. The second is more popular with audiences. I tell my clients not to use PowerPoint slides as a substitute teleprompter. In other words, do not read aloud what is on your screen to the audience. Attendees will cringe! Augment and discuss, rather than mimic what’s on your screen.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Let the screen go blank from time to time. Get closer to your audience to establish contact and then tell them a story (personal is powerful) that supports your point(s). People delineate their thoughts visually and we all (children and grownups too) love to hear stories.
  2. Never place more than 3 to 5 points on each slide. Attendees can not absorb too much more than that. Make it conversational – uncomplicated and direct. Stay away from complex and compound sentences. Drop any jargon. Keep it simple.
  3. A picture can save a thousand words – so true. So give ‘em pictures, graphs, cartoons, photos, video clips. There are so many graphic options available to us today. Use vibrant colors to convey your message and emotion.
  4. The Coach sez . . .practice, practice, practice your presentation. It is more important for you to practice your delivery than to tweak your slides. “Remember that you are creating slides to support a spoken presentation.”
  5. Attendees like handouts – but do not distribute them during your presentation – only at the end. Why would you want your audience reading from a handout while you are speaking to them?
  6. Be sure to have the room well lit so that everyone can see your face when you speak. Often, I have seen business speakers and executives speak in the dark so that attendees can see their slides. Not a good idea. You lose connection with your audience when they can not see your face.
  7. Finally, PowerPoint is a valuable support technology. Make it serve you and your message. Your audience wants to connect with you, not pages of complex slides.
Let me help you craft and deliver a great speech that is supported by your PowerPoint, when appropriate.

Geetesh: How do you do coaching – you once did tell me that all coaching is not always in person, and you use technologies like Skype successfully. And how does one get in touch with you?

Sandra: I coach my one to one clients by phone and in person. Skype allows me to work with many global clients, as long as they speak English. It is helpful and fun to use video with Skype – I get to see my global clients as well as hear them give their presentations. Sometimes clients mail me a DVD or send me a link to one of their presentations. We also use email as needed – no extra charge for this service. After you visit my website to learn more about what I can offer you, then contact me by email to set up a complimentary coaching call to see if we have a fit. My contact information also includes my phone number. My office is in San Diego, California (Pacific time zone).

Categories: delivery, interviews

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posted by Geetesh on 3:23 PM IST



PowerPoint 2010 essentially provides four fill options: solid, picture, gradient, and texture -- of course there's a fifth option called "No fill". We have already explored the first two options; in this tutorial, I'll show you how you can work with gradient fills.

Learn how to add Gradient fill to a selected shape in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 3:16 PM IST



When you insert a new shape in PowerPoint 2007, you can see a color fill and an outline applied to it by default. This default setting may also depend on the Theme that has been applied to your presentation. In a new blank presentation that I created, the shape is by default filled with a blue solid fill and has a thin dark blue outline. Whenever I insert another new shape on a slide, it will possess these same default shape attributes. These default shape attributes can be changed very easily in PowerPoint 2007.

Learn how to change the default shape attributes in PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: fills, lines, powerpoint_2007, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 12:16 PM IST



Whenever a new shape is inserted on a slide in PowerPoint 2010 (or in any previous version), it is filled with a solid color and a outline by default (or something else depending on the Theme your presentation is based on). For example in a new blank presentation that I created, the shape is filled with a blue color and has a thin dark blue outline. These default shape attributes can be changed very easily in PowerPoint 2010.

Learn how to change the default shape attributes in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, lines, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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1 comments




posted by Geetesh on 12:06 PM IST



I already showed you how you can add or change solid fills in shapes. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to add picture fills to shapes. If you need pictures to use as fills for this tutorial, you can get free pictures from the listing on our Free Images page.

Learn how to add a picture fill to selected shapes in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 12:47 PM IST



Whenever a new shape is inserted on a slide in PowerPoint 2010, it is filled with a solid color by default (or something else depending on the Theme your presentation is based on). Other than a solid fill type, PowerPoint 2010 provides several more options that let you fill a shape with a picture, a gradient, or a texture -- and I shall explore these other fill options in subsequent tutorials. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can work with solid color fills.

Learn how to add solid fill to a selected shape in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: fills, powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 10:29 AM IST



Rick Altman, a presentation consultant based out of Pleasanton, CA, USA is well known as the host of the annual Presentation Summit and is the author of 15 books on presentations and graphics. His upcoming PresentationNext workshop series features stops in eight U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Jose, Chicago, Newark, and Baltimore.

In this conversation, Rick discusses these workshops.

Geetesh: What is PresentationNext?

Rick: It is the name of my series of one-day workshops for the spring of 2011. I will be in eight cities across the United States from March through May.

Geetesh: What are the topics covered? How do you split it between theory and practice?

Rick: Carefully (laughs)! When you ask people to sit and listen for an entire day, it is vital that you create an active blend of topics and of treatments. Also, this is not a multi-track event like my annual conference; it is a single track of seminars, so you have to pick topics that will be of benefit to a wide majority, without being so general as to be useless and vague.

Geetesh: So how do you do that?

Rick: Like I said, carefully! I've been doing this for a while now, and I have a pretty good idea of the issues that most content creators and presenters face. If you are involved in presentations today, you likely have little or no formal background in graphic design, yet you are asked to design presentations, perhaps on a daily basis.

You spend untold hours inside of PowerPoint and yet you probably had little training on it past the basics offered by a local training center. You maybe avoid use of animation because you know how easy it is to misuse it, you have a passing familiarity at best with the software's global controls, such as slide masters and layouts, and more important, you are constantly being asked to include large volumes of content on slides, perhaps against your better judgment. You probably never went through Toastmasters or similar programs, yet you or others in your department are asked to stand up in front of a group of people you don't know very well and deliver a message that is vital to your organization. Oh, and message -- most people do that all backward: they focus on how great their company is instead of on the issues and needs of audience members.

Geetesh: You're going to cover all of that in one day?

Rick: They'll leave tired!

Presentation Summit 2011 Austin

Geetesh: You are best known for your annual conference, in which everyone meets at one place. This seems like quite a departure for you.

Rick: I can see why you would think that, because the Presentation Summit is well-known. But really, the other 51 weeks out of the year, this is what I do -- I give workshops, I teach presentation design and delivery skills, I coach on advanced PowerPoint technique. The difference is that normally I do this in private settings, in organizations, instead of open to the public.

Geetesh: How does that make these different?

Rick: (laughs) They're a lot cheaper!

Geetesh: I'm sure that's not the only difference.

Rick: No, but I should start there. Because when I am hired by private companies, they are going to spend several thousands of dollars on the program. Here, any person can attend for $295. Also, large organizations often fill a room with 300 people for these workshops, but at any one city, we won't go over 45 people. Finally, when you bring together several dozen people from different companies, they really get a chance to share stories and compare notes.

Geetesh: So it's much more personal.

Rick: That's right -- we even invite the attendees to send us their slide decks ahead of time so that we might use them in the workshops.

Geetesh: Why did you choose the cities that you did?

Rick: Because they're big! They are major urban centers around the country, so they are near large concentrations of businesses or easy to get to by car or regional flight.

Geetesh: But only in the States. No London or Frankfurt on the schedule? How about coming here to India?

Rick: I know that you have an international readership and I'm mindful of overlooking many of them. If I were still 22 years old, I'd do this in every continent, because I really love meeting presentation pros from other countries. We had over two dozen international patrons at the Summit this year and it was a wonderful experience. But my wife would divorce me and my kids would disown me. Eight cities and one country is all I can handle.

Geetesh: What is the one thing you want people to leave your workshop with?

Rick: Empowerment! Most people who work on presentation content don't get many opportunities to expand their horizons. You become entrenched in the daily grind, you use only the software skills you have, everything is due yesterday, and you find it difficult or impossible to push your own envelope. This day will give you a completely different experience. It will be an opportunity to blend best practices with honest critique of your current methods. You spend this day with me and you will change permanently the way you approach and tackle presentation projects. And you'll like the change.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 10:56 AM IST



I have already explored three of the four Combine Shape commands in PowerPoint: Combine, Intersect, and Subtract -- and now I show you how you can use Union, the fourth and the last command of this quartet. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can take two or more shapes and unite them.

Learn how you can unite shapes in PowerPoint 2010 using the Shape Union command.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, January 10, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



PowerPoint 2010 lets you change how your shapes merge with its four Combine Shape commands: Combine, Intersect, Subtract, and Union -- you can end up with some seriously impressive results. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can subtract one shape from another. For example, I placed two shapes over each other -- with these shapes selected, I could use the Shape Subtract command that I explain later in this tutorial to create an entirely different, subtracted shape.

Learn how you can subtract shapes in PowerPoint 2010 using the Shape Subtract command.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



I already showed you how you can save Themes from within Office 2008 applications. In this tutorial, I'll now show you how you can do the same from within the various Office 2011 for Mac applications. Microsoft Office 2011 includes plenty of Themes that allow you to change how your documents, slides, and worksheets look. These Themes are available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- in PowerPoint 2011, these built-in Themes can be found within the Themes tab of the Ribbon.

Learn how to save the active Theme in PowerPoint, Excel, and Word 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, themes, tutorials

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Friday, January 07, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 2:37 PM IST



Benoît MorelBenoît Morel is the co-founder and CEO of Cantoche that is located in France and in the USA. Following his career as Sound Engineer and Producer at Radio France, Benoît worked in the video game industry for 10 years producing CGI animation across a variety of formats - notably video games, interactive shows, internet websites, and particularly, character animation. Benoît has published several articles and has contributed a chapter to the book Agent Culture published by Lawrence Elbraum in 2004. Benoît consults multi-national organizations, companies, research institutes, and universities on Embodied Agent design and deployment.

In this conversation, Benoît discusses Cantoche's Living Actor product, and how it can be used for PowerPoint presentations.

Geetesh: What is Living Actor, and how can PowerPoint presentations be equipped with the capabilities of this product.

Benoît: Living Actor™ is suite of products that allow users - training and communication managers, webmasters, creative people, and students – to select and direct a 3D full body avatar without any animation expertise and to embed the resulting animation in any PC or mobile application. Living Actor™ is based on a Speech-to-Animation patented technology which creates adapted head and body gestures and not just a phoneme-to-animation approach that only synchronizes the avatar’s lips. This technology analyzes users’ speech and visualizes it by providing the avatar with unparalleled automatic behavioral and expressive abilities that enable it to establish a high-quality mode of non-verbal communication with users that is essential to the communication effectiveness.

In October 2010, we added to the Living Actor™ suite a rapid learning product called Living Actor™ Presenter. Living Actor™ Presenter is a 100% online SaaS (Software as a Service) service that generates avatar video animations. It takes just a minute to arrange what your avatar will say by typing text or uploading your own audio file and saving your video. Our Living Actor™ technology does the rest by synchronizing lips, gestures, and full body behaviors. Living Actor™ Presenter offers also powerful and innovative features to allow you to produce your virtual presenters. Many options will give you the ideal toolkit to become fully autonomous such as a large gallery of avatars and background! Watch this video that shows how it works.



Once you’re happy, you can download the video and import the video to your PowerPoint presentations as you do by importing a video.

Living Actor™ Presenter comes with very high quality avatars. Whether your communication and training content targets national or international audiences, youth, seniors, or a variety of professions, the Avatar Gallery will offer you a wide range of styles and options. If you can’t find the ideal avatar, feel free to VOTE! Every month the gallery will display new avatars based on users’ requests! Since the creation of the company we have created more than 600 customized avatars for international companies. We have a strong experience working for Warner Bros (Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck avatars), Michelin (with the famous Michelin Man), Microsoft (we created the Question Mark avatar installed on Windows XP). See our avatar gallery.

Geetesh: What are the benefits of using Living Actor, and how much does it cost.

Benoît: A Living Actor Presenter enhances the effectiveness of your PowerPoint presentation. An Avatar integrated in the user interface creates in the user the illusion to be interacting with the system as if he were communicating with a real person. (Ortiz, 2006). An Avatar uses its graphical representation and also non verbal communication as postures, facial expressions, gesticulation, mobility, voice to interact with user especially if user is alone in front of the PowerPoint presentation. This will create an affective link and maintain user’s attention.

You can “humanize” a presentation with a real person but avatars have much more advantages such as their disponibility (24/7), the possibility to update whenever you want and above all the attraction to the young generation.

Everybody think that 3D high quality avatars are very expensive. This cutting-edge solution will allow you to dramatically improve the quality and interactivity of your presentations for a very low price! With Living Actor™ Presenter, you subscribe to an "all in one" service and only pay for the videos you save. The first account allows you to create 20 Videos for only $99.00. The more you want to create videos, the lower the video price is. A 20-second video ranges between $2.85 to $9.95 depending on the number of videos and avatars you need.

Categories: interviews, movies, narration, powerpoint, video

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posted by Geetesh on 12:25 PM IST



PowerPoint 2010 allows you to take any of the shapes you create -- and then either combine, intersect, subtract, or unite them to create your own new shapes. Play around with these options to indulge in endless hours of fun, and do remember that I did warn you about this being addictive. In this tutorial, I'll show you how you can take two or more shapes and intersect them to end up with interesting results.

Learn how you can intersect shapes in PowerPoint 2010 using the Shape Intersect command.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, January 06, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 12:26 PM IST



Nat RobinsonNat Robinson is the VP of Marketing & Business Development for SlideRocket and was SlideRocket's first employee. He currently manages SlideRocket's brand, corporate marketing programs and strategic partner programs. He has over 19 years of information technology and marketing experience including a 13 year tenure at Oracle Corporation in a variety of field and corporate marketing roles. Nat holds a BSc. in Information Design from Wellington Polytech in New Zealand where he was born.

In this conversation, Nat discusses SlideRocket's new HTML 5 output, and why you should be interested in this feature if you use an iPad or another mobile device.

Geetesh: What does SlideRocket’s playback abilities using HTML 5 for the iPad and iPhone signify to mobile audiences out there – can they view any SlideRocket presentation now on their iPad, even without Flash support? Tell us more.

Nat: 2010 saw the introduction of the iPad and it's rapid adoption by business users, especially mobile information workers who use presentations on a daily basis. eMarketer recently released numbers forecasting a 127% increase in iPad sales and an even greater overall increase in tablet sales through 2012 so clearly this is a market space we want to address. Supporting this is our own SlideRocket 2010 Mobile Survey that told us how often business people present on the go using their mobile devices. One of the most surprising things we found out are the crazy places people conduct business presentations.

With our new HTML5 players for iPad and iPhone, SlideRocket is responding to an increasing demand from business people everywhere to be productive and responsive to their customers needs wherever they are. SlideRocket let's you access, share and collaborate on all your presentations from anywhere to deliver engaging communications that deliver measurable results. Now you can share that content on-the-go using your iPad or iPhone and soon Android devices.



While HTML5 is not yet widely adopted or mature it does provide our users the ability to deliver any of their stunning SlideRocket presentations and take advantage of SlideRocket's amazing builds, transitions and effects and unique touch based interactions not available in other mobile based presentations. You can get more information about SlideRocket's HTML5 Players for iPad and iPhone on our blog.

Geetesh: Is this ability available to only Pro users, or to free users as well? And would this also mean that people can now move up their PowerPoint content onto a SlideRocket subscription, add SlideRocket extra features, and view it with optimum fidelity on the iPad?

Nat: Anyone with any level of SlideRocket account can create stunning presentations for the iPad and iPhone whether they create it from scratch using SlideRocket's online authoring tools or import from a PowerPoint file and modify to take advantage of SlideRocket's unique online features. Publishing to iPad or iPhone is as seamless as sharing your presentation URL with your intended mobile viewers. There are some SlideRocket effects and transitions that are currently not supported in HTML5 but we've published support documentation SlideRocket's Best Practices for HTML5 Presentations on iPad and iPhone to help you get the best results for your HTML5 bound presentations and we're confident that HTML5 support will improve in time.

We realized that this is a feature everyone would want and decided to make it available to anyone who makes presentations and wants to share them on their iPad or iPhone. Happy New Year everyone! If you don't have awesome presentations on your iPad or iPhone yet you can sign up for a free account and start making online presentations today.

Categories: interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint, sliderocket

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