PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: May 2011

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

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On Speaking Like A Pro: Guest Post by Sandra Schrift

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST



Sandra SchriftThis is a guest blog post by Sandra Schrift, 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. In this post, Sandra provides tips to retain your composure while speaking in front of an audience.

Successful speakers do not do all the right things all the time. They often take risks and risk bombing. But all top speakers take daily action, to move towards their goals with many adjustments.

Here are ten ways to be a highly effective speaker.

  1. Have a passion for your subject(s). If you don’t care about your topic, who will? Make a list of five topics you love. Choose two and be willing to develop a program you are willing to stay with for at least two years.

  2. Be persistent in your quest to be a speaker of excellence. You must be perceived as an expert with expertise. Demonstrate this through your life experiences, research and the way you customize your material for each audience. You are only as good as your last speech!

  3. Have the patience to succeed. Is persistence your middle name? Don’t expect to be a success over night. Get support, mentors, a coach to help you master your presentation(s). One speaker said, This is a hard business to make an easy living.

  4. Speak from your heart. Be authentic. Be vulnerable. Share your mishaps and idiosyncrasies. You won’t be perceived as real until you do this. When you are truthful, your audiences will trust what you are saying. Let your message provide hope for your audience.

  5. Connect quickly with your audience. You only have 30 seconds to make your connection. So pay attention to your opening remarks. Don’t use jokes they may offend people in your audience. Do use short quotations, a funny story that is relevant to your message, a question or two to get their attention quickly.

  6. Prepare 24/7 you don’t write speeches, you find them everywhere in hotels, from family experiences, in the supermarkets and restaurants. Retrieve them and retell them. Don’t lose out on great material because you didn’t have your note pad near you. Why not invest in a mini-taper recorder and record ideas as they occur throughout your day.

  7. Speak to the ways people learn; auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Know your audience so that you can offer the right mix. Research suggests 40% are visual, 40% are kinesthetic, and only 20% are auditory. If you don’t use props or visuals, you will not reach 80% of your audience. Be inclusive and find ways/tools that will speak to 100% of the people in your audience.

  8. Support your main points with stories most people delineate their thoughts visually. People learn best from your personal stories. They will also do a better job in retaining your message if you tell them a story. Remember when you were a kid. . .you said to your parents, “tell me a story.” When an adult hears your story, they are only a step away from their own story. Become a good story teller and watch your referrals and repeat business increase.

  9. Make it fun learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun your audience is having laughter is like internal jogging. Inject some humor along the way. The audience wants to lighten up even with serious matters. Reminder—mature adults do not take themselves too seriously.

  10. Have a reverence for the work you do. It is a privilege to be on the platform. And with this comes an awesome responsibility to your audience. Speaking is an art and a skill. Tap in to your creativity, your wholesomeness, your playfulness.
The Coach sez . . . the key to connecting with your audiences is to live from the inside out.

© 2011 www.schrift.com

Categories: delivery, guest_post, opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



The Handout Master is a view in PowerPoint 2011 where you can make changes to the look and layout of printed handouts. Changes made in this view affect the background, header, and footer of printed handouts. Within the Handout Master, you can format and reposition the handout header, footer, date and time, and slide number placeholders. You can also add objects, such as a picture (useful to add a logo to all your printed handouts).

Learn about the Handout Master view in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, May 30, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 10:53 AM IST



Ellen FinkelsteinThis is a guest post by Ellen Finkelstein, a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and author of several PowerPoint, Flash, and AutoCAD books -- in this post, Ellen explains how you can create a slide to introduce a panel of speakers. On June 1st 2011, Ellen will be giving a webinar on Using Animation for High Impact Communication. It's the first in a series of webinars on a broad range of presentation skills.

To introduce a panel at a panel discussion or employees to a group, you can create a slide with their photos, name, title, and so on.

Because you want to speak about each person in turn, you can use animation to display each person’s photo and name when you click. Here is one approach you can use.



Follow these steps:

  1. Collect the photos of your panel members. Ideally, they should be approximately the same shape.

  2. Insert a shape and size it according to your needs. This will contain the photo.

  3. Insert another shape and move it adjacent to the first shape, as you see here. This will contain the person’s name and other information. Format it however you want.



  4. Copy the shapes and align them so that you have enough shapes for each person on the panel.

  5. Right-click the first shape that will contain a photo and choose Format Shape/AutoShape.

  6. To fill the shape with the picture, do the following:

    • In PowerPoint 2007 & 2010, in the Fill category, choose Picture or Texture, then click the File button. Choose the photo and click Open.

    • In PowerPoint 2003, on the Colors and Lines tab, in the Fill section, click the Color drop-down list and choose Fill Effects. On the Picture tab, click the Select Picture tab to choose the photo you want.


  7. To display the image, I used the Fade entrance animation.

    • In PowerPoint 2003, choose Slide Show> Custom Animation to open the Custom Animation task pane. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Animations tab and then Custom Animation button.

    • In PowerPoint 2010, click the Animations tab.
  8. Select the image (that is, the shape filled with the image).
    • In PowerPoint 2003 and 2007, in the Custom Animation task pane, click Add Effect> Entrance> (More Effects, if necessary)> Fade.

    • In PowerPoint 2010, click the Add Animation button and choose Fade in the Entrance section. (If it isn’t there, choose More Entrance Effects.)
  9. You may want to change the speed on the fade in effect:
    • In PowerPoint 2003 and 2007, in the Speed drop-down list, choose a different speed.

    • In PowerPoint 2010, on the Animations tab, in the Timing group, change the speed in the Duration text box or click the Up or Down arrow.
  10. To add the text to the empty shape, right-click inside the shape and choose Edit text. Enter the text and format it as desired.



  11. To display the shape with the text, I used the Peek animation to give the appearance of the text coming out from behind the photo. Select the shape and display the Animations tab or Custom Animation task pane, as described earlier. Then do the following:
    • In PowerPoint 2003 and 2007, click Add Effect> Entrance> (More Effects, if necessary)> Peek In. In the Direction drop-down list, choose From Right (if your shapes are aligned as shown in the above image ).

    • In PowerPoint 2010, click the Add Animation button> More Entrance Effects (if necessary)> Peek In. In the Animation group, click the Effect Options button and choose the From Right option.
  12. Add the animation to all of the shapes. In PowerPoint 2010, select an animated shape, double-click the Animation Painter button and select the rest of the shapes that need the same animation. click the Animation Painter button again to deselect it.

Do you have another slide technique for introducing panel members, employees, executives, or colleagues during a presentation? If yes, do send your feedback here.

Categories: guest_post, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 10:35 AM IST



Every presentation typically contains an outline -- in other words, an outline is all the text contained within the title and text placeholders of your slides. A few versions ago, PowerPoint had an Outline view, and don't fret because all that functionality is not lost! You can still perform all the outlining tasks within the Outline pane, visible in Normal View within the PowerPoint 2011 interface.

Learn about the Outline pane in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Saturday, May 28, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Chuck DietrichChuck Dietrich is the CEO of SlideRocket, an online presentation platform founded in 2006 with the vision that provides for every part of the presentation lifecycle and helps you make great presentations. Chuck holds a BA from University of Colorado in Economics and an MBA from University of Utah.

In this interview, Chuck discusses the VMWare acquisition of SlideRocket.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the VMware acquisition of SlideRocket, and how it affects existing SlideRocket users?

Chuck: VMware is helping power a new way to work—tapping cloud computing to provide access to the applications people need when they need them. The acquisition of SlideRocket – the leader in online presentations – moves this vision forward. SlideRocket’s reinvention of the way people build, deliver, and share engaging presentations is a testament to the potential of modern applications to change how business users work, providing them with technology that makes them happier and more productive. Building on VMware Zimbra e-mail collaboration, SlideRocket is another step in VMware’s mission to deliver engaging workforce applications that are collaborative, mobile-optimized, social and even fun.

In terms of the customer experience, SlideRocket will continue to operate independently within our applications business unit. SlideRocket’s thousands of subscribers, including the Discovery Channel, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, ZenDesk, University of San Francisco, Oprah Winfrey Network and the International Olympic Committee, will continue to access and create innovative, interactive presentations via the website or app on the Google Chrome Web Store.

Geetesh: What synergies does the SlideRocket acquisition by VMWare bring to both entities?

Chuck: The acquisition expands VMware’s application capabilities for modern end-user computing, delivering next generation applications across any device via cloud computing. VMware is providing an increasing number of technologies that bring the cloud’s capabilities directly to end users and foster a new way to work in this post-PC era. An era where collaboration and social interaction define the way people will work. VMware will deliver this new way of working naturally, from any device, location or timezone.

Categories: interviews, sliderocket

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Friday, May 27, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



No, not Jon Stewart’s right as in “correct;” and, given the liberal point of view of the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, certainly not as in “right wing.” I’m referring to Jon Stewart’s right side where he shows the video clips of people and events he satirizes or mocks. Is this positioning arbitrary or intentional?

Because audiences in Western cultures read from left to right, you should design, animate, and display your presentation graphics so that—depending on the message you want to convey—your graphics follow or fight that predisposition. Movement to the right creates positive perceptions, movement to the left negative.

In Microsoft PowerPoint animation, the left and right movements occur in two general options: between slides (Slide Transition) and within a slide (Custom Animation). Although the direction of movement is the same in each option, each has a different nomenclature. Movement to the right in Slide Transition is called “Wipe Right;” movement to the right in Custom Animation is called “Wipe from Left.” Because your audiences’ eyes are accustomed to the left-to-right movement, make your default animation follow that same natural movement.

Movement to the left in Slide Transition is called “Wipe Left;” movement to the left in Custom Animation is called “Wipe from Right.” Use this counterintuitive effect when you want to send a negative message such as the shortcomings of competing products, past problems your company has conquered, or market forces that pose major obstacles for your industry.

Moreover, whenever you present, be sure that the screen on which you display your slide show—whether a large projection screen or a small laptop—is located to your left as you face your audience. This positioning creates the familiar left-to- right movement for your audience. Every time you click to a new slide, their eyes will travel from you to your words and images in a smooth, fluid movement. If you present with the screen to your right, every new slide will cause your audience to make a resistant move to the left that would force them to read your words backwards.

Jon Stewart positions the images of the targets of his humor to his right, forcing his audiences to move to the left—with friction—to see the images. Friction in the movement produces a fractious perception.

Is this positioning arbitrary or intentional? Is Jon Stewart sending us a message?

To use the words of one of his favorite targets, “You betcha’!”

Presentatons in ActionSpecial Offer: Order Jerry Weissman's new book, Presentations in Action, between May 20 and June 10 to receive a free copy of the In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions DVD and 40% off another Weissman publication from FT Press.

About Jerry Weissman:

Jerry Weissman is among the world's foremost corporate presentations coaches. His private client list reads like a who's who of the world's best companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Netflix and many others.

Jerry founded Power Presentations, Ltd. in 1988. One of his earliest efforts was the Cisco Systems IPO road show. Following its successful launch, Don Valentine, of Sequoia Capital, and then chairman of Cisco's Board of Directors, attributed "at least two to three dollars" of the offering price to Jerry's coaching. That endorsement led to more than 500 other IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Cinema and presentation graphics, although miles apart in complexity, share many common aspects. One is movie stunts. Matt Zoller Seitz, a freelance film critic, wrote an article about movie stunts on Salon that provides a valuable lesson in presentation design. Mr. Seitz noted that the latest cinema technologies, while creating imaginative and exciting action, have lost the important element of continuity. He wrote that the modern movie “seeks to excite viewers by keeping them perpetually unsettled with computer-enhanced images, fast cutting and a camera that never stands still.” As a result, he claimed, the film denies “the viewer a fixed vantage point on what’s happening to the characters.”

In contrast, Mr. Seitz cited a 100-year old silent film of a man jumping out of a burning hot air balloon into the Hudson River. Although the film itself is lost, the key shot lives on in a Topps bubble gum card. The point of Mr. Seitz’s historic reference is that the image is “a sustained wide shot that showed the diver in relation to the balloon and the Hudson River,” thus providing context for the action and for the viewer. If that scene were shot today, he added, “We'd more likely see a flurry of shots, only one of which showed us the big picture.”

The operative words above are “in relation to.” In today’s films, computer animation and fast cutting move the story along so quickly, audiences overlook or are unaware of the lack of context. In today’s pitches, presenters hurriedly cobble together a set of their company’s existing slides, giving their presentations s a one-after-another sequencing, in which no slide has any relationship to the preceding or following slides—and therefore no continuity for the presenter or the audience. At first, an audience might try to figure out what one slide has to do with another but, after a very short while, they give up and turn their attention to their smart phones.

One solution is for the presenter to make verbal links between slides; another is to create continuity in the slide design using a technique called Anticipation Space. In the slide below, you see two boxes side-by-side, one filled and one empty—the empty box creates a sense of anticipation.


When the empty box is filled with a set of parallel items, it sends the message that your company’s solution fulfills every requirement.


Anticipation Space creates relationships, continuity, and much more: it makes your presentation easy for your audience to follow. So easy, they might even look up from their smart phones.

Presentatons in ActionSpecial Offer: Order Jerry Weissman's new book, Presentations in Action, between May 20 and June 10 to receive a free copy of the In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions DVD and 40% off another Weissman publication from FT Press.

About Jerry Weissman:

Jerry Weissman is among the world's foremost corporate presentations coaches. His private client list reads like a who's who of the world's best companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Netflix and many others.

Jerry founded Power Presentations, Ltd. in 1988. One of his earliest efforts was the Cisco Systems IPO road show. Following its successful launch, Don Valentine, of Sequoia Capital, and then chairman of Cisco's Board of Directors, attributed "at least two to three dollars" of the offering price to Jerry's coaching. That endorsement led to more than 500 other IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market.

Categories: guest_post, powerpoint

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



In 1845, the American author, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau felt the need to get away from it all. He sequestered himself at an idyllic lake in the Berkshire Mountains for two years and wrote Walden; or Life in the Woods in which he famously observed, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Mr. Thoreau’s words are applicable to business people today who lead lives of not-so-quiet desperation every time they have to make a presentation. Of all the many reasons for their desperation—time pressure, workload, and the fear of failure—perhaps the most pressing is the self-imposed practice of using their PowerPoint slides as not only the presentation graphics, but also as speaker notes, send-aheads, and leave-behinds. This multitasking approach produces images of encyclopedic detail that serve none of the functions.

This bane of presenters has become a boon for another constituency: professional designers and authors who offer solutions to help business people create simple, expressive, and purely illustrative graphical images. The best of the breed is Garr Reynold’s marvelous book, Presentation Zen, which offers readers design concepts based on the principles of Japanese minimalism.

These polar opposites of the graphics spectrum leave a large underserved area in the middle made up of presenters who want to break away from those encyclopedic slides but find Mr. Reynold’s Zen ideal is too far a reach for them. At one end of the spectrum, some presenters protest, “But I’m not a designer!” At the other end, others protest, “We don’t have the time to do that!”

For that large majority, here is a simple set of guidelines for the two most basic types of garden variety graphics used in presentations today: bullet slides and bar charts.

The guiding principles of this simple but effective bullet slide can be summarized in four bullets:

  • Consider every line as a headline and not a sentence
  • Avoid wordwrap by restricting every item to one line
  • Start each line with the same grammatical part of speech: verbs, modifiers, etc.
  • Distribute all the lines proportionally

The guiding principles of this simple but effective bar chart can be summarized in four bullets:
  • Omit the y-axis and place the numbers directly on the bars
  • Represent the legend in legible font size
  • Use color-coded large labels
  • Make it easy for your audience by minimizing their search
Or to paraphrase the last bullet in terms that Mr. Thoreau would appreciate, help your audience to lead lives free of desperation.

Presentatons in ActionSpecial Offer: Order Jerry Weissman's new book, Presentations in Action, between May 20 and June 10 to receive a free copy of the In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions DVD and 40% off another Weissman publication from FT Press.

About Jerry Weissman:

Jerry Weissman is among the world's foremost corporate presentations coaches. His private client list reads like a who's who of the world's best companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Netflix and many others.

Jerry founded Power Presentations, Ltd. in 1988. One of his earliest efforts was the Cisco Systems IPO road show. Following its successful launch, Don Valentine, of Sequoia Capital, and then chairman of Cisco's Board of Directors, attributed "at least two to three dollars" of the offering price to Jerry's coaching. That endorsement led to more than 500 other IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market.

Categories: guest_post, powerpoint

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



American Apparel, Staples, Knoll Furniture, and Lufthansa Airlines all share a common denominator with the New York subway system: each of these diverse organizations uses the same popular typeface in its signage: Helvetica. A book called Helvetica and the New York City Subway System describes why their decision makers chose the font style:

For years, the signs in the New York City subway system were a bewildering hodge-podge of lettering styles, sizes, shapes, materials, colors, and messages. The original mosaics (dating from as early as 1904), displaying a variety of serif and sans serif letters and decorative elements, were supplemented by signs in terracotta and cut stone... Efforts to untangle this visual mess began in the mid-1960s, when the city transit authority hired the design firm Unimark International to create a clear and consistent sign system. We can see the results today in the white-on-black signs throughout the subway system, displaying station names, directions, and instructions in crisp Helvetica.

Helvetica is best suited for signage because it is a sans serif font which, with its clean, straight strokes, commands attention. In fact, sans serif is used for two of the most universally familiar signs: EXIT and STOP.

Serif font, with little hooks at the ends of the lines, is better suited for text documents because the hooks help a reader’s eyes to distinguish individual letters.

This distinction was validated in a book called Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read by Stanislas Dehaenev, a neuroscientist at the Collège de France in Paris. In a review of the book for the Wall Street Journal, Jonah Lehrer, the author of the newspaper’s “Head Case” column, explained why raising the bar of difficulty in visual information improves retention.

Unusual sentences with complex clauses and odd punctuation tend to require more conscious effort, which leads to more activation in the dorsal pathway. All the extra cognitive work wakes us up; we read more slowly, but we notice more. Psychologists call this the "levels-of-processing" effect, since sentences that require extra levels of analysis are more likely to get remembered.

The point here for presenters is to draw an indelible boundary between documents that are meant to be read and graphics that are meant to illustrate. If you are creating a document, by all means use the “unusual sentences with complex clauses and odd punctuation” that Mr. Lehrer described. And use serif font.

But if you are creating presentation graphics, treat the text in your slides as signage or headlines. Look at any newspaper or magazine and you’ll see that headlines are composed mainly of key words such as nouns, verbs, and modifiers, with very few articles, conjunctions, and prepositions; the latter are only needed for complete sentences in reading text.

Unlike readers of text, your presentation audiences cannot process your ideas if you assault their eyes with dense information on your slides. And unlike readers, your presentation audiences must process not only what you are showing but simultaneously what you are saying. Their eyes, ears and, ultimately, their brains go into sensory overload. Instead, compose the text in your slides as headlines and do so in san serif font—then provide the body text in your narrative.

You are the presentation; your slides are the signage.

Presentatons in ActionSpecial Offer: Order Jerry Weissman's new book, Presentations in Action, between May 20 and June 10 to receive a free copy of the In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions DVD and 40% off another Weissman publication from FT Press.

About Jerry Weissman:

Jerry Weissman is among the world's foremost corporate presentations coaches. His private client list reads like a who's who of the world's best companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Netflix and many others.

Jerry founded Power Presentations, Ltd. in 1988. One of his earliest efforts was the Cisco Systems IPO road show. Following its successful launch, Don Valentine, of Sequoia Capital, and then chairman of Cisco's Board of Directors, attributed "at least two to three dollars" of the offering price to Jerry's coaching. That endorsement led to more than 500 other IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market.

Categories: guest_post, powerpoint

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Monday, May 23, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Jerry WeissmanConsidering the universal condemnation by critics, audiences, and even by presenters themselves, why would anyone use PowerPoint? The software—and its usage—have developed a negative reputation, ranging from the common epithet, "Death by PowerPoint," to the pointed opinions of Edward Tufte, the well-known graphics guru and author of The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint in which he contends that "PowerPoint routinely disrupts and trivializes content."

After all, the most memorable speeches of history did not use PowerPoint.

  • Cicero’s orations in the Roman Forum
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
  • Winston Churchill’s World War II rally to arms
  • Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights speech
  • John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address
  • Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down the Berlin Wall” speech
  • Barack Obama’s Cinderella speech

So why, indeed, would anyone use PowerPoint? The simple answer lies in the aphorism, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Those familiar words are backed by a wide array of scientific evidence. One of the most thorough is an HP publication titled, "The Power of Visual Communication,"—which cites nine learned sources, among them Mr. Tufte—and concludes that:

Recent research supports the idea that visual communication can be more powerful than verbal communication, suggesting in many instances that people learn and retain information that is presented to them visually much better than that which is only provided verbally.

Even more to the (Power) point is the opinion of Stephen M. Kosslyn, the author of the popular book, Clear and to the Point: 8 Psychological Principles for Compelling PowerPoint Presentations, based on his work at the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. As Dr. Kosslyn put it in one of his academic studies:

The timeworn claim that a picture is worth a thousand words is generally well-supported by empirical evidence, suggesting that diagrams and other information graphics can enhance human cognitive capacities in a wide range of contexts and applications.

The newest guru of visual expression is Hans Rosling, a Swedish medical doctor and statistician, whose revolutionary methodology electrified the high profile TED conference and made him an instant media and talk circuit rock star. Ten thousand words would not be adequate to describe his technique, so see for yourself in this YouTube video. A New York Times article about Dr. Rosling described the impact of his graphics:

The goal of information visualization is not simply to represent millions of bits of data as illustrations. It is to prompt visceral comprehension, moments of insight that make viewers want to learn more.

This is not to say that you should attempt to scale Dr. Rosling’s heights. In fact, he developed his own specialized Trendalyzer software (that you can download from his site for free), but to be inspired by his simple yet animated approach to depicting statistics. Be inspired even more by his "Five Hints for a Successful Bubble Presentation" that he offers with the download. Especially his second hint:

Explain what is shown on the vertical and horizontal axis by color and size of bubble before you start moving the bubble.

In that one sentence, even Dr. Rosling, his dynamic software notwithstanding, validates the primacy of the presenter over even his graphics.

Now you know not only why, but how to use PowerPoint.

Presentatons in ActionSpecial Offer: Order Jerry Weissman's new book, Presentations in Action, between May 20 and June 10 to receive a free copy of the In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions DVD and 40% off another Weissman publication from FT Press.

About Jerry Weissman:

Jerry Weissman is among the world's foremost corporate presentations coaches. His private client list reads like a who's who of the world's best companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Netflix and many others.

Jerry founded Power Presentations, Ltd. in 1988. One of his earliest efforts was the Cisco Systems IPO road show. Following its successful launch, Don Valentine, of Sequoia Capital, and then chairman of Cisco's Board of Directors, attributed "at least two to three dollars" of the offering price to Jerry's coaching. That endorsement led to more than 500 other IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market.

See Also: Presentations in Action -- The Jerry Weissman Interview

Categories: guest_post, powerpoint

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Friday, May 20, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



FillSlammer is a very interesting PowerPoint add-in that allows creating blends between the shapes you insert on your PowerPoint slides. These blends can be between shape fills (including solid color fills and picture fills). Other than creating blends between shape fills, FillSlammer can also enables you to blend the shape outline, font color, etc.

Read the review here
.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Among the least used PowerPoint options is the ability to make changes to your Notes pages -- of course very few people print Notes pages at all in the first place, and fewer than those numbers ever realize that the look of the printed Notes pages can be modified in the Notes Master. To make any of these changes, you need to access the Notes Master view in PowerPoint 2011. Any changes you make within the Notes Master view affects how they appear in Notes Page view, and the layout of printed Notes pages.

Learn about the Notes Master view in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Thursday, May 19, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Shai SchwartzShai Schwartz, VP Marketing & Creative at VisualBee has 10 years of experience in the high-tech industry as a graphic designer and provides services to clients such as Comverse, NICE, Amdocs, Intel and more. He holds an MA in Communications from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In this conversaion, Shai discusses the new improvements announced for VisualBee that lets your presentations interact with social media platforms.

Geetesh: Tell us about VisualBee’s new improvements that let you publish or share presentations to social media sites.

Shai: VisualBee has two new compelling features that provide added power and flexibility to users of social media sites.

VisualBee now lets users send out a tweet on Twitter about each new presentation, and post a Facebook update – all directly from within the VisualBee tab of the PowerPoint Ribbon. Users can also post presentations directly to Slideshare, the online slide hosting service – this again is possible using the options added to the VisualBee tab of the Ribbon. VisualBee thus gives its users the broadest possible exposure for their viewing audiences.

Geetesh: What are the other extras you have added in terms of visuals, templates, and layouts?

Shai: VisualBee now has a great new feature – the Image Gallery. Without even enhancing a presentation, users can now take advantage of VisualBee’s huge 12,000+ (and growing) image library. All they have to do is select a photograph and click the Insert Image into Slide option in the VisualBee Image Gallery side panel.

Image Gallery also has a powerful search function which helps the user isolate relevant pictures about any particular subject.

Users can, of course, still use Select from Gallery, as part of the VisualBee Enhancement process to select or replace images from the Image Bank.

See Also: VisualBee 2: Conversation with Motti Nisani

Categories: add-in, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Like the Standard Toolbar, the Formatting Toolbar continues to exist in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac even though this new version has the Ribbon. You can see the Formatting Toolbar right below the Standard Toolbar. If you can't find the Formatting Toolbar within the PowerPoint 2011 interface, select the View | Toolbars | Formatting menu option to make it visible. Conversely, deselecting the same menu option will hide the Formatting Toolbar.

Learn about the Formatting Toolbar in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Jerry WeissmanJerry Weissman is among the world's foremost corporate presentations coaches. His private client list reads like a who's who of the world's best companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Netflix and many others. Jerry founded Power Presentations, Ltd. in 1988. One of his earliest efforts was the Cisco Systems IPO road show. Presentatons in ActionFollowing its successful launch, Don Valentine, of Sequoia Capital, and then chairman of Cisco's Board of Directors, attributed "at least two to three dollars" of the offering price to Jerry's coaching. That endorsement led to more than 500 other IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market. In this interview, Jerry discusses his new book: Presentations in Action: 80 Memorable Presentation Lessons from the Masters.

Read the interview here.

Categories: books, interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



PowerPoint 2011 now sports the Ribbon interface but it still continues having menus and toolbars. Among the most important of the toolbars is the Standard Toolbar that is located beneath the menu bar. If you can't find the Standard Toolbar within the PowerPoint 2011 interface, select the View | Toolbars | Standard menu option to make it visible. Conversely, deselecting the same menu option will hide the Standard Toolbar.


Learn about the Standard Toolbar in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 7:05 AM IST



Paul CannonPaul Cannon is a Senior Product Manager with the Office team at Microsoft. For the past year he has been dedicated to PowerPoint and helping customers discover the important features of the latest release – PowerPoint 2010.









Gary KamikawaGary Kamikawa is a Sr. Marketing Manager with the Office team at Microsoft. Mr. Kamikawa joined Microsoft over 2 years ago to manage the Office Ad network and drive advertising initiatives promoting usage and engagement of the various Office Applications. Prior to Microsoft, he worked as VP of Interactive Marketing for Mpire/AdXpose.







In this conversation, Paul and Gary discusses the ongoing SlideFest contest.

Geetesh: What is the objective of the SlideFest contest, and why does it look like so much fun?

Paul and Gary: SlideFest started out of a simple desire – to demonstrate many of the great presentations the people create each day. While everyone may not be skilled in all the capabilities of PowerPoint, we wanted to provide some common things people can do to improve their use of PowerPoint.

We had choices on how to communicate that information. We could have lectured people about good versus bad PowerPoint habits. Or we could choose to have some fun and a laugh (sometimes at our own expense). Ultimately we chose a path of leveraging both a humorous look at some of the misuses of PowerPoint that we encounter on a daily basis as well as wanting to involve the community to demonstrate some truly impressive PowerPoint presentations.

SlideFest

Geetesh: How has the response been so far?

Paul and Gary: One word: Gratifying. Using our various channels, we’ve been able to drive a conversation with millions of users of Office and get them to watch our “Do & Don’t” videos, Remodel a sample presentation and ultimately share with us their great presentations. If you look at the number of submissions – we have had over 1500. We currently taking votes for the people’s choice award for the top 24 presentations across the 5 categories.

Geetesh: Why is this contest limited to US participants only?

Paul and Gary: This was a tough choice for us. I personally know there are many talented PowerPoint users around the world. But not many people realize the legalities of running a contest that spans multiple countries. We must obey the laws of each and every country. For instance – some countries prohibit contests that are skills-based. Others have specific timing and dates. Our little contest would have been crushed by all of these different demands.

Geetesh: All those cool video promos about the contest – why did you choose all these historic themes?

Paul and Gary: The idea that started us was around talking about the do’s and don’ts of PowerPoint. How could we have fun and still communicate a useful message? Eventually with the input of a great creative agency (Jones Advertising) – we locked on the historic theme. It gave us a chance to be silly – “Really? Cowboys using PowerPoint???” but the messages are so spot on.



Categories: contest, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 7:00 AM IST



PowerPoint 2011 has several views for editing and viewing presentations, and Presenter View is one of them. This view has been completely overhauled in PowerPoint 2011 -- Presenter View no longer requires two displays. This is great since you can test this view without working on a dual display environment (such as a laptop-projector combo workspace). Of course, the actual reason for Presenter View's existence is still for two displays, and you can continue using it that way.

Learn about Presenter View in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, May 16, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST



Andy ZimmermanAndy Zimmerman is chief marketing officer for Brainshark, Inc., overseeing the company's marketing organization, strategy, content and demand generation programs. Brainshark’s cloud-based software enables users to create online and mobile video presentations – using simple business tools like PowerPoint and the telephone – and then share and track their content. Thousands of companies use Brainshark to improve the reach and results of their business communications, while dramatically reducing communications costs.

In this conversation, Andy discusses Brainshark’s recent receipt of a Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Technology Award.

Geetesh: Tell us about the Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Technology Award that Brainshark won, and what this means to you.

Andy: We’re proud and honored to have been recognized by Brandon Hall Group. Brandon Hall, a leading research firm focusing on employee training and development, issues these awards on a yearly basis, recognizing technological advances in products for workplace learning.



All of us at Brainshark take pride in receiving this award, which also underscores our commitment to future innovation – including providing advanced, cost-effective mobile learning functionality to companies of all sizes. We’d like to thank our loyal customers who rely on our products for their training and communication needs, and share this honor with our customer community as well. They’re applying Brainshark in exciting ways to transform their communication processes, and we look forward to supporting their future initiatives, and formal and informal learning needs.

Geetesh: What is this award all about, and how is Brainshark suited to receive this recognition?

Andy: Specifically, Brainshark was awarded a gold medal in the “Best Advance in Technology for Rich-Media Authoring” category, in recognition of our myBrainshark.com site, used by individuals and small businesses. Brainshark has always prided itself on empowering subject matter experts to easily and rapidly create eLearning content, and myBrainshark is no exception.

As you can see from the below demo, myBrainshark lets any Internet user add their voice – along with video clips, survey and test questions, attachments and more – to PowerPoint decks and other business content, to create online video presentations. Content can be viewed anytime, anywhere – including from smartphones and tablets, and supporting on-the-go learning. In addition, our users can easily share and track their content – all for free.



We’re also pleased to have myBrainshark serve as a destination for learning, as anyone can peruse our free eLearning catalog with thousands of quality titles. Users can also apply to become "Learning Providers," a free designation that provides them with content syndication opportunities and the ability to price their business-oriented learning content, if desired. And if users choose to upgrade to a myBrainshark Pro Trainer subscription, they can take advantage of even more advanced eLearning capabilities.

Through myBrainshark, along with our enterprise-oriented learning offerings, we remain committed to helping our users quickly and easily create high-impact eLearning content that achieves their business goals. It’s quite an honor to have been recognized by Brandon Hall for the benefits we’re bringing to our users, and we look forward to continuing to support their important learning initiatives.

Categories: brainshark, interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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