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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: November 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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Air Display: Conversation with Dave Howell

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



Dave HowellDave Howell is the founder of Avatron Software, the mobile app developer that created Air Sharing, Print Sharing, and Air Display. Before starting Avatron, Dave was a senior engineering manager at Apple, where he worked on the Pro Apps and Productivity Apps teams. Dave has Computer Science and Music degrees from Case Western Reserve University and a Cornell MBA.

In this conversation, Dave discusses using their Air Display product to use an iPad as a presenting tool.

Geetesh: Tell us about Air Display – how did you conceptualize and evolve this product?

Dave: We made Air Display for ourselves. We are all big multi-monitor users here. We typically have a couple of 27 or 30-inch displays on our desks. But we also use laptops, and are routinely frustrated by the ridiculously tiny screens on them, especially on the 11" MacBook Air, an otherwise fantastic machine. There's just not enough screen real estate to work effectively. So when the iPad was announced and we got our hands on the updated SDK, we decided to experiment at writing virtual video drivers for the Mac and sending the pixels over to the iPad.

At first it was pretty slow but we devised a proprietary video codec that dynamically changes compression quality depending on what's happening onscreen. We paid particular attention to optimizing perceived performance, which requires tracking mouse movements without a noticeable lag. We managed to achieve that on all but the noisiest WiFi networks. As soon as the Mac version was in QA, we started on the Windows drivers, and delivered that soon thereafter.

Originally all of this was in the hands of one senior engineer, while the rest of the team focused on our Air Sharing app and other projects. Now we have different engineers working on different pieces of Air Display, including quite a bit of shared technology that is used by multiple apps. One engineer is working on network communication protocols, another on Mac components, another on Windows ports, another on the Windows drivers, one on Android ports... and so on. With greater focus we're seeing greater productivity. Most engineers need to take ownership of some body of code in order to have the freedom to build and remold it optimally, and in order to feel motivated and challenged.

At this point, Air Display pretty much does what we want it to do. We're focusing our development efforts less on features and more quality: optimizing frame rates and image quality, improving robustness on flaky networks, compatibility with new operating system releases, ports to other platforms, and so on.

Geetesh: Do you get surprised hearing about how people use this product in a way that you did not imagine then?

Dave: All the time! People never use software of any complexity the way you expect. And our apps, including Air Sharing as well as Air Display, afford a wide range of different uses. Air Sharing in particular is something of a Swiss Army knife.

We've heard from dentists and physicians who use Air Display to provide a wireless monitor for things like dental cameras and endoscopes. They hand an iPad to a family member during a procedure or show something to a patient on an iPod touch.

There are some musicians who use the touch surface to control soft mixing boards or virtual instruments. Photographers take an iPad onto a photo set to preview a picture while adjusting subjects or lighting. A number of flight simulator users are using Air Display for some auxiliary control panels. There's a great YouTube video demonstrating the use of Air Display to control theatrical stage lighting. Programmers put debugger windows on the extra screen. And office users will drag some app window onto the Air Display screen and take their iPad over to a colleague's office to demonstrate something.

And of course there are the users who just geek out at having a sixth monitor or at putting a chat window on a little iPod touch screen.

Finally, a customer just contacted us this morning saying he was deploying iPads in pizza restaurants for online order taking systems. I hadn't seen that one coming.

Geetesh: Your Air Display product has thousands of usage scenarios, but for presenters it lets them use the iPad along with a live PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to navigate between slides, look at notes, and more. How important is this feature for you, and can you share some feedback about this feature that you have heard from users?

Dave: It's interesting. We really envisioned Air Display being most useful for extending a small desktop onto two screens. But we're seeing a lot of people use Air Display in mirroring mode for presentations. There are a few different common presentation use cases.

One field sales guy meets a client at a coffee shop, runs Air Display to mirror his PC to his iPad, and hands the iPad to the client. We have a setting in Air Display to disable touch interaction, so in this case the client can't tap the screen to interfere with his presentation. The result is a very personal presentation without the distraction of crowding around a laptop. Another user, an accountant, reports meeting clients in coffee shops, mounting the iPad behind his laptop facing away from her so that the client can watch what she's doing from the other side of a table. Then she goes through spreadsheets and charts in Excel to explain.

See Also:

iPad Presenting 01: First Questions First

iPad Presenting 02 -- Presenter’s View in PowerPoint: Conversation with Rikk Flohr

Categories: interviews, ipad, keynote, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We all realize that nothing is really free in today's world, yet we all look for free stuff all the time. Well, maybe we were partially wrong when we said "nothing is free", because you can get a free, or at least a cheaper copy of PowerPoint and Microsoft Office. When we say free or cheap, we do not refer to bootlegged copies -- but genuine, original software. Here are some options for you to get a free or cheaper copy of PowerPoint.

Learn how you can acquire a free or cheaper PowerPoint copy from Microsoft.

Categories: powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



You have learned to align shapes in PowerPoint 2011 -- for alignment to work at all you need to have multiple shapes or other slide objects selected so that they can align to each other. However, you may want to align just one shape (or even a group of shapes) to the exact center of the slide. Fortunately, that is as easy to achieve as well.

Learn how align a shape to the center of a slide in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 6:20 PM IST



This mailer comes to all of you after Thanksgiving, and while this day is not celebrated all over the world, it does have relevance to the way we all approach our days and lives, wherever in the world we may be. Just in case you missed our Thanksgiving gift to all of you last week, here's your last chance to get our Thanksgiving PowerPoint Kit -- there are no hidden offers, no upgrades or anything else -- this is 100% free! And we haven't stepped back from creating new tutorials as well -- let's just request you to scroll down to find the content. We also start a new series of posts on the hot topic of iPad Presenting.

Read our newsletter here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We already showed how you can insert Action Buttons in PowerPoint 2010. Once inserted, you can do so much more with these Action Buttons -- what sets these Action Buttons apart from other shapes is the iconography they contain. For most users, an icon such as a leftwards arrow indicates moving to the previous slide and a rightwards arrow does indicate progressing to the next slide. Another advantage of these icon-equipped Action Buttons is that they are language independent, and can work very well in multi-language and international presentations.

Explore the different types of Action buttons and their default behavior in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, November 28, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



OfficeOne Animations is a PowerPoint add-in that provides over 50 extra animation effects other than what are already provided by PowerPoint. These new animation effects are also available in the same category names as PowerPoint's default animations: Entrance, Emphasis, and Exit. Any of the custom animation effects provided by OfficeOne Animations can be previewed within PowerPoint itself, and also can be played on computers where OfficeOne Animations is not installed. PowerPoint animation options such as timings, repeat, triggers, sound, after animation settings, etc. work in the same way as with any other animation -- and are configurable through PowerPoint's user interface.

Read the review here.

Categories: add-in, animation, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



You cannot locate PowerPoint 2010 on your computer? Or you are not sure if there are any other versions of PowerPoint on your computer -- maybe an older version? Yes, we know that this can happen, although it does sound a little strange. You may be unable to locate PowerPoint, mainly in scenarios such as these: In an office, where system administrators are responsible for what's installed on your computer -- and they insist that you have PowerPoint on your system -- but you cannot find it! Or perhaps you bought a new desktop or laptop that came with a license for Microsoft Office. Even that's not a sure reason for you to have PowerPoint installed, as we'll explore later in this article. Or maybe you just lost the shortcut that used to launch PowerPoint.

Do you have a version of PowerPoint 2010 installed? Here's how you can find out.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Being great believers in creative freedom, we consider un-required alignment of slide objects (such as shapes) probably as bad a design decision as aligning nothing at all. In the end, every decision to align needs to stem from your creative thoughts -- sometimes it works, and at other times, an unaligned bunch of shapes looks perfectly natural and organic. Also, remember that alignment works with more than just shapes -- and you can also combine shapes with other slide objects and align them all together.

Learn how to align shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Friday, November 25, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Ralph BaddourRalph Baddour is a Canadian engineer, scientist and former biomedical researcher who's given talks at several international conferences. A part-time entrepreneur for the last decade, he has recently left academia and is now working on a several web startup projects, most notably polltogo as co-founder & CTO of Inspirapps Inc. You can visit his startup's blog here.

In this conversation, Ralph discusses polltogo.

Geetesh: Tell us about polltogo, and what does a presenter need to add a QR code onto their PowerPoint slide so that it works with polltogo?

Ralph: polltogo is a new web-based platform that facilitates mobile interactions with a targeted audience. Although there are many sectors in which polltogo is being used, it is particularly well suited in the context of presentations as it can help a presenter better engage an audience.

At its simplest, polltogo lets you ask a question and poll your audience for their answers, ratings, feedback, comments, or even their own questions. The audience will be able to answer using any cell phone or mobile device with a data connection (WiFi, 4G, 3G, EDGE, GPRS, WAP) and the results compiled automatically, ready for you to display on-screen.

To add a polltogo to a presentation, you must first sign-up on polltogo.com, and create a poll! A unique QR code and short web address is generated for each poll created. The easiest way to share the poll with your audience is to include both of these on the same slide when you create your presentation. If you’ll be presenting in an auditorium, make sure to make the image of the QR code large enough to scan from the back of the room.

Presentation slide with a polltogo

When giving your presentation, when you reach this slide, make sure to give your audience enough time to take out their cell phone/tablet/PDA/laptop and type the web address shown or scan the QR code, but also time for the poll to load on their device and time to answer your query. Ideally, factor in a pause of at least 90 seconds on this slide so as not to rush your audience, more if you are asking for textual responses or comments.

After submitting their vote or answer, each audience member will see the interim results of the polltogo from their device (this option can be disabled when creating the poll). To be able to present the final results on-screen, for all to see and for you to discuss, when preparing your presentation place a link somewhere on your slide (in PowerPoint, right-click on any text or object and choose "Hyperlink…") to the results page of your poll -– it will just be your poll's web address with a plus (+) symbol added on at the end (i.e., http://p2.gg/me+). In the example I provided, I made the question text itself be the hyperlink. When the presentation is being shown, clicking this web link in the slide will open a web browser with that URL.

When you’re done discussing the results, just close the web browser and you’ll be back where you left off in your presentation.

Sample polltogo Results

There are more advanced methods to directly embed web pages, such as the polltogo results page, into your presentations. If you feel adventurous and are using PowerPoint on a Windows-based machine, you can try the LiveWeb add-in available here.

Geetesh: Can you share some user experiences of using polltogo on a PowerPoint slide – just some customer reactions or responses?

Ralph: To date some of the early adopters of polltogo have been university professors. In this lecture hall setting, the typical use we've seen is to quiz a class to gauge how well newly introduced concepts are being understood. Professors have reported back that students enjoy this added use of technology in the classroom. What we didn't expect to hear is that polltogo is being used in ways we hadn't anticipated. A popular use is simply to create an open-ended "Any questions?" feedback poll to prompt students to ask questions anonymously, without fear of sounding stupid. This use of polltogo could be replicated in all presentation contexts to combat audience shyness, give presenters an honest assessment of their performance and provide topics for further discussion.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Shapes are the building blocks of almost anything you do on your PowerPoint slides -- and PowerPoint provides hundreds of shapes categorized into nine types. Among all the shape types, Action Buttons work a little differently. Action Buttons are essentially rectangular shapes that are used as navigation aids to move between slides -- or even another presentation, document, or a web URL. You insert an Action Button in the same way as you insert any other shape.

Learn how to insert an Action button on a slide in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, November 24, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



You learned how to duplicate shapes by dragging them in an earlier tutorial, but while that's a nice way to duplicate two or five shapes, it's not the best way to create ten, twenty, or more copies. We all know that you can press Command+C to copy any shape in PowerPoint to the clipboard, and a resulting Command+V always pastes a copy from the clipboard to the slide -- what many people don't realize is PowerPoint has this almost supernatural keyboard shortcut called Command+D (yes, the D stands for duplicate), and this shortcut does more than just duplicate; in fact it creates a pattern of evenly-spaced and symmetrical shapes!

Learn how to duplicate shapes using the Command+D key combination in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



A refugee from 18 years in corporate management and marketing, Rikk Flohr turned his attention inward to his 20-year love affair with photography. He founded his design firm Fleeting Glimpse Images in January 2006 and divides his days between various print and screen design projects, presentation consulting and, of course, photography. He lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

In this conversation, Rikk discusses using an iPad as a presenting tool.

Geetesh: Can you tell us more about how you can use the iPad as a secondary monitor in PowerPoint's Presenter View?

Rikk: PowerPoint's Presenter View is a great feature – especially to those of us who do more presenting than designing. Basically, it allows you, when attached to a second monitor, to port your live presentation to your audience while retaining a more robust view for the presenter. This robust view includes a view of the current audience view, a clock, your speaker's notes, and a preview of the upcoming slides. There are additional tools available which are traditionally the domain of presentation remotes. I use it both as a rehearsal tool to tighten timing and delivery as well as a teleprompter when speaking.

The bane of the feature is that it requires a second monitor in order to become active. For us road-warrior presenters that means, without an additional monitor or a projector handy, we cannot use it. If I want to rehearse in my hotel room at night, I likely won’t have a second display with me. This all changed with Apple's introduction of the iPad. The iPad, in conjunction with an app from Apple's App Store suddenly makes Presenter View available to the road warrior without a huge equipment premium.

The app in question is called Air Display and made by a company named Avatron. Installing the paid app in conjunction with a free download (both Mac and PC are available) gives your computer access to the iPad as a secondary display. The entire operation works over WiFi. As long as the iPad and the computer are on the same network, you can stream your screen content directly to the iPad. If no WiFi is available you can make your computer and iPad communicate over an ad-hoc wireless network. Configuration is pretty easy and the connection is robust. Just don't expect your video refresh rate to be great over the iPad. It is simply a remote touch screen to allow you to use the Presenter's View function in a rehearsal environment.



Geetesh: What are the benefits of using the iPad as a secondary monitor for both Windows and Mac users?

Rikk: The benefits are two-fold:

  1. You can now rehearse your timings with your notes and a clock with a single computer and your iPad – both of which will conveniently fit in your existing laptop bag. This means any place is a rehearsal opportunity using Presenter View. Printed notes are no longer needed for your laptop rehearsal as the iPad displays your notes for you. You know what slide is coming up next and how long you have rehearsed. For those who prefer to present using Presenter mode it makes the rehearsal seem more true-to-life without the need for an additional projector or monitor.

  2. In the actual live presenting arena, the iPad becomes a little more. When coupled with your laptop and your projector, you can turn the iPad into a presentation remote (albeit a large remote) perfect for the podium. Your notes are present, your slide is present, your next slide(s) and your speaker's timer is all there for you to see. Most importantly, you can use your fingers to advance or retreat through your slide deck, black or white your screen, invoke a pen tool to draw or highlight – all from the iPad’s touch screen. In dimly lit auditoriums it is easy to see. We've all tried reading printed notes in a darkened auditorium before, right? Your laptop remains near the projector for ease of signal and cabling while your Presenter View on the iPad follows you about the room.

Caveats: If you like, you can roam with your iPad within the realm of the WiFi's signal. Please remember a couple of items however. The iPad demands attention and attracts attention. Don’t lose track of your audience by your being seduced by the bright attractive screen. It is easy to become engrossed in your presentation in Presenter View and lose your audience in the process. The iPad also likes to rotate its screen based upon its orientation. Turning an iPad which is being ported from a laptop which is also connected to a projector into portrait orientation can do some funky things to video so be aware.

All in all, the iPad can enrich the speaker’s ability to effectively rehearse and deliver a presentation augmented with Presenter View if used wisely. Just don't let that shiny tablet come between you and your audience.

See Also: iPad for Presenter’s View in PowerPoint (Rikk's Blog)

See Also: iPad Presenting 01: First Questions First

Categories: interviews, ipad, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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1 comments




posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Sound files of various types such as MP3s, WMAs, or WAVs can be used in PowerPoint 2007. As far as possible, work with a presentation that has been saved at least once; then copy any sound/music file you want to insert to the same folder as the presentation. Open your presentation and navigate to the slide where you want to add a sound.

Learn how to insert sound clips in PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: powerpoint_2007, sounds, tutorials

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Shapes in PowerPoint are very useful in representing design or content -- but when you create a slide that has such a framework, it is common to have several shapes of the same size and other attributes on a slide. Not only does the repetition of shapes cause continuity, but in some ways it can also lead to symmetry.

Learn how to duplicate shapes by dragging them to make copies in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, November 21, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



OK, you have an Apple iPad of the original first generation -- or the second one. You need to present in front of a small or large audience sometimes or fairly frequently, and just the thought of doing one of your upcoming presentations using the iPad rather than the regular laptop and the ubiquitous Microsoft PowerPoint (or Apple Keynote) makes your veins pump with faster flowing blood? And for many of us it may not even matter if we still use a laptop or a desktop machine -- or not. Even if we use the iPad along with a laptop, it still is an achievement of some proportions!



Welcome to the club of so many others who have been thinking exactly like you do. This series of posts was first intended to be an e-book but with rapidly changing times, I thought a series of blog posts will be more relevant. Having said that, there's no reason why we cannot create an e-book from this entire series at a later date. For now, let's get back on track to take baby steps in the direction of iPad presenting.

It's not too obvious but there are two distinct iPad presenting scenarios, and they differ by just one word:

Presenting on an iPad
Presenting from an iPad

To answer which of these two scenarios you are looking at (or if you are looking at both or none of these scenarios), you will have to read the next few paragraphs.

Presenting on an iPad means that you use your iPad to present or share information with one or a few people. You need no connected projectors or wireless video signals, and you are happy to use the iPad screen as your display. You often pass the iPad to others in the audience, and they may share their iPads with you too if this is a collaborative, group presentation. Your presentation may or may not be based on slide-ware such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote. In fact you might be sharing content that is from a web site, an email, or just some notes. You may also be typing notes on your iPad as you do this presentation. Many presenters have found this to be a great way to work within a small group. Of course, this way of presenting also includes those who use PowerPoint or Keynote to present to others using just the iPad, again to a fairly small audience that comprises one or two.

Presenting from an iPad is something much larger; in fact it is almost the same as presenting from your laptop that is connected to a projector or another external display. It's just that you want to use your iPad as a substitute for the laptop. There are a lot of questions that people ask about this scenario, ranging from what will happen to their existing PowerPoint or Keynote slides to what sort of multimedia support they can expect on the iPad. Also how can they open PowerPoint slides at all on their iPads? Finally, does it matter if they are Windows or Mac users?

This series of posts are about both these scenarios, and more -- and some scenarios need easier and less involved solutions. Yet it is eminently satisfying to tame more difficult scenarios, so much so that it can be as much fun as winning a difficult game level on your console!

Categories: ipad, keynote, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you are presenting, you may come across a scenario where you want to click on one slide object to animate some other object. Not only can you cause the click to trigger a typical animation of another slide object, but you can also trigger media events such as playing a sound or video clip. Not surprisingly, these types of animations are called Trigger animations -- since they trigger an action for some other object. Trigger animations work only with On Click animation events applied to the animated object.

Learn how to use trigger animations that occur on the click of some other slide object in PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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Saturday, November 19, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 5:31 PM IST



These Thanksgiving Clip Arts for PowerPoint are ready to use clip-art graphics that you can use within your PowerPoint presentation slides. These clip art graphics are available in black and white colors -- both variations are contained within two separate sample presentations you can download. Copy the clip art graphics of your choice from the downloaded presentations, and paste them into your PowerPoint presentation slide, or you can also paste them into a Word document or an Excel worksheet.

 

Download these free Thanksgiving clip art graphics here.

Categories: clip_media, design, powerpoint

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Friday, November 18, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Circulate is a new PowerPoint add-in that quickly arranges shapes, pictures, and text into circular and semi-circular paths. You can play around with different path options to create complex patterns, motifs, logos, spirographs, etc. All put together, this does look like a fun add-in that can be very useful at the same time. To use Circulate, you will need PowerPoint 2007 or later versions on Windows.

Read the Indezine review of Circulate.

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



You have already learned the differences between text placeholders and text boxes within PowerPoint 2011. Beyond those differences, almost everything else does work in the same way as far as formatting for text placeholders and text boxes is concerned. However, there is one more vital difference between a text placeholder and a text box: You never insert a text placeholder on a slide since they are part of the layout for your slide. Text boxes on the other hand need to be inserted manually.

Learn how to insert a text box in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, text, tutorials

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Thursday, November 17, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The main purpose of adding animation to any slide object is to draw the attention of the audience to some movement. Once you set an animation event, and set the speed of the animation, you may also want some sound to play along with the animation -- one aspect that you should always remember is that although you can add sound to an animation, it is not always necessary to do so -- we suggest you only add sound sparingly -- and even then, you must make sure that the sound adds some value to the animation. In addition, it is important that you use the perfect sound type for any animation -- using clapping or blasting sounds is very cliché.

Learn how to add sound effects to animations in PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2007, sounds, tutorials

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Speak with E’s. Be a speaker of influence, not control or guilt. With the privilege of the platform comes the awesome responsibility of motivating and influencing your audience to feel/think/act differently.

  1. Educate: Provide your audience with extensive information on your topic. This will empower attendees to feel competent and knowledgeable. Support your points with stories. Stories help us see through the eyes of other people. Adults delineate their thoughts visually.

  2. Entertain: Give them the facts laced with a good dose of humor. Adults learn better when they are lightening up! Here's the place for some magic tricks, handwriting analysis, or a song.

  3. Experience: Get the audience involved. When they interact, they get it better, and retain it longer. Group exercises, simple questions and answers, role-plays.

  4. Enthusiasm: Vary your tone of voice, smile often, and show passion for your subject matter. Make your body language reflect your comments.

  5. Example: Be the speaker/person who motivates the audience to admire and respect you. You have succeeded when people say, I want to be like him/her.

  6. Encourage: Be supportive to your audience, believe in them. Acknowledge them. Say, I did it and so can you.

  7. Excellence: Hold yourself accountable for excellence. And then help your audience be accountable and live up to its potential. Speakers need to give audiences what they need, not what they want.

  8. Expertise: Demonstrate that you know your stuff. Speak about what you know from your business background, personal experiences, and research. Be perceived as an expert on your topic.

  9. Eloquence: Deliver your speech with high energy, sincerity, inspiration, and a sense of humor. Are you one of a kind? What makes you different from your competitors?

  10. End result: You want to energize your audience to take some risks, some action, go to the edge, and execute. . .make their dreams come true, or get the job done. Your information should be useful and immediately applicable to their lives.

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.

Categories: guest_post, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Adding text within any shape in PowerPoint 2011 is easy -- do remember though that a few shapes such as Lines won't allow you to add text. Select your inserted shape, and start typing. Anything you type shows up within the shape -- remember that almost any shape in PowerPoint is essentially also a text box.

Learn how to insert and edit text within a shape in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, text, tutorials

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 1:51 PM IST

This post is not about presenting, but when you consider that this is about communicating -- then it just happens to be relevant to presenters too! Today, I heard about a new book, downloaded it, read it from cover to cover, and started acting upon what the book's author taught me -- and everything I did happened in a span of less than 2 hours!

Wow -- are you wondering if that is even possible? Find out for yourself -- the book is called Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage, and is authored by David Meerman Scott.

Found out about the book from a blog post by Nick Morgan earlier today -- and this has to be among the best books I have read. I do love the fact that David did not write a 200 page book on this topic -- all the content is straightforward and written in plain English. The stories and analogies are first rate, and the book gets you from the starting point to end point very convincingly and directly.

At this point of time, I am guessing you want to know what Newsjacking means? According to David, newsjacking is the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.

Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

Newsjacking is powerful, but only when executed in real time. It is about taking advantage of opportunities that pop up for a fleeting moment, then disappear. In that instant, if you are clever enough to add a new dimension to the story in real time, the news media will write about you.
To succeed at newsjacking—or fend off a newsjack—you must be prepared to act within the hour, day, night, or weekend. And that entails risk. Your shot on goal may open up at the end of a long day when you are tired and irritable, or when you have had one too many drinks.

This book is available on Amazon (as a Kindle book) for instant download -- no conventional paper books of this title have been published yet.

Categories: book_review

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posted by Geetesh on 1:45 PM IST



Offers, Kits, Conversations, and Tutorials – with so much stuff, you may wonder if we plan to include too much content in this issue? In that case you are right -- this is indeed a jumbo issue of this newsletter with so much information that we seriously considered holding back some of the content -- in the end, we decided to announce all of this stuff because we have more stuff coming up for you next week!

Read our newsletter here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Animation is a fine art that lets you illustrate a concept using movement. However there's a thin dividing line between mere movement and utter confusion. Imagine a classroom where a teacher moves around the room explaining a concept -- as he or she moves, the eye of the students follows him or her. There is a clear focus in the room, and the subject of that focus is the teacher. Now imagine another situation where the teacher and all the students in the room start moving in disparate directions just for the sake of movement -- at this point of time, the movement has given way to chaos. The distinction between movement and chaos works similarly on PowerPoint slides -- at any point of time, movement needs to have focus and direction, and more importantly, a reason to move!

Learn to build and sequence animations in PowerPoint 2007.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2007, tutorials

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Monday, November 14, 2011
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Many people do not know that you can create more than one slide master in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003, and even your own slide layouts in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010. Do you use these features?

You have an opportunity to create a new company background -- or maybe even several. Answer these questions before getting started:

  • Will you have just a title at the top of each slide, or will the slides have both title and subheading?

  • Will you show charts that fill the whole slide?

  • Will you have slides with text and pictures together?

  • Will you put your logo on every slide? Is that company policy? Is it really needed?

  • Will you put your customer's logo on certain slides?

  • Will the presentation be divided into product categories? Do you want different slide looks for each of the products? How will you carry through one central look even with different slides looks representing different products?
Once you have created several looks, ask yourself these questions:
  • When I look at the slide, does my eye go to a central place? Do I have so many graphical elements that the eye keeps wandering from one to another. Don't put all these elements on one slide: a busy background with images on it, a title space that has many design elements, a logo that is very large and other design elements as well.

  • Will the design make it easy for the presenter to talk and show off the key points?

  • Are the color combinations attractive and bring the eye into the slide? For example, some yellows, blues, and greens really make people want to look away. Tone down the colors if necessary.

Claudyne WilderClaudyne Wilder is guest lecturer at conferences, business shows and corporate events. She is the creator of three presentation seminars: "The Winning Presentations Seminar," "The Winning Presentations Sales Seminar;" and "Creating PowerPoint Presentations That Get Your Point Across." She offers "The Winning Presentations Seminar publicly about six times a year. She also licenses this seminar to companies and consultants to teach.

Do visit Claudyne's site at Wilder Presentations to learn more.

Categories: background, design, guest_post, powerpoint

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