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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: January 2012

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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Indezine News Released

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



What is it that attracts an audience within any presentation? Are they the slides? Or is it the speaker? Or is there something else that is the sum of all parts: the audience themselves, the speaker, and the slides? We may all have been speakers at one occasion or another but we have also been part of an audience -- and do all successful presentations have a quality about them that we remember long after the presenation was over? If you think carefully about all successful presentations that linger in your thoughts, then there has to be a common thread that strings through all of them -- and that has to be the charisma of the speaker!

Read this issue of Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



In a previous tutorial, you have learned how you can edit points (vertexes) of a selected shape to alter its structure. These vertexes let you control how a shape looks -- but sometimes you might find it difficult to edit a certain segment in a shape because there are no vertexes (points) available to manipulate -- or maybe there are far too many points! PowerPoint provides a simple solution for this problem -- you can add and delete vertexes from a shape. In PowerPoint terminology, the terms vertex and point are often used interchangeably.

Learn how to add or delete points (vertexes) of a shape in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, January 30, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Do you want to be more influential in your meetings and presentations? Consider doing these behaviors so that you are on top of the content as well as your presenting style.

  1. Get approval of the content: Talk to people who know the audience, and find out the interests of the audience. Talk to at least two people just to be sure you are getting accurate advice.

  2. Organize data in a systematic flow: Make your messages and story easy to follow by putting the information in a logical sequence. Be sure to logically organize your thoughts when speaking in a meeting—do not ramble.

  3. Cut out unnecessary slide details: Be ruthless and cut out the details this particular audience does not need to know, or have heard so many times that they will be bored to hear about them one more time. Speak 5 minutes less than the time allotted. If you are only asked to speak for 5 minutes, then make it 4.

  4. Use an executive summary: Use a slide at your opening that summarizes the major points of the presentation. You can also give an executive summary in a meeting, without a slide, that summarizes the key aspects of a project.

  5. Show a summary slide after questions & answers: Use a summary wrap up slide or speak without a slide after answering all questions. Do not answer the last question and then sit down. You want to summarize your presentation’s key message and present a vision going forward.

  6. Do a real rehearsal: Rehearse the talk out loud and time it. If possible, rehearse in the room or some room similar to the one you will be presenting in. Rehearse the opening and closing. You may also want to rehearse your short overview you are giving in a meeting. You will sound more in charge when you rehearse even if it is an informal meeting.

  7. Use a remote: Do not stand next to the computer and keep looking down to press the key that advances the slides. When you use a remote, you are more professional.

  8. Plan your clothes: First, dress for the role. It’s still true, dress for the role you want. Wear the clothes at least once already so you know they stay buttoned, zipped, etc.

  9. Practice all the time certain presentation behaviors: Have someone critique several of your talks and specify the types of behaviors you need to enhance. These could include standing still, talking directly to each listener for at least for the count of three, pausing instead of saying "um," talking not too loud or too soft.

  10. Manage your attitude: Get enough sleep and exercise the day before the speaking. Be sure you rehearse so you can feel confident and give yourself positive feedback before, during and after the presentation.


Claudyne WilderClaudyne Wilder coaches executives, managers, and salespeople on how to deliver presentations that get to the message. Her clients give compelling, passionate presentations. Her company has an ongoing contract to give her Get to the Message: Present with a Purpose workshop at a Fortune 100 Global Pharmaceutical Company. Claudyne brings a unique and invigorating perspective to her work from her years of studying the Argentine Tango.

Do visit Claudyne's site at Wilder Presentations to sign up for her blog, her tweets or to download some free presenting tools.

Categories: delivery, guest_post, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Dynamic Content transitions are new transition effects in PowerPoint 2010 (these also work in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac). When these transitions are applied to your slide, the actual transition occurs on all areas of the slide except the backgrounds. This makes your content move independently on and off the screen. PowerPoint 2010 provides seven different transition effects within the Dynamic Content category -- do experiment with these options for direction and timing to create some great looking presentations.

Learn about Dynamic Content transitions in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, transitions, tutorials

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Saturday, January 28, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These Valentine mobiles are suspended from a rope, and are freely moving pendulum-like in the air with random speeds and directions. All the heart mobiles you see are Theme aware so that their fills change when you apply a new Theme. In addition, we used animation sparingly, yet effectively to create this effect – the entire slide uses just the Spin animation and nothing else! And while this entire animated slide was created in PowerPoint 2010, it should work just fine in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows and PowerPoint 2008/2011 for Mac. All animations are set to repeat indefinitely so that the hearts keep moving until you navigate to the next slide.



Download and use this slide in your presentation.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, January 27, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Kelly VandeverIn an attention-deficient, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-my-Facebook-page kind of world, the typical business presentation is lame. Professional speaker, trainer, coach, tweeter and blogger Kelly Vandever works with organizations who want to take their strategic business presentations from Lame to Fame! An award winning speaker herself, Kelly helps organizations crank up their content to connect and interact with their audiences using old school and hi-tech techniques all the while annihilating bullet points and making this world a better place for business audiences everywhere. You can contact Kelly at her Speaking Practically site or @KellyVandever.

In this conversation, Kelly discusses visible changes in the world of presentations, and the use of Twitter as a means to interact with their audience.

Geetesh: In the last 5 years, what has been the most visible change in the world of presentations, and what are things that never change?

Kelly: The most visible change in the world of presentations comes from technology. Smart phones give audiences access to any piece of information a presenter shares -- or doesn't share. My first day teaching public speaking at a local university, one of my students piped up in the middle of my review of the syllabus to ask "are you the Kelly Vandever who's a stand up comedian?" He'd Googled my name and found a YouTube video of my performance at the Punch Line Comedy club in Atlanta. Audiences don't have to take a speaker's word for it. They've got their phones handy and aren't afraid to use them!

Another change is the phenomenon of people tweeting while speakers are talking. When I first heard about the Sarah Lacey – Mark Zuckerberg interview at SXSW in 2007, where a frustrated audience started tweeting about how badly the interview was going, my stomach sank. People tweeting while speakers are speaking?! No good could possibly come from this! I've since changed my mind, but a tweeting audience can still be a threat to speakers who aren't prepared.

I think overall the fact that today's audiences can verify, publicize or criticize anything a speaker says actually elevates what's expected of speakers and is in the best interest of audiences. Speakers need good content, they need to be prepared and they need to connect with their audiences authentically. You asked what hasn't changed. Those things haven't changed. Aristotle first said it more than 300 years BC -- We trust speakers and their message based on a combination of ethos – the character of the presenter, pathos – the emotional appeal of the message, and logos – the logical reasoning of the information presented. Technology allows audiences to hold the speaker accountable for their message and their integrity.

The other most impactful change I've seen has to do with presentation slides. When presentation software first came out, the software taught us, through the default settings, that we should use presentation slides like a document outline. In the past few years, we see more and more presenters stepping away from the bullet points and going toward images with just a few words on the screen. In my experience, audiences prefer this approach. And the cool thing is, that it also works better. Research from Richard Mayer at University of California in Santa Barbara and others demonstrates that having the words on the screen as they're being spoken by the presenter is actually less effective for retention and transfer of the information than using pictures and two or three words. I certainly hope this trend will continue as more presenters experience the results from their happier audiences.

Other technological impacts include the ease with which we can add videos to presentations and use video to record and watch practice sessions. Tools like Prezi can add movement and a "gee whiz" effect to a presentation – though for me the jury is still out as to whether or not the "gee whiz" effect actually improves or detracts from the message. Sales forces can load presentations on their tablets and use them on sales calls. It's fascinating to see how technology is morphing presentation techniques. But we should never forget that some things never change - presentations will always be about our audiences and the connections we make between us, our audience and our message.

Geetesh: You use and help others use Twitter as a means to interact with their audience and improve their presentations – can you explain this in more detail?

Kelly: Audiences love interaction because they want to be engaged. For a speaker who speaks to audiences that have a tendency to tweet, Twitter is a great way to interact with larger audiences before, during, and after a presentation.

Before a presentation, Twitter gives the speaker another way to research their audience by following the conference hashtag and seeing out what's important in their world. Using the conference hashtag, the speaker can also ask questions of the audience and adjust their presentation accordingly.

During a presentation, speakers can encourage their shy audience members to tweet questions, then build in "Twitter breaks" to check for questions. I recommend using a Twitter moderator who monitors the hashtag for the presenter, then poses the questions to the speaker during the Twitter breaks. I do not recommend posting the Twitter stream behind the presenter as it distracts from the presentation. If audience members want to follow the stream, they can do it on their phones. If the stream is broadcast behind a speaker, the audience don't have any options -– the distraction is there whether they're able to tune it out or not.

Twitter can be used to do informal polling with an audience. To publicize links mentioned during the presentation and more. Let's face it, the speaker is probably not going to have time to answer all questions during the time allotted. Having the audience ask questions on Twitter gives the speaker a way to follow up later and answer those questions which ordinarily might have gone unanswered.

I recommend using the conference hashtag and, at large conferences, a session hashtag too. Using the conference hashtag is important so those that are following the conference from the Twitter can see what's being said and can pop in with their comments and questions too. Using a session specific hashtag makes it easier to find the questions and comments specific to the session so you can respond while in the session or when following up.

After the presentation, as mentioned above the speaker can answer unanswered questions. But I think the real benefit for the speaker is being able to see what the audience is thinking while the speaker is speaking. What resonated with the audience? What comments did they tweet and retweet? Is there anything unexpected, like a point you thought was minor but is getting a lot of buzz on Twitter? How is the message going over? What do you need to do to improve your presentation?

Yes, Twitter can add a little more complexity and yes, you give up some control with your audience. But come on, control is an illusion. Audiences are using their phones anyway. The benefits when using Twitter right far outweigh the negatives. I hope more speakers start taking advantage!

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills, twitter

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When you insert any of the shapes available in PowerPoint, you are not limited to what their default appearance looks like. You can change a rectangle to a rhombus, or even edit a curved or freeform line differently. You can do this by using the Edit Points option -- this almost makes PowerPoint a drawing program that provides you the option to play with vertexes (points), handles, etc. -- very similar to what you would do in Adobe Illustrator. A vertex is a point within the outline of any shape that can be dragged or edited to change the appearance of the shape.

Learn how to edit the structure of a shape in PowerPoint 2011 using the Edit Points option.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, January 26, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



By default, no transitions are applied to any slide. However, once you apply transitions to your slides, you can tweak them aplenty. You can adjust the duration and timing of any transition, and even add a sound that will play while the slide transition happens. Further, each transition effect may or may not provide Effect Options. Effect Options enable you to have more control over the transition style applied to the slide -- follow these steps to explore Effect Options for slide transitions in PowerPoint 2010.

Explore slide transition Effect Options in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, transitions, tutorials

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Podium is a PowerPoint add-in which enables you to do quite a bit with your slide content. You can manage your PowerPoint presentations, and you can use provided tools to enhance your presentations. You can also create a new presentation from scratch. Podium provides a huge library of media elements such as images, vector drawings, ready-to-use backgrounds, 3D clip art and shapes, embellishments, etc. All these elements are royalty free, and most of these can also be individually customized to match the look of your slides. Once installed, Podium creates a new tab on PowerPoint's Ribbon.

Learn about Podium, a PowerPoint add-in that lets you customize and enhance your slides.

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



You have already learned how to use three of the four line drawing tools in PowerPoint 2011: Line, Curve, and Freeform. In this tutorial, we show you how you can use the last of these line tools: the Scribble Line tool. Drawing with the Scribble line is almost the same as drawing with the Freeform line -- but there are two differences. First, you don't need to double click to establish the end point of your drawing when you are using Scribble tool. Just like you draw with a pencil on a piece of paper, your line stops the minute you stop drawing it. Second, the Scribble tool does not allow you to draw straight lines. Having said that, you still need to practice to make your scribble lines perfect.

Learn how to draw with the Scribble line tool in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: lines, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 1:46 PM IST



Consider the typical bucketload of slides that most business presentations contain. What if the presenter retrieved the few important slides from that bucketload and concentrated on this important content -- and then he or she practiced these slides, researched possible questions and answers, and made as many improvements as possible all the while. I think this approach would work! So that's the thought of this week -- do ponder and share your feedback with me.

Read the newsletter here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Sound effects are one of those small touches that PowerPoint allows you to add to a slide transition. However, you need to tread with caution here since a sound playing with every slide transition can not only sound cheesy, but it can also unnecessarily distract your audience. Having said that, there are occasions where a sound effect can be wisely applied to PowerPoint slide transitions -- maybe a chime sound for just one slide? Whatever you decide, let us now show you how you can add a slide transition sound.

Learn how to add slide transition sounds in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, transitions, tutorials

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Monday, January 23, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



MapPrez is a PowerPoint add-in that enables you to insert maps, and add place locations as labels directly on inserted maps. All these actions can be done through a dedicated MapPrez tab in PowerPoint's Ribbon. All maps are sourced from Google -- and you can thus insert brilliant satellite and cartographic imagery with a click or two. In addition, MapPrez lets you superimpose vector maps on top of the inserted maps.

Learn about MapPrez, a PowerPoint add-in that lets you add high quality geographical maps inside PowerPoint.

Categories: add-in, maps, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



PowerPoint provides four line drawing tools: line, curve, freeform, and scribble. You have already explored the Line and Curve tools, and in this tutorial you will learn how you can use the Freeform tool to create lines that can be drawn with more creative freedom -- in fact the Freeform tool lets you draw just like using a pencil on a piece of paper. In addition, you can create straight lines as well. Although the Freeform tool takes a while getting used to, practice will make your attempts perfect.

Learn how to draw with the Freeform line tool in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: lines, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Saturday, January 21, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Hundreds of stars twinkle, some more stars revolve and the hearts move along, in all their splendor! Amazing that everything can be animated to such precision using nothing other than shapes found within PowerPoint. Of course, we made sure that all shapes were filled with the perfect gradients that were color coordinated to the Theme of the presentation. And while this entire animated slide was created in PowerPoint 2010, it should work just fine in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows and PowerPoint 2008/2011 for Mac. All animations are set to repeat indefinitely so that the stars and the hearts keep twinkling and moving until you navigate to the next slide.



Download and use this slide in your presentation.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, January 20, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Two slides that contain text boxes – each character has a different text box associated and animated with it – and all the text is Theme aware so that it changes to the text colors that go well with the active Theme of your presentation. To add more text characters, just copy and paste existing text boxes. The animation and formatting of the text boxes will be copied as they are duplicated. We used PowerPoint 2010 to create this presentation, and it works best in either that version or in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac – although it does seem to work well even in older versions.



Download and use this slide for your own presentations.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples, text

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



In a previous tutorial you learned how to add transitions to your slides and edit the transition duration (speed). In this tutorial we'll show you how to edit transition timings. Remember that transition duration and transition timings are not the same. Transition time is the actual time that the slide stays active during a slide show before moving on to the next slide. Transition duration is the amount of time it takes to move between slides -- in previous versions of PowerPoint, duration was called speed. Normally, during a slide show, you can advance to the next slide by clicking your mouse (or pressing the Enter key on your keyboard). Using transition timings on the other hand, you can set your slides to advance on their own instead, and display each slide for a specific amount of time that you decide.

Learn how to set transition timings for the slides in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, transitions, tutorials

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Thursday, January 19, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



It's so simple to draw a straight, point to point line in PowerPoint. Now, in this tutorial we'll move on to show you how you can draw a curved line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Within the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the Shape button to view the Shape gallery. Select the Lines and Connectors option within this gallery, and from the resultant sub-menu, select the Curve shape.

Learn how to draw a curved line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: lines, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



PowerMockup is a PowerPoint add-in that lets you create mockups of anything you want to design - maybe a web site, even a Visual Basic program, a Flash movie, or any idea that you want to sketch or storyboard. It works entirely within the PowerPoint program interface, as you can see in Figure 1. PowerMockup adds a rich set of user interface elements (buttons, text boxes, navigation bars, etc.) which makes prototyping new concepts very easy - all within PowerPoint. Using PowerPoint as a mockup tool has many advantages because almost everyone knows how to use it.

Read the Indezine review of PowerMockup.

Categories: add-in, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Every transition you add to a slide within PowerPoint 2010 has a fixed, default duration. Some transitions such as Cut happen sooner than you can imagine (just 0.10 seconds). Some others like Reveal can take 3.40 seconds to be done with. But you really do not need to be happy with the default transition durations as you can make them to happen for as long, or as soon as you want. Before we show you how you can change the duration, do remember that transition duration and transition time are not the same. While transition duration is what we are exploring in this tutorial, transition time is the actual time that the slide stays during a slide show before moving to the next slide. Transition timings are purely optional, since you can choose to let any slide show as long as you want and only move to the next slide with a mouse click. Transition duration though is not optional -- even if you do not change the duration, there still is a default duration for each transition effect.

Learn how to change the slide transition duration in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, transitions, tutorials

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



The power of simplicity pervades everywhere -- and is the key to conceptualizing, creating, and delivering any type of presentation. The need to weed out the unrequired, the aim to keep things as uncomplicated as we can, and to clearly understand what the audience wants -- these are all objectives that any presenter will associate with. And the best way to attain these objectives is with simplicity.

Read more in this week's newsletter.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



PowerPoint is also a great drawing program with a feature set that rivals top end graphic programs. Yes, you have learned how you can use readymade shapes in PowerPoint to place rectangles, circles, and hundreds of other shapes. In addition, we have explored how you can create new shapes by combining one or more shapes. If these are not capable enough for you, PowerPoint includes the ability to create your own shapes from scratch by drawing them. These drawing tools are essentially the Line shapes that can be found within the Shape gallery.

Learn how to draw a line in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: lines, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, January 16, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Irwin HipsmanIrwin Hipsman is the director of customer community at Brainshark, Inc. Brainshark's cloud-based software lets users 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 costs.

In this conversation, Irwin discusses Brainshark’s annual Sharkie Awards, which are now open for submissions.

Geetesh: What exactly is the annual Sharkie Awards, and who can participate?

Irwin: Brainshark is hosting the fourth annual Sharkie Awards to recognize and celebrate excellent presentations. Users of Brainshark's enterprise products, along with users of our free myBrainshark.com site, are eligible to submit their work. There's no cost to enter, and the deadline for submissions is February 3. On March 21, we’ll be holding an online awards ceremony to announce and honor the winners.

We'll be recognizing the best presentations across a wide range of categories -– from training and marketing presentations to those best suited for mobile delivery to users' first-ever presentations and more. We've added three new categories this year too: "Best Agency-Created Presentation," "Best Short Presentation" (for those less than one minute) and "Best Presentation for a Charitable Cause."

As your readers may know, Brainshark provides an easy way to add voice to PowerPoints and other business documents to create trackable, online video presentations. So in addition to celebrating our winners' achievements, the Sharkie Awards also provide a great resource for our users at large. The program showcases standout presentations and best practices, so others can pick up helpful tips and tricks via real-world examples. You can view our previous winners at www.brainshark.com/gallery.

Geetesh: How will you decide who the winner will be? Are you doing voting, or will there be judges?

Irwin: Brainshark employees will be judging presentations to select category winners. As they evaluate the presentations, they'll be looking at the introduction, quality of the script and audio delivery, visuals, use of animations and incorporation of Brainshark features, among other criteria.

Sharkie AwardsCategory winners will receive a Sharkie trophy and will be eligible for the "Presentation of the Year" award. This award is selected by our customers, who vote for their three favorite presentations from the category winners. The top vote-getter for "Presentation of the Year" will receive a grand prize (such as a trip, team outing, or iPads) valued at $2,000. The second and third place finishers will also receive prizes valued at $1,000 and $500 respectively.

We're very excited to host this awards program to celebrate and showcase examples of presentation success. For more information, please see our rules page here, or click to view the brief Brainshark presentation below:



Categories: brainshark, interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Transitions between slides cover much more than some movement between one slide and the next -- you can actually do a slide transition that is abrupt without any effect or you could look at any of the transition effects, all the way from simple fades and wipes to something that can cause a vertigo! In addition, transitions in PowerPoint can have set timings, and also be accompanied by transition sounds. Clearly, there is plenty to learn, and unlearn!

Learn how to add transition effects to the slides in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, transitions, tutorials

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Saturday, January 14, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This slide uses several squares that were applied 3D styles to end up as cubes. Each cube is of a different size, is rotated at a different angle, and also uses Theme colors – so if you add this slide to another presentation, the cubes will sport colors coordinated with your presentation. Each cube has more than one animation added so that it diminishes in size as it moves to an imaginary perspective point located off the top right part of the slide. All animations are set to repeat indefinitely so that the cubes keep moving until you navigate to the next slide.



Download and use this slide in your presentation.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, January 13, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



A typical PowerPoint presentation includes the speaker reading the slide and maybe including a couple of other sentences that are not on the slide. That is backwards. This upside-down pyramid shows how conveying the data itself is one small piece –- and perhaps the smallest -– of your presentation. Your task as a speaker is to communicate information that is not on the slide. Let’s start at the bottom of the inverted pyramid.



Convey: First, convey your data. You might tell your audience that the purchase of a new production machine will cost $500,000. Many times you don’t even have to read the numbers; your audience can see them.

Add to: Second, add information to the data by telling your audience that this machine will allow the company to increase its inventory, which is critical because the manufacturing plant is now running at capacity. If you don't add to and explain the number you are conveying, your audience does not know how to think or feel about agreeing to purchase a new machine.

Interpret: Third, interpret the data and give it meaning. Help your audience make a decision by telling them why the information is important and what it means to them. For example, your audience may be wondering if this machine really is necessary right now. You can help them make up their minds by stating, "The sales group is about to sign an agreement for an alliance with a vendor who wants to sell our products. We will need more inventory." Now you are interpreting the data and giving it meaning.

Share your vision: Fourth, if appropriate, share a vision: "I know that this investment will pay off and lead to increased revenue when our partner starts to sell for us. They have already ordered more products than we have on hand."

When you as the speaker actually "add value" to what you are showing on the slide, your audience stays engaged. The slide has the job to convey, but you have the other three jobs on the communication pyramid. To convince your audience, you must add to the data, interpret it, and share your vision.



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: guest_post, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Once you insert an Action Button, and explore the default behavior for each Action Button, you are ready to move on to more detailed techniques on working with Action Buttons. Each Action Button has a default action associated -- this typically is a hyperlink to some other slide in your presentation. You can change this link, or even add another link such as a link to your web site, another document, and more. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add or change hyperlinks emanating from Action Buttons.

Explore options to add and edit hyperlinks for Action Buttons in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, January 12, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



If you created a long presentation for a particular event or concept and then realize that you used the wrong terminology across the presentation, then what would you do? Yes, you can manually find the problem word and replace its each occurrence. But what if you have more than a few slides? Or even then, you might miss out locating the problem word in some occurrences. Your best choice is to do this replacing using PowerPoint's Find and Replace option.

Learn how to find and replace words in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, proofing, text, tutorials

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Every Friday precisely at noon from a small dining room in the back of Duffey's sports bar in Boynton Beach Florida, someone bangs the gavel five times. To the group of 30 men and women that have gathered for the weekly luncheon meeting of the Bill Gove Golden Gavel Toastmasters Club, it's a signal to get down to the business of speaking. For the next 60 minutes, the members will learn, laugh, and work toward the common goal of Toastmasters International: improve communications and leadership skills.

Founded in 1924, Toastmasters International has helped over 4 million people to become more confident speakers and leaders. Today, over 270,000 Toastmaster members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 13,000 clubs that make up the global network of meeting locations.



For this local Florida chapter on this rainy Friday, Toastmaster Ed Lamont starts the meeting by standing at the front of the room and leading the group in a Pledge of Allegiance. Looking relaxed yet professional, Lamont, an experienced speaking professional with a Distinguished Toastmasters Certification presents a brief introduction of the forthcoming meeting and then hands control of the meeting to Becky Woodbridge for "Table Topics," ten minutes of improvisational speeches.

Table Topics: Impromptu Speeches Cultivate Fast Thinking and Snappy Delivery

Wearing a long pink coat, and leather boots, Topicmaster Becky looks like she's dressed for winter. Becky starts by sharing that she is dressed this way because in her travels as a flight attendant, she has noticed the changing colors of the leaves. Fall is here. And for the next ten minutes, she calls on several members to give a brief improvisational speech relevant to her seasonal topic of Fall.

"What is your favorite part of Fall?....Share Ross!"

To a round of thunderous applause, the young long-haired musician leaps from her chair and happily walks to the front of the room to shake Becky's hand. Share begins her short speech by saying that as a Floridian, she has "no experience" with Fall. So she deviates from the topic to tell the story about the time she was performing at a concert, and was FallING off the stage. At two minutes, a designated timer turns on the red light and Share concludes to laughter and rousing applause, and then hands control back to Becky for several more short seasonal stories.


Members of the Bill Gove Golden Gavel Toastmasters Club in Boynton Beach, Florida

Today, Table Topics is fun and jovial, but it's an essential element of any Toastmasters meeting, offering valuable practice and skills in speaking with poise and professionalism. Some speakers have refined their improvisational speaking skills to compete in national speaking competitions.

"Table Topics helps me to think on my feet quickly and creatively on the spur of the moment," says Becky. She adds that the extemporaneous delivery has improved, and she's gained more confidence while speaking than when she first started with Toastmasters one year earlier.

After Table Topics, Topic Master Becky hands control of the meeting back to Toastmaster Ed, who transitions to the formal prepared speeches.

Prepared Speeches: Writing and Speaking Refined

The prepared speeches are the backbone of Toastmasters International. Guided by any one of a dozen "manual speeches," Toastmaster members work on their own time to write, rehearse, and deliver a speech on any topic. The manuals provide direction and structure for each speech. Some speeches are designed to be informative. Some are persuasive. Others are humorous. All speeches give members a chance to flex their creative muscle, sharpen their speaking, and refine their delivery. The entry-level manual, "The Competent Communicator" consists of ten speeches, each of which is typically five to seven minutes. The manual's first speech is called The Ice-Breaker, designed to have members share a bit about themsleves.



Like a professional emcee at the Academy Awards, Toastmaster Ed smoothly segues from one speaker to the next, introducing each of the speakers, and quipping a comment. His presence provides flow and movement; learned skills which can be integrated to any professional environment to amplify presence, delivery, and professionalism.

Evaluations provide feedback and improvement opportunities

But the speakers at Toastmasters are not just speaking for fun; they’re speaking to succeed. Each speech is critiqued by an evaluator, who speaks for two to three minutes, providing immediate feedback, analysis, and input. This "Oreo sandwich" method encourages evaluators to buffer their bite from becoming too abrasive with their critique. Praise and accolade, then a few points for improvement, then overall praise again.

In addition to the evaluator, each Toastmasters meeting has a designated "Ah Counter" who keeps track of crutch words and filler words. These words - "Um"…"ahhh"…"you know"…"like" diminish from any speakers' delivery. By eliminating these empty words, anyone can sound more polished, professional, and in-control...even in casual conversation. In some Toastmasters clubs, Ah Counters ring a bell our sound a buzzer when a speaker utter the ums. Others simply keep a log. Toastmasters are encouraged to simply "pause" or say nothing when they can't think of the right word to say.

And to keep speakers within their allocated time, all meetings have a designated "Timer" who tracks time and provides signals to each speaker when their time is nearly complete.

Fueling the Fire of Success Since 1924

Ultimately, good communications drives success. Since 1924 when Ralph Smedley led the first meeting of what eventually became Toastmasters International, the group has helped millions of people to their members to speak powerfully, listen effectively, gain valuable leadership skills and develop self-confidence and overcome shyness or fear. In today's challenging economic times, the skills gained at Toastmasters help its members gain a clear competitive edge.

To the members of the Bill Gove Golden Gavel Toastmasters Club, their group is much more than just improving speaking skills. It's helped to forge friendships, build businesses, and fuel the fire of success.

"Toastmasters has become a second family for me; a home away from home," explains Chim Francisco. Chim travels over 60 miles every Friday to attend this club, empowered by the supportive network of colleagues, all focused on self-improvement. "Toastmasters provides a tried and proven pathway to personal and professional development – one project at a time!" she enthusiastically declares. And she's doing it. In just nine months, the petite 37-year-old from Bacolod City, Philippines has rocketed to the top in her club, quickly completing her Competent Communicator manual, and now working on an Advanced Communicators Bronze Certification.

Speaking into the Future

Chim is reflective of the new generation of Toastmasters. The organization -- which as been criticized for being stodgy and old-fashioned is adapting to changing times. They recently updated their brand with a contemporary logo and a renewed emphasis on helping its members improve their leadership skills. The group is also broadening their focus on mentoring and technology, with more articles on their website focused on better use of PowerPoint, as well as encouraging the use of technology as an enabler for more powerful communications.

Leadership is an Increasingly Desired Commodity

In today's interconnected world of technical freedom, commanding control of a group at a conference or business environment is a valued commodity. Toastmasters is helping increase leadership skills by providing training and mentorship. This increased focus on leadership can translate to improved performance on the job or in the world in general.

Matt Kinsey says that Toastmasters has been invaluable to him and many of his colleagues for helping achieve success, both personally and professionally.

"Toastmasters is a 'leadership laboratory' where you learn your basic skills of leadership. It's a great environment to fail and make mistakes," explains Kinsey, an IT business consultant, and also Toastmaster District 47's Lieutenant Governor of Education and Training.

"HR managers today are looking for people with strong leadership skills...people who have been through the ROTC or similar programs. Toastmasters helps people to become stronger leaders."

And Toastmasters International is a recognized force in the professional world, it's helped to cultivate some of the world's best known leaders and celebrities. From actor Leonard Nimoy to TV celebrity Chris Matthews, the attraction for self-improvement is compelling. It's a diverse tapestry of men and women of all ages and backgrounds around the world. Each has a story to share, and a desire for self-improvement or connection.

It's 12:55pm, and the Bill Gove Golden Gavel club is wrapping up their meeting. Toastmaster Ed is asking for volunteers for the next week's meeting. Camaraderie (or peer pressure?) prevail and in a few moments all the meeting roles are filled. The group is wrapping up exactly on time at 1pm. Most members shake hands, say goodbye to drive home in the rainy weather in the Sunshine State to continue their day.

In the Shadow of a Great Speaker

Back in the restaurant, the club's president Ed Lamont lingers a bit longer, working to remove the group's ribbon-laden banner from the wall, restoring the room to its sports-bar normalcy. Lamont says that Mr. Bill Gove, who passed away in 2001 at the age of 89, would be proud not only of the group he helped to foster, but the growth of Toastmasters and popularity of speaking, in general. For the members of his namesake group…and for Toastmasters around the world, Gove's legacy and vision lives on.

Whether it's just about meeting a new friend, or accomplishing great new skills, Toastmasters International continues its mission to help people achieve new heights and accomplish greatness.

Some pictures used in this post are from BigStock



Kevin LernerKevin Lerner Kevin Lerner is a leading expert on presentation design, content and delivery. Since founding The Presentation Team in 1995, Kevin and his team have developed presentations for clients including Oracle, Motorola, ADT, Tyco, Comcast Cable, Office Depot, Ryder, UBS Financial. Kevin lives in the Miami, Florida area and enjoys travel, photography, and working to help the world connect.

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