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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: February 2012

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

See Also:
PowerPoint and Presenting Notes
PowerPoint and Presenting Glossary
PowerPoint Programming

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Thin Smiles, Thinner Audiences!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Yesterday evening, our bank invited us to a presentation by one of their insurance consultants -- and that caused me to run into something I have never experienced before in more than a decade of presenting and teaching people how to present! What I encountered was a thin smile -- the presenter had this thin smile plastered on his face right from the start to the end of his presentation -- and that lasted for a good hour and half. Fortunately, I had my iPad with me -- so I used it to good advantage to pencil all my thoughts immediately!

Before we get to these thoughts, what exactly is a thin smile? Fortunately I found a picture on Office.com that shows exactly what I encountered!



We all do realize that the opposite of a smiling speaker is a grumpy one -- and that's not a great alternative. Yet, how many of you can tolerate a speaker who has a thin smile all through his presentation. So what is the balance between smiling too much, and being just happy? Here are some thoughts to share -- you can use these as guidelines to help you not cause a death-by-smiling experience.

  1. Don't smile too much. The audience may think that you are laughing at them.

  2. Also if you smile too much, the audience may think you are covering up your lack of confidence.

  3. Smiling also has quite a bit to relate to the topic of your presentation. If you are discussing something funny, it might work -- but if you are doing a session on bankruptcy or some other negative topic -- then the smile may be a huge liability. Our presenter was talking about insurance, and most of that related to benefits after the death of an insured person -- the thin smile was totally out of place.

  4. Smiling distracts the audience from your speech. At this point of time, you have lost the attention of the listeners.

  5. If you smile too much, your audience will avoid eye contact with you. That may be detrimental to the reason and objective of your presentation.

  6. Presenters who smile too much may come across as insincere, insensitive, unconcerned, and untrustworthy.

Now by extolling the virtues of not smiling, I do not mean that you should not smile at all. You should certainly smile when appropriate, especially when you are directly speaking with a single member of the audience. And a "thin smile" is something entirely different from a regular smile -- the former seems plastic and uninvolved while the latter also results beyond smiling lips to smiling eyes. And a smile that stops after a few seconds is always good. Soon thereafter, you can get back to talking in your most business-like, neutral tone so that you can continue to hold the attention of your audience.

Categories: opinion, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



While PowerPoint lets you attach a connector to any slide object, these connectors can only be attached to wherever you see an anchor point on the slide object. Most of the time, the location of these anchor points may work well for you -- however, in certain scenarios, you may want additional anchor points at a particular location. The good news is that you can add new anchor points for shapes and text boxes using the technique explained on this page. For text placeholders though, you cannot add new anchor points. If you need more anchor points for pictures, it is suggested that you use any shape as a container for a picture fill, and add anchor points as required for the container shape.

Learn how to create Anchor Points for connectors in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



In the last issue, we discussed about pictures and how you can use them effectively. Talking about pictures, there's a favorite saying: A picture is worth a thousand words. While that can be true often, it can also be untrue in a surprisingly large number of scenarios. I discuss more about when a picture is not worth a thousand words in a blog post released last week -- and mentioned later in this newsletter. Now that we are looking at presenting myths, let me ask you all about a smile. A smile is a very common emotion that works wonders as long as it is flashed for an instant. What do you think about smiles that last for an hour or more -- do such smiling people get on your nerves?

Read the newsletter here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



When a connector is inserted to link two shapes or slide objects together, it gets attached to a certain point on both objects. For every object, there are several anchor points where you can attach a connector -- for a typical rectangle (or square) shape, you will see four anchor points (red squares) when you are attaching a connector to it. Sometimes you may attach your connector to the wrong anchor point, and may need to detach it from that point, and attach it to some other anchor point. Or, maybe you connected to the wrong slide object altogether, and now want to detach the connector from one slide object and attach it to another. In this tutorial, we will explore ways to detach and attach connectors.

Learn how to detach, re-attach, and delete connectors in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, February 27, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Gavin WedellGavin Wedell is a business educator. He specialises in training business-academics in best-practice educational techniques. During his career he has designed and facilitated management development programmes for leading global corporates. He has received numerous awards for the innovative nature of his learning programmes.

In this conversation, Don discusses Doodleslide, a PowerPoint add-in that includes a collection of doodles and over 50 slide templates.

Geetesh: What motivated you to create Doodleslide, and how do you use the doodles and templates in your own presentations??

Gavin: I was studying my MBA degree at the University of Cambridge during 2011, and got fidgety in class. I began drawing pictures based on the ideas that I was learning about from my professors.



When some of my classmates saw the doodles, they asked me for copies. It turns out that these doodles were easier to understand than the course’s PowerPoint slides or lecture notes! I then showed some of my professors the images. They were astonished how hand-drawn 'doodle' images can convey a message so clearly and efficiently.

I've always loved using PowerPoint in novel ways. As a corporate trainer and facilitator, I wondered whether there might be interest in using doodles to make PowerPoint presentations more compelling, interesting, and engaging. So, after finishing my MBA in September, I did some research into the types of PowerPoint presentation templates and artwork that were available. I found that the vast majority of them were not only outdated and boring-looking, but also ignore basic educational principles.

I decided to do something about it -- so I worked hard to create the Doodleslide add-in. It is the result of a three month collaboration between myself, forty MBA collaborators (who suggested what doodles would be needed), two artists and two Microsoft Certified Partner software developers.

I use the doodles in the business education workshops that I run. My interest is in improving the quality of business education. I recently ran a series of workshops for faculty at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, focusing on best-practice learning techniques. The doodles have been extremely useful in being a real-life example of how presenters and lecturers can make their presentations engaging and interesting.

I have also used the doodles to create business videos that I've posted to YouTube, including this short introduction to 'Change Management', which was created entirely using PowerPoint.



I'm currently writing a book on PowerPoint best-practice, tentatively called 'The Presentation Manifesto'!

Geetesh: How has the user feedback been for Doodleslide, and are you looking at evolving this further?

Gavin: The response to Doodleslide has been really encouraging. People who use PowerPoint in corporate settings are finding it extremely useful in getting the attention of their audiences who are used to extremely bland 'vanilla' type presentations. Educators are also finding it to be an extremely useful way to capture their students' attention, simply by showing this template slide as a 'curtain warmer' whilst their students enter the room or lecture hall.



I am certainly looking to evolve the add-in further and am currently beginning to collect feedback on ways that it can be improved. An additional function that I would like to create will focus on presenting numerical data in a more engaging way. Stay tuned for Doodlegraph!

See Also: Doodleslide, the Indezine Review

Categories: add-in, cartoons, graphics, interviews, powerpoint, templates

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



A digital signature or ID is more commonly known as a digital certificate. Digital IDs help to validate your identity, and they can be used to sign important documents including PowerPoint presentations. As far as PowerPoint is concerned, a digital certificate is necessary for a digital signature because it provides the key that can be associated with a digital signature. Digital certificates make it possible for digital signatures to be used as a way to authenticate digital information. In this tutorial we will show you how to add a digital signature in PowerPoint 2010.

Learn how to get started with a digital signature in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, security, tutorials

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Saturday, February 25, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



We set a section of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers as the slide background –- and then we added several shapes with a slide background fill to create this slide. You can change the background to any other picture, and these animations will still work! Once animated, the background section that shows through in the shapes continues to move within the slide area creating a very different animation effect. Simultaneously, the rest of the background fades out so that the area within the shapes is highlighted.



Download and use this slide for your own presentations.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, February 24, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This presentation contains two slides –- each slide has two oval shapes that contain a slide background fill. Once animated, the background section that shows through in the ovals continues to move within the slide area creating a very different animation effect. Simultaneously, the rest of the background fades out so that the area within the ovals is highlighted. The background picture was sourced from Microsoft’s Office.com site.



Download and use this slide for your own presentations.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Once you create connectors to link slide objects, you can then format the line thickness, dash attributes, etc. of the connectors to match the look of the other shapes in your slide. Connectors work akin to conventional lines in PowerPoint as far as their formatting options are concerned -- so, changing the color attributes of a connector is almost like changing the color of any line, as you will learn in the following steps.

Learn how to change color of connectors in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Thursday, February 23, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



In previous tutorials you have learned to sign up for Windows Rights Management (WRM), use WRM to set permissions for other users, and how you can set advanced WRM permissions. However, these scenarios only work for those who create and distribute WRM protected files -- how you use WRM if you are a recipient of a protected file is something that we will explore in this tutorial. You will learn how to open a WRM protected file as a permitted user.

Learn how to open Windows Rights Management protected files in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, security, tutorials

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



A picture is worth a thousand words -- we've all heard that a thousand times and more. Frankly speaking, that observation may not be true all the time! So what are those scenarios when this is not true?



Actually, there are so many scenarios that I had to share an entire list with you!

  1. Speak your picture's story: A picture on a slide can certainly tell a story, but that story needs to be retold by the presenter. Many presenters and slide designers take the analogy of a picture being equal to a thousand words quite literally -- and while they believe a message or story has been provided to the audience, it is quite possible that the audience thought of a different story -- especially since the presenter did not explain why he or she had to show a picture of an airplane in a presentation about managing finances!

  2. Relevance is the key: A picture is only effective if it is relevant to the content of your slide -- just any picture will not work. In situations like this, it is better not to use a picture than using the wrong visual. Many times, slide designers and presenters fall into this trap of using a visual that is so generic that it might be used to explain a hundred concepts. A classic example is a picture of the light bulb, or a picture of people shaking hands. These cliche pictures have been used so often, and audiences have seen them in so many slides -- resulting in them not being so relevant any more!

  3. Use fewer pictures: More than one picture to illustrate a single concept is a picture too many. Remember, two pictures may not be worth two thousand words! Yes, you can use multiple pictures if one builds upon the other. For example, you may show a famous building in one picture, and a close-up of some carving on its exterior in another picture. That way, the second picture would add value to the first picture.

  4. Explore silhouettes: A picture that distinctly shows a human being of one race may not work too well in a multi-racial or international audience -- in that case, explore using silhouettes. It is surprising how much more you can express with a mere silhouette.

  5. Captions describe pictures: A picture worth a thousand words sometimes may need a caption of five to seven words -- don't shy from using captions that explain the picture!

  6. Pictures of the same style stay together: The right picture style is also important. The contemporary trend for the last few years has been to use photographs rather than cartoon-style clip art. However, do remember that a commissioned cartoon is entirely different from cartoon-style clip art -- if you use a great cartoon that has a message which is relevant to your presentation, then that's very acceptable. As already mentioned earlier, silhouettes are also a great option.

  7. Pristine pictures speak better: Picture quality is a very significant issue. Do not use visuals that are blurred, pixelated, or pictures that are out of focus.

  8. Crop out the unrequired: Picture cropping can be very useful. Try to crop to an area of the picture where you want to focus the audience's attention.

  9. Respect copyrights: Finally, any picture worth a thousand words is worth none at all if you do not respect copyrights. Don't steal images from online image searches. In future blog posts, I'll explore how you can get great pictures for free or almost next to nothing -- and also why you should respect copyrights.

Categories: design, pictures, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



After you explore connectors, you may believe that they are indeed different from mere lines in certain ways because they are linked to the shapes or slide objects they connect with. Move the object linked to any connector, and the connector itself repositions itself to adjust to the new position of the object. However, when you explore formatting options for connectors, you will discover that they work just like conventional PowerPoint lines. You can add arrowheads to your connectors (or remove them), make your connector a dashed line rather than an undashed one, and also change the thickness of the connector in the same way as you do for lines.

Learn how to format connectors in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This month we will talk about pictures and how you can effectively use them in your slides. With a camera on every phone, it's easier than ever before to click pictures that you can add to your PowerPoint and Keynote slides. And the presentation pundits have been saying it for years now that you should use more visuals and less text. Finally, it's easy to heed to their advice since pictures are aplenty -- and when you cannot find the perfect picture, chances are you can go ahead and click one! Or two, three or many more. If you end up with 5 pictures that are suitable for a slide, how do you choose just one of them? Or do you go ahead and add at least 3 of them to the same slide? There's no clear and obvious answer to that question -- you have to decide what works best in any given scenario. As a rule of the thumb, try to use just one picture -- and also add a second picture only if it adds some extra value to the first picture. For example, you may show a famous building in one picture, and a close-up of some carving on its exterior in another picture.

Read more here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



You have learned to sign up for Windows Rights Management (WRM) in a previous tutorial. Once you are signed up, you can provide permissions using WRM from within PowerPoint 2010. In this tutorial you will learn how to revoke permissions, add new permissions, and also create custom permission levels. For any of the permissions to work, users need to be connected online so that the WRM servers can be accessed for authentication. So, make sure you are connected online, and thereafter follow these steps.

Learn about advanced Windows Rights Management permissions in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, security, tutorials

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Monday, February 20, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



It's always good to be different -- and canned slides with Calibri or Arial text over those same template or Theme backgrounds can look so monotonous! Doodleslide is a PowerPoint add-in that enables you to add a human touch by inserting hand-drawn images and organic looking slide templates. The Doodleslide add-in consists a library of around 350 high-resolution doodle images with transparent backgrounds. These are divided into 25 categories. In addition, it also comprises over 50 slide templates that match the look of the doodles. Both these elements: the doodles and the slide templates can be accessed by two buttons that are integrated into the Insert tab of the Ribbon in PowerPoint.

Read the Indezine review of Doodleslide.

Categories: add-in, graphics, powerpoint, templates

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



You have already learned that there are essentially three types of connectors that you can use to link shapes or other slide objects in PowerPoint 2011 -- also you can add any of these three connectors (straight, elbow, or curved) as per your requirements. However, what if you add a connector of one type and later realize that you should have used a different type? You need not delete that connector, and place another type of connector in its place because PowerPoint 2011 allows you to change from one connector type to another very easily.

Learn how to change between connector types in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Saturday, February 18, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This blueprint slide essentially is not an architectural blueprint, but it could have been! This slide is more of a lesson in how you can slowly introduce slide objects one after the other so that they animated almost like performing in sync – in a ballet or concert. Every shape is a native PowerPoint shape that either has a white fill or outline, or even both. Then we used the Spin animation to primarily get all shapes rotating together. We used PowerPoint 2010 to create this presentation, and it works best in either that version or in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.



Download and use this slide for your own presentations.

Categories: animation, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, February 17, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



One of my clients' major issues is the time, or lack of it, they have to prepare between presentations. Needless to say, this causes stress. Consider the following scenario.

Ginger has a presentation to give to new customers. She was told about it last week. She worked on it to the detriment of a key project, even practicing out loud the night before the talk. She gives it and feels successful. But she has some revisions to make before she sends it to the customer.

At the same time, she has to prepare a talk next week to division managers about her project (the one she has been neglecting). Now she has two presentations to work on simultaneously, one to revise and the other to create from scratch. She has no time to rehearse for the second talk and feels nervous. She doesn't sleep well. Although acceptable, she feels tired, overworked and frustrated. But today she’s got to revise the first presentation.

Yes, it's stressful to be constantly getting over one presentation while preparing for the next. There is no one solution. The best way to reduce stress is to analyze the way you go about creating presentations, and figure out where you can save time. If you don't use the following strategies, then you are probably taking twice as long as you need. Use them, save time, reduce your stress level, and get more work done. And you'll never give a mediocre presentation again!

  1. Create a PowerPoint file for each type of presentation. For example, create a project update file with all the slides set up exactly as you need them. Then you just need to put in your new content.

  2. Learn to use the Slide Master. It's the best time investment you can make. People waste hours creating every slide themselves rather than inserting a slide from the Slide Master that already has a layout. Pay someone to explain how to use it and to create several Slide Master looks you can use over and over again.

  3. Keep a file of artwork, tables, images, and shapes. I am not talking about looking at other presentations for ideas every time you are preparing a talk. I am talking about a file with all these images in the right background and color scheme. You open the file and choose several to use.

  4. Know how to use PowerPoint effectively so you can save even more time. Taking a PowerPoint class may not help you that much. You need a class on how to create a presentation using PowerPoint.

    If you want an example of a project update file with all the slides set up exactly as you need them, just contact me through my web site.



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: guest_post, opinion, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We already explored how you can get started with Information Rights Management (IRM) in PowerPoint 2010 by first signing up for the Windows Rights Management (WRM) service. This service implements Microsoft's access controls for documents across Office 2010 applications such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc. Once you have signed up for WRM, you can set permissions for all presentations that you need to share as long as you and all other recipients for your files fulfil these two requirements: All users have a Windows Live ID, and all users have signed up for WRM using their Windows Live IDs.

Learn how to to use Windows Rights Management in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, security, tutorials

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Thursday, February 16, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Connectors are lines that link different shapes or any other slide objects, and yet they are somewhat different from conventional lines because connectors, as the name implies stay connected to the shapes they are linked from. You have already learned about connectors and the types of connectors in previous tutorials -- in this tutorial, you will learn how you can draw connectors that link shapes. Although we use shapes as examples in this tutorial, you can attach a connector to any other slide object using the same process.

Learn how to draw connectors in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



One of the many ways in which you can adapt your PowerPoint slides to an iPad friendly format is by converting all your slides to pictures. This approach will work well for slides that have no animation or multimedia -– and the good news is that great presentation slides can be created without animation or multimedia of any sort!

The bad news is that this is a one-way street -– and if you want to make any changes to your slides, you will have to edit your original presentation and convert the slides again to individual pictures.

Figure 1 shows the 16 slide presentation I started with -- these are all slides from a Photo Album presentation, and each slide has a photograph and caption. Your slides may be like more conventional PowerPoint slides, and it does not matter because the process for all types of slides is the same.

Slides for iPad 02
Figure 1: All slides ready to be exported from PowerPoint

To convert your individual slides to pictures in PowerPoint, you summon the Save As dialog box and choose JPG or another graphic format as the file type. We have instructions on exporting your slides as PNGs in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows, and the process works the same way to export JPGs in any PowerPoint version on both Windows and Mac. You will ultimately end up with plenty of pictures that are suffixed with their original slide numbers –- the first slide in your 16 slide presentation will be named Slide1.JPG. The last slide will be named Slide16.JPG. Of course you may not have 16 slides -- that's just the number of slides that I started with, as shown in Figure 1 above.

At this time, it is a good idea to rename your first 9 slides so that Slide1.JPG now reads Slide01.JPG (see Figure 2 below). You can click Figure 2 to see a larger view of the screenshot.

Slides for iPad 02
Figure 2: JPGs exported from PowerPoint

Thereafter place these slides in a folder that is indexed by iTunes. To learn more about how iTunes indexes picture folders, search the term add photos to iTunes library on Google –- depending upon which version of iTunes you are using, or if you use Windows or a Mac, the process may differ. Apple also has a great tutorial called Syncing photos using iTunes.

The next time you sync your iPad (both iPad 1 and 2) with your iTunes, the slide pictures will be copied, and available within your iPad's Photos app.

Once you have synced your iPad, launch the Photos app on the device to see if all your slides have been imported as pictures –- also make sure that they are sequenced in the order you want to show them as slides, as shown in Figure 3 below.

Slides for iPad 03
Figure 3: Your slides on the iPad

Thereafter you can show these picture slides off your iPad -– moving on to the next slide is as easy as moving on to the next picture. And since the Photos app is AirPlay aware even on iPad 1, you can use it with an Apple TV or even a VGA cable connected to a projector! This may not be the most elegant way to transport your PowerPoint slides to an iPad, but it does work!

Note: Even though Apple's documentation says PNGs are supported by the Photos app on iPad -- and by iTunes to sync, I found that iTunes ignored all PNGs -- that may be just a coincidence but JPGs do work the best!

See Also:
01: iPad Presenting - First Questions First
02: Presenter’s View in PowerPoint on iPad
03: Air Display - Conversation with Dave Howell
04: Add an Apple TV
05: What is AirPlay?
06: Connecting a TV or Projector to Apple TV
07: Wired iPad to VGA with the Apple Digital AV Adapter
08: Business use of Tablet Computing Surges

Categories: ipad, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Microsoft has been providing a permissions system based on their Information Rights Management (IRM) concept for several years now, but with Office 2010 (including PowerPoint 2010), this whole concept has been implemented so intuitively that almost anyone can use IRM for their PowerPoint presentations and any other Office documents. Depending upon which version of Windows you use, you may need to download and install a Windows Rights Management module unless you use Windows 7 -- if you use the latter configuration, the entire IRM implementation process is painless. If you use an earlier version of Windows, such as XP or Vista -- then you might have to download and install a small WRM client that takes a minute or two.

Learn how to sign up for Windows Rights Management in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, security, tutorials

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Working with visuals can be so much fun, especially when you need to add them to your PowerPoint or Keynote slides. But more often than not, finding the right picture can be a challenge. Sometimes we end up with a perfect picture -- at other times, we all compromise with something we think works great -- but not everyone in your audience may share your enthusiasm. That's because pictures tend to tell a story -- and your story may be different from the story that the audience interprets. At times like these, you need a visual element that's neutral, does not speak loud, and is effective at the same time. In this issue, and in some future issues we will explore what sort of pictures work well in all scenarios -- and we will also share some tricks and tips.

Read more here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



We explored what Smart Connectors are in a previous tutorial -- to paraphrase again, Smart Connectors are type of lines with special "smart" characteristics that connect one slide object to another. Move a slide object which is connected to a Smart Connector -- the Smart Connector automatically resizes and reorients itself to stay connected. In this tutorial, we will explore the various types of Smart Connectors. PowerPoint 2011 provides three types of connectors -- you will learn more about them in this tutorial.

Learn about different connector types in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, February 13, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



PowerPoint and other presentation software packages try to aid novice presenters by providing pre-designed templates. These templates often clutter slide real estate and detract from your presentation’s message.

Don’t use them. Here are 5 tips on how to effectively use the solid background:

  1. Embrace Space



    Designers call the empty space "white space." White space is your friend. Using it gives the text on your slides more impact.

  2. Your True Colors



    Believe it or not, the color of your slide affects your presentation.

    White: Clean and Clear.
    Blue: Trustworthy and Dependable.
    Green: Soothing and Relaxing.
    Red: Enthusiastic and Energetic.

    Use these colors accordingly. Think of the topic of your presentation and imagine which color suits it best.

  3. The Rule of Thirds



    Placement of text, images, charts and graphs is important, but where to place them?

    Photographers have been using this trick to create more interesting photographic compositions. Before you place your content onto a slide, divide your slide into thirds and place your slide content into these thirds.

  4. Templates and the Unavoidable



    My company typically wants all of its presenters to use specialized, branded templates, so sometimes templates are unavoidable. When you have to use templates do two things:

    Less Text: Only keep the essential text on the slide. This means trimming away any unnecessary text that can muddle the slide.
    Keep Images Interesting: Use images that enhance your points.

  5. The Background Image



    Background images are great ways to captivate your audience. High quality stock images or pictures that you have taken yourself work best.

Chris BoralesAs a marketer with Blackboard Inc., Chris Borales uses effective communication techniques and in-depth technical knowledge to create presentations that truly engage the audience. His ability to take design concepts and translate them into PowerPoint presentations led him to create his Tumblr blog: theartfulpresenter.tumblr.com. His site provides visitors with creative design ideas and techniques that can help elevate their presentations.

See Also: Pictures in Slides: Conversation with Hermann Narez

Categories: design, guest_post, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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