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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: May 2012

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

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Learn PowerPoint 2010: Media Actions for Video

Thursday, May 31, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



A Video Action in PowerPoint is something that causes an event for any inserted movie clip -- these are simple events such as Play, Pause, Resume, and Stop. Although PowerPoint classifies Movie Actions as an animation type, these are not strictly animations. However, since Movie Actions can be accessed through the Add Animation gallery, we have included this tutorial in our Animations section. Once you add these Media Actions to your video clips, PowerPoint will allow you to make these Actions interact with other animations, including Triggers.



Learn how you can create Media Actions for video clips in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2010, tutorials, video

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



When you are presenting to international audiences, using a picture that distinctly shows a human being of one race may not work too well. People silhouettes are the best options for such situations since they keep the entire look neutral. Here are some businessman silhouettes that are ready to use within your PowerPoint presentation slides. Within the downloaded presentation, you will see these silhouettes on two separate slides, in two color variations: black and white. You can edit these clip art silhouettes further as needed, using PowerPoint’s fills, lines, and effects.



Copy the silhouettes graphics (clip arts) of your choice from the downloaded presentation, and paste them into your PowerPoint presentation slides. All these silhouette graphics can be used and customized with Shape Styles just like any other PowerPoint shape. You can also paste them into a Word document, an Excel worksheet, or any other program.

Download and use this presentation.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Whenever a new shape is inserted on a slide in PowerPoint 2011 (or in any previous version), you will find that by default it is filled with a gradient fill, has an outline, and a shadow applied (or something else, depending upon the Theme your presentation is based on). For example, in a new blank presentation that we created, any new shape inserted is by default filled with a gradient fill, and has a thin dark blue outline. It also has a shadow. These default shape attributes can be changed very easily. But do remember that these changes are only limited to the presentation you are working on. If the presentation is not saved, you'll lose the changes.



Learn how to change the default shape attributes for a presentation in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, shapes, tutorials

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 11:00 AM IST



How do events unfold in our lives? That's the larger picture, and this large picture contains several smaller pictures scattered all over - one of these smaller pictures poses a similar question -- about how do our audiences respond to our presentations? And although the larger and the smaller pictures may appear different in size, the questions they pose are essentially so similar!

Audiences respond to us as we respond to them -- and that's exactly how life behaves -- all events unfold exactly as we choose to look at them. In between all these nuances of life, we all encounter goof-ups, mistakes, and wonder if we could have presented better at last week's event? The answer to all these questions is again the same -- we just need to let go, and look forward to the next event, and the audience we will present to. The presenter and the audience is part of a single ecosystem -- and they all work to the success of any presentation. Let us strive to be part of this ecosystem and do our best, and let the audience contribute to this effort.

Read the newsletter here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have already explored how you can add an audio clip within a PowerPoint slide. Once you place an audio clip, you can associate this clip with several Media actions such as Play, Pause, Resume, and Stop. And although Media actions work the same way for both audio and video clips, there are some subtle differences. Due to these differences, we will explore both of them separately. In this tutorial, we will explore Media Actions for Audio in PowerPoint 2010 -- and thereafter we will explore the same options for video clips in a subsequent tutorial. Once you add these Media Actions to your audio clips, PowerPoint will allow you to make these Actions interact with other animations, including Triggers. Although Media Actions are not strictly animations, PowerPoint does place them within the Animation tab of the Ribbon.



Learn how you can create Media Actions for audio clips in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2010, sounds, tutorials

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Monday, May 28, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



One of the early lessons we all learn in school is how to make an outline; how to create that waterfall of Roman numerals, capital letters, Arabic numerals, and lower case letters that cascade down to the bottom of the page, if not dozens of pages of interminable term papers. Thus we are forever programmed to arrange our ideas in a hierarchical order—in sharp contrast to what our brains do naturally: generate ideas in random order.

To demonstrate: as I sit writing this blog, I glance at a ball point pen on my desk. The logo on the pen reminds me that I got it at as souvenir at a business conference. I remember that I met a man at the conference who told me about a book on presidential politics. This reminds me that I had been planning another blog on the same subject, and so I open a file with the notes on that subject and…. you see where this is going. I’m sure that if you were to track your own thought patterns, you would discover the same winding, random path. That’s the way every human mind works: unstructured.

And yet, when business people sit down to develop a presentation, they immediately start to apply structure, in either a hierarchical outline form or by organizing a set of existing PowerPoint slides to create a new “deck”—each approach forces structure onto unstructured ideas.

In a prior post about how Woody Allen creates, you read that he and other artists let their random ideas flow unimpeded, note them as they occur, and then lay out the notes in a panoramic view. Mr. Allen tosses scraps of paper onto his bed, other film directors use storyboards, architects make papier-maché models, military officers use wall size maps, and businesses encourage employees to doodle their creative ideas on whiteboards during product development or strategy sessions. The Wall Street Journal reported that sales of IdeaPaint, a paint product that turns a wall surface into a whiteboard, have doubled since 2008. For your presentation development, you can do your brainstorming on a whiteboard, a computer screen or Post-it Notes as you generate your ideas, but what is as important as the free flow is that you see the ideas you generate in a panoramic or landscape view.

The simple reason for this part of the creative process is that our eyes are set side-by-side in our heads, making the landscape view more pleasing and open than the portrait view. If you start with an outline, the constricted view imposes a ranking sequence too early in the process. A panoramic view allows you to see the conceptual relationships among your ideas.

Britannica and Brainstorming

Even the venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica has come to understand the importance of visual thematic relationships. The publisher of alphabetized—sequential rather than conceptual— reference works for almost 244 years, discontinued its print version in March and went digital. As part of the transition, they included a link map feature, shown above, that looks like a brainstorming session you might do on a whiteboard.

Walter S. Mossberg, the author of the Wall Street Journal's "Personal Technology" column, reviewed the new feature and wrote that the publisher, which "has always been expensive, and a bit stodgy...[in] order to make itself more relevant in a Wikipedia world…has produced a slick app…Perhaps the coolest feature is the link map, triggered from an icon at the top of each article page. This generates a spider web of icons representing other articles related to the one you were reading."

The 35,000 foot view shows patterns that lead to clear stories; an outline traps ideas.

Take the high road.


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

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


Categories: guest_post, opinion, outline, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



You can do any of the typical positioning tasks in PowerPoint for your pictures such as resizing, aligning, and grouping. In addition, you can also reorder the pictures on your slide. In fact, you can also reorder a bunch of pictures and other slide objects such as shapes quite easily using the various ordering options available within the program.



Learn how to reorder pictures and other slide objects in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, pictures, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Friday, May 25, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These businesswoman silhouettes provided in both black and white colors are ready to use within your PowerPoint presentation slides. Both variations are contained within two separate slides in the download presentation. To help you to start with, we have also included few more variations of these silhouette vectors with different fills like solid colors, patters, and textures. If you want to make these silhouettes appear coordinated with your slides, you can apply PowerPoint’s fills, lines, and effects to them.



Download and use this presentation.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint's animation options allow users to create a plethora of movement effects, all the way from the amazing to the dizzying. However, most of these animation effects have events associated with them -- the three main events are On Click, With Previous, and After Previous. When you use the On Click animation event, PowerPoint offers an extra option so that your animated objects swings into movement when you click an entirely different object on your slide -- this extra option is called a Trigger animation -- you cause a click on one object to trigger an animation of another slide object. Also, you can you Trigger animations to cause media events as well, such as playing a sound or video clip. As mentioned earlier, we would like to paraphrase that Trigger animations work only with an On Click animation event applied to the animated object.



Learn how to use Trigger animations that occur on the click of some other slide object in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Thursday, May 24, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Many times you may place several pictures on your slide -- these may be just inserted in a haphazard manner and pictures of different sizes may be scattered within the slide area. In addition, you may also have some shapes or other slide objects placed on the slide. To arrange them all properly would result in a more aesthetic slide. We have already explored some techniques that will help you arrange your pictures and other content -- look at our Resize, Rotate, and Flip Pictures and Align and Distribute Pictures tutorials. Moving ahead, we will explore how you can group pictures on your slide in this tutorial.



Learn how to group and ungroup pictures in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, pictures, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Here are some Businessman Silhouettes ready to use within your PowerPoint presentation slides. You can use them in the places where you want to show business people. These silhouettes have been provided in both black and white colors and contained within two separate slides in the download presentation. The download presentation also contains some variations of these two Silhouettes filled with different colors, patterns and textures. You can always change their look by using PowerPoint’s fills, lines, and effects to meet your requirements.



Copy the silhouettes graphics (clip arts) of your choice from the downloaded presentation, and paste them into your PowerPoint presentation slides. All these silhouette graphics can be used and customized with Shape Styles just like any other PowerPoint shape. You can also paste them into a Word document, an Excel worksheet, or any other program.

Download and use this presentation.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Adding an animation to any slide object imparts movement of some sort to that object, and draws the attention of the audience. Of course, you can tweak the animation event, the speed of the animation, and also the delay time before the animation happens. In this tutorial, we'll explore how you can add sound to an animation -- the combination of movement and sound makes it compelling for your audience to focus on the object that is being animated -- but again, this sort of pizzazz only works if you use it sparingly to highlight the most important part of your presentation. Animation sounds play along with the animation -- it is important that you use the perfect sound type for any animation -- using clapping or blasting sounds is very cliché. Now that we have made you aware about the benefits and caveats of using sounds within animations in PowerPoint, let us go ahead and learn how to do so.



Learn how to add sound effects to animations in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2010, sounds, tutorials

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 11:30 AM IST



There was no issue of the newsletter last week -- that explains why we have a jumbo issue for you this week, and what can be better than giving you all a chance to win a free product as part of our giveaway!



We also have a great, new tutorial on how you can create an embroidered, running stich border around your PowerPoint slide objects -- you can create this in almost any version of PowerPoint. There are some more silhouettes for you -- this time we have Businesswoman graphics for you. And also do download our first series of PowerPoint text effects -- many of you may not believe that these were created using just PowerPoint and nothing else.

Read the newsletter here.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



In PowerPoint, when there are multiple pictures inserted on a slide, their position and alignment matters a lot. Most of the time, pictures may be placed just randomly placed on the slide. In some cases, such a haphazard arrangement may work -- but most of the time you will have to align objects in a proper way on your slide. Even before you align the pictures, you should explore whether all the pictures are the same size or not -- we have already explained how you can resize pictures in our Resize, Rotate, and Flip Pictures tutorial.



Learn to align and distribute pictures in PowerPoint 2011.

Categories: office_mac, pictures, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, May 21, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Spencer LambertSpencer Lambert has run a presentation design consultancy, Slideclinic, since 1997 and has worked on hundreds, if not thousands of presentations for companies such as Microsoft, Glaxo SmithKline, KPMG and Barclays. Spencer is responsible for driving the growth of Present.me.

In this conversation, Spencer discusses the released version of Present.me.

Geetesh: We spoke a year ago when Present.me was in beta –- now that it is a released product, tell us more about what Present.me does, and what does it do best?

Spencer: Present.me is a better way of presenting online. It enables individuals and organisations to create and share presentations online, so that the viewer sees both content (slides, photos or document) and the presenter (via webcam or uploaded video) side-by-side, on-demand. Think YouTube meets Slideshare.

People talk about 'sending a presentation', and then just send slides. But the slides are only half the story. We need to see and hear the presenter as well, and at the same time. The problem was editing together the content and the recorded video in a simple way; we have solved that problem. Present.me is the next best thing to being in a room with them and in one respect it is better; because it is on-demand it is at everyone's convenience.

We see it has having a whole host of uses across industries. Communicating with customers of clients, pitching for business, updating a team, setting assignments for students or applying for a job. You can see example presentmes for all of these uses on our site.

In terms of what it does best, well there are other services out there which allow you to present content, but Present.me really is the only one which allows you to create an online presentation with yourself presenting it, viewable on demand. I would say the best thing about it is it's simplicity – it's really easy to upload content, click record and talk into your webcam as you click through your slides. It's in the cloud so you don't need to install anything, and it's mobile so will work in any browser, on an iPad and coming soon on any Android or iOS device with an app.



Geetesh: Can you tell us about the various free and paid plans that Present.me offers?

Spencer: Now Present.me has launched out of beta it's publicly available to everyone. Our Free account allows you to upload three presentmes a month, one private, and 15 minutes each. The Plus account is $9 a month, allows 30 presentmes up to 60 minutes each and unlimited private. Then the Pro account is $39 a month and allows unlimited presentmes, again at 60 minutes each. We do offer corporate and education pricing on request.

See Also: Present.me: Conversation with Spencer Lambert

Categories: interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Let's imagine you got your animation just right -- you tweaked the speed, set the animation events, etc. You also added a series of simultaneous and sequential animations to the same slide object -- so that it fades and wipes at the same time -- then it grows in size, stays on screen without animation for a requisite amount of time (delay) -- and finally the object exits using a simple fade animation. Now, you need to apply the same animation to 50 other slide objects within the presentation! Typically, you may have to spend an enormous amount of time for such a repetitive task, manually applying the animations so many times! That was before the introduction of the new Animation Painter feature, introduced in PowerPoint 2010, which works with animations exactly in the same way as Format Painter option works with slide objects.



Learn how to use the Animation Painter command effectively in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Friday, May 18, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



David HalpinDavid Halpin is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of core product development experience at manager, senior manager and executive staff levels. He has managed geographically distributed, multi-faceted teams, which delivered world-class software solutions to F1000 customers. Halpin joined Quickoffice in 2006 to help lead and grow Quickoffice's development operations, globally.

In this conversation, David discusses the new QuickOffice Pro HD release that adds new features for working with PowerPoint files in the iPad.

Geetesh: Tell us about Quickoffice Pro HD’s new PowerPoint editing features.

David: PowerPoint has long been an important part of Quickoffice’s mobile Office suite, given the team’s commitment to user productivity. We are constantly reviewing consumer feedback regarding additional features to shape software updates that address top requests. Many of our customers said they could benefit from even more tools to improve their presentation capabilities on the road. This spurred our Quickoffice Pro HD update on April 10, which brought the ability to create and edit 2007-2010 PowerPoint files.

We expanded the number of shapes users can select to over 100 shapes in five different categories, which will provide users even more options when creating slides. Users can also view, create and edit numbered lists in PowerPoint, a highly used formatting option that creates easy-to-read slides.

Most importantly, the Quickoffice Pro HD update brings an improved rendering and visual interface, allowing colors, shapes and text to appear crisp and clean for any viewer.

All of these new features and improvements, combined with five additional localizations – Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Dutch – create an enhanced, polished experience for the Quickoffice user, and should come as a welcome update to anyone that needs to utilize PowerPoint while on the go.

QuickOffice HD Pro

Geetesh: Tell us about features supported in the new Quickoffice Pro HD.

David: As more users work across multiple platforms and devices every day, we wanted to provide the most seamless experience to our customers that takes into account this evolving way of working. That’s why we recently launched Connect by Quickoffice, a new service that integrates the company’s market-leading mobile Office editors with our cloud platform.

Connect not only maintains a single interface, but also integrates connections into the most popular cloud services, allowing users to access any file and then continue their work throughout the document lifecycle. Connect synchronized the content across all of a users devices. Connect also enables remote access into any device and aggregated search across all cloud services and connected devices, regardless of operating system. Now, customers can take advantage of all the latest PowerPoint and other Office tools on each of their devices, without missing a beat. Connect includes a native mobile application for iPad, iPhone, Android tablet and smartphone, a desktop client for PC and Mac, as well as a web portal, for comprehensive file and account management. Connect is available as an all-in-one monthly subscription service.

And, not to be overlooked, Quickoffice also added native iPad email client support to Quickoffice Pro HD, delivering a top user request.

Categories: interviews, ipad, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Imagine this scenario: you chose what you thought was a perfect picture. So you insert the picture, and then enhance it using the cool picture editing options available in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. You may have gone further -- for example, you could have applied some of the Adjust Picture options, added a border, applied some Picture Effects, etc. You went ahead and added a perfect combination of both the Fade and Zoom animations, and also timed it to happen at the speed you want. And then you discover a better picture, or your boss asked you to change to another picture. You also need to retain all the effects and animations! You could delete the original picture and start all over again, and yes, that is a long process! Or you can change any existing picture into another with just a couple of clicks.



Learn how to change one picture into another in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, pictures, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Thursday, May 17, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Animation is movement and a fine art at the same time -- using animation's powerful capabilities of attracting attention, you can effectively illustrate a concept, a process, or anything else. However there's a thin dividing line between mere movement and utter confusion. Imagine a training session where the presenter moves around the room explaining a concept -- as he or she moves, the eye of the audience members follows him or her. There is a clear focus in the room, and the subject of that focus is the presenter. Now imagine another situation where the presenter and all the audience members 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 2010.

Categories: animation, powerpoint_2010, tutorials

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This sample presentation contains 12 different text effects that you can use with any text in PowerPoint 2007, 2010 or higher on Windows (and also PowerPoint 2008, 2011 or higher on Mac). Text effects range all the way from subtle to edgy, and from clean to grunge style. Some text effects may work better with larger text – play around to see which one works for you although none of these effects are suitable for body text. To use these effects, click on any of the sample text containers with the Format Painter button, and then click on the text where you want to copy these effects.



Download and use this slide for your own presentations.

Categories: powerpoint, presentation_samples, text

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