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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: January 2013

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting Glossary
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Learn PowerPoint 2013 for Windows: Working with Custom Groups in Ribbon Tabs

Thursday, January 31, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:40 AM IST



All Ribbon tabs in PowerPoint 2013 may have any number of buttons that represent commands but they are not scattered all over the tab area. In fact all of them are neatly arranged together in Groups. Each of these Groups has a name that describes what the commands within that Group do -- for example, the Slide Show tab in the Ribbon has a group named Set Up -- this contains all commands that help you set up your slide show, such as changing show settings, hiding slides, rehearsing and recording slide shows, etc. It is only sensible to imagine that you should use this Group concept while creating custom Ribbon tabs. In fact, PowerPoint will not let you add any command anywhere else other than within a Group.



Explore working with Custom Groups within Ribbon Tabs in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Shawn Toh is the founder and webmaster of PowerPoint Heaven. He is a Microsoft MVP for PowerPoint (Most Valuable Professional) and a certified Microsoft Office Specialist. He is a presentation consultant and has worked with various companies such as Hewlett-Packard and eBay on project consultations and has conducted several PowerPoint workshops for the education sectors. Shawn is based out of Singapore, and runs the PowerPoint Heaven site.

In this discussion, Shawn discusses the PowerPoint Heaven eConvention 2012.

Geetesh: Why did you organize the PowerPoint Heaven eConvention 2012 – and what does this online event mean for the participants?

Shawn: PowerPoint Heaven eConvention is an annual online convention where PowerPointers get together to discuss, review and submit their latest PowerPoint works. The purpose of the eConvention is not only to showcase magnificent works from the international PowerPoint community, but also to further reach out to local communities in China and Korea.



This year, we have also appointed our own Korea-PPTH and China-PPTH ambassadors who will be responsible for bridging the communications and building a closer ties among these communities. By participating in the eConvention, participants are therefore allowing their submissions to be seen on both local and international levels thus gaining a broader exposure. Similarly, such exposure will also be highly beneficial to all communities in learning and development for the long run.



Geetesh: You did mention that you were blown away by the creativity of some entries – can you share your thoughts?

Shawn: This year's eConvention is by far one of the largest submissions pool that we have received. The PowerPoint community in China for instance, has improved tremendously in recent years in both skills and the number of members. We are also able to see several breakthroughs in PowerPoint works which were achieved via collaboration. An example would be the 8 months collaboration work, 'My Photo Album' by Xing Yu and his members, which tells the heartwarming story of him and his mother. At the same time, it also demonstrates how a large scale PowerPoint work could be put together and made possible thanks to different people, each with their own specialized talent. Another example of breakthrough would be the strategy game, 'Future: Escape from Xope', which showcases a movie-styled introduction and comes packed with sophisticated mini-games which took several months to complete.



Likewise in the Korea communities, we can also see breakthroughs such as Touhou Project artworks by Zzangdol, which went viral few months back, as well as new PowerPointers who have several ingenious works to showcase. These works that have been submitted, along with other individual contributions from PPTH, thus made this year's eConvention one of the most breathtaking ones so far.

Categories: contest, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Sometimes just one Value axis is not enough! Of course that observation is only true if your data demands a second axis. Our example data for this tutorial pertains to the average temperature and rainfall in London across the 12 calendar months of a year. The temperature is depicted in Celsius and the rainfall is in millimeters. What you should note carefully is that the value range of temperature spans between 30 and 70, whereas the range for rainfall is in between 0 to 12 (approximately). A chart that results from this data doesn't live up to the comparison -- it's almost like comparing apples and oranges -- we are comparing items that cannot be compared!



Learn how to add a Secondary Value axis to charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



In today's environment, it is important that you are confident and comfortable in front of your audience. And while many speakers believe that being confident is difficult, it need to be! In fact, here are a dozen ways to be a confident speaker:

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare!

  • Practice in front of a full-length mirror, for small groups. Join Toastmasters.

  • Be positive. "I am a good / great speaker/trainer."

  • Expect to be nervous. Deep breathe, exercise by walking, stretch, visualize your success, meditate -- make anxiety your ally. Increase your energy; heighten your awareness.

  • Focus on your audience. It is not about you. You are there to help your audience.

  • Simplify. Use your time wisely and keep your presentation clear and simple so that your audience can understand what you are saying.

  • Connect with your audience. Look people in the eye, one at a time, as you speak to them. The audience wants you to succeed.

  • Act confident. Smile. Hold your chin up. Stick your chest out. When you do this, you will feel confident. Remember, you are the authority on the subject and they want to hear what you have to say.

  • Use humor wherever possible.

  • Offer the right message mix (inform, persuade, entertain, interact).

  • Establish credibility by use of facts, statistics, stories.

  • Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, said, "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

See Also: What is Your Body Language Saying About You?


Sandra SchriftThis is a guest blog post by Sandra Schrift, president/owner of CoachSchrift and Associates, a San Diego based consulting, training and coaching firm.

Since 1996, Sandra has been coaching speakers who want to become highly paid professional speakers as well as executives and business professionals who want to develop persuasive presentations.

Categories: guest_post, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We already showed you how you can add a new Slide Master to your presentation -- and yes, you can make that task even easier by possibly duplicating the existing Slide Master. You can then format it to change its look by applying a Background Style, add a custom background, add new Slide Layouts, etc. But why would you do all these tasks in the first place? There needs to be a compelling reason to do so. This reason leads us to the next logical step -- that is to apply the new Slide Master to selected slides in your presentation.



Learn how to apply Slide Masters to individual slides in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2010, templates, tutorials

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we have Heart Circles for you to download -- use these in your slides that need to depict relationships and segments. Each of the shapes can be filled with a picture, or just used as a text container. Adam Noar of Presentation Panda talks about his book, Slides Made Simple. We also provide you with a simple two petal graphic that's so versatile -- use it to create info-graphics on your slides. Finally, we have several tutorials covering techniques in PowerPoint 2013, 2011, and 2010.



Read all this and more in Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Do you like the default locations where PowerPoint places your axes' labels? Yes, we do believe that the defaults do work best most of the time because audiences expect these labels to exist at these familiar locations. However, there may be times when you probably don't even need labels for your axes -- or you may want them placed in another location so that your charts look cleaner. Whatever your motive may be, it is indeed possible to change the position of axis labels vis-à-vis the axis.



Learn how to hide the axis labels and also how to reposition them in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Monday, January 28, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:40 AM IST



PowerPoint 2013 sports the Ribbon, which is tabbed -- each of these tabs contains a set of commands. By default, PowerPoint contains eight such tabs. These eight Ribbon tabs can be customized -- and you can indeed add a new Ribbon tab as well. In fact, you may have more than these eight tabs in your PowerPoint interface due to several reasons. All tabs can be reordered as required.



Learn how to reorder the Ribbon tabs and remove the custom tabs in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Jim ConfaloneJim Confalone is a partner and creative director with ProPoint Graphics and is responsible for production operations. With a background in fine arts, he got his start as a designer leading the graphics department at a boutique management consulting firm in Boston, Massachussetts. Prior to ProPoint, he also worked as a web, Flash, and graphic designer in the New York area. Mr. Confalone holds an MFA with Honors in Painting and Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA Summa Cum Laude in Fine Arts from Amherst College.

In this conversation, Jim talks about ProPoint's Evolution of Business Presentation Technology graphic.

Geetesh: Your Evolution of Business Presentation Technology infographic goes back 2 centuries – how has presenting been the same during these two hundred years, and how has it been different?

Jim: The purpose of presentations hasn't changed -- they are still intended to inform, educate and persuade. What also hasn't changed is presenters' recognition of the importance of visuals to help them deliver powerful, engaging presentation, and also to help them communicate their message effectively.


Full graphic can be seen here.

Whether using a blackboard, magic lantern, or transparency projector, until recently the purpose of the delivery method has generally been to illustrate on large scale the core message of a presentation. What's really fascinating are the new opportunities afforded by the growth of multimedia, online and interactive tools. Instead of just throwing something on the wall, you can now directly involve your audience on a whole new level with things like supporting video or animation, online links to external sources, or real-time interactive polling. And whenever you can make a direct connection to your audience your job becomes a whole lot easier.

Geetesh: Tell us about this infographic – why you created this, and was it fun creating this graphic?

Jim: Our interest in creating this infographic spawned from our desire to explore how we have arrived to where we are today. Presentations have become such an important business communication tool, we have so many options now, and have easier tools to use and access to them. We wanted to have a look back to see how our predecessors achieved their presentation goals.


Full graphic can be seen here.

We had a great time researching and putting the infographic together, especially for those of us who have actually had experience with some of these technologies that could easily be considered antiques. It's always fun to look back and appreciate how far we've come.

Geetesh: Although presentation technology has evolved to such a large extent, memory retention and concentration from the audience has reduced. What can presenters do to involve their audiences more?

Jim: Use engaging visuals that holds the interest of the audience and helps you communicate your message. Avoid using too much text -- if the audience has to read your presentation they will become bored and distracted. Limiting text on your slides will prevent you from using them as your script -- reading slides disengages you from the audience. Consider using multimedia to break up your presentation and show the audience something fresh to re-spark interest. Also, consider making your presentation interactive by having asking questions, using props (professional and relevant) and surveys.

See Also: ProPoint Graphics: Conversation with Jim Confalone

Categories: graphics, interviews, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Duplicating a Slide Master is a little different than adding a new Slide Master from scratch. And it's a smart option because you don't have to make the same changes all over again -- let's explain this with a scenario. Imagine you have formatted your existing Slide Master by applying a Background Style, adding a logo, or even adding your own Picture placeholder layout. And now you want a new Slide Master that's almost the same as your existing one -- but you want a different Theme Colors set to be used. For such a small change, it is advisable that you duplicate your existing Slide Master and make the small changes instead of starting all over again with a new Slide Master.



Learn how to duplicate Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2010, templates, tutorials

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Saturday, January 26, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



These Two Petals Circle graphics are part of our Petal Circles series that add stylized tips to your circle shapes. These two tip styles: Rounded and Pointed make your circles look different from conventional segmented circle graphics. They also break the monotony of text heavy slides, and help you explain concepts better to your audiences. Using these circle shapes also convinces your audiences that you care enough about them to make the slides look appealing and comprehensible. What's more, these shapes are also so much fun to use!



Buy and download these slides now.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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Friday, January 25, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This six hearts circle is part of our Heart Circles series. These heart shapes are very subtle – in fact, you can easily get away with most audiences not really finding these hearts out of place even in a business presentation! And remember that even though you see hearts, they are placed within a circle.



Download and use these shapes in your slides.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Axis Labels, as the name suggests are labels for the Categories and Values on your chart axes. So where do these labels come from? Category axis labels reflect the Category names within your data (typically within an Excel sheet). Values on the other hand are determined by PowerPoint based upon the maximum value in your data -- the minimum value is always set to zero. Of course you can change the Minimum and Maximum values if you want.



Learn how to change the axis labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Thursday, January 24, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:40 AM IST



The Ribbon that you see within the PowerPoint 2013 user interface was designed to solve a problem -- older versions of PowerPoint that were populated with menus and toolbars ended with so many submenus and toolbars that many users did not know if a specific feature even existed in PowerPoint. Even worse, the toolbars could occupy so much screen real estate that you would be left with a much smaller area for your slide! Enter the Ribbon which did help resolve some of these problems -- but it came with a problem of its own: it did not provide customization options when first introduced in PowerPoint 2007. This was quickly rectified in PowerPoint 2010 and 2013.



Learn how to add and rename Ribbon tabs in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



This five heart circle is part of our Heart Circles series that may have a Valentine theme associated because of the heart shapes! Significantly, these heart shapes are very subtle – in fact, you can easily get away with most audiences not really finding these hearts out of place even in a business presentation! And remember that even though you see hearts, they are placed within a circle.



Download and use these shapes in your slides.

Categories: design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



A Slide Master is the part of your presentation that influences everything from the slide background to the fonts used for text. All slides in your presentation may have different layouts but they all share a common look -- that look is provided by the Slide Master. Every presentation has at least one Slide Master. However, if you constantly keep adding slides from other presentations, you may or may not have added more Slide Masters to your presentation. So how do you know how many Slide Masters your presentation contains? And how do you add another one? In fact, why do you need another Slide Master at all?



Learn how to add and rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: masters, powerpoint_2010, templates, tutorials

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Adam NoarAdam Noar is founder of Presentation Panda, a presentation design firm that specializes in creating and delivering professional presentations for startups, large businesses and individuals. Adam has been designing professional presentations for 10 years, delivering hundreds along the way to senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, and to large and diverse audiences at marketing events around the world.

In this conversation, Adam discusses his Slides Made Simple book.

Geetesh: Tell us about your book, Slides Made Simple – and what motivated you to author this book?

Adam: Everyone knows how important presentations are, and how they can quickly help someone land their big investment or accelerate their career.

Slides Made SimpleHowever, the problem is that most people are terrible at designing presentations. Although PowerPoint has made it onto the course curriculum of business schools, the training is mostly centered on designing basic slides. A more complete understanding of proper presentation design, however, is a critical skill that needs to be developed. That's why I wrote this book.

"Slides Made Simple" shows people how to create killer presentations that will have any audience pumped and ready for action. After reading this illustrative guide, people will feel extremely confident knowing that they can create a presentation that is exciting as the story they are about to tell.

About how I came about writing this book, I have a market research background in the telecomm industry,and my team was responsible for churning out research reports and presentations every week. It's funny how I remember always being blown away on how our research department would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a research project with a particular research vendor, conduct some fantastic research, and at the end of the day we would receive, at best, a mediocre PowerPoint presentation from the vendor. It was here that I realized there is huge opportunity to educate small and large businesses on how to design a presentation that will excite an audience, and get them to say "Yes!" to the product or service being offered.

Yet, this book is different than most slide design books. While I am a huge fan of the Nancy Duarte and Garr Reynolds books on presentation design, I really wanted to focus on showcasing all of the tools and resources that are available when designing presentations. For example, we know that the correct use of color in a presentation is critical. So, here I not only wanted to highlight why color is important, but also walk people through all of the best color tools available so they can create the perfect color scheme for their slides.

In my opinion, these tools and resources alone are a reason to buy this book. I spent a long time researching all the best tools available for each section of the book. Also, the nice thing about my book being an eBook is that all my tools and resources are hyperlinked. This way, if people want to explore a particular resource, they can click on the hyperlink and be taken directly to the resource's website.

Geetesh: What, according to you, is the major takeaway for a typical PowerPoint user from your book?

Adam: When someone finishes reading Slides Made Simple, they will realize that creating amazing PowerPoint slides is actually quite simple.

Once a reader understands the basic design principles highlighted in this book, it's really just a matter of taking action on those ideas. That's where all the tools and resources come in.

Readers will come away feeling empowered, and will have a full understanding of what they need to do in order to design a great presentation.

The most frequent feedback that I hear from my readers is that they simply had "no clue" about what they needed to pay attention to when designing their slides.

It's also nice receiving messages from people telling me that they just "nailed" their presentation and received lots of compliments on their presentation deck.

Categories: books, interviews, powerpoint, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Major and Minor units are the intervals at which the axis spaces itself. As the name itself suggests, you can choose to space the axis at two levels: Major and Minor. By default, PowerPoint sets the Major and Minor units on its own -- many times, this may be exactly what you need. At other times, you may want to set your own intervals for the Major and Minor units. Before you do so, a word of caution -- do remember that any of these changes can have three implications.



Learn how to change the Major and Minor units of Value axis in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



In this issue, we have two sets of shape graphics -- these graphics behave like native PowerPoint shapes -- that means you can select them and choose your own fills and effects -- and animate them like any other PowerPoint shape. You can even type text inside them! The One Petal circle is a subtle variation of the common circle -- and the Three Hearts circle comprises three hearts -- it may look like something you can use in a business presentation, but look closer -- those hearts do seem perfect for Valentine's Day too. We have so many tutorials covering PowerPoint 2013, 2011, and 2010 too.



Read all this and more in Indezine News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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