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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: April 2014

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting News: April 29, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We start with an exclusive conversation with Rick Altman who discusses Presentation Summit 2014, a conference event slated to be held in San Diego this October. Celebrated author Jeremey Donovan then discusses his new co-authored book, Speaker, Leader, Champion. Also we explore the reinstated support for YouTube movies in PowerPoint 2010 and 2013.

PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about fills and borders in charts, applying Themes, connectors, and more. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can learn about identifying and applying Themes. PowerPoint 2003 users will learn about creating a default template.

And finally, do not miss the new discussions and templates of this week!



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Connectors may be different than lines in some ways because they are linked to the shapes they connect -- move the linked shape, and the connector repositions itself with the shape. Yet in other ways, connectors are just like conventional lines in PowerPoint, especially when you explore their formatting options. You can thus 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.



Learn how to format connectors in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you create charts within PowerPoint, typically the Chart Area doesn't show any fill or any kind of formatting. The exception to this rule is if you have applied a particular Chart Style. Thus in most scenarios, the Chart Area is completely transparent with no fill or outline attributes. This default status works well most of the time since the Chart Area is just the area above which all chart elements are placed. However, if your slide background is crowded, then the Chart Area's transparency can pose a problem. To counter this issue, you can fill the Chart Area with a solid color, a gradient or even a pattern to add some visual separation from the slide's background.



Learn about the Fill and Line options for the Chart Area in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Monday, April 28, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



PowerPoint and a microphone -- what is it that holds these two together? More often than not, you use a microphone to record voice-overs for your slides. And this again is done in one of two ways. Recording voice-overs in PowerPoint using the Record Narration feature -- or using similar features provided through add-ins such as Adobe Presenter or Articulate Presenter. The other way is recording voice-overs outside PowerPoint and importing them. The first process is the quickest and the second may take a longer time -- whichever process you use, a nice microphone can work wonders. And that brings us to the reason behind this article -- what exactly is a "nice" microphone?



Explore some of the best microphones used for voice-overs in PowerPoint.

Categories: opinion, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



There are essentially three types of connectors that you can use to link shapes in PowerPoint 2013 -- also you can add any of these three connectors (Straight, Elbow, or Curved) as per your requirements. However, what will you do if you added a connector of one type and later realize that you should have used a different type? You need not delete the existing connector and draw another one because PowerPoint 2013 allows you to change from one connector type to another fairly easily.



Learn how to change between connector types in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Friday, April 25, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Everything on a chart within PowerPoint 2013 is placed on top of the Chart Area -- this essentially is the entire area that encompasses your chart. Thus, the Chart Area is that part of your chart which is placed beneath all other chart elements. By default, the Chart Area doesn't possess any fill or any kind of formatting unless you have used a particular Chart Style. Even though this default status works well, you can opt to format as required. You can change the fill, border, and effect of the Chart Area, change the size and properties of the chart, and also change the font attribute.



Learn about the Chart Area in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Launch PowerPoint 2011 and you will typically see the Presentation Gallery -- you can accept the default Theme that shows up first or even click the Cancel button in this gallery to open a blank presentation with a new slide based on the same default Theme. When you type text within the placeholders of this slide, the text shows up in black over a white slide background. Most of the time this default look works, but you can change the defaults to something else -- for example, you can use any other PowerPoint Theme, including a custom Theme as the default.



Learn how to change the default Theme in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, themes, tutorials

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Thursday, April 24, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Rick Altman is a California-based presentation consultant who has been helping organizations communicate better in public since before Microsoft developed PowerPoint. He has been hosting end-user conferences since 1989, and is the host of the annual Presentation Summit, now in its 12th season. He has authored 17 books on presentations and graphics, including the now-notorious Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck.

In this conversation, Rick discusses the upcoming twelfth edition of his Presentation Summit conference, to be held in October 2014 in San Diego.

Geetesh: You've been holding the Presentation Summit for a long time now -- tell us what can patrons expect to experience in the upcoming season of the conference? What's changed? And what's not?

Rick: What has changed: More and more, people are showing an interest in exploring other software applications. They've heard about Prezi, but how might it fit into their workflows? They need to present from their iPads, but what's better the way to go, the new iPad version of Office or SlideShark? What about Haiku Deck or eMaze? There are lots of solutions today, not just PowerPoint, and knowing as much as you can about the industry's offerings makes you more valuable in your role as presentation professional.

What hasn't changed: As we have since 2003, we cover the whole of the presentation experience: message crafting, presentation design, software technique, and delivery. No one of those skills is sufficient by itself and we take a holistic approach to the process of presentation skills development.



Not to make it sound too mystical -- the other thing we do is focus sharply on relationship building. Presentation professionals make up a tight community and in many cases, the most important resource you could hope to have are the peers who can support your efforts. We consider that to be one of the greatest contributions the conference makes: putting you in touch with like-minded, caring, and supportive individuals whom you would be proud to call your colleagues and your friends.

And we're returning to San Diego, regarded by many to be a favorite destination. It has been four years since we've been back there and it will feel like returning home to many. And those joining us for the first time will get to experience one of the nicest cities during its nicest time of year.

Geetesh: Among the various experiences at the Presentation Summit, there's something about the Help Center that evokes different emotions. Tell us what prompted you to create a Help Center at this conference?

Rick: The Help Center is a direct reflection of Microsoft's MVP community and its culture of sharing and helping others. It's no coincidence that the Help Center is staffed almost entirely by members of the MVP team and that the planning for the inaugural event took place at an MVP dinner. It's like a match made in heaven: we bring in inspirational speakers and we develop provocative seminar topics, and then we fill in all the gaps with a completely free-form and 100% hands-on experience. Included in their admission, patrons can visit the Help Center at any time and for any reason.

No question is too menial, no challenge too small, and at the same time, no issue is too large. I don't think it is hyperbole to proclaim that the Help Center offers the finest instruction on the technical aspects of presentation that you will find anywhere on the planet.

See Also: Presentation Summit 2013: Conversation with Rick Altman

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, presentationsummit

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Connectors are lines that link different shapes, and yet they are somewhat different from conventional lines because - connectors, as the name implies stay connected to the shapes they link -- even if you move the actual shapes. 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.



Learn how to draw connectors in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Jeremy DonovanJeremey Donovan is Group Vice President of Marketing at Gartner Inc., the world's leading information technology research and advisory company with $1.6 billion in annual revenue. During his career, Jeremey has led successful teams focused on market research, new product development, marketing, acquisitions, and product management. He is a three-time TEDx organizer, a TEDx speaker, a coach for many TED and TEDx speakers, and long-time member of Toastmasters International. His other books include What Great Looks Like, How To Win the Toastmasters World Championship, and How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World's Most Inspiring Presentations.

In this conversation, Jeremey discusses his new book, Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public Speaking.

Geetesh: Tell us about your new book, Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public Speaking. What was the motivation behind this book. Also tell us about your co-author.

Jeremey: As a student of effective communications, I'm always on the hunt for examples of inspiring storytelling. After deconstructing TED Talks, I turned my attention to the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. While there are countless speeches delivered in clubs every week, I figured the winning speeches represent the pinnacle of the Toastmasters experience. However, when I started writing what became "Speaker, Leader, Champion," I got completely stuck. You see, I had been a Toastmaster for over a decade, but I had avoided the competitive part of the journey.

Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public SpeakingFor help, I decided to 'phone a friend.' Ryan Avery, the 2012 Toastmasters World Champion, and I had traded some emails mostly in admiration of each other’s work. Ryan, despite the fact that he was only 25 when we met, has an unparalleled wealth of public speaking knowledge that he gleaned from self-study, practice, and the best mentors on the planet. It did not take me long to ask if he would team up with me to write the book.

During the process, we actually wrote three completely different books but ended up throwing away the first two. We are pretty proud of the end result. It uses Toastmasters world championship speeches as examples of the kinds of techniques that people can leverage in work presentations to share their ideas and accelerate their careers.

Geetesh: Your book has many examples of Toastmasters speeches yet all the advice can be used in any speaking scenario including business presentations. Please do share some thoughts.

Jeremey: You hit the nail on the head. Every type of speech I write about, be it Toastmasters, TED, The Moth, whatever..., has techniques that can be applied in personal and professional settings.

The key is to remain authentic to the situation. Take storytelling for example. In Toastmasters, storytelling is often dramatic and highly theatrical. That level of performance would not be suitable for most corporate settings. However, the fundamental structure of stories is the same. One of my favorite personal storytelling frameworks is the Pixar Pitch. It is a 3-act structure that goes like this:

Act 1 is: Once upon a time and every day... Until one day...

Act 2 continues with: And because of that... And because of that... Until finally...

Act 3 concludes with: And after that... And the moral of the story is...

Business stories have the same structure but use different language. Act 1 is the situation, Act 2 is the complication or opportunity, and Act 3 is the resolution. Some people call that problem solution, but I prefer the three-part version by splitting the problem into situation-complication. .

Categories: books, interviews, opinion, presentation_skills

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



While working with charts in your presentation, you may want to move the location of the legend, or you may need to add a Data Table. Or perhaps the default layout doesn't work well for you. If you find any of these scenarios familiar, you can always choose from different layouts for your charts using the pre-defined Chart Quick Layouts feature. This essentially is a collection of some pre-arranged layouts containing various chart elements. With just a couple of clicks, you can change the entire look of your chart, as explained in this tutorial.



Learn how to apply preset Quick Layouts to your charts in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



Unlike the Windows versions of PowerPoint which shows the active Theme name on the Status bar, the Mac version does not show the active Theme name anywhere on its interface. If you need to know the active Theme's name for any open presentation, how do you find this information? You can find the name of the Theme applied to the presentation following the steps explained here.



Learn how to identify the active Theme name in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: office_mac, powerpoint_2011, themes, tutorials

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 2:41 PM IST



Microsoft has reinstated the support for YouTube videos in both PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 for Windows. You may recall that the option to insert online YouTube videos was removed a while ago due to code discrepancies in the syntax that Google started to use for YouTube embeds. During the time that this option was no longer available in PowerPoint, users had to opt for a longer process or even do this entire task manually. Now that automatic insertion is again possible, this will go a long way in making this task easy to accomplish.



Learn about support for YouTube videos now reinstated in PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 for Windows.

Categories: powerpoint_2010, powerpoint_2013, tutorials, video, youtube

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posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We start with an exclusive conversation with Sam Haddad who discusses PowerPointWriter, a solution that lets you create PowerPoint files with code.

PowerPoint 2013 for Windows users can learn about manually embedding YouTube video, Smart Connectors, changing the default Theme or template -- and also about Table Style options. PowerPoint 2011 for Mac users can learn that there are ways in which you can make your chart Plot Area look different with texture and pattern fills. We also explore how you can alter Chart Gap Width. And if you are using PowerPoint 2010, learn how you can repair your Office installation. PowerPoint 2003 users will learn about editing, creating, and renaming Slide Masters.

And finally, do not miss the new discussions and templates of this week!



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



When you launch PowerPoint 2003, it opens an empty presentation of just one slide. Typically this one slide has a title placeholder and another placeholder for a subtitle -- typing any text within these placeholders shows black text over a white slide background. This is the default template PowerPoint 2003 provides -- but you don't have to live with these defaults. You change this blank presentation so that you get a slide that's part of your custom PowerPoint template. Or even any of the other templates built within PowerPoint.



Learn how to change the default template in PowerPoint 2003.

Categories: powerpoint_2003, templates, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



If you want to use a line that links two shapes together, you may then want that line to be always linked, even if move the original shapes. This sort of linking is called connecting shapes. And to keep these shapes connected, you most certainly will start by drawing a connector instead of a normal line. A connector looks like a line, but it stays connected to the shapes you attach it to. There are three types of connector lines: Straight, Elbow (angled), and Curved.



Learn about different connector types in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, shapes, tutorials

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Monday, April 21, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Applying a Theme to an existing presentation is easy -- and you'll find that plenty of Themes are already contained inside Office 2013. In PowerPoint 2013, these Themes can be found in Design tab of Ribbon. The same Themes that you apply in PowerPoint can also be applied in Word and Excel -- in both of these programs, the way of accessing Themes gallery is different from that of PowerPoint.



Learn how to apply Themes in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel 2013.

Categories: excel, office_2013, powerpoint_2013, themes, tutorials, word

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The default fill and border (line) that PowerPoint applies to chart elements are perfectly adequate. If you want something different, play with various Chart Styles available. While this works great most of the time, there will be occasions when you may want to use a particular color for any of your data series that's not part of the Theme palette in your presentation. In times like these, you can change the fill and border of chart elements manually using the techniques explained on this page.



Learn how to change the fill and the border of selected chart elements in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: charting, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Friday, April 18, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Slide Masters govern the several default attributes for your slides such as the slide background, font choices, colors, and even the positioning of the placeholders. In many ways thus, the Slide Masters are the backend workers of your presentation. And even though the Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2003 only include limited functionality, you can still use this functionality to either edit existing Slide Masters or even create your own Slide Master.



Learn how to create and rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2003.

Categories: powerpoint_2003, templates, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:00 AM IST



The Gap width within a chart is the space between two series points -- this by default is set to 150% of the width of individual Data Series (columns). Usually the gap width is automatically calculated based on the chart data and the Plot Area. The space between two series' points will be very narrow if there are many data series, or very wide when there are few data series. Even then, there is scope for some change in the gap width -- you can quickly increase or decrease this width.



Learn how to adjust the gap width within charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Categories: charting, office_mac, powerpoint_2011, tutorials

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Thursday, April 17, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



To make far reaching changes to your slides within PowerPoint 2003, you should always consider making these changes within the Slide Master rather than within individual slides – not only will this save you a load of time, but it will also make your slides look more consistent and professional.



Learn how to edit Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2003.

Categories: powerpoint_2003, templates, tutorials

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you create a new table in PowerPoint, you'll see some sort of default formatting applied to it. Most probably, you'll find that the table already has Banded rows and the Header row highlighted. While PowerPoint decides to turn on some of these Table Style Options, there are some that you can manually enable. All put together, you can play with 6 distinct Table Style Options that let you control the way through which table rows and/or columns can be made to stand apart.



Learn about Table Style Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, tables, tutorials

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