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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: October 2014

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

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Indezine Halloween PowerPoint Kit

Friday, October 31, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:30 AM IST



Halloween is here, and we are back with the Indezine Halloween Kit, a self-contained set of content that will help you celebrate this Halloween more visually. This kit contains 5 Standard and 5 Widescreen Halloween PowerPoint Themes, a scary font, some silhouette pictures, scrapbook style embellishments, some pictures, and even a few sample slides.



Download and use this kit now.

Categories: graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



Whichever slide objects you place on your PowerPoint slide, their position and alignment matters a lot -- be it shapes or even the many inserted pictures. In some cases, a haphazard arrangement of pictures may work -- but most of the time you will have to align objects in a proper way on your slide. Even before you align pictures, you should explore whether all pictures are the same size or not.



Learn to align and distribute pictures in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Thursday, October 30, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



PowerPoint provides various picture enhancement options such as: Picture Adjustments, Picture Styles, Picture Effects, and Picture Borders. Beyond these options, there are some very significant yet basic picture editing options that you should consider -- these include learning how you can Resize, Rotate, and Flip pictures. All of these options help you to enhance the look of your inserted pictures.



Learn how to Resize, Rotate, and Flip pictures in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



After inserting pictures within your PowerPoint slide, you may want to change the appearance of the picture. Picture Styles are based on PowerPoint's Picture Effects capabilities and add some effects with a click. Most of the time, this means that a single Picture Style adds a reflection, a glow, and a border to your picture. However, you can also apply any of these effects individually to your pictures. In all, PowerPoint provides 6 effects: shadow, reflection, glow, soft edges, bevel, and 3-D rotation.



Learn about Picture Effect options in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014
posted by Diamond on 10:30 AM IST



We bring you Map Pins this time that can be used over maps or anything else that you want to highlight on your slides. Also you can take part in the very interesting Business Presentations Survey, held once every 10 years, and win a gift. PowerPoint 2013 users can learn more from a bunch of Audio (Sound) and Visuals (Graphics) tutorials.



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

Categories: ezine, powerpoint

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posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



The Picture Border option in PowerPoint adds a simple outline or even a beautiful frame to your pictures. Once you insert a picture on your slide, you may want to apply various adjust picture options. Additionally, you can also apply the preset Picture Styles available. In this tutorial we'll explore how to add Borders to the inserted pictures in PowerPoint 2013.



Learn how to add and edit Picture Borders in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Monday, October 27, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Here's the new, fifth set of animated Gears you can use within your slides -- we call this one Even More Gears! Like the earlier series, these come in both animated and non-animated versions. The time-consuming process of using Gears and animating them in PowerPoint is now made easy again. Watch the video on this page and explore how the gears animate perfectly all the time.



Download and use these gear graphics.

Categories: animation, design, graphics, powerpoint, presentation_samples

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posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



While making a visually strong PowerPoint presentation you can add shapes and pictures to it. You can also fill your shapes with pictures -- maybe sometimes you end up with not so desirable results. Primarily, you'll find that PowerPoint insists on filling the entire picture within the shape -- in the process, the picture itself may appear distorted. Fortunately, regaining this lost proportion is an easy option, as you will learn in this tutorial.



Learn how to reposition the picture fill in a shape, using the Fill (Crop) option in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Friday, October 24, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



While you can do conventional cropping within PowerPoint 2013, you can also opt to forego the typical rectangular constraints, and use another shape to crop instead. This tutorial explains the Crop to Shape option that lets you choose non-rectangular cropping shapes for your pictures -- the results tend to look like a picture has been contained within a shape.



Learn how to crop pictures using Crop to Shape option in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



After inserting a picture in your slide, you should first consider if the picture you have used complements the message of your presentation and slide. Even if it is relevant, you should consider making it more pertinent by removing the areas that may be not required -- in other words, you must ponder and decide whether you want to use PowerPoint's Crop options. Cropping an area removes extraneous areas, and lets you add focus to the areas of the picture that are appropriate to the topic of your presentation.



Learn how to work with crop options for pictures in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We bring you detailed synopses of two keynotes from the just concluded Presentation Summit at San Diego – these are for keynotes delivered by Nolan Haims and Mike Parkinson. PowerPoint 2013 users can learn more from a bunch of Audio (Sound) tutorials.

And don't 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 Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



Do you want to remove a sky, a wall, any backdrop, or something else in a photograph so that the slide background shows through within the removed parts of the picture? The Remove Background option may be just what you need to remove the background from an inserted picture.



Learn how to remove a part of your picture to make a transparent background in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: pictures, powerpoint_2013, tutorials

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Monday, October 20, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



When you insert an audio clip on your slide, you can see a sound icon that represents the audio clip. Of course, it rarely matters what the icon looks like if you have set your audio clip to play automatically. However, if you actually plan to click on this picture to play your audio clip -- then you might want to use another picture instead.



Explore the Format tab for audio clips in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, sounds, tutorials

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Friday, October 17, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



When you insert an audio clip into a PowerPoint slide, you can control its volume, set it to play looped, or even hide the audio icon. These are some of the advanced options available for any inserted audio clip in PowerPoint. Remember that these advanced options only exist so that you can use them when they are required, rather than using them just because they exist! Let us explore all these advanced audio options in PowerPoint 2013.



Explore the advanced audio options in PowerPoint 2013 for looping, playing, rewinding, etc.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, sounds, tutorials

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Thursday, October 16, 2014
posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



Once you insert an audio clip into your presentation, you may find that it is too long, or there may be parts in the clip that you don't want the audiences to hear. Or maybe you just need a small bit to play -- like the sound of that trumpet blowing! Fortunately, PowerPoint's Trim Audio option can make this easy for you.



Learn how to trim audio clips in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, sounds, tutorials

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Mike ParkinsonTuesday's keynote at the Presentation Summit was delivered by Mike Parkinson of Billion Dollar Graphics.

Mike's keynote topic was "Listen, Learn, Share, Succeed". He started with a video directed by Brock Mitchell of Shot at the Dark about a young man who had to decide to let his mother go, and live every moment of the remaining time he had with her. This awesome video was the beginning of a learning session.

Mike explained that real stories are felt, not heard. He also emphasized that emotions bring change.

He then asked people with children within the audience to raise hands. And then he asked about their friends who had no children, especially those who freely give them advice about how to bring up their children! They don't have a clue, and yet choose to provide advice that is not required. Presentations are the same -- what gives anyone the right to tell others how to present, emphasized Mike.

Emotions can be happy and sad -- if we create milestones for all the happy and sad moments in our life, and create a lifeline, then how would that be? Mike actually created an amazing lifeline that looked like a line chart -- only this was not a line chart but a lifeline of Mike's life!

For this lifeline though, Mike shared so much about himself. There were poignant moments, sad times, rough days, relationship issues, violent happenings, weird and wacky experiences, and he also shared amazing changes, life-changing moments, successful results, and good relationships.



The reason why Mike shared his lifeline with us was because personal experiences can benefit professional challenges. He said that advice confuses fact with opinion.

When human beings give advice, they use the word "you" much more often than the word "I". And that's the reason why we should beware of the word "you", especially when people are giving advice without any experiences to back that up. Advice should be based on experience, and that would imply that more of "I" needs to be in the advice than just "you".

He then asked the audience to find someone they have known for a brief time. So everyone found someone they did not know too well, and conversed with them.

Mike then asked them to converse following these guidelines in 15 minutes:

  1. Share your challenge.

  2. Ask questions to pick a relevant experience.

  3. Present your experience. Avoid the word "you", and use "I" to be honest with others. Remember that "you" sounds preachy.



At the end of the 15 minutes, members of the audience felt that the limitation on using the word "you" made a difference.

Mike said, "Experience trumps advice". He also said that when someone gives advice, ask them for an example. And when you are the one giving advice, think that you are not the expert -- and you can only share what you have learned through experience.

He then showed a video of a very young Steve Jobs who said that it was almost never that a person he called did not help him -- and remember this was from the days when Steve Jobs was not "the" Steve Jobs.

Mike ended with his own quote,"In my experiences, we have a master mind. If we want, we can find solutions. Our solutions are sitting right next to us."

Categories: powerpoint, presentationsummit

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posted by Diamond on 9:15 AM IST



Insert an audio file within your PowerPoint slide, and choose to play it either with a click, or set it to play automatically. Whichever option you choose, some files can sound loud and unexpected! Have you not experienced the sudden scare or shock when a shrill voice interrupts an almost silent environment? Rather than shake the soul of your audiences, you can use PowerPoint's fade options to add a gradual increase to the volume of your audio files. PowerPoint provides both Fade In and Fade Out effects that you can add to the beginning and end of your audio clips. These fade options make your audio clips sound smoother and more subtle.



Learn how to fade in or fade out your audio clips in PowerPoint 2013.

Categories: powerpoint_2013, sounds, tutorials

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We bring you two exclusive products this time – a new set of Irregular Shapes, plus a set of fall themed leaf shapes. Both these sets of shapes are PowerPoint native. PowerPoint 2013 users can learn about Pictures and Video.

And don't 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 9:30 AM IST



Nolan HaimsThis year's Presentation Summit at San Diego began with a keynote from Nolan Haims. After careers in theatre and the circus, Nolan Haims moved into the world of presentation, designing presentations for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions and all the major television networks. Nolan was the Presentation Director for Edelman, the world's largest independent PR company. He writes about visual communication at PresentYourStory.com.

Rick Altman, the host of the Presentation Summit introduced Nolan as an authority on simplicity. Nolan's topic for the keynote of course was Simplicity. Simplicity is a "simple" word, but what Nolan tried to explain was more profound. He said that "simplicity is important because audiences remember whatever is simple enough to remember!"

Nolan started by comparing two famous movies: Star Wars and The Phantom Menace. The audience agreed that the former was a better movie, and Nolan emphasized that this was because Star Wars had so much simplicity, and comparatively, The Phantom Menace had complexity. Nolan added that "simplicity has a guarantee that it will always succeed." He also added that "simplicity in slides can be achieved by deciding what we need to remove."



Nolan then discussed his background about how he belongs to a family of designers, and how he is the only person in the family who is not formally trained in design. In his earlier days, he just started using Adobe Illustrator and ended up creating something simple. He then encountered "heavy" graphics with bevels, 3D effects, etc. that were quite a rage in those days. This led Nolan to create the type of extreme graphics that were anything but simple!

At this point, Nolan realized that his clients, although impressed were not selling design, so they had no need to use such an extreme form of design. Instead, they were selling products! So that made Nolan ponder whether it would be better selling products with stories and simplicity rather than with extreme design? This realization led Nolan to the main topic of his keynote, that being: Simplicity Works.

Nolan then discussed 4 arguments for simplicity:

  1. Clarity: Nolan showed samples of text heavy design content -- and what was clear was that in text-heavy ad content, there was little that differentiated one product from another (competitor's) product.



    On the other hand, less text content with open white space made the ads stand apart more, and created better brand identity. The Volkswagen ad for the Beetle was shown as an example.



    Nolan then showed the famous Afghanistan Spaghetti slide that shows how complexity can altogether remove clarity of thought. Another example Nolan showed was the complex slides presented by Bill Gates years ago -- and then he compared them with Bill's recent slides which were so much clearer.


  2. Stands Out: Nolan then looked at how you can create content that makes your slides stand out.



    He shared three ideas to make your slides stand apart.

    First of all, he suggested using charts that are more visual, and less chart-like. An example he used to reiterate this point was by creating a fish chart. So what's a fish chart? That's just a bar chart that uses fishes rather than bars!



    Nolan then compared slides with car bumper stickers -- he suggested we compare every slide we create with a bumper sticker -- this approach will help create better slides.



    And then he suggested we use just a single header to represent text on a slide -- and use a simple visual for the rest of the slide.



  3. Is Sticky: Nolan then suggested creating slide content that was "sticky".



    He looked at logos of companies such as Nike, Target, and National Geographic -- even without the names mentioned, the logos were simple enough to be sticky (identified) in the minds of the audience.

    And then he looked at logos with just text such as Reebok and Kohl's and discussed why those logos with just-text did not work as well as the just-visual logos. To prove his point, Nolan asked everyone in the audience to think of "beer". And no one though about the words, "beer", but they all thought about visuals of beer. That's the reason why visuals make our slides more sticky, and more easy to remember.

    Another way of making slides more sticky is to use iconography and insert simple one-color line-art graphics. He also mentioned that iconography is one of those rare cases through which adding something to a slide can make it simpler.

    Nolan then showed some samples of iconography.


  4. Makes Money: The most important thing is that simplicity indeed makes money. Nolan talked about the song, Yesterday, which has made so much money. Nolan asked the audience to listen to the simplicity of the music and the lyrics.



    He then compared his two favorite food chains, Panera Bread and Chipotle. He discussed which of these are doing better? And the reason why they are doing better is because of the same factor, simplicity. Whereas Panera has increased sales by 200%, Chipotle has seen sales increase 600% in the same time. Nolan said that's because Chipotle's menus are so much simpler than Panera's.



    Nolan added that "a confused mind always says no." He then added that "the paradox of choice is real."

    To prove this, Nolan spoke about a supermarket chain that allowed testing of 24 jam flavors -- after testing, only 3% of customers bought those jams. Comparatively, with only 6 jam choices available the next day, 30% bought those jams. This explains that lesser choices (simplicity) can make more money.



    Nolan added that "one should show people content simple enough that lets them write you a check."

Beyond these 4 elements, Nolan added that there is also a 5th element, and that element is difficulty.



He then explored the new Twitter logo, which is essentially full of circles. He also explored the new Microsoft logo, which was created from geometry.

Nolan then put up a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (the author of The Little Prince):

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to taker away."

Nolan also showed a hotel key-card from a Washington DC hotel that had so little content on the card's surface -- and lots of awesome white space. Also in Washington DC, Nolan spoke of the simple monuments here that create a more moving impact because of their simplicity. An example of such a monument is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The designer of this monument, Maya Lin said:

"It almost seemed to simple, too little...
I toyed with adding some large flat slabs that would appear to lead into the memorial, but they did not belong. The image was so simple that anything added to it began to detract from it."

Nolan then concluded with some thoughts to help you become a better designer:



  1. Present your work: It's easy to send off something via email -- don't do that! Present your work well, even if that means you need to make a phone call.


  2. Reveal your thinking: Tell your clients why you did what you did -- and why you used fewer colors, fewer slides, etc. Tell them why simplicity works.


  3. Remember the goal: It's not about graphic designs and special effects, it's all about achieving your goal with simplicity. Simplicity makes things cleaner.

Categories: powerpoint, presentationsummit

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