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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: August 2015

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

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Presentation Summit 2015: Conversation with Ric Bretschneider

Monday, August 31, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Ric BretschneiderRic Bretschneider is a technologist, troublemaker, and problem solver. Professionally, he helps people raise the quality of their business communications, mainly presenting. At Microsoft, Ric spent 17 years working on PowerPoint, designing and molding the program that became a juggernaut in business communication. Shortly after leaving Microsoft, Ric was awarded PowerPoint MVP status, a recognition held by only a dozen or so people in the US. In his spare time, Ric runs the San Jose California branch of the Pecha Kucha presentation event, writes, blogs and podcasts. He's also a huge geek, his obsessions are hidden away on his site.

In this conversation, Ric discusses his sessions at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2015 series.

Geetesh: Ric, you are doing four sessions this year at the Presentation Summit -- one is called Poise and Posture: The secret weapons of superior presentation delivery. The other is Quick Customizations: Bending PowerPoint to your will. You are also doing your very popular sessions called The Late-Night Guru Session and Your Pecha Kucha again. Can you tell us more about all these sessions, and what takeaways can the audience expect from them?

Ric: I'm really excited about the Poise and Posture session, I've been developing it for months, it's something that's been looking for an outlet and the Summit is a perfect place to share it. Based on a ton of personal experience, I'm drawing on everything from drama and improv study, voice training, back injury recovery, and of course years of analysis on the holistic of good presenting. This should help people strengthen their confidence, as well as establish the impression of credibility, and owning your meetings. I think it's going to be an eye-opener for a number of people.

Quick Customizations comes from my years of working on and with PowerPoint. Some of my most popular blog posts have been on this topic. Things hidden in the PowerPoint UI, things broken that can be fixed, and best of all how to make PowerPoint work the way you want it to rather than the way some Redmond designer expected you to work. The toughest part here will be covering the differences between various versions, and making it uniformly useful for all, but I'm all over that.

We identify and work with a number of Presentation Summit attendees weeks before the Summit and I teach them the art of Pecha Kucha presenting. It's a relatively simple concept. Each presenter creates a deck of 20 slides for their presentation. When presenting each slide will automatically advance after 20 seconds. So the presentation is done in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. What isn't obvious is that this requires you to use graphics and images that quickly convey your ideas and reinforce the verbal portion of your presentation. There's absolutely no "slide reading." This is such a popular format that there are over 800 cities worldwide who regularly hold social events around them, I founded the one in the Silicon Valley. The takeaway for regular presenters is a mindset and clarity in capturing your audience's attention and quickly moving them to your point.

Presentation Summit 2015

The first Guru Session started when, late after dinner I and a bunch of summit patrons stumbled upon an open conference room, a projector, and a bunch of left-over wine from earlier in the day. We naturally decided to just hang out and talk PowerPoint until all hours of the night. The next morning everyone who wasn’t there was being told how "they really missed it!" And the next year it was formalized and named The Late Night Guru Session and I've led it ever year since. We start sometime after dinner and often go until after midnight. We occasionally have guests, like last year and this we'll be bringing my buddy Garr Reynolds in from Japan via Skype, but the heart of it is having everyone sit around in a big circle and talk presenting. It's part customer service call, part open bar, part drum circle therapy, and always a blast.

Presentation Summit 2015

Geetesh: You've been part of the Presentation Summit for several years -- can you share your thoughts about how this event benefits new attendees, and also how it helps repeat visitors?

Ric: Rick Altman and others like to point out that the Summit creates an instant community, and that's really true and valid. There's an amazing amount of information conveyed over the week, and everyone ends up sharing their own insights and helpful tips. That's all very true, but there's even more there. I think there's an incredible amount of therapeutic value to spending time with people who have the same struggles you have, understanding how they overcome them or helping them with your own insights. You are not alone, these people are just like you, and it's only natural that you bond beyond your week at the Presentation Summit.

What is the Presentation Summit?

For many years now, Rick Altman has been hosting the Presentation Summit, a highly popular event that is geared towards users of PowerPoint and other presentation platforms.

Date: September 27 to 30, 2015

Location: Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, USA

Register now!

Twitter Hashtag: Presum15

See Also: Ric Bretschneider on Indezine

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Office Sway is a digital storytelling presentation program from Microsoft that's now part of the Microsoft Office family. With Sway, you can create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more by combining text and media to create an online presentation. Now the term "online presentation" may lead you to believe that Sway is an alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint, but really speaking that's just not the case!



Learn how to get started with Sway.

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Friday, August 28, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Kelly and Ben Decker Ben Decker and Kelly Decker are leading experts in the field of business communication. They consult on messaging, cultivate executive presence among the leadership of Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, and regularly deliver keynotes to large audiences.

Together, they run Decker Communications, a global firm that trains and coaches tens of thousands of executives a year. Their new book, Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action, shares real-world stories and tips from the C-Suite that apply to us all.

In this conversation, they discuss their book.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the differences between a communicator and a connector, and how you explain such concepts in your book, Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action?

Ben: We're all communicators. Every time we open our mouths to tell someone something, we are communicating. Whether we're interacting with the man behind the counter at the deli, the woman in the corner office, or our kids as we are getting ready for swim practice, we are communicating all day, every day. Our book is about how you can use these moments of communication not to just inform others, but to influence and inspire.

Kelly: Communication is a contact sport -- you must connect to make an impact. In our book, we reveal a new tool called the Communicator's RoadmapTM to help identify and guide effective communication for many different types of experiences. A central part of the Communicator's Roadmap is the vertical axis of emotional connection. This measures the rapport that we build with others, our likability, our warmth…all marks of influential and inspiring communicators. To connect, we show care, warmth (often with a smile) and demonstrate interest with our behaviors.

Communicate to Influence

Geetesh: What motivated you to write Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action? Also can you share some thoughts about how your book can help in-person presenters, webinar hosts, conference call speakers, or anyone else who needs to present messages get further?

Ben: We noticed that people routinely tell themselves 5 White Lies about Communication (check 'em out here). Everyone is guilty of telling him/herself one of the white lies. We regularly work at the executive level of Fortune 500 companies, and we see that top leaders often make the same mistakes as their mid-level managers.

The reason we wrote the book was to share the key tools for influential and inspiring communication more broadly and with a wider audience. A lot of the methodologies and principles from the book, we (and most of our team at Decker Communications) practice and regularly teach as part of our training and executive coaching sessions. It’s practically in our DNA.

Communicate to Influence

Kelly:Your job as the leader is to communicate how their role -- whatever it is -- fits into the bigger vision. All the time. Relentlessly. Transfer it to all levels of your organization. Inspire your team by connecting the dots about what impact they have, how they contribute to the vision.

Whether we're trying to influence or inspire, we forget that we have to connect with our audience -- each audience -- each time. Communication is not just for the bright lights and the big stage. People pigeonhole the application of communication, thinking it's just for board meetings or town halls. In actuality, the same principles apply to every scenario: webinars, conference calls, in-person meetings, and every other facet of our personal lives. Think about three things:

  1. How will I connect? In a conference call, focus on your voice. Are you conveying enough energy? If it's in-person, think about adding warmth with a smile. We have to be likeable in order to influence.

  2. Is my content self-centered or audience-centered? At every level and in every industry, you must consider their experience. If you are busy talking all about your tool, your product, your perspective, your "widget," chances are it's not going to engage your audience. Flip the script to make it relevant to them. This applies to webinars, in-person meetings and calls, too.

  3. Where can I add emotion to motivate? A great way to connect through content is to reveal vulnerability, like sharing a personal story, for example. We're not talking tears and heartache, here. Humor, milestones and familiar experiences can also boost connection and strengthen your point.


Ben: We wrote this book to apply communication skills and lessons to life. It's filled with many practical how-to tips, as well as real-world anecdotes and stories. The tips from the book are easy to relate to, and they're easy to apply. One of our favorite responses is when CEOs share how well these skills are working in the rest of their lives.

Communicate to Influence

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



After publishing (uploading) a file on your Docs.com account, you can edit file details. It is suggested that these files details should be up to date as it helps in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and helps you make your content accessible to the world, although you can still set some limitations for your individual files. In this tutorial, we'll explore these options.



Learn how to edit file details in Docs.com.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Docs.com provides so many share options! We already showed you how to share Docs.com content on Facebook and on Twitter. The third option is the send a link to your file uploaded on Docs.com via the email option. Read further to learn more.



Learn how to share Docs.com content by email.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



One of the most amazing options that Docs.com provides is the ability to share your files with others in so many ways! Other than sharing your Docs.com content on Facebook, you are also provided with an option to tweet a link to your file! First upload a file on Docs.com, and then choose the Tweet option.



Learn how to tweet Docs.com content.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



To begin with, we bring you a special offer. You can get Sticky Tape graphics for PowerPoint for a token amount of $1 only! Yes, you read it right -- this offer is valid only today and tomorrow.

We continue our tutorial series on Docs.com, Microsoft's file sharing, curating, and viewing site. Finally, 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 9:15 AM IST



After you have uploaded content on Docs.com, you will want to use the various Share options available to show it to others, especially via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to share Docs.com content on Facebook.



Learn how to share Docs.com content on Facebook.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Monday, August 24, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



To share your file, or to embed from Docs.com you first need to have some files uploaded to your Docs.com account. And even if you do not want to share, you may still want to learn how you can upload your files. In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can Publish (upload) a file on Docs.com.



Learn how to publish files on the Docs.com site.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Friday, August 21, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you upload a file on Docs.com, you may after that want to share the same file on a social media site or send it as a link to other people. But that's not all -- for, at other times, you may also want to embed the file on a web page, such as your blog or even your website. That's possible -- and in this tutorial, we'll show you how to use the Embed option within Docs.com.



Learn how to embed content from the Docs.com site on your blog or website.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Thursday, August 20, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We already explored how you can open files on Docs.com. Needless to add, you can only open files that have been uploaded, and the purpose of uploading a file is to ultimately share it with others. In the area of sharing, Docs.com excels -- in fact, Docs.com allows you to share your uploaded file on Facebook, Twitter, and you can also send the files via e-mail.



Learn how to Share content from the Docs.com site.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



In our earlier tutorials, we showed you how you can create a new Collection and then how you add content or add links to the Collection. In this tutorial we explore how you can edit the actual Collection itself. Make sure you first sign into your Docs.com account. Thereafter select the Collection which you want to edit, and follow these steps.



Learn how to edit Collections in Docs.com.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



We start with showcasing our collection of medicine related PowerPoint templates, both on Indezine.com and MedicinePPT.com. We also look at creating flowcharts in Microsoft Office programs.

We continue our tutorial series on Docs.com, Microsoft's file sharing, curating, and viewing site. Finally, don't miss the new discussions and templates of this week!



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



In an earlier tutorial we showed you how you can add content within a Collection in Docs.com -- this allows you add your uploaded files and files liked by you within a Collection. In this tutorial we show you how you can add links to other sites within a Collection.



Learn how you can curate links within Collections in Docs.com.

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Monday, August 17, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have already explored what a Collection within Docs.com signifies, and you can create one. Now that you have an empty Collection, it's time to add some content within the Collection. Before you proceed further, you will need to make sure that you have signed into your Docs.com account -- without signing, you won't be able to access a Collection!



Learn how to add content to Collections in Docs.com.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Friday, August 14, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Collections in Docs.com are essentially exactly what the name suggests! These are "Collections" that enable you to gather various files as well as content created from around the web which interests you and group them all together. Collections work as virtual folders that store all sorts of content. This is great if you are doing a project and want all the content to be placed in a Collection without actually moving all the content to the Collection itself!



Explore how you can create Collections within Docs.com

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Thursday, August 13, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We explored how to search and browse content available on Docs.com, a file sharing site from Microsoft. Rather than just search, you can additionally filter search results to show only files of a particular type, license, or language. In this tutorial, we'll show you how you can open a PowerPoint file. You might be wondering about what's so special about opening a PowerPoint file and how it is different than opening any other file type on Docs.com? The difference is not really in opening -- but within the many options you see after you open your file. We will walk you through these options within this tutorial.



Learn how to open PowerPoint files on Docs.com.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Search for resources on Docs.com and you may end up with so many results, that you may be bewildered. Fortunately, you can filter these search results to show only files of a particular type, license, or language -- in this tutorial we'll explore how to filter search result in Docs.com.



Learn how to filter search results in Docs.com site.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Have you heard about isometric images? And how are they different from perspective images? Billy Schlotter of Presenter Media explains it all in this exclusive conversation. We also get you a new Bucket Graphics series with Money flowing instead of Water! There's also a review of Xara's Designer Pro X11, which works as a great graphic companion program for PowerPoint users.

We begin a new tutorial series on Docs.com, Microsoft's file sharing, curating, and viewing site. We complete last week's series on the HSL color model with a detailed article explaining Hue. You also learn about implementing HSL in PowerPoint 2013 and 2010 for Windows. And we have more retrospective stuff -- PowerPoint 2003 for Windows users can explore editing points in shapes. Finally, 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 9:15 AM IST



Once you visit Docs.com in any browser, you will have to sign into Docs.com to really achieve anything useful on this site. However, there's one important task that you can perform even without signing in -- and that is to search and browse existing content that other users have uploaded to this site. Note that while you need not be signed into Docs.com to search and browse the content, signing in can still be useful if you want to comment or even download a file.



Learn how to search and browse content on the Docs.com site.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Monday, August 10, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



While you can browse and view content on Docs.com without signing in, that's the sum of all you can do. To go further and upload a PowerPoint presentation or another file, you will have to first sign into Docs.com using your Microsoft account. A Microsoft account contains credentials you use to sign into any of Microsoft's services such as Hotmail, Outlook, XBox, Live, Zune, etc. In this tutorial, we explain how you can sign into Docs.com.



Learn how to sign into Docs.com.

Categories: powerpoint_online, tutorials

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Friday, August 07, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Billy SchlotterBilly Schlotter is Design and Marketing director for PresenterMedia. He has a passion for creating and connecting with people online and in person. When he's not working, you will find him spending time with his family, playing guitar, or cooking.

In this conversation, Billy discusses the new isometric images available on the Presenter Media site.

Geetesh: What are these new isometric images introduced by PresenterMedia, and what motivated you to create them?

Billy: We didn't introduce them but saw an opportunity. If you search Google for 'Isometric Illustrations', you will find thousands of examples. We know that creating a slide deck for a presentation can be time-consuming. Like all our products, we wanted to create a fast, creative, solution for our customers. We wanted to give them the tools and resources to create their own illustrations, without having to spend hours creating different elements.

Isometric Images from Presenter Media

Geetesh: How are isometric images different from the typical imagery that we use in our slides, and how can they benefit us in explaining concepts to audiences?

Billy: The natural world around us relies on perspective. With isometric illustrations, though, they are without perspective and cannot be found in nature. Everything in the background is at the same scale as everything in the foreground. That's what gives them their unique attraction.

Isometric vs. Perspective Images

You can use them to create a company's supply chain process. By conveying how a product gets from point A to point B to point C. You can create a whole neighborhood or factory just by placing a couple of images next to each other. We believe that there are endless ways to use these illustrations and are excited to add them to our library.

Isometric Images

See Also: Presenter Media Content and More: Conversation with Art Holden

Categories: clip_media, design, interviews, powerpoint

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