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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: October 2015

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

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Handmade Slides: Sticky Tape for PowerPoint - 01

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

These "sticky tape" graphics are already placed in PowerPoint slides - just copy them and paste within your slides to create a look that makes a picture, shape, or anything else appear as if it has been stuck on a surface, board, or wall with tape! These ready-made sticky tape segments are already within PowerPoint slides - and have been provided in 10 colors - all colors have various transparency variations.

Download and use these Sticky Tape graphics in your slides.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST

A Text Card is the last of the three text card types available within the All Cards pane in Microsoft Sway, the other two being Title and Heading Cards. In many ways, this Text Card is like a Text Box in a PowerPoint slide – you just add a Text Card and type in the text content you want to show up on this card!

Explore how you can work with Text Cards in Microsoft Sway.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Graphs that use a measurement axis, like column, bar, and line graphs, by default have an axis when created in Excel or PowerPoint. One question that presenters ask is whether data labels should be added to the graph. In this article, I want to explain when you may want to consider using data labels vs. using an axis. One thing you don’t want to do is to use both an axis and data labels on a graph, like this example.

Axis and labels

This is what I call a “belt and suspenders” situation. You only need one of these to hold your pants up. Pick either one, but don’t use both. In most situations, you should use either the measurement axis or data labels, but not both.

Typically I suggest using data labels when the audience needs to know the exact values. In my recent book, Select Effective Visuals, I explain that two of the most common visuals used when comparing values to each other are a column graph or bar chart. Data labels work well for these graphs. It often works best to position the data labels inside the end or just outside the end of the column or bars, as shown in the examples below.

Labels only

I think you will agree that these graphs look much clearer when you don’t have both an axis and data labels.

When your message is about the trend of data and the individual values aren’t as important, the best visual is a line graph. In this case, you only need an axis to give the audience context for the trend. If the trend is small, the audience may not be able to easily tell if the trend is up or down. In this case, I suggest adding gridlines in a muted color so that the audience has a known straight line to compare the trend to. This example from a client workshop shows an axis and gridlines used on a line graph.

Trend with gridlines

Both an axis and data labels can be useful in helping your audience understand your graph. Make a deliberate choice of which approach will help your audience best in each situation.

Dave ParadiDave Paradi has been recognized by the media and his clients as a presentation expert. He has authored eight books and four Kindle e-books on effective PowerPoint presentations. He consults on high-stakes presentations including one used to brief one of President Obama’s cabinet ministers. Dave is one of only fourteen people in North America to be recognized by Microsoft with the PowerPoint Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the PowerPoint presentation community. His ideas have appeared in publications around the world.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST

Here's the most comprehensive list of PowerPoint 2016 keyboard shortcuts that we know about -- how many of these do you presently use? If you discover a shortcut key not listed here, please get in touch with us through our feedback form.

Explore keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Ellen FinkelsteinEllen Finkelstein is a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and author of several PowerPoint, Flash, and AutoCAD books. She also holds webinars on presenting skills on a regular basis.

In this interview, Ellen talks about her PowerPoint 2013 Essentials video course.

Geetesh: Ellen, can you tell us about the PowerPoint 2013 video tutorial series you created for Wiley?

Ellen: A couple of years ago, Wiley commissioned me to create a video course on PowerPoint. I came up with the idea that it should be a tutorial, so that each lesson contains some general principles, but by the end of the course, the user has created a complete presentation. In this way, people learn by doing, not just listening. There are 10 lessons (now called Episodes).

Geetesh: What type of PowerPoint user is this series geared towards?

Ellen: PowerPoint 2013 Essentials is geared towards someone who is a beginning or intermediate user and who wants to learn how to create a presentations that avoids Death by PowerPoint. The course covers all of the basic features of PowerPoint, including SmartArt, images, charts, shapes, tables, animation, and multimedia. I also cover editing techniques. The last episode is about how to deliver a presentation clearly and professionally. The idea is to learn the features of PowerPoint and then apply them to actually creating and delivering a presentation that meets the presenter's goals.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST

PowerPoint 2016's tri-paned interface has three regions: the Slides Pane, the Slide Area, and the Notes Pane. The Notes Pane is placed right below the Slide Area. The Notes Pane provides space to add speaker's notes that can be so helpful to the presenter while presenting - you can also write any sort of information about the presentation or individual slide.

Learn about the Notes Pane within PowerPoint 2016.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST

We start with our review of Dynamic NEWS, a PowerPoint add-in that lets you source RSS feeds of stuff such as news, and show it on your slides, with content dynamically changing at intervals. We then bring you a synopsis of Carmen Simon's amazing keynote at the Presentation Summit in New Orleans. If you attended the session, you want to read what she said. And if you did not attend, you still want to read it to discover what you missed! There’s more -- Dave Paradi discusses the findings of his amazing PowerPoint Survey!

We continue our tutorial series about the interface options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. 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

The Status Bar is a thin strip located at the bottom of the PowerPoint 2016 interface. This area provides information about the active slide and also provides several View options. To work with options in the Status Bar, you must have a presentation open in PowerPoint 2016 -- otherwise the options within the Status Bar will be grayed out.

Learn about options available in the Status Bar within PowerPoint 2016.

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Monday, October 26, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Guy Kawasaki did the Tuesday morning keynote at the Presentation Summit in New Orleans on September 29, 2015. He started by reminiscing about his days as the chief evangelist for Apple Computer. He spoke passionately about Steve Jobs.

Guy speaks around 75 times a year in conferences and delivers keynotes. His work certainly has to do so much with speaking. And that's a continuation of his job at Apple, where he was evangelizing the Mac to the world.

Like Steve Jobs, Guy also quit Apple. He left Apple twice. He returned to Apple when the company had to survive. And that was good, because as Guy said in jest:

I left Apple twice. If I had stayed either time, I would not have been here today.
Guy then spoke about his role at Canva. He asked about how many people in the audience used Canva?

He then also spoke about his role on the board at Wikipedia.

Here's another witty remark from Guy:
If you suck, and if your speech is short, it is OK.
If you have a long speech, and you do not suck, it is OK.
If you suck and are long, then that's terrible.
And that's how he led the audience to the topic of his keynote, How to get a Standing Ovation. Guy admitted that there's a reason why he structures his talks with numbers, and that is to hold attention. He was, therefore, going to talk about 10 ways in which you can be assured that your talk gets a standing ovation.

How to get a standing ovation

And then some more comments from Guy:
I have hearing problems. Maybe that's because, as a Venture Capitalist, I have heard so many crappy presentations.
When I took anti-anxiety drugs, I had seven standing ovations in a row. So I wondered what it says about me? And so I want to share tips with you on getting a standing ovation without having to take anti-anxiety drugs.
Then Guy shared his tips -- he also accompanied each tip with a visual slide.

  1. Have something to say. Many people do not understand your message unless you say something important right at the beginning.

    Have something to say

  2. Do your homework. It is important that you get as much information possible about your audience as you can. Research on sites such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn is better than other social sites because people typically put up more authentic stuff on their LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn is the best because people you research are more or less what they say they are on their LinkedIn pages. Other social sites need not be ignored. Try to research almost any and every audience member you can. Find common interests -- for that part, you can also look up their Facebook and Instagram pages.

    Do your homework

  3. Follow the 10-20-30 Rule. Guy spoke about his well-known 10-20-30 rule that's about keeping your slides limited to 10, your time under 20 minutes, and your font-size at least 30 points.

    Follow the 10-20-30 Rule

    He then spoke a while about this rule, and also ventured into the Mac vs. Windows arena! Some quotes:
    No one uses Windows voluntarily -- (do you want to) use this amazing device (Mac) that looks like it has been created by Tibetan monks, or this crappy plastic piece (Windows)?
    (About the at least 30 points font size rule), find out who the oldest person is. Then divide their age by two. What if your VC is 16 years old? Then God bless you!
    (About the at least 10 slides rule), my speeches have 50 to 75 slides. People look at me with daggers of hypocricy. But I tell them that they are not me!
  4. Go big and black. Use 16:9 widescreen slides rather than 4:3 standard ones. Make sure that you use it best. And dark backgrounds such as black work better than lighter backgrounds. They look more serious, more creative, and better. White looks like you started typing on a piece of paper.

    Go big and black

    Guy then shared a small humorous incident:
    I met a black enterprenuer who asked me if I had any last minute tips. I asked him, "Is your background black". He replied, "Yes, I am from Atlanta". But he did change his (slide) background to black.
  5. Get a small room. Pack the house, Choose 105 people in a room that seats 100. Do not choose 200 people in a room meant for 500 people. If you can specify, ask for classroom style seating rather than having it theatre style since the room will appear better attended.

    Get a small room

  6. Speak early. Audiences may have a flights to take, or there may be other reasons. However audiences deteriorate later in the day, and are in an altered stage. If you have a choice, it's best to speak earliest in the morning -- and be the first speaker.

    Speak early

  7. Pre-circulate. Do circulate with the audience before the presentation.


  8. Some more quotes from Guy:
    Take selfies before with them, and they will certainly clap after the session
    Mix with the crowd, warm up the crowd. Then it's easier to speak in a relaxed manner.
  9. Customize your intro. Always keep your intro different. Guy spoke about his LG washer and dryer at an event at LG. In Moscow, he spoke about cannon balls. And in Istanbul, he used his own picture in the Grand Bazar of Istanbul, wearing a Fez cap.

    Customize your intro

    Some quotes from Guy:
    You kind of then own the audience. It's a reason to get to the venue a day earlier.
    Somehow customize your introduction.
  10. Focus on entertaining. Guy said that "If I can you get laughing, you may remember the presentation. Some people may think that informing is important. I think entertaining is important. I want people to be happy after my speech."

    Focus on entertaining

  11. Cut the sales pitch. Don't sell all the time. Don't do a sales pitch all through your time.

    Cut the sales pitch

    Note: Guy spent only 5 out his 60 minutes in the sales pitch for Canva -- and that too was more of an awareness pitch rather than selling.

  12. Tell stories. Stories will get you great press. You must have lots of stories in your presentation.

    Tell stories

    Most enterprises talk about their cutting edge products, and you must apply the opposite test. That means, if you are saying the same thing they are saying, you are saying nothing! If CEO 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 all say the same thing, then very few presentations will pass the opposite test -- unless you say a story!
Guy then quoted Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay:
My girlfriend had a very difficult time selling stuff she does not need, so I created eBay.
A small Q and A session followed:
Did you buy the Fez cap in Istanbul? No, there was no space in my bag!
What should I do, my clients always want rules. In the real world, very few people will follow rules. So you don't have to worry. One person who VC'ed got 60 slides to show me after reading all my books!
When the pitch is better than the idea, what do you do? In my life, I have seen 5 good pitches among the thousands.
Black is the new black.

Guy KawasakiThe former chief evangelist for Apple and current chief evangelist for Canva, Guy Kawasaki is known the world over. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation and is an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He is the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and nine other books.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST

PowerPoint add-ins help in adding new capabilities that can polish your presentation in many ways. But when the time comes to uninstall these add-ins for whatsoever reason, you might be surprised to find their menu customizations still exist! In another scenario, you may have customized your PowerPoint menus and toolbars to a large extent -- and may now want to restore everything to a pristine state. In either case, it is possible to lose all these customizations. The key to this solution lies in PCB files.

Learn how to remove customizations from PowerPoint's PCB files in PowerPoint 2016.

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Friday, October 23, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Dave ParadiDave Paradi has been recognized by the media and his clients as a presentation expert. He has authored eight books and four Kindle e-books on effective PowerPoint presentations. He consults on high-stakes presentations including one used to brief one of President Obama’s cabinet ministers. Dave is one of only fourteen people in North America to be recognized by Microsoft with the PowerPoint Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the PowerPoint presentation community. His ideas have appeared in publications around the world.

In this conversation, Dave discusses the results of the 2015 Annoying PowerPoint Survey.

Geetesh: Dave, what did the respondents tell you in this survey and how does that compare to previous surveys?

Dave: In this survey, the trend of presentations being used as the default method for communicating in organizations continued. Even more people said that they see at least one presentation every day of the work week. The percentage of people seeing one presentation per day has doubled in the last eight years. Presenting effectively is now a critical skill for professionals, as the expectations of audiences have increased.

I also unfortunately saw that overloading slides with text and reading them to the audience continues to be the case in far too many presentations. The top issue of reading slides has not changed in the seven surveys I have conducted – it is always the most common response by far. It happens when the presenter overloads the slides with text and feels compelled to share everything with the audience.

What emerged as a growing issue is the use of visuals that are too complex. As presenters start to use more visuals, they need to make sure the graphs, diagrams, and images are clear and relevant. Just using visuals instead of text isn’t the solution. The visuals must be effective in order for the audience to understand them.

Geetesh: In this survey for the first time you asked what advice audience would have for presenters. What did they say?

Dave: The key message for presenters from the survey respondents was a strong one, and one that presenters need to listen to. Audiences are upset that too many presenters don’t take time to properly plan the presentation, create effective visuals, and prepare to deliver the presentation. Audiences feel that the presenter doesn’t care enough about them to spend time doing a good job on the presentation. It is really an issue of feeling disrespected by the presenter. It is a harsh message for presenters, and one that all of us need to take to heart.

Audiences want presenters to tailor their message for that audience and focus the content on what the audience needs to hear. They have had enough of presenters just throwing together slides from past presentations and hoping the audience figures out a message. They want slides that have one message each with a summary headline and a clear visual. Don’t overload your slides because that indicates you didn’t take the time to focus your message. When a presenter apologizes for something during the presentation, the message the audience hears is that the presenter couldn’t be bothered to test the slides or technology in advance. The audience just isn’t important enough for the presenter to have solved any issues, like spelling mistakes, unreadable fonts, and poor visuals beforehand.

Audiences have seen enough great presentations online, through TED talks, and at product introductions that are covered by the media. They know what a good presentation is supposed to look like. They want presenters to invest the time and effort creating and delivering a good presentation.

Links to Survey Results: Full Report and SlideShare Summary.

See Also: 2015 Annoying PowerPoint Survey: Conversation with Dave Paradi

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST

PowerPoint 2016 allows you to customize the Ribbon in a number of ways -- you can add Ribbon tabs, add Groups, and populate these with commands. Moreover, if you think you made a mess and were better off with the defaults, then you can always get back to square one. On a more positive front, you can share your customizations with friends and colleagues -- or also your other computers. And you can export your customizations to a file saved as a backup for a rainy day!

Learn how to reset, export, and import Ribbon customizations in PowerPoint 2016.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

On Monday afternoon at the Presentation Summit, after most attendees had finished a heavy conference lunch, it was time for Carmen Simon to deliver her keynote. Of course, some attendees also found time to make a small detour to New Orleans' famous Bourbon Street before her keynote! You'll agree that this audience was the same, yet so different than the ones who attended Nigel Holmes' keynote that very morning!

OK, so how would Carmen hold their interest? And what was her topic?

The Neuro-Science of Memorable Content

Carmen started, "For the past few years, I am asking this question from a neuro-scientific angle. Is your content remembered?"

She then elaborated further:

We hear a lot, keep a lot, and forget a lot. According to a theory called the forgetting curve, which is also associated with a scientific formula, we remember very little from new content we learned two days before if make no conscious effort to remember it at the time. However, that “little” may be something we remember for a longer time.
At this point of time, Carmen had successfully captured the attention of everyone in the room! She had spoken about something that was important to everyone: memory.

She then observed that "You may wonder how students remember everything they write in their exams. Why does it not happen that way in business? Students – at least the conscientious ones, make more effort than business audiences to remember content. In business presentations, audiences are typically in a state of partial attention."

Carmen then added, "If you haven't slept a lot and are under stress -- you will also remember less. So if you are talking to sleep deprived audiences who are in a state of partial attention, it is hard to rely on the fact that they will remember a lot."

"Let’s consider a metaphorical number – people remember "10%" of what we share," Carmen said. She specified, "This is metaphorical because, in the business world, it is very difficult to place a strict statistic on how much your audiences remember. When you work in the academia, it is different because you have more precise measuring tools and people expect their memory may be tested. Not the same in business. We don't have the luxury to say to a business audience: 'pay attention, you will be tested later.'"

Remember Only 10%

Dr. Simon also indicated that while people remember very little – the metaphorical 10% - it is practical for any business presenter to be in control of that 10%. Otherwise what she is noticing is that this percentage is left to chance. For example, if 5 people attend your meeting or business presentation, it is possible for all 5 to remember 5 different things.

Your Customers Remember Only Some Things

For the past four years, Dr. Simon has been working on a system, called The Rexi Method (Rexi comes from the Latin verb to direct, or to guide), which contains a set of guidelines on how to be in charge of the “10%” people remember. Part of the formula is mastering Attention, which paves the way to memory, and also Decision, which is the reason memory is important. Ultimately, the reason we want others to remember something about our message is so they act on it in some way and they find it easy to decide in our favor.

Attention, Memory, Decision

Unfortunately, things can go wrong at each of these stages. Take Attention, for instance. Dr. Simon explained one reason why people stop paying attention to a message: habituation. This means that as we get used to a stimulus, we pay less and less attention to it. For example, when you are at work and music is playing in the background, you pay attention to it at first, but gradually stopped noticing it.

This also means that if we want to sustain someone’s attention, we must change the stimulus frequently. For example, you can alternate:

From Text to Graphics
From Formal to Informal
From Static to Dynamic
From Monologue To Dialogue
From Facts To Stories
From Complexity To Simplicity
Carmen shared more thoughts:
The brain is looking to conserve energy -- that is why people may fall asleep during presentations.
And so we need to create memory traces. If you create Zen-like presentations with pictures, will people remember it at all after 2 days?
Use change to draw attention but once you know what your “10%” message is, keep it constant among the changes of stimulation.
Overall, as you reflect on your own messages, ask this question: how often does your stimulus vary? Do you use slides that display for minutes at a time, without much variation? Is there enough stimulation for your viewers that attracts focus and does not push them towards their smartphones? When you have the answer to these questions, it will be easier to hold attention. And when you have attention, you’re more likely to form memories in people's minds.

Carmen SimonDr. Carmen Simon's presentations and workshops help business professionals to use communication and presentation skills to increase revenue, train or motivate others, and overall to stand out from too much sameness in the industry. A published author, Dr. Simon is frequently invited as a keynote speaker at various conferences. She is co-founder of Rexi Media, a company that helps business professionals from all fields improve their presentation skills, whether they deliver content face-to-face, online, or create on demand presentations.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST

If you want to really benefit from customizing your Ribbon in PowerPoint 2016, then you'll certainly want to add some commands that are not placed by default within any of the Ribbon tabs. Or maybe you want a particular command available on the Home tab of the Ribbon. Whatever your intent may be, you cannot place any commands within the existing groups that are built within PowerPoint. You first need to add a custom group within any of the tabs available in the Ribbon. Thereafter, you need to populate them with commands.

Learn how to add commands to custom groups in PowerPoint 2016.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST

We show you an interview where I was featured during the Presentation Summit in New Orleans. We then talk to Matt Gambino, who talks about his now concluded Outstanding Presentations webinar. Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger speak about their book, The Orderly Conversation is separate conversations.

We continue our tutorial series about the interface options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. 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

All Ribbon tabs in PowerPoint 2016 may have any number of buttons that represent commands, but they are not scattered all over the tab area. In fact, they are all 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 group 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 your own custom Ribbon tabs. In fact, PowerPoint will not let you add any command anywhere else other than within a custom Group.

Explore working with Custom Groups within Ribbon Tabs in PowerPoint 2016.

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