Robert Kawalsky is the CEO and Cofounder of Zeetings, a software company changing the way people present their ideas to the world. Kawalsky is also an active investor and advisor to technology and internet related businesses. Kawalsky previously held the position of Portfolio Manager at Keybridge Capital where he grew and managed a portfolio of assets across shipping, aviation, renewable energy and real estate. Kawalsky began his career at Ernst&Young, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of NSW and is a CFA Charterholder.
In this conversation, Robert talks about Zeetings.
Geetesh: Can you tell us more about what presenters and audiences can do with Zeetings, and what motivated you to create Zeetings?
Robert: We believe presentations are a powerful way of communicating the amazing ideas, lessons, products and a million other weird and wonderful things people are passionate about. If you get this communication wrong the impact can be devastating; if you get it right, the impact can be world changing.
We created Zeetings because we realized that despite the fact that technology has advanced dramatically, fundamentally presentations have not kept pace. What's more, people's expectations have changed - no longer is it acceptable to expect an audience to sit passively and be ignored. People want to lean in, have their say and participate in a dialogue. Zeetings makes this possible.
Zeetings transforms a one-way presentation into a two-way conversation. When presenting your PowerPoint slides with Zeetings, everyone in your audience (whether in the room or not) can participate from any connected device by simply going to a single URL. There's nothing to download or install; you can be on any network and Zeetings works on phones, tablets, and laptops.
Participants are able to view your slides in real-time as you present them - when you change slides, their screen will automatically stay in sync. As a presenter, you can add interactive elements between you slides such as polls, websites, videos. Audiences are also able to post questions and comments, connect with each other and take notes on a private note pad.
Along with all this interactivity, Zeetings also provides presenters with data-driven insights into their presentations and audience. Presenters can finally understand what aspects of their presentation resonated, which questions people most want to be answered, and who continued to be interested in the materials after the presentation concluded.
Geetesh: How is Zeetings different than other similar offerings – what sets it apart?
Robert: Firstly, Zeetings is extremely easy to use. That's easy to say but hard to create and we have spent thousands of hours designing Zeetings to be intuitive and maintaining simplicity as a core design principle.
Secondly, Zeetings has been designed from the ground up with interactivity in mind. As an example, existing polling solutions are added into presentations as an after thought creating a broken experience whereas with Zeetings, all the interactive elements are seamlessly blended together to create a smooth and consistent experience for presenters and audiences.
Finally, Zeetings is completely unique in that we don't believe the conversation should end once you've finished presenting your final slide. With Zeetings, everyone in your presentation can stay connected and keep conversing. In fact, many people are not using Zeetings to deliver live presentations at all but rather using Zeetings as an engaging way of sharing presentations for people to view in their own time. Unlike emailing a slide deck, sharing a presentation with Zeetings allows you to track how people consuming your presentation and get them engaged using all the interactive elements.
PowerPoint works with the concept of selection, and then action. And the action typically is to edit whatever you may have selected! For such editing, the Format Task pane in PowerPoint 2016 can be indispensable. The Format Task pane aligns neatly with the right or left side of the PowerPoint interface, and you can now immediately see how your choices affect the selected slide objects. The Format Task pane is often tabbed. This means that you can jump quickly between different elements of your slide object! In many ways thus, the Format Task pane is the single source where different style formatting options are consolidated in one place.
Learn about the Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2016.
Keith Bortoluzzi partnered with Olivier de Saint Louvent to create Power-user, an add-in for PowerPoint. They are both strategy consultants, who work on a daily basis using PowerPoint. They understand how important it is to make an impact on clients and managers, but also how time-consuming it can be. This is why they developed features to help users create visually attractive presentations while saving time on formatting tasks.
In this conversation, Keith discusses Power-user, an add-in for PowerPoint.
Geetesh: What motivated you to create Power-user for PowerPoint, and what are the features where Power-user shines?
Keith: Our idea started from the observation that millions of people work on PowerPoint every day and that it often takes an hour to create a professional slide. Most of the time, those users are skilled workers, whose time is both valuable for themselves and expensive for their companies. We wanted to design our software so that these professionals can save time to focus on what matters in PowerPoint: delivering messages efficiently. For our clients, Power-user is an opportunity to expand their business as much as to reduce their costs.
Geetesh: Can you share some of your favorite Power-user features?
Keith: We have created our features around 2 of the most important rules for PowerPoint:
PowerPoint's Gridlines help you position your slide objects more precisely. Along with Rulers and Guides, Gridlines let you position and snap slide objects in place so that you can easily line a set of slide objects uniformly. We will learn more about how you can work effectively with gridlines in this tutorial.
Learn about viewing and hiding gridlines in PowerPoint 2016.
These "sticky tape" graphics have a textured look and 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 the tape! These ready-made sticky tape segments are already within PowerPoint slides -- and have been provided in 10 different colors – and all colors have various transparency variations.
Get these Sticky Tape graphics now.
Like Gridlines, Guides also allow you to position and snap your slide objects in place. For most professional slide designers, creating slides without guides would be very worrisome! When guides are enabled for the first time within PowerPoint, you can just see two guides by default. These guides are two dotted lines, one horizontal and the other vertical. They span to intersect exactly at the center of the slide.
Learn about viewing and hiding Guides in PowerPoint 2016.
When working with multiple slide objects, you should have a visual cue about where you are placing slide objects. You can get exact coordinates of your slide objects using the positioning options in PowerPoint -- but most of the time, you just need an approximate idea of where your objects are placed -- and this can be easily obtained by using the Rulers option available in PowerPoint. By default, the Rulers may not be visible, but when made visible -- they are located on the top and left parts of the active slide.
Learn about viewing and using Rulers in PowerPoint 2016.
We bring you an exclusive conversation with Kurt Dupont, who discusses his Dynamic WEATHER add-in for PowerPoint. We also look at AKVIS Neon, a new Photoshop plug-in that converts your pictures into glowing lines.
We explore interface options in the new PowerPoint 2016. This week we look at the Slide Area, Task Panes, Slides Pane, Normal View, and then Presenter View. Finally, don't miss the new discussions and templates of this week!
Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.
Have you created all your slides -- and now you want to show it in front of an audience? Or you just want to use this slide deck in a webinar, or even see them yourself to understand how they look in full screen view? In that case, the view that plays your presentation in full screen mode is Slide Show view.
Learn about Slide Show view in PowerPoint 2016.
Do you want to give a fresh look to your slides? Do you want them to stand out of the crowd?
Then you should consider adding watercolor elements such as stripes or arrows. These are great to express uniqueness and creativity.
Such an aquarelle painting style is one of the new emerging trends in graphic design. We see such effects also in business presentation design. Maybe it's even the new successor of today's ever-present flat design look? Time alone will tell. Yet, this is definitely a style you should consider if you want to stand out of the crowd.
For a start, here is a slide I made using a watercolor shape.
You can use the watercolor elements in various ways -- to make an entire presentation theme. Or you can use a single watercolor stripe inside your classic formal style. Such single stripes can be an unusual underline of a keyword or a quote, which everybody will notice. Adding such elements works wonders, especially if you have series of text-heavy and monotonous slides. You can make a strong visual break in the form of an atypical transition slide with such watercolor stripes.
Watercolor shapes can similarly also replace:
Each slide in your PowerPoint deck can have some notes associated with it -- and these are placed in the Notes Pane area. Do you want to print all these slide notes? Yes, you can -- however very few people realize that you can print these notes in the form of a properly structured Notes Page. This might be among the least used PowerPoint options -- but this certainly is among the most useful ones!
Learn about Notes Master view in PowerPoint 2016.
PowerPoint 2016 continues providing several views that enable you to view and edit your slides. Unarguably, Normal view is the default and most often used view. This view displays one slide at a time in the Slide Area, and is used mainly for editing and creating slides, and shows PowerPoint's typical tri-pane interface that includes the Slides Pane, the Slide Area, and the Notes Pane. If you cannot see the Slides Pane in Normal view, scroll down this page to read a tip that will help you restore that pane.
Learn about Normal view in PowerPoint 2016.
PowerPoint 2016's work area below the Ribbon continues to be tri-paned -- these three panes comprise the Slides Pane, the Slide Area, and the Notes Pane. The Slides Pane is the thin strip on the left side of the PowerPoint 2016 interface that contains thumbnails of all your slides. Within Normal view, the Slide Pane allows you to move slides easily from one position to the other just by dragging and dropping.
Learn about the Slides Pane in PowerPoint 2016.
Kurt Dupont, based out of Belgium heads PresentationPoint, a company that creates several amazing PowerPoint add-ins. After his Computer Science studies, Kurt started with Andersen Consulting (Accenture nowadays) in Brussels. After 3 years he moved to the Brussels Airport Terminal Company that runs the Brussels airport - this last placement inspired the start-up of Take-off (now known as PresentationPoint) in 1998.
In this conversation, Kurt discusses Dynamic WEATHER, an add-in that lets you spice your PowerPoint slides with weather conditions and forecasts.
Geetesh: Can you tell us more about Dynamic WEATHER, and how this evolved as an (or what motivated you to create this) add-in for PowerPoint?
Kurt: Dynamic WEATHER is a PowerPoint add-in that allows you to display real-time weather information in your slide show. You can add one or multiple cities worldwide to the weather watch list and the add-on will collect the current weather conditions and weather forecasts of the next coming days.
After that, you add a simple text box to your slide and you can display things like current temperature, sunrise and sunset, wind speed, visibility and many more. Or display tomorrow's high and low temperatures.
PowerPoint 2016's Presenter View is a purpose-built view that accompanies Slide Show view. This view is beneficial in an environment that has at least two displays such as a laptop and a projector. The projector then shows the actual slides – that is what we commonly call Slide Show view. However, you see the Presenter view on the laptop -- Figure 1 below shows you Presenter view. Notice that you get to see much more than just the slide -- rest assured that the audience viewing the projector output see only the slide!
Learn about Presenter View in PowerPoint 2016.
We bring you icons again, and also some bulb graphics!
We explore PCB files that customize your PowerPoint interface -- we explore versions 2013, 2010 and 2007. You can also read about changing Presentation Aspect Ratio from Standard to Widescreen in PowerPoint 2010. We continue our tutorial series on Sway, another presentation tool from Microsoft. Finally, don't miss the new discussions and templates of this week!
Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.
The Task Pane is a docked area within the PowerPoint 2016 interface that provides more options than dialog boxes. Also unlike most dialog boxes which cover the Slide Area, you can view both the active slide(s) and the Task Pane at the same time -- thus the Task Pane provides a more streamlined experience. In fact, all the options within the Format dialog boxes from older versions of PowerPoint are now available within the new Format Task Panes in PowerPoint 2016.
Learn about how the Task Pane works in PowerPoint 2016, and how you can toggle its view.
Many new changes have happened within PowerPoint 2016 and several other versions released in the past. However, one thing that has not changed in the last 20 years is PowerPoint's tri-paned interface! So why is the interface called tri-paned -- are there three distinct regions within the PowerPoint 2016 interface? Yes -- the Slide area is one of three principal regions in PowerPoint 2016 -- the other two are the Slides Pane and the Notes Pane.
Learn about the Slide Area in PowerPoint 2016.
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! Click those menu extensions and nothing may happen -- but these menu options are still there! 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 -- almost like how the interface looked when you first installed PowerPoint.
Learn how to remove customizations from PowerPoint's PCB files in PowerPoint 2007.
In PowerPoint 2010, the default slide ratio is 4:3 (Standard). This can be a challenge, especially if you have been asked to create a presentation that has a 16:9 (Widescreen) ratio. Yes, you can easily change the ratio later but it is best to start creating the slide from the beginning in the slide aspect ratio that you need. Although PowerPoint 2010 lets you change the ratio later, the process is nowhere as intuitive as it is when you change the presentation aspect ratio from Widescreen to Standard in PowerPoint 2013. Still, let's see how PowerPoint 2010 fares.
Learn how to change a presentation’s aspect ratio from Standard to Widescreen in PowerPoint 2010.
The Sway interface essentially is tri-paned. The first of the three panes typically shows content based on what you have selected from the toolbar – so you see the All Cards pane if you have selected Cards in the toolbar. The second pane is the Storyline, which is the editing environment for your Sways. Finally, the third area is the Preview pane.
Explore the Preview Pane in Sway.
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