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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: March 2016

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

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PowerPoint and Presenting Glossary
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Create and Animate a Car in PowerPoint

Thursday, March 31, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST



Some things are better shown than read! Creating or animating a car in PowerPoint is just one of those things. So in this video tutorial, you will learn how you can use PowerPoint’s basic shapes to create a car, moving wheels, a steering, and even a driver! We will then explore how you can animate them all at the same time.



Learn how you can create a simple car in PowerPoint and animate it, with moving wheels too!

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Do you want to link to an Excel file from within PowerPoint? You can then use the technique explained within our Linking to Any File in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial. However, click on the link, and you will end up opening your Excel file at the last saved location. What if you always wanted your link to access a particular cell or a range of cells in Excel? This is possible, but you will rarely find this secret option documented at all!



Learn how you can link to a particular cell or range in Excel from within PowerPoint 2013.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Tim StumblesTim Stumbles is the co-founder of Office Timeline, a start-up focused on making project presentations simple. Office Timeline offers timeline maker and Gantt chart software, natively built for Microsoft PowerPoint. With Office Timeline over 500,000 PowerPoint users easily create impressive project presentations for important client and executive meetings.

In this conversation, Tim talks about Office Timeline's integration with Wrike.

Geetesh: Tim, can you introduce us to both Wrike, and also the integration that Office Timeline provides with Wrike?

Tim: The challenge in the project planning and project management space is project visuals. Project applications create very detailed and complex visuals that are intended for the project teams but which are difficult for non-project audiences to understand. Our users tell us that their clients and executives don't want to see complicated Gantt charts and timelines, but rather want to these in a simple, visual way that is familiar to them. In many organizations across the world, PowerPoint is the familiar standard for client and executive presentations. Office Timeline is a PowerPoint add-in that solves the challenge of complicated project visuals. It creates simple, impressive high-level timelines and Gantt charts that are suitable for executive communications.

Wrike is a powerful online project management and work collaboration solution. Wrike users depended on it to streamline important workflow processes and manage massive projects. We teamed with them to build integration so users can instantly create impressive Executive Gantts and timeline slides in PowerPoint, by importing their existing Wrike data.

Office Timeline’s Integration with Wrike

Geetesh: How is the Office Timeline – Wrike integration useful for users of both products, and how does this work within PowerPoint? Can resultant timelines be updated as well?

Tim: Users across the enterprise are under pressure to do more and they are constantly looking for productivity boosts to help them. Our users were asking for tighter connections from Office Timeline to their project tools so they could be more productive and effective. We have completed a wave of integrations with project tools like Microsoft Project, Excel, Wrike and others. These integrations bring huge productivity gains to anyone who is communicating a project. What used to take them hours to do before can now be done in a few clicks.

Office Timeline's integration with Wrike is our most recent development in this wave. The actual integration happens natively, right inside PowerPoint via Office Timeline Plus edition. Users log into Wrike from the Office Timeline import wizard in PowerPoint. They select their project and choose which parts of it they want to present. Once the project details have been selected Office Timeline instantly transforms the data into a graphical PowerPoint visual that can easily be shared, edited and presented. Any Wrike user can download the free version of Office Timeline from our website and try this immediately.

See Also: Office Timeline Plus Edition: Conversation with Tim Stumbles

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



If you have seen a couple of Sways, you will know that how you move from one Card to another can differ. In some Sways, you move from left to right. In others, you move from top to bottom. You can control these options within your Sways, as we will explore within this tutorial.



Learn how the Navigation option works on Sway.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Widescreen slides are everywhere, but are you choosing the correct Widescreen values in PowerPoint? Explore more in Widescreen Implementations article. Also, we look at whether you should create Widescreen slides? Renowned speaker TJ Walker answers queries from Indezine users in a special series of video tutorials. We then get you some Op-Art heart shapes!

PowerPoint 2016 for Windows users can learn more about formatting Picture placeholders and creating custom-shaped Picture placeholders. Also learn how you can change the default slide aspect ratio from Widescreen to Standard. Sway users can explore the cool Remix option. 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



PowerPoint allows you to save your slides to many graphic file formats, which can later be used in other applications as required. One of the most popular graphic formats that you can export your slides to is PNG. This tutorial will show you how you can export slides to PNG, but using the same process, you can also export to other graphic file formats such as JPG, GIF, TIF, BMP, WMF, EMF, etc. Follow these steps to export some or all of your slides to a picture file format such as PNG in PowerPoint 2010.



Learn how to export PowerPoint slides as individual PNGs or other graphic file formats such as JPG, TIF, GIF, WMF, EMF, BMP in PowerPoint 2010.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



In your presentation, a Slide Master is the element that influences everything -- be it the slide background or the fonts used for text. Despite having different layouts, all slides in a presentation share a common look, which is provided by the Slide Master. There will be at least one Slide Master in every presentation. However, while adding slides from other presentations, you may end up adding more Slide Masters inadvertently to your presentation. So how do you know how many Slide Masters your presentation contains? And how do you add another one? In fact, why do you need another Slide Master at all?



Learn how to add and rename Slide Masters in PowerPoint 2016.

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Monday, March 28, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



You may have observed an omnipresent company logo in many slides -- and that raises a question: do you really need to have a company logo on all your slides? First, it takes a fair amount of space. Secondly, the audience knows which company the speaker belongs to since that information is almost always placed on the first slide. Also speakers do introduce themselves and their companies -- so do all slides need that extra branding? All these questions are fair, and there are equally fair answers for them. You should certainly add a company logo to your first slide, and then place a more subtle or watermarked logo on the rest of the slides -- or even no logo at all. Fortunately, PowerPoint makes it easy to add a logo to all your slides -- and then you can make it sure that some slides have no logo at all or even a more understated version of the logo.



Learn how to add a logo or another graphic to the Slide Master in PowerPoint 2016.

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Friday, March 25, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Hearts have super-smooth edges, but it is always fun to use something different! So we decided to create Op-Art versions of Heart shapes! You get four variations. These Heart shapes are already placed within slides and are available in both black and white. Do remember though that they can be recolored using PowerPoint's native options for fills, lines, and effects.



Download and use these Op-Art Heart shapes.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Do you want your pictures to be contained within shapes that look like frames? Or maybe you want to use silhouette style placeholders for your pictures? Yes, this is possible! In fact, look at Figure 1, below -- these custom picture placeholders were created within PowerPoint 2016, and we used nothing that's not part of the program. Yes, this process is a little involved -- but we'll hold your hand if you promise to follow all our steps in sequence!



Learn how to create custom shaped Picture placeholders in PowerPoint 2016.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



The same goof up happened but at yet another conference! The text size on the slide was teeny-weeny, and you could not see much, even if you squinted your eyes. This time, the problem was not that the presenter had used 8 point text on the slide; this text was 20 points, and that did not make it too small. Even then, you still could not read the text! Yet, the presenter was referring to numbers on the slide repeatedly, and the audience was supposed to read the content and comment! The problem was that a 16:9 Widescreen slide was projected on a Standard 4:3 projector/screen, thus making the slide's screen estate very less indeed.



Make sure that you know whether you must create widescreen or standard slides for your next presentation.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

This video came about when a few questions were sent to TJ Walker, who responded with answers via a video podcast.

For those who want to read or print, we managed to get you a transcript as well.

So, where do you start when it comes to creating a presentation?

Hi, welcome. I'll be answering that question and many others in the show today. Today's show is a joint production; it's a joint venture with a website many of you are familiar with, Indezine. Indezine.com, this is the website that tells you and give you everything you possibly need to know about PowerPoint, about plug-ins, about all the technical aspects of creating presentations. And they have a huge, huge following all over the world, whether you go directly to their website, Facebook, Linkedin groups, they do a fabulous, fabulous job.

So today is a joint production with them. By the way, I try to practice what I preach. When it comes to giving presentations, and the presentation on this podcast, you know, this video, is a type of presentation -- always look for new ways of engaging with people, always, look for new ways of connecting with audiences. So that's we are doing here today. This show, you can find on a normal place on iTunes if you look up speaking, or public speaking, or go to the section where they have my show "Speaking with TJ Walker", which you can also watch and listen to this program by going to Indezine.com. The questions today all come from the editor, founder, and publisher of Indezine, Geetesh Bajaj, who is a true, true expert on the craft and creation of PowrePoint slides, plug-ins, and all technical aspects. Let's hop right in.

First question: Many people just do not know where to start. And this is true with creating presentations too. Can you tell us how to get a good start?

Here's what I believe you should do anytime you're getting ready to start a presentation. Don't even think about a slide, don't think about PowerPoint, don't even think about typing anything. Your very first thing you should focus on when you are starting a presentation is to step back a moment and ask yourself, "What is it I am trying to accomplish? What is it I want my audience to do?" So, if you are selling them a product, you want them to actually buy the product. It could be as specific as taking out their check book, and giving their credit card. It could be that you want them to recommend your private equity company to their board of directors. There are many things you could want an audience to do, but what you don't want is to go in with a general, fuzzy sense, "Well, I want these people to think that I am smart and competent -- here's a hundred and fifty ideas to tell about everything I've done in the last six months." That, unfortunately, is de-facto assumption many people have when they start a presentation. Just a general, fuzzy notion: I want people to think I'm smart. That's a horrible, horrible starting point. So Geetesh, that is my answer to your first question. Where to start the presentation is to focus on the end. What's the action you want the audience to do? Then, and only then, back up and figure up what ideas are going to motivate this audience to actually take the action you want.

Too many people just start of gathering lots of facts, gathering lots of data, creating slides because they can, and it seems productive to sit there -- and typing, that's a horrible way to start a presentation. Always focus with the end in mind, and then focus on literally the handful of ideas that are going to motivate your audience to do what you want. Then what I would recommend is to come up with an interesting story. An example is a case study for each one of your message points. And that would really help you the most.

I want to focus on the body language a moment because it relates your next question. You said, TJ, people often stumble while talking even though they are very familiar with, and they thoroughly know their subject.

Well, they are stumbling because they are saying it for the first time in front of the audience and because of that it just seems awkward that they're focusing all of their energy on remembering stuff. It's as if they're reading a teleprompter in their brain. And they might get it right; they might stumble regardless, they tend to freeze their body up. They tend to grab lecterns, hold papers, hold pens, put their hands one over the other, or in their pocket -- they do all these things to their body language, and it just messes them up.

The answer to that is you have to practice this on video. I love the fact that people go to Indezine.com to get the latest on technology to help them with slides, but the number one piece of technology that will help any presentation is not a slide, it's not PowerPoint. It is, in fact, a video camera on your cell phone, on your iPad, on your laptop -- to allow you to practice your speech on video so that you can see the body language, and hear yourself -- and really make sure you're making some sense.

That way you don't have to stumble. You are asking about stumbling and that relates to your next question. Are they less confident than others? Well, some speakers stumble a lot. Some speakers stumble little. Both might be lacking in confidence some way. But if you're stumbling, and you know you are stumbling in the middle of it -- that chips away at your confidence. If you are a little bit nervous and not completely confident, but you objectively know, "Hey, I'm not stumbling at all", that gives you the boost of confidence.

In my experience, everybody is lacking in confidence at some aspect of their speaking skills. Maybe they are comfortable talking to a camera alone -- or maybe they're comfortable talking to fifty or a hundred people. But you put them outside their comfort zone, and they're always speak to 200 or 1000 people -- then they lack confidence. And if they make a mistake, they go aww.. I made a mistake about 30 seconds ago. I stumbled over a word; I didn't apologize. I didn't stop, and go shhh. For those of you watching on YouTube or Facebook, you can see what I didn't do. I didn't grimace, I didn’t look up like "Oh boy I wish I hadn't done that"

For those of you listening on iTunes and other podcast forums, I just continued to look confident, relaxed -- the whole way. I didn't plan that, but I am human. I do make mistakes. The differences is that when I make a mistake speaking to people -- whether it is on video and audio podcasts, I don't tell anybody about it. I don't apologize. I don't hold up a flag and wave it, and draw attention to it. So that's a huge part of being a more confident speaker -- it is simply realizing that you don't have to reveal your blunders to the world. For the most part, no one else will really know.

Further questions posted by Indezine in this joint production today: What sort of help should they get? Talking about people who are lacking in confidence and stumble, also, can they help themselves?

Well, someone can always hire someone like me or you -- or other trainers. Or go to organizations like Dale Carnegie and get professional help. And hey, I'm selfless person -- I would love for this many listeners and viewers to call me up to hire me; to help them get more confident. But you don't have to do that. I mean here's the dirty little secret about my business as you could become a great speaker without professional training if you simply practice on video. Now those of you who are my regular listeners and viewers may get tired of me saying this. But unfortunately, it's good advice that is rarely followed. You know, sometimes I feel like an obesity expert who tells people, "Eat more vegetables and a lot less processed foods and fatty meats." Great advice! Most people don't follow it if they're already obese.

Same with speaking -- if you are a little bit nervous or uncomfortable if you stumble, the solution is something where you can solve it yourself by practicing your speech on video until you actually like what you see. If you practiced your speech or your presentation on video to the point where you like what you see, guess what, it becomes virtually impossible for you to be nervous when you speak.

What makes us nervous and uncomfortable is the fear that we look like fools; that we're boring people to death; that were not interesting. Well, the problem is you might actually be boring; you might actually not be interesting. So if you're fearful about it, if you're nervous about it, it is probably pretty irrational. No, let's go to some bad advice that relates to your next question.

OK, the next question is as follows. For many speakers, English may not be their first language. So how should they approach communication with others using English?

The bad advice I hear from people all the time is, "Oh, you will have to lose your accent!"

Let me tell you there are few things harder to do in the world -- and more time consuming than trying to change your accent. First of all, everybody has an accent. There's no such thing as unaccented, English or Spanish or French -- everyone has an accent! I have an accent. The question is, do you have an accent that is favored by the dominant group of your audience? That's really the question.

Here is my experience. As long as people can understand you, and you're saying something interesting, important, and relevant -- that's far more important than your accent. And, here's the other thing that I think will surprise a lot of you. In my experience people who speak English as a second language and they're not giving a speech presentation in English actually have an advantage over native English speakers. Native English speakers, and it could be made in any language -- if you're speaking in your own first language, the tendency can be to use bigger words, longer words, fancier words and you can lose your audience. Because your vocabulary may be made up of a hundred, thousand, or more words. So you get too fancy: you confuse your audience!

If you are speaking in a second language, quite often your vocabulary is just more limited. Not always, but as a general rule, that's true. So if you're using a vocabulary based on two thousand or five thousand words, it's actually going to be easier to your audience because you are using simpler words and smaller words. So here's the thing, don't focus energy on trying to translate the perfect word when you are speaking. Just use the simplest word that conveys the idea, and you'll be in much better shape.

I do have clients come to me all the time and they say "TJ, I'm worried about my Indian accent, or my Chinese accent, or my southern accent or my Brooklyn or Bronx accent, or my, now I live in Long Island, my Long Island accent. How can I get rid of this?"

And, my response is that well you know, you could? You could spend about a thousand hours, work with a speech therapist, spend all Tuesday night and Thursday night, record yourself, do practice, and you can sound like anything. You've ever seen Meryl Streep or some of the best actors, Kevin Spacey? They can sound like anything. They are lots of people who have devoted their lives into becoming chameleons to sound like anyone.

My recommendation, don't worry about that. Now I'm gonna give an example in English, those of you who are listening, you speak English and at least understand English. So that's why Deepak Chopra has a strong Indian accent, a lot more successful than I am. And, yet I have the accent that many would say is the more standard American accent. Arianna Huffington has a strong Greek accent; she's a lot more successful, and richer than I am. Probably, you too. So, these accents have not hurt them. Rosie O'Donnell has a strong New York accent, that has not hurt her career. Bill Clinton’s strong southern accent didn't seem to harm his chances of becoming president of United States. So it's far more important to have something interesting to say than to speak with a particular accent. So if you have a different accent or English is not even your first language, use that to your advantage.

And if you're going to spend time being a better presenter, my advice: make sure you have an interesting speech, make sure you have interesting stories, interesting examples, because that takes a lot less time than trying to change how you've been speaking since you were three years old. By the way your accent is determined primarily by your peers, not your parents. Your peers from when you were of ages three to seven. So that's why people often move from one part of the country to another as adults, and their accent never really changes.

Let's take another question from Indezine. How important is the ability to communicate in today's world, and why are so many people are lacking in this field?

So, how important is it to communicate? To me, that's sort of like a question of how important is it to breathe! If you want to survive you have to communicate. Everybody has to communicate. And I understand that not everybody wants to be a professional speaker, or a trainer, or have their own podcast -- your daily video on YouTube. I understand most people aren't like that. But everybody has to speak. And there are so many professions where you're speaking all day long: every salesperson, every teacher, certainly every CEO, every journalist -- they're speaking all day long. But I don't care who you are: if you're in the bowels of a bureaucracy, if you're in the accounting department -- you have to speak to other people in the accounting department. If you want to advance in almost any organization, you have to speak to other people who work with you.

Now some of are saying, "well TJ, you're may be, you're just an old guy! You don't realize everybody likes to just text everything all the time. And sorry folks, but if you actually manage a lot of people, you're going to have to still speak. It might not be giving the so-called formal big presentation, it might not be using PowerPoint. But the most powerful form of human communication is still, and that will continue to be -- speaking. Now maybe someone's seen you speak on video, or is listening to you speak as in the case of this podcast on iTunes. But it's still the most powerful media. If you don't learn how to speak effectively, you are putting a glass ceiling on your career. Because no matter what field you want to be in, you're limiting yourself. You can say, "well TJ, I just want to be a novelist". Well, guess what? The most successful novelist with very few exceptions -- they had to go sell their books by going on prominent TV shows and talk shows -- to talk about their book to get people interested.

So I don't care what field you're in: you're really really rich you don't have to have a job? Guess what, you have to speak to your servants. You have to tell them how you want your silver shined, and how you want your clothes laid out. Really, really poor and homeless you are? And do you think you won't have the problem, guess what? You have to speak to people begging for money!

I don't mean to sound trashy or glib, but my point is everybody in the world has to speak. It's not that everyone has to learn how to tweet or to have an active profile on Pinterest although that can't hurt. But everyone does in fact have to speak.

Now the second part of your question from Indezine, "why are so many people lacking in this field" is because no one has taught them. It is not taught in most schools, and certainly in the United States I can tell you it's rarely taught. If it is, it's generally taught in a horrible way. First public speaking class I had in high school: no video cameras. Now you can make the excuse, "So well TJ, you are really old, video didn't exist back in 1979 or certainly not inexpensively for most high schools". Well guess what, in this day and age, cameras are really cheap, they're everywhere and still in most high schools and colleges, video is not used. Certainly not used in every single class, maybe three times a semester which is frankly a waste of time.

You need to practice many many times on video -- any day you're getting instruction on it, in my view. So that's why it's not taught! It's also why'd you saw me just show that ad -- if the readers of Indezine want to get better, I have a free no-obligation course on public speaking. It's an online video based course that can help. That is the answer to the question. It is just not taught. People know how to write because they are given formalized instruction every day in school: first grade ,second grade through high school and college. So most people who graduate from high school or college: they might not become a best-selling novelist but they can write a simple memo. They can certainly text a message to an employee or a boss. And they don't necessarily know how to speak because they haven't been taught.

Speaking TJ Walker

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you are working with multiple pictures on a slide, their position, formatting, and size may be required to be the same across successive slides. This can be achieved manually using resizing and aligning options -- although you will use an inordinate amount of time making sure that the pictures look consistent slide after slide. You can get over this problem by using a new Slide Layout with a picture placeholder.



Learn how to format Picture placeholders in PowerPoint 2016.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST



Microsoft PowerPoint MVP Dave Paradi has put up a new survey on financial presentations. He tells us what he will do with the results in this exclusive conversation. Presentation Font Embedder is a product that explores font embedding issues in PowerPoint for Mac. Ari Leviatan tells us more about this amazing solution. SwiftPrez, also known as PresentAssist is a branding add-in for PowerPoint and Jamie Garroch explains how you can benefit from this option in an exclusive interview. We get you some Pixel-Art Hearts for PowerPoint -- plus we also get you some amazing Eagle silhouettes!

PowerPoint users can find out which Themes are included in their version -- this page has now been updated for PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. PowerPoint 2013 users can learn how they can link to any file -- and also how they can specifically link to Bookmarks in Word documents. Sway users can explore why and how they should duplicate a Sway presentation. 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 9:15 AM IST



When you open PowerPoint 2016 for the first time, you'll see that all slide examples in the Presentation Gallery are in Widescreen aspect ratio with 16:9 proportions. This is in complete contrast to the typical standard slides with 4:3 aspect ratios that you saw in PowerPoint versions older than 2010. For many of us who are living in a world with widescreen displays and projectors, this may be a blessing -- but many others may not feel as blessed! Worse, there's no obvious way for you to change these defaults so that you can always have 4:3 slides rather than 16:9.



Learn about PowerPoint 2016's default 16:9 Widescreen slide option.

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Monday, March 21, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



PowerPoint’s implementation of the Widescreen aspect ratio has changed somewhat over the last few versions. Although this is a “wee bit” change, it is still a very significant change that will influence your understanding of what is happening behind the scenes.



Explore the gamut of Widescreen slide aspect ratio implementations in PowerPoint.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Sway is more than just a new way to create presentations; it is a liberating experience that lets you play and work at the same time. Yes, you would expect to add content or import content. But would you like to venture a little off the beaten path? Then you will love Sway’s Remix option which randomly changes the design and navigation features to your Sway. Think of Remix as a dice that has infinite rather than just six choices. You never know what you will end up with!



Explore how the Remix option works in Sway.

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Friday, March 18, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST



Hearts typically have super-smooth edges but in today’s world, you need more options. So we decided to create Pixel Art versions of Heart shapes! You get four variations. These Heart shapes are already placed within slides and are available in both black and white. Do remember though that they can be recolored using PowerPoint's native options for fills, lines, and effects. Just copy the Heart shape you like and paste into another PowerPoint slide, or even a Word document or Excel worksheet.



Download and use these Pixel-Art Heart shapes.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Jamie GarrochJamie Garroch, CEO of YOUpresent (formerly GMARK) founded the company to provide presentation professionals with presentation software, content and training. Jamie uses a range of presentation and e-learning tools on PC and Mac from PowerPoint to Keynote, Adobe CS and iSpring for presentations and Articulate Storyline for e-learning. He also uses PowerPoint as a programming environment to create authoring automation for his company's productivity needs, custom add-ins for clients and off-the-shelf products for presentation designers.

In this conversation, Jamie discusses the new SwiftPrez/PresentAssist add-in for PowerPoint.

Geetesh: Jamie, tell us more about your new product, SwiftPrez -- how it came about and who the target audience is?

Jamie: As a long-term user of PowerPoint within corporate environments, I've often observed the challenges faced by a marketing teams as they battle with the need to provide up-to-date content to tens, hundreds or even thousands of users. Quite often, templates, slides, pictures and other content are emailed out to users, either as links to file servers or the files themselves, and the recipients quickly forget where this valuable content is stored. If they manage to find it they're then left wondering if they've got the latest version.

The other aspect of dealing with a large number of employees is how to make sure that everyone is designing new slides to be on-brand. One common approach is to provide a template file that contains example slides of how content should be laid out and designed. But again, many users simply can't remember all of the styling rules they're supposed to abide by.

SwiftPrez is designed to address these two challenges by providing a built-in solution within PowerPoint, delivering the following:

SwiftPrez

  • Brand Library – a synchronized library of templates, slides, photography and graphics (e.g. shapes, icons, illustrations, tables, charts). All assets being directly accessible from the PowerPoint ribbon.
  • Brand Checker – a configurable rules-based engine that automatically checks presentations for brand consistency e.g. fonts, colours, effects, layout positioning and more.
Combining these two powerful approaches to content creation ensures that the organization's brand champion can deploy and maintain up-to-date content whilst managing their brand identity within the client-facing presentation space more effectively. SwiftPrez adds this functionality within a new tab in the PowerPoint ribbon, the SwiftPrez brand being replaced with the client's chosen brand.

SwiftPrez tab in Ribbon

The solution can also alleviate some of the challenges involved in deploying and updating PowerPoint templates and Chart templates thanks to them being optionally included in the installer and/or being updateable via the Brand Library sync engine. This will be particularly advantageous to any IT professional used to the difficulties of managing Microsoft Office customization deployments.

Geetesh: What opportunities are there for presentation design agencies to build SwiftPrez into their business offering?

Jamie: The challenges described above are not only faced by the organizations creating in-house content but also those agencies creating presentation content on behalf of their clients.

One case in example is that of Buffalo7, the UK's leading PowerPoint presentation design agency, which markets the add-in as PresentAssist in the United Kingdom.

Buffalo7 worked closely with YOUpresent to incorporate the add-in into its structured offering. By providing clients with the option to onboard the platform, Buffalo7 has been able to provide even more value when it comes to presentation design solutions.

Richard Barnes, Buffalo7

Buffalo7’s Creative Director Richard Barnes commented that "you can produce the best-branded presentation template for an organisation, but there's no way you can ensure that that staff across the business will make use of it and adhere to its style guidelines. We integrated PresentAssist into our offering to answer this problem.

"It's powerful presentation compilation tools and guidelines checker mean that it provides a centralised solution that not only makes presentation content easily accessible to users, but provides an efficient way to make sure presentations are on-brand across the company."

For more information, visit SwiftPrez (YOUpresent customers) and PresentAssist (Buffalo UK customers).

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Sway is a fantastic tool to create presentations but let's face the fact – no Sway file sits on your computer or backup device that you can revert to if you make a mistake! At other times, it is easy to get carried away with Sway’s Remix option where an action that resembles rolling the dice gets you immediate results – and you just go on playing with Remix! You may then long to go back to a state that was 25 Remixes ago, or you may not even remember how far you want to go back!



Explore how to duplicate a Sway.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Ben Ravilious Ben Ravilious is CEO of ParticiPoll and also web and app development agency UltimateWeb.co.uk. Ben helped establish the flourishing tech startup community in his hometown of Leicester, UK.

In this conversation, Ben discusses ParticiPoll.

Geetesh: Ben, can you tell us more about ParticiPoll? What motivated you to create this product?

Ben: We wanted to create a tool that made it incredibly easy to find out what a presentation audience know or think. Everybody knows that presentations are more fun and engaging when the presenter interacts with the audience and audience polling is one of the best ways to do this.

We wanted to create something that approaches the simplicity of a "show of hands" but with the ability to collect and display results live in PowerPoint. ParticiPoll avoids the technical headache of hardware-based polling systems and is also a one of the simplest software ones too – you just drop polls histogram into any existing PowerPoint presentations and collect votes via a presenter's voting URL.

ParticiPoll was prototyped in an educational setting but we've found traction in many different corporate sectors too.

2016 State of Financial Presentations

Geetesh: What does one need to get started with ParticiPoll? Also are there levels in pricing – can you explain?

Ben: Anyone can download and use the free trial version at www.participoll.com which lets you do the live polling but without any of the Pro features. This version is also supported by sponsored adverts on the voting screen.

For the Pro version, we've tried to keep our pricing really simple: $99 USD / year gives you an unlimited number of polls, votes, presentations or audience members. The Pro features include access to historical poll data, access to audience comments and the ability to add your logo to the voting screen.

We also offer a $399 USD/ year Volume license which provides five individual licenses and we can also offer "whole organization" license on request (price dependent on to the number of presenting staff.)

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