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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: September 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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Geetesh, Interviewed by TJ Walker

Friday, September 30, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Recently, TJ Walker interviewed me. We spoke about many things: how I evolved and got to do what I do, what are my thoughts on presenting, and so much more.

The transcript below covers only the first five minutes, but the recorded podcast that you can play spans more than an hour.



TJ: Our special guest today is internationally renowned PowerPoint expert, Geetesh Bajaj. He is the founder of Indezine, one of the most well-known websites and newsletters read by millions each month on all aspects of the technology of PowerPoint. In this show, you're going to learn some real insights. I know I learned a lot, like what is the foolproof way of actually starting a content website and making money.

It's very different from a lot of strategies you typically hear. He goes into exactly how he uses technology when creating PowerPoint presentations, and has some interesting frames—ways of looking at this. He says you should look at a PowerPoint slide, the same way you look out a window, in your own home—a fascinating perspective. And he has insights that you may have heard before but he just says it in an intriguing memorable way; just simple tips like when you're giving a PowerPoint presentation, "Don't impress. Inform!" It sounds simple and yet most people don't do it.

Now, he's a guy who has published half a dozen books, speaks, and trains all over the world, has millions of readers, viewers, consumers of his content, and he does it all from Hyderabad, India—a fascinating personal story of how he rose from a family business making food products. In India, at a time when it was hard to even get a landline to now becoming a true technology and communications leader around the world. Please settle back and get ready for a great interview. Geetesh, thanks for being our guest today.

Geetesh: It's wonderful being here today, TJ.

TJ: A lot of our listeners are familiar with your name and who you are because you've done short, sort of guests appearances here. Before we talk about your specific niche, issues like PowerPoint...Today is a little different. We want to really go deep, find out more about who you are, and how did a guy who lives on the other side of the world—you now live in Hyderabad, India... become so influential throughout the world, and especially in the United States when it comes to PowerPoint presentations. As noted in the introduction, you are a Microsoft MVP, a Most Valuable Professional with respect to PowerPoint. You've written half a dozen books on communication and PowerPoint. Your Cutting-Edge PowerPoint for Dummies is still an extremely popular book, and hundreds of thousands of people are reading your newsletter every single week, and going to your Indezine site. Where did this all start?

Geetesh: I never planned this, TJ. And it just happened. One thing led to the other. I was fascinated by what I was doing, I was passionate about what I was doing, and that's how I got here. It's a journey, and I'm on the journey now.

TJ: Now what were you doing in, say high school or college, because I remember ten years ago, when I was in Bangalore, working with executives at Infosys, they were telling me that you know ten years earlier, they had to wait eighteen months just to place an order for a phone line; forget the Internet or high-speed access—and it was another eighteen months before the phone line got put in... so, what was your life like growing up in a relatively small town in India?

Geetesh: Not really a small town. Even in those days, Hyderabad was the sixth largest city in India, and Indian cities are huge. So it was probably not as well known outside India.

TJ: And then there goes my there goes my American bias, ignorance... If I haven't heard of it, it must be a small town.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Many long-time users do not know that so many options within PowerPoint can change how you can work. Most of these preferences are found within the PowerPoint Options dialog box, accessed in multiple ways.



Learn about PowerPoint 2010’s program options that you can access from Backstage view.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST

Sunni BrownSunni Brown is Founder and Chief Human Potentialist of Sunni Brown Ink, an international consultancy supporting organizational problem-solving around communication, creativity and culture. She was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” and one of the “10 Most Creative People on Twitter” by Fast Company. She is a global public speaker and the best-selling author of Gamestorming and The Doodle Revolution. Her TED Talk on doodling has drawn more than a million views and her work has been featured in such major U.S. publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, WIRED and Entrepreneur.

In this conversation, Sunni discusses her keynote at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2016 series.

Geetesh: You are presenting the keynote on Tuesday called Being Centered while Taking Center Stage. Give us a curtain-raiser introduction to your session; and what you believe the attendee will take away from your talk?

Sunni: My hope is that the attendees will leave our experience together with a newfound sense of appreciation for the internal work we can all do to become better, more attuned presenters. There are many offerings for external resources - better slide design, more effective story structures, etc. - but few of us discuss the inside challenges that go on when we “take the stage.” I want to offer a way of honoring being fully human, fully yourself, while being in front of others.

Geetesh: Sunni, you have authored the best-selling book, The Doodle Revolution and have also done so much to destroy preconceived, ill reputations associated with doodling. Can you share some thoughts?

Sunni: The Doodle Revolution was inspired by my felt sense that learners everywhere need to be able to use many channels of the mind - not just those associated with reading and writing or the dominant modalities. Over the years advocating for visual literacy, design thinking, and the use of thinking games in any environment, I’m beginning to see those seeds take root and flourish, which is very gratifying. But there are still many forms of resistance to alternate learning techniques, so the Revolution has been taken up by the global audience of readers and doodlers to see how far it can go. The book is very much a love letter to and for people who think differently or who want to learn to think differently.

See Also: Sunni Brown on Indezine

Presentation Summit 2016

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: October 23 to 26, 2016

Location: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, United States

Register now!

Twitter Hashtag: Presum16

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



We have already explored options within Backstage View such as New, Recent, Print, etc. In this tutorial, we will explore the Help option that provides you assistance and documentation. Follow these steps to learn more about Help options within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.



Learn about the Help options within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

You must have something important to present. Otherwise; why bother giving the presentation in the first place? And as such, you probably have prepared the content of your message well. And you might have even prepared a PowerPoint presentation to accompany your talk. But does it stand out? Does it do justice to the point you want to bring across?

Or do your PowerPoint slides bring your talk down by being dull and boring?

Whenever you are in doubt about the visual impact of your slides, and there is this lingering thought somewhere “Hmm… these slides don't excite me… Could I have done better?”, please read on. I might have some clear pointers for you that your slides suffer from the most common pitfalls of boring slides. But don't worry, there are some easy ways even seasoned presenters use to fix these problems!

Why Do PowerPoint Presentations Look Boring?

If you yourself feel that your PowerPoint slides look boring, then don’t expect the audience to be too thrilled! Let us start by guessing why your presentation looks a lot less interesting than what you wanted.

For starters, are the backgrounds of your PowerPoint slides just plain white with black or even dark blue text? Is the typeface used either Arial, Verdana or Calibri? OK, there’s a predictable title on the top, and most of the slides have around 4 to 8 bullet points.

Sure, it could have been much worse, with unreadable yellow text on white backgrounds, but your slides are probably not really inspiring.

Your PowerPoint slides should help to hold the attention of your audience, keep them engaged, and on-track.

Let’s face the facts. Your presentation looks boring because 9 out of 10 PowerPoint presentations look eerily similar to the ones you are presenting. You do realize that this is a sad state of affairs for your audience, and they will not be delighted. They will be bored, again!

Well, now that you have consciousness of problems in your deck, here are six ways that show how you can fix these problems:

Fix 1: Don’t Use Default Fonts

Guess what, probably 95% of all PowerPoint presentations use either Arial, Verdana or Calibri typefaces. No, these are not survey findings but you will soon find it true if you look closely at the slides being created by others.

The solution, of course, is to use a different font.

You may get the best visual impact by using a non-default font on your computer. But you may run into problems if you share your presentation on other computers. Fortunately, you can find plenty of fonts that are installed on most computers, and are still not so widely used as Arial, Verdana or Calibri—think Corbel, Candara, Gill Sans MT, Georgia, and more.

Safe fonts
Surely you’ve seen a lot of these fonts before?
Image: Arnout Drenthel

Fix 2: Use Colored Slide Backgrounds

A white background with black or dark blue text is one of the best solutions for readability and a clean, ‘corporate’ look. But that’s exactly why everyone uses it!

The solution: One easy solution is to switch your backgrounds: make them dark (or use one of your corporate colors)—and then make your text white. That will give your slides extra visual impact since the dark background will allow your text to stand out.

Another advantage: Your slide won’t radiate as much white light. So it will be easier for your audience to look at you, instead of staring at your slide.

Colored slide backgrounds
Note that it is harder to let the white background can pop as much as the original red one!
Image: Arnout Drenthel

Fix 3: Use Original Slide Layouts

Most PowerPoint slides put a title on top and have one or two aligned blocks of content (usually text) below it.

The solution: Are those bullet points just there for your convenience, or do they really help the audience? Isn’t a good, short, clear title enough by itself? What if you just use a title, and place it at the bottom left, leaving a lot of empty space... wouldn’t that look better and clearer? Do experiment, and you will end up with more original slide layouts.

Use Original Slide Layouts
Why should titles be on the top of a slide?
Image: Arnout Drenthel

Fix 4: Don’t Use Too Many Words (and Bullet Points)

Slide after slide is filled with bullet points and text. So much so that PowerPoint automatically reduces the size of the text to fit all those words in.

Do you really think your audience wants to read all that text, while they’re also trying to listen to you?

The solution: There’s nothing wrong with a bulleted list where they help, but not on every slide!

Your slides shouldn’t just be a summary of your presentation. And you really don’t need to present 30 slides filled with lists!

Don’s Use Too Many Words
Use bulleted lists sparingly
Image: Arnout Drenthel

Fix 5: Don’t Use Mediocre Imagery

Poor-quality pictures won’t help your presentation.

The solution: Be critical of the quality of your photos. Choose high-resolution images, or opt for a different kind of slide.

And watch out for pictures that scream about their “we’ve seen you before” look. Clichéd photos that aren’t authentic (most stock photo sites are full of them) are a sure way to bore your audience. Do you really want to use another handshake or light bulb image? So if you use any images, make sure they’re high quality, fresh and attractive!

And you could consider making your own pictures. Most smartphones are capable of making high-quality photos and apply a nice filter. And I don’t mean you should just use your photos to fill in the blanks, but you can use them for all your photo slides. If you do that, it will also help you to get a more consistent style right through your presentation.

Fix 6: Don’t Add Footer Text on Every Slide

Although they don’t add anything to your compelling story, people often think that footer text on slides is a good idea. Well, everyone does it, don’t they? And we’re overloaded with unreadable small print. This takes up space!

The solution: Drop everything that has nothing to do with the main content of your presentation. Leave out all the footer text. For example, do slide numbers really add anything to your story? Think.

Just delete them or switch them off (Insert > Header & Footer). They’re barely readable (just like any other small text). And while you’re at it – and for the same reason – do you really need a logo on every slide…?

Does Your Presentation Look Similar To Your Colleague’s?

If you tend to wear your best suit for a presentation, making sure your hair and shoes are all looking good, you really should also take a good look at your slides. Don’t let them bring down your appearance and dull your audience.

So make sure your PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have that tired, ‘ordinary’ look. Dare to be different!


This blog post by Arnout Drenthel was first written in Dutch on the company blog of Bento Presentations. Arnout is a Dutch presentation consultant specializing in visual communication, and co-founder of Dutch presentation company, Bento Presentations. Bento creates professional presentations and coach and train public speakers in making and delivering powerful presentations themselves.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Among the options within Backstage View, we have already explored some such as Open, New, Recent, Print, etc. In this tutorial, we will explore the Save & Send option used to save and share the current presentation in so many ways including broadcasting, creating a video, packaging to a CD, creating handouts, saving to a SharePoint site, etc. Follow these steps to learn more about Save & Send options within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.



Learn about the Save and Send options within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:00 AM IST

How would you like to get professionally designed jigsaw puzzle pieces, that fit perfectly into other puzzle segments? You will love our Jigsaw Graphics for PowerPoint--these are not graphics that you insert into PowerPoint, because you get these as PowerPoint slides! Each puzzle segment is a native PowerPoint shape. We also get you interviews with more Presentation Summit speakers -- this week we feature Rick Altman, Jim harvey, and Taylor Croonquist. Make sure you read what they talk about, even if you won't attend the conference!

In the Tutorials section, we explore changing fills, line, and effects for shapes within SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2013. We also look at SmartArt Styles, changing shapes within SmartArt, and resizing individual SmartArt shapes. PowerPoint 2010 users can find out more about the Recent option within Backstage view. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week.



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Among the options within Backstage View, we have already explored some options such as Open, New, Recent etc. In this tutorial, we will explore the Print option used to print the current presentation in the form of selected slides, notes pages, handouts, etc. Follow these steps to learn more about Print options within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.



Learn about the Print option within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.

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Monday, September 26, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When you launch PowerPoint 2010, it always opens a new blank presentation for you. Further, if you are already working on an open presentation, and want to create a new presentation at that point, you can do so using the New option within the Backstage View. Follow these steps to explore the New option within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.



Learn about the New option within the Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.

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Friday, September 23, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The Recent option within the Backstage View provides you with a list of recently opened presentations so that you can quickly select the one that you want to work upon. Further, the Recent option provides you with a couple of other tricks. Follow these steps to explore the Recent option within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.



Learn about the Recent option within Backstage view in PowerPoint 2010.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST

Taylor CroonquistTaylor Croonquist is the co-founder of Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, a website delivering actionable PowerPoint training and speed strategies, helping professionals cut their build time in a third. Prior to Nuts & Bolts, Taylor lived and worked in China for 10 years in finance and consulting. When he’s not busy crafting PowerPoint training, you can find him traveling and scuba diving.

In this conversation, Taylor discusses his sessions at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2016 series.

Geetesh: You are doing two sessions this year: Stop Retyping! and Faster, Faster, Faster! What can audiences anticipate as takeaways from sessions on these important topics?

Taylor: In these Speed Training sessions we’ll look at performing everyday PowerPoint tasks 2x to 10x faster than most people are currently doing them. So we’ll be diving into a bunch of PowerPoint hacks, tips and tricks (my favorite topics!).

A great example of this is getting text out of a picture.

When most people want to get a bunch of text out of a picture, they typically just retype it, right? Well, why bother when you can simply copy the text out of the picture using OneNote and then paste it into PowerPoint?

That’s just one example of the many little hacks that we’ll cover in these sessions. And the cool thing about most of these tricks is that once you learn how to pull them off in PowerPoint, they apply to all of the other Microsoft programs as well. So it’s a triple dipper (at least)!

Geetesh: You have positioned yourself as an expert in speed techniques to tame PowerPoint in doing tasks quicker, but that’s not my question. The question is what do you do in all the time that you save?

Taylor: Oh man, where does all the time go?

Outside of the normal slide-grind, all of my free time recently has been going into learning French. And thankfully I think I’m finally getting the gist of it.

That said, don’t worry, all of my sessions at the summit will still be in English.

See Also: Taylor Croonquist on Indezine

Presentation Summit 2016

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: October 23 to 26, 2016
Location: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, United States
Register now!
Twitter Hashtag: Presum16

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Similar to how you can change an individual shape within the SmartArt, you can even resize shapes within a SmartArt graphic. This can be helpful if you want one shape to be larger than the others -- maybe you want one shape to stand out? Whatever be the reason behind you wanting to resize these shapes, this tutorial will explore how you can resize individual shapes within a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013.



Learn how to resize shapes within a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST

Jim HarveyJim Harvey is an entrepreneur; he has taken three businesses from start-up to sale since 1991. His job is simple—to help his brilliant clients sell their ideas, products, and services more effectively all across the globe. He started learning how to sell while working on his uncle’s market stall in Birmingham, UK back in the 1970s. He’s still learning today. He started Presentation Guru with two of his heroes from the world of presentations; Emma Bannister and John Zimmer.

In this conversation, Jim discusses his session at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2016 series.

Geetesh: You are presenting the No Excuse for Not Being Charismatic and Is English EFL or ESL? sessions, the latter with Emma Bannister; what motivated you to choose these topics, and what you believe an attendee will take away from these sessions?

Jim: What motivated me—I used to look at speakers who could make their audiences feel real emotion and wonder how they did it? I wanted to find out for myself so I could teach and sell and speak with more power, and I’ve spent 25 years watching great communicators & learning how. Not the big names, not the famous, or the rich, but the ordinary, everyday charismatics who do so much good in our schools, businesses, and homes.

What will people get out of the No Excuse for Not Being Charismatic session? I think that most people would like to be more charismatic at work and in their personal lives. Some people think they are and aren’t. More people think that they aren’t and they really are. This session is to help every attendee understand that they are already as charismatic as they will ever need to be, they just need to be more careful to show it and use it. They’ll learn:

  • The link between power, wealth and fame and charisma.
  • The single most important skill in becoming more charismatic.
  • 3 simple steps that will make every one of us more charismatic more often, everyday.
About what motivated me about the Is English EFL or ESL session—I work every week with speakers from all over the world building their skills in presenting to international audiences in English at global political, scientific and business events. I’ve noticed that the most confident and worst understood are often the native English speakers. Yet the most easily understood, though more worried and nervous are the ESL and EFL speakers. The English naturals (English, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, South Africa etc.) are often immensely unaware of their weaknesses as ‘international speakers’ and I want to put that right for the benefit of every speaker, and every international audience out there.

What will people get out of the session? I think that most experienced speakers are aware of the basics of effective speaking to International audiences in English. I want to reinforce those things and deepen our knowledge in a unique and practical way with my colleague Emma Bannister.

They’ll also learn:

  • How to write and design presentations for an international audience in ways that no-one else does- and gives you a commercial advantage when pitching for that kind of work.
  • The single most important performance skill in speaking English live to an international audience.
Geetesh: Jim, you recently launched the Presentation Guru site—can you tell us more about this endeavour?

Jim: I wanted to create a truly global perspective on world-class presentation design, delivery, and the latest presentation technology because I couldn’t find one place that was truly expert and truly global in all of those things. So I looked around the world and started the site with three people I’d know and admired from afar for years. The team is John Zimmer - Canada, Emma Banister- Australia, Jim Harvey, UK and Farshad Iqbal in Pakistan.

Our mission is to provide free and inspiring information, education and advice in three core areas (Design & content creation, Performance & Technology) for our readers all across the globe. Who’s the Guru? It’s our global community of designers, presenters, coaches and geeks who give their time energy and expertise to us so that our readers can change their worlds one presentation at time.

Presentation-Guru

See Also: Jim Harvey on Indezine

Presentation Summit 2016

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: October 23 to 26, 2016

Location: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, United States

Register now!

Twitter Hashtag: Presum16

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



The default look of SmartArt graphics works great, and you may not want to change a thing! Yet, it's good to know that you can change your SmartArt graphics to other layouts, change the color of SmartArt graphics, or apply a SmartArt Style to make your SmartArt graphic appear distinct and unique. You can also change the actual shapes within a SmartArt graphic -- for instance, you can change some circles in your SmartArt graphic to squares with a mere click or two!



Learn how to change shapes within a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST

We begin with a feature about Carmen Taran's keynote at the upcoming Presentation Summit. Make sure you read what she says, even if you won't attend the conference! We also feature Nova Fisher this week who talks about the new Xara Designer Pro X product.

In the Tutorials section, we explore Adding New Shapes to SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows--we also explore Changing Colors and Changing and Deleting Shapes in SmartArt. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week.



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST

Rick AltmanRick Altman has been hired by hundreds of companies, listened to by tens of thousands of professionals, and read by millions of people, all of whom seek better results with their presentation content and delivery. He covers the whole of the industry, from message crafting, through presentation design, slide creation, software technique, and delivery. Rick claims to have invented desktop publishing back in 1982 and can show a galley sheet of type that was produced by connecting his Osborne 1 computer to a typesetter across town with a 300-baud modem (that cost $800). An avid sportsman, he was not a good enough tennis player to make it onto the professional tour. All the rest of this has been his Plan B…

In this conversation, Rick discusses his sessions at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2016 series.

Geetesh: You are part of 8 sessions at this year’s Presentation Summit. Can you tell us a little about these sessions, and what you believe the attendees will take away from them?

Rick: Eight sessions, really? Why do I do this to myself? It’s like the older I get, the more I punish myself. No wonder I need two weeks off afterward.

As for takeaways, it would be hard to generalize about eight sessions, but if I had to, I would say that I want people leaving my sessions saying, “you know, I can do that, too. I see what he did there. That wasn’t so hard.” We have plenty of sessions designed to inspire people, and if one of my seminars happens to inspire someone, that’s great. But if they leave saying, “what’s the big deal—I could have done that,” that’s great, too.

Geetesh: As the host, you will be involved doing so much more. With all the sessions, late nights, early mornings, and more—how do you successfully develop bonding with every attendee?

Rick: Every single attendee? All 200 of them? That will require a bit of effort on their part! I’ll need people to seek me out to reach all of them. And let’s be fair, some people will treat the Summit just like they do every other business conference they attend. A certain percentage of our patrons – and I do think it’s small – will attend a dozen conferences this year, this is just another one of them, and they might decide to eat lunch in the restaurant and go straight up to their rooms each afternoon when the seminars break. But to the ones who are willing – and that proves to be a much larger percentage – we’re going to show them what community is all about. We’re going to make it so easy for them to meet others, they’re going to feel as if they are on vacation.

And I’m happy to be their conduit in that quest. Before we even begin, I will have established some sort of meaningful contact with about 50 of them through email. Even if it’s something mundane like they need help with their room reservation or should they stay over Wednesday evening. I’m going to field those queries myself, and when those folks come up to me Sunday evening to thank me for, what, providing them with the phone number for the airport shuttle, that’s the beginning of a bond. And because by the time we begin, these folks will have already received about a dozen emails from me, it’s pretty easy to circulate. I don’t do that so easily in other settings – I never could just walk into a bar and talk to women when I was single, and I don’t attend a business function and walk away with 30 business cards. But here at this conference, there is this sense, and it’s almost magical, that we all kind of know one another before we actually do.

Rick Altman with a patron

See Also: Rick Altman on Indezine

Presentation Summit 2016

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: October 23 to 26, 2016

Location: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, United States

Register now!

Twitter Hashtag: Presum16

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



When change colors of a SmartArt graphic, fill colors of individual shapes within the SmartArt change. Other attributes such as outlines or effects are not altered. Rather than individually add these attributes to your SmartArt, you can use the all-inclusive SmartArt Styles option to overcome this limitation. In this tutorial, you will learn how to apply SmartArt Styles to the selected SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2013.



Learn how to apply SmartArt Styles in PowerPoint 2013.

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Monday, September 19, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



After inserting a SmartArt graphic in your slide, you can change the color for the entire SmartArt graphic -- this applies new colors to the entire SmartArt graphic including the various shapes it contains. However there may be times when you want one of the shapes to be colored differently -- in this tutorial we'll explore the fill, line, and effect options which can be applied to individual shapes within a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013.



Learn about fill, line, and effect options for shapes within SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2013.

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Friday, September 16, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:45 AM IST

Nova FisherNova Fisher has worked within communications with Xara for over 15 years. She has previously founded and managed some successful early-to-market businesses including an internet service provider (ISP) which was founded in 1994, and the creation of one of the earliest online web authoring solutions in 1996, that enabled anyone to create a professional website without the need for any design or technical skills.

In this interview, Nova talks about the new Xara Designer Pro X product.

Geetesh: Nova, Xara Designer Pro X365 is the newest version of an amazing, capable graphic program—but with so many features already built-in, how do you decide which features you will introduce in a new version?

Nova:It’s a combination of customer requests and features that we want to see ourselves. We all use the program a lot of course, and so there are always ideas for new features and improvements - in fact, we always have way, way more ideas and wish list items that we can do. And that's part of the reason we went to the 365 update model, which means no more yearly releases with a ton of features in, but more regular updates, maybe three or four a year, so users do not have to wait a whole year to get new features or a new version..

Geetesh: Can you tell us about Xara SmartShapes? Also, tell us about your favorite idea that involves SmartShapes.

Nova: SmartShapes are a very useful range of everyday shapes that users can drop right into their documents or website and then edit in a simple and intuitive way. The dimensions of the SmartShape can be adjusted and also it will automatically stretch or contract as more or less text is included. For example, with the Speech Bubble, the edit handles enable users to change the dimensions of the bubble, add curvature, control the text area, and also tweak the size and orientation of the bubble's arrow.

SmartShapes include Speech Bubbles, Arrows, Text boxes, Polygons, Stars, and many other shapes. New in Xara Designer Pro X365 are more complex objects, such as smart charts for percentage ring, bar chart and column charts. It’s amazingly quick and easy to add these professionally designed SmartShapes to a document or website.

I find the SmartShapes extremely useful, in particular, the Text Panels and Photo Panels that contain text and photos. I just enter my text /photo and the panel adjusts accordingly or I can select one of the side or corner handles and stretch or reduce, or change the shape and rotate it as required. I use them on my websites, leaflets, and posters. The Speech Bubbles are really useful when annotating a document or drawing. It’s so easy to change the curvature and direction of the pointer.



Geetesh: What are Smart Photo Grids?

Nova: ‘Smart’ Photo Grids smartly resize to fill the rectangles as photos are added or deleted, and users can swap the positions of the photos, adjust the number of rows and columns and the border / gap between all the photos. Xara also provides ‘Static’ Photo Grids that are simple, fixed, visually attractive grids of photos onto which users can drag & drop their own photo.

Geetesh: What makes Xara Designer Pro X so powerful?

Nova: Xara Designer Pro X is the ultimate all-in-one creative software, that provides powerful vector illustration, photo editing, page layout and website design, in one unrivalled WYSIWYG design tool.

At its heart, Xara Designer Pro X is a vector-based program, and unusually, uses vector graphics even for editing photos. This has significant benefits in that all the edits are retained, everything is resolution independent and it is object orientated editing. So a user can revert to the original at any stage of editing.

By combining all these tools in one program, Xara Designer Pro achieves faster performance with no program switching, lower memory and computing requirements, an easier learning curve, higher productivity and significantly better value for money.

See Also: Xara Product Reviews on Indezine

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



Although the default colors of an inserted SmartArt graphic may work the best, you may also want to change the colors of the shapes comprising the SmartArt graphic. You change the colors of everything within the SmartArt graphic at one go or change colors of individual shapes within the SmartArt graphic. Follow these steps to learn how you can change colors of your SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013.



Learn how to change colors for a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



After inserting a SmartArt graphic within PowerPoint or converting some bulleted text to SmartArt, you might want to change the layout of the SmartArt. You can choose from various SmartArt graphics variations available within PowerPoint 2013. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to change any existing SmartArt graphic to any other layout (type).



Learn how to change from one SmartArt graphic layout to another in PowerPoint 2013.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST

Humor is an integral part of presenting, and Marshall Chiles, author of Your Presentation is a Joke talks about how can incorporate humor in your presentations. Noted speakers at the upcoming Presentation Summit in Las Vegas talk about their sessions -- we feature Ric Bretschneider this week. Make sure you read what they say, even if you won't attend the conference! We also feature Jerry Weissman this week who authors a guest column, The Sixth Success Factor for Startups: The Perfected Pitch. Do you want to create your own music with nothing but just your computer? Nova Fisher of Magix talks about the Magix Music Maker Premium product.

In the Tutorials section, we explore Backstage View options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows--we cover Save, Save As, Open, and Close options. We also look at SmartArt topics: inserting SmartArt, converting bulleted text to SmartArt, and the Text Pane for SmartArt graphics. Finally, do not miss the new press releases and templates of this week.



Read Indezine's PowerPoint and Presenting News.

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posted by Geetesh on 9:15 AM IST



After inserting a SmartArt graphic within PowerPoint (or converting some bulleted text to SmartArt), you can easily add more shapes to your SmartArt graphics with just a click or two. You can even delete shapes from any existing SmartArt graphic.



Learn how to delete shapes from an existing SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013.

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