Chantal Bossé has been a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP since 2013, and as a presentation & visual communication expert, she spends her time between writing, training, coaching and designing for her clients and speakers. First a scientific, then an instructional designer in telecommunications, she started CHABOS in 2004 to share her passion for visual communications. Chantal and her business partner inspire and empower public speakers and business people to craft and deliver world-class presentations that generate success and results. From story, message, design, delivery, equipment, and event coordination, they help their clients shine in front of their audience.
In this conversation, Chantal talks about her calendar template for PowerPoint she created with John Wilson.
Geetesh: Chantal, can you tell us about your calendar template for PowerPoint? Does this calendar really auto-update?
Chantal: We all know PowerPoint is destined to present, but I have been using it for years to help clients that wanted to produce and maintain their own content for most of their in-house prints. This PowerPoint template was set up to help people produce their calendar, whether they want to do it for family memories or create a more visual way to show their business products and services, or even their team.
The template has 14 different layouts to choose from, with prompts giving users ideas what information they can add. But the file itself already has the right sequence of pages (slides). So, users can add various images and text in the placeholders, save as a PDF and print both sides. They can apply their own color scheme to the file if they want to or simply change actual colors manually.
And to answer your burning question about auto-updating: yes, the dates & year can be updated in no more than 3 clicks! If users keep the monthly tables intact, they will be able to use the template without a problem. We have not tried to break the template by deleting some tables though, so readers are warned! We are providing the template “as is” and will not do any troubleshooting. Keep a backup copy! 🙂
Geetesh: You worked with fellow-PowerPoint MVP John Wilson to create the calendar template. Can you tell us how this idea originated, how you both connected, and how did the idea attain fruition?
Chantal: The whole story behind this template creation can be read on my site, but the short version is: I decided to create my own calendar a few years ago and thought the whole updating part was a waste of time. What really decided me to search for a solution was after I messed up the dates one year… and found out after I had given printed calendars!
A few months later, during a Microsoft MVP gathering, I discussed the problem with John and he offered to give it a try with his coding skills. We wanted something easy to understand for users, and easy to apply to the file. Luckily, shared cloud folders helped us test the files in English and French, because John is in the U.K., and I am in Canada.
As mentioned in the previous question, date updates can be done in only 3 clicks of the mouse now. A real-time and human error saver! The Chabos Calendar tab on the PowerPoint ribbon holds a Select Year button. The drop-down has 4 years to select from but, one of the coolest features is that after we have reached January of a year, the list will also be updated to provide the ongoing year and 3 more. We’ll have to wait until January 2018 to see it happen!