Archives for April 2016

[Webinar Recording] Oops…Geeking out with Hyperlinks & Triggers in PowerPoint


…The art and science of crafting more interactive and flexible presentations.  Has it ever happened to you? You are giving an important presentation and nearing your dramatic and powerful close…when a member of your audience asks a question…which leads to two questions…and then four…and then a complete tangent…and before you know it, you have five minutes left and 20 Two weird computer geeks having fun on computerminutes of slides to blast through, just so you can get to your dramatic and powerful close. Which by then will be ruined.

At times like that, your slides confine you, they don’t help you. In this recorded session with Presentation Summit’s Rick Altman, he looks at an under-utilized set of tools designed to help you break free of the linear way most of us think about using PowerPoint.

  • Manage time through basic hyperlinking
  • Create flexibility with Actions and Triggers
  • Integrate other slide decks with Inserted Objects
  • Blow the minds of your audiences by anticipating their questions
Click Here to Download the Handouts Listed Below:
  • Addicted
  • Candids
  • Cropping
  • Design
  • Digital Photography
  • Leave Behind
  • One-Hour Workshop
  • Preparation
  • Required
  • Sales Pitch Demo
  • Sales Pitch
  • Zoom

Rick Altman2ABOUT OUR SPEAKER: He is one of the most prominent commentators in the presentation community today. Rick is the author of 15 books and is the host of the Presentation Summit, the internationally-acclaimed learning event for presentation professionals. 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.


PowerPoint Shortcuts – Finding the Hidden Gems

Bright and colorful gems pouring from a wooden box - path included

There are two hidden gems of shortcuts that few ever discover those that do stumble upon them, often never realize what they have discovered.

The golden rule of speed in PowerPoint is: “Never do anything in PowerPoint that PowerPoint can automatically do for you”. And these 2 hidden gems will get PowerPoint to do a lot more for you. They are:

Hidden Gem #1: Copying/Pasting Formatting
The pickup style shortcut – CTRL+SHIFT+C
The apply style shortcut – CTRL+SHIFT+V
Yes, that is 2 shortcuts and not 1, but without one, the other is useless, so I bundled them together like this.
What do they do? They allow you to quickly reuse an objects formatting and apply it to something else. On top of that, it saves your formatting so you can apply it anywhere, which is WAY better than the format painter. I’ll point that out in just a second.

Hidden Gem #2: Copying/Pasting Animations
The Animation painter shortcut – ALT+SHIFT+C
What does it do?
It allows you to copy and paste an entire sequence of animations hooked up to an object, and apply ALL of them to another object.
Why waste time rebuilding your sequence when you can simply reuse it? You shouldn’t!
And the beauty of these shortcuts is they are simple!
They aren’t much different from a normal copy and paste. You just have to throw in a SHIFT key for formatting one and an ALT key for animation one.
You can see these shortcuts in action in the YouTube video below, or scroll down the page to read more about the format painter.

See these shortcuts in action below, or scroll below to read more about them.

Why the pickup and apply style shortcuts are better than the format painter.
The format painter (on the Home tab) is like single-use chopsticks. You use it once and it’s done.
Now yes…you can lock the format painter by double-clicking it (hint, hint), but even then you are severely limited in what you can do. You do pick up the formatting styles, but you now have to move object by object one at a time and as soon as you hit the ESC key, you are done. The formatting isn’t saved anywhere.

On the flip side, if you pick up a style with the CTRL+SHIFT+C shortcut, the formatting sticks with you until you pick up a new formatting style. For example: If you are polishing someone’s presentation and they use a specific corporate formatting style for a box that you want to reuse throughout the presentation, you can:

  • Step #1: Select the box and hit CTRL+SHIFT+C to copy all of its formatting.
  • Step #2: Carry on doing whatever you want to do with the presentation.
  • Step #3: When you find a place where you want to reuse the corporate formatting, select the object and hit CTRL+SHIFT+V and poof…there’s the formatting.

And the beauty is you can do it again, and again and again (unlike the format painter) until you pick up a new style.
Mix that shortcut with defaulting your object formatting and you can really start to crank through yoru corporate presentations, but that’s a speed training tip for another day.

So those are the 2 hidden gem shortcuts and they will help you move beyond the repetitive and annoying stuff.
And remember:
“Never do anything in PowerPoint that PowerPoint will automatically do for you.”

It’s just never a good use of your time.

If you’re looking for more speed training tips you can check us out on YouTube or join our free Save 40 Hours in PowerPoint mini-series here.

About our Author:

Taylor-PortraitTaylor Croonquist is the shortcut and productivity guru for Nuts and Bolts Speed Training company, which helps companies build better PowerPoint slides in shorter time frames. Hailing from the home of Microsoft and Starbucks, he came up with the “One Armed Mouse” technique in order to be able to combine these two passions: PowerPoint-ing with a coffee in one hand and a mouse in the other.


Bringing the Skills and Spirit of Live Events to B2B Presentations

This month, our featured presentation expert, Damjan Haylor, Managing Director of POPcomms, a B2B Damjan_Haylor_POPcommspresentation design agency, hails from Bristol in the United Kingdom. His background and that of his co-founder, Holly Worthington is rich in managing live events and shows for companies such as for Renault, Ford, Lexus, Microsoft, Sony and the UK Government. According to Damjan, “working on live events teaches you the importance of creating an experience for customers and wowing them. I soon discovered that the presentation itself, even though central to the whole creative, was still only a very small part of the wider experience and didn’t always get the attention it needed.” He continued, POPComms logo“Although there are quite a few dedicated presentation agencies out there I really felt there was a gap for a dedicated presentation agency that brought some of the skills and spirit of the live events business to the B2B presentation world. That is why we started POPcomms in 2010.”

What is the focus and mission of POPcomms?

POP xmasOur focus is very much on the B2B sector and we have a large proportion of technology clients. As a sector they are an ideal fit for us – they have complex businesses and propositions, they are ambitious, dynamic and innovative, operating in a highly competitive market. Through our expertise we’re able to bring their ideas, solutions and brands to life visually, creating experiences for their customers that ultimately help them to win business.

As a team, we give our all but we have fun at same time. Here is a picture of our whole team from last Christmas – it really sums up our whole team and how we come alive when we work together.

One of your specialties is how to make a presentation come alive by using visual storytelling. Why visual storytelling? Why does it make a difference?

eXpd8-POPcommsBusinesses spend vast amounts of time, money and resources developing products and services, they’re also creating expensive marketing campaigns to get customers in a room – yet quite often, when it comes to the critical moment of presenting to a customer, what they see and hear doesn’t reflect that huge amount of effort or any real understanding of their needs.

We see visual storytelling as a way to address this issue. By building a story around the customer we are providing a tangible visual narrative that they can actually relate to and that tells the story in a concise, persuasive and memorable way.

Ideally, you want to spend less time explaining a solution through slides and more time having valuable conversations based around the value you bring to a customer and visual storytelling does just that.

Can you share a client experience and how that process worked? Results?

itaska picsAs an example Isotrak, who provide fleet telematic solutions to major retailers, logistics and distribution companies wanted us to help move their presentations away from being product-focused and more customer-centric, focusing on their customers’ needs and the real value that their solutions could provide.

With Isotrak we looked at their customers, working out their personas, and the daily challenges they faced as businesses, ultimately identifying what the opportunities would be for them by working with Isotrak.

We decided that the best way to tell this story would be through ‘A Day in the Life’ visual, showing how a typical user would interact with the Isotrak system during their average working day.

The beauty of this approach was that it demonstrated in a simple way, how the complex system helps the end user – the drivers and therefore the wider business as a whole. We built a clear interactive ‘Value Dashboard’ allowing the customer to see how the business as a whole benefits on a daily basis. The interactive cityscape we developed brought the whole experience to life for the customer.

Let’s talk about the growing trend for interactive presentations. Do they belong in a business presentation? Why? Or Why not?

The key to an effective presentation is to make it personal and relevant to the customer, to make them feel you understand their challenges and needs and that you can solve their problems and add value to their business. interctivyt 2Interactivity is critical to this process as it allows you to seamlessly steer a presentation in the direction that a customer wants to go.

The problem with a linear slide deck is that it needs to be generic enough to appeal to a wider audience. An interactive presentation enables the customer to steer the conversation, to drill down to that content that resonates most with them. It allows you to have a single presentation that covers all possible scenarios and when the customer has a question it’ll only take a couple of clicks to get to the relevant information.

It’s all about personalization, making that customer feel as though the presentation is solely about them and for them.

How are your clients sharing or displaying that interactivity?

Touchscreens are becoming a big area for us as our clients invest in touchscreen systems, and they are the perfect device for our interactive presentations. In addition to this, we are starting to look closely at virtual and augmented reality as the technologies present some interesting possibilities for presentations. Every day there is something new happening and we’re learning all the time which makes for a fun and exciting work day, and that is the key to a successful business.

Looking at your portfolio, you seem to use Prezi quite a bit. What do you think of the new Morph feature in PowerPoint 2016? Will this replace Prezi? Compliment it?

Prezi has been great when customers need to tell a linear story, and we tend to use it for events where there is limited audience interaction. However, as already mentioned, interaction is key for us, and this is where Prezi has its limitations.

The new Morph tool, when combined with interactive features, will enable us to tell an even more compelling story. Even on its own Morph can provide far more possibilities than Prezi in terms of animation allowing us to show the big picture and then drilling down into the smallest of detail. We don’t think it will replace Prezi but for our B2B customers, there will be less appetite to use Prezi in the future.Citrix-POPcomms

In the past we’ve used motion graphics for looping video presentations for our clients at events, now the new Morph tool will allow us to get the same effect faster and more cost effectively. We are also having a lot of discussions with clients about interactive touchscreen presentations and exploring how Morph’s fluid movement of content can be applied to other applications.

If we’re honest, we feel that we’ve only just explored the tip of the iceberg on this one. We’re excited.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  POPcomms just released a great video about Morph – check it out:

Tell me about your company culture and how you “live the talk”. And why do you have a pool table in your office?

POPcommsWhen we receive a client brief we all get stuck in and discuss it, we come from a real mixture of backgrounds and experience, so everyone’s input and ideas are valuable.

The pool table is a great way for us to let off steam and discuss ideas rather than being stuck behind a computer hoping the problem will be magically solved – the only issue is one of our designers, Johnny, keeps winning almost every game, I’m still trying to solve that problem.

The photo of us by the pool table shows 4 of our six-member team, and two are away today. From left, Stuart Janicki aka Slippery Slope; Johnny Henderson aka Deathstar; Holly Worthington aka Wannabehotshot, and Damjan Haylor, aka Six Ball Wizard.

You can reach Damjan via their website or email.

Happy Accidents with Triggers

You never know what you might discover when you thought you were looking for something else.

One of our more loyal Presentation Summit attendees, Mary Hampton, had a recent dilemma and she came to us in search of a solution. On a map of the United States, she prepared information boxes for states that were relevant to a particular topic. She wanted to be able to control when those info boxes appeared, instead of being committed to them appearing according to a conventional animation sequence. In other words, she might want to show Delaware right away, Alabama 10 minutes later, and then Georgia near the end. Or perhaps she will need to show Georgia first, Delaware shortly afterward, and not show Alabama at all.

Experienced PowerPoint users know which tool addresses this type of functionality: these are a job for triggers. You use a trigger when you want an animation to appear, not when you click the Next button on your remote (or the spacebar on your keyboard), but instead when you click a particular object on the slide. In other words, you designate the object’s animation to be triggered by the clicking of another object.

This is not that hard to do, but this particular project would prove too much for basic triggering and that’s why Mary’s story is worth telling.

Figure One below is a deceptively simple illustration of Mary’s challenge. The three info boxes on the right are to appear when Mary clicks the appropriate circle of the state name.

Altman - fig 1 - april 2016

And it bears repeating, even if you have little experience with triggering, the basics of this are not that hard: Select the Delaware box, add a Fade to it (or any animation, but Fade is our go-to choice), and then using the Trigger drop-down on the Animation ribbon, find the circle around the DE. Because this circle is initially given an unfriendly name (like Oval 34), it really pays to use the Selection & Visibility Pane to give it a better name (like DE).

But let’s add the first wrinkle: what happens when you want to turn your attention from Delaware to Georgia? You would click on the Georgia oval and the Georgia info box would appear, yes? Yes. But what about the Delaware box — don’t you want it to go away? Yes you do, and indeed you could include an exit fade of the Delaware info box with the Georgia trigger. That way, clicking the Georgia oval would make Delaware fade away and make Georgia fade in. Nice.

Nice, but completely implausible, and here is where the simplicity of this straw man example betrays us. The info boxes will not be nicely lined up down the slide as shown here, they will all be positioned in the same place, one on top of the other. And there won’t just be three of them, there will be 29 of them. Count the ovals in Figure One — that’s how many info boxes there will be!

This would be complicated enough even if Mary knew the precise order in which she wanted her info boxes to appear. But because she doesn’t, she can’t just add an exit fade to Delaware and stuff it in with the Georgia trigger. She would have to add a Delaware exit to every single trigger. Let’s clarify the issue: Mary wants to be able to click any state, make that state’s info box appear and at the same time make whatever info box was there previously disappear. The only way to ensure this functionality is to include 28 exit fades for Delaware. The only place where Mary wouldn’t have to place a Delaware exit fade is with the Delaware trigger. Do that times 29 and you’re there, piece of cake…NOT.

We have better things to do with our time, such as write articles about this. After five minutes of conversation, it became clear to Mary that she should not pursue the ideal scenario of being able to click a state’s oval and have everything work out perfectly. But the compromise isn’t really that bad: I told Mary to think of this as a series of light switches in which she was only allowed to have one on at a time. She could turn on the Delaware light, but if she then wanted to turn on the Georgia light, she would have to first turn off Delaware. Two clicks instead of one, but that is a small price to pay for saving her sanity.

When you think about these animations as toggles, everything becomes easier, and Figure Two below shows how you would do it.

rick - april 2016 - fig 2

Each trigger has two actions, an entrance Fade and an exit Fade, and they are both set to start “On Click.” That means that your first click on Delaware “turns on” the Delaware info box and the second click turns it off. Two things to note:

  • The order that the triggers appear here (Delaware first, then Alabama, and then Georgia) has no meaning except the order in which they were created. You can make them appear in any order you want. That’s the essential value of a trigger.
  • You will need to take care to toggle each info box off before moving on to the next, otherwise you could create a mess (remember, these info boxes will all be positioned one on top of the other). You can recover from that — you can toggle a box back off after you have toggled another one on — but it could become challenging. So best to get into the routine: turn it on, turn it off, then turn another one on.

But wait, there’s more. I was still thinking about trigger paradise — clicking just once, not twice — and in my failed attempt to find said paradise, I made a discovery that became a happy accident. One of the choices under an animation’s Effect Options is to dictate what happens afterward. As you can see from this ageless dialog box, the setting is called After Animation, and one of the choices is to hide the object after the next mouse click.









If Delaware was set to go away on my next mouse click, then I wouldn’t have to concern myself with what I was clicking on next, Georgia, Alabama, Wyoming, or Arizona. It would go away on that click because I told it to. Could this be the secret maneuver that would bring us to paradise? How exciting! (I know, I’m pathetic.)

Under normal circumstances, this hide-on-next-click setting would work exactly as expected: any click with your mouse or press of the spacebar would make the animated object disappear. But because this animation is inside of a trigger, the object will only go away on the next click if that click is on the same trigger that made it appear in the first place. In other words, Delaware’s info box will only go away if you click on the Delaware trigger. Darn.

But this was actually time well spent failing to find paradise. In fact, thinking of this technique reduces Mary’s work by half. (Well, it would have, had I not already had her create all of those exit fades…such is life.) With the Hide On Next Mouse Click setting, she doesn’t need to create exit fades, because the exit is built into the entrance. So now the animation sequence is much simpler:



This is one of countless examples of why you always want to try stuff. You never know what you might discover when you thought you were looking for something else.


Rick Altman2He is one of the most prominent commentators in the presentation community today. Rick is the author of 15 books. He is the host of the Presentation Summit, the internationally-acclaimed learning event for presentation professionals. 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.

Editors Note





























































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