Archives for September 2016

[Video] Dishing on Presentations with Bethany Auck, Slide Rabbit

Did you watch Bethany deliver her webinar, “Slide Diets: Before & After Design Tricks to Slim Down your Content!:? It was lively and interactive, thanks to her great content and an engaged audience.  We had so many great questions and not enough time to get to them all. In this “dishing” interview, Bethany answered many of your webinar questions and she also provided written answers for others.



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More Q&A with Bethany Auck, Slide Rabbit
Do you have a lot of walls come up when asking a client to reduce content?garr-reynolds-library

Convincing an unwilling client to reduce content and wordiness can be one of the most difficult challenges. Sometimes, it just can’t be done. Generally, success comes by sharing some of the thought behind the directive. There are a lot of great thinkers on the subject and their ideas are widely available in books and in quick videos on the internet. I particularly recommend the books by Garr Reynolds and Dr. Carmen Simon, but there are also great videos on YouTube. Of course, our blog Visual Sugar may have some ideas worth sharing.

Some of the slides have sections of ALL CAPS vs. proper case or lower case. When do you suggest to use ALL CAPS?

all-capsMany brands will have established guidelines on when and where you can use various text treatments. If you have a little more freedom, I suggest creating a text style hierarchy for your own reference as you begin to design. If “all caps” will be part of your hierarchy but isn’t a large part of the brand identity, make sure to use it sparingly only on the most important information. There aren’t many hard and fast rules in design, so use your judgment to create balance and visual order for your audience.

Any suggestions for when we are developing slides that need to have “screenshots”? An Example would be as we teach a new software program for clinical documentation.

Screenshots are a necessary evil for presentation developers. My first request to the client is usually to get me access to what will be screenshot. That way I can get in there and take hi-res or zoomed shots so they will be legible in presentations. I also mentioned the Mac tool, Paparazzi! on the webinar, which creates vector images of full pages that won’t deteriorate as you blow them up. As for how to use them in a presentation, go full screen and annotate on top for the easiest legibility. Frame into a laptop image (available on stock sites), if the content of the ’shot is less critical. If training on the software, consider launching a live, full-screen demo.

BEFORE SLIDE - Dense and busy

BEFORE SLIDE – Dense and busy


What would you suggest for densely detailed slides for decks that are printed vs. presented live?

Often slides have to do double duty. For detailed handout types slides, many of the same Slide Diets still principles apply, even if you

aren’t looking to remove content. Use visual hierarchy to guide the reader on what are main takeaways vs. detailed or granular supporting information. Consider separating information to separate slides so that the reader will be less visually overwhelmed. Hunt slide19

After Slide - Divide into 2 slides

After Slide – Divide into 2 slides

for places to reduce redundancy – titles subtitles and body text can often be tightened. Remember, the less content on your slide, the greater percentage the audience will be able to remember.



Have another question?  Email Sharyn or Bethany.

Creating Visual Schedules and Gantt Charts using a PowerPoint Add-in, Office TIMELINE

I recently had a discussion with one of our presentation industry gurus, Taylor Croonquist about the importance of add-ins to PowerPoint and what a treasure trove they are in terms of productivity, creativity, and speed design.

This month, we will take a look at one of his favorites, Office TIMELINE which will guide you through easy-to-use templates for creating professional timelines and Gantt charts. Like many of the add-ins coming out now, you can use them across PowerPoint, Excel, and MS Project. There is both a free version and a more robust version that you can purchase for $49 per year. You use an integrated ribbon to customize it to your design and need. And they offer a library of templates across project types and deliverables.


Here are just a few of the timeline templates you can use to visualize your project timelines and deliverables – see below. Click on the name of each one to download the template.

There are many more templates available for both Gantt and other timeline templates.

12- month Schedule

Milestone Template

Gantt Chart Template

Let’s try it out and take it for a test drive.  First, go get the add in – it’s free. It is simple to install.

PowerPoint Template

PowerPoint Template

Go to Options, then choose Add-ins. Choose “Manage PowerPoint Add-ins”, hit “go” and a dialog box with the available add-ins pops up. You select “Office Timeline” and then select “load “. You are all set.

Open PowerPoint and you will see your Office Timeline in the upper right. Select it and you have an integrated ribbon which streamlines this process:

You can choose “New” or “Import”. I chose New and am using one of the templates


To customize it, you go to each tab and fill it in:




Enter your milestones on this screen



Enter Tasks on this screen


Create your own look and feel



My timeline

Another plus for this add-in is the great library of how-to videos 

Email me and tell me what you think!

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[Video] Creative Solution to Speaker Technical Dilemmas

Can’t connect your laptop to a display and you have to speak in five minutes. Ever been to a conference and there is no hardware to hook up your computer to the display and no one has the right connector.  Yikes! What do you do?  That is the question that Patrice Perras and Chantal Bossé faced while volunteering at Presentation Summit.  Pat searched globally for an easy solution but came up empty. So they solved themselves with the Speaker Kit, a great solution for this annoying speaker tech challenge. Watch the interview with both and see for yourself.

You can buy your own Speaker Kit at the Presentation Summit or online. It is $50 USD.

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