[Webinar Recording] Slide Diets: Before & After Design Tricks to Slim Down your Content

Are you slides “over-stuffed” with too much content? Are they readable? Or, is the type so small, you need to include a magnifying Citrix sponsorship adglass to read it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then watch this recorded webinar from PresentationXpert with designer Bethany Auck. It is the perfect chance to learn how to slim down your slide content.

Learn how to take those over-stuffed slides and transform them into bite-size snacks – easier for your audience to digest and enjoy. Bethany uses real-life before & after examples to explain how to reduce content without losing data and meaning. The focus is on producing clearer visual communication to be a better and more effective presenter. Discover how to produce better slides, how to reduce content to the essentials, and how to streamline your presentation design, better communicating the important content.

Handouts:   Slide Diets Webinar Handout

Aboutbethany_square_300dpi (1) our Presenter, Bethany Auck:

Bethany has been working in the presentation design industry for nine years. She cut her teeth at small litigation consultancy where she consulted on major trials helping her clients build persuasive narratives and poignant demonstratives. Bethany founded SlideRabbit in 2012 to bring high-quality design to all industries at low-cost levels.  Her email is bethany@sliderabbit.com

 

 

[Webinar Recording] Cheating Death by PowerPoint: Slide Makeovers

Picture4From too much text to confusing graphics to garish colors, there’s a lot that can go wrong with slides. The trouble is, cheating death by PowerPont largemany people don’t know how to design clean, simple slides that communicate their messages. If you know what ugly slides look like but don’t know how to fix them, the Cheating Death by PowerPoint: Slide Makeovers webinar is for you.

Professional presentation designer and PowerPoint consultant Laura Foley of Laura M. Foley Design takes you step-by-step through a variety of slide makeovers. Using the principle of Analyze and Synthesize, she will teach you how to tackle those difficult slides and redesign them to make them more effective and better looking.

You’ll learn how to creatively edit your content and organize information to create better slides. By the end of the webinar, you’ll have the tools you need to transform slides from awful to awesome!

This webinar was sponsored by GoToWebinar. Try GoToWebinar free for 30 days, and save 20% on an annual subscription. Give it a try today.

Handout: CDbyPPT-From Awful to Awesome – PXpert – Foley

About Laura Foley:

Laura FoleyAs the Cheater of Death by PowerPoint, Laura Foley provides training and presentation design services to help people communicate their ideas and be better presenters. She has worked with Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, General Dynamics, Juniper Networks, Harvard Business School, DST, Eloqua, EMC, TE Connectivity, and VMware and has conducted training sessions at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Simmons College, the Central Mass Business Expo, and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Her speaking engagements include HOW Design Live, the largest conference for creative professionals in the world. A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Laura has over two decades’ experience in presentation design, marketing, and copywriting. She lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. Laura serves as Cubmaster and Den Leader for Hubbardston Cub Scouts Pack 12. It’s like herding cats, but more rewarding.

 

“How to Approach Presentation Design like an Innovative Thinking Genius”

[Webinar Recording]

Don’t you think the world has seen enough “me too” presentations? Haven’t too many people been lulled to sleep by watch nowstatus quo design? All great work starts with an idea, and presentations are no exception. And the more innovative the idea, the more exceptional the end product will be.

Ideas Thoughts Knowledge Intelligence Learning Thoughts Meeting Concept

Watch this interactive and engaging webinar on how to approach presentations in a way an innovative genius would. Mitchell Rigie and Keith Harmeyer, authors of the best-selling book, SmartStorming: The Game-Changing Process for Generation Bigger, Better Ideas, show us how to use out-of-the-box thinking and six idea-inspiring steps to get your ideas started out right and then apply it to presentation design and delivery. They will share real-world examples of how their clients used this to improve their presentations, both in style and in delivery. `

You missed playing the “What if” game to see how innovative you can become but download the handout and you can try it for yourself.  The “Idea Sprint” will inspire you.  Remember, no idea is off the table. This is the foundation to get the Picture2ideas started and build that innovative, wow presentation. Are you game?

Handout: How to Approach Presentation Design Like an Innovative Thinking Genius

Congratulations, Hilary Miller!  You won a signed copy of their book!

About Our Speakers:

Keith HarmeyerKeith Harmeyer’s professional background includes over 25 years in advertising and strategic marketing; sales and business coaching; and advanced communication and presentation skills training. As a marketing and creative executive at agencies in the Omnicom and Publicis networks, as well as founder and principal of his own marketing communications firm, Keith created countless successful brand marketing programs and business presentations for many of the world’s best-known and most successful companies, such as American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Sony, Time Warner, ABC, Disney, Philips, Fujifilm, Conde Nast, Sports Illustrated, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, McDonald’s, Footlocker, and many others. He has also coached and trained numerous business leaders on their sales and presentation techniques, utilizing his proprietary system for persuasive communication. Keith is a graduate of Loyola University and Tulane University, both in New Orleans, and of Coach University, the world’s leading training organization for professional coaches. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association.
Mitchell RigieA top creative professional for over 25 years, Mitchell Rigie has expertise spanning the fields of art, design, communications, strategic marketing, and human development. He is a thought leader in the emerging field of peak creative performance; his “Creative Flow Principles” have helped thousands of creative professionals in different industries achieve higher levels of productivity. As a Vice President and award-winning creative supervisor for advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and Foote Cone Belding, and as a consultant for Grey Worldwide, he has managed creative teams in the development of campaigns for Fortune 500 clients including: Johnson & Johnson, American Express, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and General Electric. Mitchell is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and Coach University, the world’s leading training organization for professional coaches. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Rhode Island School of Design.

 

Here’s What PowerPoint 2016 Can (and Can’t) Do For You

It’s time to talk about PowerPoint 2016, since it’s been out for a few weeks now. Here’s a screenshot of it.

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-1
Different Look

With each release, the look is a little different. The tab titles are no longer all upper case and have returned to the 2010 (and previous) initial caps. Upper case letters are considered a little harder to read — keep that in mind when creating slide titles.

You have a choice of three color variations. The one you see above is called Colorful. To change the “Office Theme” — called that just to confuse you and make it sound like the type of Office theme that lets you create backgrounds, theme colors, and font sets — choose File, Options.

In the General category, choose one of the Office Theme options. Here you see the others: Dark Gray and White (which looks like PowerPoint 2013).

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-2      powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-3

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-4a‘Tell Me What to Do’

There’s a new Help feature called “Tell me what you want to do.”  It’s at the upper-right of the PowerPoint 2016 window. While you can access the standard Help content there, the unique aspect of it is that when you type something and choose one of the options that are presented, PowerPoint opens the actual interface right there so you can use it.

It’s great for people of a certain age, like me, who read instructions and then can’t remember all the steps when I return to PowerPoint to actually try to do them.

For example, if I type “Save a theme” and choose Themes, I see the screen below, where I can actually choose Save the Current Theme.  I’m not sure how much I’ll use this — I know PowerPoint pretty well! — but I like the idea.

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-4

Use Smart Lookup

You can right-click a word and choose Smart Lookup to open the Insights task pane with links to definitions from Wikipedia and other places on the Internet. You’ll also get an image search. It’s all powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

General tip: Be very afraid of online image search! While the process tries to find images with Creative Commons licenses (for which you generally need to provide attribution), it’s often impossible to check the license.

6 New Chart Types

  • Treemap: Treemap charts are popular these days and they provide a hierarchical view of your data. The hierarchy levels are called branch, stem, and leaf. Each value is shown by the size of a rectangle. Treemap charts are good for comparing proportions and can show a lot of data in a small space. See the treemap below.
  • Sunburst: A sunburst chart also shows hierarchical data, but in layers around a center. A sunburst chart shows how one ring is broken into its components. See the sunburst below.
  • Box and Whisker: A box and whisker chart distributes data into quartiles, showing the mean and outliers. “Box” refers to a basic column chart, but lines extending above and below (whiskers) indicate variability outside the upper and lower quartiles. Any point outside those lines or whiskers is an outlier. Box and whisker charts are often used in statistical analysis.
  • Histogram: A histogram is a column chart that shows the frequency of data. It’s also used in statistical analysis. Bins are ranges, so the results show how many data points are in each range. You can use the Automatic option or specify your own bins by formatting the axis. See the histogram below.
  • Pareto (a histogram option): A Pareto chart is a variation of a histogram. The columns are shown in descending order and a line (actually a curve) shows the cumulative value of the columns. See the histogram/Pareto chart below.
  • Waterfall: A waterfall chart shows a running total that adds or subtracts subsequent values. You might use a waterfall chart for financial results, since income (positive values) and expenses (negative values) affect initial revenue. See the waterfall chart below.

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-5

A treemap chart

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-6

A sunburst chart

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-7

A histogram/Pareto chart

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-8

A waterfall chart

Easier Math Equations

Mathematical equations have always been difficult to create, with all of those numerators, denominators, square roots, squares, etc. I explained the old Equation Editor in “How to display equations and formulas in PowerPoint.” It’s so much easier to just write them, and now you can.

If you have a touch device, you can use your finger or  a stylus; if not, you can use your mouse. The only problem is that it doesn’t work too well. Here’s my attempt at the quadratic equation. Can you read my “handwriting” done with my mouse? People beat out computers, don’t they?

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-9

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-10More Shape Styles

When you insert a shape, you can quickly choose a style for it from the Shape Styles gallery. These styles have changed slightly — and I think Microsoft applied the change to 2013 as well, if you’re updated. I might be wrong about this. In 2007 and 2010, the last row is a 3D look and that’s now gone. (3D is now out of favor in design circles and I like the flat look, but sometimes the design police think they can tell us what we should like.)

There are now 5 more rows of styles, which are called presets. (I don’t know why they’re called that, as all of the styles are really presets.) What I do like is that some of them have transparent and semi-transparent fills.

Insert a Screen Capture Recording as a Video

In PowerPoint 2013, you could take a screen capture and insert it on your slide. Now, you can now include screen recordings as well! Go to Insert > Screen recording, select a region of your screen to record, and specify if you want to include the mouse pointer and audio. The click the Record button and record your video. You press Windows logo + Shift + Q to stop recording and then you’ll find the video on your current slide. If you have the most recent updates, this option is also available in PowerPoint 2013.

Higher Video Resolution

When you export your presentation as a video, you can create a file with resolution as high as 1920 x 1080. This is ideal for large screens. If you have the most recent updates, this option is also available in PowerPoint 2013.

powerpoint-tips-powerpoint-2016-11

…and more

If you keep presentations on OneDrive or Sharepoint there are also new options for easier sharing, better collaboration, and improved version history.

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is a PowerPoint MVP who can train you or the presenters in your organization to create high-impact, engaging, professional presentations for training, sales, business, or education. For more information visit www.ellenfinkelstein.com

2 Ways to Salvage Your Presentation When ‘Jumping Slides’

The presenter, Jim, was happy and the audience seemed engrossed. Why? Jim’s story delivered at the beginning of his presentation had hit the target and had everyone’s attention.

It was around 20 minutes into his presentation and he still had another 25 minutes left. But Jim wasn’t aware of the time – he was just happy that his session was progressing well.

In the next 15 minutes Jim took some questions, answered them with attention to detail but he was only on his third slide. Jim had 25 slides in his presentation.

It was around that time that Jim realized his predicament and panicked. He realized that he still had not even started talking about his main topic. And that’s the story of many great presentations that start well, progress well, but end miserably.

Any guesses about what Jim did in his anxiety? He “jumped” slides.

Jumping-Slides

 

How to Avoid Jumping Slides

What do we mean by jumping slides? Jumping slides is the act of moving between slides very rapidly, and in fact skipping many slides altogether.

If you’ve attended your share of presentations, you know how many presenters jump slides. To make this panicky act more kind to the audience, and also to  reassure themselves, presenters often offer excuses such as:

1. I know you are all busy and I don’t want to take too much of your time. Let me skip to the important part.

The audience will wonder,  “If you knew that we are all so busy, then why did you spend all your time with the not-so-important parts?”

2. These other slides mainly relate to the several issues we have already discussed – so let me get to the part that will benefit us the most.

The audience wonders, “If those slides contained issues we already discussed, then did the presenter not know about this little detail before he started? Does he expect us to believe that he did not know what was coming up in the subsequent slides?”

3. These slides are not required or valid for this audience. Let me skip to the slides that matter to you.

The audience is confused, “If those slides were not necessary, then why did they exist in the first place?”

The presenter is doomed if he shows all the slides – and he is in no better position even if he does not show them! What started as an amazing presentation has turned into a disaster, or in other words, a “lose-lose” situation.

I have sympathy for Jim. Yes he should have been careful with his time – but he is human, and humans make mistakes. So rather than criticize him, let’s look at two ways in which he can salvage his presentation.

Remember that Jim need not just use any one of these approaches – he can combine parts of both these approaches too.

1) He can be truthful.

Jim can admit to his mistake and say that he got carried away by his audience’s enthusiasm. He has to say this in a way that celebrates the audience’s enthusiasm rather than blaming it. And then he can ask the audience for more time – of course, if another speaker is scheduled to present after him, then that may not be an option.

Even if his speaking time does not extend, the act of being truthful will help him win the hearts of a fair percentage of his audience members, and he can then skip slides. But although he is still skipping some slides, this is not considered “jumping,” because the audience is now more involved with his decision.

This is not an ideal situation – but Jim is now only looking at making a better ending than a worse one.

To salvage this situation even further, Jim can ask everyone to leave their visiting cards with him – and he can then email them a copy of the slides and set up a phone call with them later!

2) He can be savvy.

How can being savvy help Jim? Well, if he knows the keyboard shortcuts for a program like PowerPoint, he can just jump slides without the audience being aware.

To do so, he can quickly press the numbers 2 and 3 in quick succession followed by the Enter key. That will get him straight to slide 23 without showing any skipped slides.

This approach is certainly not as truthful as the first option, but cannot be considered deceitful. Even now he can save time by skipping slides, and compensate by speaking about related topics. Every expert presenter will agree that the presenter is the presentation, not the slides.

And as long as Jim makes sure that his message is not diluted, he can manage with fewer slides.

But don’t use this trick of accessing slides by their numbers unless you have practiced it well and are confident of doing so. Also, this trick assumes that you know which slide you want to skip too quickly. This way of working, in turn, requires that you know your slides well.

Takeaways from the situation

Here are some takeaways from this scenario:

1. Always practice your slides before you present. This may seem obvious, but time your slides and also time your delivery. Also only prepare for around three- fourth of the time allotted to you, so that you have extra time to take questions – and also some extra time so that you never need to jump slides.

2. Know your slide numbers well. Create a sequence of your most important slides and memorize it – something like slides, 1, 3, 7, 14, 18, 22, 23, 24, and 25! That way you can use keyboard shortcuts only to show your most important slides.

3. Don’t get too carried away by the audience. And if you want to get carried away, ask their permission! The next time Jim gave a similar presentation, he responded to a question from one of the audience members, “That answer needs a fair amount of time. Can we make this presentation a little longer? If not, I can meet you later and give your answer the time it deserves.”

That works most of the time because the audience now decides whether they can give you the time they need!

Whatever you may do, make sure you only jump slides as a last resort.

About the Author:

Geetesh Bajaj has been designing and training with PowerPoint for years and is a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional.) He heads Indezine (www.indezine.com)  a presentation design studio and content development organization based in Hyderabad, India. The site attracts more than a million page views each month and has thousands of free PowerPoint templates and other goodies for visitors to download. He also runs another PowerPoint-related site (http://www.ppted.com) that provides designer PowerPoint templates.

Why PowerPoint’s Critics Have it Wrong

I have a lot of designer buddies who think that PowerPoint is the most cumbersome, clunky piece-of-junk software that’s ever been written. When their clients come to them wanting a new PowerPoint theme or a redesigned presentation, they say “No problem!” Then bust their humps learning how to use PowerPoint so they can get through the project and keep on pretending they provide a full range of graphic design services.

Not me.

I’ve always liked PowerPoint. When I worked in an ad agency, I got all of the PowerPoint jobs because nobody else wanted them. Now that I have my own company,  I specialize in PowerPoint. Not “presentation design,” not Keynote and not Prezi. Plain old PowerPoint. And business has never been better.

Whether you’re an in-house designer, work in a design agency or run your own business, specializing in PowerPoint is a smart move. Here’s why:

#1 Other designers hate PowerPoint

PowerPoint is the world’s number-one presentation design software. Millions of people with no design background whatsoever create presentations every day. That means that there are potentially millions of opportunities to redesign these presentations or help people create new ones. Yet many designers turn PowerPoint business away because they never wanted to learn how to use the software. “Ew, Microsoft!”

Two words: job security. If you become a PowerPoint specialist then you get all the PowerPoint work that other designers don’t want. They don’t know what they’re missing, because…

#2 PowerPoint lets you be creative

PowerPoint has a lot going on. How many other tools allow you to manipulate photos; play with audio and video; draw complex shapes; create interactive, clickable files; and build sophisticated animation?

Not only can you create slides in PowerPoint, you can make movies and even do page layout. When you’re designing a slide, you’re solving the same kinds of problems designers have always tackled: How can you simplify complicated subjects? How do you effectively tell a story? What is the best composition for this particular layout? How can typography be used to get the message across? The only difference is that the medium is primarily onscreen.

#3 Your work can make a big difference for your clients

People use PowerPoint to score new sales, close deals, get investors interested in their new businesses, introduce new products, influence public opinion, teach, build membership etc. Great presentations can help organizations prosper.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to give your clients an advantage over their competitors? Professionally written and designed presentations can be so much more effective than those done by people with no formal training.

I hear it from my own clients all the time that after we’ve worked together their presentations are more effective, they’re seeing better results from their sales calls, their audiences have an easier time understanding complicated subjects and so on. I derive a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’m giving my clients a competitive edge.

There are a lot of opportunities to do creative, exciting work using PowerPoint. So I have come to love it when designers complain about clients who have PowerPoint projects they don’t want to do.

“Send them my way,” I always tell them. “Send them my way.”

About the Author:

Laura Foley helps people become more fluent in PowerPoint through workshops, consulting, and presentation design services. She has developed presentations and provided training for clients such as Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Juniper Networks and the Harvard Business School. Her Cheating Death by PowerPoint training has been featured at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Simmons College and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.  For more information, visit www.lauramfoley.com

Add Power to Your Message with Better Slide Titles

When I work with clients I sometimes find that their slide titles are boring and even meaningless. Here are some ways to make your titles more powerful and descriptive.

Use verbs when writing titles

I recently worked with a client from a Fortune 100 company on a presentation about how to work with clients. This presentation also was part of a request for a promotion. I can’t show you the actual presentation, but I wanted to share with you something I discovered…using verbs in your slide titles makes your point much more clearly and powerfully.

Why is that?

When you add a verb (or even a gerund, a verb with “ing” at the end), you make the title more like a sentence. You go from a fairly meaningless combination of words to a phrase that actually conveys something. Audience members can read the title and understand immediately what you’re trying to say with your slide content.

Adding action to your slide titles makes them speak to your audience and they become more powerful.

Here are some before and after slide titles (modified for privacy):

Before:
Field Reps Sales Transition
After:
Enhance, grow and refine field rep businesses

Before:
Barbara Doe: Proven Qualities of Responsibility, Relationship Building and Lasting Collaborations
After:
Barbara Doe: Connecting the needs of sales reps with internal corporate partners

Before:
Regional Sales Rep Development
After:
Focus on regional sales rep strengths

Opt for specific over generic

Think of your slide title as a newspaper headline. It makes a statement that entices you to read the article. Your audience doesn’t need to wait or scrutinize the slide to figure out your point. Instead, they get it instantly and turn their attention to you for elaboration. Here are some before and after examples:

Before:
Evidence Based Research–Benefits
After:
The Transcendental Meditation program reduces blood pressure

Before:
Plasma Cortisol
After:
Plasma cortisol concentration reduced

Before:
Post-secondary compliance growth
After:
Our goal is 100% post-secondary compliance!

Before:
Outcome of low back pain in general practice
After:
Only 25% recovered from low back pain after 12 months

 Write the way you speak

We often write differently than we speak. When we write our language is more formal; when we speak we’re more informal. A funny thing happens when people create slides for a presentation. They’re writing so they use a more formal style. That ends up sounding stilted when we speak it. It’s also less direct, less clear.

That’s why I work 1-on-1 with my clients. I find that if they just hand over some slides with text on it I don’t really understand what they are trying to say. But if they speak out a slide to me and we can have a discussion about it, then I can help them rewrite the text on the slide so that it’s more direct and therefore clearer.

It can be hard to write the way you speak, but that’s what you need to do when you’re preparing for a presentation. I recommend that you record yourself giving the presentation and listen to the recording. Then rewrite the text on the slide to be more like your speech and less like a newspaper article or report.

This rewrite should include:

  • Omitting unnecessary words
  • Using simple words (not overly complex words or jargon)
  • Being direct (not beating around the bush)
  • Stating the point clearly

Here’s an exercise for you. Go back over a past presentation and edit each slide title so that it actually makes a statement–the main point of your slide. I think you’ll find that the presentation is much clearer!

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is a PowerPoint MVP who can train you or the presenters in your organization to create high-impact, engaging, professional presentations for training, sales, business, or education. For more information visit her website, www.ellenfinkelstein.com

Matching Medium to Message: Using Presentation Technologies to Wow Audiences

PXP_WatchNowIcon

Long gone are the days where the only option to give a presentation involved you standing before an audience with laptop and projector, presenting with PowerPoint.  With the emergence of new technologies, hardware and applications, presenters now have a choice for which tool they can use to deliver their presentation — whether it is online, in person or on a tablet.

In this webinar, author Simon Morton of Eyeful Presentations show us how to look at our technology optPicture1ions such as presenting on a tablet, PowerPoint and Prezi and then decide which one fits our message and gives us the “Wow” we’re looking to communicate. Using real-world business scenarios, Simon and Andrew shared their nsights into how to choose the right technology for different situations, whether it is a sales and marketing presentation, an internal presentation or to an executive team.

Using Eyeful Presentation’s critically-acclaimed methodology that is featured in his book, The Presentation Lab: Learn The Formula Behind Powerful Presentations , we learn how to:

  • Understand and analyze the evolving presentation lands cape
  • Approach typical business scenarios with different technologies, matching the medium to the message
  • Understand the power and effectiveness of each technology and where it fits in your presentation strategy
  • Be prepared for formal, informal or interactive presentations

 

About our presenters:

Picture4Simon Morton’s early career as an executive for an international technology company exposed him to more PowerPoint presentations than was good for him.  With his firm, Eyeful Presentations, based in the UK and with 6 international offices, Simon has been ridding the world of ‘Death by PowerPoint’ for over 10 years.  In his book, The Presentation Lab: Learn The Formula Behind Powerful Presentations, Simon shares the methodology and approach that has driven Eyeful’s success and that of its world-class clients.

Alex 1

Joining Simon is Alex Warwick, Senior Designer of Eyeful Presentations. Alex has worked at Eyeful for 3 and a half years. During this time we have seen him training numerous Eyeful customer’s around PowerPoint Technical training, travelling to Dublin and Cork and various UK locations.  Alex was one of two lead creatives on the designs in The Presentation Lab book.  Alex finds creative inspiration anywhere and has a real passion PowerPoint.

 

10 Places to Find Reliable Data for Presentations and Infographics

To find reliable data for presentations and infographics, you need to branch out beyond your everyday Google searches. The best data comes directly from the original source of the information, and your average Google searches typically only produce second-hand sources.

For quality data that you can confidently reference in your presentations, infographics, and other content pieces such as Ebooks and podcasts, check out the 10 resources below.

1. The Guardian Data Blog (official site)

Data journalism and data visualization from the Guardian

Tip: If you want to take your data savviness to the next level, sign up for the Presenting Data Master Class offered by The Guardian.

2. The United States Census Bureau (official site)

Quick, easy access to facts about people, business, and geography

Tip:  If you prefer to review data in a visual form, you’re in luck; The U.S. Census Bureau has a Data Visualization Library.

3. Kaiser Family Foundation Global Health Facts (official site)

Non-partisan source of facts, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health policy community and the public

Tip: Visit the graphics and interactive section of this site for videos, quizzes, and interactive infographics.

4. World Health Organization (official site)

WHO’s portal providing access to data and analyses for monitoring the global health situation

Tip: If you’re not sure where to begin on this tremendous site, start by reviewing the Publications section.

5. Data.gov (official site)

Home of the U.S. Government’s open data

Tip: Instead of heading straight to the Data section, start by selecting a Topic to focus your research.

6. Google Scholar (official site)

A simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature

Tip: After you enter your search query, use the filters to the left of the search results to weed out unusable materials.

7. Topsy (official site)

A social search and analytics tool

Tip:  Before you jump right into a search query via the homepage search bar, check out the Social Analytics section.

8. HubSpot Marketing Statistics and Data (official site)

All the marketing statistics you need

Tip: Download HubSpot’s resource, 120 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, & Graphs.

9. Nielsen (official site)

Insights and data about what people watch, listen to and buy

Tip: To get started, check out the Top 10 lists.

10. Radicati Group (official site)

Quantitative and qualitative research on email, security, instant messaging, social networking, information archiving, regulatory compliance, wireless technologies, web technologies, unified communications, and more

Tip: Download the free executive summaries of their most recent reports.

About the Author:

Leslie Belknap is the marketing director for Ethos3, a presentation design and training company.  For more information about the organization’s services, visit www.ethos3.com

4 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a massive program with lots of capabilities built in, and there will always be things that not everyone knows about. Here are four awesome PowerPoint tricks we’ve found that 99% of people don’t know they can do in PowerPoint (including some of the pros):

#1: Break a table
#2: Break SmartArt
#3: Break up a list of bullets
#4: Resize and crop multiple pictures in one go

PowerPoint Trick #1: Breaking A Table

Breaking a table is the fastest way to get all of the information out of a table.

To break a table, simply:

  • Copy and paste your table as a Metafile (CTRL + ALT + V for the Paste Special dialog box).
  • Once you have a Metafile, simply ungroup it (CTRL + SHIFT + G) to break the table into shapes, lines and text boxes.

This will leave you with an individual text box for each entry in your table. From here, you can massage the pieces into your layout of choice.

This PowerPoint trick alone should radically increase the amount of things you can do in PowerPoint with your existing data.

PowerPoint Trick #2: Breaking SmartArt

SmartArt is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing in that it can quickly generate slide layouts, but it is a curse as it’s often a pain to format and work with. To bring SmartArt graphics back into a format that’s easier to manage, you can “break” it into shapes, lines and text boxes:

  • Simply select the SmartArt graphic, ungroup it by hitting CTRL + SHIFT + G.
  • Ungroup it a second time, and the SmartArt graphic is now simply a collection of shapes, lines and text boxes.

Now you can go ahead and massage the individual pieces into whatever slide layout you need.

PowerPoint Trick #3: Breaking Up A List Of Bullets

Everyone knows that you are not supposed to use long lists of bullets in your layouts, but the question becomes, what can you do with them without spending hours at the drawing board?

The fastest way to break up a list of bullets and generate layout ideas is to throw it into SmartArt:

  • SmartArt will force your bullets into the different SmartArt layouts (you get a live preview of the graphics), so you can quickly generate layout ideas for your bullets.
  • Once you find a SmartArt graphic that is close to what you want to work with, you can simply break the graphic apart (see #2).

I often use this technique to quickly break up my content, and end up combining two or three different SmartArt graphics into my final presentation layout, to create something unique and interesting.

PowerPoint Trick #4: Resizing And Cropping Multiple Pictures In One Go

How often have you had several pictures on a slide that were all different shapes and sizes and that you needed to make uniform to fit into your layout?

While cropping and resizing images manually is the more technically correct way to address this, it can be an extremely time-intensive and frustrating task. To shortcut your way through the process, simply throw the pictures into SmartArt:

  • Select the pictures that you want to resize, select the “Picture Layout” button, and choose a SmartArt graphic.
  • Just like with bullets, SmartArt will force all of the pictures into uniform shapes by cropping and resizing each picture for you.
  • Once you find a SmartArt graphic that is close to what you want to work with, you can simply break the graphic apart (see #2).

If you don’t like the cropping and resizing that SmartArt does, you can always manually adjust the pictures yourself afterwards.

With these 4 PowerPoint tricks, you now know more than what most PowerPoint users know they can do in PowerPoint, so welcome to the inner circle. For a video summarizing the 4 tricks, see below:

 

About the Author:

Taylor 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. For more information about the company’s services, visit nutsandboltsspeedtraining.com

 

 

 

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