Marvelous Makeovers – Presentations Edition

youre-LATE-psd97874 …For the busy professional for whom everything is due yesterday.  

One of the objectives of design makeovers is to leave your audience members with their jaws on the floor, but we know that it is not entirely fair, showing you designs that you might not have the skills or the time to recreate. Besides, there is more to presentation design than creating pretty slides…much more. A good makeover takes into account the look and feel of the slides, the message being conveyed, and the reality of those in charge of the project. Taken directly from Rick Altman’s client files, these makeovers carry with them the hope that you will look at them and say, “Hey, I can do that.” As a special bonus, at no extra charge (i.e. you pay nothing more than the $0 that this webinar is costing you), Rick performs a makeover of our own webinar branding. Gulp…

  • Messages that are audience-centric, not presenter-centric
  • Surviving slides with too much junk on them
  • Content better left in handouts
  • When clean and consistent rule the day

ABOUT RICK ALTMAN: 

Rick-AltmanHe 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.

Handout – Marvelous Makeovers

 

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

The “20 Minute Template” – The Non-Designer’s Guide to Branded PowerPoint Design

In the age of life-like video games and multimillion-dollar advertising budgets, subpar design has never been so PXP_WatchNowIconobvious. Did you know that there is a growing trend to assign design-related tasks such as resizing picture or creating PowerPoints to non-designers? Does your heart beat faster when you first open up that new blank presentation? How can you communicate our expertise, knowledge and professionalism, not graphic artist at work2 - 123rfonly explicitly, but implicitly in your design?

Even if paying for the full design treatment is out of your reach, an attractive, branded slide deck is not. In this webinar, Slide Rabbit’s Bethany Auck will share her fast tips for creating a professional look for any presentation. You will learn how to incorporate branding simply so that every slide looks clean and custom designed. See below for  a Quick-start guide outlining everything you learned and a cheat sheet of for improving your slide content.

bethany headshot with caption 2About Our Speaker

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.

PXpert= Auck 22515 handout cover    Download the webinar handout

PXpert – Auck – Webinar Handout – 22515

 

 

For a Great Presentation, Practice the 10/20/30 Rule

Guy Kawasaki is a technology guru and venture capitalist who listens to a lot of presentations from entrepreneurs seeking money for start-up ventures.  The overwhelming majority of the presentations he hears are, as he says, “crap.”

And so he demands that all presentations at his business, Garage Technology Ventures, follow what he calls the “10/20/30 rule.”  It’s a rule that should be embraced by anyone  who wants to connect with audiences.

The rule states that all presentations should be limited to 10 slides, 20 minutes, and have no words on the slides smaller than 30-point type.  I love the rule because it keeps you out of the weeds by forcing you to keep your message focused on key issues.

1) Limit Your Presentation to 10 slides. Too many of us create presentations by opening up PowerPoint, picking a template, and typing. Before long, we have a “presentation” with 40 slides.

I was coaching an executive once as he prepared to speak at an industry event.  He arrived at our practice session with 60 slides for a 45-minute presentation.  Flipping through, I noted that every slide was loaded with bullet points.

“Let me ask you a question,” I said. “Would you want to listen to this presentation?”

“Well . . . , ” he muttered, seeming startled. “I guess not.”

His presentation was packed with too much information.  Limiting your message to 10 slides forces you to answer the question “What do I really want to say?” PowerPoint has no template for that question.

2) Speak For No More Than 20 Minutes.  When Kawasaki listens to a pitch for start-up capital, he allocates an hour.  Limiting the pitch to 20 minutes allows for 40 minutes of Q&A. As Kawasaki knows, all presentations improve with lots of Q&A.

Last weekend I went fishing in Tampa with a guide named Rick. He told me that one way he markets his business is by giving presentations on how to catch fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I usually speak for about fifteen minutes and then take questions,” he said. “I’ve found that people have a lot more fun at my presentations when they get to ask questions.”

That’s a nice lesson in hooking an audience from a professional fisherman.

3) No Slides with Words Smaller than 30-Point Type.  For many people, this seems impossible. You can’t get more than five or six words on a line with 30-point type.

But all businesses should mandate this rule. Smaller type  is so hard to read that it becomes distracting.

To me, corporate America tolerates tiny type on slides in the same way that mill town residents tolerate the stench that fills their community.  It’s so prevalent that everyone just gets used to it and no one even notices anymore.

But your slides will be far more effective if you minimize your bullets and keep your type size big.

And if you follow the 10/20/30 rule, your presentations will be a breath of fresh air to all.

About the Author:

Joey Asher is president of Speechworks, a selling and communication skills coaching company in Atlanta.  His new book 15 Minutes Including Q&A: A Plan to Save the World from Lousy Presentations is available now. For more information, visit the Speechworks website.

Hacks, Tricks, and Shortcuts…Oh My! Discover PowerPoint Tricks Even the Pros Didn’t Know About!

PXP_WatchNowIconPowerPoint is an incredibly powerful program with lots of capabilities built in, and there will always be things that not everyone knows about. Plus, productivity goes out the window when you are stuck trying to figure out how to improve your PowerPoint slides or fix a problem that you can’t seem to solve.

In this recorded webinar with shortcut and productivity guru, Taylor Croonquist, you will discover hidden tricks that most presentation professionals didn’t know that PowerPoint could do.  The content will focus on how to maximize the power tools you have in PowerPoint so you can get the job done. You’ll also discover tricks and shortcuts that will make your job more efficient and less stressful. For example, do you know how to break SmartArt? Break tables? Break up a list of bullets? Or, resize and crop multiple pictures in one process?

Learning these time-saving tricks will increase your productivity and PowerPoint skills. No more pulling out your hair when you reach frustrating PowerPoint issues.

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Our Speaker

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  http://nutsandboltsspeedtraining.com

 

Webinar Handouts:
Taylor Cheat Sheet for 12115 webinar - icon
      PXPert PowerPoint Cheat Sheet – 12115 Webinar – Taylor Croonquist

 

 

 

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PXpert -012115 – Webinar Slide Deck

The 5-Point Formula for Powerful Presentations with Author, Simon Morton

brainshark - sponsor logo webinar with play button

 

watch now on Brainshark

The presentations that are the most critical to the success of your organization today are not the ones delivered on stage in front of hundreds of rapt listeners.  They are the ones you and your colleagues deliver every day, looking to connect with an audience – of a few, or many – and drive action.  This webinar will challenge everything you thought you knew about creating and delivering engaging business presentations.

Based on Simon Morton’s critically-acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula behind Powerful Presentations”, this webinar is a great resource for the everyday presenter looking to drive results.  book framedHis consultancy, Eyeful Presentations has perfected their methodology and created a formula for the success of their clients. Watch this webinar and Simon will teach you how to successfully:

        • Assess the needs of your audience
        • Structure an effective story
        • Be prepared for informal, interactive presentations
        • Use visuals with real meaning
        • Master nuances for blended presenting – live or on demand, in person or online, or a combination

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About Simon Morton, Eyeful PresentationsSimon_morton with frame

Simon 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 new 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.

The Location of Your Presentation Screen Sends a Message

The presenter is the most important element of any presentation, but where the presentation screen is located can send a different message.

Most presenters place the projection screen in the center-middle of the room, forcing the presenter into a corner and setting up competition for the audience’s attention. Whenever you can, move the screen into the upper-right front corner of the room to send a message that you’re the principal focus of the presentation, not your PowerPoint slides or Prezi visuals.

That added space you create up front will also allow you to move around more easily and better engage with your audience. All of which helps to humanize your approach and put the spotlight where it belongs, on you the speaker.

Smart Talk: Making Powerfully Persuasive Presentations

In this talk, you’ll learn Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principles of influence and how to practically apply these principles to persuasive presentations. Ultimately, facts are not the way to best lead, motivate, and inspire. Powerful persuasive presentations instead, rely on effective audience analysis, solid storytelling, and figurative language.

PowerPoint Makeovers – Take Your Slides from Mediocre to Memorable (Slide Design for the Non-Designer)

Ellen Finkelstein, Microsoft PowerPoint MVP who shows us how to dramatically improve our PowerPoint slides. Watch and learn as Ellen transforms slides from the audience. See the difference in “before” and “after” slide designs and learn easy tips on how to do it on your own. She shares lessons learned including how to improve slide design; de-clutter text-heavy slides; edit complex slides for clarity; and communicate more effectively with graphics.

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About Ellen Finkelstein

Ellen_smallEllen Finkelstein is a recognized expert, speaker, trainer, and best-selling author on PowerPoint, presentation skills, and AutoCAD. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines, newsletters, and blogs. She is a PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional).There are only 37 PowerPoint MVPs in the world, and only 9 in the United States. Her Web site, http://ellenfinkelstein.com offers a hug assortment of tips, techniques, tutorials, and articles on these topics.

Make Life Easier with 3 Changes to PowerPoint’s Options dialog box


By Ellen Finkelstein
I’m starting to use the upcoming PowerPoint 2013 quite a bit and doing so has reminded me of some of the default PowerPoint settings that I hate. Here are three simple changes you can make that I think will make you a happier PowerPoint user. They apply to PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 as well.

No, you don’t want to automatically select the entire word!

Have you had the experience of trying to select a few characters in a word to change them? You drag across those letters, but PowerPoint jumps to select the entire word. But you don’t want to select the entire word! (This happens in Microsoft Word, too.) Grrrr! To be more specific, this behavior happens after you select one word, then as you move the mouse to select additional letters, PowerPoint selects the full preceding or following word; you cannot easily select individual letter of the words.

If you want more control, here are the steps to take:

  1. Choose File> Options. (In PowerPoint 2007, choose Office button> PowerPoint Options.)
  2. In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, click the Advanced category.
  3. Uncheck the “When Selecting, Automatically Select Entire Word” check box.
  4. Click OK.

powerpoint-tips-options-to-change-1

No, you don’t want PowerPoint to change the size of your text!

Let’s say that you choose a theme or format a Slide Master for a slide title of 36 points. You choose that size because you like how it fits on your slide. Then, you type a long title and PowerPoint decides to make the text smaller to fit the title placeholder. All of a sudden, you have slide titles of different sizes and as you go from slide to slide, you don’t know what you’ll get. It looks very inconsistent.

The same automatic resizing can happen in the body text placeholder.

Here are the steps to stop PowerPoint from resizing your text:

  1. Choose File> Options. (In PowerPoint 2007, choose Office button> PowerPoint Options.)
  2. Click the Proofing category.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button.
  4. Choose the AutoFormat as You Type tab.
  5. Uncheck the last 2 options on the tab: Autofit Title/Body Text to Placeholder
  6. Click OK twice.

powerpoint-tips-options-to-change-2

So what do you do when you have a longer title or your text doesn’t fit? Here are some ideas:

  1. Edit your text so that it’s shorter.
  2. Expand the size of the placeholder slightly.
  3. Reduce the placeholder’s internal margin. I explain how here.

Of course, you can manually reduce the size of the font; sometimes you have to. But reducing the font size should be a last resort, so you shouldn’t let PowerPoint do it automatically.

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is a noted presentation design consultant, Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and a multi-published author in the presentations field. For more information, visit http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/

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