[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] 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.

 

[Webinar Recording] How to Make Powerful Infographics in PowerPoint

Webinar stamp

In today’s world of information overload and shortened attention spans, organizations are using infographics – graphic visuals that combine words and data into education, persuasive, audience-appealing designs – to quickly deliver information to audiences, both external and internal.  Infographics have quickly become one of the major forms of communication in the digital age.

Watch this webinar with graphics guru, Mike Parkinson and you will learn tips and tricks to make professional infographics fast and get low-cost and free tools to help quickly render them. NO design skill or previous experience needed. Explore the current trends and best practices then apply those techniques in your next presentation. Review infographics from around the world and discover how to do it yourself (and what not to do), and improve the quality and effectiveness of your presentations by adding powerful infographics.

In today’s world of information overload and shortened attention spans, organizations are using infographics – graphic visuals that combine words and data into education, persuasive, audience-appealing designs – to quickly deliver information to audiences, both external and internal.  Infographics have quickly become one of the major forms of communication in the digital age.

 

About our speaker:

Mike2015_bigMike Parkinson, CPP APMP Fellow, is an internationally recognized visual communication and presentation guru, solution and strategy expert, award-winning author, and trainer. He is a key contributor on multi-billion dollar projects and helps Fortune 500 companies improve their success rates. Mike shares his expertise through books like Do-It-Yourself Billion Dollar Graphics, articles, and online tools. Learn more at BillionDollarGraphics.com. He is also a partner at 24 Hour Company (http://www.24hrco.com), a premier creative services firm.

Handouts for the Webinar:

How2Lock_MikeParkinson

GraphicCheatSheet

Mike’s Infographics Slides

Live from the 2015 Presentation Summit…One-on-One Interviews

graphic for videos on website

Live from The Presentation Summit…#PreSum15

Nolan Haims, Microsoft PowerPoint MVP – @Nolan Haims

Want to learn more from Nolan about imagery?  watch nowWatch the recording of his free webinar, How to Use Imagery Like a Pro!  

One-on-one with Graphics and Sales Presentation Guru, Mike Parkinson

 

Nigel  Holmes, author and keynote speaker @Nigelblue

Three part interview with Dr. Carmen Simon, Rexi Media

Dr. Carmen Simon – Rexi Media – Interview, Part 1

 

Dr. Carmen Simon – Rexi Media – Interview, Part 2

Dr. Carmen Simon – Rexi Media – Interview, Part 3

Day 2, The Presentation Summit #PreSum15

Shawn Villaron, Microsoft – Partner Group Program Manager, Analytics and Presentation PM- US

Three Part Interview with Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training @Nuts_BoltPPT

Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, Part 1

Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, Part 2

Taylor Croonquist, Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, Part 3

Three Part Conversation with Microsoft MVP, Geetesh Bajaj – @Geetesh

Geetesh Bajaj discusses design trends – Part 1

Geetesh talks with #PresentationXpert editor, Dave Zielinski about number of slides vs length of presentation. – Pt 2

 

Microsoft MVP Geetesh Bajaj shares tips at #PreSum15 on managing expectations

PreSum 15 and Webinar Attendee,  John Rahmlow shares his thoughts on the PresentationXpert webinar program

 

Author and Keynote Speaker,  Keith Harmeyer

Rick Altman, Host – Presentation Summit

Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs, Julie Terberg and Echo Swinford with Sharyn Fitzpatrick, PresentationXpert

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

 

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.

The Presenter’s Dilemma: How Many Slides Do I Need?

Do these quotes sound familiar?

“I only want to see three slides.”
“My boss says we get one slide per presenter.”
“We don’t want to go over 20 slides for this presentation.”

It’s very common to be restricted to a certain number of slides in a presentation. And it’s a very silly way to do things.

Comparing Apples to Oranges

Just as the stating the ability to do the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs (You’re welcome, nerds!) is a nonsensical description of speed, specifying the number of slides in a presentation in order to limit its duration is meaningless. The number of slides in your presentation actually can have very little to do with how long your presentation lasts.

I once saw a 45-minute presentation that consisted of just one slide. Conversely, I usually develop about 60–75 slides for a 45-minute presentation.

The right question isn’t “How many slides should my presentation have?” it’s “How long does this presentation need to be?” Then you match that time to your presentation style and use that as a guide for how many slides you’ll need to create.

How Can a Presentation Have Just One Slide?

The one-slide presenter worked the room like a master. He spoke to us like he was addressing a roomful of friends. He was animated and enthusiastic, moving back and forth to engage the whole audience. He wove in stories based on his own personal experience. The funny thing was that his subject matter—a specific type of industrial machine—could have been as boring as dirt, yet he made it seem like the coolest thing ever.

What was on his slide? His company’s name, his name, and his contact information.

Why Would a 45-Minute Presentation Need 60-75 Slides?

So if this guy can get away with one slide, why do I need so many for my own presentation that lasts the same amount of time? Well, since I teach people how to get the most out of PowerPoint, my presentations tend to contain a lot of animation, slides with very few words, and slides that illustrate only one idea apiece.

The effect for the audience is seamless: everything flows much like a film. But this style tends to require a lot more slides than a more static presentation style.

The next time somebody tells you to limit your presentation to a certain number of slides, push back diplomatically and ask for more information about how long you have to present.

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, Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions/General Dynamics, 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 her website at www.lauramfoley.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

 

 

 

How to Build an Interactive Infographic in PowerPoint

Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about pushing presentation software past simple slides. Keeping with the theme, we received an interesting challenge from one of our clients: an interactive infographic produced and executed in PowerPoint.

Why PowerPoint you might ask? Why not Prezi or Flash? For clients with a large sales team, introducing a new software across the board can be cost prohibitive. We needed a platform that the sales team was already comfortable with and which would allow the team to update numbers and figures on the fly.

PowerPoint was the clear answer, but since PowerPoint takes a lot of flack for its linear format, how could we make a truly interactive infographic?

We were up for the challenge. Here’s a sample of the finished product:

Interactive_PPT

Here’s how we did itand a few of the challenges we ran into along the way.

The first step was building the base infographic. The client needed to be able to edit text on the fly, so we pulled in our icons from Illustrator and built everything else natively in PowerPoint.

Interactive Infographic PowerPoint | Main Image

Click for a Larger View

To keep things easy to edit, we put the base infographic into a master slide – this way any edit to the infographic would immediately populate through the file, eliminating the need to edit the base image on every slide.

Interactive Infographic PowerPoint Expanded Data Slide

Click for a Larger View

Next we designed data detail overlays for the expanded information set to pop out from various data points. We gave the expanded information slides their own master style which included a fade effect. We designed the popouts and data visualization in the main slide editor – one slide per pop out.

Once we had all our info built out, it was time to build in some “interactivity.”

Truly, PowerPoint is built to be a linear presentation tool. The intent is that the speaker will advance one slide to the next without deviating from the plan.

There is one tool in PowerPoint that allows for some non-linear jumping: Hyperlinks (Insert > Hyperlink). The hyperlinking tool can be used to make richer and more informative presentations by linking slide elements to web pages, associated documents or slides within the presentation.

Our plan was to use inter-slide linking to create an interactive infographic piece. We wanted to link various data points to detail pop out slides so that the presenter could interact with his audience and pull up additional information. Here we ran into our first obstacle:

Obstacle #1: Hyperlinks Cannot be Applied to Groups

Our data points were all made up of a mix of design elements: icons, text boxes, lines, etc. Without group linking, we’d have had to link each element, leaving un-linked space between elements and bogging down our file. Instead, we needed a clean link that would allow the user to click anywhere over the group of elements and bring up the expanded data.

Interactive Infographic PowerPoint Hyperlinks

Click for a Larger View

To get around the issue, we created a series of invisible boxes to overlay our data facts. Before we eliminated their fill, they looked like this. We then linked these boxes to the appropriate slides and made them invisible. Now clicking over any grouping hit these invisible link boxes, which brought up additional information, creating an interactive infographic.

Obstacle #2: Slide Transition Lag

Now our file is functional, but we were experiencing a lag between clicking a data point and the new slide coming up of several seconds. A lag this severe could potentially cause the user to panic during a presentation, clicking twice and confusing the file. Even more importantly, it indicates that PowerPoint it working too hard and could quit unexpectedly.

The problem was the sheer number of design elements on each slide. The base infographic contained so many shapes and images that PPT had to redraw for each slide.

Interactive Infographic Reorder Layers

Click for a Larger View

Since the client wanted edibility, we couldn’t use a static image, so we met half way. We pulled all the text off the slide and saved out the resulting image as a hi res .png file. We than imported that to a master slide and layered all the text over the image. To keep editing easy, all the text is in one group, so it can be easily brought to the front of all the clear link box layers and edited there.

Obstacle #3: Misclicks End the File

To move from each detail slide back to the main interactive infographic, we included a “close” button on each detail pop out that linked to a slide containing the main infographic. The user could then click on another data point to bring up a new detail slide.

A little playing revealed that any misclick, whether it be missing the “close” button or clicking a spot on the main infographic that was not covered by a link box, would end the file. PowerPoint was reading that misclick as a slide advance and, because we were on the last slide, it thought the presentation had concluded.

To resolve the issue, we added another clear link box. This one was the size and shape of the entire slide and linked right back to the main interactive infographic. A misclick now hit this link box, bringing up the same slide again and giving the user another chance to correctly hit his target.

In order to keep the other links clickable, the large link layer needed to be behind any other active links and in front of any text or images. Here’s what the full slide link box looked like on the detail slides before we removed the fill. It sits behind the “close” link and in front of any other elements.

Interactive Infographic PowerPoint Link Layer

Click for a Larger View

PowerPoint is often dismissed as a necessary office evil incapable of producing attractive and unique presentations. But with a little creativity and know-how, PowerPoint can be an accessible and powerful platform to create engaging and advanced marketing pieces, including interactive infographics.

About the Author:

Bethany Auck is the founder and creative director of SlideRabbit, a presentation design boutique specializing in custom presentation development and infographics. SlideRabbit builds persuasive narratives and poignant demonstratives into powerfully-branded custom presentation layouts. The company serves an international client base and specializes in litigation presentation development, sales and marketing presentations and corporate communication presentations. For more information about SlideRabbit’s services, visit http://sliderabbit.com/

In the Trenches: Real World Solutions to Corporate Presentation Challenges

We know best practices for presentations (“Use less text!” “Create separate handouts!” “Avoid bullets points!”), but the realities of corporate America often get in the way when we sit down in front of the computer. In this webinar, presentation strategist Nolan Haims shares numerous techniques and strategies, developed out of pure necessity, for achieving best practices while still meeting tight deadlines and contending with difficult clients.

notes pix

  • Multiple tactics for encouraging less text and fewer bullet points, including the disappearing content trick and the ridiculously simple “chunking” technique
  • Leveraging PowerPoint’s Notes view in unique ways to effortlessly create well-designed and distinctly different handouts
  • Creating “reskinnable” templates that can be turned into custom presentations in minutes
  • Keeping presentations highly editable through vector graphics and PowerPoint image-editing techniques
  • Breaking out of PowerPoint-think with “walking” and portrait print decks

PXP_WatchNowIcon

About Nolan Haims:

nolan teaching
After careers in theater and the circus, Nolan Haims moved into the world of presentation, creating presentations for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions, and all the major television networks. Most recently, Nolan was a Vice President at Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, where he oversaw presentation and visual communications. He blogs at PresentYourStory.com.

 

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