Dishing on Presentations with the Presentation Guild’s Echo Swinford and Sandra Johnson

Happy First Anniversary, Presentation Guild!  It has been a year since the Presentation Guild was launched at the Presentation Summit.  And what a year it has been.  Watch my “Dishing on Presentations” conversation with Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs, Echo Swinford and Sandra Johnson.  Listen to how it started, what they have accomplished and what the future plans are.

[Video] Dishing on Presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint MVP, Geetesh Bajaj

Editor Sharyn Fitzpatrick and Microsoft PowerPoint MVP, Geetesh Bajaj have a lively discussion about what are the latest trends in PowerPoint, tips for how to maximize your PowerPoint experience, and what features we hope Microsoft brings to Office 365.

About Geetesh Bajaj:

Geetesh Bajaj is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for over a decade now. He has been designing and training with PowerPoint for 15 years and heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India. Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like concept, color, interactivity, and navigation–and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He has authored six books on PowerPoint and trains corporate clients on how to plan, create, and deliver presentations.  For more information on Indezine and Geetesh, click here.

[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.

Enjoy!

 

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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.

[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

 

 

Hot off the Press! Microsoft Announces Zoom for PowerPoint 2016

Subway Tunnel With Blurred Light Tracks In The Gallery - ConceptThis week, Microsoft announced additional features for Office 365 (Windows) which continue to push the power of Office to a more effective and integrated level. For Word 2016, they added a digital writing assistance which gives you advanced proofing and editing by leveraging machine learning, natural language processing and input from their linguistics experts. This is a great companion to the new Researcher feature which helps you start a paper and manage the content. Outlook got an upgrade as well with better inbox management and @name options for smarter cataloging.

PowerPoint 2016 on Windows desktop also has a new feature to continue its evolution. Introducing Zoom, a new way to present your slide content without having to exit show mode. You can now navigate in and out of any slide or section. This will enable you to make your presentation more interactive, depending on your audience. You can now use Zoom to build summary slides, based on the depth of your content and the use of sections. So imagine having dedicated sections in your presentation, then Summary Zoom is a good option. Or use Slide Zoom if your deck has only a few slides.

Want to see Zoom in action? Then take a tour by watching the YouTube video they just released with Zoom.

Let me know what you think of this new feature and how you are using it.

 

How to Embed Fonts In Your Presentation

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One of the most popular question asked by our attendees during our Laura Foley webinar on May 18th was, “How do you embed fonts in a presentation.” Laura liked the question so much that she provided a more detailed answer.  Enjoy!

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You can use beautiful font types that make a statement when you create your presentations. But, if the audience doesn’t have the same font installed on their computers, it will not display correctly and PowerPoint substitutes a similar font. How do I embed fonts in a presentation so I can fix this?

Laura FoleyLaura Foley
Email
Website

Why embedding fonts is a great idea…

Using non-standard fonts in your presentations makes them stand out. With the right fonts, presentations can look fresh and modern (even if the non-typographically inclined can’t exactly figure out why). But you’ll know why…it’s because you took the initiative to spend a few minutes locating and installing a fresh-looking font!

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Calibri, the humanist sans-serif typeface so familiar to users of Microsoft calibiri noOffice. But everybody’s using it, so if you are too then your presentations might look the same as everyone else’s. Here’s how to stand out from the crowd.

Calibri, you’ve overstayed your welcome.

In The Incredibles, the main villain, Syndrome, declares, “When everyone’s super, no-one will be!” It’s the same with Calibri. When everybody uses it, it ceases to be special. So if your presentations feature Calibri, which was once fresh and new, then they look like millions of other presentations. That whole “blending in with the crowd” thing might work for some people. But if you’ve read this far, I’m confident that you’re not satisfied with going with the flow. It’s time to customize your presentations with a non-standard font.

Google, your main source for awesome fonts!

There are loads of websites where you can find free fonts. Ignore them all and head right on over to Google Fonts. Here, you’ll find well-thought-out font families that contain boldface, italics, ligatures and all kinds of amazing typographical goodies. But the main thing is that here you will find a typeface that 10 billion other PowerPoint users AREN’T using. Oh, and did I mention they’re all free?

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1. Follow the instructions on Google Fonts to download your chosen font.
2. Unzip the file
3. Double click on the .TTF file.
4. Click on Install

These are the steps I follow to install fonts on my PC. Your operating system might be different, so if this doesn’t work for you then you’ll need to look up how to install fonts on your own PC.

Embedding a font in your PowerPoint presentation

It’s very easy to embed fonts into individual presentations. By embedding the fonts, you ensure that they will look the same when opened on other systems even if they don’t have your custom font installed.

  1. Click on the File tab in the ribbon then select Options.
  2. Click Save on the left side of the dialog box that appears.
  3. Under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation on the right, put a check next to Embed fonts in the file then choose Embed only the characters used in the presentation (best of reducing file size) or Embed all characters (best for editing by other people).
  4. Click OK and continue saving normally.

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The bad news for Mac users

The Mac version of PowerPoint doesn’t allow you to embed fonts. I guess it’s just too complicated to ensure that embedded PC fonts display the same on a Mac and vice versa.

About Laura Foley:
As 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.

 

 

Webinar Wrap-Up: More Q & A with Laura Foley

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In our May 18th webinar, Cheating Death by PowerPoint with presentation designer Laura Foley, the questions were coming faster than we could share them with both Laura and the attendees. Our presenter was kind enough to answer many of the webinar questions so we could share them with you.

To watch the webinar and get the handouts, click here


Question:
Do you have any tips for a “welcome” slide that might be used during opening speeches, etc. but not actually referenced directly?

Answer:
It’s always a good idea to have your organization’s logo, the name of your presentation, your name and your contact information on your opening slide. Repeat this at the end of the presentation so people know how to get in touch with you if they have questions.  See example below:

CDbyPPT-From Awful to Awesome

Question:
Do you have font recommendations? Including size

Answer:
Think of a slide as a billboard. If you have to slow down to read it, then the type is too small. While I have no set and fast rule for point sizes of type on a slide, I try to make the text very large so that people can read it no matter how far away from the screen they may be.

Question:
I notice you use a lot of Orange against a white background. Has this combination been proven successful or just your preference?

Answer:
It’s one of my corporate colors.

Question:
How do you work with (around?) a mandatory company template or one that is a very generic company background?

Answer:
I use the typeface and colors specified in the template, but I’ll usually never use the established text boxes and bullet points. I prefer to use very large text on a slide and no bullet points. Also, you can make text bold, italic, or all caps to give it many different looks while still using the same typeface.

Question:
Are gradients opportunity or threat?

Answer:
Now that flat design is the rage, I don’t use as many gradients. When I do, they’re very subtle. Any gradient and highlight that makes a graphic look three-dimensional or glasslike also make it look dated.

Question:
Could you comment on using company logos and names, etc. in the footer?

Answer:
Do it if the client demands it. Otherwise, you can just use it at the beginning and the end of the presentation. By deleting the standard header and footer, you free up a lot more slide real estate to be used for information.

Question:
What do you think about decorative themes? For example, if we create a title slide that looks like a movie poster (maybe an ocean theme to discuss a “deep dive” into a subject)…do you think keeping ocean imagery on every slide is cohesive and engaging, or purely decorative and distracting?

Answer:
There’s nothing wrong with being creative with your slides. But if the theme is as you suggest a “deep dive,” that’s just another way of saying an in-depth view of a subject. I wouldn’t carry the “deep dive” analogy through every slide, maybe just the title. Make sure that the design of your slide reflects the content of the presentation, not the type of presentation it is.

Question:
What is the best font to use for numbers (like in charts)?

Answer:
The same typeface that is standard for the template you’re using.

Question:
What are your thoughts on using custom (non-standard) fonts?

Answer:
It’s amazing! Your presentations will look different from everyone else’s, which helps make them memorable. For more ideas, and step-by-step instructions on how to do it, click here.

About Laura Foley:
As 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.

[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 Create a Clickable (Choose Your Own Adventure) Table of Contents Slide

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a sleek and efficient way of navigating to the various sections of your presentation without ever having to exit from presentation mode?

In this article, I am going to show you step-by-step how to create a visually appealing Table of Contents slide which will allow you to jump around to specific sections of the presentation seamlessly.

This “Prezi-like” clickable Table of Contents slide can be particularly handy when:

  1. You have a lengthy presentation and want the flexibility of presenting various sections in a non-linear fashion.
  2. An audience member asks you to “go back” to a particular section of your presentation, and you want to find it quickly.
  3. You want to add some playfulness to your presentation.

Here’s a short 3-minute video that shows how it works:

Step #1 – Design Your Table of Contents Slide

 The first thing you need to do is create your Table of Contents slide. You can design this slide however you wish but just remember to make it visually appealing. Displaying text only on the slide is not going to cut it. Add some icons, images, etc. to make this slide stand out.
Clickable Table of Contents Image - 542 Width
Step #2 – Design All Your Section Header Slides
Section Header Image - 542 Width
Next, for each section of your Table of Contents slide you will need to create a section header slide. For example, if you have 12 sections in your Table of Contents slide you will need to create 12 section header slides (like the one seen in the above image).
Step #3 – Create Your Hyperlinks
Create your Hyperlinks Image - 542 Width
Next, for each section within your Table of Contents slide you are going to hyperlink it to its corresponding section header slide. You do this by right clicking the section header, select “Hyperlink”, select the “Place in this Document” Tab (on the left), and then choose the slide that you are going to hyperlink to. Repeat the process for all the remaining sections within the slide. Make sure to watch video at the beginning of the article, if you haven’t already, so you can see all the steps in action.
Step #4 – Optional Bonus Tip: Hyperlink All Your Slides Back to the Table of Contents Page
Hyperlink Back to the Table of Contents Slide - 542 Width
You may also want to have each slide in your presentation link back to your Table of Contents slide. This way you won’t have to exit out of the presentation mode to get back to your Table of Contents slide.
You do this by first creating some type of element (a shape, icon, image, etc.) that you then hyperlink back to the Table of Contents slide by following the same steps mentioned in step #3.
Conclusion
The beauty of creating a clickable (choose your own adventure) Table of Contents slide is that it gives you the flexibility of skipping to any section in your presentation with a single click of the mouse. No more fumbling through your entire deck to find the particular section you are looking for. It also adds some playfulness to your presentation that your audience craves. After all, who didn’t like reading those “choose your own adventure” books as a kid.
adamgryshirtAbout Adam Noar:
Adam Noar is the founder of Presentation Panda, a presentation design firm that develops presentations that truly stand out. He also writes about tips and tricks for creating beautiful looking slides including his book, Slides Made Simple. If Adam isn’t writing or building award winning presentations with his team of experts, you’ll find him playing soccer, surfing, or taking a long run along the San Diego coastline. For more information about the company’s products and services, visit adam@presentationpanda.com

Transparent Hyperlinks in PowerPoint

There are many people who add hyperlinks in PowerPoint slides all the time. Some do it for obvious reasons, such as

Link Network Hyperlink Internet Backlinks Online Concept

to link to other slides in the same presentation. Others do it to make PowerPoint more powerful as a presenting tool – they hyperlink to other presentations or even to Excel files or PDFs. Ultimately, hyperlinks add value to your presentation.

Hyperlinks have pros and cons. We already discussed the pros. The disadvantage with a hyperlink raises its head when you don’t want to click on a hyperlink, but the audience knows that there is a hyperlink you don’t want to click! How do they identify a hyperlink? Look at Figure 1, where the underlined text clearly represents a hyperlink.

hyperlink-text-powerpoint-04

  Figure 1: A conspicuous hyperlink

You can overcome this problem by making this link transparent, as in “invisible”. However, it should still be a link!

Follow these steps to learn how you can create transparent links in PowerPoint:

1. Insert a shape that covers the text you want to use as a hyperlink, as shown in Figure 2 below.

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                                                     Figure 2: A Rectangle shape covers text

2. Now add a hyperlink to this shape. You can create hyperlinks to within the presentation, outside the presentation, and to web pages. Test your link in Slide Show view.

3. We now need to make the Rectangle invisible while still making the link work. To do so, right-click the shape and choose the Format Shape option from the resultant contextual menu (see Figure 3).

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Figure 3: Format Shape

4. This action will open the Format Shape Task pane shown in Figure 4. In older versions of PowerPoint, you may see a Format Shape dialog box instead.

You essentially need to change your fill to 99% transparent and your line to invisible. To do so, make sure you select the Solid Fill radio button (highlighted in red), set its Transparency to 99% (highlighted in blue), and choose the No line radio button (highlighted in green).

transparent-hyperlinks-04

Figure 4: Change fill and line attributes

5. Your text will also now be visible behind the transparent Rectangle (see Figure 4). Test your link in Slide Show view.

Why 99% Transparent?

Why did we use the 99% Transparent option, and not choose the No Fill option instead? That is because of compatibility with older versions of PowerPoint. In PowerPoint 2013 or newer versions, even a No Fill option will get you the hand cursor when you hover over the hyperlink in Slide Show view (see Figure 5). However, in older versions, a 1% Opacity value (that is what 99% Transparency means!) is needed to get the clickable cursor.

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Figure 5: Hover to see the cursor

Old habits die hard, and we still recommend that you use 99% Transparency rather than No Fill. Moreover, there’s no harm in making sure that everyone is happy!

 

_________________________
Geetesh2Geetesh Bajaj is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for over a decade now. He has been designing and training with PowerPoint for 15 years and heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India. Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like concept, color, interactivity, and navigation–and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He has authored six books on PowerPoint and trains corporate clients on how to plan, create, and deliver presentations.  For more information on Indezine and Geetesh, click here.

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