Oops – Geeking out with Hyperlink and Triggers in PowerPoint

Rick Altman of Better Presenting talks about how to use hyperlinks and triggers in PowerPoint to jump to different places in your slidedeck, giving you the ultimate in presentation flexibility.

Sharyn: We would like to welcome everyone to today’s webinar, Oops, Geeking out with Hyperlink and Triggers in PowerPoint, with Rick Altman of Better Presenting and the host of Presentation Summit.

My name is Sharyn Fitzpatrick, and I am your moderator for today’s event. And I’m also the editor of Presentation Xpert. So, it is my great pleasure to learn yet again, a lot of really great information and tricks from Rick. So, I’m excited to have him here again.

You can find us anywhere on the web. You can connect with us across social media. You can go to our website. You can subscribe if you don’t already to the newsletter. And if you, use #presentationxpert anytime you want to talk about something in the presentation space.

Rick is amazing. I love his conference. I love everything he does. It’s really an honor to have him here again. He’s a recognized expert, especially in PowerPoint and tennis. And he has 15 books. And he’s going to be giving us, you a chapter of one of those books because it’s very appropriate to what we’re doing today. And he is host of the Presentation Summit, which is one of my favorite places to be every fall.

So, at this time, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Rick. But before I turn it over to Rick, I want to just let you know a couple of things. One is, we’re going to be using the keyboard a lot. So, you may hear some keyboard noise. And that is Rick. He’s going to be doing a lot of live demos. The other thing is we suggest that you put this webinar on full screen so you can see everything. So, as he goes from site to site or from slideshow back to the internet, and vice versa, you can definitely see what it is.

So, at this time, it gives me great pleasure to turn this over to Rick and say, go for it, Rick.

Rick Altman:      Thanks, Sharyn. Thanks, everyone. Appreciate the opportunity to hang out here for an hour with everyone. Sharyn and I live about 25 miles apart. But we probably only have 25 degrees apart today. It’s almost 90 degrees here in Pleasanton. No webcam today. I have my swimsuit and a sleeveless shirt on and flip flops. So, that’s the dress code for the day.

As Sharyn mentioned, you’re going to be seeing, you’ll be watching the software in action about 80% of the time today. So, make your screen nice and big. And Sharyn, let me know if I’m going too fast, if we get hit by a latency storm or anything.

The other thing is that I have no script in front of me whatsoever. I have no notes at all. This is going to, like I said, largely we’re going to be driving the software. And while I have a pretty good idea of what I want to show, I have no step by step script in front of me. So, this will be somewhat impromptu.

Also, the webinar software itself usually accounts for at least one crash while I go through this. I’m going to have about eight or nine slide decks open at once. And at least once today, we’re probably going to crash and we’ll just all crash and burn together.

Now, the simplest way for me to describe the topic here is for us to start with the typical presentation. Okay, so it’s a little bit after 9:00 and we have until 9:30 and here are the slides that you want to go through before you get to your dramatic and powerful close.

Okay, so here we go, you start. And after a few minutes, you take some questions. And someone asked a really good question and you give a terrific answer. You give like one of the best answers in the history of Q&A, and that, of course, spawns more questions, and you give more great answers. And so, you indulge this. You allow it to continue because this is what you’re after, real audience engagement and interaction with them. And so, you take some more questions, you give some more great answers.

But before you know it, you’ve got barely five minutes left, and you’ve only gone through about a quarter of your content. So, what do you do? What do most people do? We motor through all of the rest of the slides so that we can get to and probably destroy our dramatic and powerful close. Has this happened to you? This has certainly happened to me. And it’s very frustrating.

And if you’re an audience member, I mean, you might feel bad for the speaker as he’s like powering through all these slides, banging the spacebar. Okay, I got to get going in the interest of time, and all this stuff starts whizzing across the slide and the human response is that you always want what you can’t have. So, suddenly, you see all this stuff flying by. Hey wait, go back. That would look pretty good. No, no, I have to get to the end.

Now, why do we do this to ourselves? I mean, part of it is just human nature. We live our lives and we are linear beings. We typically go from point A to point B. And that’s how we create our slides. That’s how PowerPoint works. That’s how we generally give presentations as a result. We just go from slide to slide to slide. We go from point A to point B. And we just do this in this very linear fashion.

I mean, even if you’re a really good storyteller and you tend to take a path that’s a lot more creative, still your slides, you start from slide one, you go to slide 15, 20, whatever, and that’s the way PowerPoint works, and so, that’s the way we work with PowerPoint and with our presentations.

But wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to? Wouldn’t it be great if, I mean, even if you just once in a while were able to break out of that that linear mode that you’re in just for the purposes of time management, or if you get a creative burst of brilliance and you want to do something in a nonlinear way, wouldn’t it be great if the software could accommodate that? Well, I’m here to tell you that it can. And that’s what we’re going to be discussing today, the techniques in which you can break out of that linear mode.

And there are three basic techniques that we’re going to be talking about. And I’m going to be practicing what I preach, because all of this is going to be using hyperlinks and triggers. And I’ll also say that this is about as close as I get to an advanced topic. And if you’re not able to follow exactly how I do everything, focus on the what, and the how can come later. [inaudible] things that PowerPoint is capable of doing that you probably didn’t know that it could.

Jumping to a Different Slide in Your Deck

And so, let’s start with this, with the basic technique, how to jump to a different slide in your deck easily. Now, here’s what this example looks like. This is a one-hour talk that I give. And so, Sharyn asked me to give this as a webinar. I did such a good job today that she decides that we’re actually going to have a webinar in July after all, and it’s going to be named after my book. And it’s going to be one hour on this topic. And she says to me, actually, I asked her, “Well, what topics would you like me to cover?” She says, “I don’t care, as long as you reserve 10 minutes at the end for a little animation segment that you do.”

All right. So, let me just show you what this deck looks like right now. So, there’s 24 slides in this deck. And here, slide 18. This is the one that Sharyn wants me to make sure that I discuss. And so, I need to make sure that at 10 minutes from the hour, I’m here right there.

Now, you might know that I could actually press one, eight, Enter, and I go to slide 18. I could also press Home, End. So, those are there as part of the navigational construct of PowerPoint. But you know what, the last thing I want you doing in the middle of a presentation when your heart rate is already up and everything else is to have to remember what slide it is.

I mean, what if you add a slide right here and then suddenly, it’s slide 19 instead? So, we got to be able to do better than that. So, let’s say that you’re here on slide five, and it’s time for you to make the jump. Here’s the basic technique. I’m going to create an object. I’m going to insert an action. I could use hyperlink. Also, this dialog box right here is a little bit easier to work in. And it’s also a little more robust. That’s the one that I use, insert action.

I’m going to hyperlink to, and look at all these options I have. Here’s the one I want, hyperlink to a particular slide. Which one? This one, animation without embarrassment. Okay. Okay, so now, I could be here. So, here, I’m working through the deck. And I get to this slide here. And watch what happens when I click this little, see the cursor change, a little hand, click once, and I’m there. Okay.

So, the solution it would seem is that on slide five, you create an ugly rectangle, then you apply a hyperlink to it. So, the folly of this is obvious. If I knew I could make myself be on slide five, I mean, couldn’t I get to slide 18? The whole idea here is that I want to be able to do this anywhere. And we also don’t want to create ugly rectangles on our slides.

So, Sharyn, are you with me?

Sharyn: Here. I just keep wondering, I wonder if we can use this one. We change back and forth between you and I, but …

Rick:      Ooh, interesting. I don’t know. I’ll leave that to you.

So, Sharyn, I can’t do this just on slide five. I need to do it on every slide. So, what do I do? Where do I go? I’ll give you a hint.

Sharyn: You just create your hyperlink. Let’s see, resume the slideshow. No? Oh, boy, you’re putting me on the spot here. Now, it’s answering … Oh, slide master, notes.

Rick:      That’s right. That’s right. We wanted to make this a global solution. So, we’re going to do this on the slide master itself. All right.

So, now, there’s a variety of layouts here that might be used. And what I want to do is I want to go to the slide master itself, not the layouts. And I want to pick something that’s already on the interface, like this cool little camera down here. So, I’m going to repeat those steps, insert, action, hyperlink, to a slide, just what I did before, 18. Okay. Okay.

So, now I know that if I click that little camera on any slide that shows it, I’m going to be able to jump right to there. So, let’s try that. So, here I am. And let’s say that I spend the first 35 minutes on this slide right here. I don’t go any further. That’s okay.

When it’s time for me, I click right there, boom, I’m here. Nobody had to know that I just skipped over 15 slides, 30, 50, 75, whatever it is. Nobody had to know.

Now, I could also program a return. I could maybe make one of these guys be your return. Let’s do that. So, now that was my segue slide layout, this one right here. So, what if I take the keyboard and I say, insert action, hyperlink to the last, not the previous slide, but the last slide viewed, that’s like the back button on my browser. Okay. So, let’s say that. And so, now let’s do this again. So, here we are. Let’s say that someone asked a question about animation. And I want to just jump to that animation slide real quick. Talk about it for a second. And then go back.

Sharyn: Yeah, you got me redoing my opening housekeeping slides, instead of me inserting extra slides, you just made my life a lot easier. Thank you.

Rick:      You’ll get my bill in the morning.

Sharyn: I bet.

Rick:      So, you’re just at the most basic level of adding a hyperlink that allows you to jump to any slide in the deck that you specify. Okay, so that’s the first part of this whole basics. And if there are any questions, Sharyn, we can start right in right now with them.

Sharyn: Well, Charles was just, it’s more of a statement. So, you can hyperlink during a slideshow live?

Rick:      Yes, you can. Now, I can’t create the hyperlink.

Sharyn: Yeah.

Rick:      That has to be done earlier. But yes, with a live hyperlink, I can click any time and make that happen. You just, I mean, I was staging that example where I had to jump to slide 18. But you do this in show mode, which means the assumption is that you are near your mouse to be able to click on it. And we’re going to actually talk a little bit about some of the other ways that you can do, use hyperlinks and actions and triggers also, but yes.

Sharyn: We have another question too. So, well, this now auto adjust if I insert a new slide 12?

Rick:      If you insert a new slide 12, or in my case, the example was 18.

Sharyn: Right.

Rick:      Yes, that hyperlink, let’s go back. This hyperlink that I created right here, oops, hold on, got to get to it, up here. This hyperlink on the slide master is to this particular slide and however PowerPoint identifies it, not the 18th slide in the deck.

I could move this slide anywhere and PowerPoint would still find it when I click that hyperlink. So, that’s a very good question. It’s not just whatever slide happens to be in position 18. But the unique qualities that PowerPoint identifies with this slide. And no matter what it’s called, no matter what it looks like, that’s what it will find.

Sharyn: So, is it a segue slide? I mean, that’s one name potentially you could have for it.

Rick:      Yeah. And that’s this next one right here. That’s a perfect segue to the next thing we’re going to talk about, unless there are other questions about this.

Sharyn: No, no. You can pay me later.

Rick:      Okay.

Sharyn: Back to you.

Jumping to a Group of Slides in Powerpoint

Rick:      I’ll pay you later. So, now, let’s talk about how we can jump to a group of slides. And for this, I’m going to go to a client’s slide.

Cisco here in Silicon Valley, they create all sorts of slide decks that are very technical. And here’s one that they put together for a presentation. And they employed a commonly used technique with an agenda slide that you can see right here. And this agenda slide has all of these different topics on it.

And what they’ve done is they have repeated the agenda slide multiple times. And notice how this one, you won’t be able to see this too well. But notice, that one’s bold. And so, this marks the beginning of the second topic called world without analytics. Then here, it says chassis, that one’s bold. Down here, advanced something. I can’t read it myself at the moment.

But you can see what they’ve done. They’ve used the agenda slide over and over again to mark different places, changes in topic, across the presentation. I’m sure many of you have done something similar to this. But the problem here is that first of all, you got to repeat the agenda slide all over the place. And that means that if you change, if you redesign the agenda slide, or if you rename one of these topics, or if you reorder them, well, then look what you have to do. You have to go change each one of these agenda slides.

So, having a repeating agenda slide like this is not the most efficient way that we can do this. Also, we are bound to going through this in a very linear way. We have to go from this topic to this topic to this topic, and we can’t change it, unless we employ hyperlinks that take us to these sections.

Well, I’m going to do something that’s a little bit more involved than that. And the first I’m going to click right here. So, I’m going to be employing my own technique. I’m going to click on this little thumbnail. And bang, I open right up here. Let me show you that again. Click here. And here opens up that slide deck. It opens it up for me so I can actually edit it and work on it.

So, here is, I’ve changed out just … Sorry, hang on a second. I’ve changed it out just a little bit. Here’s the agenda slide. And I have a segue slides that you can easily see representing these five topics, okay, but only one agenda slide.

So, I want to turn that agenda slide into a smart menu. And here’s how I’m going to do that. I’m going to assume that you all know about, actually I’m not going to assume it. I’m going to introduce many of you to the topic called custom shows. A custom show is a subset of slides that you define inside of a slide deck. And you can do all sorts of things to your custom shows.

And here’s how this works. From the slideshow ribbon … By the way, you’re looking at, what the heck is this version called, 2016. You can do, you can employ these techniques all the way back to PowerPoint XP, so, 2010, 2013, no problem doing any of this stuff.

Here it is, custom slideshow, very simple dialog box that pops up. And I’m going to take the time to actually do all of this. So, here we go. A new custom show. The first one is going to be called analytics. And that will be slides three through seven. So, I’m defining this custom show as slides three through seven. Okay?

When you define a custom show, you are not defining a range. So, if I added a slide right here, in between five and six, I would have to go back to this dialog box and then take that new slide and add it to the custom show. A custom show is very specific and manual. You can create a custom show that would be slides one, two, three, and 40. You can do a custom show that is your entire slideshow backwards. It can be anything at all. So, that’s the first one called analytics.

The next one will be called world without, okay, and that’s going to be slides eight, nine, 10, I’m just looking behind me at this slide sorter view, and it’s those right there, eight through 12, add that.

Next, chassis. And that’s slides 13 through 17. I’m going to keep going. Advanced visibility, 18 through 22. It’d be nice if this interface allowed me to select a bunch at once it doesn’t. So, that part’s a little bit tedious. And then finally, my conclusion is going to be slides 22 through 26. But not the thank you slide, which I hate, by the way, I hate thank you slides, and not the ending slide. Those will be outside of any one of these particular things.

So, there we go. I’ve got specific custom shows. And actually, I could click right now, Show, and it would take you to this slide right here and run through those. And the way that people typically use custom shows is they define subsets in their slide deck. And at any particular presentation, they might want to show only the subset.

So, from the set up show dialog box, you can see show all slides or I can now say show any one of these. That’s not why I have done this. That’s the classic use of custom shows.

The reason that I’ve done this is that we’re going to build a really smart agenda slide. So, let’s go to that agenda slide now, where you can see that this has these little objects here. These are all individual objects. And that’s by design.

Because for this first object, I’m now going to insert an action like I did before, but one of the choices that I have of hyperlinking is to a custom show. So, I’m going to say analytics. Okay. Okay. And now let’s watch that happen. So, here I am, I move to the agenda slide, see my cursor change? What is analytics, work through these slides. And when I’m done, I end up here at the interface. And that was not exactly what you would have had in mind. And I made that mistake intentionally because you will surely do this the first time also.

When you hyperlink to a particular custom show, see that little option right there which I intentionally didn’t click the first time? I’m going to click it this time, show the custom show, and then return to where you were. That’s key for this. So, now I’m going to say okay, and I’m going to do the rest of these also.

World without analytics, hyperlink. I’m going to press tab and C to get to custom show real quick, world without, making sure to click that little guy, and indulge me while I do the rest of these. Sometimes a little bit of repetition here is good when we’re working through topics that you’ve probably never done before. And then advanced visibility. And I’ve got one more and it’s this conclusion.

And now, we have put together this whole little menu. So, what we’ve done, we’ve programmed those five pieces with the content that they match. So, now, watch how flexible I can be. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to Cisco Live, where tomorrow starts here.

I’ve got a full agenda of topics that I want to discuss with you. Are there any that you’d like me to do first? Let’s pretend maybe I’m sitting in a small boardroom, where I really do want to be that interactive in front of a group of 50 people, I don’t think I take a poll like that.

But we’re in a small group, which one you’d like to hear first? I asked the boss, hey, he’s busy. Which one? He wants me to do advanced visibility first. No problem. I click right here. Let’s talk about advanced visibility, yada yada, latency monitoring, instantaneous mode, yada, yada, yada/ I say all these brilliant things and I’m done, right back to my agenda, where at this point, I can go to world without analytics. And I could talk through all of these topics. And when I’m done with them, I know that I will return to my agenda, the one agenda slide that’s here in the deck, but it sure seems as if it’s appearing whenever I want it to.

Now, I can work this deck either way. I could also just advance, press the spacebar, and here I go. I’m going to work through the deck, just in linear mode, world without analytics, here we go. But at any time, now, I do need … So, I didn’t program a jump back to the menu, but I could have. I could have made this little bar right here be my jump back to the menu. In this case, it’s going to be pretty easy to remember that the menu is slide two. There I am back on slide two, where now I could just quickly jump to my conclusion, if I needed to. And yada, yada, then back to here, and off we go.

So, if I wanted to do this completely menu driven, I could actually hide every slide in the deck and only access them through here. In fact, let me just show that real quick. Because I can take every single one of these slides except the thank you slide. Hide them all. So, now they’re all hidden. So, now when I start this deck, watch what happens here, here, there. There’s my thank you slide. Okay. But I can still reach all of these others because the custom shows are still defined.

And then when I’m done, I advance to the thank you and to there. And thank you very much for coming. So, you can do this. You have a tremendous amount of flexibility.

If you have a presentation that is modular in this way and you want to provide the flexibility either for yourself or for your audience to be able to work through this this way, these custom shows that are connected to, that are hyperlinked to objects like this is terrific.

Sharyn, what do you think?

Sharyn: I think it’s wonderful. I was sitting here writing myself notes and had to get myself off mute. But I love it. I’m seeing a whole different way to approach presentations.

Rick:      That’s typically the response, even with people that consider themselves advanced PowerPoint users, these aren’t the kinds of things that you typically encounter on your own. And so, yes, this session, it does make people’s heads explode. Because just about everybody has wrestled with this at some point or another.

Sharyn: Yeah, I mean, I’m sitting here and sometimes you have to approach slides a little different when you’re using a webinar technology, like GoToWebinar, but yeah, is awesome. I thought I was advanced, especially after working with all of you guys, but you amaze me every time I learned something different. And this is probably one of my most favorite things that you’ve shared with us.

Rick:      Oh, my goodness. So, that’s it, we’re done. I’m going to retire. I mean, we can’t [crosstalk]. If there are any questions from the audience, this would be a fine time. And if not, I will head to number three here.

Sharyn: Well, we’re good. We’re getting lots of attaboys for you and people who thought they were advanced LOL, and they’re waiting with bated breath to see what you got next.

Integrating Slides from Other Presentations

Rick:      Okay, well, so the next, so far, we’ve talked about two techniques that keep you within the same slide deck. Now, let’s talk about how you can actually integrate slides from other presentations. This becomes enormously powerful and I do this all the time. And you’re seeing it right now because when I press the spacebar, we now jump to a different presentation altogether. Okay. And so, this is the one that I’ll use.

I do this a lot. I love giving seminars on digital photography. I think it was just the most incredible. It was the killer app of the 1990s. And you’ll change the way that we all take photos and use photos and I love giving simple seminars on this. And I have a set of examples that I keep in separate slide decks, so I can update them very easily.

So, for instance, here are the four topics that I want to discuss in a simple webinar about photography. And each of these I have in a separate file. So, for this one, it’s called candids.pptx, cropping.pptx, zooming, okay?

Now, this is all just a simple little set of, just a text string. And I’m first going to show you what I don’t like to do. I don’t like to apply hyperlinks to selected text. Because when you do this, insert, action, hyperlink. So, here’s the technique to another PowerPoint presentation. At which point, now, I’ll go find it. And in this case, it’s here it is candids.pptx. Okay.

And now here, I can actually jump to a different slide if I wanted to. I can go straight to slide two or three. I don’t have to worry about that show and return thing. That was only with custom shows. And so, here we go, I’m done.

But look what PowerPoint did. It uses that old style, underlining hyperlinking crap, I hate that. So, I don’t do this that way because I don’t want to uglify my slides. So, let me undo that. And I’m going to go the extra mile here to actually create a small shape and put it in front of the text. And I’m going to give it just any sort of color for the moment so you can see it.

So, now let’s do that again. Insert, action, hyperlink, to another PowerPoint presentation. Candids, okay, okay. And then I would make this invisible. And off I go. Now, I’ve already done this on the next slide. Let me just show you there, so you can see all these little invisible boxes. And so, if I were to run this, essential skills for budding photographers, now when I click right there, see again, the cursor changes. Look what it says. It’s hyperlinking to this presentation file. And now, we’re going to talk all about candid photography and how you can be such a better photographer.

This was at a vacation. We met this gentleman who went to hell and back to adopt this girl when she was a baby from Haiti. They’re incredibly close. We became very good friends with them. And I did what most photographers do. I take a bunch of photos, the hope that I’m going to get one of them good.

But my appetite for taking photos is going to exceed their attention span. And after a while, they begin to ignore me. And, oh my goodness, that’s their relationship right there. And that’s such a better picture.

So, here’s a photo of a nine-year-old with the attention span of a gnat. Her mother asked me to take some pictures of her a portrait. She got distracted, that was easy for her to do. What a great photo. Here’s the seminal moment. This is my daughter, Erica, of course, she was about 15 at the time, now she’s 23. But I love using these old photos. And she’s with my sister, Jodi. They are BFF. They are confidants. And this was this was a seminal moment. We were at a luau in Hawaii when I was taking photo after photo after photo.

And my impatient daughter said, “Dad, are you almost done?” And the bossy big sister said, as only she could to the bratty little brother, she said, “Just ignore him.” And when they ignored me, oh, my goodness, because that’s their relationship right there. I mean, they confide in each other all the time. And it’s just such a better photo. And when you can get photos of people when they’re not paying attention, you are just going to become a better photographer.

Okay, press the spacebar once, boom, right back where I was. Nobody had any clue that I went to a different presentation file altogether, a different slide deck. And now I can jump down here and talk all about cropping and how anybody can become a better photographer just by cropping photos. So, this is going to be a better picture when it’s cut like this. Of course, not you see that big tennis ball back there. So, five minutes in Photoshop, and now we’re talking.

Okay, and so, I do what everybody does. I just put people in the center of pictures, and then you get that ugly barbecue and stuff like that. But if we just move them off center a little bit and I’m simply going to use the fact that Jamie, she’s 20 now, and I think she was eight at this photo, she’s sort of facing in just a little bit. So, I’m going to crop her from that side. What a great photo that becomes.

And I’m a big fan of body parts also, when you decapitate people and stuff like that. It’s just a better photo now. And here’s just a little too much noise as this woman is regarding his beautiful coastline. Let’s get rid of that bar and everything else. Let’s cut her off a little bit also, much better.

Sometimes you need a little bit more than cropping. Because once I crop this the way I want, now we have all these weird things like that toaster thing and this guy’s leg. So, again, five minutes in Photoshop. And now we have a photo that’s usable. I would have thrown this away otherwise. Now, I think it’s usable. All right, too much noise in Capitol Mall in Washington, DC, just the right amount of noise. There, anybody can become better. You can improve your photos by cropping them.

And when I’m done, press escape. If I want to be done in the middle, right back where I was. I love this technique because now it’s just very modular in my head. I know where these examples live. And I may have five or six different slide decks that are all linked to that candids slide deck. When I update that one slide deck, every other slide deck that’s linked to it will show the updated slides. So, I really enjoy using this technique this way.

And I’m going to ramp up in just a moment, if there aren’t any questions or comments about anything I’ve done so far.

Sharyn: I have been trying to get a word in edgewise, but you were on a roll. There are several questions.

Rick:      Yes.

Sharyn: There are a lot of questions about how did you make the box invisible?

Rick:      That’s easy. So, how did I make the box invisible? I simply removed the outline and removed the fill.

Sharyn: Well, that’s a duh.

Rick:      Yeah, that’s a duh. Yeah, it’s still there. And so, like, I’ll show you. Watch my cursor. See, my cursor change. It’s still there. It’ll still work even though it’s invisible. I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wish I could select the text. But again, the text looks ugly with a hyperlink applied to it.

Sharyn: So, there’s an interesting question that said, why did a blank area appear at the bottom of the slide when you use the grouping example with the custom show?

Rick:      A blank? Oh, boy, I’m not sure. I still have that slide deck open. Okay, so this slide deck here, ask that again, Sharyn.

Sharyn: So, why did a blank area appear at the bottom of the slide when you use the grouping example with custom shows? That might just be the way you have the slide set up. I can see what he’s talking about.

Rick:      Okay, there’s a blank area right down here.

Sharyn: Exactly.

Rick:      And that’s just because I had to remove a bunch of confidential information from Cisco slides. I’m going to invite that person to clarify the question and see if I can understand it better. What else you got?

Sharing Your Powerpoint Files with Links

Sharyn: Okay, so, I was going to suggest them same thing, we’ll send them a note. So, Belinda wants to know. “So, Rick, does that mean that if you send the files to someone, you have to send all the link files together with the main file?”

Rick:      I’m guessing that’s Belinda Gonzales.

Sharyn: Yes, it is.

Rick:      Who comes to the conference every year and asks great questions. And yes, there is baggage to this. And this, I was planning to discuss it later. I’ll discuss it right now, that this solution works best when you control your environment. It’s great on your own computer. But if you want to share this with somebody else, then you do need to consider this.

And in fact, where are my own slides? Here we go. Give me just a second here.

Sharyn: So, while you’re doing that, you’re thinking, could you use a flash drive? Or?

Rick:      Yeah. Okay, so this URL right here is to a zip file that contains all of the examples that you are seeing today. So, you can open these up and reverse engineer them. That zip file, you put it into any folder, and you’ll see a slide name with the ampersand in front of it, which is the slides that you’re seeing right now in front of you. And then a whole bunch of other slide decks that are all the example files. They all live in the same folder. And PowerPoint will always look in the folder that has the main slide deck before it gives up.

So, the simplest thing is if you put everything in the same folder and you create your hyperlinks, it’s going to work even if you share it with others. But if you start hyperlinking to network drives, cloud drives, subfolders, other hard drives, then you are complicating matters. And if you were to send that deck with its files to somebody else, those hyperlinks might fail. You might have to reestablish the links.

So, the safest thing is use this strategy when it’s just you and your computer. If you do want to share it with somebody else, as I’ve done with this zip file that I’ve made available to all of you at this URL, note that they’re all in the same folder. And so, those hyperlinks should all work for you.

Sharyn: Okay, I mean, that makes perfect sense. So, why do you use insert, action instead of insert, hyperlink?

Rick:      I could use insert, hyperlink. The reason I use insert, action is because this dialog box is not as full. I could link to a file or a webpage, a place in the document, a new document, an email address. It does a couple things there that I can’t do with actions. But the actions dialog box is more robust. It gives me more options. Here’s where I can … I mean, I haven’t even talked about any of this stuff yet. But just the hyperlinking alone, it’s a friendlier dialog box and it gives you access to more things. So, that’s why I prefer it.

Sharyn: So, I’m going to hold off the rest of the questions toward the end, but it’s 11:40, so I’m going to let you move on.

Rick:      Okay, very good. How much time do we have? Now normally, we’re kind of loose with the ending.

Sharyn: Yeah, you were always loose with the endings.

Rick:      So, now let’s talk … I’m going to switch gears. So, up until now, you’ve seen me click things and we’d go places. Go to a different slide. We go to a custom show. We go to a different slide deck altogether. You’ve seen that a few times now. But there’s a whole different way that you can use hyperlinks and actions and triggers, and we’re going to talk about that now.

Other Ways to Use Hyperlinks, Actions, and Triggers

Because what if I’m standing up in front of my audience, I mean, those people have come to the conference who have brought me into their organizations. And I recognize several names here, from companies that I’ve done work for. Most of the time, I’m giving a workshop, I’m standing a good 20 feet away from my computer. I don’t want to be clicking the mouse all the time. If I want to make a choice of several different things, that’s fine. But I want to be able to implement some of these strategies, but I want to be standing up in front of my audience next to the screen away from my computer.

And so, that suggests an entirely different way to do this. And so, I break it down into whether you are pro-choice or pro-freedom. Pro-choice is what you’ve seen so far, where I choose what I want it where I want to go. And I do that with the mouse next to my computer. But if instead I don’t want to be next to my computer, then how can I use some of these techniques. That’s what we’re going to talk about next.

And so, here we are in a slide deck. This is one of the typical ones that I do. If I’m brought in to an organization, I always do something on presentation design. And this is a very significant talk. This is 75 minutes long. But I want to show you what the slide deck looks like. That’s it, eight slides. I’m going to cover 75 minutes of material with these eight slides. And I’m going to do that by integrating many, many other slide decks into this one, starting with this slide right here, slide six.

This is where I tell people there’s these three questions they have to ask. I’m sure many of you have seen me do this either at the conference or in your own organization, or Sharyn, you and I did a webinar a year ago on this very topic.

Sharyn: Definitely did.

Rick:      And I say you have to be able to answer yes to these three questions, including this third one here. And if you can, then you might do okay, and I show an example of a bad slide. It’s called my preparation slides.

Now, I don’t want to click anything on the screen. I want to be standing up in front of my audience next to the slide. I don’t want to have to go to the mouse and click something. So, instead, I’m going to insert the example slides which live as their own presentation file. I’m going to insert them into this deck, not the way I did it before as an action where I click on something, but instead on an object.

Now, at first, you’re going to be wondering what the hell is he even doing and I promise I’ll make it all make sense. But the object is going to be from a file. I’m going to go find that file. So, on my K drive. This is my Presentation Xpert folder. Here’s the one I did for this webinar. And here it is, I call it preparation. If you are really prepared, then you could revive these slides that I’m about to show you. That’s why I call it my preparation slide deck.

I say, “Okay, I want to link to it.” I want to keep the external link. And I could choose to display it as a little icon or as a thumbnail. I’ll allow it to be a thumbnail. There it is. So, this little representation is of my example slides. And I could leave this here on the slide or I could just drag it off altogether.

And so, now is when you’re probably all wondering, what the hell is he talking about? Because how does this become an example. And now, I could click this right now, and actually open that slide deck. Here’s the slide deck that open just by clicking it, there. So, you can see.

And so, here’s what this looks like. So, there’s a really ugly slide and a much simpler slide. And then I show the two of them together. And the whole idea here is that if I was prepared, I could survive this slide right here. But the irony of all of this is that if I was really prepared to speak about this topic, I wouldn’t need that slide. I would do just fine with this slide. And then I show them together to say what a difference of experience this would all be.

So, these are the examples that I’m going to give. And I want those examples to live in a separate slide deck. So, here’s the key to all of this. This inserted object, this is an OLE object, and I’m dating myself. How many of you remember object linking and embedding? Probably only a fraction of you because this was a failed initiative from Microsoft way back in the early days of Windows.

But the whole notion of embedding an object in a different file is quite sound. And the beauty of all of this is that I can actually apply, I can take this object and I can place it in my animation stream.

Now normally, I have animation … Yeah, okay. So, there’s already some animations set up on this slide. I bring these up gradually. And then after they come up, I want to animate the object. And I’m going to go down here to a place that you’ve probably never paid attention to. And it’s very poorly named OLE action verb. And I want to show this OLE object, there, you see came up in my animation task pane as object one.

And if I double click this, I can actually say I want to hide this before it happens all together. And so, now, I want to point out that the next slide here is this one. Okay. But watch what happens when I’m on this slide now.

So, here’s the way I go about this. And we’re talking all about design. You have to be able to answer yes to these two questions right here because a lot of people take that for granted that you actually have to practice and prepare and know what you’re talking about.

And if you could answer yes to those two questions, then you ask yourself a third question. And I talk a little bit about this. I say something about how the projector explode and you don’t have any of your slides, could you still give your talk? And you have to be able to answer yes to all three of these.

If you can answer yes to these three questions, then you might stand a decent chance dealing with the next slide. I’m going to click once. There, there is that example. As if it were right here in this slide deck. I talk about this slide. I show how ugly it is, yada yada. Go to the next slide. You don’t have to if you’re prepared, then this slide is good enough, show them together. And then I’ll press the spacebar one more time, right back where I was.

And with this thing now showing up, that’s my choice, whether I want it to show up or not. And nobody has to know. Nobody has any idea that I went off to a different slide deck altogether. And while now this is not pro-choice, this is pro-freedom, because I didn’t have any choice.

When I’m here, my next click is definitely going to take me to that example. Okay. So, there’s no choice in what’s going to happen next. This is a linear path, but I don’t have to be anywhere near my keyboard with my wireless remote. I could be out working the room. And what I love about this solution is that I pretty much give this talk anytime I’m hired to give an all day workshop.

Presentation design is something I’m always going to talk about. And my basic structure for this hour and hour and a quarter or so is in place. There it is. I’m going to talk about how you are the presentation. I’m going to talk about how this is the way people are creative with their thoughts. Nice quote from Albert Einstein. What does the word “design” even mean? It’s different from decoration. Here’s the slide that I was just working on. Then this slide here, I’m probably going to spend an hour at this slide here, the reasons why people put too much text on their slide. And you can see them all right there. And I have examples for each one of these.

So, if you were to hire me, I would be asking you to send me all your slide decks. And I’m going to look through all of your slides and I’m going to look for relevant examples. I’m going to look for slides that would work well as the preparation slides. I’m going to look for ones that do the three-word challenge, which is what I always do.

The whole business about creating handouts, all the stuff, these are all going to be separate examples. I know what the file names are. I look for the slides. I save them as those file names, I’m done. The structure of my talk is already in place, I just go fill in the blanks with examples from slides from your organization. And I’ve got this thing ready to go. I love how modular that is.

And this whole notion of creating embedded objects that live in the animation stream, that’s really the key to this whole thing. And you will probably, if you start thinking about it, find places where you will want to modularize your content like this. And this is just phenomenal for that.

Questions, comments, Sharyn?

Sharyn: We have a question from Wilma. How do you spacebar from your remote?

Rick:      Okay. The spacebar is simply advanced to the next. So, the wireless remote, that’s just basically advance. When you advance your slides, what you’re really doing is you’re advancing to the next thing. So, in this particular slide, the next thing, if I have my wireless remote in my hand and I press the next button, that takes me to the next thing. And the next thing was to have those two come up together. The next thing is this piece of text right there. So, this is just basic animation. The next thing is that object. And so, that shows up here. And now I work through this particular slide deck. There’s advance, advance. One more advanced will end that slideshow, take me back to where I was.

So, that’s just advancing to the next thing. Here’s the listing of things in the animation task pane. If there wasn’t anything left on that slide, that takes you to the next slide. I mean, that’s just basic navigation with a wireless remote.

Sharyn: Okay, so now that I can read, my eyes are getting old here. So, do we have a choice as to whether we show the OLE object on our slide to the audience during the slideshow?

Rick:      Yes, you do. The simplest thing is this doesn’t have to live on the slide. I could drag it off the slide. It’s still going to operate.

Sharyn: Nice.

Rick:      That’s the first thing. But also, I believe that you’ve got these options. So, first of all, I can have it hide before it happens. And then I can also hide it afterwards, I think. And I’ve never done this before. So, let me just see how this works.

So, with hide after, okay, so there we go. Here are those things. There’s this. Now, I work through these. When I’m done, I come back. Yeah. So, it stays completely hidden now. You’ll never see it, even though there it is. So, yeah, a lot of control for that. I generally just drag it off the slide if I don’t want it to be seen.

Sharyn: Great. I’m going to turn it back to you.

Rick:      Okay, so we’re nearing the homestretch here. Because now, let’s talk about the ultimate in flexibility. This is a hidden menu that appears only when you want it to, because I’m sure this has happened to you that you are wondering what you want to talk about. You’ve got your list of topics, but hey, what if somebody asks me about this? I’d rather not talk about that, or that might derail me. But if someone asks, I want to be ready. So, what do you do? Do you put the slides there? Do you not? How do you deal with that sort of thing? Wouldn’t it be great if you could be this flexible?

So, I’ve invited all of you to one of those seminars where I buy you a lunch in some crappy Holiday Inn ballroom, and you have to listen to me talk about some wonderful investment. Okay. And I wasn’t intending to talk about negative amortization. But somebody might ask me about it. And sure enough, somebody does.

And so, I say, “Well, I’m glad You asked me that,” and I come down here, and I click once, pops a little menu, there’s negative amortization. I click. And now we’re talking all about negative amortization. I spend a couple minutes on these slides, yada, yada, blah, blah. Here’s this, here’s that. Boom. When we’re done, right back where I was, where now if I wanted to, I could talk about low risk versus high yield. Or I could just make that go away, and then go and continue on where I was.

And as an audience, your jaw drops. If you’re a PowerPoint user, you say, “Wow, how did he do that?” I mean, because isn’t that just the coolest of all to be able to anticipate audience’s questions, but not have to be encumbered by possible topics that you would otherwise not discuss? So, how did I do that? Any takers? Sharyn, what do you think? How did I make that happen? Here’s the slide.

Sharyn: Gosh, that’s a good question. I don’t know. You got me stumped.

Rick:      Here’s the slide. And here’s those four things. But as you can see, I can’t click on them.

Sharyn: No.

Rick:      I’m clicking and nothing’s happening. Why? Because where do they live?

Sharyn: In another slide, the slide master.

Rick:      They live in the slide master. So, here’s the slide master. And now, these are just your basic actions like you’ve seen before. Okay. Hyperlink to.

Now, I intentionally have kept these as old slide decks because I started doing this back when the extension was ppt, not pptx. That’s like version XP of PowerPoint. And I’ve never bothered to update these examples. Now I do just to show you that you can hyperlink to slides that are literally 10 years old and five versions old now. Okay.

So, here are these things. But they don’t appear. They don’t appear. Remember, they didn’t appear until I did what? What did I have to do to make them appear?

Sharyn: Well, you basically had to have a link somewhere else. And you could do it off the screen, or I mean-

Rick:      I clicked on something. Do you remember I clicked? I clicked on this little guy right down here.

Sharyn: Right.

Rick:      I clicked on him. And that made these appear. That’s called a trigger. And let me just take a moment to discuss triggers in a very general way.

So, I’ve got two objects on my screen, okay. I got a circle, I got a rectangle. I want the rectangle to appear on a fade when I click, but you know the default of on click that it makes it appear when you click your little remote or when you press the spacebar. I instead want to make the rectangle appear when I click the oval. So, I’m triggering the animation of the rectangle to another object.

So, watch my cursor. See that? Click, there’s the rectangle. That’s called a trigger. And I’m going to now use that same technique. The most advanced part of this really is knowing what object to click on. And PowerPoint doesn’t make this easy. Okay, hold on a second, I need to get to … Give me just one second.

I need to bring in the selection and visibility pane. This is one of the coolest parts of PowerPoint. You get there from Home, select Selection Pane. That brings up this little floating box here that gives you access to every object and verifies. The PowerPoint gives some really strange names to things, Auto Shape 7, Rectangle 15.

So, I’m going to come in here and I’m going to rename this object. I’m going to call it my trigger. So, this little box down here in the bottom right is now called trigger. And you’ll note that these techniques drive my design. My slide designs, I always want to have little bubbles like this somewhere down at the bottom. As you saw before, the little camera icons, just stuff that I can use for hyperlinks.

So, I’m going to take all of these guys right here, and I want them to fade in. And I also want them to fade out. And I just learned of a simpler way to do this. Sharyn, you and I didn’t talk about this, the whole oops part of this.

Sharyn: Right.

Rick:      The oops part of this session is because when you experiment around with stuff like this, you always find things that you didn’t anticipate. And I found one of them myself.

But first I’ll show this the way that I’ve always done it. So, there’s those things fading in. I also want to create a fade away, an exit fade. So, here they all are, fade in, fade out. I’m now going to take all four of these and I’m going to trigger them to, there it is, the object that I renamed trigger, that little guy down here in the lower right corner. Okay.

Sharyn: So, while we’re doing this is using triggers, is this the same thing possible with the freedom of choice method that you showed us earlier?

Rick:      This requires that you be clicking on the screen. So, yes, this is pro-choice, not pro-freedom so much. Although I mean, you can buy a wireless remote that has cursor control and clicks and all that stuff.

So, here we go, watch this. Click, there they come. Click again, they go away. And while they’re here, now, the actual hyperlinks work. So, here we are, da-da-da, blah, blah, blah. Come back, done. Okay.

Here’s what I just discovered. I discovered that I don’t actually need these four. I can do all this by coming here to Effect options, and saying hide on the next mouse click. And when you trigger an item, what this should really say is hide on the next mouse click of the trigger. So, if I’m correct, now, I can click. And I can click again, and they go away. And so, that was my oops for this, because I just learned this a month or so ago.

So, this is fabulous for when you want to be able to be more interactive with your audience. And if you can carve out a little bit of space for a little menu like this, and you put the things on this menu that you want to be ready to speak about, but you don’t want to put them into the flow of your talk, because they might come up or they might not. And it’s ideal for this. You can take this apart yourself from the zip file that I created that shows you all of that.

Questions about that anybody might have?

Sharyn: Nope, I think we’re good. We’re good to go.

Rick:      All right. So, let’s sum up here, the things we’ve talked about so far. That linear slide decks, they might mirror the way we live in life, but they don’t necessarily represent the best way to present. They’re too confining. And it’s this notion of a hyperlink that gives you better ability to manage both your time and your topics.

Inserted objects are awesome for integrating slides from other slide decks and being able to still just use your wireless remote to go from one to the other. And these hidden triggers, they are what really enable you to anticipate what your audience might be thinking of.

So, those are the basics for this. And, at this point, indulge me with a quick commercial because if you enjoyed this topic today, you would absolutely love attending our annual conference held in the fall, the Presentation Summit. Across four days, we will cover the whole of the presentation experience from software, or technique, message crafting, slide design, all the way through to delivery. Three tracks of seminars. We have a help center that is a total hands-on experience from morning until night, sometimes very late at night.

We have an expo that features all sorts of new technology. We create an atmosphere that is unique for a business conference. That photo in the center was not staged. You will not be able to help but make lasting and meaningful relationships. We have watched business partnerships forged, permanent friendships formed. We have had three couples meet at our conference and then marry. So, we are indeed a full service event.

And we found this great property that is just off of the strip in Las Vegas. I don’t really like the Las Vegas Strip. It’s loud, it’s noisy, it’s smelly. About five miles away, we found this incredible resort that we think you’re just going to love.

All the critical information is on your screen now. I would love to hear from you if you thought you might be interested in attending. I recognize from the attendee list we’ve got several people that have multiple stars on their badge. They have come to conferences over and over and over again. We do get a lot of people that treat this like summer camp and they just come every single year. And we’re very grateful for that. And we do our best to give them a nice experience year after year.

And so, at this point, Sharyn, the floor is open to any questions that anybody might have about anything.

Sharyn: Well, several people said best conference they’ve ever been to. [crosstalk].

Rick:      That’s nice.

Sharyn: So, great session. And we do have a question about, can you give a recommendation for a wireless remote with cursor control?

Rick:      Yes, I can. And I can do that. Because of the conference, some several companies representing wireless remotes attend an exhibit at the conference. And there’s one in particular, the old Interlink Electronics is now owned and operated by SMK-Link, S-M-K dash Link.

And they make a whole family of wireless remotes from simple all the way through to super elaborate. And if you come to the conference, you will certainly get a chance to meet John Blair, who heads up that company. And in the meantime, Google search SMK-Link.

Sharyn: Great. Can you tell us again how to advance the next “thing” if you want to skip the OLE object, please?

Rick:      All right, so let’s go back to that one. Look, how many slides, how many things I have open right now. Hey, and I didn’t crash either, that’s pretty cool.

So, that was this one here, where we … So, if you don’t want to advance, if you don’t want to do this, how can you skip past it? Right, that’s an interesting question.

For that, I’d want to do this differently. If I wanted to have the option to do it, then I would not want to have it in the animation stream. I’d want to have it always appear there. And then what I’d want to do is I’d want to go to insert action. And I would set this up so that the action of clicking the object would be something. I can either open it for editing, which by the way is incredible if you are a PowerPoint trainer. If you’re a PowerPoint trainer and you want to be able to just create slides that automatically open your demo slides for editing, that’s just phenomenal.

In this case, what I want to do, I lost my cursor, sorry. Are you seeing my cursor? I can’t see my cursor. That happens occasionally when I’m working inside of slides.

Sharyn: I’m not seeing your cursor.

Rick:      Yeah, sorry. Hang on a second. I just need to …

Sharyn: Hit Escape. There you go.

Rick:      Okay, so that’s what I want to do right there. There we go. Sorry about that. I want the action of clicking it to be showing it.

So, now, here comes the content. So, that little guy is down here. And I don’t have to click on him if I don’t want to. But if I do want to, there we go. So, that’s how we would do that and have the option of doing it.

Now that’s pro-choice, not pro-freedom, I have the choice of doing it, which means I need to get my hand on the mouse. If I want to just be able to click advance, advance, advance to my remote, then I am committing to having this be part of the animation stream. And that’s what I showed before.

Sharyn: So, Rick, I have a question about that. What happens if you want to provide the audience with a handout of your slides? Will the OLE object print? It may print on the slide, but will it print also as the full slide? And if not, what would you do?

Rick:      It won’t, no. And don’t even get me started on printing of slides. Because I think printing of slides is a bad technique and a bad habit. Because it compels people to put way too much content on their slide.

But the simple answer is no. If I print these slides, I’m going to get this. You’ll see this little guy, which might remind somebody, but this is all you’re going to get. You’re not going to get the printout of those slides or I mean there’s about 50 slides in those three examples right there.

But I have always advocated creating separate handouts, not just printing your slides. And the separate handouts, they could indeed have all the content that you’d want to put on them from the examples that you show here and everything else. So, no, they won’t print if you just print slides. Don’t print slides as handouts.

Sharyn: And as a matter of fact, for my last birthday, I believe we did surviving handout hell.

Rick:      Exactly.

Sharyn: So, you can find that on our website as well. So, just go to presentationxpert.com/webinars and you’ll find it there.

So, I know that we are running out of time. So, what I’d like to do is I’m going to take control back and just let you know that we are taking the summer off to late August. We’re not going to have a new webinar next month. But there are plenty of webinars if you want to go back and give yourself a tutorial. We have all of our webinars on our website. Again, presentationxpert.com/webinars.

And again, you can find us everywhere on social media. You will get a link to the recording and also a link to the handouts as well. And we want to thank you for coming and hope you have a wonderful rest of your week.

Rick, you rock it as always.

Rick:      A pleasure to be with everybody and I didn’t even crash. How do you like that?

Sharyn: I know, wonders. Thank you, everyone.

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