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Archive for ‘PowerPoint Slides’

If PowerPoint Were a PowerSaw, Most Presenters Would Be Missing Fingers

By Mark Kretschmar

“PowerPoint makes us stupid.” That astute observation is from our current Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. As a result of this view, PowerPoint has been banned from many military conference rooms. Some academic institutions and corporations are following suit (Psychology Today).

They’re right – essentially. But PowerPoint itself is not the problem – exactly. Displays of appropriate visual support are powerful in their ability to drive meaning and retention.
The User, Not The Tool
It’s not PowerPoint; it’s how presenters are using PowerPoint that leads to “stupid-making.” A …

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Inspiration is Everywhere

By Tom Nixon

When you are faced with a project or presentation that seems impenetrable, try looking for creative ideas and solutions outside your particular area of expertise or discipline. Years of having to deal with multiple diverse publishing projects taught me to have a mental list of inspiration locations I could visit to get the creative juices flowing. Some of my favorites: card stores, TV sports graphics (this would give me a great excuse to watch Sunday football), and the local quilting fabric stores — fabric designers …

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To be an Expert or a Master

By Tom Nixon

Any chart or graph can be a dense forest of data unless you deliberately create it with the goal of making the complex understandable. This double axis chart is a build slide with each component revealed as the presenter introduces them so that the audience can understand how the chart works without the initial confusion caused by showing the entire chart at once.

The goal here is to show how presentation technique and the complexity of the content work together to affect how the audience responds to the speaker.

The vertical …

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PowerPoint Slides are Changing, Thankfully!

 

By Kelly Vandever

“I don’t want to keep teaching people how to do better PowerPoints only to have them tell me, ‘Oh, we could never do that where I work.’ ”

This comment came from a colleague who was expressing his frustration about teaching people to present PowerPoints more effectively.

I’ve expressed similar sentiments myself over the years. But at this time of year, when we think of what we’re thankful for, I’m thankful that when it comes to PowerPoint slides in business presentations, times are changing!
Times Are Changing
While the statement above …

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5 Ways to Evaluate A Slide

By Tom Nixon

What are the basic criteria that determine if your slide is working? How can you evaluate a slide or even a presentation to see if it will work and deliver your message cleanly and effectively?

I look for five basic things.

Is there a BIG IDEA? Is there one concept that ties the slide together and fits in with the BIG IDEA that the overall presentation is trying to communicate. There cannot be more than one concept per slide and the audience should be able to get it quickly and without …

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Two Quick Ways to Improve Your Boring Bullet Points PowerPoint – Use Design Ideas or SmartArt Graphics

By Kelly Vandever

You’ve seen it a million times.

A boring list of bullet points.

Is it possible to make a boring list of bullet points look more interesting? Yes!

But I must start by making a plea for the slow method first!
The Slow Way – Create One Slide for Each Point
My “go to” recommendation is don’t include a list of bullet points in your presentation in the first place!

Give each new idea its own slide and add visuals to increase the appearance and make the slide more memorable. See this blog post for more details.

But if you are pressed for …

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How to Get Pictures for Your Slides without Even Leaving PowerPoint: Image Add-Ins

By Kelly Vandever

Back in the olden days of PowerPoint, you could insert images from a Microsoft library of images.  And you were cleared to use the images, as long as it was for non-commercial purposes.

Eventually Microsoft phased out the image library.  But now, it’s back… kind of… with Add-Ins.
What Are Add-Ins
Add-Ins are mini programs or apps by third parties that you can “Add-in” to your version of PowerPoint whether in the copy downloaded to your computer or in Office 365 online.

These add-ins to PowerPoint can do any number of things but for this post, we’re focused on …

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Transitions — a great place to start rebuilding your slides

By Tom Nixon

Imagine the typical slide deck with 20 or 50 or 70 text-filled slides. Some of them bullets, some just chock-full of text, maybe a few PowerPoint generated charts and graphs — all displayed on the same bland, mind-numbing template. Where do you begin the process of rebuilding? How do you start opening up the presentation, making it more engaging, viewer-friendly and less boring?

One way to reboot this snooze-fest is to add some interest with transition slides. Transition slides signal you are moving from one subject area to the next. …

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3 Cool Websites to Get Free Images for Your Slides

By Kelly Vandever

In earlier blog posts, I’ve talked about the value of images on slides. It’s more than a tactic to make your slides look pretty. Images actually make presentations more effective in getting your message across and in making your message more memorable.

I’ve shared other sites where you can get free images.

And today, I’m delighted to share three additional sites that are new to me.
Pixabay
Pixabay has a great search engine and you can choose the resolution of the pictures you download. (Of course I always choose the …

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How to MacGyver* a PowerPoint Deck

By Tom Nixon

I often receive the comment when I train corporate or organizational groups that they are required to use the company PowerPoint template and styles. Some are even forced to deliver a canned PowerPoint deck as is. Invariably, these are dreadful creations — dumbed-down and loaded with slide after slide of endless bullets and text, built on the blandest of templates.

Sound familiar? If you are presented with this scenario, there is still much you can do. How would MacGyver* fix a bad PowerPoint presentation? A caution: please measure the usefulness …

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