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The 10 Most Popular Speaking Practically Blog Posts of 2015


Most Popular Posts!

by Kelly Vandever

As the year draws to a close, it’s time once again to recap the top 10 most visited blog posts of the year.

As you reflect over the last year and begin planning for 2016, we hope you’ll find these topics and thoughts helpful.

Thanks for a great 2015!



Currently, when opening a new slide in PowerPoint 2013, it will open by default to a larger sized slide.  Instead of the traditional 4:3 dimensions most people are used to, it opens as 16:9 by default.

There isn’t a way to change any settings or option if you prefer to stick with the 4:3 dimensions, but here’s a work around.  (P. S. the work around works for 2016 too.)

During a training class last week while using a PC laptop, I mentioned in passing that my other computer was a Mac. (OK, truth be told, I was having some technical issues and I said that I wasn’t used to using a PC – that I normally use a Mac. But honestly, I wasn’t being snooty when I said it!).
After the session, one of the attendees asked me how I dealt with “translation” issues between slides created in the Mac version of PowerPoint versus slides created on a Windows version of PowerPoint.  This can be an issue for those collaborating with others in a mixed computer environment or working with clients in the “other computer’s” world.  (Yes, this post is a bit dated… but see #7 below!)

I’ve mentioned a great location for free, royalty-free pictures in one of my most popular posts. Recently I discovered that the “name” of the website has changed.

Click here to learn more.

Recently I watched a conference presenter who used Google docs slides as part of a presentation. In addition to his Google slides, he went to the live websites (rather than using a screen shot of the website) because the live sites better illustrated the points he was making.
When he came to the point in his presentations where he wanted to show a website, he stopped, looked across a dozen or so open tabs, found the one he wanted, clicked on it, then resumed his discussion.
It’s wasn’t a huge deal, though it did interrupt the flow of the presentation. But the audience appeared understanding and waited while the speaker went back and forth between the tabs and his presentation.
It just got me thinking…this would be a perfect use of PowerPoint’s Web Viewer App.

I was talking to a college professor who is teaching public speaking in a “blended” learning environment. I didn’t get the impression that it was his idea, but portions of the class were conducted online rather than in a traditional classroom.

I must have involuntarily made a face because he said, “I know, it seems a little strange.

Some of you youngsters reading this may not remember the days before online.  But for us old folks, I remember attending my first WebEx event.  The instructor had us take a cheesy poll, I forget about what.  Except back then, it was such a “gee whiz” thing – to be listening on a conference call line and seeing the same screen as people across the country – that we didn’t mind the cheesy poll.

The technology and the vendors have expanded since then.  Yet many of the well-meaning folks holding the webinars haven’t figured out what to do with the polling feature.  So rather than falling prey to the cheesy polls, here are some thoughts on how to meaningfully use polling the next time you do a webinar.

I once came to the rescue of Kevin Harrington, the famous entrepreneur who was in the first couple of seasons of Shark Tank. He was set to speak at an event and his PC didn’t want to play nice with the venue’s projector. Working with his assistant and tech support at the facility, we tested my MacBook and it did work with the projector. So Kevin’s assistant quickly saved his slides to a thumb drive and I loaded them on my MacBook. From there, we quickly worked to fix the ensuing wrapping problems that came from the font’s incompatibilities when moving from PowerPoint for the PC to PowerPoint on the Mac.
Five tips on audience interaction and three tips to help your webinar run more smoothly.

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It was Cindy, one of my coaching clients who’d asked the question.

Cindy is a busy executive running a nonprofit that’s understaffed and low on budget. She does most of the organization’s work herself and she’s got multiple priorities to manage.

Her speech was 5 days away and she’d finally finished tweaking her presentation. She asked the question after rehearsing the speech for the first time with me.

OK, we cheated a little on this last entry!

This is not one post but a collection of posts.  This page, which contains all blog posts tagged with “Storytelling in Presentations” made the list of most visited pages on the Speaking Practically website.  And since the use of stories is such an important differentiation for both speakers and leaders, we decided to include the link to all the storytelling blog posts in part of our top 10 countdown.  (Pretty sneaky sis!)



Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world.   Connect with Kelly and discover how opening up and speaking practically can bring you better business results. 

Contact Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her or tweet her @KellyVandever.