anders-brandstrom-46888

5 Reasons PowerPoint Is Not Dead – It’s More Important Than Ever

There are a lot of pundits that will tell you that Powerpoint is dead. Honestly, it’s not, but there are some that want you to work with something else. Even though there are a few options that you can pursue, the best options are actually not going to match the power that this solution has. Powerpoint is a great option, and it is not dead, in fact, it’s more important than ever before. In fact, the following are just 5 reasons why it matters today.

The Numbers Do Not Lie

Billions of people have installed this solution. In fact, it’s not even a matter of samples, or free solutions. Even though some computers have trial versions, people spend a great deal of money to pay for this program, and it is a standard of business. Businesses all over the world use this on a regular basis, to the tune of a billion installs. This is not exaggeration, either, it’s a literal number.

Even though people want to make fun of the program, slide shares in general, and even blame it for lack of reading in the board room, it’s a staple in nearly every major corporation in the world. There are few companies listed on the Fortune 500 list right now that don’t use this program on a daily basis. It’s the golden standard for presentations, and sharing. In some circles, it is even used over Excel.

Graphic Design Is Built In

Did you know that Powerpoint has a graphic design program built into it? That’s right, you can start with a blank page and create your own graphics, edit them, or import them. You do not need a secondary graphics program if you don’t want one. You can use this program to create graphics, edit them, make them transparent, shift image quality, and do a great deal of work within the program.

You may not know how to use these elements, but if you take a little time to learn a few tricks, you will not leave this presentation powerhouse. You can use custom stock images, graphics, photographs, moving images, and so much more. While Photoshop and Illustrator are great, this program has a lot of the same components, and can help you create incredible files, and graphics with multiple layers. The versatility that Microsoft has put into this program is often overlooked, which is unfortunate.

Video Production Also Built In

One of the golden standards of marketing and presentations relies heavily on video. Video is an important thing, and millions use it on a regular basis. PowerPoint has a built-in video production element. You can use illustrations, animation, and much more. With a little bit of work, you can create a video from your presentation and save it as a WMV file. You can use that to convert to MP4 or any number of other formats.

Fans of flash animation will love the transitional stages found with this presentation software, but with a little added touch of modernity. Flash was great, no doubt, but from Powerpoint 2010 and forward, Microsoft has built in a lot of elements that help you produce videos from presentations fast. You can even upload them to YouTube, and no one would be the wiser as to where or how you created them.

Create Print Books and Catalogs

Companies have discovered that this solution doesn’t just work for presentations, it can build technical documents, magazines, and much more. In fact, you can export to PDF and format like a magazine spread. You can print out elements that look exactly like a textbook, magazine, or technical manual. If you have used options like Quark in the past, you will find that this solution can handle a great deal of different components like it. The diversity of the program once again comes to the forefront, as you build your book, manual, or any type of print publishing element.

Powerpoint Allows For Easier Visual Learning

Lastly, one of the best reasons why you may want to give Powerpoint a second look is because it’s a powerful visual learning tool. One of the most powerful elements that education has is visualization. When you can bridge the gap between text and visualization, you will find that education becomes a lot easier. People today use visuals to communicate more than ever, and this program helps create that environment in nearly any arena. From corporate offices to classrooms, learning with visual aids becomes a simple thing to work with thanks to this program.

4 Differences Between Public Speakers and Presenters

So you’ve spoken in public, it was nerve wracking and you were probably glad to get through it, but have you thought on how you could improve it? We’ve all sat there listening to someone not that interesting, sometimes it’s not enough just to speak the words, but to deliver them.So how do you add that bit of sparkle? Pizzaz? Something that elevates your speech from public speaking to presenting.

Attitude

How you start a speech is often how you will be remembered. So wondering around trying to find the projector’s ‘on’ switch is never a good start. Let’s assume you’re prepared, and you’re ready to start. It’s time to find your attitude. We’re not talking dance moves here there’s no need to break out the Macarena, but find that confident you who knows the speech and wants to have a bit of fun with it. Stand up tall, don’t apologise for yourself, move around the room and deliver your words with vitality. It may be the tenth time you’ve given this talk, but make this the most exciting, passionate and articulate. Ever hear the words fake it until you make it? Live and breathe this motto when you’re presenting.

Smile

Dependent on subject matter of course but looking someone in the eye and giving them a quick smile, a simple nod of your head can take a speech from interesting to personal. Of course if you’ve already done your homework on the guests in your audience you can decide before the speech exactly who you want to try out your pearly whites on. Pitch it directly to some carefully chosen colleagues and your engagement levels go right up, regardless of the subject matter.

Gestures

What are hands for when you deliver speeches? A show of hands is a show of confidence, use them to emphasise your key points, or to outline the bits that you’re passionate about with a pointed finger. Make your audience take notice when you jab on the table for topics that rile you or regain composure with a hand thrust in the pocket for a show of nonchalance when tackling those big questions. If you’re not confident with using movement of your hands then how about some visual aids? A pointer, some notes to give out or even an example of your topic to reference, it takes the eyes off you somewhat while retaining your confidence.

A joke

For the daredevils among you a quick joke placed somewhere amongst the content to strategically lighten the mood could really bring your speech up in to the stratosphere of presenting. We’re not talking knock knock jokes, it should be relevant, perhaps even news worthy and different every time. When you perform the same speeches you never know who is in the audience, and no-one ever laughs at a joke the second time around. Avoid politics or anything with an ‘ism’, sometimes you may think it plays to be wild, again if you don’t know who is in the audience it’s not worth the risk. Stick to playing it safe but something that will raise an eyebrow and get the conversation back on track.

Of course none of these tips can ever replace good preparation. Whether that’s repetition of the script so you’re word perfect or knowledge of the audience, you are the subject matter expert in the room. At the end of the day confidence is key, it’s what people are drawn too. So whether you walk around the room, use visual aids, interact one-on-one with your audience etc, it’s your own personal character that will make the speech come alive. So don’t place yourself too far out of comfort zone, if you’re too busy worrying about making eye contact or cracking a joke you’ll lose the very things that make you, you. And if you really want to make your speech dynamic, that’s what needs to shine through.

presenter

How Anyone Can Become a Great Public Speaker

The science of public speaking has been well documented but it is still an art which can in-still nervousness, fear and a touch of panic for those unused to the practice. So how do you learn, and quickly, how to take the floor? For some people what works could be as easy as picturing your audience naked, apparently it’s something to do with putting you at ease if you’re that sort of person…But whatever works for you, it’s clear that the better speakers are the ones that get ahead. So what are the secrets to speaking well? From presenting to your colleagues during a meeting, to pitching to the board, and addressing a conference; here are some of the best ways to perfect your public speaking and presenting.

Practice

I know it’s not rocket science but there is no better way than to deliver something in a polished manner than practising it in the mirror for a thousand times the week before. Politicians employ speech writers, vocal coaches, behavioural analysts and stylists to ensure not just what they say is correct, but also the way they deliver it. Takes notes from them on rhythm, tone and posture – apart from that strange power stance with your legs shoulder width apart, definitely one to avoid unless you want to look like a toy action figure.

Preparation

The best tip here is to record yourself on video and take notes as you watch it back. It’s amazing what you’ll pick up, from the parts where you went too fast, to any random gestures you fall back on when you feel uncomfortable. For girls this may be playing with their hair or waving their hands. For guys you may fall in to a habit of tapping a pen or tucking your shirt in as the brief goes on – it seems the more self conscious we feel the more we need to give our hands a job. The best thing here is to find a glass of water to sip or a pocket to place your hand – it may hide the tremors also.

Confidence

Do whatever makes you feel comfortable, whether it’s imaging the room in their greying undies or bringing in your lucky charms, keep hold of those positive thoughts. Remember, to appear confident make eye contact as go you around the room and if you get stuck, silence is worth more than nervous words said at a hundred miles an hour. I find it’s a good idea to take notes with me so I can pretend to thumb through when I need a breather, although water is a good choice too it seems to make people think that they can ask you a question while you have a time out.

Projection

Lastly it’s all about the voice. You don’t want people to ask you to repeat that presentation you’ve been practising all week because the ones at the back couldn’t hear you. For this task grab a few friends, find a room of a similar size where you’ll be speaking and get them to fill in as practice audience members. You’ll need at least two mates, one for the front of the room and one for the back. The key is for the guy at the back to be able to hear you without the person at the front going deaf. Once you’ve found a nice medium you need to complete all of your practice sessions at that decibel so you may want to think about what times of the day you’ll be practising your speech if you have family or neighbours to work around.

If you remember as a child being made to practice your 2 lines for the school play over and over again by the teachers then you’ll also remember that most of the time this was a strategy that worked. Repetition is the easiest way to learn a script for most people and although it is a cliché – practice makes perfect. As long as you practice before hand and feel comfortable in the environment then it’s only a few small steps between speaking in public and getting booked as an after dinner speaker. Which is a very lucrative market I hear…

Slide1

4 Awesome Design Tips For Producing Winning Presentations

PowerPoint slides can make or break a presentation and the success of yours can often come down to design. Too many graphics and your audience will be distracted from the actual points you are trying to get across, too little and your audience may loose interest. With this in mind, here are four design tips for an effective PowerPoint presentation.

Make it Unique

Yes, PowerPoint supplies its users with a number of design templates but if you want yours to stand out from the crowd, be aware that there are other options. One way to make your presentation unique is to customise your PowerPoint design. You can re-size your slides, use bespoke colour combinations and create custom shapes among many other things. No one wants to sit through the same boring presentation over and over again so distance yourself from those tired, overused templates and create slides that inspire.

Less is More

The PowerPoint slides are designed to support the main points of your presentation and overloading them with content will only distract your audience from your speech. PowerPoint has a range of features that allow you to jazz up slide transitions with animations. Subtle animations can make your slideshow that little bit more impressive but to use too many and it could come across as slightly gimmicky.

Choose Colours with Care

Colour can enhance your PowerPoint presentation and give your slides a professional edge. However, colours should be chosen carefully in order to create a visually pleasing presentation. Certain colours have connotations so make sure that the ones you pick are associated with positive emotions. One way to take the guesswork out of choosing colours for your slides is to use colours that reflect your brand. Take the primary colours used in your website design and branding and incorporate them into your slide design. Choosing the right colours can guide the emotions of your audience throughout your speech. A dark blue or purple background works well with lighter texts and lighter neutral backgrounds complement dark texts but it is best to avoid bold colours such as red, black and brown as these shades tend to come across as aggressive on screen.

Text Vs Images

It can be tempting to fill your PowerPoint slides with bullet point after bullet point but nothing will jeopardise your presentation faster than large blocks of text. An abundance of text will detract attention away from you and leave you competing for the audience’s attention. Images provide the audience with information in a simple and engaging manor and can add value to your presentation. However, if you do choose to support your main points with images, ensure you use graphics of the highest quality. Images of people often make an impact and add a personal touch to the presentation.

So, there you have it, four design tips to help you create a professional presentation at speed. Creating a visually appealing presentation design takes time but our top tips will simplify the process and result in a polished presentation that can’t fail to engage your audience.

How to Create Custom Shapes in PowerPoint 2016

When you need to make a presentation either for work or for school, Powerpoint is usually the software that you choose. With a simple software like Powerpoint, you can easily create professional presentations that your audience will love.

There are many things you can do with Powerpoint to bring those templates back to life. One of the most interesting things you can do is to create design elements like custom shapes.

You don’t want to fill your slides with too many elements or you’ll be missing the point of doing a great presentation. However, some creative designs here and there will allow you to make the perfect presentation.

In the following steps, you’ll learn how to create custom shapes in PowerPoint 2016. You can start my creating a more basic shape at first, but notice that you can (and should) use this tutorial to create any custom shapes you want in Powerpoint.

Here are the steps to create custom shapes in Powerpoint 2016:

* Step 1: Insert Shape

With your Powerpoint 2016 opened, just click on the Insert drop menu and select Insert a Shape. Just choose a circle, for example. You should now be able to see the shape you selected on your canvas.

* Step 2: Duplicate Shape:

On this step, we’re going to duplicate the inserted shape. In order to do that, you just need to copy and paste the circle you already have on your canvas.

* Step 3: Resize the Shape:

You can either increase or decrease the size of the shape. In this tutorial, we will increase the size of the copied circle. To resize the circle, you just need to hold Shift while you move on of the corner handles. By pressing Shift while you do this will allow you to scale the shape evenly, maintaining the original proportions.

* Step 4: Arrange And Group The Shapes

Now, just move the smaller circle and put it on top of the large circle. Make sure they have the same center by using the alignment guides. Press Control Key and first select the bigger circle, and then the smaller circle.

With both images selected, by this order, right click on the shape and within the Grouping drop-down menu, select Subtract.

* Step 5: Copy Shapes

Now, to duplicate the custom shape you just created, just copy and paste.

* Step 6: Finishing Touches:

When you position all the shapes you create the way you want them to be, just select them all, right click and from the Grouping drop-down menu choose Merge all of the selected shapes into one shape.

And you just created your first custom shape. As you can see, it’s pretty easy to make creative design elements to enhance your Powerpoint presentations. All you need is a little of creativity and imagination and your presentations will be unforgettable.