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Powerpoint Book


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A Powerpoint Book must lay out all aspects of Powerpoint design,

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Powerpoint Book

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  2. 2. Social Media Themed Powerpoint Templates and Training Available! Visit us RIGHT NOW HERE! Page 2
  3. 3. What is PowerpointIn this post, we are going to answer questions beyond what is Powerpoint. Further, we will dealwith what exactly you should have in your PowerPoint presentation ecosystem. As was said inour last post, we are not trying to lock you into a particular style of presentation.We discovered many years ago, presentations are as unique as the individual, however, theissue becomes diverse people trying to lump themselves all together with one PowerPointpresentation style.With that said, the presentation ecosystem consists mainly of three over-arching disciplines • Messaging • Delivery • visual storyFirst we are going to deal with messaging. Too often, a presenter will isolate themselves into atiny room whether it be a physical or a mental room, and take on the belief that thisis my presentation and I have to do it alone. As you can see, there is no team and a lot of me!I will not argue that there is a place for isolationism within creating power points however,what I will argue against, is that a whole presentation doesn’t have to be brainstorm, createdand delivered by one person.The beautiful thing about Powerpoint, although rarely spoken of, is that they or a part of theWeb 2.0 environment. This allows the presenter to take on a collaborative mindset as theyprepare for their grand presentation!Although we do not believe in clichés, the word ‘collaborative environment’ is here to stay! Asmessaging is concerned, there are some things to Page 3
  4. 4. Those things are, but may not be limited to; • audience • ideas • writing • critiqueTo deliver an effective message that your audience will hold on to long after they leave, thesecomponents, in a chronological manner anyway, must be taken into consideration. A greatexample is a presentation we made to the AGRM in San Diego California not long ago.This audience’s need, being all nonprofits, was fund raising. The question that each attendeewas: how can I raise more funds to feed the homeless and poor? How much is this going tocost? How can I fund raise more efficiently with the resources we already have?Truthfully, all of these organizational leaders, being from all over the country, were locked intoa mindset of “what we are doing NOW is fine.”This conference presentation seemed particularly difficult for the following reasons; • Everyone in the room was in their mid-50s - this wasnt a problem in itself however, trying to communicate something, no matter how effective the PowerPoint, to people who refuse to see the future presents a whole other level of challenges. • Most refuse to see beyond Microsoft Outlook e-mail program - what we discovered was that none of these organizational leaders were preparing their organizations for the next generation. • The social media paradigm extended no further than Facebook - except for setting up a Facebook profile, most had no idea that there were huge implications for the future of their organizations, beyond that! Page 4
  5. 5. Having gathered intelligence on the demographics of the room before arrival, it wasunderstood that we had to present a PowerPoint that dealt with such a limited mindset. Theway we did this, was from an old-school, Yellow Pages paradigm.This generation was born into the Yellow Pages so we approached search engine marketingfrom this very paradigm.Having not done so, this presentation wouldve flopped! Remember,your audiences needs have to be addressed in a way they understand so gather intelligencebefore you ever arrive.The second part of this presentation was delivery. Most of these peoplewere professing Christians. With that said, we understood instinctively, that a rhythmic deliverywas important. This isn’t to cast all Christians in a rhythmic delivery paradigm however we hadjust the person to deliver such a presentation.Knowing that anything beyond Microsoft Outlook and setting up a Facebook profileoverwhelmed these attendees, the delivery had to be at its most basic. Last but certainly notleast, is the visual story.We thought it wise to create a presentation that was very image intense as opposed to textintense. The bulk of our presentation expressed images in chronological flow that provided theNexus, or‘meeting point’, to bring the entire story of fundraising from search engine marketingperspective, together.All we are trying to point out is that you have to focus on message, delivery and the visual story.This is going to take collaboration. If you are a one woman or a one-man operation, seek theadvice of friends, relatives, colleagues, or other small business owners. To forsake this, is toprepare for disastrous Page 5
  6. 6. Feed the ChildrenOver the years, we have watched the progress of an organization called Feed the Children. Thisorganization fund raises to feed starving children all over the world. What weve noticed aboutthe way they present a message is that over the years, it hasnt changed!Amazingly, with the advent of 3-D graphics, interactive television commercials, HD video andother, this message has remained remarkably consistent. They hammer home five key points,no matter how long they commercial: • Children are sick and dying • They dont have enough food to survive • Parents are unable to care for them • The viewer has enough money to help • Good people do good deedsThis message was so effective that one of our employees, who lived in Australia, heard a localbragging about giving $10 a month to feed a hungry child! What this has to do withpresentation and the creating them is this: it doesnt take world class technology or graphics tocommunicate an effective message.Feed the Children has gotten fund raising by communicating an effective message largelyimages and call to action, down to an exact science. Why dont you?I can just hear the tons of excuses from some of our readers right now. When you take thenecessary time in creating great slides, what you will find is creating a cohesive message maynot necessarily have to be changed over Page 6
  7. 7. The core of your presentation, being the heart of a great message, should rarely change andonly adapt to penetrate growth market opportunities. What is most profound about Feed theChildren is whoever the spokesperson, they use lots of words but it is the intensity of imagesshowing starving children is what everyone remembers.Seriously, can any recallmore than a few sentencesFeed the Children spokespeople say? No! Itis a sure bet that most who’ve seen these commercials, can describe how impactful they are.Let images do the talking, presenting and call text can finish the call to action which began withpictures.As for-profit corporations go, someone who has built a strong company first based on greatproducts, but also an image, is Apple.Never has the image of a piece of fruit communicated such a powerful brand message.Although very simple, Apple was able, and continues to be, the standard bearer for one of theoldest fruits on Earth.What image communicates your product, business or service and can be used to define yourpresentation? If you believe it’s your logo and have thus far failed to define your market with it,you might want to revisit the design.You dont have to be a great designer to have great design inspiration! All it takes is spendingthe time meditating on what you’re trying to communicate. A great place to find how design isincorporated into a company or individuals value system is Its easy to tell byviewing multiple Powerpoints how seriously a company takes product design.Yes, we said product design! Great companies view presenting their message as seriously asdesigning the logo. Other design oriented firms like Target, Procter & Gamble or Dyson takeseriously every facet of product presentation. Awesome design packaging is just the end resultof well thought out processes so it is easy to tell that imaging is a core value. In doing so, itbecomes further obvious these companys value customer perception. When we think aboutdesign, at its core, it is about problem Page 7
  8. 8. Your presentation must solve a problem everyone who views it has. This problem can be one-time questions, purchase decisions or even a profound revelation sought. Whatever theproblem turns out to be, from squeezing an orange to communicating more effectively withemployees, the opportunity is great to immediately create trusting relationships.Part of succeeding as a presenter is simply thinking like a designer. When you get into thedesign mold and understand that text, shapes, diagrams and backgrounds must form asymbiosis to hammer home your message.Gathering Assets for PowerpointWe believe it is important to not just talk about hiring a ppt designer, but also how to aggregateassets on their creation. With aggregating assets, the following questions need to be asked andanswered: • What will most thoroughly communicate the message I am trying to give? • What design assets do currently have to contribute? • Where are the assets located on the web? Where can I find images, audio or video for insert?Although many more questions could be asked and hopefully answered, these are mostimportant from a design perspective. This isnt to say design is more important than messagebut design and message must come together in to form a Nexus that puts forth a long-lastingand impacting Page 8
  9. 9. While looking at competitors business slides, we’ve noticed a popular website known to many.After inspecting their offerings, we would like to give them HUGE PROPS because there is onething that they do well above any other.This company brings a new 3-D-based design style to a market starving for something new.With that said, one thing that we do not like and the reason we felt it necessary totake PowerPoint avatar design images to another level, is all assets they offer are too repetitivethrough all presentation offerings.There is a place within brand messaging when this is necessary. However, variety is alsonecessary when looking at slides from a customer based mindset. Are colors the key basis forvariety? Can it be said that using the same shapes or other assets in different presentationsbrings variety?The answer to both questions is an emphatic NO! Our greatest fear is that tens of thousands ofpotential customers arrive here and feel that they are FORCED, through like of PPT prowess, tochoose something which is perfectly unique to their personal tastes. Such decisions are madewhen lack of variety is perceived.With billions of people on the planet and certainly as many different tastes in design, andalthough we can’t address every need, our goal is to bring enough variety that many of ourcustomers dont purchase out of shear desperation.Any business owner can tell you when a customer feels as if they have to choose due toimmediate need as opposed to genuine love of product or service, this is a recipe a high bouncerate.Bounce rates are essentially customers that come to your website, scan it for no more than 8 to15 seconds and decide whether or not to stay. Having scanned the website and decide theirkeyword need wasn’t properly met, they will leave and thereby, increase a site’s bounce Page 9
  10. 10. As late as 2003 there was a monopoly on office applications and the dominant player with inthat market was Microsoft Corporation.Around 2005, and although not a new movement, open source applications started to gain afoothold in the market. For those of you who dont know what open source software is, it issoftware which cost very little, if any money.Its code is open to public and/or cooperative development.The term ‘cooperative development’is a better way of saying collaborative environment. A very real competitor and certainly anti-Microsoft product which is an open source application can be found at Whenyou go to this site, you will find compatible, Windows-based software for no charge.For the small business owner and entrepreneur, this is a dream come true! If you are juststarting your business and bootstrapping budget, would you choose to pay $199 forsoftware (Microsoft Office) or download free, compatible software which meets the immediateneed?We digress. Whatever software you choose, be it paid or free, understand that even thegreatest software cannot overcome aggregating the wrong assets attempting to communicateyour message. We will give an example of assets that are inappropriate for messagecommunication.Imagine you were working for the organization known as PETA (People for the EthicalTreatment of Animals). Knowing one of their organizational objectives is protecting against theslaughter of animals, you decided to use an image of a woman in a fur coat.You showed up to present a save the lions message and would display an image of a fur coat?How could any hard core save the lions PETA member not become offended? Or worse, theymay think you are mocking Page 10
  11. 11. We said in a previous post that it takes at minimum, 20 hours to create effective presentations.The only other alternative to this is finding paid PowerPoint backgrounds that are alreadycreated and allows easy customization.Even with this, do not force your message to fit the presentation template or product youdecide on using. Remember, there are those who ‘shape the world’ and there are those who ‘fitinside’ the shape of the world.Finding Design InspirationFinding your inspiration to create isnt as hard as you may think. If you are currently uninspired,think on these things to assist you and breaking out of creative block; • What are you passionate about? • Can that passion be effectively communicated to an audience utilizing the correct tools? • Do you have enough design skill to communicate the message visually? • If you lack the design skill, do you know the correct syntax search techniques to find exactly what you want on the Internet?Once you find what you want, can you aggregate those assets to create a cohesive andimpactful message? One thing thats not often talked about concerning presentations is most often you are trying to communicate an intangible product service or message through visual means. Those services can be anything from software, cause, mission statement, brand messaging, vision, product rollout, leadership principles or too many others to be listed.However, even to the best presenters its difficult to share ones vision without somethingtangible being present. The closest thing to a tangible product or service you will have duringpresentations is your Page 11
  12. 12. Many gurus will say that these presentation applications are simply containers for ideas and notmeant to generate. With this, I strongly disagree!Further, many more will say all trying to use PowerPoint to generate ideas is a trap. I will useone example to disprove this fallacy. When we first got started down this road towards creatinggreat slides to offer to those interested, there were certain steps which needed to be taken toform our company.One of those steps was putting together all the technology, office supplies, desktopapplications and office furniture. For those of you who have seen our PowerPoint designs, youknow our CEO, BD Dale, has an eclectic type of taste and a slightlyeccentric design style. Hetook a long time and searched through literally hundreds if not thousands of desks.Having found none that he quite agreed with, he opened up a PowerPoint shell and begin todesign his own custom desk. When asked why he did this, the boss simply said: “all desks thatIve looked at are square and I strongly disagree with squares. The reason is it represents a boxthat we are forced to live in from the cradle to the grave.”What he came up with was a round desk that resembles an old school reception desk. Onemight be found in modern day Fortune 500 companies. When he started designing inPowerPoint he really had little idea of the exact type of round desk he wanted however as heworked through the process, using PowerPoint only, his idea was realized.He took the design to an office furniture store and they were able to make his vision of areality. Why would someone make the statement Powerpoint is simply containers for ideas andnot the means to generate them?The logic goes as such: “the goal of PowerPoint is to communicate ideas and not necessarilygenerate them”. That is asinine! Anyone who thinks that ideas arent pictures, fail to realizewhat the creative process actually Page 12
  13. 13. Although we dont have enough space to deal with all the components involved in the creativeprocess, chief among them is this: an idea that pops into our minds always takes on some sortof visual recognition. It could be a word, a direction, product, service, company or whateverelse that idea entails.But regardless of which of these things make up the idea, if nothing else, it is a picture! Onepoint which these people who put forth such foolishness say and I actually agree with is usingthese software programs to generate ideas takes understanding of how to use the drawingtools within them.To figure out programs unknown to end users could be a daunting task! One thing weve seenfrequently witnessed is entrepreneurial zeal being suffocated by lack of understanding on howto use technology.If you dont know how to use the drawing tools to generate your ideas, do it old school styleand breakout a pencil and paper! However, no let your lack of understanding on how to usesuch software dampen your zeal to learn how to.Powerpoint to VideoInvestigating PPT to video is one of the most important steps with creating Brand recognition that youwill take. While many are online looking for PowerPoint to video conversion software, there are manyoptions within the desktop applications you already possess. Why would anyone want to usePowerPoint video backgrounds? Page 13
  14. 14. The answer to that question is simply this: creating power points is also, in addition tocommunicating verbal message, a great tool to bring brand consistency to your products andservices.The first step which needs to be taken before PowerPoint slides can be transitioned into videobackgrounds is to assure that your PowerPoint is consistent with the rest of your marketingliterature.A huge mistake even the savvy marketer makes is to communicate more than one brandmessage across multiple marketing platforms. To avoid this, one needs to either rework theircurrent marketing literature to line up with their PowerPoint background or, designbackgrounds that lines up and are very consistent with current marketing literature.A further question which requires asking is if we hear a PowerPoint kung Fu disagree withPowerPoint to video conversion software? To be as plain as possible, NO! Nevertheless, whatwe do disagree with is business owners or employees of an organization taking the easy wayout concerning converting PowerPoint to videoWe are not going to say that there is not a time and a place for such software. However, thequestion that must be asked by those creating PowerPoint presentations is: if you are usingeasy conversion software, did you put together an easy presentation.Before going any further we will preface the comment we are about to make with this: if youhave taken the time needed to create a great presentation and great slides, and you are eitherin a rush and already understand how to manually create PowerPoint to video backgrounds, wecertainly agree with your decision.In our journey to PowerPoint perfection, we have discovered that easy slides that werentcreated with the PowerPoint mindset, often lead to a mindset which says everything aboutcreating should be Page 14
  15. 15. On any given day there are millions of searches for free PowerPoint backgrounds, freePowerPoint graphics, free PowerPoint text, and free PowerPoint presentations. Although we donot like using clichés this certainly applies: you always get what you fail to pay for.All we are saying here, is that when choosing to take the step of creating a background forvideos with PowerPoint, please understand that the thought you put into presentationsbackground will be directly reflected when you stand in front of your audience.For many who attended a presentation, take note of just a few things that you mightve seen.Those that struggle to communicate message, those who get stuck on the wrong slide and donot know how to go back or forward and those who were unenthusiastic about what they arecommunicating.Earlier in this post we mentioned free assets on the Internet as it concerns creating great slides.Please do this if that is what it takes to communicate your message.In closing, we want to encourage all of our readers to go to our PowerPoint catalog and seehow beautiful presentations can be if you only take the time before converting PPT to video, toassure your messages effectively communicated.Please go to our home page How to Powerpoint and take advantage of our offer! Part of thisoffer is an in-depth video tutorial on how to produce easy videos with Windows Live MovieMaker in conjunction with Page 15
  16. 16. Are Buying Powerpoint Software?So you want to buy Powerpoint? There are many things which need to be considered beforeany decision is made. First, taking a big picture view requires understanding how to use iteffectively.One thing that any presenter has to stay away from at all costs is the belief that what theyhave to say, is more important than fulfilling audience needs. When attendees are put first, it isa sure bet that the content of your presentation will be both long-lasting and effective.There are seven questions critical to understanding needs. Those questions can be, but notlimited to: • What are they like? • Why did they come to your presentation? • What keeps them up at night? • Can you solve their problems through your presentation? • Assuming delivery of an effective presentation, what are next steps? • What resistance might they give to messaging? • What tools and techniques are best to fulfill expectations?To answer the question what are they like, demographics of your audience is a great place tostart. To connect first means understanding personal needs. More simply put, take a walk intheir shoes and understand why they used those very same shoes to walk into yourpresentation!The reason why they came is a very simple question with a simple answer: you have somethingthat may interest them and it is your job to make them understand this!Whatever it is that keeps them up at night isnt actually their problem, it is your opportunity.Capitalizing on this opportunity means recognizing that most attendees have come to have aspecific, geo-targeted need Page 16
  17. 17. Somebody has to address the pink elephant in the room so I will; although unpleasant as it maybe, to solve their problem, more than anything else, takes accepting that the effectiveness ofyour presentation is gauged on whether their need has been satisfied.Assuming delivery of an effective presentation, what many presenters fail to do is to give veryspecific instructions for follow-up with attendees. There are number of ways to do this, hereare just a few: • Getting and distributing business cards is dead - Typically, people will take your business card, as you do also to them, and stick it in a briefcase, wallet or other and forget it is ever there. We recommend quickly discerning who was the most impacted in the room and immediately engaging them through one-on-one conversation. • Offer freebies - Who doesnt like free items? Before key decision-makers leave, make sure that you either place a free item in their hands or offer them something that they have to go to your website to receive. • Organize all free webinar for interested attendees - Theres a tendency to wind down after a presentation when talking to those most interested in future follow-up. Dont be overcome by this syndrome, keep your passion and drive alive when delivering instructions for next steps.If youve done everything you can from the conception all the way through a great delivery, youhave to accept that there are still those who will resist your message. Although it may betempting to gather volume of follow-ups, only focus on those which you believe there is afuture with!The tools and techniques used by you, the presenter, must be tailored to audience needs. Wesaid in a previous post, it is imperative to gather intelligence and demographics on youraudience before ever starting to prepare. When we say intelligence, we dont assume that allthe attendees are intelligent people! Page 17
  18. 18. With that said, there are going to be those, if your presentation is effective that will see thevalue of what you are presenting. First trust your instincts on who is engaged and assumingthese are key decision-makers sostart to build your client list beginning with them.Having raised more money and funding for companies than I can count, let me give you thissmall bit of advice: there is going to be a sifting process even with those most actively engagedduring and after the meeting.Dont spend too much follow-up time trying to accumulate further interest, if those who youbelieved future clients now seem uninterested.Designer’s Powerpoint Eco-systemThere is something that has to be addressed with a PPT Presentation. That concept is known asthe ‘presentation ecosystem’. As the presenter in a meeting, you rely on the nexus of ideasgraphics and execution to get your message across.How many times have you been in a presentation and you sat wondering just five, or maybe 10minutes into the presentation, why you were even there? Page 18
  19. 19. The presenter may be very well prepared, but they forgot to communicate their message andfocus on the content delivered visually. In this scenario, it is very likely that the presenter’sfocus on the message they wanted to communicate by individual slides-but forgot to give thatsame attention to the ‘visual story’ and the delivery legs of Powerpoint.Years ago, when we first began this journey to slide presentation perfection, we never focusedon the visual portion of the slide ecosystem which, truthfully, the background is a part of.Many years later, weve well recognized the disastrous effects on audience attention when thepresentation ecosystem doesnt deliver the necessary visual engagement to get the messageacross.Whether or not the content and delivery are good, poorly constructed media will forceattendees to walk away slightly agitated and feel as if they wasted their time.Even worse, visually absenteeism with visual message and lack of clarity can cause asubconscious lack of trust in what was just presented.One thing that is needful to put together great presentations is to anticipate audience need.Initially, many may not even know why they showed up other than having received aninvitation or are required to do so.It is your job to provide that clarity through the nexus of visually appealing presentations,chronologically ordered slides, and multimedia assets.This is what is known as a ‘sensitiveecosystem’. Striking a harmonious balance is important because odds are high that you been onboth sides of the podium.This simply means youve been both the presenter and an audience member;as a presenter,this reality may produce a natural tendency is to stay in your own slide Page 19
  20. 20. Stepping out of the slide zone is what is necessary to bring all of the key features of yourpresentation together. Nothing is more dangerous to delivery of a great message than to staylocked in your own slide comfort zone.The question then becomes; how do I step out of my comfort zone and still deliver an effectivepresentation?Stepping out of your comfort zone is critical. Knowing this, you should concentrate on two keyfeatures of effective presentation. The first is not inserting so much text that you lockyourselfinto a certain mindset.Being flexible even when you blindly believe your anticipation of audience need must be part ofpreparation. The reason is that you can anticipate audience needs yet still be ineffective by notresponding to their immediate needs.The presenter can try as hard as they possibly can to keep the audience on THEIR message, butone question, can take the conversation into a whole different direction! The second is youhave to understand that power points are not Word documents, they are que-cards.Whats the difference? The difference is too much text on a slide becomes distracting to youraudience members. They will spend more time reading the tax been listening to you. How isthis risk mitigated?If at all possible, put no more than five or six words by each bullet point item, on each slide.Next, make sure that the multimedia portion of your presentation, whether it be video or audioor other, is strategically located to not only communicate your message, but will bringaudiences back to a focused state of mind during distracting moments.In part two of this post series, we are going to deal with exactly what the presentationecosystem may look like. By introducing this, we are not trying to lock you into one certain styleof presenting however, we are going to lay out what we believe to be the most effective itemsto have in your Page 20
  21. 21. Quick Presentation TipsToday were going to talk to about quick presentation tips as it concerns something that is verynear in dear to our hearts. With that said, what we are talking about is PowerPoint. PowerPointis misunderstood for a few reasons the first of those is very simple.Most people confuse PowerPoint with a Word document. Powerpoint are not Word documentsand this is why they’re called Powerpoint! It just kills me when I see a PowerPoint that wouldotherwise be decent, with the whole paragraph of information.Paragraphs are for documents, bullet points are key to great slides.The next thing that reallybothers us is when we see people that obviously had someone else design their PowerPoint and they haven’t done so themselves. Having somebody else design PowerPoint in itself is not a bad thing however, what is bad is when someone outsources this will have someone else and they don’t take the time to master the subject matter, within the context of how it is presented! What are the signs that someone has not mastered their own PowerPointsubject matter? First, when they seem to stumble through the presentation. Second, when theycan’t figure out whether they are going backwards or forwards, hit slides transitions to soon asthey work through their presentation.Who hasn’t seen someone struggle through like this?So what are we getting at? All we arepointing out is that when it comes to PowerPoint presentations, there is an allotted time ofintense study and creation which is mandatory to both crate and deliver a great presentation.I’m not going to be the one to tell you how many hours a PowerPoint presentation should taketo create. But what I will say is that if it’s just a few hours, you are going to show attendees howundedicated you are to the subject matter. It matters not whether it’s just a 15 minute Page 21
  22. 22. brief, or a full workshop, you should at the least take at least 20 hours on a PowerPointpresentation.Although that seems a lot of time, the alternative is to have a disastrous presentation andembarrass yourself in front of key decision-makers! Imagine if you will, that your boss is in theroom, they told you how important a presentation was and you took one or two hours anddidn’t get your point across.What would that cost you? What kind of trust would that erode between you and yourimmediate supervisor? To answer that question is to go to the heart of why you need to takeyour time creating a great presentation.Four Crucial Creation TipsIn Part 2 of business ppt , we discussed great tips for deploying impactful Powerpointpresentations. To conclude this three post series, here are our final four tips. Before goingthere, it may be surprising that we havent talked about correct fonts, backgrounds etc. Thereasons for this are three-fold; • There are other websites that deal with such things. We are interested in teaching you the psychology of presentations. • You know your business better than any other. When you learn effective mind-sets, the rest will fall into place. • Weve taken all of the guess work out of Powerpoint design!Check out our Powerpoint Kung-Fu catalog below, for further information; Page 22
  23. 23. Powerpoint Templates and Video Education • Your Powerpoint MUST BE your personality;Having done more presentations that I can count, there is alot to be said concerning look, feeland delivery. These three things must have a nexus which puts forth your product, servicesmessage and personality, in a cohesive. With the catalog, our particular design style, is that ofFLARE! • Affirm points of attendees but NEVER concede oneRemember, youve done your research and too concede a point to an attendee will make youappear as if you dont know what you are talking about. Powerpoints convey your view on amatter based on relevant facts. Never let these disagreements alter the mood or direction ofyour presentation. Move on as quickly as possible. • Finish with Questions and AnswersThe slide(s) that directly proceed your strong Q&A session must be filled with the valueproposition. What has your entire presentation communicated? What is in it for the hearer?What are the next steps you want them to take? Every question you answer, must lead back toyour value proposition. • Give away FREEBIES! Page 23
  24. 24. Everyone loves FREEBIES so with that said, these freebies need not cost ANYTHING. Here aretips on how to make this happen; • Make sure there is a way to deliver the free items, should they not be deliverable in person. Email addresses are great! • Use free, download items which reinforce your messaging • Free items are easily located by using the following syntax search on Google;intitle:free item description.No spaces should be put in this syntax and substitute the above item description with thedesired free giveaway description. All in all, it is imperative that you take your presentationseriously. Most people focus more on fonts, colors and number of slides in a presentation andneglect the weightier matters.Business PresentationsIn Part 1 of business presentation, we gave our three of ten tips you MUST have t0 effectivelypresent. To build on this, here are additional, key points of effective presentations; • Include social media impactWhether you are raving about how great your services are or attempting to attract widerinterest, to exclude social medias impact will hurt message credibility. In the previous post, welearned about the need to insert some form of multimedia into presentations.Assuming it is video or audio, the impact of social media has alreadybeen proven!Many may think; "I am creating a presentation for otherpeople in the company I work with and no one else." Page 24
  25. 25. To this, I say; HA!HA!HA! Accept this friend, even a gathering of other employees who you workalongside in itself, is a social gathering. To believe your presentation may not one day, make itinto the arena for public view, misunderstands the invasive nature of emerging technologies.Understand the following; • Google, the #1 search provider, constantly has indexing BOTS on the hunt for relative information to serve. Google DOCS, documents stored in FREE email folders and on collaborative websites and not hidden behind protective firewalls, WILL end up on the web. • You may save your presentation on a flash drive and transfer it to personal computers. When you leave a company and start a new job, part of making yourself marketable may be creation of personal portfolios (stored online) to showcase previous work. No matter what the website used for storage says, your assets may be indexed. • Spyware is becoming more invasive and harder to block by normal security measures. How do you know it isnt grabbing files from your hard drive?Shall I go on? The point; create your presentations with the understanding that it may make itonto the web. • Communicate ENTHUSIASM!To do so, your presentation must be done well. I will tell you something very few others will (forFREE anyway); if you spend any less than 20 hours on research, aggregating assets and creation,no amount of enthusiasm in your voice will matter. Sloppy presentations begat HORRIBLEresults.An example of a sloppy presentation is using stock background within Powerpoint suites. Pleaselove your work and refuse partaking in such laziness. • Make copies Page 25
  26. 26. Because our society tends to move on to the next thing so quickly, the danger with not makingcopies available for attendees to take away, is loss of business or results.Here are easy ways, but not limited to, that will stretch messaging impact beyond initial roll-out; • Investment seekers - Chances are there wont be a huge audience for your presentation. Assuming your targeting of appropriate investment is laser focused, a small group will attend. Make copies available through Flash Drives. • Community events - In the lead up to your presentation, form a geo-targeted, FREE community for attendees and interested parties to join. Social Network provider Ning is one of many options. • Internal company messaging - Send follow up emails to attendees. Attach the presentation or should your company have an internal, collaborative tool such as Sharepoint, post it for viewing.Whichever your choice, build groundswell by using slide sharing sites like Slideshare and SlideBoom. The above three just scratch the surface and arent mutually exclusive however,expecting anyone to follow up with you is a recipe for disaster. Believe me, Ive been there!Video in PowerpointOne of our favorite topics is video in Powerpoint whether it be PPT 2007 or 2010. Truthfully, 2010 is much more effective for creating video assets. Except for video tutorials, every promotional video or other weve created, have been produced using PowerPoint! This isnt because we are trying to save Page 26
  27. 27. We understand the value of non-designers being able to use such suites to get their messageacross. Being able to start with a blank slide and understanding that programs such asPhotoshops aren’t necessary to bring forth a great product is something that bootstrap businesses need to know.In this post were going to give you some tips on creative processes with PPT to video and try tohelp you understand the perpetual value of making the conversion.As case studies, we will use and Both allow anyone to upload aPowerPoint presentation but there are two other features, among many, that must be knownand thereby utilized.What marketing gurus fail to disclose (keeps you dependent upon them) is there is a feature,especially with Slideshare, which allows not only a presentation to be uploaded and shared butalso video insertion and PDF sharing!As inserting ppt videos is concerned, once your ppt is finished uploading, you can chooseexactly where in the want to insert your video (slide by slide basis).This is most useful because an embedded video (free services) can’t be played within the slideitself after upload. However, what we found is that being able to select when and where thevideo is played, allows the flexibility to put forth further messaging.Let us explain. If youve created more than one video as part of your marketing efforts andslides as video backgrounds, the consistency with branding will be dramatically increased.Think about how useful brand consistency would be if you convert slides into videobackgrounds, insert them at strategic points on slide sharing sites and multiply that messagingacross multiple Page 27
  28. 28. We make it a habit (for marketing purposes)to create a thirty-second promotional video forPowerpoint template we create. Many of you have been brought to this website by thosepromotional videos! If there is one marketing tip we want every reader to remember (if noneother) is this: your creations have perpetual value far beyond any in person presentation youmay give.Although it could take us much more space than is available here, when you create slides neverforget further marketing opportunities such as: • Creating short promotional videos using readily available desktop applications such as Windows Live Movie Maker • Using image intensive slides as video background • Creating consistent brand message using presentations already created • After videos are produced, uploading all videos, Powerpoint and other, to relevant document sharing sites with a link back to your website. • Inserting hyperlinks if click ability creates direct trafficThese tips arent some far-flung theory on web marketing, they are tried and tested. It is abeautiful thing when you create a process, find it works, deploy assets and receive websitetraffic for your efforts!Creating short promotional videos isnt as hard as you may think. Windows Live MovieMaker allows you to do this with no previous video production experience. As we have pointedout in previous posts, using image intensive slides as video background allows cross culturalmessages to be communicated when language is a barrier.We won’t insult your intelligence by pointing out that consistent brand messaging is importanthowever, how powerful is it when someone sees a video you created using PowerPointbackgrounds, arrives at your website and sees the same brand imaging? Page 28
  29. 29. These assets (consistently produced)will enhance brand messaging through repetitive imagesand text. Inserting hyperlinks if they are able to be clicked on sites such as Scribd, will producemonster amounts of traffic and increase your businesss bottom line.Powerpoint Maniac!Featured this week, is an AWESOME Powerpoint maniac! This guy is passionate about creatingmega HOT presentation videos using slides. However, most people will not want to learnPhotoshop in order to get their message across.Is Photoshop necessary to create world class Powerpoints? NO! However, we arent takinganything away from this mans enthusiasm. Think about this; there is a time and a place foreverything and truthfully, if our company was publicly traded (not far off), we would certainlytake every opportunity and explore all available avenues to out-pace and out-class competitors.Tell the truth my friend; can you feel the LOVE for creating great presentations from this PPTanimal?These sorts of creations are the top of the HEAP. With that said, understand that assetsaggregation is key if you dont know, neither care to, learn how to design avatars, clipart, tablesand graphs. When I say asset aggregation, I mean finding the free resources on the web, whichwill both enhance messaging and fit your personal, design Page 29
  30. 30. Ask yourself this important question; "How do I avoid using stock features in Powerpoint 2007and 2010, to set myself apart from the competition?" There is one question which must beanswered before EVER approaching that.Simply; "Who am I and what is my product?" Every great brand message must begin with thedesigner knowing themselves. Although we blindly believe that some form of social media -web 2.0 feature must be incorporated into every presentation, there is a time and place forthese things to be separate.For instance; Recently, we had a mini sales presentation to make concerning a client whowanted to buy our Powerpoint Kung-Fu package for her father. He had a big presentation tomake for construction contracts.For him to receive templates which had Facebook, Myspace, Bebo and all such icons, into hispresentation, was inappropriate. We went a different direction and designed a presentationwith 3D, construction themed icons and backgrounds.The point; who he was and the business he was in, had to both speak to him and the audiencewhich was present. With MILLIONS in contracts on the line, nothing could be left to chance.Many things must be taken into consideration but what we want to communicate these, aboveany other; • Aggregate only relative information • Locate icons and pictures which will enhance messaging • Dont become so CREATIVE that your message is lost • Make sure the flow from opening slide to ending with Q&A is easily followed • Never let the audience leave the room without contact informationLive, love and create with a passion unmatched. Once you begin to live the Powerpointexcellence lifestyle, watch the results flow Page 30
  31. 31. Sketching ROCKSA much overlooked feature with creating presentation slides is the ability to sketch ideas. It is abeautiful thing when you can take rough ideas, fine tune them and organize all sketches untilthey meet your expectations. For most people, storyboarding and idea can be the mostintimidating of experiences.It’s always good thing to have sticky notes or scratch paper available to realize your visual ideas.However, part of learning slide design is mastering shapes, figures, blocks and lines to bringintangible ideas to life.Most people begin sketching stick figures by drawing the head. Many will say this is a mistakebecause a stick figure should begin with body sketch.We strongly disagree with this. The reason the less informed encouragedesigners to begin by drawing a head is the assumption that one almostalways sees a body, when noticing a person from a distance. Maybe thepeople who say this do however, in our processes we always start bysketching the head.The reason is: heads have to fit the body instead of the body fitting the head. Don’t assumethat these two paradigms are the same! We certainly aren’t trying to confuse anyone by but wewant it understood that where ever you start, let your ideas be tailored to the message youwant communicated to your audience.In the movie the Legend of Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp, there was a skull buried andthe headless horseman did the bidding of the person who had in their possession his head.Had it not been for a flashback scene pointing out how his head was severed, no one wouldveever known what the head ever looked Page 31
  32. 32. With that said, the body of the headless horseman gave no indication of what the head lookedlike absent flashback. 1000 artists couldve tried to draw an accurate depiction of the head andhave all been wrong.Once that it was given back to the horseman, it was the head that seemed to bring the image ofwhat the body looks like instead of the body given rise to an accurate image of the head.We are sorry for using such a gory example but the skinny head of the horseman fit the skinnybody. After youve drawn the shape, color and dimensions of the circular head in PPT,placement in relation to the rest of the body shape is essential.Before drawing eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth or any other feature, the most importantconsideration is the expression you want your audience to see.Is the stick figure happy? Sad? Surprised? Although it may seem a small thing, this is essentialfor communicating the right message to the right audience. After you visualize the emotion youwant to communicate, set forth drawing the facial expression.Decide on the basic shape of the mouth first. Whether it is smiles, frowns, announcement orsurprise, it must fit with the rest of the facial features to communicate a cohesive emotion.Next, adding the correct angle for the nose is essential. It shouldnt be disproportionate to thesize of either the head or mouth. Next, draw the shape of the body. This hearkens back to ourgory example of the headless horseman. If the face is skinny make sure the body isproportionate.Next, draw legs because legs are more essential to communicating emotion then are the arms.Last, but certainly not least, draw the arms.This will allow you to complete the emotion you are trying to communicate with the rest of thebody. We spoke in another post about the importance of spending quality Page 32
  33. 33. To make this clear, we did so by setting forth number of hours spent creating yourpresentation. Sketching stick figures can be a critical way of communicating the message youare trying to get across.With that said, please be reminded to go on Google, Yahoo, being or Ask to see if there are 3-Davatars, clip art or photographs that will communicate a more powerful message than sketchingstick figures.Brand MessagingLets face it, business presentations are key to building brand messaging. Although there areTHOUSANDS of tips on how to create perfect presentations, there are only ten tips which mustbe followed to receive buy-in to messaging; • Use key phrases on topicTo savvy presenters utilizing buzzwords by industry present opportunities to both quicklyeducate audiences. Having raised more funding in pursuit of building companies than I care tomention, I say with the utmost authority that subject matter experts in your audience, aregoing to challenge key points.The difference between effective and ineffective is this; when audience members challengeyour presentation points, reaffirm their expertise and politely correct Page 33
  34. 34. I worked with a guy who had a habit of totally taking over and driving the agenda of meetings.Weve all met someone who is smart and wants everyone to know it.The truth was that he was incredibly insecure and sought to reaffirm himself by this obnoxiousbehavior. He had expertise in the subject matter so I affirmed his expertise, but went places hecouldnt follow.The point; using key phrases leaves you in control of the presentation while receiving buy-infrom even the most obnoxious. • Slide layout must be chronologicalFor me, especially when asking the RICH for millions of investment dollars, this was among themost important considerations. Remember; Powerpoint presentations ARE NOT Worddocuments.This becomes important because when walking your audience through messaging, too manywords may affect the overall picture you are attempting to paint.I blindly believe part of a GREAT chronological message, is inserting multimedia at key,chronological moments. I always urge students of Powerpoint Kung FU, to use an embeddedvideo slide and immediately follow with a video discussion slide. • Multi-Media insertion must be cohesiveWith hundreds of millions of videos uploaded to the web (10,000 daily on Youtube alone),chances are there is someone else, who holds the EXACT opinion as do you!Although controversial in many presentation circles, it is more important to aggregate themultimedia of others which back up your facts. It is tempting to insert internal media assetsto HAMMER HOME your Page 34
  35. 35. However, place yourself in the shoes of audience members. When something you may notknow much about is presented, wouldnt you like to know that trends and opinions on them,are more widely held?If someone is asking YOU to invest money, wouldnt you like to see more market evidence thanthe narrow opinion of those you are listening to? • Have COMPLETE control of multi-media assetsI learned a hard lesson; NOT controlling every asset within presentations, can lead to disruptiveand eventually, messaging killing bottle necks. Whether it is within your company or anotherlocation, no one controls bandwidth usage and network up-time.Knowing this, and assuming videos are inserted (embed), why would you take a terrible chancethat it wont work when key decision makers are present? Download any video or audiointended for use and create a link from YOUR OWN Material!World Class Presentations Have…In furtherance of PowerPoint presentations, were going to give you this small bit of advice:world-class presentations require both time and focus. As you know, it is easy to get impatientwith creative processes.Investing the time needed to blow away your audience and have them leave understandingexactly what you were trying to communicate is critical. If you dont listen or believe anythingelse that is written here, leave with this: charisma never overcomes sloppy Page 35
  36. 36. Sure, people will say what a great speaker this person was but we guarantee if the presentationis sloppy, asked those same people who love the presenter’s charisma, a few days later, whatwere the keys points.Just because the creative process may seem sloppy and unorganized to begin with, the creativeprocess is about aggregating all assets necessary. This could lead to piles of papers, CD-ROMSand other, stacked on your work area!Next, once those assets are aggregated, begin the process of sorting out appropriate media.This can be most accurately described as ‘organized chaos’. The beautiful thing aboutpresenting is that out of this organized confusion, you can bring order.The payoff of bringing order to this organized confusion is a powerful message that will leaveaudiences wanting to know more about you, your message, product and service.If you were an employee of an organization, this will increase your credibility among keydecision-makers, colleagues and subordinates.In another post we spoke about having someone else prepare your PowerPoint. Since we are inthe business of preparing ready-made business and social media PowerPoint templates, as wellas education using video tutorials, we certainly believe that there is a time and place for this.Nevertheless, even if you buy ready-made templates backgrounds and video tutorials, thisshould never define your personal presentation style.Think of developing your own PowerPoint style in the light of your individual D.N.A. whichmakes every individual unique. This includes identical twins who may share the same geneticcode but even then slight mutations or variances make them unique.Your PowerPoint must be different than any other which came before, just like your geneticcode. We will not refute the assumption that sometimes a PowerPoint has to fit within theexpectations of those appointed in authority over Page 36
  37. 37. As we spoke of in another post, and intense Web 2.0 presentation conference attendees atAGRM wouldve totally overwhelmed them. The result of this wouldve hurt our credibility andbottom line.Lets briefly speak about the time needed to create a world-class presentation even if youchoose to buy ready-made templates. Time estimates for developing a world-class presentationare as follows: • 6 to 20 hours - research and collect input from the web, colleagues, industry professionals or other • 1 hour - gather intelligence on audience needs • 2 hours - generate ideas on scratch pieces of paper or sticky notes • 1 hour - aggregation of assets • 2 hours - organize your thoughts and ideas • 2 hours - sketches structure, storyboard and eliminate unneeded assets • 10 hours - Build slides into a rough draft presentation • 5 hours - refine your draft presentation • 3 hours – rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! However, do not become locked into a particular style of delivery. Remember audience needs might shift doing the presentation.As we close, if you believe that building world-class PowerPoint presentations take any lessthan the aggregate number of hours above, you will reap the rewards of being unprepared,looking unprofessional, and being unwilling to invest the time Page 37
  38. 38. A QuestionSome of our clients who take part in our Powerpoint design online video tutorial asked a veryimportant question. We believe it is so important that it deserves an entire website post. Thequestion:“How much should I collaborate with others to realize my vision of a PowerPointpresentation?”Theres no easy answer to that question. If there are 1 million people trying to create greatpresentations, there are at least as many ideas of what that presentation should look like,communicate and produce.The first consideration is whether the group that you intend on collaborating with bring value.We have found that in the workplace, most often the enemy of break-out companies aredissatisfied employees.Whether someone is a lone wolf or leading a group trying to realize a cohesive idea, greatpresentations are about AWESOME energy! If there is a group four collaborating, all it takes isone who either doesnt want to be there or is dissatisfied with working conditions to kill theenergy.Although we are in dangerous waters with answering this question, from our vantage pointwhat is most important is if you are going to use a collaborative style environment, siftout energy killers. Our chief designer and marketing director prefers another approach Page 38
  39. 39. He has ideas that seem to be wider than all outside and realizes them completely, beforeevolving anyone else. What is great about this style is that although he is stuck on his ownideas, he welcomes criticism that will lead to improved creativity.However, and because most of his ideas are eccentric, it takes a while for collaborative groupsto understand what hes trying to communicate. In most companies, this can be seen as anobstacle and the question of why not include everyone from the beginning is difficult toanswer.We will not try to answer that question in this small space but will only put forth this: whetherusing a lone wolf or collaborative environment to create, the only thing that really matters isRESULTS!Next, we will deal with those in the workplace who believe they are being collaborative butactually assign the creation of their presentation to someone else. This is a big mistake! Itdoesnt matter if youre a CEO, assistant secretary or creative director. To assign internal imagemanagement to someone else often leads to being dissatisfied with results.Your reason for delegating this task doesn’t matter, what truly matters is reasoning for doingso. Lets be frank here, 90% of the time, creating are reassigned out of sheer laziness!The person assigned to present feels they dont have enough time or simply believe creatingsuch a thing as beneath them. If you are this person we have one thing to say: “Shame onyou!” If that costs us business, so be it.We are not speaking about the actual design of the presentation. Mastering PowerPoint designis a difficult process and should only be done by the creative. However, the shame comes fromnot even bothering to insert relevant text once the design process in complete.How could someone be serious about communicating message and not even bother taking thetime to insert necessary text? The answer is simple: they are not! Another excuse we’ve Page 39
  40. 40. is that presentation templates are too long and presenters have no tome the time to gothrough 100+ slides.We teach in one of our video tutorials that there is no reason why a presentation should be100+ pages. The pushback we received was that some people have to do multiple day seminarsand have to provide lots of content. That is the whole tragic point friends. Focus on providing value laced ppt and what you will findis text will probably decrease.I would submit that if you are doing a multiple day seminar and all you have to offer isPowerPoint, you need to re-examine the value of your presentation. Let us give you some ideasfor enhancing the level of a multiple day presentation: • Have the audience get up from their seats and be more interactive through collaborative interaction • Trim your PowerPoint down into digestible parts such as creating an e-book as a free handout with links back to your website, product or services. • Make your presentation more image intensive which allows you creative freedom to adjust to your audience needs instead of inserting tons of text • After every four slides conduct a question-and-answer session • After every three slides make an interactive video apart of the experience100+ page PowerPoints should be turned into marketable e-book product and not sleep Page 40
  41. 41. Smart ArtIn part one of this series on Microsoft PPT, which deals with the Smart Art feature inPowerpoint, we dealt with the following features of PowerPointInsert:Pictures  Clipart  Screenshot  Shapes  creating simple animationThis post finds us dealing with the rest of the features available on this tab. Although we arenot designers prone to do a lot of chart insertion, we do understand the value.Primarily, Smart Art provides the ability to use charts and graphs to demonstrate either processflow or relational combinations.With that said, the question that was once asked was this: “I bought your video tutorial series aswell as the 50 presentations containing 300 slides and they were great! But it didnt do a videotutorial on how to insert Excel worksheets.”Our response to this may have seemed harsh but goes to the heart of understanding thedifference between PowerPoint and other office documents. If you dont remember anythingelse written here, remember this: PowerPoint isn’t Word or Excel!Although you may know this, we want to challenge your mentality by pointing out asubtle butoften overlooked difference between the three. PowerPoint is meant tocommunicate ideasthrough pictorial Page 41
  42. 42. Word is meant to enhance written communication. Finally, Excel is meant to communicatenumeric concepts. Is there a nexus between the three? YES! However, none is meant to be usedin lieu of the other.Our response to the above question was importing an Excel worksheet into a presentation, nomatter how colorful, smacks of both inexperience and lack of care! We are sure you’ve seen atone time or another, a nice-looking Excel worksheet.We will be generous before getting to the meat and imagine the worksheet you saw insertedinto a presentation was absent visibly marked, rectangle cells. We will even be more generousand assume the worksheet is done so wonderfully that you believed it was done in a third partysoftware program and imported.Knowing that 99% of the time this is hardly true, did you look at the imported Excel document,no matter how wonderfully prepared and think: “Wow that looks wonderful in the presentationIf it is absolutely necessary to avoid the Smart Art feature, there is an easy way to includeworksheets without actually inserting it into your presentation.Import a button, or use one within shapes, near the Smart Art tab. Next, highlight the button,go to insert tab and click on the link button. Before doing so, find a place on your hard drive or adocument sharing site to save or upload your Excel worksheet to.Whether the worksheet is kept on your drive or document upload site, it is necessary to copythe link from your hard drive or URL where the worksheet is located. Go back to where thebutton is located in the presentation and simply insert a hyperlink. What does that do for you?It allows more space to visually enhance your presentation without necessarily adding anotherslide. Next, it keeps a necessary part of the slideshow (worksheet)without being actuallyinserted. Last, it doesnt disrupt either the background or Page 42
  43. 43. If you wanted to be real fancy, yet keep your Excel worksheet in the presentation, you couldsave the document and save it as an image file and then create a short video to insert into theslide! What I recommend this step to my clients? You better believe it.However, we would never give this recommendation without first giving proper instructions.In our next post, we will deal with several other features also on the insert tab.More than a Presentation!We once read a ‘what is Powerpoint’ article about preparing a professional presentation. As weread through the article, it became apparent what the writer was trying to communicate. It wasapparent that the writer was suffering from the often use mindset which causing unwillingregurgitation. As we said in a previous post: “for everything there is a season and a time inpurpose to everything under the heavens.”Nevertheless, what the writer was pointing out was their professional opinion of whatprofessional presentation means. Truthfully, weve done the same thing but our main goal hasalways been to get creative juices flowing! If you’ve read any of our blog posts, you will knowthat we’ve never tried to keep any in a little PowerPoint slide box.Our overarching theme of any creation which comes from that creative spot within all must beuniqueness. Sure weve given you questions to answer as it concerns creating of greatpresentations, but what we wanted to communicate even more than the answers to thosequestions, is that professional is what YOU believe it to be! Page 43
  44. 44. For audiences needs to be met, several principles must be adhered to. They are as follows:collaboration, effective design and flawless delivery.Knowing these things, how do you, the presenter, be uniquely you and redefine what audiencesbelieve professional is? We certainly cant answer that question because truthfully, we don’tknow you personally.There was a time when we did design presentations for clients. That time has long passed andthe reason is chiefly this: there was no way for us to speak to a client on the phone or in-personand determined their personal uniqueness. Really knowing someone often means long-termrelationships have developed.Due to the immediacy of client needs, the process was often rushed.Sure we provided thoroughquestionnaires and did many things to try to communicate their slide vision to audiences.However, before realizing their creative vision, frustration was rampant and conversations,intense. Most read and passed our website services to friends, family and business associateson such sites as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Chimed in, and Manta because they were sosatisfied with our product.Although they were satisfied, we were not! Its not that we didnt love our work because as youcan see our posts, design style, veracity and aggregating the right assets to create ppt art, thereis little chance we dont do great design.However, we thought it more important to teach client’s to be Powerpoint self-sufficient. It wasa big risk and the largest of gambles but releasing our knowledge to any interested, turned outto be a wonderful decision for all.We’ve followed up and witnessed our client’s create uniquely, powerful presentations by usingour templates but more importantly, the most exhaustive and informative Powerpoint videotutorial classes on the web! Page 44
  45. 45. We further believe that creating a professional PowerPoint presentation and keeping within theself-sufficiency model, we havent done our jobs thoroughly enough if any who purchase ourproducts return and continue to spend money with us!That sounds like business suicide does it not? This strategic decision was based on very soundbusiness principles. With more than 50 million, presentation related search engine queries eachand every month, repeat business isn’t necessary!Further, it is not our desire to grow so large that we lose touch with individual customers. Aweb 2.0 environment is built on collaboration and partnership. This doesnt escape the industryin which we have chosen to operate. Moreover, many of our former clients have become soexpert with design, they are now paid, freelance designers!Using Stick Notes While BrainstormingWhile learning how to Powerpoint, there is a practice scorned by some and praised by others inthe creative process. This practice using the ever present and plentiful sticky note! Truthfully,great inventions combined emerging technologies with widespread applicability. Since wemention sticky notes, let us give you a brief history on how they came to be.A scientist at the 3M Corporation applied low tack, adhesive to paper and used it to mark his hymnal for choir practice at the church he attended. This is how the most favored of brainstorm tools was born. It could hardly be argued that sticky notes allow ideas to be immediately captured, sometimes sorted and rearranged as Page 45
  46. 46. If you currently lack the skill to generate your ideas using the drawing tools within PowerPoint,a great practice is to write one idea per sticky note and afterwards, put them in order ofpresentation.We wont go as far as to tell you to use a sharpie, pen or pencil but what we will tell you is usethe writing device that spurs the creative genius within you.The great thing about the transferability of ideas from sticky notes to power points is that theyare quick, easy, immediately available and easy to understand.Additionally, sticky notes make it easy to rearrange and reorder your content into a structurethat can clearly be communicated. On the other hand, some prefer a more traditional approachof storyboard creativity which is a linear practice of articulating detailed ideas.Whatever your end in mine, use the following guidelines to order your sticky notes if this toolwill help EXPLODE the eclectic genius within you: •Postpone the final judgment of your ideas! •Encourage Buck wild, exaggerated ideas! •Never refuse to put up anyones idea no matter how stupid. •Quantity counts, not quality of idea at this point. •If someone comes up with a better idea than you, build on that idea. •Every person and every sticky note put forth by your team has valueOnce the ideas are put up, begin to sort them according in relation to vision communication.Remember, encouraging your team members towards creating a great presentation oftenrequires acknowledging their ideas are better than yours.More simply put, great ideas are great ideas no matter who they come from. We have so oftenseen great PowerPoint presentations that were a result of collaborative team efforts. LoneWolves will never be great without input from others! Page 46
  47. 47. The greatest leaders in organizations will openly admit not only to their employees, but alsothose attending presentations, it was a team member who came up with the great idea and notthemselves. Do you really think Steve Jobs of Apple created Ipods, Ipads and MAC himself?Jobs said it best: “I don’t have to come up with great ideas, just ask GREAT questions.”The value of open praise of great ideas is incalculable! There is a wonderful book that Iencourage all to read called ‘Back of the Napkin.’ In this book, the author puts forward thatgreat ideas can be sketched anywhere and on anything.In this endeavor, if you dont have immediately available sticky notes, you can grab a scratchpiece of paper or whatever else may be available. However what you dont want to do is letgreat ideas slip by in a dismissive manner.As we close here, we want to give you a great piece of advice. Even if your team members comeup with a better idea than you, dont throw away other, less deserving ideas. Sure, maybe theideas are stupid right now but remember in a previous post we said: “for everything there is aseason and a time in purpose to everything under the Heavens!”Transforming Words into ImagesToday we will deal with the PowerPoint skill of transforming words into visible images. As wesaid in another post, it is imperative to create loose sketches of several ideas for the conceptyou want to convey. Reasoning? Page 47
  48. 48. When presenting to audiences, slideshows should be image intensive and not text heavy. Takefor instance trying to convey a message of process involved with developing software.No matter how linguistically gifted the presenter is, the development of software is aboutprocess. This process can be communicated in words but is always more effectively presentedin image.This isnt to say there is no room for text during within process however, trying to substitutetext to explain process will leave audiences confused, dazed and uninterested.There are many ways that processes can be communicated using images but when it comes todoodling ideas, it is best to sketch what you believe can be effectively transferred toPowerpoint.Do all of ideas in rough, hand-written sketches have to be complete? We say no! Other guruswill tell you to sketch complete ideas but we say if you sketch at least four contrasting ideas,you may find that even the incomplete among them possess a nexus with others.Somewhere in this part of creative processes, you may look at sketch #1 and realize it wouldwork well with ideas from sketch #2. Sketch #3 may have more cohesive shapes to add to theothers while #4 might be a total bomb!Whatever the outcome, the fact that you generated several ideas that are drawn into visibleimages, scenes or other, will stimulate a creative process beyond your wildest dreams.The sketching process should be loose, fast and contain doodles, stick figures, shapes oranything else that will help you convey a cohesive message.Generate as many pictures as possible while keeping in mind the slide layout must containelements that define a larger vision. Just because, and assuming that sketch #4 was totallyunacceptable, you dont use it during this collaborative process, doesnt mean it won’t havefuture Page 48
  49. 49. Create an archive were ideas that haven’t yet been part of a process, may have future use.This archive will allow reference points for future slides if appropriate. We want to give you thissmall piece of advice: if four sketches aren’t enough and you are highly creative, make as manyseparate sketches as necessary.This will require more work but will present a wider array of presentation options. Some ideasyou generate me require multiple scenes, diagrams, shapes and images to lace throughout theentire slideshow.On the other hand, there are times when you will only sketch a few ideas and find the perfectfeel for artwork immediately.We’ve said before and will do so without apology: it is necessary, especially for lone Wolfcreators, find somebody that can critique your ideas. Many times creating a groundbreakingpresentation doesnt require you to do everything, just begin the process and seek feedback.There are those who manage people and processes by being totally dependent upon buy-in. Itis with much regret we say such leaders are mediocre, teach mediocrity and are dangerous tothe future of any company.This isnt to say that creating an atmosphere that may require buy-in isn’t sometimes necessaryduring the creative process. Such written in cement logic is certainly fool-hardy! However, ifthere is one thing we’ve learned over the years is having all ideas come from someoneconsidered great rather, great leaders ask the right question to form cohesive Page 49
  50. 50. Powerpoint Diagram PsychologyIt is with much pleasure that bring one of the great features of creating slides. Its the diagramphase! Great presenters use sketchbooks, sticky notes and scratch paper to generate as manyideas around concepts as possible. Many times, employees are also given books and told towork separately on ideas for a presentation.After much sifting, it isnt necessarily the ‘best drawings’ that should be accepted rather, thebest ideas. Too often creators believe that quality drawings mean rock star presentations.Could anything be further from the truth? We have seen beautifully designed presentationsthat left audience totally confused.The reason is simple: as with website design, those who prepared them associate high levelartwork with effectiveness. To disprove this fallacy, we would like you to do a small exercise.Pick out your favorite keyword.Go to your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo, Ask or Bing) and search the top 10 websites.After you look through these websites, skip to age #3 and go as far back (pages) as you thinknecessary.What is readily noticeable is those websites may be absolutely stunning, yet tend to be lesseffective. No matter search volume, any site past page #2 is ineffective if a homepage. Why?Typically, many focus on having a nice website instead of effectiveness with search engineoptimization (SEO) Page 50
  51. 51. As it concerns top websites in search, most weve seen over the years arent as visually stunningbut took the time to produce immaculate SEO. Is there a point where both stunning design andeffective SEO meet? Absolutely! However, this is the exception as opposed to the rule.All we are attempting to point out is the greatest artwork doesnt always produce the greatestresults with presentation design either. In a perfect world, there is a place where great design,effective collaboration and flawless delivery meet.As diagrams are concerned, we believe that tools available in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and2010 are more than enough. When one goes to the design tab in this program, they will find apage set-up button, slide orientation button, colors, fonts, affects and background styles.Once you begin the processes, within each design tool used leads to another ribbon of sortswhich allows further design tweaks. These are typically for the more advanced. It takes a bit oftraining to get used to these advanced features but once you do, the results will be totallyamazing.Don’t be someone who expects others to love your presentation yet you always take the easyway out, doing as little work as possible.If we could narrow down diagram tools into separate categories, they would be: • Flow • Structure • Cluster • Data display • Pictures • RadiationEach category allows the diagram creator to communicate multiple concepts. Theres even atool that allows creation of less linear and more abstract diagrams. We want to caution thecreative concerning use of abstract concepts and diagram Page 51
  52. 52. Such people need collaboration and feedback from others most urgently! There are minds socreative that they believe themselves to have produced effective, abstract concepts, but fail tothink about audience needs. In these situations, absent feedback, audiences are left frustratedand wondering what exactly the presenter was trying to get across.Most have seen our PowerPoint templates and will notice that linear concepts arent our forte.This is very intentional and what we have found out from our customers is that those moreartistic tend to favor our product offerings.Hey, the artistic among us have Powerpoint needs also!Help the VisionaryWeve pointed out on more occasions than one, Powerpoint isnt Word or Excel! Weve alsopassionately put forth the case that too much text on presentations kills their effectiveness.Nevertheless, and theres always a nevertheless in life, there is a time and place for insertingtext.Nowhere is that made more plain than inserting it into diagrams. Text should never define adiagram neither should a diagram define the text. They should worktogether to communicate a streamlined process flow.Assuming that you have chosen an appropriate diagram, it isessential to take the time to thinkyour diagrams relationship to thetext and vice versa.This will results in communicating a clear message. Too often, people just insert process flowdiagrams type in text that fit within the diagram and think thats enough. It is not! Page 52
  53. 53. If you are a business owner with this mindset, stop this foolishness and pay to have aprofessional design and if an employee of a company, stop being a business killer.Within the initial phase of transfer from sketch to slide, you may find that your hand writtendont translate well into PowerPoint. This could be for a number of reasons but we will sharethree: • Inexperience and PowerPoint design • Being unsure whether you’ve sketched the right idea at all • Not having clear enough direction on the process you are trying to communicateMany more reasons can be given but we’ve found these rampant. There are whole host of options available to those challenged with design. Something more challenging is certainly being unsure whether you sketched the right idea to begin with. This typically happens as a result of the third bullet point item. When one thinks of not having clear enough direction on PowerPointcreation, this is usually a result of being assigned a task that is clear to those assigning the taskbut not those charged to carry it out.This is where hand written notes are most important. We arent saying that hand written notesshould be transferred directly to slides rather, your direction has to come from, especially whenassigned the tasks by another, thorough notes.If someone is paying you a salary to design a presentation, we plead with you to understand thereality of business. Most employees dont think far enough ahead to appreciate products createrevenue.Revenue creates a viable business and thereby, money to pay employees. As someone who hasbeen both an employee and business owner, I say without hesitation that business owners arealways more serious than employees. Who believes in the vision more than the visionary? Page 53
  54. 54. If you dont have clear enough direction, asked the person who cast the vision more specificquestions. Usually, visionaries who start and manage companies, see a very big picture view.They are often short on details, but thats where they assigned the task of creating demonstratevalue.All we are attempting to point out is that from the first conversation (hand written notes)sketches until presentation design, make sure you understand what the person who assignedthe task wants communicated.The specific questions you’ve asked them during preparation also helps them with thinking theprocess through. A great example of how to strategically get answers from the visionary is tounderstand this: visionaries are standing at point ‘A’ and see point ‘Z’, but often fail to realizethere are 24 other letters in the alphabet!To create a great presentation, you need to fill in the other 24 letters.Image Intensive Powerpoint SlidesWe’ve spoken at length about videos and Power Point marketing however, in this post we getto write about one of our favorite topics: following data rules in PowerPoint. It doesnt escapeus that some use PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 while other have upgraded to Page 54
  55. 55. It doesnt matter which program you use, with data anyway, what matters is that you followthese five text insertion rules: • Slide text isn’t about the text rather, meaning of the text • Get to the point as quickly as possible without interrupting effectiveness • Pick the right software and tools for the job • Keep it as simple as possible • Highlight what is most importantToo much text can overwhelm even the most information hungry audience. A nexus must existwhere your background, diagrams and text meet. Not having the right mix will make yourpresentation much less compelling.It sounds like an oxymoron to say written words aren’t about the words themselves but themeaning. As with many other things in life, oxymoron exists. However, they dont have toconfuse an audience.The English language is one of the most confusing in the world. When you think that one wordcan have three for a more meanings, and as many spellings, that in itself is confusing.To lessen the confusion, use a thesaurus when creating text. This may be necessary toeffectively communicate. Getting to the point is probably the area which requires the mostfinesse.It is dangerous to let the presentation drag along without giving an interesting, introductorymessage for the audience to hold onto. On the other hand, giving them the message you wantto communicate to quickly might cause a severe loss of attention throughout the rest of thesession.Just for the sake of expanding your knowledge in the area of web marketing with PPT files, it ismost often effective to get to the point as quickly as possible if your presentation is online forpublic Page 55
  56. 56. As web marketing experts, we’ve found it tried and true that when a visitor arrives at a website,you have exactly 8 to 15 seconds to grab and hold their attention.This is the amount of time it will take the average person to scan your page and make thedecision whether to read on or leave. Are we saying and try to sale your website visitor in oneor two slides? No!All we are saying is that you have to find a balance with both creating and marketing yourproducts and services online.Picking the right software and tools for the job isnt as time-consuming as it may sound. We donot withdraw our statement, put forth in previous posts, that PowerPoint tools are often notenough to create great slides.Certainly there are those thoroughly dedicated to the mediocre and will only use the toolswithin this office suite, however, for the more creative, other assets that have to be imported.Although we have railed against using Photoshop exclusively for image creation, we understandthat vector art created by Photoshop, is necessary and FREE as well as available on the web.If you believe that tools available within PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 are enough, at leastconsider using a more impactful background image than is available in Microsoft!Keeping it simple should always be the overriding theme of creative processes. Creatingcomplicated slides will lead to a complicated presentation as it concerns the following: • Effective visual aids • Effective delivery • Lessing confusion among attendeesCan levels of confusion with any particular audience be measured only using number ofquestions asked? No! Lots of questions could mean many things but usually means either anengaging presentation or a confusing Page 56
  57. 57. This is one of the main reasons we’ve urged our students to use image intensive presentations.Lots of text hinders presenters to locked-in scripts while images allow a more extemporaneousstyle delivery.Highlighting what is most important doesn’t mean it is what an audience will think important.This requires knowing your audience demographics, creating a message around it and tailoringyour message to fit audience needs.Al Gore PowerpointRevealing yourself and the message you are trying to communicate through design decisions iscritical. One thing that is often not thought about as it concerns slide design, is one of thegreatest challenges to overcome is aligning design decisions with your thoughts. Although itpains us to tell you this, one exercise for those challenged in the area of design that is needful, lis to look at other PowerPoint shapes.We arent suggesting you need to go online and do this however, the design tools available in either PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 are more than enough. If you were to write out, on paper, what youre presentation was going to communicate, what would that be? One thing that top PowerPoint design coaches do is have their clients write out either what they are trying to communicate or a personal life missionstatement. Many branding exercises employ adjectives to describe an organization.However, adjectives only tell you what the description is while shapes communicate what theymean. If you have a design in mind, before beginning, take time to write 15 adjectives thatdescribe the message of you are trying to communicate.After those are written, whittle them down to seven. When designing an effective slide, alwaysremember when it comes to shapes, less, is actually more. Further, we’ve told you more timesthan we can count, stay away from inserting too much text into Page 57
  58. 58. We set this forth because disastrous presentations are often the result of attendees spendingtoo much time reading text, and too little time listening to the presenter.One of the most effective presentations weve seen was made by former Vice President of theUnited States, Al Gore. Who could argue that he breathed new life into a dying, global warmingmovement? Of course there was text inserted into Gore’s slide however, the images used toldthe story, much more than anything written.As we say here at upon witnessing Powerpoint perfection: “His Kung-Fuwas good!”As he spoke during the presentation, he easily moved from slide to slide, chronologically ofcourse, and effectively presented the case using mostly images. Eventually, and no matterwhere you stand on the global warming issue, Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts inglobal warming.We aren’t supposing to tell you his PowerPoint was one of the key reasons for winninghowever, tens of millions saw this documentary, in which he used Powerpoint and it was thisfilm which sent him down the path to accepting the prize.His use of adjectives during was flawless and moreover, he let the images more than words,communicate a message. What was further evident was that as he went through the slides, hewas very well rehearsed that he appeared as the top expert in the world on the subject.Al Gore, by using this tool, has done more than any other in recent history to legitimizemultimedia presentation. Branded as boring and not a great public speaker, this multimediapresentation would catapult Gore onto the speaking circuit and earn him MILLIONS in speakingfees.Not surprisingly, it all began with the slide show! The adjectives and verbs he used in thispresentation combined with the PowerPoint slides was one of the greatest corporate initiativesspeeches ever Page 58