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The Perks of Having the Right PowerPoint Background

The ideal PowerPoint background is something that looks simple and clear. This helps your audience focus on key points on the slide rather than get distracted by an over-embellished deck. An effective background often utilizes design principles like white space to avoid drawing attention to itself and instead highlight the real objective of your presentation.

Ill-designed backgrounds are often those that have too much clutter on it. These present elements on the deck that aren’t necessary to your core message. While an occasional frame or color might actually boost he audience’s interest in your slides, reserve the design for the points that matter.

To help give you an idea, the right PowerPoint background has these two qualities:

1. Right Contrast

Your audience should be able to read your text clearly. This is why you should use colors that provide a nice contrast between the slide’s background and foreground. By using dark text against a lightly colored background, you would be able to enhance your presentation’s readability.

Just a word of caution: If you are presenting in a room that is not well lit, do the opposite of the advice above. Choose a dark background and make your texts light-colored.

It would help to run through a test of the presentation in the designated venue beforehand. Apart from gauging the venue’s lighting, you will also be able to also check the projector’s settings. If you fail to make the necessary adjustments, the impact of the colors may be diminished by the projector.

2. Consistent Look

Consistency is important as it tells the audience that they are still viewing the same presentation during your entire talk. Being consistent with the design of your slides, however, doesn’t have to limit your creativity. It is just that you are eliminating unnecessary details or distractions from the slides.

One cause of inconsistency is the use of multiple colored slides. A presentation with multiple colored slides would be an assault to anyone’s retina. According to Creative Content Expert‘s Tara Hornor, poor color choices are among the things that hamper a design. Make sure to limit the number of colors to just two or three. This way, your PowerPoint presentation would look more professional and a lot less ridiculous.

A corporate logo on each slide can also contribute to your slide’s consistency. If you don’t feel like adding a logo on every slide as it could look obtrusive, you may choose to place it on first and last slides instead.

Conclusion

Ultimately, as you work on your PowerPoint presentation, your choice of background is always an important consideration. It may seem like a minor detail but the right background can make a whole lot of difference between an impressive, professional-looking presentation and a mediocre one.

It may seem like a minor detail but the right background can make a whole lot of difference between an impressive, professional-looking presentation and an ill-designed one.

 

Reference

10 Troublesome Colors to Avoid In Your Advertising.” Site Point. May 08, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2014.

What Godzilla Can Teach You About Presentation Design

The new Godzilla movie continues to roar its way to the top of the US box office. Earning an impressive $93.2 million on its debut weekend, the film featuring the CGI-version of the King of Monsters is doing even better overseas. Not bad for a “giant monster” that was originally played by an actor in a rubber suit.

Since its first appearance in the 1950s, Godzilla has been one of the most recognizable and influential Japanese pop culture symbols. In the United States, we have appropriated the “-zilla” part of its name as a suffix to refer to something grand or at least, aspires to be. It is also commonly used to refer to something hyperbolic (e.g., bridezilla).

In short, the suffix is an allusion to the power and massive size of Godzilla. Wouldn’t you want to have the same impact for your PowerPoint presentation? Then let’s see how you can create a PowerPoint-zilla for your demo or pitch.

Make It Larger than Life

This latest incarnation of Godzilla stands at 355 ft. tall or the same height as a 40-story building. That definitely makes this kaiju a force to be reckoned with. So how can you make your slides as imposing as Godzilla?

Obviously, creating physically large slides is out of the question. What you can do, however, is to design them with massive amounts of creativity. Hit your audience with a larger than life, high-quality images. Make your slides roar with a well-designed layout, animation, and sound effects.

Create Anticipation

In most Godzilla movies, the giant monster doesn’t appear right away. But you can certainly feel its presence in each scene. With every passing minute, you are at the edge of your seat. You’re anticipating the moment Godzilla will finally make its appearance. Never once you take your attention away from the screen.

The same can be true if you decide to invest on making your PowerPoint presentations powerful and impressive. The best presentations are those that excite the audience with great slides and masterful delivery.

Set up a Satisfying Payoff

As soon as Godzilla receives its screen time, all hell just breaks lose. As the kaiju confronts another of its kind and starts to beat the living daylights out each other, you basically know how it’s going to end. But somehow your mind is still blown even after Godzilla lets out its atomic breath and the credits start to roll.

With your monster presentation design, the trick is to hold your audience’s attention with a ‘promise’ that everything that you’re saying will make sense at the end. When you present an issue at the get-go, make sure that you have the solution by your last slide.

 

References

Busch, Anita. “FINAL INT’L BOX OFFICE: ‘Godzilla’ Biggest Opening Of Year; ‘Spidey’ Passes ‘Captain America’s Int’l Cume; ‘Frozen’ Nearing Another Record As Disney Enjoys A $700M ‘Captain’ Ride.” Deadline. May 19, 2014. Accessed May 29, 2014.

 

Featured Image: “Godzilla art horizontal” from cinefantastiqueonline.com

The First Slide: What It Needs to Be and What It Has to Do

If you want to maximize your slide presentation to establish better brand recall, start at the very beginning – the first slide. Naturally, it is the first thing that your audience will see even before you say a word. So design it in a way that stands out from the rest of your slides. It will help your logo and company name make an impression on your audience, and retain your brand in their memory long after your presentation ends.

It will help your logo and company name make an impression on your audience, and retain your brand in their memory long after your presentation ends.

What your First Slide Needs to BE

As you prepare you presentation, it’s important that you develop a first slide that will generate interest in support of everything you are about to say. It should have a visual element that features key aspects of your organization that is consistent with the key concept of your presentation.

It could be a photo or graphic image that stimulates people’s curiosity. As this is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your business, make sure to make the most of it. When people come in the room and see your first slide, they should be compelled to want to be interested in you what you have to say.

However, it doesn’t always have to be flashy to pique the audience’s interests while informing them of your brand. According to business guru Guy Kawasaki, in his famous 10-20-30 rule, your first slide should often be the Title Slide, which contains your company name, address, your name and position in the company, your email, and work cell number.

Details like these may be straight to the point, but if you’re presenting to a crowd of busy VCs and investors, this is enough visual stimulus to let them in on your brand.

What your First Slide Needs to DO

With the right amount of texts and graphics, your first slide can communicate much more than what it appears to relate to the audience. Your audience should be able to digest the information you are sharing quickly and precisely. They should get an idea about your business even before you start to talk about what you have to offer.

It is important that each slide in your presentation be well-designed and engaging. The first slide, however, is crucial in igniting the spark that will make people want to hear what you have to say and get to know more about your business. Design it right and it can help you set the stage for an awesome and successful presentation.

The Final Word

Ultimately, while the first slide isn’t the entire presentation itself, it’s still an introduction to the rest of your pitch. In the same way that you need to make a good first impression through your physical appearance and speech, you’ll need a deck to match.

Start your pitch right with a winning opening slide. Impress people from the get-go. Don’t let any opportunity pass.

 

Reference

The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch.” Guy Kawasaki. Accessed May 28, 2014.

Why It Matters to Have a Quality Healthcare PowerPoint

As the healthcare industry continues to grow, more and more medical professionals are relying on PowerPoint presentations for various purposes. Healthcare PowerPoint presentations are used to train residents and students, inform the market, or pitch to investors. The problem, however, is that many presentations lack the professional edge to inspire, motivate, or convince effectively.

If you’re satisfied with an underwhelming presentation, be warned that it can do more harm than good – especially to your professional image.

Boosts the Learning Process

As with any training materials, the design of your PowerPoint presentation must be appealing enough to motivate the participants to listen and learn. Moreover, your slides should make it easy for your audience to absorb information easily. Otherwise, they’d end up experiencing information overload.

When you create your presentation, it’s important that you consider those factors. If you’re having trouble converting your training topics into an engaging PowerPoint, you may want to ask the help of professional PowerPoint designers.

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The learning process is improved when you focus your audience’s attention on important parts of the presentation. With a professionally designed presentation, you’ll get slides that are free from unnecessary details, such as inappropriate background sounds, fancy animations, or slide transitions, etc.

Simplifies Information

Medical and healthcare professionals tend to use industry-related jargon and data when communicating with each other. This can be unfavorable, however, when presenting new products to the market. Presentations with too many technical terms can alienate the audience and thus, fail to achieve results. One effective work around that professionals do is to use minimal text and employ graphics.

healthcare powerpoint 2

Graphs and charts are useful as well.

healthcare powerpoint 4

The whole idea is to make all information simple enough to be understood by the client.

Grabs Attention

Whether you’re pitching to fellow medical professionals or people outside your industry, your healthcare PowerPoint presentation should be engaging enough without relying on too many bells and whistles. Colors, animations, and background sounds can be helpful, but they should be used with great care. Otherwise, they will distract your audience or worse, annoy them.

Colors, animations, and background sounds can be helpful, but they should be used with great care. Otherwise, they will distract your audience or worse, annoy them.

You should also remember that quality healthcare PowerPoint presentations generate a “wow” reaction as early as the first slide.

With a well-designed first slide, the audience members will just sit back, relax and say “Tell me more,” as you begin your introduction – instead of being compelled to impatiently blurt out, “Next slide, please.”

healthcare powerpoint

 

Conclusion

Designing PowerPoint presentation for any industry comes with challenges. The key is to know enough about your subject and plan your every step.

There are lots of resources available online to help you out should you hit a snag. Or better yet, get the assistance of professional PowerPoint designers. You can always count on them to create well-designed, high-quality PowerPoint healthcare presentations.

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References

Berman, Jillian. “Health Care Industry Will Create 5.6 Million More Jobs By 2020: Study.” The Huffington Post. June 21, 2012. Accessed May 28, 2014.

PowerPoint Animations: Adding Life to Your Slides

Children aren’t the only ones who have short attention spans. Many adults do, too, although this is due to a number of factors – a busy schedule, issues at work, etc. So if you’re presenting a PowerPoint to your team or potential business partners, you need to step up your game. One way to do this is by adding animation to your slides.

PowerPoint animations are very useful for creating a more interesting presentation. It can keep your audience engaged as you deliver each of your points. If children with short attention span are easily entertained by animated cartoons, I’m quite positive that their adult counterparts will find PowerPoint animations enjoyable as well.

If you’re ready to get started, here’s how you can take advantage of PowerPoint’s animation feature:

1. Use the available animations

The Add Animation gallery provides you with simple animations you can apply to the elements on your slide. Just click any of the items you want to animate, click on the Animation tab, and then click Add Animation. Below the wide range of basic animations that control the way the items move on your slides.

powerpoint animation

 

You can use these basic animations to make your items enter, exit, appear, and disappear on the slides.

2. Set the triggers

Triggers allow you to link the animation to a different action. You can do this by creating bookmarks in the presentation, which then prompt an animation to start. Alternatively, you can set an action to start upon clicking your mouse. To set a trigger for an animation, click an item and then click Trigger, which you can find in the Advanced Animation group under the Animations tab.

powerpoint animations

 

3. Automate sequences with Animation Painter

Before, with the older versions of Microsoft PowerPoint, you will have to spend hours just to get the animation working perfectly. But now, you can easily automate your animation sequences with the help of the Animation Painter.

powerpoint animations

 

With the Animation Painter, simply click the element with the animation you like to copy and drag the pointer over the item on the slide to apply the animation settings. PowerPoint will take care of the rest.

4. Measure Entry and Exit Using Timeline

You can find the timeline at the bottom of the Animation Pane. This helps you gauge the entry and exit of the items on the slide. You can also use it to determine whether you want to adjust the time or order of events.

animation2

 

Each animation also displays the span of time through the time segment at the right of every animation entry. You may tweak the animations so that the action occurs at the exact time that you prefer. Just scroll along the timeline by clicking the small arrows at either end. You may also click the Seconds control if you want to Zoom In or Zoom Out and adjust the increments of time.

5. View Everything on the Animation Pane

As you work on the animation, you can see all the information and tools you use on the Animation Pane. To display the Animation Pane, click the Animation tab and select Animation Pane right in the Advanced Animation group. This feature lets you preview the animation, reorder animations, and see where they fall on the timeline.

The important thing about using animations in your slides is to keep everything simple. PowerPoint offers a lot of features for animating any item on your slide but misusing them can confuse your audience, not to mention make your presentations look amateurish.

 

About SlideGenius

SlideGenius.com is your business PPT guru. Based in San Diego, California, SlideGenius has helped more than 500 international clients enhance their presentations, including those of J.P. Morgan, Harley-Davidson, Pfizer, Verizon, and Reebok. Call us at 1.858.217.5144 and let SlideGenius help you with your presentation today!

Turning PowerPoint Slides Into Videos

With the advent of YouTube, Vimeo, and other online video sharing platforms, creating marketing videos has never been more beneficial for businesses. The Social Times’ Megan O’Neill provides a few benefits marketing videos can have on your campaign. Not only does it let you get to know your company better, it also provides small companies with the opportunity to receive greater exposure.

Unfortunately, a number of business owners feel that video creation is too costly or time-consuming. What they don’t realize is that creating marketing videos doesn’t need to take so much of their time or budget. All they have to do is make a PowerPoint presentation and turn it into a video. If you want to take advantage of this opportunity, here are the things that you need to do:

Preparing the presentations

Naturally, you have to create the presentation first. Don’t forget to record and add narration. You may also want to time your PowerPoint slides for a smooth transition (At this point, you should turn the mouse into a laser pointer). After that, save your presentation by doing the following:

  • Click the File menu and select Save & Send.
  • Click the option Create a video under Save & Send.

Creating the video

Have the quality and size options displayed by clicking Computer & HD Displays, which is under the Create a Video. Then, do any of the following:

  • To create a very high-quality video with a large file size, click the option Computer & HD Displays.
  • To create a medium quality video with moderate file size, click the option Internet & DVD.
  • To create a low-quality video with very small file size, click the option Portable Devices.

To find out which one matches your needs, consider testing each of these options.

Setting the timings and narrations

If you didn’t record and time a voice narration as well as the laser pointer movements, click the option Don’t Use Recorded Timings and Narration.

(Reminder: The default time for each slide is 5 seconds). You may change that by clicking either the up or down arrow in the “Seconds to spend on each slide” indicator.

If you have recorded and timed narration and the pointer movements, then click Use Recorded Timings and Narrations. Next, click Create Video.

Saving the video

Once you’ve gone through all the steps, the final part of creating your marketing video is to save it.

Enter a file name for your video in the File name box after browsing for the folder that will contain the file. Click Save. The default file type is Windows Media Video (.wmv). If you want to convert the video file to another format such as .avi or .mov, you may use a third-party program.

These are all the steps on how you turn your PowerPoint presentation into a video. Pretty simple, isn’t it?  Take advantage of this opportunity and start making your brand felt across YouTube or anywhere else on the Internet.

 

References

O’Neill, Megan. “5 Benefits of Video Marketing [Infographic].” SocialTimes. Accessed May 26, 2014.

Create a Captivating Presentation with Bright PowerPoint Backgrounds

Creating an impact as you get your message across is the ultimate goal of your PowerPoint presentation. To achieve this, your slides have to be planned and designed carefully. One of the things that can contribute to this is a bright background.

Ideally, PowerPoint backgrounds should be simple and clear as the main focus should be on the message and not on than the slide. With just the right brightness, the background can improve your presentations and ‘wow’ your audience.

Below are some ways a bright background can enhance your slides. Just one important reminder: Anything that is way too much can be bad. Having said that, what we’re going to talk about here is tolerable brightness for your PowerPoint backgrounds.

Allows the visuals to stand out

Apart from making the slides easy on the eyes, the contrast between them makes the texts readable. Graphic designer Matt Cronin explains that readability is one way in attracting your audience visually.

A bright background and a darker font color create a great combination. Some graphics will also stand out when placed on a bright-colored background. Using any one of these techniques may be beneficial to you in the long run.

After all, people don’t want to look at something they can’t understand.

Focuses the audience’s attention

If you don’t want to use a plain background but still want something bright, then you may want to use radial gradient with a rather bright center. The depth this adds to your chosen image or slide background not only makes it interesting, this also engages the viewer’s gaze more.

This background creates a highlight effect, which looks like a glow. When you use this effect, make sure to create the right balance to keep the glow from hindering readability.

Evokes positive emotion

Bright colors such as yellow and orange evoke a bright and sunny day. They seem to create a lot of positive energy. As bright colors generate feelings of joy and vitality, your audience are sure to feel quite comfortable and at ease throughout your presentation.

Indeed, a bright PowerPoint background has its benefits. It can enhance slides more than what dark backgrounds can do. When used with white texts, dark slide backgrounds can be hard on the eyes. Dark backgrounds just don’t have the same effect that you get from brighter ones.

Final Words

Bright backgrounds are appealing and eye-catching, but at the same time, don’t overdo them. This word of caution stems from the fact that bad combinations can lead to worse results.

Out-of-place neon colors can hurt the eyes and disrupt the senses, rather than draw viewers to your presentation. Use bright colors wisely and attract people to your deck in no time!

 

References

Cronin, Matt. “10 Principles For Readable Web Typography.” Smashing Magazine. March 18, 2009. Accessed May 23, 2014.
How Color Impacts Emotions and Behaviors.” 99Designs. 2011. Accessed May 23, 2014.

 

About SlideGenius

SlideGenius.com is your business PPT guru. Based in San Diego, California, SlideGenius has helped more than 500 international clients enhance their presentations, including those of J.P. Morgan, Harley-Davidson, Pfizer, Verizon, and Reebok. Call us at 1.858.217.5144 and let SlideGenius help you with your presentation today!

Case Study: Creating Professional PowerPoint for Email Professionals

Email Professionals is an email marketing company.  Their services include developing winning email campaigns for clients by creating a unique email strategy, writing winning copy, and performing quality assurance on every email. Part of their strategy is to track results in order to know how to improve their campaign, if necessary.

What they essentially do is match their email marketing services according to their client’s situation. As every client has different needs, they propose different strategies. Incidentally, when we were tasked to create a PowerPoint presentation for their company, it was the same thing that we had in mind. Well, because naturally, that’s our principle as well.

We at SlideGenius strive to meet our clients’ expectations by creating presentations that are tailored exactly to their needs. We don’t just create slide decks from ready-made templates. Our goal is to create unique presentations, whether we are building from an existing one or creating from scratch.

The Challenge

Our task is to create a PowerPoint presentation that highlights the benefits of doing business with Email Professionals and at the same time, encourage an emotional response from the target audience. The audience members, by the way, are most likely other business entities. So the “challenge” that we have here is to make the slides look professional yet keep them from looking dull and boring. Since we’re going to talk about emails, we don’t want to simply spam the audience, so to speak.

The Solution

Even with our years of experience creating unique PowerPoint presentations, our team handled this project with utmost care. We don’t want to rest on our laurels. We just want to do an excellent job. With that in mind, we started by looking into the qualities of Email Professionals, what makes them unique and then put those thing front and center..

SlideGenius-Email-Professionals-2SlideGenius-Email-Professionals-4

 

Basically, we made sure that the colors and font styling were consistent in order for the slides to convey a level of professionalism. We also managed to make the entire presentation interesting by adding snappy, copy. In the end, we were able to achieve what we had set out to do. To give the slides a professional look and feel without making it too dull and boring.

Three Mistakes to Avoid in Making Your Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short but persuasive speech that aims to spark interest in what your business does. It is also used to generate interest in a particular project, concept, or product. Ideally, an elevator pitch shouldn’t last longer than a short elevator ride (about 30-45 seconds).

With that very small window of opportunity, it may seem hard to get a pitch right. There are several ways Entrepreneur contributor Dwight Peters provides on perfecting an elevator pitch. It would also help, however, to be aware of the most common elevator pitch mistakes.

Apart from avoiding such mistakes, you’d be able to project a more confident front once you finally make your pitch. So, let’s get started with these three mistakes:

Focusing on Yourself

While your professional success can be a good thing, talking about it for too long would only alienate your audience. It will make you sound like an arrogant know-it-all who believes he’s better than them.

Don’t lose sight of your main goal, which is to establish a connection with your listeners. Remember that like any human being, they’re mostly interested in how you can help them, not amaze them with your numerous credentials. You can establish this much-needed connection by linking what you do with an existing need or problem. A good problem slide can help you explain this part.

When you explain to your audience what it is that you do, do not be too general in your approach. It is best to be specific. It will make your elevator pitch as relevant as possible.

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Using Technical Lingo

In making your pitch relevant, see to it that you avoid jargons and buzzwords that only you or someone in your industry understands. Otherwise, you will only succeed in creating a communication gap between you and your audience. As a result, you will lose their attention quickly.

Remember, the goal of the elevator pitch is not to show how extensive your vocabulary is. Using words a potential investor or customer don’t understand will not impress them. It will only backfire on you.

Bragging about Your Company

Similar to talking too much about yourself, people aren’t that interested in hearing you brag about your company. While presenting your product or service’s unique features may be essential in highlighting your advantage over the competition, your audience won’t speculate on the process you use to get results.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters to them is what’s in it for them. So focus more on explaining the benefits that you offer, not on your process of doing things.

With these things out in the open, you can now focus better on the right steps to take. Keep in mind, though, that there are still some challenges that you might encounter. But as long as you position your business as the one who can provide the best solution to a pressing need, you are off to a good start.
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Reference

Peters, Dwight. “6 Tips for Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch.” Entrepreneur. August 27, 2013. Accessed May 22, 2014.

Five PowerPoint Design Mistakes to Avoid

It’s perfectly normal to make mistakes when creating PowerPoint presentations – the first few times. According to software consultant, Wendy Russell, there are ways to learn the basics of PowerPoint. But when you’re failing repeatedly without seeing the errors of your ways, you may need to be jolted back to reality.

There’s a reason why your audience members tend to stifle a yawn or stare blankly at the open window whenever you deliver a presentation: You have poorly designed PowerPoint slides.

Here are five of the most common PowerPoint design mistakes are probably guilty of:

1. Too Many Details

Slide decks are your visual tools to help you get your message across. When you put too many information details on a slide – be it in the form of text, charts, or images – you run the risk of overwhelming your audience.

Ideally, slides should convey only once concept at a time. To avoid the problem, many professional presenters follow the 6 x 6 rule. This requires limiting the number of lines in a slide to six and keeping the number of words per line to six.

2. Poor Use and Choice of Images

Using images can help you explain an idea in a much simpler way. Inappropriate and low-quality images can create the opposite effect, though. Don’t just include any photos or clipart for the sake of having images up there. Be sure that there are clear connections between the images you choose and the points you are making.

Additionally, check if the images are of good quality by testing it out on a white wall. There are times that images would seem great on your monitor screen yet look bad when blown up and projected on a large screen.

3. Abuse of Effects and Other Fancy Features

If you think using too much animation, transitions, and sound effects can improve your presentation, you couldn’t be more wrong.

When it comes to special effects, less is more. Your audience will not be impressed with bullet points that constantly spin around, zoom in, blink, make sounds, etc. Try to make everything as simple as possible. The end result would be more powerful.

4. Several Bullet Points That Appear at Once

This is where you can apply animation appropriately. You see, having five to six bullet points appear on the slide at one time can be overwhelming to read.

The best thing to do is to reveal the points one at a time. This way, your audience will be able to focus better on each one. It would also keep them from reading ahead and tune you out.

5. Failing to Proofread

Nothing will make your PowerPoint presentation look more amateurish than typographical errors and spelling mistakes.

Apart from this, BBC education correspondent, Sean Coughland, cites online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe’s study in saying that bad grammar does cost companies millions. They won’t just distract your audience, but will also leave a bad impression, which may lead to a drop in revenue.

So always make sure to read your slides a couple times before declaring it good to go.

Conclusion

Remember, a good presentation can save a bad presenter. But a bad presentation would be hard to salvage even by the best presenter.

It would even make him look ridiculous and unprofessional. So which one would you rather be: a bad presenter backed by a well-designed presentation or a great presenter with a disastrous presentation?

It’s time to check what you’ve been doing wrong and apply the necessary changes on your next slides.

References

Coughlan, Sean. “Spelling Mistakes ‘cost Millions’ in Lost Online Sales.” BBC News. July 14, 2011. Accessed May 22, 2014.
Russell, Wendy. “Ready to Learn to Use PowerPoint?” About.com Tech. Accessed May 22, 2014.