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Business Storytelling: Turn Presentations into a Powerful Marketing Tool

Business storytelling has been helping brands add more impact to their online content, and it can do the same for your presentations.

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Your presentations have the potential to become one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal. During presentations, you’re directly talking to the people you want to reach out.

So don’t waste a good opportunity by boring potential clients with bad delivery. Engage them with a simple technique that’s ‘as old as time’. Tell them a great story.

What is business storytelling?

According to Mike Murray, business storytelling is basically about “brands sharing their messages in ways that engage audiences and drive them to a desired action.” It might sound similar to the definition of content marketing we gave previously, but Murray maintains that they are two separate, but related things.

“Business storytelling is a distinct content discipline that leverages well-crafted narratives in a diverse range of content types, while content marketing is much broader and speaks to the collective efforts that companies use to communicate with their audiences in informative and engaging ways.”

To frame it, content marketing refers to a collection of things you do to reach out and engage consumers and potential clients. One of the ways you can do that is through presentations that reveal the core identity of your brand and company.

What business story should you tell?

In her book, “Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins,” Annette Simmons identified six kinds of stories that can help facilitate business communications:

  • “Who am I” Stories
  • “Why am I here” Stories
  • Vision Stories
  • Values-in-Action Stories
  • Teaching Stories
  • “I know what you’re thinking” Stories

While Simmons uses these stories to help frame interactions that are more straightforward, her insights can also be helpful to marketing presentations. Particularly, it’s the first three that are important to business storytelling in your presentations. These are the type of stories that help reveal insights to build trust and establish rapport between you and your audience.

Obviously, you won’t be telling stories from your own personal experience. Instead, think of answers to “Who am I”, “Why am I here” and “What do I envision” in terms of your brand and company identity. Here are a few specific questions, courtesy of Content Marketing Institute, to help you narrow it down:

  • What’s your reason for being?
  • What’s your history?
  • Who are your main characters?
  • What’s your corporate mission?
  • How have you failed?

Humans have always been storytellers. It’s our way of connecting with each other. In whatever form, the core of all our communications is the primordial impulse to tell and hear stories. Why not use that to improve your presentations?

 

References

Murray, Mike. “Business Storytelling: Key Questions.” Content Marketing Institute. April 23, 2014. Accessed July 24, 2014.
The Six Kinds of Stories.” Annette Simmons. 2014. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Williams, Debbie. “Find the Heart of Your Brand Storytelling with These 6 Questions.” Content Marketing Institute. June 19, 2013. Accessed July 24, 2014.

 

Featured Image: UNE Photos via Flickr

Illustrate Your Ideas with PowerPoint SmartArt

We’ve long made a case for why you should use illustrations and graphics in your PowerPoint designs. They’re the best way to help your audience understand and retain complicated concepts. To drive home the point, today we’re showing you an easy way to do it using PowerPoint SmartArt graphics.

Getting Started

PowerPoint SmartArt doesn’t make things complicated for you. You can easily translate data and information into eye-catching visuals in a few steps. Start by heading to the Insert tab and click on SmartArt. This will lead you to a dialogue box where you have plenty of options for layouts.

Choosing a PowerPoint SmartArt layout

PowerPoint SmartArt graphics are categorized into eight types, each serving a different purpose:

powerpoint smartart layouts list

1. List: If you’re presenting information that is non-sequential, choose any layout from this category.

powerpoint smartart layouts process

2. Process: Layouts from this category will help you illustrate a process or timeline by showing individual steps.

powerpoint smartart layouts cycle

3. Cycle: Present a process that is cyclical or continuous with this layout type.

powerpoint smartart layouts relationship

4. Relationship: Show how different concepts are connected using this type of layout.

powerpoint smartart layouts hierarchy

5. Hierarchy: Layouts under this type can help you create an organizational chart or a decision tree.

powerpoint smartart layouts pyramid

6. Pyramid: A pyramid layout is the best way to present concepts or information that proportionally related.

powerpoint smartart layouts matrix

7. Matrix: A matrix layout helps you illustrate how different parts relate to a main idea.

powerpoint smartart layouts picture

8. Picture: Layouts under this type allow you to add pictures that will help emphasize your key points.

Keep in mind: Organize the information or data you have before creating a SmartArt graphic. Try to map out your ideas if you can. Putting them on paper will help you figure out what type of layout is best for your content.

Adding text to your SmartArt graphics

After you’ve chosen the best SmartArt layout for your message, you can begin to plot some text into your illustration. Add and edit text using the Text Pane, which appears on the left side of your chosen layout.

As you can see, you won’t have enough room to explain things in long paragraphs so stick to your key points.

Get creative with color choices

It’s not not enough to plot your data into a SmartArt graphic. The best illustrations are enhanced by colors that were wisely chosen.

Click on the Design tab under SmartArt tools and click the Change Colors option. You can choose from the different presets, some of which are automatically matched to your template’s color scheme. If you’re using a Picture type layout, you have the option to Recolor Pictures in Smart Art Graphic.

powerpoint smartart change color

Conclusion

PowerPoint SmartArt is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. It’s all a matter of plotting information and customizing your illustrations in a way that suits the rest of your PowerPoint design.

What you really need to master is creativity. If you integrate this tutorial with the others we’ve written in the past, it won’t take long for you to become a PowerPoint expert.

 

Featured Image: Ian#7 via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Online Tools to Enhance Your PowerPoint Designs

Ever heard of the term “Death by PowerPoint“? I’m sure it’s happened to you before. It’s probably a familiar scenario. You’ve had to sit through a boring presentation and look at slides that are dull and indiscernible. If the presenter isn’t reading bullet points from his PowerPoint deck, he’s asking you to look at data he pasted from Excel.

The truth is, there’s no reason why anyone can’t come up with unique PowerPoint designs. With a little effort, you can create PowerPoint presentations that do more than put your audience to sleep. Translate your brand identity and core message into slides that are aesthetic and functional. All you need is to think outside the box and familiarize yourself with great design resources. For starters, why don’t you give these online tools a try?

Photo Editing

Photoshop is great, but it can easily overwhelm beginners. For basic photo editing, try these two alternatives instead:

PicMonkey

PicMonkey allows you to edit photos, create collages, and make your own designs. It also has a sleek interface that’s pretty easy to navigate. You can access most functions for free, but if you want more choices for fonts, filters, stickers, and overlays, you’ll need to sign up for a premium account. Luckily, you can already do much with the options that are available for free.

Edit the photos you’re going to use for your PowerPoint design in PicMonkey to adjust color balance and add similar filters. That way, all the images you use will have a cohesive look.

tools for powerpoint designs picmonkey

 

Canva

Canva allows beginners to work on their own customized designs. You can make use of your own photos or browse its huge collection of images (which includes everything from icons to animals). You start with a blank canvas and add different elements like text holders and icons. The interface is also pretty straightforward, so you won’t have a hard time figuring out what to do next. However, like PicMonkey, you’ll have to pay for access to more design choices.

tools for powerpoint designs canva 02

 

Free Images

Imagery is important in PowerPoint designs. You can say a lot just with a great photo. Instead of crowding your slides with bullet points, illustrate your points with images instead.

Death to the Stock Photo

Stock photos are notorious for looking cheesy and staged. Thanks to Allison Helman and David Sherry, we finally have a solution to that problem. Death to the Stock Photo delivers a set of photos to your inbox every month. All you have to do is sign up and you’ll receive photos you can use for many things: blogs, social media accounts, mockups, and of course, PowerPoint designs.

tools for powerpoint designs death to the stock photo

flickr

Flickr is a huge photo sharing community. Thanks to members who upload their content to the site, you have plenty of photos to choose from for your PowerPoint designs. Just type in keywords in the search box and  you’ll find something that suits the theme of your discussion. In order to avoid accidentally using copyrighted images, choose Creative Commons under License. (Take note that you might still have to attribute creators, depending on the CC license. Set aside a slide or two at the end of your presentation for credits.)

tools for powerpoint designs flickr

 

The Noun Project

The Noun Project is a great resource if you want to highlight your key points with specific icons. With a huge collection, you’re sure to find something that suits your presentation. Just type in what you’re looking for in the search bar and the site will pull results from its library. Most of the icons are under Creative Commons licenses, so don’t forget to make necessary attributions.

tools for powerpoint designs nounproject

 

Unique Fonts

Changing up fonts is a great way to customize your PowerPoint designs. People are so used to Times New Roman and Arial that seeing a unique font can instantly make your presentation visually interesting.

Dafont.com

Everything you’ll find on Dafont are submitted by users, so you’re sure to find a lot of one-of-a-kind fonts. Plus, majority of them are free to use. The website is pretty straight forward, and the fonts are arranged into different categories like “Fancy”, “Techno” and “Holiday”. Just choose the category that matches the theme of your presentation and browse through the results.

tools for powerpoint designs dafont

Color Schemes

Choosing the perfect colors for your PowerPoint designs can be tricky. Should you go triadic, compound, or analogous? If these terms are making you dizzy, you can check this out instead:

ColorExplorer

Here’s a great tool to make sure that the colors you use in your PowerPoint design are consistent with your branding. ColorExplorer extracts the colors from images you upload and provides you with their specific codes. After uploading an image, just paste the RGB code to PowerPoint (Font > More Colors > Custom) and you’ll get the exact shade.

tools for powerpoint designs color explorer

 

The Final Word

There’s no excuse for death by PowerPoint, especially when there’s a number of design tools readily available on the Internet. As you experiment with these tools, read up on our PowerPoint tips and tutorials as well. Pretty soon, you’ll be an expert in turning abstract ideas into effective presentation decks.

Contact us for PowerPoint designs that will take your presentations to the next level.

5 Simple Rules for Mobile-Friendly PowerPoint Designs

Sites like SlideShare and Brainshark enable you to share your PowerPoint decks online, helping you gain a larger audience.

Sharing your content online is an effective marketing technique and it’s something that you should definitely consider. However, your message could easily get garbled if your PowerPoint designs are not optimized for mobile viewing.

Here are some reasons on why you should optimize your layout for mobile, and how to do it:

Why Design Matters

According to a study conducted by Statista Dossier, worldwide mobile internet usage was at 73.4 percent in 2013. If their figures stand, 90 percent of people will be accessing online content through mobile devices by 2017.

Judging by these numbers, and perhaps your own fast-paced lifestyle, it’s likely that your presentation will be viewed through screens a lot smaller than you prepared it on. As a visual aid, your deck should always complement your key points.

Don’t get left behind on the trend. Leverage this to your advantage with mobile-friendly PowerPoint designs.

How to Ensure Mobile-friendly PowerPoint Designs

It doesn’t take a lot of work to make sure that your PowerPoint designs are presentable on mobile devices. All you have to do is follow these five simple rules:

1. Readability

The average screen size of mobile phones is 3.3 inches. That’s significantly less room than the screen on your laptop where you first built your PowerPoint presentation. Keep this in mind while building presentations that you intend to share online. Make sure that the font type and size that you use is extremely readable. You don’t want to have your target audience to squint just to read what you’re trying to say.

2. High-Contrast Colors

Another way to increase the readability of your PowerPoint designs for smaller screens is by using high-contrast colors. Use either a dark background with light-colored text or vice versa. Similarly, avoid using colors that are too bright unless you’re planning to use it as an accent color.

3. Minimal text

Don’t overwhelm your target audience with too much text. Don’t try to discuss too many concepts in one go. Explaining complicated concepts will require more sentences and paragraphs. If you feel like there’s something in your content that needs further explanation, simply link to other resources instead.

4. Powerful images

Visualize your key points with powerful images, but remember to limit yourself to using only 1-2 per slide. Too many images might cause your presentation to lag.

5. Simplicity

Likewise, don’t complicate your PowerPoint designs with too many graphics and animation. You can still add some animations and transitions, but keep them to a minimum. Aim for a seamless viewing experience.

Conclusion

Keep your discussion simple and straight forward. You might as well make an eBook instead of a PowerPoint presentation if you’re planning on a drawn out deck.

Make sure your content is visually appealing and readable, for a better mobile experience. Not sure how to start on your deck’s mobile-friendly layout? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

Reference

Mobile Internet.” Statista. Accessed July 23, 2014.

Presentation Tips: How to End on the Right Note

The conclusion of your presentation is as equally important as the beginning. You need to maintain the favorable impression you created at the start until the very end. This final impression may just be the one people take home with them when they consider whether or not they’ll invest in your brand. At the same time, consistency is an admirable trait in any pitch.

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You can’t just thank your audience and be done with it. You need to make an impact and be memorable.

These are a few presentation tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re concluding on the right note:

1. Summarize and repeat your main points

Repeating your main points is the best way to ensure that your audience will remember the most important parts of your presentation. Your conclusion starts with a quick summary of your presentation with a repetition of the most important sound bites.

2. End your story

Stretch your story throughout your presentation and end it as you conclude your presentation for maximum impact. You’ll see this done all the time in TED presentations. Try to observe how TED speakers neatly tie the story together at the end of a presentation.

3. Interact with the audience

While it may not be appropriate in some settings, you can use the conclusion of your presentation to elicit audience interaction. Allow them to ask questions or share their opinions. To make it feel a bit more organic, you can orchestrate a poll that’s related to your topic at hand.

4. Pose a challenge

Lastly, it’s important to challenge to your audience through a call-to-action. Pose a challenge with a thought-provoking question that will encourage them to reflect on what you’ve shared. As demonstrated by The New York Times‘ David Pogue, if you did your job right throughout your presentation, this question will keep the backchannel discussions going long after you step down the podium.

It’s important that your presentation’s message rings true until the very end. People are swamped by hundreds of presentations in various forms every day. Make sure yours stands out with an interesting conclusion that will get them thinking long after you’ve stepped off the podium.

Want people to invest in your brand? Keep these presentation tips in mind and you’re sure to create a significant impact on your audience.

Need a winning deck to go with your pitch? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

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Featured Image: Benny Lin via Flickr

PowerPoint Design Lessons from Iconic Brand Logos

A logo is crucial for any brand. The most iconic ones are easily recognizable, encompassing the story of an entire brand. Consumers don’t need to take much time to discern it. A good logo can tell them a lot about a certain product or service with just a single look.

The same thing should be said about your PowerPoint design. Like McDonald’s famous golden arches and Nike’s Swoosh, an effective PowerPoint deck can speak volumes without being too complicated or overwrought.

Here are a few PowerPoint design lessons we can learn from the most iconic brand logos:

Be consistent with your message

In 2010, Gap launched a new logo on their official website, but it didn’t last long. Customers took to social media to complain about the change. Loyal fans threatened to stop shopping at Gap stores. They felt the new logo didn’t portray the classic American feel they’ve come to love about the clothes. A week later, after an attempt to crowdsource a better design, the company reverted back to its original logo.

 

powerpoint design lesson: gap new logo vs old
The current Gap logo was momentarily replaced until fans took to social media and complained.

Gap’s mistake was to move away from the message their consumers love most about their brand. The stories their clothes told was that of timelessness. The new logo certainly felt disjointed from their identity.

Similarly, your PowerPoint design should always be coherent with the core message you want to impart. Choose colors, images, and other design elements that are consistent with the theme of your presentation. For example, if you’re presenting in a more corporate setting, it would be inappropriate to use loud and bright colors.

Tell a good story

Did you know that Apple’s iconic logo was inspired by Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity? Seems pretty fitting for a company who has pioneered several innovations in the past several years. Apple’s first logo showed a picture of Newton under an apple tree and incorporated a quote from Wordsworth that said, “Newton… a mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone.” Steve Jobs later asked to have it replaced with a sleeker and simpler design that still represents the same narrative.

powerpoint design lesson: apple logo black
The Apple logo has changed through the years but it kept its iconic single icon.

As we’ve mentioned previously, a presentation can benefit from a great story. But you can also apply the same philosophy to your PowerPoint design by following the example of Apple’s logo. Enhance your slides with images or illustrations that have their own story. Choose an icon that may have symbolic significance (like the apple), or a picture that is composed with its own narrative. Don’t go with easy choices like cheesy stock photos.

Keep it simple

The original Google logo was created in 1998 using GIMP, a free graphics program. It showed the word Google in the Baskerville typeface with each letter in a different color. The logo evolved over time, but it kept its simplicity. Today, the Google logo is among the most recognizable. Despite its minimal design, it tells a powerful story. Ruth Kedar said of her design: “We ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.”

powerpoint design lesson: Google logo 2013
The Google logo was updated to follow the ‘flat design’ trend in 2013.

Just like Google’s logo, your PowerPoint design should remain simple. It’s not just about keeping your design easy on the eyes. It’s also important to make sure that your audience can easily pick up your key points without getting distracted by too many elements.

 

References

Ellis, Blake. “New Gap Logo Ignites Firestorm.” CNNMoney. Accessed July 21, 2014.
Weiner, Juli. “New Gap Logo, Despised Symbol of Corporate Banality, Dead at One Week.” Vanity Fair. Accessed July 21, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Miguel Vaca via flickr.com
Logos from Wikimedia Commons 

The Why and How of Presentation Handouts

As much as you want your listeners to retain what you’ve said, chances are, their own busy schedules might make their minds wander and forget about your key points. But there’s something that your audience can literally take home after your presentation.

If you haven’t been giving out handouts, maybe it’s time to consider the idea. Presentation handouts are an interesting addition to the presentation experience, with plenty of benefits for you and your audience members.

Why You Should Use Them

Make use of handouts to include additional information about the points in your presentation. Since you have to be concise with your slides, your handouts can act as a “footnotes” section and expound on the details you’ve glossed over.

At the same time, knowing when to hand them out is essential in tapping into their full potential. It ultimately depends on the presenter. Handing out your white paper at different points in your presentation each has their advantages. But generally, giving these out once you’ve delivered all your points is preferable, to avoid distracting them from your pitch.

Audience members are also more likely to relax and listen to your presentation because they no longer have to worry about taking notes and catching every word that you say. Lastly, handouts are a great reference material for your audience members. If your presentation was particularly informative, they can refer to your handouts in their research or reports.

How to Make Handouts

After a while, most of your audience won’t remember a single thing about your presentation. Handouts are a great way to refresh their memories. Make sure that your handout contains all the necessary information from your presentation. Organize your points into sections and expound on the details you had to condense. You can also add graphs and other illustrations you used to represent data.

Cite the references you used for your presentation, so your audience can check them out if they want to know more. You should also provide them with additional resources. Leave them with a list of books, articles, and websites that can provide them with more insight on your subject matter. It’s also important that you provide space in your handouts for annotations.

Don’t be tempted to give out printed versions of your PowerPoint slides. As we’ve mentioned earlier, PowerPoint slides only highlight your main points. They’re visual aids that help the presentation become more dynamic. Slide printouts won’t make much sense when your audience members refer back to them after some time.

The Takeaway

With the information and sensory overload people experience daily, your presentation might easily get lost in their memory. Give them a take away from your presentation by handing out handouts at the end of your pitch.

If you’ve given a memorable spiel, it will help them keep track of your key points and contact you later on.

 

Reference

Why Use Handouts?Total Communicator. Accessed July 21, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

Get to the Point: What You Need to Cut from Your Presentation Delivery

An effective presentation has a clear and definite message. Whether you’re aiming to inform, pitch, or promote, the message should ring true in both your design and content. More than that, it should also be emphasized through great presentation delivery.

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In delivering your pitch, the main goal is to communicate your key message in the best possible way. Length doesn’t always mean quality. In fact, compact content—that is, a short but informative delivery—is more likely to stick to the audience than a rambling speech.

Because our minds are attuned to process information in bits and not in chunks, clarity usually comes from being brief and straight to the point. Review your presentation notes and omit things that are clouding your message. And then work on cutting out the following things from your presentation delivery:

1. Long-winded introductions

Here’s a familiar scenario: “Hi everyone! It’s John Doe from the Marketing team. Thanks for sharing your time with me. I promise it will only take 30 minutes. I’m here to give you a brief report about Project A. It’s something that we’ve worked hard on, and we’re all excited to share this with you. So I’ll give you a quick overview and outline our progress and if we still have time left, you can ask me questions or give your feedback. There’s a bit of information to cover, but I tried to condense it as much as possible into a few slides. Oh, and if you want a copy of the slides, just approach me after the presentation and I’ll email it to you. So anyway, to start it off…”

Never start with an introduction that is so long and inconsequential.  You’re sure to lose your audience’s interest at the get go. Don’t waste the crucial first few minutes of your presentation explaining things that are completely unrelated to your discussion.

There are only three things your audience needs to know the minute you start your presentation. Our hypothetical but scarily accurate example can be trimmed to a few short sentences by answering these questions:

  • Who is presenting?
  • What is the presentation about?
  • Why is it relevant to the audience?

2.  Awkward icebreakers

There’s nothing wrong with using an icebreaker to engage and build rapport with your audience.

The beginning of your presentation is a crucial time. Anything that can help you connect with your audience is helpful. That said, some techniques are still better than others.

Don’t attempt an ice breaker that you can’t tie back to the message of your presentation. Don’t waste time picking the audience’s brain with games if it doesn’t help introduce your topic. And while we’re on the subject, don’t make them play along something too complicated and will take up too much time explaining.

An example of an effective presentation icebreaker is still a good story. Presentations work when they make an emotional connection. While jokes and games are entertaining, sharing an anecdote that’s related to your topic will give your core message a relatable human dimension.

3. “Um…” and other fillers

Most of us say filler words out of habit. There’s nothing wrong with saying “um,” “like,” and “you know” in a casual setting. It’s something most people do unconsciously when formulating their thoughts. But presentations are a different case. When you’re presenting to an audience, you’re the one in charge. Saying “um” every time you pause makes you look like you’re not sure of what you’re saying. It’ll make your audience lose confidence in you.

Avoid filler words by rehearsing your presentation delivery. Teach yourself to pause when you catch yourself blurting out a filler word. After some time, you’ll find yourself more used to pausing than resorting to the usual verbal blunders.

If you’re nervous about presenting in front of an audience, click here for tips on fighting public speaking anxiety.

4. Self-affirming questions

While you should definitely make it a point to acknowledge your audience throughout your delivery, it’s unnecessary to ask them questions that only affirm you. Think back to your experience as an audience member, has a presenter actually ever stopped to hear your answer when they ask, “Are you with me?”

The only questions you should be asking your audience ones where their answer is relevant to your presentation. If, for example, you want to gauge how they feel about the topic at hand, ask them by a show of hands. If you’re presenting to a smaller group, you can set a brief portion of your presentation and have select audience members share their answers.

5. “Next slide, please”

Don’t break the immersion of your audience by uttering the words “next slide, please.” If you can’t have your laptop near you to advance slides yourself, use a remote control instead. There are plenty of devices that allow you to control your PowerPoint deck from a distance, and they’re a great investment.

Presentation expert Garr Reynolds suggests the brands Keyspan and Interlink. According to TechRepulic‘s Deb Shinder, if that’s too much of a splurge, you can download apps that allow you to use your smartphone as a remote control.

Remember that the success of  your presentation lies on three things: content, design, and delivery. If one of these aspects fall flat, the rest of your presentation will suffer. Create an engaging experience for your audience by cutting out unnecessary details from your presentation delivery.

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PowerPoint Tutorial: Adding YouTube Videos to Slides

YouTube is the biggest site for video sharing today. With 60 hours of video uploaded to the website every minute, it’s definitely the best resource for interesting, informative, and entertaining videos that you can add to your presentation deck.

We’ve already discussed how you can add videos to your slides in a previous PowerPoint tutorial, but you might have noticed that YouTube was largely absent from our explanation. That’s because YouTube files come in the FLV format, which isn’t directly supported by PowerPoint.

It’ll take a few extra steps, but don’t fear. As luck would have it, we’ve got you covered with this PowerPoint tutorial on how to add YouTube videos to your slides.

Step 1: Add the Developer tab

powerpoint tutorial - developer tab

The Developer tab is an advanced function that allows you to embed codes and add-ins to your PowerPoint presentation. It isn’t normally enabled though, so you’ll have to add it to your Ribbon.

Click on the File tab and choose Options. When the dialogue box appears, go to Customize Ribbon and tick the box beside Developer that’s under this list:

powerpoint tutorial - customize ribbon

Step 2: Enable Shockwave Flash Object

powerpoint tutorial - more controls

In the Developer Tab, choose More Controls and add Shockwave Flash Object from the list in the dialogue box that appears. It’s a bit long, but since the list is alphabetical you can just press “S”.

Step 3: Designate area for embedding

Treat your video as any object on your deck. Just click and drag on any area of your slide to designate where you want your YouTube video to be. You’re free to adjust the video’s size to how big or small you want it to be.

Step 4: Prepare YouTube link

Go to the YouTube video you’d like to add and copy its URL.

Here’s the URL of a video from our YouTube channelhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k55pPUSSbdA

Paste your URL to Notepad and edit it as follows:

  • Delete the “watch?” part 
  • Replace “=” with “/”

So, if we were going to use the video from the SlideGenius channel, the URL end up looking like this: http://www.youtube.com/v/k55pPUSSbdA

  • You can also add “&autoplay=1” of the edited URL if you want the video to play as soon as you come to the slide.

Step 5: Paste YouTube link to PowerPoint

Go back to PowerPoint and right click on the box you created earlier. Select Properties. This will prompt a new window. Choose Movie and simply paste the edited URL into the field.

Conclusion

There you have it! Now’s the perfect time to go to YouTube and browse for some great content. Bookmark your favorites so you can come back to them once it’s time to prepare for your next presentation.

Hopefully, this PowerPoint tutorial will inspire you to take on innovative ways to present your ideas.

 

Featured Image: Rego Korosi via Flickr

Power Your Presentations with These Body Language Tips

Aside from meaningful content and great PowerPoint design, presentations are also about putting your best foot forward. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to secure an investor or promote a new product: a huge part of it involves making a favorable impression with body language and non-verbal cues.

We all know how body language plays an important role in forming first impressions. As best-selling author and keynote speaker Bernard Marr said,

“According to research done by a Princeton University psychologist, it’s an evolutionary survival mechanism. Your brain decides from the information it has—in other words, how you look—whether you are trustworthy, threatening, competent, likeable and many other traits.”

The audience immediately forms their opinion of you even before you speak and pull up your slides. The only way to avoid negative and hasty assumptions is by making sure you’re presenting yourself in the best way possible.

Take note of these body language tips, and get the best outcome for your presentations:

1. The Power Pose

Think back to when you were younger and how your mother constantly asked you not to slouch. Standing straight isn’t only good for your posture. As it turns out, it’s also a great way to convey authority and feel confidence.

In the TED Talk, “Your body language shapes who you are”, social psychologist Amy Cuddy explores how ‘power posing’ can lead to success. Her research suggests that changing your posture can affect your body chemistry, particularly the levels of testosterone and cortisol in your brain.

Amy Cuddy: Body language TED Talk
An infographic of Amy Cuddy’s presentation via the TED Blog. (Click to view full image at source)

The next time you’re feeling a bit anxious about presenting, try the power pose. Start your presentation with your back straight. Let your arms fall to your side and relax.

2. Movement

Don’t spend the rest of your presentation standing straight in one spot. Always be mindful of the space you have and use it to your advantage. As Amy Cuddy pointed out, power is displayed by making yourself big and taking up as much space as you can.

Use your hands to emphasize points once in a while with strong and defined gestures. Something Steve Jobs used to do was open up his arms like this:

Steve Jobs body language-open arms
Image: Tim Patterson (Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you’re presenting on a big stage, try to walk around every now and then. Move in a way that’s natural to you, and show your audience just how comfortable you are.

3. Eye-Contact

The success of your presentation is determined by your ability to connect with your audience. Aside from engaging them with great visuals and expert storytelling, try to make eye contact. While it’s clearly impossible to look at everyone in your audience in the eye, you can still establish rapport by following the ‘three count rule’ by Dan Rockwell.

“Look at someone on the left and count to three. Look to the middle and count to three, and so on. Don’t scan the audience. Scanners disconnect. Tip: Don’t keep looking at the power people in the audience.”

Let your body language show that you’re present and ready to consider how your audience feel about your presentation.

4. Facial Expressions

body language - facial expressions

People often forget that facial expression is an important element to body language. More than how you stand or move, it’s your face that tells people what you might be thinking. Just consider how the word “great” can mean two different things if said with a pursed lip or a smile.

You can alter meaning with your facial expressions. The audience refers to your face to fully understand what you’re sharing. Smile as often as you can and try to make your face look as lively as possible. If you aren’t naturally expressive, take some time to practice your speech in front of a mirror. A blank face can make you look bored or uninterested, so make sure to connect your verbal cues with inviting expressions.

 

References

Cuddy, Amy. “Your body language shapes who you are.” TED. Accessed July 17, 2014.
Secrets to Great Presentations.” Leadership Freak. 2014. Accessed July 17, 2014.

 

Featured Image: kev-shine via Flickr