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7 of PowerPoint 2016’s Best New Features

PowerPoint is one of the most important programs in Microsoft Office. It features a competitive range of graphical and presentation tools, making it useful for both personal and business applications. PowerPoint 2016, its most recent version, marks almost three years of productivity since the last update. This newest application doesn’t come with dramatic changes. In fact, most of its additional features are enhancements from the previous version.
What sets the real difference with PowerPoint 2016 (and with Office 2016 in general) is the fact that it focuses on enhancing user experience on the cloud. It encourages a collaborative workspace where documents can be shared and used online. It also aims to represent and ultimately fine-tune the synergetic culture that pervades the current work system.
Basically, what Microsoft wants is to get consumers into a new way of thinking about its products. The techno giant wants its brand to be associated with cloud availability, innovation, and timeliness. By offering new features and constant updates, Microsoft aims to pan out its new brand identity—but, of course, consumers need to be onboard for that to happen.

Is This Upgrade Worth Your Money?

Now, the question is, would upgrading to PowerPoint 2016 be in your best interest? Or can you work just as fine with the version you have, however old? The simple answer is this: you won’t miss out on anything big by choosing to not upgrade. Upgrading is not compulsory, after all. You’ll still have the basics that come with every version—all you’ll miss are the new features.
So, the real question now is whether you want the new features or not. Remember, a new version means a new software, and a new software means smarter and more updated features. Finally, you have to remember that PowerPoint is used by over 500 million users worldwide, with 120 million of them using it for business and educational purposes. Just imagine how many of that number have already chosen to upgrade their accounts. Worth a thought, isn’t it?
To help you decide whether or not PowerPoint 2016 is worth your money, here’s an infographic outlining some of its best and newest features.

Resources:

Bjork, Dawn. “What Are the Top 10 PowerPoint 2016 New Features?” The Software Pro. n.d. thesoftwarepro.com/powerpoint-2016-new-features
Sartain, JD. “Check Out PowerPoint 2016’s Best New Features: Charts, Effects, and More.” PC World. January 18, 2016. www.pcworld.com/article/3018735/software/check-out-powerpoint-2016s-best-new-features-charts-effects-and-more.html
“PowerPoint Usage and Market Share.” Infogram. n.d. infogr.am/PowerPoint-usage-and-Marketshare
“What’s New in PowerPoint 2016.” Microsoft Training. August 17, 2015. www.microsofttraining.net/b/whats-new-powerpoint-2016

Public Speaking Fear: Getting Rid of It in a Jiffy

Let’s face it: public speaking is frightening. Even the best speakers experience jitters before they go onstage. They just hide it really, really well—or they’re so used to stage fright that it’s no longer an issue after their warmup exercises.

Audience members pick up on signs of discomfort when you as a speaker have a hard time onstage: excessive sweating, stuttering, shortness of breath, etc. When they do, you become more conscious about what you’re doing, and the anxiety starts to build up. Does that mean you’re not ready? Possibly.

There’s no denying that some people, to no fault of their own, have a hard time dealing with high-stress situations—and you can bet that giving a speech in front of a crowd is stressful. Imagine the scenario: You’re minutes away from being called onstage. Your presentation is ready, perhaps designed by a PowerPoint design agency. The lights focus on your spot. But backstage, butterflies are abuzz in your stomach; your knees are shaking, and your palms are sweaty. You feel a bit lightheaded. Dizzy even.

These are uncontrollable responses to nervousness. While completely natural, especially in the context of public speaking, they’re still something that faze lots of people—80 percent of the US population, in fact. However, there are people easily debilitated by the mere thought of speaking in public. Those who suffer from a specific social anxiety disorder, glossophobia, feel nauseous and are prone to having panic attacks, which is why they try to stay away from doing it as much as possible.

For those who need to speak in public, though, how do you deal with stage fright? The ways to do it vary from person to person since each individual handles stress differently. Check this infographic to learn a few tricks to calm down and nail that speech.

Resources:

Hagen-Rochester, Susan. “Got Public Speaking Jitters? Experts Say Embrace the Fear.” Futurity. April 8, 2013. www.futurity.org/got-public-speaking-jitters-experts-say-embrace-the-fear

McClafferty, Alex. “12 ‘Fear of Public Speaking’ Symptoms and How to Beat Them.” Forbes. January 12, 2015. www.forbes.com/sites/alexmcclafferty/2015/01/12/fear-of-public-speaking/#b4fe7fd37a0c

Morgan, Nick. “Why We Fear Public Speaking and How to Overcome It.” Forbes. March 30, 2011. www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2011/03/30/why-we-fear-public-speaking-and-how-to-overcome-it/#4848c54fea43

Jamieson, Jeremy P., Matthew K. Nock, and Wendy Berry Mendes. “Changing the Conceptualization of Stress in Social Anxiety Disorder: Affective and Physiological Consequences.” Clinical Psychological Science. 2013. journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2167702613482119

Looking Back on the Birth of PowerPoint

It’s hard to imagine life without the comforts of modern technology that people know today: smartphones, 24/7 Internet access, computers that basically provide anything and everything with the push of a few buttons, and the like. Now, you’d think that innovation is an everyday occurrence, but that wasn’t the case in the mid-1900s, especially for businesses.

Back in the early 60s, Roger Appeldorn invented the first overhead projector. It had a simple principle of using light reflected upon mirrors to display data printed on transparencies (a.k.a. foil or viewgraph), paper-sized sheets of cellophane. The bulky instrument became a mainstay in meeting rooms, but the processes to create one sheet of transparency were tedious and time-consuming (inkjet printing was still a new thing). If not printed, then presenters would handwrite data to be projected on the transparencies. That is, until the 90s. What happened?

Microsoft PowerPoint happened.

Its revolutionary and innovative approach to creating presentations gave it an edge over its more than thirty competitors. Its timing with the booms of both the Apple and Windows operating systems—primitive as they were—cemented its growth. And its fundamental function hosted other uses it wasn’t intended for, like classroom operations and simple public speaking exercises (and not-so-simple ones like the TED Talks). Yes, it’s that flexible.

Today, PowerPoint is at its latest version: PowerPoint 2016, as part of the Microsoft bundle Office 2016. More than two decades since the first version was published, PowerPoint is at its prime—with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Although it has seen its share of competitors, the presentation designer software remains as strong as ever, if not stronger.

So how did this juggernaut of a program come to fruition? How about a teaser? For starters, did you know that PowerPoint didn’t start as an internal project of Microsoft? The following infographic will take you through decades across the technological history to the go-to presentation software that is—and will always be—Microsoft PowerPoint.

Resources:

Akanegbu, Anuli. “Vision of Learning: A History of Classroom Projectors.” EdTech Magazine. February 28, 2013. www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2013/02/vision-learning-history-classroom-projectors

“Life Before the Web – Running a Startup in the 1980’s.” The Zamzar Blog. July 13, 2016. blog.zamzar.com/2016/07/13/life-before-the-web-running-a-startup-in-the-1980s

PowerPoint as a Communication Tool When Rebranding a Business

Every company experiences a rut. Perhaps it’s because of the ever-changing world, technology (and the lack of capability or desire to adapt), and/or a new management. It may even be the work of external circumstances. A strong yet underhanded competitor, maybe? Whatever the case, when your company is losing steam, there’s a fix. But it will take a lot of time and effort.

You know what it is. Rebranding. Not all companies need one since it’s very risky. But what about those that do? There have been success stories and huge failures. It’s a long campaign, and taking shortcuts may very well compromise everything: years of history, customer trust, employee loyalty, etc.

Any self-respecting entrepreneur knows that those are just as important as every ounce of effort you put into your business. That fact alone makes it risky from the get-go, but any miscalculated step you take is a potential snowball waiting to roll down. In short, disregarding a lot of considerations during a rebranding will only make things worse.

When it’s time to say goodbye to the old and say hello to the new, every person involved must be on the same page. For each process, everybody should work towards the same short- and long-term goal. Since rebranding doesn’t happen overnight, the possibility of people getting ahead—and, of course, people lacking behind—grows more or more. So letting each level of the hierarchy know what, where, and why is essential.

This, then, is corporate communication. Because you’ve got a lot of pointers, conditions, and rules you need to cover, transparency and reachability are definite musts. And what’s a better communication and presentation tool to use than Microsoft PowerPoint? Nothing, according to an awesome presentation design agency. Check this infographic on how you could leverage communication with your people in the best way possible.

Resources:

DeMers, Jayson. “5 Examples of Rebranding Done Right.” Forbes. July 7, 2016. www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/07/07/5-examples-of-rebranding-done-right/#3c8c60492124

Shandrow, Kim Lachance. “The 8 Must-Follow Rules for Rebranding Your Company (Infographic).” Entrepreneur. September 10, 2014. www.entrepreneur.com/article/237296

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Pantone’s Color of the Year and How You Can Use It for Business

Pantone calls itself “the world-renowned authority on color,” and perhaps rightfully so. The company has been in business since 1963, when its founder devised the Pantone Matching System, a standard scheme for identifying and communicating different shades and hues.

At the turn of the millennium, the company launched the project, “Color of the Year.” For seventeen years now, Pantone’s color forecasting has been a self-fulfilling prophecy. Different industries worldwide refer back to it when releasing new trends.

The Art of Color Forecasting

Although Pantone’s Color of the Year is widely anticipated and supported by a number of industries, the science behind it is still obscure. As Pantone senior vice president Ron Potesky said, “The complexity of the logic behind Color of the Year is greater than interior design or fashionit’s a forecast, a reflection of what’s happening in the world.”

The process of color forecasting is not a simple one, although it’s highly subjective in nature. For months on end, the Pantone team gathers what they call “proof points” from all over the world. They go to car shows, runways, decorator showcases, and other important events that define culture and lifestyle. They try to make sense of meaningful overlaps so they can distill the mood and state of the times into a single color.

Pantone’s yearly selection serves no direct purpose to the consumer world, but its influence can be observed in many sectors. Owing to its longevity and the power of social media, the project has reinvented itself as an authority in color trend selection.

If you’re into the colors game, check out this infographic about Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year.

Colors and business always go hand in hand. The consumer world is about trust and persuasion, and it’s hard to accomplish either or both if your brand is portrayed in a dull and dismal way. Choose a vibrant and fresh palette this yearone that includes Greenery, perhapsand you might just see your customers showing more interest in your business.

Back up your skills with a well-designed PowerPoint presentation by letting our team to assist and offer you a free quote!

Resources:

Beals, Rachel Koning. “Nature and New Beginnings Inform Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery.” Market Watch. December 8, 2015. www.marketwatch.com

Budds, Diana. “Pantone’s New Color of the Year Is Weird and Perfect.” Facto Design. December 8, 2016. www.factodesign.com

Friedman, Vanessa. “Color of 2017? Pantone Picks a Spring Shade.” New York Times. December 8, 2016. www.nytimes.com

Hazzard, Tracy Leigh. “Why Pantone’s Color of 2017 Matters to Your Business.” Inc. December 9, 2016. www.inc.com

Hua, Karen. “Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017 Is Inspired by Nature and Influences Design.” Forbes. December 9, 2016. www.forbes.com

Pasquarelli, Adrianne. “How Pantone Picks Its Color of the Year.” Advertising Age. December 22, 2015. adage.com

Stewart, Jude. “Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery!” Print Mag. December 8, 2016. www.printmag.com

Stock, Kyle. “How Pantone Is Still Turning Color into Money.” Bloomberg. August 27, 2015. www.bloomberg.com

Weiss, Dyanne. “Does Pantone’s Color of the Year Influence Marketing?” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com

“Color Can Influence Emotions in a Way that Few Other Mediums Can.” Digital Skratch. n.d. digitalscratch.com

“Color Psychology: How Does Color Affect Us?” Pantone. n.d. www.pantone.com

“Color Psychology: The Emotional Effects of Colors.” Art Therapy. n.d. www.arttherapyblog.com

“Introducing Greenery.” Pantone. n.d. www.pantone.com

“Shinrin Yoku.” Shinrin Yoku. n.d. www.shinrin-yoku.org

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Making Your Presentation Stand Out with Powerful Design

Once you’re onstage, the stars are you and your presentation. Of course, your training got you there in the first place: charisma, clear and loud voice, likable aura—public speaking skills polished over and over again until they’re perfect, almost like second nature, and suited to your needs—and appropriate for every crowd imaginable.

But what about your presentation? Is it tailored to your audience? There’s a risk you don’t want to take when, despite how good you are as a speaker, your presentation is not as appealing: you don’t get your message across as effectively as you want, vis-à-vis death by PowerPoint.

Since humans are visual creatures, our brains process imagistic information faster and more efficiently than text. This is a benchmark you should take advantage of when creating visually appealing and enticing slides, a tip awesome presentation designers always live by. Check this infographic for tips on how to charm your audiences, arrest their attention, and, most importantly, get your message across.

Visuals play an important role when arresting attention. In a world of eight-second attention spans and faster everything—connectivity, accessibility, and even loading times—people would rather spend more of their time on different, more valuable things.

Come to think of it, it’s a cyclical cause and effect: everything is faster, so people expect things to be even faster, ergo the short attention spans. Kind of a messed-up Pygmalion effect, only for things instead of persons.

With that happening, there’s now two steps to do: get their attention and retain it. Good, proper, and creative use of visuals can already do the first, and they can certainly take care of the second, especially when your topic goes from “something that makes them curious” to “something that genuinely piques their interest and makes them ask questions.”

There’s a beauty that certain senses can solely appreciate. Music to the ears. Caress on the skin. For the eyes, it’s appealing design. Beauty. Make something that both you and your audience will appreciate. In turn, they will appreciate you.

Resources:

Golden, Felicia. “The Power of Visual Content: Images vs. Text.” eyeQ. February 11, 2015. www.eyeqinsights.com/power-visual-content-images-vs-text

McSpadden, Kevin. “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span than a Goldfish.” Time. May 14, 2015. www.time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

Finding the Perfect Topic for Your Business Presentation

To deliver a great business presentation, you need to go full blast from the get-go. Even when you’re still trying to come up with ideas for your talk, you should dedicate ample time and effort in your work. The perfect topic won’t come knocking on your door—you have to find it and work hard for it.

But isn’t that the question, exactly? How hard do you need to work to come up with the right topic for a presentation? How do ideas come to be in the first place? Where do they come from and how do you get hold of them?

The Birth of an Idea

Steven Johnson on his TED talk, “Where Good Ideas Come From,” described an idea to be “a network on the most elemental level,” and a new idea as “a new network of neurons firing in sync with each other inside your brain.” When you have a lightbulb moment, your brain is essentially forming new patterns that it has never formed before. This is what gives you a sense of enlightenment—an epiphany, so to speak.

With great ideas in your arsenal, you can deliver a business presentation that will keep your audience at the edge of their seats. But a list of ideas is not enough. You need to narrow it down to one topic that will give you and your audience utter satisfaction. Here’s an infographic to help you do just that.

Now, you have the recipe for the perfect topic. What’s left is to create a compelling business presentation that stays true to your subject matter. Remember, your job is far from over. Choosing a topic for your talk is just the beginning. Now that you have the foundation for your speech, it’s time to start building new ideas over it.

Resource:

Johnson, Steven. “Where Good Ideas Come From.” TED. September 2010. www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from/transcript?language=en

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

Design that Speaks: Styling PowerPoint Background Designs that Work

Designs add depth to content. They are useful for PowerPoint presentations, especially when words alone aren’t explicit enough.

Ideally, PowerPoint pitches should consist of a limited amount of words. Therefore, being expressive is a challenge. Usually, they only contain keywords but because designs impose tone or suggest interpretation, they become more comprehensible.

Studies suggest that elements of art have several different connotations to them. However, they are seldom obvious. It’s common to people that yellow is a happy color or that red looks romantic. But for the average majority, that’s just about it.

Using Psychology in Design

Many know psychological interpretations of art elements such as color, but only a few use this knowledge to their advantage; or at least see them as advantageous.

The ability to understand psychology in design and creativity, and use them in presentations is powerful. “When design and behavior match, the design will be superior,” said Simon Norris in an article. The more psychological effects a slide possesses, the more value it has.

PowerPoint background designs, as much as content does, play a crucial role in persuading audiences. They can influence how others think about you and how they react to you.

One of the secrets in creating a successful business pitch is by connecting with your audience. By appealing to their emotions, you help them remember the idea of your message.

Create effective PowerPoint pitches by incorporating knowledge on useful art psychologies. Know how various elements of art can be used to attract audiences through this infographic.

Resource:

“Visual Communication and The Psychology of Design.” SuperGraphics. www.supergraphics.com/blog/visual-communication-and-psychology-design

Looking for creative presentations that can leverage your business? Enjoy free PowerPoint templates from SlideStore! Sign up today.

Get More Organized with PowerPoint Presenter View

PowerPoint contains powerful features that often get buried under the comfortable confines of default settings. Unlock the potential of the Presenter view for your presentation and get more out of the program.

Our previous article talked about the different views in PowerPoint 2013 and how these views can help you customize your workflow. There, we explored the eight types of views and the additional two views.

In this post, we’ll be going in-depth on one of the additional views – the Presenter View.

This view essentially acts as the remote control to your presentation. It lets you set the precise length of your presentation and helps you look at your notes when the inevitable mind slip occurs.

You’ll amaze your audience with your ability to move from slide to slide with precise timing. The secret to ending your presentation on the dot is all in the Presenter View.

Maximize all Useful Features of Presenter View

This tutorial uses the version of PowerPoint 2013 with a computer that has two monitors to fulfill the requirement of having two screens present to activate Presenter View.

Starting your slide show automatically brings up Presenter View if you’re using PowerPoint 2013. The program also detects if you have two screens so that it can display the Presenter View and the Slide Show separately. Make sure to check if you already have a projector plugged in.

Press F5 on your keyboard to bring up the Presenter View, which simultaneously brings up the Slide Show.

PowerPoint Presenter View: The Key Areas

PowerPoint Presenter View: Key Areas

The image above labels the four main areas you’ll notice in the Presenter View. The first, Toolbar (1), has three components: Show Taskbar, Display Settings, and End Slide Show as you see below.

PowerPoint Presenter View: Toolbar

a. Show Taskbar simply shows your computer’s taskbar below the Presenter View. Collapse and expand the taskbar by clicking on this button. The taskbar is hidden by default during your presentation, and this menu item is useful if you need to bring it up.

b. Display Settings is the only item on the menu that has an inverted triangle beside it, indicating that there are other options available in the dropdown menu. Swap Presenter View switches the position of the Presenter view and Slideshow view. The Duplicate Slide Show fills both of your screens with the Slide Show View.

c. End Slide Show closes both screens displaying the Slide Show and the Presenter view.

PowerPoint Presenter View: Full Screen vs window

The Minimize, Restore Down, and Close buttons on the upper right corner of the Presenter view Toolbar as highlighted above are another simple but useful set of features.

The Minimize button minimizes the Presenter view. The Restore Down button allows you to resize Presenter view. It looks much more compact than the full-screen view as the image above shows. Be careful since the Close button exits both the Slide Show and Presenter view to end your presentation.

Slide Timing, Preview, and Navigation Area

PowerPoint Presenter View: Slide timing

The most crucial feature in the second area is the Timer. Here, you can see how long each slide plays down to the second. The pause and play icons beside the time display allow you to control how long you want a slide to last on screen. Stay within your presentation time limit and cover all your talking points with the help of the timer.

Format your slides to only last a specific duration of time to keep you on track during your pitch. It’s even more important now to rehearse your speech so that you don’t rush your delivery.

See what your current slide looks like in the Slide Preview window between the Timer and Navigation. This understandably takes up the largest space in the Presenter view so that you can see an overview of the slide. In his tutorial on IndieZine, Geetesh Bajaj expounds on the extra controls below the Slide Preview area.

The Slide Navigation (2) at the bottom tells you which slide number you’re on and the total number of slides in your deck.

Next Slide and Notes Area

PowerPoint Presenter View: Notes area

The last two areas beside the Slide Preview are Next Slide (3) and Notes (4). The former displays your upcoming slide to give you time to prepare your next thoughts.  The latter area displays your notes. The text size is adjustable on the Notes area so that you can adjust your notes to be readable from afar.

Conclusion

This thorough look at the Presenter view proves how the program is packed with features that need to be explored. It’s one of many views you can use in PowerPoint 2013 to improve your workspace and help you be in control of precise timing during your pitch.

Presenter view is useful in checking how long your slides are playing and keep you aware and alert of the time you’re spending on stage. In addition to these useful functions, you can preview your next slide and notes.

Prepare yourself with the use of these settings and make Presenter view a valuable helper for your next, big presentation.

 

Reference

Bajaj, Geetesh. “PowerPoint 2013 Tutorials – Enhanced Presenter View in PowerPoint 2013.” Indezine.
November 9, 2012. Accessed January 7, 2016. www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/learn/powerpoint-2013/enhanced-presenter-view-ppt2013.html