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Sound Slides: A PowerPoint Tutorial on Music and Sound Effects

Your presentation audience makes use of their visual and auditory senses the most during your pitch.

Because we often emphasize the importance of visuals in PowerPoint design, it’s time we consider audio, especially if you’re planning to share your presentation online.

Sometimes, it’s not enough to enhance your PowerPoint deck with eye-catching pictures and illustrations. There are moments when you need to add another dimension to your presentation design. A careful mix of visuals and audio can really add life to your slides and take your presentation further.

Add life and sound to your slides in three easy steps:

Step 1: Insert audio file

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using PowerPoint 2010.

Get started by looking for the Media group under the Insert tab.

From there, choose the Audio icon and select what type of audio file you’d like to insert into your PowerPoint presentation. You can choose an audio file that’s saved in your computer, record your own, or use a file from the Clip Art gallery.

powerpoint tutorial audio 01

If you’re going to use something that you already have saved or that you downloaded from the Internet, make sure the file is compatible with PowerPoint. They have to be in any of the following formats:

  • Windows Media Audio (.wma)
  • Windows Audio (.wav)
  • MP3 (.mp3)

Step 2: Preview selected audio file

After successfully inserting your chosen audio file, you will see a sound icon appear on the slide you’re currently working on. When you select it, a toolbar will appear. This is where you can press Play to preview your audio.

powerpoint tutorial audio 02

Always check to see if the music or sound effects you’ve chosen are working properly. If the audio skips or lags, you might want to use a file with a smaller size.

Step 3: Select playback option

Lastly, choose a play back option for your audio file. After selecting the sound icon, go to the Playback tab under Audio Tools. Among the following options, choose the one that’s most applicable to how you envision your PowerPoint deck.

powerpoint tutorial audio 03

  • Automatically – The audio file will start to play as soon as you reach the current slide
  • On Click – Play the audio on demand by clicking the icon
  • Play Across Slides – The audio file will play throughout the entire PowerPoint deck
  • Loop Until Stopped – The file will play loop unless you move on to a new slide

You can also opt to hide the sound icon if you don’t want it cluttering the look of your slide. After you’ve selected the playback option that suits your presentation, tick the box for Hide During Show that’s under Audio Options.

It’s easy to take a simple PowerPoint presentation and turn it into an experience that the audience won’t soon forget. This PowerPoint tutorial is perfect for anyone looking to make sure their presentations are a little bit better than before.

Sprinkle a few sound effects to add impact to your presentation. For online presentations, use these steps to integrate a voice over to your slides. Contact our PowerPoint experts to learn how else you can improve your PowerPoint designs and presentation outcomes.

 

References

Add and Play Sounds in a Presentation.” Office Support. Accessed March 5, 2015.
Visual Simplicity Is Captivating in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 30, 2014.Accessed March 5, 2015.

 

Featured Image: picjumbo

Are Your Online Presentations Working For You?

There are many advantages to reaching out and connecting with your audience online. Consider integrating online content marketing as part of your strategy for optimal audience engagement.

What better way to pique your target audience’s interests than providing them with content that’s both useful and relevant to their interests?

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That said, online presentations can significantly improve your brand’s visibility online.

As you know, a presentation is both a visual and informative medium. Take note of the ways you can cut back lengthy PowerPoint presentations and turn them to more SEO-friendly slides. In the process, don’t forget to check if the end product lines up with your objectives.

Ask yourself these questions to make sure your online presentations are working for you:

How relevant are your online presentations? 

According to NN Group co-founder Jakob Nielsen, majority of online users spend only about 10 to 20 seconds browsing through a web page to find what they’re looking for. If the page doesn’t have that information, they’ll skip over to the next link.

Don’t let the same thing happen to your online presentations. If the audience skips past the thumbnail of your online presentation, they might never scroll back to have a second look.

Make sure you’re relevant to what they might be searching for.

Create a presentation offering to give them tips or advice, but don’t make it too generic.

Business consultant, Mark Evans, stresses the importance of fitting the needs and interests of your target audience by learning as much as you can about them.

From that knowledge, create a headline and title slide that will surely catch people’s attention.

Can your content sustain interest? 

Now that you’ve caught your audience’s attention, the next step is figuring out how to engage and keep them interested.

Keep them on your page by highlighting your core message and key takeaways.

Don’t present your online pitch in a roundabout way. Define your presentation’s premise from the get go and put your main points forward.

This lets your target audience tell that your ideas are in line with what they’re looking for.

They’ll keep clicking to see what’s on the next slide.

Do you have a clear Call-to-Action?

After making a compelling argument, leave your audience with one last powerful statement. Before they move on to find something else to read, don’t forget to make your pitch.

That’s what a Call-to-Action is for. Should they contact you for inquiries? Should they follow you on social media?

End with a clear-cut statement that lets the audience know what you want them to do next.

We can’t emphasize enough how much online presentations can help your brand in the long run. Engage your target audience and gain the leads you need by keeping these 3 things in mind. If you want help with designing an online presentation audiences will never forget, contact us to schedule a conversation with our PowerPoint experts.

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References:

5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Evans, Mark. “The Importance of Really Knowing Your Target Audiences.” Forbes. March 20, 2013. Accessed February 27, 2015.
How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?Nielsen Norman Group. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 16, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.
Why Your Presentations Need Better Slide Headlines.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 3, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2015.

3 Ways to Cut Back Your Text-Heavy PowerPoint Slides

The most effective PowerPoint slides are often simple and concise. As branding experts TRAY Creative put it: cluttered slides will only put your audience to sleep.

Effective decks help the presenter discuss a topic with memorable and arresting visuals. In other words, a PowerPoint presentation isn’t there to act as your script or teleprompter.

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If your presentations are always burdened by text-heavy PowerPoint slides, it’s time to dial back and strip your deck bare.

Try the following suggestions to make sure you don’t have walls of text blocking the audience’s interest in your discussion:

Strip your content down to its essentials 

Cutting back on text-heavy PowerPoint slides rely on your ability to edit your own content.

Before you start making your PowerPoint deck, review the draft you’ve prepared and see how you can simplify your points even more. Your goal is to strip down your content to the bare minimum.

You don’t have to waste space on your slides to elaborate particulars. Your slides are there to highlight the main points and takeaways.

Everything else that needs to be discussed or described is for the presenter to do on his own.

Use multiple slides to split up bullet points

Bullet points are often maligned in PowerPoint design because of constant misuse. A lot of presenters insist on presenting text through a bullet point list, even if the text requires a lengthy paragraph description.

Bullet points are meant to simplify content and list down key information. If you’re going to use it to cram several paragraphs on a single slide, you’re not utilizing bullet points properly.

Split up your content across multiple PowerPoint slides. Even if you end up with 10 more slides than you originally planned, your deck won’t look poorly designed.

Spreading out your PowerPoint to tackle one point at time will help you make sure your slides aren’t dragged down by too much text.

Represent content visually

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Remember to keep it in mind when making PowerPoint slides, because it’s extremely crucial to presentation design.

Sometimes, it can be hard to cut back on content because there are things that require several sentences to describe.

Luckily, PowerPoint is a visual tool. Instead of using up slide space on lengthy descriptions, you can represent certain parts of your content through pictures or graphics instead.

Turn a discussion on a particular process into a flowchart. Find pictures that represent your brand values. Think visually and use images to relay what might need several sentences to say.

In general, try to keep your PowerPoint slides visual. Use text to enhance the meaning of particular images or graphs, and do it by using the simplest sentences or phrases. Remember, a PowerPoint deck is a visual aid. It shouldn’t overwhelm your audience with too much information. As the presenter, it’s your job to take the stage and discuss your presentation accordingly.

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References:

Visual Storytelling: How Stories Are Told in Pictures.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 27, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2015.
PowerPoint Insight: Reconsidering the No Bullet Points Rule.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 21, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2015.
7 PowerPoint Mistakes That Put Audiences to Sleep.” TRAY Creative Seattle Marketing Branding Web Design. Accessed February 24, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Hernán Piñera via Flickr

4 Easy Tips to Manage Your PowerPoint File Size

Following all the best PowerPoint practices, you were able to incorporate interesting visuals and make use of minimal but creative animation.

You’re confident that it looks great, and you’re sure that your slides will definitely enhance the message you want to deliver. After some final adjustments, you’re ready to share your PowerPoint file online, transfer it to another device, or run a test drive.

And then your laptop starts to lag. The program starts to crash.

If you’re sharing the presentation online, you’re met with an upload that’s expected to run for hours. The culprit? A PowerPoint file that is too large.

For a seamless presentation experience, shrink your PowerPoint file to a manageable size.

Lucky for you, there are 4 simple ways to fix PowerPoint 2010 file size issues. Take note of the following tips and find the most applicable solution to your dilemma:

Convert PowerPoint file to PDF

You can convert your PowerPoint file to a PDF if you’re planning to share your slides via SlideShare or email when the actual presentation is over.

This will strip your presentation of any animation and transition effects, so make necessary tweaks to your PowerPoint first.

After that, all you have to do is head to the File tab and click Save As. From there, choose PDF under Save as type.

 

powerpoint file pdf

Skip ‘Compatibility Mode’

If you’re planning to simply hook up your laptop to the projector in the venue, you don’t need to save your PowerPoint file in compatibility mode.

Keep your file saved in the latest version of PowerPoint by making sure the file extension is .pptx. Head to the folder where your PowerPoint file is stored, right click, then choose Properties.

powerpoint file pptx

Compress high-resolution pictures 

Using pictures with incredibly high resolutions will definitely have an effect on the size of your PowerPoint file. You may want to use clear and crisp images, but you don’t have to opt for anything that’s too large.

Renowned presentation trainer, Ellen Finklestein, writes about reducing image sizes on her blog. Finklestein explains the necessity to do this because images can sometimes make your files bulkier.

Edit and re-size the pictures that have resolutions that might be way too large.

If you don’t want to sacrifice your PowerPoint design, compress all the images in your deck. Simply select any image in your PowerPoint file and head to the Pictures Tools Format tab.

Click on Compress Pictures under the Adjust group. When the dialogue box appears, choose from the different target output options.

powerpoint file compress pics

Avoid embedding fonts if you can

As we’ve discussed before, customized and unique fonts can help enhance your PowerPoint designs. However, they can also be a contributing factor to why your PowerPoint file size is too large. Try to minimize your use of unique fonts as much as you can.

To avoid embedding too much data into your PowerPoint file, you can limit your use of unique fonts for headers or section breaks. Head to the File tab and click on Options. Go to Save and check to see the options enabled under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation. When you embed fonts to your PowerPoint file, make sure you always choose the first option.

powerpoint file embed fonts
You don’t have to sacrifice great presentation design to make sure your PowerPoint file is kept at a manageable size. Ease the presentation process and use these methods to make sure your PowerPoint file isn’t unnecessarily too large. For more PowerPoint design insights, click here and browse through our blog!

References

Finkelstein, Ellen. “Reduce the Size of Your Presentation Files.PowerPoint Tips Blog. November 22, 2000. Accessed February 20, 2015.
PowerPoint Quick Tips: Designing for SlideShare.SlideGenius, Inc. January 20, 2015. Accessed February 20, 2015.
The Top 10 Best PowerPoint Design Practices.SlideGenius, Inc. November 18, 2014. Accessed February 20, 2015.
Where to Find Unique Images for Your Presentation Design.SlideGenius Inc. December 18, 2014. Accessed February 20, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Andrew Malone via Flickr

PowerPoint Advice for Confused Mac Users

The experience of Mac and PC users with PowerPoint don’t largely differ. PowerPoint 2011 remains robust and flexible regardless of which operating system you favor.

The most loyal to Mac might need some time to transition from Keynote, but it’s not an impossible task. In fact, the only PowerPoint advice you really need to keep in mind is to remain patient as you learn to use a new tool for creating presentations.

Still, if you find your new environment a little confusing, all you really need is someone to push you on the right direction. For today’s blog, that’s exactly what we’ll try to do.

The best PowerPoint advice is learning to use the ribbon

powerpoint advice-ribbon closer look

The ribbon is where you’ll find all the commands you need to complete certain tasks on PowerPoint.

It’s at the very top of your screen, divided by several tabs. Each of these tabs categorizes hundreds of commands to make your presentation building a lot easier. Whether you want to edit pictures, add a text box, or incorporate animation, the ribbon is key to navigating around PowerPoint.

powerpoint advice-using the ribbon
(Image from Microsoft.com)

Once you learn how to use the ribbon, you can try out some of these useful tricks that we’ve written about in the past:

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Following the tips detailed in these links, you’ll be able to create PowerPoint designs that are both creative and memorable for your audience. It really won’t matter whether you’re using PowerPoint on a Mac or a PC. There are, however, times when using PowerPoint for Mac can prove to be more advantageous.

If you need presentations on-the-go, you can easily sync your finished PowerPoint file to other Apple devices. All you have to do is click on File, choose Send To from the different options, and click on iPhoto.

Here’s a video from Microsoft Office detailing the steps:

Learning to navigate around PowerPoint doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re a Mac user who’s feeling a bit confused, just take time to familiarize yourself with the new environment. Scour the Internet to find useful tips that can be helpful to your transition. OfficeforMacHelp.com offers tips to help you learn the basics.

If your presentation needs to be finished quickly and you don’t have the luxury of time, don’t hesitate to contact us to consult with our presentation experts.

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References

Familiarize Yourself with the Ribbon.” Office Support. Accessed February 18, 2015.
Share PowerPoint slides with iPhoto. Office for Mac. Accessed February 18, 2015.

&nbs

Featured Image: picjumbo.com

3 Easy Steps to Your Own PowerPoint Design

Don’t let an important message get buried under bad PowerPoint design. A great story can fall short if your visuals end up boring the audience.

The standard bullet point design won’t do much for your success. If you really want to be impressive and make sure your message sticks, be diligent in creating effective PowerPoint slides, which you can do in three easy steps.

Today, we’re sharing tips on how you can create unique and memorable designs without ruining your schedule.

Step 1: Customize a PowerPoint template

Creating your own deck design from scratch is a daunting task. Unless you have a perfectly planned concept, it’s better to go down another route. Start with a PowerPoint template that you can customize, which you can apply using the Slide Master function.

To upgrade default PowerPoint templates, create your own color schemes. You can follow the color patterns of your company’s branding efforts or use programs like Adobe Color CC to find the perfect combination.

You can also use high-quality images as backgrounds to some of your slides. Just remember to choose images that aren’t too heavy on the eyes. They shouldn’t stick out from the overall visual theme of your PowerPoint design.

Step 2: Add carefully curated images

Aside from images for backgrounds, it’s also important to illustrate your points with pictures.

There are plenty of different images find on the Internet that will fit the subject matter of your presentation. Just be sure to carefully browse through your wealth of choices, aiming for images that allow for a unified look in your PowerPoint design.

Other than the overall theme of your images, make sure that they all match visually. You might find some images are too saturated and underexposed.

To solve the problem, make adjustments and corrections using photo-editing tools in PowerPoint.

Step 3: Be mindful of good design practices

As you put the different elements of your slide deck together, it’s important to keep good design practices in mind. These include the sparse use of text and animation, as well as the careful consideration on which font types to use.

Among our most important lessons is the proper use of white space in PowerPoint slides.

Contrary to what some may think, minimalistic design is not simply the absence of extraneous objects on the slides, but in removing distracting clutter and helping the viewers’ eyes focus on more important elements.

Tap into this principle and keep your design and layout balanced and in order as you craft your overall deck.

PowerPoint design comes from inspiration

If starting with these three steps still feels a bit overwhelming, you can find inspiration from all over the web.

Creativity stems from inspiration, so keep looking for designs that catch your eye. Start by browsing samples designs and studying their methods for inspiration.

Not sure where to begin? Contact us and consult with our PowerPoint experts today!

 

References

Design Ideas: How to Improve PowerPoint Templates.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 9, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Ivanoff, Ada. “Design Minimalism: What, Why & How.” SitePoint. June 6, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Tutorial: How to Use PowerPoint as a Photo Editor.” SlideGenius, Inc.. February 2, 2015. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Using White Space in PowerPoint Design-a Closer Look.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 4, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.
Where to Find Unique Images for Your Presentation Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 18, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Life of Pix

Tutorial: How to Use PowerPoint as a Photo Editor

Despite what others might think, PowerPoint remains to be a flexible tool. It may get a bad reputation from the “Death by PowerPoint” dilemma in board rooms, but like any other tool, correct use of PowerPoint lies on your ability to familiarize yourself with its different functions.

If you take the time to learn what you can, you’ll find space to explore your creativity.

In this regard, we thought it might be useful to discuss using PowerPoint for other purposes. Other than building slide decks, you can actually tap into the classic presentation software in plenty of ways, one of which is using PowerPoint as a photo editor.

If you don’t know your way around Photoshop yet, use PowerPoint to do basic photo editing and enhance images you want to use for your presentations.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using PowerPoint 2010 to demonstrate the program’s various functions.

Here’s everything you need to know to get started:

The basic commands

To start using PowerPoint as a photo editor, we have to familiarize ourselves with the Format tab under Picture Tools. Insert the image you want to edit into a blank slide. Once you select that picture, this tab appears on your ribbon:

powerpoint photo editor 01
(Click for larger view)

From this tab, the most basic photo editing commands you’ll need to know are the following:

1.) Pictures Style – This entire group signified by the icons that fill most of the tab allows you to easily customize pictures with just a click. There are plenty of styles to choose from. You can choose to add different effects or borders, and even change the shape of your picture. The icon for Picture Layout allows you to convert your picture into a SmartArt graphic.

2.) Corrections – The sun icon on the left side of the tab allows you to edit a photo’s brightness and contrast. You can also choose to either sharpen or soften its focus.

3.) Color – Right beside the Corrections icon is where you can change the saturation and tone of your chosen picture. It also gives you the option to overlay different color filters to get the exact look you’re going for.

4.) Crop – On the right most part of the tab, you’ll find the Crop icon. Aside from using it to trim down your image to a particular size, you also have the choice to crop your image into a particular shape. All you have to do is click the arrow right below the Crop icon and choose Crop to Shape.

Adding captions to images

Something else that you might want to do is add text to your images. Adding captions is pretty straightforward on PowerPoint. All you have to do is use the TextBox as you usually would when building a PowerPoint slide. Click on the Insert tab and select the Text Box icon.

powerpoint photo editor 04

From there, you just have to create a TextBox anywhere you’d like on the picture and start typing your caption from there. To make the text stand out, you can add a background color by selecting Shape Fill. Adjusting the transparency of the box will often give you the best look.

powerpoint photo editor 05
(Original image from Death to the Stock Photo)

For this example, we set the Shape Fill effect at about 30% transparency. You can adjust this by selecting the Shape Fill icon and choosing More Fill Colors.

powerpoint photo editor 07

From here, it’s easy enough to adjust your TextBox to get the look that works best with the picture.

Saving your pictures

Once you’re happy with the edits you’ve made, you can go ahead and save your picture as its own file. All you have to do is right-click on your edited image and choose Save Picture As.

You can also save several objects as one picture. This will be useful if you added a text box for captioning. Hold the Shift key and select all the elements you want to include in a single picture. After that, all you have to do is right-click and choose Group. After that, you can finally save your picture as usual.

Creating a Polaroid effect 

Using these techniques, you can now edit your pictures easily. Practice your skills by trying your hand at creating a Polaroid effect on PowerPoint.

powerpoint photo editor 06

All you have to do is follow these steps:

1.) Select your image and crop it into a 1:1 ratio.
2.) Right above your cropped image, use the Shape tool to draw a rectangle.
3.) Select the rectangle and add a Shadow (Outer) effect through the Drawing Tools Format Tab. Once you get the drop-shadow, change the rectangle’s color to white and remove the shape outline.
4.) Select the rectangle again and right-click. Click on Send to Back and select Send Backward. From here, your cropped image will appear again.
5.) Adjust the picture to create the look of a Polaroid. Make sure you leave more space at the bottom when you’re moving the image around the rectangle.
6.) Finally, group the shape and the image together and save as instructed above.

As you can see, PowerPoint isn’t as stifling a tool as most people make it out to be. If you know how to get creative, you can use it as a photo editor and achieve unique designs. Explore and utilize its different functions to get the most out of this classic presentation software.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

5 PowerPoint Pitch Deck Tips For SEO-Friendly Slides

There are plenty of great benefits in creating a solid content marketing strategy.

As we’ve discussed before, we found that it’s an easy way to connect and engage with consumers. By sharing content that is relevant to them, you help them create an emotional connection with your brand.

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Of course, gaining leads through this method isn’t always easy. Sure, sharing your PowerPoint slides on the Internet does introduce your brand to a wider audience. The problem is that it might take them a while to find your content, even if you’ve created slides that are relevant and useful for them.

To nudge these potential consumers in your direction, let your slides stand out. The way to do that is by making your PowerPoint and pitch deck presentations SEO-friendly.

BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu stresses that unlike its earlier stages, SEO content no longer means stuffing your work with random keywords, but incorporating them into meaningful and well-researched content.

So how can you optimize your PowerPoint’s searchability? Follow our five tips:

Optimize your title slide

The title slide is an important part of your presentation, especially if you’re sharing it online. It’s the first thing that people will see when they’re browsing and come across your PowerPoint deck on SlideShare or any other site.

It’s also the title slide that will help them decide if your content is relevant to their interests. As such, optimize your title slide.

Take the time to craft the perfect title for your presentation, which needs to contain the keyword you’re optimizing for. The keyword should flow naturally with the single phrase you come up with.

Also have visuals that match your creative and SEO-friendly title. While the keyword helps search engines decide that your content is a match, it’s the visuals that will capture your target audience’s attention.

Use long tail keywords in the content

Using keywords shouldn’t stop at the title slide. The long tail keywords you choose should also be incorporated to the content of your slides.

For SEO beginners, that means you should incorporate keywords that are quite specific to the topic you’re discussing and optimizing for. This way, your content doesn’t get buried under millions of results for a general search term.

HubSpot contributor, Corey Wainwright, explains the use of long tail keywords. Such keywords flow naturally with the rest of your writing. Doing otherwise might end up alienating your audience.

Provide an accurate description

Aside from content, you also have to provide an accurate and thought-provoking meta description of your presentation.

Focus on the core message of your presentation and make sure that stands out in what you write.

A good description isn’t too long. A few, quick sentences will do. This will serve as the space where you can include information about your company, like links to your website and social media profiles.

Carefully tag your pitch deck presentation

Another crucial step to SEO-friendly slides are the tags. Sites like SlideShare allows up to 20 for your presentation.

Tags are keywords that will make it easier to categorize and find your content. Make sure you use those that are relevant to your content and your brand.

Tagging random keywords might damage you in the long run by marking you as spam. Always relate your tags to what your presentation is actually about.

Share presentation on social media

Finally, it’s time to share your presentation on social media platforms. When you upload your PowerPoint deck, you don’t have to sit around and wait for the audience to appear.

Do the heavy lifting and take your presentation to them. Share links to your newly-uploaded PowerPoint pitch deck presentation on your social media profiles. This will give your followers a heads up.

In turn, they can share it on their own profiles or websites. Search engines prioritize results that have plenty of back links. The more you share your pitch deck presentation, the larger your reach will become.

Sharing your presentations online can help you reach out to a wider audience. Do it right by making sure your PowerPoint slides have SEO advantage. Take note of these tips and do your best to connect and engage with consumers through the large world of the Internet.

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References:

Content Marketing Lesson: Presentations Create More Impact.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 13, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Wainwright, Corey. “The Ultimate Guide for Mastering Long Tail SearchHubSpot. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Perfecting Your Presentation Title Slide.” SlideGenius, Inc.. October 16, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.
Yu, Jim. “5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing.” Marketing Land. March 11, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Picjumbo.com

Quick PowerPoint Tips: Designing for SlideShare

Presentations are an effective way to get your brand and story out to the public. Thanks to SlideShare, there’s an easier way to reach an audience that might never get the chance to hear about your organization.

Since it was created in 2007, SlideShare has evolved into one of the biggest information sharing platforms in an easily accessible format. All you have to do is upload your PowerPoint presentations and you’ll be opening yourself up to a viewership that reaches up to 50 million visitors.

slideshare screencap
Visit SlideShare.net

Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that your message will spread like wildfire. Not every presentation uploaded to SlideShare can become viral. As a different platform, SlideShare requires a different design.

Since you can’t include audio to explain your presentation, the slides you design will have to speak for themselves. Here are three important tips to help you do that:

SlideShare Tip 1: Aim for the right amount of text

We all know that lengthy paragraphs are a big PowerPoint mistake, but this advice is especially important for SlideShare. Although you won’t want to overwhelm your viewers with a barrage of text, you can’t have minimal, one-line phrases either.

Before you start designing your slides, make sure that your content is well-edited. Review your draft and cut out unnecessary words and sentences.

Aim for the most accurate explanation using as little words as possible. Your goal is to end up with copy that’s both concise and captivating.

An easy way to do this is by discussing one concept per slide.

To condense the information in your PowerPoint presentation, structure your ideas in a way that you can focus on one point at a time. Even if you end up with more slides than you expected, it won’t seem too long and bloated for viewers.

SlideShare Tip 2: Visuals make all the difference

Visuals play a particularly crucial role when you’re sharing presentations on SlideShare, perhaps more than in live presentations.

In front of an audience, you have the ability to command attention through dynamic movement and inflection.When your presentation stays behind the screen, it needs to find another way to pop out and become even more memorable.

This is where visuals make all the difference. If you want to command attention on SlideShare, make the most of images, colors, fonts, and other design elements and techniques.

Your first slide is especially important because this will serve as the thumbnail of your presentation.

SlideShare Tip 3: Maintain quality by uploading PowerPoint as PDF

You can upload your PowerPoint presentation in several formats. The only problem is that you might run into several issues regarding the quality of your presentation.

As presentation blogger, Jon Thomas wrote in his article on Social Fresh, different file formats yielded various results.

Uploading your presentation as a PowerPoint file, for example, will get you pixelated and compressed images. It might also affect the unique and custom fonts that you use.

Avoid issues by saving your file as a PDF. This allows you to main a polished and high-quality look.

Want more tips? Visit our SlideShare profile for more inspiration. There are also plenty of great ideas to be found in the featured section.

 

Reference

3 Lessons on Choosing Fonts for Your PowerPoint Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 14, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Abramovich, Giselle. “15 Mind-Blowing Stats About SlideShare.” CMO.com. March 12, 2014. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Make Your Point: 5 Tips for Editing Presentation Content.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 9, 2014. Accessed January 21, 2015.
PowerPoint Design Inspiration: What To Do With Marsala.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 19, 2015. Accessed January 21, 2015.
Slideshare Presentation How To, 5 Tips.” Social Fresh. Accessed January 21, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo

Why Simplicity Wins When it Comes to PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint slides play an important role in successful presentations.

Before you load your deck with information, take a step back and approach the task with scrutinizing eyes.

As we’ve mentioned before, your slides should serve as a visual aid. What you present to the audience should contribute to the delivery of your core message.

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Most of the time, presenters tend to create PowerPoint slides that are overloaded with too much information. Instead of using their PowerPoint deck as a way to highlight main points, it becomes the focal point of the presentation.

According to research, this becomes a problem for both you and your audience.

Presentation science: Why simplicity is crucial to PowerPoint slides

In a study conducted by Christof Wecker, it was concluded that overloaded PowerPoint slides distract the audience from listening to the presenter’s explanation.

Because the participants were shown slides loaded with information, the attention of the audience is split between two things: struggling to keep up with what the presenter was saying, or reading the slides and ignoring the explanation.

Their concentration and ability to absorb information became compromised.

In cases like these, Wecker noted that it might be better to just present with no visuals at all. However, the real solution is creating simpler and more concise slides. All you have to do is focus on the most basic and crucial points of your content.

When your slides highlight key takeaways, you can help the audience reach maximum information retention.

As social science blogger Eric Horowitz wrote to explain the study:

Wecker found that the suppression of oral information was correlated with the subjective importance a person placed on slides. In other words, slides interfere with the retention of oral information because people often judge information on slides to be more important.

Tips and tricks: Making PowerPoint slides that work

That said, it’s easy to see why your overloaded PowerPoint slides have been putting audiences to sleep. To keep your presentations comprehensible, make sure that your visuals remain simple and straightforward. There are many ways to achieve simplicity in PowerPoint design. Here are just a few of the most basic tips:

  • Draft your ideas before attempting to make a PowerPoint deck. Outline the points you want to make and lay them out in a storyboard. This will give you the opportunity to arrange your presentation properly and edit out unnecessary details.
  • You can keep your slides minimal by limiting your use of text. Examine the content you have and try to get your point across in quick and simple sentences. Images can also be used to describe ideas that are a bit more complex and might require longer explanations.
  • Some PowerPoint features can also help keep your slides streamlined and simple. You can use PowerPoint’s Note section to keep detailed explanations out of your main slides.
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References:

Add Speaker Notes to Your Slides.” Office Blogs. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Create a SmartArt Graphic.” Office Blogs. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Horowitz, Eric. “Why You Need Concise PowerPoint Slides – Peer-reviewed by My Neurons.” Peer-reviewed by My Neurons. February 18, 2012. Accessed January 8, 2015.
How to Organize Your Ideas with a Presentation Storyboard.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 1, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Visual Simplicity Is Captivating in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 30, 2014. Accessed January 8, 2015.
Wecker, Christof. “Slide Presentations as Speech Suppressors: When and Why Learners Miss Oral Information.” Elsevier 59, no. 2 (2012): 260-73. Accessed January 8, 2015.

 

Featured Image: D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr