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Product Demo 101: Learning the Basics

What’s one of the best ways to convert potential clients into paying customers? Aside from presentations where you get to wow your audience, there’s another scenario where you can achieve the same results. Imagine it: You already have a prototype of the product you’re trying to market, and you’re looking for people who will gladly take your offer; you think an amazing deck won’t be enough, so you decide to take things up a notch and do a demo.

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However, you don’t know the first thing about product demos. Sure, you’re a rock star when it comes to presentations and public speaking, but demonstrations can be different. For one, instead of handling two important elements—yourself and your deck—you add one more: your product. And balancing that act can be stressful, especially when you’ve got hundreds of eyes staring at you and you know that a lot is at stake. Another is that there’s a new dynamic in audience engagement, a level that places you closer to them—and them to you and your product.

Look at the bright side, though. If you do remarkably well, then you’re sure that your audience will take a good, long, hard look at your product. And when they like what they see, they might just want to have your offer. Then, you’re on your way to closing deals left and right. But that is if you do remarkably well.

So, how do you go from A to Z of a product demo? What can you expect from showing off your product in front of a live audience? Are there even benefits to doing so? How do you even begin preparing and how do you start off a demo? Let the following infographic tutor you on the basics of a product demo, and the dos and don’ts during the proverbial curveballs during your time onstage.

Resources:

Kokemuller, Neil. “The Purpose & Benefits of a Product Demonstration.” Chron. n.d. www.smallbusiness.chron.com/purpose-benefits-product-demonstration-55113.html

Key Lessons from Cliff Atkinson’s First Five Slides

In 2005, presentation pitch deck consultant Cliff Atkinson published his bestselling book, Beyond Bullet Points, which revolutionized the way people used PowerPoint. Atkinson was one of the first presentation gurus to displace the bulleted list by introducing a more viable alternative. It’s a principle called “the first five slides.”

Atkinson claimed that a presenter only needs the first five slides of a pitch deck to hook the audience. But the real question is, “What exactly do these slides contain, and what effects do they have on potential clients?” Let’s find out.

The Only Five Slides You Need in Your Pitch Deck | Cliff Atkinson

A Story Only Slides Can Tell

The premise of Atkinson’s book is the ability of the first five slides of a deck to tell a good story. Stories are easily relatable, and they’re more effective in evoking emotions compared to plain facts. A good narrative can help you create an emotional bond that will get your audience to empathize with you and see things from your perspective.

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To lay out your deck in a narrative form, make sure that the order of your slides fall within a good story arc. You can do this by establishing the setting and the protagonist in the first two slides of your presentation. The setting should clearly define the business environment you find yourself in, and the protagonist, naturally, should point to your audience.

In the third slide, establish the imbalance that your protagonist encounters in the setting. What problem is your audience experiencing? What incident is weighing them down? You may outline an existing dilemma that your business aims to solve. Before you can present the solution, however, you need to establish a sense of balance in your fourth slide. What’s the ideal situation that your audience should aspire for? How good should the state of affairs be for them to achieve a sense of fulfillment?

The Only Five Slides You Need in Your Pitch Deck | Cliff Atkinson: Solution

Once you’ve successfully presented these four elements, it’s time for the most important part: the solution. The fifth and last slide should contain your proposal to the audience. What can you do to alleviate their discomfort? How can your business help in addressing their concerns?

Your business pitch should always focus on your audience. Customers are interested in what you can do for them, so bank on that.

The Supplemental Nature of Slides

A common misconception presenters have about PowerPoint is that it can replace their presence during a live pitch. However, because your deck’s main purpose is to serve as a visual aid, loading each slide with too much information can burn out your viewers. People aren’t wired to process information in bulk, so break things down into bite-sized pieces to help them remember your points better.

Divide your hook into five brief statements that focus on specific aspects of your pitch. Establish your credibility by forming a personal connection with your audience. Each slide should have one topic that you can expound on. In terms of design, place only keywords and powerful images related to your message, and leave the rest for your verbal explanation. After all, your audience went to hear your pitch, and not to see your deck.

Cliff Atkinson: Supplemental Slides

The Ultimate Investment

Although the first five slides might be the most important in attracting your audience’s attention, they only serve as the first act of an elaborate performance, as your fifth slide acts as the end of your opening credits. The next step is to convince your listeners to invest in you.

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After drawing people in, give them a good reason to stay. Walk your audience through the succeeding chapters of your pitch. Refer to your earlier slides, particularly the existing conflict in which you have a unique solution to. This is your opportunity to present your products and services, your business strategy, and your current standing in the market. While emotional appeal works in hooking your listeners, giving actual facts and data will help strengthen your pitch.

The Power of Five Slides

Every good presentation has a clear structure with an effective hook, line, and sinker. Take inspiration from Cliff Atkinson’s best-selling book and drop the bullet points. Focus on your first five slides to draw in prospects.

Your pitch deck is a story waiting to be told. Make sure it’s worth every minute of your audience’s time. Keep in mind that your job doesn’t end in hooking your audience—it’s still a long stretch from there. Your first five slides are only the beginning of your winning pitch deck.

What Makes a Winning Investor Pitch Deck?

Whether your business is small or multinational, one thing will always be present. Barring the basic constants (employees, profits, losses, gains, etc.), in one way or another, you’ll always find yourself in a meeting room, giving or receiving a pitch. With the former, how well you do could spell the survivability or demise of your startup company or the guarantee of funds for your next big project. It doesn’t need saying, but a pitch is an important step toward success.

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This is why you’ll more likely fret over nailing your pitch the first time rather than wait for a redo. You’ve got the public speaking skill to charm your audiences, but of course, a good support will take you further. That support is your investor pitch deck. You’re already aware of what makes a PowerPoint presentation powerful. At this point, what you need to know is what makes your presentation—and by extension, your business—the winning choice.

Crafting an Amazing Pitch Deck for Financial Engagements | Notebook

Major Paradigm Shift

When technology advances as quickly as one can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” the world changes as well. Take for instance the evolution of news material from the invention of the printing press to the few short years after online articles became a thing; today, print lags behind digital.

In the same way, figure out what paradigm shift is causing the problem you’re trying to solve. In Andy Raskin’s article, he says Zuora, a software company, has the “greatest sales deck” because they start off framing a change that not only arrests attention but also puts in perspective how the “shift affects [the audience], how it scares them, and where they see opportunities” all at once. During that fleeting moment, you hint where your pitch is going without saying it outright, but just enough to spark curiosity.

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Additionally, doing so nicely sets up the…

Crafting an Amazing Pitch Deck for Financial Engagements | Problem = Lower Morale

Problem

One thing that pitches always highlight is how a product works vis-à-vis a solution. “My/Our product can do this and that with these features and those upgrades. I/We believe it’s something that can help people.” There’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, it’s basically a must. If you truly think your business is something that can be beneficial to your target market, or even society, then you would spill your heart out on why your interpretation of a solution is better. But a more general question to ask is, “How bad or big is the problem?”

Put as much flair and buildup into the problem you’re trying to solve as much as you do into your solution. This will give your possible investors a glimpse of, if not completely understand, how said challenge affects people on a larger scale, how your product addresses that, and even your motive and drive to continue working on your proposed solution. Doing so will put into context your enthusiasm during your pitch. It will then be more memorable, and they’ll realize you’re the correct choice.

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Crafting an Amazing Pitch Deck for Financial Engagements | Line and bar graph increasing

Data

Before you even started your business, you already researched extensively on your target demographic, logistics, and the many other particulars for your enterprise. Then you release your product, even if it’s an alpha or a beta demo, and gather your results. Keep those numbers and feedback in hand; you’ll need them just as much as the initial research because that’s what you wow your pitch audience with.

Figures give a more concrete achieve and set a more realistic standard than hypotheticals, especially when accompanied by testimonials from customers. Framing and hyping the climax of your pitch is a method of romancing the audience that makes them want more. When you’re done setting up the real numbers for a “hypothetical” product to get their hopes up, that’s when you take them by surprise (but not really, given that you’re pitching something to them) and introduce your…

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Crafting an Amazing Pitch Deck for Financial Engagements | the Solution

Solution

This is the first time they’re hearing about your actual product. All the data and testimonials you’ve thrown to your audience now have something to fall on—a kind of “a name to a face” logic. You already went all-out with your first few slides, so it’s time to let your proposed solution stand on its own. Don’t just focus on the features that people loved; show and tell what sets you apart from your competitors and why investors should pick you.

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Since this is the crux of your pitch, continue with the same level of eagerness you had in the first part as you go for the last stretch. Just because you’re ending doesn’t mean you can let up. If anything, a better conclusion results in a more powerful impact that can guarantee your cashflow and move to a brighter future.

Pitches shouldn’t be necessarily difficult, but when you consider the pressure you feel because of the supposed “life-or-death” outcome of either a small business or a project, the stakes become higher. Don’t let yourself buckle down because of the pressure though. Once you ace this, you’re on your way to more exciting prospects.

Remember what you need to focus on and emphasize on your deck. It’s about your company, your product, and your passion. You may be out looking for funds, but it’s only a step toward your larger goal: solving a problem you know society shouldn’t deal with.

 

Resources:

Chuang, Alex. “The Quick and Dirty Guide to Creating a Winning Pitch Deck.” Startup Grind. n.d. www.startupgrind.com/blog/the-quick-and-dirty-guide-to-creating-a-winning-pitch-deck

Eckler, Daniel. “How to Design a Pitch Deck: Lessons from a Seasoned Founder.” Medium. n.d. www.medium.com/swlh/how-to-design-a-pitch-deck-lessons-from-a-seasoned-founder-c816d1ae7272

Harroch, Richard. “How to Create a Great Investor Pitch Deck for Startups Seeking Financing.” Forbes. March 4, 2017. www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2017/03/04/how-to-create-a-great-investor-pitch-deck-for-startups-seeking-financing/#db6b7f62003e

Lee, Aaron. “30 Legendary Startup Pitch Decks and What You Can Learn from Them.” Piktochart. n.d. www.piktochart.com/blog/startup-pitch-decks-what-you-can-learn

Lenaerts, Sven. “10 Presentation Design Tips (for the Best Pitch Deck).” Envato Tuts+. May 25, 2016. business.tutsplus.com/tutorials/10-presentation-design-tips-for-the-best-pitch-deck–cms-24860

Raskin, Andy. “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen.” The Mission. September 15, 2016. www.themission.co/the-greatest-sales-deck-ive-ever-seen-4f4ef3391ba0

Welton, Caysey. “Across Age Groups, Print Lags Far Behind Digital and TV as a News Source.” Folio: Magazine. June 21, 2016. www.foliomag.com/across-age-groups-print-lags-far-behind-digital-and-tv-as-a-news-source

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Pointers for Planning a Successful Webinar

Preparation is a critical step in any type of campaign, including hosting webinars. To produce a successful one, you need to lay out all the steps leading to the actual event. It might be tempting to jump straight to the promotion stage, especially if you have a winning topic and a celebrated speaker, but no excuse can justify skipping the planning part. Without a solid plan in place, you may run the risk of delivering a lackluster presentation that will only prove to be a waste of time, effort, and money.

Planning a webinar may seem like a daunting task, but it’s necessary if you want a worthwhile output. Part of the process is creating a checklist that will solidify your strategy. You don’t have to worry about the technicality of it all. With the abundance of tools you have at your disposal, you can plan an online seminar even with limited technological expertise. And besides, every bit of effort you make will be worth the rewards you’ll reap in the end.

Can a Webinar Help Reach Your Business Goals?

You’d think the answer to that question is an unwavering yes, but it actually depends on the goals you aim to achieve. While it’s true that webinars are an effective marketing tool, they only work in certain contexts. So, before planning one, make sure it will leave a positive impact on your business.

What exactly are webinars for? For one, they’re a good training and outreach tool. You can use them to share your expertise to your target audience. Webinars are also effective for getting the word out to your customers when rolling out a new product. When done right, it can help you move customers further down the sales funnel and reposition yourself as an industry thought leader.

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Resources:

Berdeal-Skelly, Michelle. “6 Tips to Planning a Successful Webinar.” Find and Convert. October 14, 2014. www.findandconvert.com/2014/10/6-tips-to-planning-a-successful-webinar

Gilbert-Knight, Ariel. “10 Steps for Planning a Successful Webinar.” TechSoup. September 2, 2016. www.techsoup.org/support/articles-and-how-tos/10-steps-for-planning-a-successful-webinar

Sibley, Amanda. “10 Things That Take a Webinar From Good to Great.” HubSpot. January 3, 2014. blog.hubspot.com/marketing/webinar-planning-list#sm.0000w6nx4vstbcwkqnc12umt2kzcx

“15 Tips for a Successful Webinar.” MegaMeeting. n.d. www.megameeting.com/15_Successful_Webinar_Tips_Part1.html

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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.

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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

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Black Cats of PowerPoint Presentations

Sometimes, in the middle of reviewing a PowerPoint presentation, there comes the anxiety wherein people ask themselves if the slides are enough or overdone. Some even come to a point where they struggle critiquing their work because they spent too much time on it. After so much time and effort, you may wonder if you’ve been efficient or just wasteful.

If, at the end of the day, despite all efforts to make a great presentation, it still doesn’t feel right to say it’s a job well done, here are some signs to help you make that call.

Black Cats of PowerPoint Presentations: clown juggling

Unlucky 7

In rare cases, presentation taboos may be excused when necessary but international speaker and presentation skills expert, John Zimmer, says having too many bullets and texts make no sense when crafting a pitch.

According to him, PowerPoint presentations that follow the 1-7-7 rule, or slides that consist one heading, seven bullets, and seven words, promise boredom and apathy on the part of the audience. Same point goes for the 1-6-6 rule.

Avoid this by using fewer bullet points. When used sparingly, bullets can be effective to communicate ideas and points because they offer convenience to the audience. Bullets help save more time and space to allocate new information. Too many of them, however, does the opposite of that value.

Minimize your use of words. Use communicative graphics and pictures that can replace texts. It’s best to do this in slides that contain messages that you would like your audience to remember.

In this case, the 4-by-5 rule might just be right for your presentation. Unless you’re enumerating from a list, then four bullets and five words are ideal to keep your presentation informative and snappy.

Black Cats of PowerPoint Presentations: reaper

The Scripture

One way to know if something isn’t easy to understand is when you read it repeatedly. There are several reasons why this happens. Usually, it means you’re having an idle moment or your phrases or sentences need to be simplified.

When reading, experts say an average person renders 50 – 300 WPM (words per minute). However, when reading technical content, the statistics go down to 50 – 75 WPM.

Sometimes, slides look like pages of ancient text, which contain too much information and take more time to read compared to the normal ones. When comprehending a script, use simpler but appropriate words and sentences to lessen the reader’s strain and lag. If you can’t process your messages easily, then how can you expect your readers to do so? Only use words with deeper meaning when necessary.

Pause after a certain amount of words to give time for them to absorb everything.

Also, speaking from an active voice welcomes a continuous reading process. Use present or passive tenses instead of progressive tenses. They’re easier to read and make ideas seem more simple.

Lastly, though it’s advised to keep one thought in one slide, you can opt to break your sentences in the middle and proceed to the next. Maintain the dominance of the white background. It also pays to maintain a breathing room for your eyes.

Black Cats of PowerPoint Presentations: fortune teller

Magic Decks

When you present a deck with numerous slides in a considerably long time, do you wonder if your audience recall everything?

A research conducted in 2012 by cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Carmen Simon, examined how many slides people can remember from a text-only, standalone PowerPoint presentation. After 48 hours, results showed that 1,500 participants remembered an average of four slides out of the presented 20.

The study revealed that visuals played a significant role in keeping the slides memorable. It was also found that similar-looking slides are easier to remember. The distinctiveness of every other fifth slide in Simon’s presentation were significant help as well.

Marks help remember. Use pictures or designs not only to illustrate, but also to keep slides more interesting and easier to recall. It’s best to use them strategically. Use markings on slides that need more emphasis.

Conclusion

Your deck doesn’t have to be all-telling. You can just make books if that’s the case. A good deck must contain all significant points and ideas for the presenter to collaboratively explain with. In a PowerPoint presentation full of information, points become harder to highlight. Use words sparingly so that your audience would actually pay attention to your content.

Be strategic when creating your slides to make them more engaging. When making presentations, discover ways to be more conscious on your creative and communicative processes. It pays to understand your audience’s interests with regards to these aspects.

Lastly, know that sometimes, complex solutions only solve basic problems. Before you start with another PowerPoint presentation, invest your time in getting to know more about creating effective presentations. This way, you end up creating your presentation in a lesser hassle pace and with more peace of mind.

Resources:

Zimmer, John. “PowerPoint Math: The 1-6-6 Rule. Manner of Speaking.” Manner of Speaking. www.mannerofspeaking.org/2010/03/04/powerpoint-math-the-1-6-6-rule

Simon, Carmen. “The Results Are In: How Much Do People Really Remember from PowerPoint Presentations?” Brainshark. February 12, 2013. www.brainshark.com/ideas-blog/2013/February/results-what-people-remember-powerpoint-presentations

Nelson, Brett. “Do You Read Fast Enough To Be Successful?” Forbes. June 4, 2012 www.forbes.com/sites/brettnelson/2012/06/04/do-you-read-fast-enough-to-be-successful/#5d9d3eca58f7

Thomas, Mark. “What Is the Average Reading Speed and the Best Rate of Reading?” Health Guidance. www.healthguidance.org/entry/13263/1/What-Is-the-Average-Reading-Speed-and-the-Best-Rate-of-Reading.html

PowerPoint Photo Album Feature: Add Multiple Images at Once

With a fast approaching deadline, we just don’t have enough time to meticulously arrange slides. Luckily, there are plenty of PowerPoint shortcuts that can help speed up the process. Aside from learning quick commands and customizing your toolbars, PowerPoint also allows you to add multiple images at once with the Photo Album feature. This shortcut is especially useful if you plan to use images as the focal point of your PowerPoint design.

Get started by following this step-by-step tutorial:

Create Photo Album

To access the Photo Album feature, head to the Insert tab. Click the Photo Album icon and choose New Album.

This will prompt a dialogue box where you can enter all the pictures you want to include in your presentation. Choose all the images you want to insert by clicking on the File/Disk button. You can select multiple pictures at a time by holding down either the CTRL or SHIFT key. CTRL allows you to pick and choose pictures, while SHIFT automatically selects all the files between the first picture and the last picture you click.

You can also do some customization on the dialogue box. You can specify how you want the pictures to look on the slides under Picture Layout, do some basic photo editing, and select a specific template for your photo album. Make adjustments and then click Create.

PowerPoint will automatically arrange your pictures in a new presentation, which you can edit as you like.

Add multiple pictures to an existing presentation file

You can also use the Photo Album feature to add multiple pictures to an existing presentation. Open the PowerPoint file you want to edit, then follow the same steps as indicated above. Despite having an existing presentation open, PowerPoint will still turn your photo album into a new presentation.

Copy the slides you need by selecting the thumbnails on the left sidebar of the photo album (named by default as “Presentation2”). Then, you can easily paste it to your original presentation.

Once you familiarize yourself with PowerPoint’s different function and features, you will see how easy it is to come up with quick and exciting designs. Use this tip to make sure your image-centered design concept comes to fruition.

 

Featured Image: martinak15 via Flickr
Images used in sample Photo Album by Death to the Stock Photo

PowerPoint Tip: Creating Custom-Shaped Placeholders

It’s not hard to come up with unique slide designs if you’re familiar with PowerPoint’s full potential. There’s more to PowerPoint than just bullet points and repetitive templates. With some creativity and experimentation, you will find that PowerPoint is a flexible presentation tool that allows for many design possibilities.

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One of the many ways you can customize the look of your slides is by experimenting with picture placeholders. As you know, we use placeholders to quickly add elements on a particular slide. Placeholders are particularly useful for pictures, because it helps you ensure that alignment is consistent throughout. If you want to add an extra bit of detail to your pictures, turn your placeholders into .

Creating basic placeholder shapes: 

1.) Start with Slide Master 

Start in the Slide Master View and insert a Slide Layout. On the new slide, add a Picture Placeholder and adjust it according to your liking.

Select Insert Layout first, then click on Insert Placeholder and choose Picture.

2.) Change placeholder shape

Select your placeholder and click on the Drawing Tools Format tab. Select Edit Shape and choose from the pre-defined shapes under Change Shape.

Choose the shape that best suits your design concept.

3.) Make adjustments 

You can adjust the new shape by using the yellow diamond to refine corners and modify angles.

Click and drag the yellow diamond to adjust your shape.

You can also take it one step further by defining your own shape. If you want your placeholder to look a specific way, there’s a quick way to make your own custom and unique shapes.

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Defining custom-shaped placeholders: 

1.) Choose a shape for a starting point 

Do the same steps indicated above to choose a shape that can serve as your starting point. Go with one that is closest to your desired shape, so that you can minimize the adjustments you’ll need to make.

2.) Enable Combine Shapes command 

The Combine Shapes command allows you to customize shapes by merging and intersecting them together. You can also “subtract” a portion of one shape with another. To enable the command, you will need to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. Select the small arrow above the ribbon and choose More Commands.

When the dialogue box appears, find Combine Shapes from All Commands. Press “C” on your keyboard to find it quickly.

3.) Adjust by “subtracting” shapes 

To use the Combine Shapes command, start placing new shapes around the placeholder. Once you’ve arranged the shapes, hold shift and select the placeholder followed by the shapes around it.

Make sure you select the placeholder first.

Click on the Combine Shapes icon from the Quick Access toolbar and select Shape Subtract.

How the placeholder will look after “subtraction”.

Once you’re happy with your shape, exit Slide Master View and start designing your slides. You can create as many custom-shaped placeholders as you like. Since you made them using Slide Master, you can easily access the new layouts under New Slide.

Featured Image: Ben K Adams via Flickr

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Visual Thinking: Do Images Fill Your Brain?

Do you have a hard time memorizing people’s names, but can easily place the face of a stranger? Is it hard to articulate your ideas and turn them into words? Do you prefer sketching out the details of a project? Do you love solving puzzles like this one? Those who are more inclined to visual thinking will likely answer yes to all these questions.

What is visual thinking?

Learn more about the unique ability to see the world in pictures and the skills it involves by watching these two videos:

Are You A Visual Thinker? by BuzzFeed Video

Visual Thinking 101 by Sean Griffin

Developing visual thinking skills

As we often discuss here, our brains are more inclined to process and retain visual information. This is why visualization is an important element in presentations. Complex concepts are better explained through the use of illustrations, charts, diagrams and pictures. Verbal or textual explanations can easily become confusing. People who are more inclined to visual thinking will know this for a fact.

While not everyone might be considered visual thinkers, others can easily develop the same set of skills. With a bit of practice, we can all achieve visual literacy. As Philip Yenawine of Visual Understanding Education writes,

It involves a set of skills ranging from simple identification (naming what one sees) to complex interpretation on contextual, metaphoric and philosophical levels. Many aspects of cognition are called upon, such as personal association, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing. Objective understanding is the premise of much of this literacy, but subjective and affective aspects of knowing are equally important.

Here are a few resources you can read to get started on your visual thinking journey:

 

Featured Image: Fons Heijnsbroek via Flickr

A Step-by-Step Guide for Using Custom Fonts in PowerPoint Design

One of the easiest ways to improve PowerPoint designs is by playing around with typography. By simply changing up fonts, you can instantly create unique slides. You don’t have to stick with using standard fonts, either. If you really want to dabble in typography, there are plenty of custom fonts to be found online.

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Despite its many advantages, custom fonts can complicate your PowerPoint process. You will need to install the new fonts to your computer. You also have to make sure that PowerPoint doesn’t substitute your custom fonts with a standard one when it’s time to share the deck with others. Here’s a step-by-step guide in making sure the process is as smooth and easy for you.

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Downloading custom fonts

Choose 1 to 2 fonts from any of the following sources. Make sure you use the same fonts throughout your presentation. For more tips on choosing and combining different fonts, check out the infographic from yesterday’s post.

The fonts in these sites are OpenType fonts (OTF) and TrueType fonts (TTF). Download your choices following instructions provided in the sites. They will usually come in a ZIP archive, so make sure you have a software like WinRAR to extract the files you need.

Installing custom fonts

Once extracted, the fonts will need to be installed on your computer. Double click the TrueType or OpenType font file and click Install.

Installing Authentic Hilton by Maelle.K via DaFont.com

Head to PowerPoint and check if you can access the new fonts. If you can, you’re ready to experiment with typography. Work as you usually would and build your PowerPoint deck. Once you’re done, you’ll need to take one extra step to ensure your fonts will look the same in other computers. There are 2 different techniques to save custom fonts in PowerPoint. You can choose to embed fonts, or turn your text into pictures.

Technique #1: Embedding fonts

PowerPoint allows you to embed non-standard fonts as long as they are TTF or OTF files. All you have to do is head to File and choose Options. There, click Save and check the box for “Embed fonts in this file“.

Keep in mind that this technique will likely bloat your file size, so it’s best if you choose “Embed only the characters used in the presentation“.

Technique #2: Save text as picture

You can also save text as a picture instead. Simply right click on  the text placeholder and choose Save as Picture.

You can then replace the text with the picture afterwards. This will take a lot more time, but it’s a great technique if your chosen font is neither a TTF nor OTF file. It’s also the best way to ensure that your text will look the same way on any device.

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Your PowerPoint deck can greatly improve by simply using unique and custom fonts. Make sure your experimentation with typography ends a success by following this guide.

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