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Design Crash Course: Color and Typography

Design is a crucial part of all presentations. With visuals that stand out, you can leave a more memorable impression on your audience. People respond to visual stimuli a lot more, and great design can help your audience process and retain information. Aside from integrating pictures and illustrations into your slides, you can also experiment with color and typography.

DesignMantic came out with 2 infographics that can serve as a design crash course for those looking to improve their PowerPoint decks. In it, they outline some useful tips to guide your color and font choices.

Design Crash Course 1: The 10 Commandments of Color Theory

This infographic breaks down everything you need to know about color theory. Aside from helping you choose colors that match the mood of your presentation, it also offers tips and tricks on how to come up with a solid palette.

Courtesy of Designmantic.com; click on image for full view

Design Crash Course 2: The 10 Commandments of Typography

Typography turns the written word into a visual treat. For this infographic, DesignMantic breaks down everything you need to know about combining different fonts together. As you know, choosing the correct font type is crucial in PowerPoint design. Like color, it can contribute in setting the over-all mood of your presentation.

Courtesy of Designmantic.com; click on image for full view

Get more design tips and PowerPoint ideas by reading back on some of our previous blog posts. To create the best slides for your presentations, always keep your core message in mind. Allow the purpose of your presentation to guide the choices you make when it comes to color and font type. Your designs should elevate the core message of your presentation. It should to highlight the goals you want to achieve, instead of distracting the audience. In other words, presentation design is both aesthetic and functional.

If you need more help, don’t hesitate to contact us and consult with our PowerPoint design experts.

 

Featured Image: Cropped from DesignMantic infographic

Helpful Infographics for Your Online Marketing Plan

Anytime you browse through different social media channels, you probably always come across graphics that detail facts you probably never knew before. These images usually have cute and eye-catching drawings or designs. As we mentioned in the past, infographics are a growing trend. They offer an element of fun while conveying key facts and data. A good infographic can condense useful stats and information without overwhelming viewers.

To illustrate how effective they really are, we looked around the Internet to find some infographics that can help your online marketing strategy. Here are 5 that we think are particularly well-designed and informative:

How to Sell Without Selling

This infographic by Stride shares details and statistics you’ll need to improve your online marketing strategy. As its title suggests, it offers useful information on how to connect with consumers that are looking to be engaged, rather than to hear sales talk.

by Stride via Daily Infographic
20 Captivating Marketing Statistics

Here’s another set of enlightening data for entrepreneurs. These statistics were gathered by WebDAM.

WebDAM via BufferApp
A Well-Balanced Blog 

In this infographic, LinkedIn breaks down the different components you need for a successful blog.

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions via HubSpot
Email Cheatsheet

Email marketing is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience. As Marketo points out in this infographic, a majority of consumers prefer receiving marketing communications through their inbox. Don’t waste a good opportunity by keeping in mind some useful tips they offer.

Marketo via BufferApp
It’s All About the Images 

We all know how powerful visuals can be. In fact, an image can make a huge difference in how your content is perceived and received by consumers. In this infographic, MDG Advertising offers great advice on how you can get the most mileage from your image-based content.

MDG Advertising via JeffBullas.com
The Ridiculously Exhaustive Social Media Design Blueprint 

And since images are important to online marketing, Tent Social created a cheat sheet to tell you the perfect dimensions to use when sharing pictures in different social media platform:

Tent Social via BufferApp

How to Make a Simple Infographic Using PowerPoint SmartArt

Visual content is currently ruling social media. If you want to capture the attention of your audience, an infographic is a wise way to do it. As we’ve mentioned in the past, Internet users prefer how infographics can effectively break down the information they need through easy-to-comprehend illustrations. Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can make a simple infographic using PowerPoint SmartArt:

Step One: Resize slide

With a blank slide, go to the Design tab and click on Slide Size. Set the size for Custom and define the dimensions you want to work with. For PowerPoint 2010, you can do this by clicking on Page Setup in the Design tab.

If you want a general idea of what’s usually acceptable for slide sizes, decks that will be exported or shared across other platforms and projected on a traditional screen usually use the Standard size 10″ x 7.5″. On the other hand, widescreen (13.3″ x 7.5″) is preferable for a deck meant for TV or a monitor. Knowing your venue and the equipment that will be used beforehand will come in handy in determining what size your slides should be.

Step Two: Choose the perfect SmartArt shapes

Once you’ve successfully resized your slide, go to the Insert tab and click on SmartArt. Choose the template that will work best with the infographic you’re planning to make. It will be better if you choose a template that allows you to automatically add pictures.

infographics smartart

In the image above, the template already provides a guideline of where you can put in images and text. This saves you time from deciding how to layout your SmartArt design.

Step Three: Customize

Insert text and data you’ve gathered through research. And most importantly, add some images to make your infographic pop. You can make use of the icons from The Noun Project or make your own by customizing PowerPoint shapes. You can also find some stylized font types from DaFont. Be creative and think outside the box. Experiment by playing with colors and white space.

Step Four: Save your work

Once you’re pleased with your handy work, you can save the infographic by going to the File tab and clicking Save As. Remember to save your infographic as a JPG or PNG file. When a dialogue box appears, choose Current Slide Only.

Your infographic won’t look as complex as what you’d normally see online. But if you use your imagination and take some inspiration from some of our previous PowerPoint tutorials, you can come up with something that is just as unique and exciting.

Infographics and PowePoint designs have plenty in common. Let your infographic reach its full potential with the help of a design expert. Contact our SlideGenius professionals today for a free quote!

 

Featured Image: Paul Hudson via Flickr

3 Quick Ways to Turn Information into Visuals

As we know, it’s easier for our brains to process visual information. As Dr. John Medina writes on his website, “vision trumps all other senses.”

Within seconds of exposure, pictures beat sentences and words for recall. And in memory tests where people are shown hundreds of photos, they can remember 90% three days later – and 63% after a year.

So if you want to make your presentations memorable, you need to learn how to turn all your data and information into visuals that your audience can easily digest and understand. We’re living in the multimedia age. Today, there’s much more emphasis on images and graphics than there is on the written word. According to MarketingProfs, these are 3 quick methods that you can try to make your information more memorable:

Videos

What can be more engaging than watching something play out before your very eyes? Showcase product demos or customer testimonials through short video clips. You can even try your own hand with a short informative skit through animation. Get started by making use of free tools like Masher, Animoto, and Adobe Voice. If you’d rather just share a video you found through YouTube, you can check this tutorial to learn how you can add one directly to your PowerPoint slides.

Infographics

Another great way to visualize information is through the use of infographics. As we mentioned in the past, they’re an effective way to condense data in a way that’s easy to understand. Infographics are a fun combination of quirky illustrations and hard-hitting facts. To make one yourself, keep these pointers in mind and explore online tools like Visme and Piktochart. With a bit of creativity and customization, you can also make use of PowerPoint SmartArt.

Heat Maps

You’ve probably seen heat maps used in the weather report, where color intensity is used to pinpoint the temperature all over the country. For a presentation, you can also make use of a heat map to visualize data about your website. If, for example, you’re presenting about your online marketing methods, you can make use of Crazy Egg and Clicktale to make your own heat map. These sites will pull information from your websites and pages to show which areas have the most activity.

What other methods do you use to turn the information you have into eye-catching and interesting visuals? Share your thoughts through our social media channels linked below.

 

READ MORE: Three Ways to Visually Present Information (Without Spending a Fortune) – MarketingProfs

Featured Image: Armando Maynez via Flickr

GIFDeck: Turn Your SlideShare Presentation into a GIF Animation

As we know, presentations can make great content marketing materials. And thanks to SlideShare, you can easily upload your decks online and gain a wider audience.

However, if you’ve been a longtime SlideShare user, you may have run into a small problem. While it’s easy to embed your entire presentation into a blog post or a web page, it’s harder to share them through Twitter or email without losing its visual quality. If you want to send an interesting SlideShare presentation to your friend via email, you’ll have to copy the link and they’ll have to open it themselves.

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That’s why it’s important to translate your deck into a GIF, where it can self-present to an audience that doesn’t have your physical presence to get information from. Here’s how you can create a presentation GIF:

This is where GIFDeck Comes in.

This new Internet tool allows you to turn any SlideShare presentation into a GIF animation. You can attach your GIF to emails, or post it directly on Twitter. Best of all, the website is pretty straightforward. You don’t have to go through several complicated steps in order to achieve the results you want.

To do this, simply paste the SlideShare URL of your choice and hit Submit.


Here’s one of the presentations on our SlideShare profile converted into GIF:


Looks cool? Visit GIFDeck and give it a try!

Some Helpful Tips

  • Click on the icon beside the Submit button to customize your GIF. But be wary that any adjustments you make can affect the size and quality of your animation.
  • For more readable slides, change the interval at around 2000 milliseconds or more. Again, keep in mind that doing this will give you a larger GIF file size. Try to find the perfect balance between readability and an optimal file size for sharing.
  • If your presentation is particularly long, convert only the first 10 or so slides. Use it as a little “teaser” to encourage readers to click and visit your link.

Conclusion

A program like GIFDeck can prove efficient when you don’t have the time to present your PowerPoint to your audience. However, this can also be a test of how well you can create a compact, self-presenting deck. At the same time, remember that a GIF may not always be the best vessel for  your presentation.

Your deck isn’t there to speak for you, but when the occasion calls for it, you may need a deck that presents your key points without need for further explanation.

Need the guidance of a professional in the field to help you out? Our SlideGenius experts are ready to cater to your presentation dilemma.

Contact us today for a free quote!

 

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Featured Image: Screencap from the GIFDeck website 

How to Create Doodles with PowerPoint Shapes

Hand-drawn illustrations can add a unique quality to your PowerPoint design. Even simple doodles can make things interesting, especially if the rest of your deck sticks to a more formal aesthetic.

The stark contrast is especially useful for emphasizing key points in your slides. If you want to give it a try, there’s a simple way to create cute doodles using PowerPoint Shapes.

PowerPoint Shapes Doodles 01

To make one yourself, follow these 4 easy steps:

Step One: Draw a PowerPoint Shape

Head to the Insert tab and choose any of the PowerPoint shapes available. For this tutorial, I decided to go with the heart shape under Basic Shapes.

PowerPoint Shapes Doodles 03

Before moving on, right-click on the shape you just drew, choose PowerPoint Shape Fill Icon and click No Fill. You can also change the outline color to whatever you want by clicking on PowerPoint Shape Outline Icon.

PowerPoint Shapes Doodles 07

Step Two: Edit Points

The problem with PowerPoint shapes is that they look too perfect. To make them look hand-drawn, we need to make a little less precise. Right-click on your shape again and choose Edit Points. You’ll end up with something that looks like this:

PowerPoint Shapes Doodles 08

Step Three: Open Path 

To get the look we’re after, right-click on a specific point on your shape and choose Open Path.The point you’ll “open” will depend on the shape you chose. Just keep in mind that you can’t select Open Path for two different points. For this tutorial, I decided to open the point on top.

PowerPoint Shapes Doodles 06

Step Four: Make adjustments 

This is where you let your creativity run loose. Simply click and drag on the path you opened and adjust the shape to your liking. The best way to get the results you’re after is by trial and error. If you end up with something that you don’t think looks right, simply click Undo or hit CTRL + Z on your keyboard.

PowerPoint Shapes Doodle 09

There you have it!

Here’s how my shape turned out:

PowerPoint Shapes Doodles 05

 

If I decided to use the point at the bottom of the heart shape, it would end up looking like this:

PowerPoint Shapes Doodle 10

 

 

The Takeaway

Don’t hesitate to give this a try and create interesting doodles using PowerPoint shapes. Just remember that since everything on your slides should correspond to your main message, you should only add these designs when needed.

Make sure that they correspond and point towards your main objective, rather than distract the viewers from it. Need help with your PowerPoint? Our design experts can lend you a hand, or give you a free quote. You can also check out our previous PowerPoint tutorials to sharpen your presentation design skills.

 

Featured Image: Matt via Flickr

PowerPoint Action Buttons: One-Click Wonders

PowerPoint action buttons work like hyperlinks but require fewer steps. Using this function allows you to automatically define where you want your button to lead.

You can set it to jump to any specific slide. It can also prompt a video or sound clip to play on your browser, or on a different program. While the more recent versions of PowerPoint – 2010 onwards – have multimedia options that don’t require you to go outside the slide, hyperlinking still proves beneficial for those who prefer an easier PowerPoint design experience.

This tutorial offers you a quick guide on how to use this convenient PowerPoint tool.

Different types of PowerPoint action buttons

Start by clicking on the Insert tab and click on the Shapes button. You’ll see a selection of different shape types. At the bottom of the drop-down box, you will see the different action buttons that you can use:

powerpoint action buttons 01

  • Back or Previous
  • Forward or Next
  • Beginning
  • End
  • Home
  • Information
  • Return
  • Movie
  • Document
  • Sound
  • Help
  • Custom

Creating a command with action buttons

Choose the kind of button you want to use and draw it on the slide. This will automatically prompt a dialogue box to appear:

powerpoint action buttons 02

Here, you can create commands for your action button. You can link to a specific slide, a different PowerPoint presentation, a URL, or any file saved in your computer. You can also prompt a sound file to play. You can choose from sound files available on PowerPoint or use your own.

For this tutorial, I’m going to create a button that will link to the SlideGenius contact form. To do that, I selected Hyperlink to and chose URL from the list of options. After that, I pasted the URL into the dialogue box that appeared and clicked OK.

powerpoint action buttons 03

Since you’re essentially working with a shape, you can also customize these action buttons any way you want. I chose to change its background and outline color to match the rest of my presentation.

powerpoint action buttons 04

The Final Word

There you have it! In just a few steps, you can make action buttons and have a PowerPoint presentation that’s easier to manage. It can help you give a more streamlined presentation. If you’re building an interactive deck, it can also add a more enriching experience.

If you’re building an interactive deck, it can also add a more enriching experience.

Need more help with your PowerPoint designs? Read our previous tutorials, or contact us to work with professional presentation designers.

 

Reference

Multimedia – PowerPoint, Presentations.” Indezine. Accessed September 4, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Eric Kilby via Flickr

6 Presentation Books to Read over Labor Day Weekend

It’s been a difficult work week, and you can’t wait for the three-day weekend. Whether you’re planning to soak up the sun or stay at home to relax, Labor Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to crack open a few presentation books.

These 6 titles are fun and refreshing, offering new perspectives to the oft-repeated tips. Sit back and give yourself an opportunity to be inspired by new ideas.

Six presentation books to read over Labor Day weekend:

Labor Day Reading List - Presentation Books

1.) The Art of Explanation: Making Your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier to Understand

Coming up with a new idea is only half the battle. The next part is explaining your work to an audience, and getting them to see your entire vision. In The Art of Explanation, Lee LeFever covers the different ways you can successfully communicate your big ideas. This book is the perfect read for entrepreneurs, educators, and anyone who wants to improve their presentation skills.

2.) Confessions of a Public Speaker

Anyone who has experienced stage fright or anxiety will find comfort in Confessions of a Public Speaker. Scott Berkun utilizes humor and quick wit to relay presentation secrets he learned from over 15 years as a professional public speaker. His lessons are told through anecdotes of his own thrilling performances and embarrassing mistakes. This is a book novice presenters can relate to and enjoy. Reading it won’t feel like work at all.

3.) Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change

Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon remind readers that action happens only after effective communication takes place. To get there, Moments of Impact imparts a simple process that can help collaborators solve issues and avoid misunderstandings. If you’ve ever left strategic meetings feeling more frustrated than enlightened, this is the perfect book to read and share with the rest of your team.

4.) Thinking Fast and Slow

If you’ve been too bogged down at work to come up with fresh ideas, Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow might come in handy. The Nobel Prize winning author introduces readers to the world of the brain. He explains the two “systems” that drives the way people think. The first system is more intuitive and emotional, while the second one focuses on deliberation and logical thinking. This book is perfect for anyone who is willing to try a new approach to decision-making and brainstorming.

5.) The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note Taking

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of visuals in explaining difficult concepts and new ideas. This is why images are important to PowerPoint presentations. In The Sketchnote Handbook, Mike Rohde takes the same concept and applies it to note taking. Do you have a hard time recalling new information? That can change with visual note taking. And you need to be an artist to do it. All you need is a pen, a notebook, and some creativity.

6.) Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations

Giving great presentations is easier said than done. I’m sure every presenter—even the ones that have bored you to death in the past—aim to engage their audience with an interesting discussion. If you want to make sure you’re giving all that you can, take note of the tips and tricks that Dan Roam covers in Show and Tell.

 

Which of these presentation books intrigue you? Grab your favorite title and learn something new over the weekend.

 

Featured Image: Simon Cocks via Flickr

PowerPoint Tools and Tutorials for Audience Interaction

Audience interaction is important to any presentation. Audiences like to feel involved in the discussion, especially in an age where technology allows everyone a platform to share their voice. Don’t be afraid to open the proverbial floor and let your audience speak their minds. You will find that their input can take your presentations to a new level. Here are just a few PowerPoint tools and tutorials to help you out.

Add audience insight to your slides

Your former teachers can serve as a great example for audience interaction. As you go along your presentation, ask your audience a few questions here and there. But don’t stop there. Listen carefully to what they have to say and try to integrate it to your discussion. A teacher would usually write her students’ answers on the blackboard. You can do the same thing with your slides.

Step One: Go to the slide where you want to be able to add text during the presentation and head to the Developer tab. If you don’t have it enabled yet, simply click File, head to Options, and choose Customize Ribbon.

developer text box 01

Step Two: Add a Text Box to your slide by choosing developer text box 02 from the Controls group. This text box isn’t like the regular one you’d add when building your slides. This specific function will allow you to type in text even as your presentation plays.

developer text box example

Using this trick will allow you to refer back to your audience’s response. The text you input on a slide won’t disappear even if you jump to the next one.

Get comments, questions, and measure differences in opinion

It’s also important to provide a platform for your audience to share their questions and opinions. While this is an easy task for smaller presentations, it gets difficult when you’re facing a room of 50 people. Luckily, technology now allows you to breach the so-called fourth wall. You can get comments and questions from the audience without picking out each person who raises their hand.

Another way to increase audience interaction is through the use of polls. Your audience is composed of unique individuals and they will have their own viewpoints about certain things. If you want to see how diverse your audience is, or how many of them agree with your discussion, you can ask them to vote in a poll.

There are plenty of third-party PowerPoint tools that will allow your audience to conveniently take part in a fruitful discussion. These are just a few of them:

IQPolls: This tool allows you to ask your audience questions that they can immediately answer using the web browser on their mobile devices. You can ask them to simply write down their thoughts or choose from a voting scale you created. Embedding your poll to Microsoft PowerPoint is easy and you will be able to see real-time results.

audience interaction tool 01
IQPolls.com

EverySlide: This tool has similar features, but supports presentations made using Keynote and Prezi as well. All you have to do is upload  your deck to the EverySlide.com and you will get a link that everyone in your audience can access.

audience interaction tool 03
EverySlide.com

Presentain: Aside from allowing your audience to take a poll and send in their inquiries, Presentain also allows you to utilize your phone for a number of things. Most notably, you can use it to record your presentation. You can then share the recording online and increase your audience even more.

audience interaction tool 02
Presentain.com

SlideKlowd: This program utilizes cloud technology to allow you to conduct polls, receive questions, and even check for attendance. More importantly, it also helps you gather data so you can measure audience interaction.

audience interaction tool 04
SlideKlowd.com

Use related videos to enhance PowerPoint deck

Everyone loves a good show. You can keep people interested by showing a few video clips. Videos are a great way to add soft breaks in your presentation, so the people watching you won’t feel overwhelmed by the information you’re sharing. By building interest, you can guarantee that audience interaction is a sure outcome.

Here are a few more tutorials for your PowerPoint-related video needs:

 

What do you do to increase audience interaction in your presentations? You can utilize technology, or stick with more traditional methods. All that really matters is that you make your presentations as inclusive and discursive as possible.

 

Featured Image: Cydcor Offices via Flickr

Presentation Software: Adobe Voice for iPad

Thanks to Adobe’s presentation software, you can create a video pitch in just a few easy steps. In fact, you can even do it right on your iPad.

Adobe Voice for iPad is pretty straightforward. Through combining images, animations, music, and voice overs, you can easily create video presentations to be shared online. Adobe calls it a “storytelling app” that encourages people to use visuals to share their stories.

Templates and customization options

Upon opening Adobe Voice, you will be prompted to choose a template that will help give your video presentation structure. Most presenters forget to give their deck a concrete beginning, middle, and end, which just leads them to ramble through their pitch.

However, by maintaining a clear structure in your deck, your slides can prompt you as you go along.

Begin building your slides by adding icons and images from the app’s library, or from your own Camera Roll. Adobe also gives you access to licensed music that you can use for your presentations. All of this is pretty easy to do because the app’s interface is simple and user-friendly.

Voice recording

The attractive thing about Adobe Voice is the fact that you can easily add voiceovers to any of your slides. For some presentation software, this step can get quite tedious. For Adobe Voice, all you have to do is hold a button and talk into your iPad.

This makes it convenient to share video presentations that you won’t be able to guide with your physical presence. While the slides aren’t made to replace you, instances like uploading your presentation online need a deck that can stand on its own.

Online sharing

When you’re done, the app allows you to share your presentation through e-mail or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Since the app is connected to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, you can also retrieve a link to view your presentation in any device.

All in all, Adobe’s new presentation software can be a great addition to your arsenal. Adobe Voice for iPad makes all the steps of creating a presentation easier. It gives you a template to outline your ideas and provides plenty of choices for design. Most importantly, it allows you easily distribute your video presentation for others to see.

Adobe Voice for iPad is free at the Apple store, but requires a subscription to Creative Cloud. Download the app here.

 

Featured Image: Adobe Voice Website