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3 Ways to Live Stream Your PowerPoint Presentation

Distance shouldn’t be a barrier between you and your audience. Bring your pitch out of the boardroom and into the Web. Reach out to a wider audience with your deck without sacrificing your presence.

Live-stream your PowerPoint in three ways:

1. Share as a Link

In his article on digital video hub Field59, Michael Worringer gives his readers a run-through on how to broadcast your presentation from PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 by sharing it as a link.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using PowerPoint 2013.

Unlike its 2010 version, whose Broadcast Slide Show option is found in the Slide Show tab, PowerPoint 2013 lets you live-stream your presentation through the Share option in the File tab.

How to live stream your PowerPoint: Present OnlineA dialog box will appear with your presentation’s custom URL once you click Present Online. Copy the link or send it via email to your audience.

After they’ve received the link, click Start Presentation. Now you’ll be able to guide your viewers through each slide in real time at your own pace.

How to live stream your PowerPoint: Start Presentation

Below, you’ll find how Presenter View will appear on your screen. However, your audience will only see your slide show as you present it.

How to live stream your PowerPoint: Presenter View

Once you’re done, exit the slide show mode and select End Online Presentation in the Present Online tab.

How to live stream your PowerPoint: End Online Presentatin

The slight downside to this broadcast method is that while you’re free to share your PowerPoint, some of your original deck’s features may be compromised. All transitions will be set to ‘fade’ from the audience’s view, and a file size may be imposed on your upload, depending on your broadcast service.

A compact and concise deck is more advisable for this PowerPoint live-stream technique to minimize the lag in your loading times.

2. Use Office Mix

If you’re using PowerPoint 2013 and are subscribed to Office 365, live streaming becomes even easier with the downloadable free add-in Office Mix.

Unlike the previous method, Office Mix is more accommodating with your slide contents. You’re free to add audio, video, polls, and quizzes to your slides. This is especially helpful for educators who want to track their students’ progress outside the classroom and for presenters who want to maximize audience engagement using their deck.

These are all available in the Quizzes Video Apps found in the Mix tab that will appear once you’ve downloaded it.

How to live stream your PowerPoint: Quizzes Videos AppsSource: https://mix.office.com/watch/qn821zf10bni

There’s also live digital inking, a more hands-on approach to presentation that lets you guide students through your slides in real time using video, audio, and illustration.

How to live stream your PowerPoint: Live Digital InkingSource: https://mix.office.com/watch/1uoglxt8jp9mt

Office Mix has its own site dedicated to help users navigate through this handy feature. First-timers can benefit from its tutorials that show Mix at work.

Similar to the Broadcast Slide Show in PowerPoint 2010, Office Mix requires an Internet connection to share your presentation to a selected audience. However, another unique option of this add-in lets your audience review and play back your slides to their own pace even after you’ve exited your slide show.

True to its name, Mix crosses the boundaries between the Microsoft Office programs. Import viewers’ data and feedback on your deck for a more in-depth analysis.

3. Upload to Online Platforms

The third route to live-streaming your PowerPoint doesn’t let you interact with your audience as much, but it may be the easiest yet.

If you don’t have the last two PowerPoint features, you can upload and design your presentation using a private account to online platforms made for deck hosting, such as SlideShare.

Publishing your slides on online platforms is meant to improve reaching out to a wider audience. Although you can configure your uploaded deck’s settings to selected viewers, following default settings leaves your deck open for public viewing. You can add tags to make your PowerPoint easily searchable online, further reinforcing its inclination towards mass sharing.

At the same time, this technique can be considered a combination of the previous two PowerPoint live-streaming methods. It has a file size limitation like PowerPoint 2010, but it lets your audience enjoy your presentation at their pace, like Office Mix. Making use of online platforms requires compressing your slide contents into a file size that you can manually upload to the website.

Conclusion

Your deck is an important part of your presentation. Don’t let the distance between you and your audience deter you.

Broadcast your slide deck using three different methods, depending on the type of program available to you and on your intended audience. Share your PowerPoint with a link and broadcast it live with PowerPoint 2010 and 2013. Interact with your viewers in real time with Office Mix. However, if neither of these are available to you, you can always upload your presentation to an online platform like SlideShare.

There are a number of ways to make your presentation accessible. Just reach out to the one that works best for you.

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References

Worringer, Michael. “How to Broadcast a PowerPoint Presentation with a Live Stream.” Field59 Inc. April 21, 2015. www.field59.com/broadcast-powerpoint-presentation-live-stream
“What Is Office Mix.” Office Mix for Teachers. www.mixforteachers.com/what-is-office-mix.html

Featured Image: “Man Holding Laptop Computer Typing While Dog Watches” by Image Catalog on flickr.com

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.

Top Problems Presenters Face (And How to Avoid them)

“To err is human,” the adage goes. While not completely skipping the latter half, let’s accept the fact that we, as humans, make mistakes. It’s completely natural, albeit embarrassing—especially when in public. The moral of the story is that you have to make sure it doesn’t happen, right?

There are lessons taught the easy way: anticipate the blunder and avoid doing it. Then there are those only learned the hard way, the ones you must experience first before you can say, “That shouldn’t happen again.”

Barring advice from more experienced speakers and presenters, presentation mistakes can either be of those. The rub, though, is that there are many things that could possibly go wrong that only those with experience can fully prepare for everything.

Here are the most common problems—and how you avoid them—that amateur and professional presenters alike may still experience.

Presenter Problems: Slide Issues

Slide Issues

There is a myriad of presentation design tips out there, so let’s cover only the basic/common ones.

Color contrast.  Keep your choice of colors contrasting: dark text on light background or light text on dark background. If it makes your text easily readable, then that pair—or trio if you have three colors—has great harmony.

Wall of text. A reading spree will bore your audience. Instead, a few simple, powerful words is enough to drive the point home and make an impact. If not words, a meaningful image will do the trick; poignant, nostalgic, rousing, etc., the more emotions the picture solicits, the better. The clincher? Either of those on a single slide for maximum impact.

Too many slides. Drag your presentation on and on, and you’ll bore your audience. Attention is a fragile thing. A good guideline to follow is Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule: 10 slides in 20 minutes with a 30-point font. That way, you’ll be able to punch in more points with fewer slides.

Technical Issues

If you’re not tech-savvy, then the following technical problems—or technological—will be the most complicated ones you’ll encounter.

Connecting to the projector. There are two areas for this blunder: Mac and Windows. First with the latter, most PCs and laptops that aren’t made by Apple have dedicated VGA ports, so you’re covered. There will still be occasional problems, like screens not displaying correctly—or at all—or distorted resolutions, but those are easily fixed with a little tinkering on the Display settings. If you’re rocking a MacBook, though, then chances are you’ll find yourself scrambling to find the extensions and adapters necessary to connect. So…

Presenter Problems: Technical Issues

Not bringing your own cablesIt would be prudent to carry your own gadgets to the venue: VGA adapters, additional USB port extensions, etc. Speakers will find bringing their own stuff is better when they learn on the day itself that the place isn’t fully equipped. Considering that Apple’s ports are, if anything, unique to everything but to those of the same brand, you can’t reasonably and practically expect every venue to have complete equipment. Of course, Windows users will find the practice time-conserving too. Bottom line: just to be safe, bring your own cables.

Videos not playingIf you plan to use videos during your speech, then you need lots of preparation before going onstage. If you’re using YouTube externally (switching from slideshow to Internet browser), secure a good Internet connection and preload the page; if you’re showing short scenes from a long clip, skip ahead to the relevant parts.

Linking is a different game though: You’re basically putting on your slide a “shortcut” button to a video in a specific file path. If you’re not using your own computer, then you need to transfer both presentation and video files and relink to make sure that the “shortcut” has the correct file path.

Freezing or crashingSometimes, it seems like devices have minds of their own, and speakers are forced to encounter a hurdle they can’t control—but can handle gracefully. In cases of computer meltdowns—a sudden hiccup may be tolerable, but a blue screen of death is hard to recover from—losing your cool is a no-no. Don’t panic. Instead, you can:

  • For a system hiccup, tell a few jokes, maybe something about technology, while waiting for it to resolve itself (heighten the suspense and kill the tension);
  • For a sudden crash, since you know it’s going to take some time, tell a story while the computer reboots; or
  • For a blue screen of death, well, nothing much to do about it but to restart the computer, tell stories and/or jokes (see the pattern now?), and just pick up where you left off.

The bottom line here is not to panic and/or just leave. Sure, it’s embarrassing, but handling the whole situation with dignity, and a bit of humor, will overshadow that little blunder.

The Importance of Proper Preparation for a Presenter

The talk itself notwithstanding, those are some of the most common problems presenters face before and during a public speech. But perhaps there’s a more common problem that is easily corrected but overlooked most of the time: lack of proper preparation. Most people don’t realize that this is the biggest enemy before anyone who undertakes an endeavor. It can manifest itself in many forms, including everything above. It’s also what separates amateurs from professionals.

Does that mean that professionals who make mistakes are amateurish? No, of course not. There are circumstances without a person’s reach, and those are the ones you must be careful with. Everything else, you learn to avoid with the right mentality, attitude, and dignity.

Resources:

Duarte, Nancy. “Five Presentation Mistakes Everyone Makes.” Harvard Business Review. December 12, 2012. www.hbr.org/2012/12/avoid-these-five-mistakes-in-y

Ezekiel, Rebecca. “10 Most Common Presentation Mistakes.” Presentation Prep. n.d. www.presentationprep.com/10-most-common-presentation-mistakes

Harvey, Jim. “5 Most Common Tech Problems for Presenters… and How to Avoid Them.” Presentation Guru. August 2, 2016. www.presentation-guru.com/the-5-most-common-technical-problems-for-presenters-and-how-to-avoid-them

Kawasaki, Guy. “The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” GuyKawasaki.com. December 30, 2005. www.guykawasaki.com/the_102030_rule

Marr, Bernard. “The Deadliest Presentation Mistakes Anyone Can Avoid.” LinkedIn Pulse. October 30, 2014. www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141030071401-64875646-the-deadliest-presentation-mistakes-anyone-can-avoid?trk=prof-post&trk=prof-post

Newbold, Curtis. “Top 12 Most Annoying PowerPoint Presentation Mistakes.” The Visual Communication Guy. September 24, 2013. thevisualcommunicationguy.com/2013/09/24/top-12-most-annoying-powerpoint-presentation-mistakes

Olakunori, Giovanni. “30 Common Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.” Larnedu. August 27, 2014. www.larnedu.com/2014/08/27/30-common-presentation-mistakes-avoid

Russell, Wendy. “The 10 Most Common Presentation Mistakes.” About, Inc. n.d. presentationsoft.about.com/od/presentationmistakes/tp/080722_presentation_mistakes.htm

“10 Common Presentation Mistakes.” Mind Tools. n.d. www.mindtools.com/pages/article/presentation-mistakes.htm

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Tips for Enticing Printout Content

Every presenter has been requested the same thing at one point or another: being asked if they have—or if members of the audience can have—printouts of their PowerPoint presentations. This is not a bad thing, per se, especially if you have a great deck with a superb design and an enlightening message that people will want to go back and review everything they learned from your talk.

However, the issue is that slides were designed to be seen through a projector… unless you had the foresight to create your deck specifically for printing. Well then, good for you.

Going from digital to printout isn’t as easy as it looks. Specifically now, in the modern age, there are humongous monitors and projectors that display every pixel perfectly despite their sizes. Ah, the wonders of technology. But transitioning from the old to the new isn’t seamless, and paper sizes can’t compare to digital visual outlets.

To do that, you first need to do a bit of tinkering and adjusting to get your desired quality on paper. Here are a few pointers to consider first.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Check Your Printer

Check Your Printer

As with any competition, you can expect that manufacturers follow different formats with their products. If there’s one constant as far as printers are concerned, it’s that they don’t typically reach the paper’s edge. Printouts will always have margins. However, this is not a printer limitation; it’s rather the software—the printer driver—that causes this.

To remedy this, you can manually adjust it, and this is where the tinkering comes in. You can set custom margins on your printouts and potentially include an additional slide or two. There are different customizations you can do from this screen and in the next, which is…

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Print Preview

Print Preview

Print Preview is your friend. Let it guide, help, and aid you. If you’re not sure about the whole format of your printout, you should check it out before you waste ink.

There, you can set and customize different options for your final product: how many slides per page, the spaces in between each slide, the margins (see previous subheading), etc. There are also other settings for whether you want to print on both sides of the paper, the printing sequence (Collated), and whether black and white or grayscale (see next subheading).

This window is basically your last chance to fix how you want your handouts to come out, so appropriating everything according to your preference will make your task easier.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Check Your Design

Check Your Design

Less on the printer, more on your slides now.

The rules are basically the same when creating slides. You’ve got your design basics: colors, background, typography, etc. You’ve also got your image: powerful and meaningful. Lastly, your text as the meat of your talk. Then you’re out to print it.

The question is: “Do your slides look the same on screen and on paper?”

If you are printing your PowerPoint file out, you always have to consider how your slides will look on your handouts—plus the limitations on your printer, vis-à-vis ink levels—and prepare for it. If you’ve got too many images, either beef up your ink supply or delete some. Another option is to print in grayscale or black and white (which, as you would imagine, comes with another set of adjustments).

The bottom line here is that you should tailor your deck to be readable on both mediums. If you need to reduce elements, then do so.

Exporting PowerPoint to Paper: Convert powerpoint into .pdf file

Don’t Print Your Slides

Don’t worry. It’s not what it means; rather, it’s a small technicality that involves converting your PowerPoint file into a type that is considered more universal: PDF

One reason why PDF files are more commonly used is the general ease with printing using Acrobat or Adobe (or other software that can read this file type). There may be more or less the same options, but Acrobat is more in depth than PowerPoint, so it’ll usually take care of problems before your printouts even reach the printer. With such ease, you’re more likely choosing this same route yourself.

Another issue solved is transferring to another computer, for, say, printing purposes since you don’t have a printer. You don’t assume that your PowerPoint settings are the same as everyone’s (unless you’re not customizing your software). Therefore, you’re more likely to meet different formatting altogether when opening your file on a computer that doesn’t adhere to the same settings. This goes especially when you use many customized backgrounds, images, and fonts.

Converting to PDF makes your task—and life—easier by making the file more printable and readable on any computer.

There are multiple considerations to make when shifting from digital to print. With the almost complete independence of technology from traditional media, there’s still the wide gap between the two. Of course, with sufficient study and preparation, the divide is not as big as it seems.

Take the following options to heart. Soon, you’ll be asked to have printouts of your presentation. Take it easy and plan ahead. You’ll do yourself some good that way.

 

Resources:

Temple, Cooper. “Adjusting Paper Margins in PowerPoint.” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/adjusting-paper-margins-powerpoint-29281.html

Terberg, Julie. “Gain Control over PowerPoint Handouts by Exploring the Print Options.” Training Magazine. November 1, 2002. ip-50-63-221-144.ip.secureserver.net/article/gain-control-over-powerpoint-handouts-exploring-print-options

Wood, James T. “Why Does PowerPoint Print Out the Wrong Margins?” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/powerpoint-print-out-wrong-margins-26575.html

Woods, Paul. “Create PowerPoint Slides Designed Specifically for A4 or Letter Printing.” The New Paperclip. May 26, 2010. www.thenewpaperclip.com/2010/05/26/create-powerpoint-slides-designed-specifically-for-a4-or-letter-printing/#

“How to Create PDF Handouts in PowerPoint 2010.” Cometdocs. November 7, 2011. blog.cometdocs.com/how-to-create-pdf-handouts-in-powerpoint-2010

“Printing PowerPoint: Slide Size v. Printer Page Size.” PPTools. June 7, 2011. www.pptfaq.com/FAQ00774_Printing_PowerPoint-_Slide_size_v-_Printer_Page_size.htm

“Saving Paper and Increasing Readability of PowerPoint Handouts.” Pittsburgh Technical College. n.d. www.ptcollege.edu/uploads/HS-teachers/Saving-Paper-and-Increasing-Readability-of-PowerPoint-Handouts.pdf

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How to Group, Ungroup, and Regroup Objects in PowerPoint 2013

Slide elements and text boxes can get buried under a heavy pile of objects without proper management. Now, you no longer have to sift through overlapping images, text boxes, and charts once you learn how to group slide objects.

The group function is very useful to learn so you can keep your slide workspace organized and save yourself from headaches. With this function, you no longer have to drag each slide object one by one. As the name implies, you can group all them at once and drag them around with ease.

Grouping shapes and images in PowerPoint lets you manage different objects at the same time. This is helpful for moving and rearranging different groups as a single object.

How to Group Objects in PowerPoint 2013

1. Open your PowerPoint file and decide which objects you want to combine or reorganize.

How to Group, Ungroup, and Regroup Objects in PowerPoint 2013

2. Click on the slide you choose to adjust. Press and hold Shift then left-click each object that you want to group.

Group, Ungroup, and Regroup Objects in PowerPoint 2013: Group

3. Selecting the images automatically brings up Picture Tools above the Format tab.

Group, Ungroup, and Regroup Objects in PowerPoint 2013: Picture tools > Format

4. Once you’re done selecting your images, look for the Drawing group. Click the Arrange icon then click Group.

Group, Ungroup, and Regroup Objects in PowerPoint 2013: Drawing > Arrange > Group

The Shortcuts:

  • An easier way to do this is to hold the Shift key on each chosen object. Right click any of the images and select Group inside the context menu. Then, select Group in the dropdown menu.

  • You can also press Ctrl+G to group your selected slide objects.

How to Ungroup?

To disable the Group function, reselect the grouped object by holding the Shift key. Right click the selected object and choose Group and then Ungroup from the resulting dropdown option in the context menu.

Group, Ungroup, and Regroup in PowerPoint 2013: Ungroup

How to Regroup?

1. If you want to adjust an individual object without affecting others in the group, click on that object.

Group, Ungroup, and Regroup Objects in PowerPoint 2013: Regroup

2. Once you’re done, right click any of the objects that were formerly in a group then select Group and then Regroup in the context menu.

Group, Ungroup, and Regroup Objects in PowerPoint 2013: Regroup objects

You‘ll notice that PowerPoint remembers what you had previously grouped and ungrouped.

What if it doesn’t allow you to group?

If the Group button doesn’t work, the object or the picture itself might be in a placeholder. Try to combine an image with a placeholder or textbox, and you’ll notice that it won’t be grouped together.

To solve this, remove that object outside the placeholder and move it to another position in the slide.

Add This to Your PowerPoint Arsenal

The group function doesn’t just lessen your workload; it also reduces slide clutter. Having too many things on your slide can look and feel overwhelming to tackle.

Use the Group functions by moving, resizing, and rotating objects on each slide and manage your workspace more efficiently. You can also use Ungroup to isolate a slide object in case you want to remove it. Finally, you have the option to add another object into an existing group using Regroup.

To help you craft a hassle-free PowerPoint deck, SlideGenius experts can assist you and offer you a free quote!

 

Resource:

“Group or Ungroup Shapes, Pictures, or Other Objects.” Office. n.d. support.office.com/en-US/article/Group-or-ungroup-shapes-pictures-or-other-objects-D8BDBF7A-FB9E-4F24-8596-6679A9C6ED15

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3 Business PowerPoint Building Lessons from IKEA Furniture

IKEA furniture can be one of the most stressful things to assemble, especially when collaborating with others. In fact, California State University professor and therapist Dr. Ramani Durvasula observed that couples end up arguing during two phases.

The first is while picking which items to buy, the second, while they assemble the items. Strangely enough, even presenters can learn a few things from building them. After all, Dr. Durvasula even said that the assembly process is about communication, collaboration, and respect.

It just so happens that these three are important components for building a convincing business PowerPoint presentation.

Let’s take a look at how these three presentation techniques can help you with your next pitch:

1. Communication Clarifies Confusing Instructions

Manuals are there for a reason.

After all, furniture needs to be assembled in a certain way to be useable. There will be times when IKEA’s instructions aren’t understandable.

This is no different from building a business PowerPoint presentation. Every presentation needs a solid idea, supporting points, and a call to action. To complicate things, clients will always want your pitch presented in a certain way. Some may want you to focus on the benefits of your proposal, others may prefer you emphasize costs.

Communicating with them in a clear and proper manner will clarify what they expect from your pitch. That way, you learn to filter the most relevant content to include in your business presentation and give clients exactly what they want.

2. Collaboration Gives Better Ideas

There are some pieces of IKEA furniture that need two people to assemble, similar to how business presentations often require a team effort.

Your market share info could come from your researchers, the slide templates from your creative team, and product information from your sales managers. This is where most of the arguments take place.

If someone simply gives orders to the team without understanding what the client expects, this can come off as unprofessional and disrespectful. Try to be more open to ideas that other members of your sales team could pitch in. It could be just the right fit for your presentation and give you what you need to outsell the competition.

3. Respect Helps Reduce Stress

It’s no secret that couples end up fighting whenever they build an IKEA piece. Some would just give instructions and leave the assembly to the other person, others would end up insulting each other.

These are all indicative of a lack of respect, which severely affects teamwork and builds stress. In building a PowerPoint, a certain amount of respect is needed, especially when a team is making it.

By understanding what each person can do, you enjoy a better team dynamic in building your pitch.

With respect, ideas flow faster from one person to another, making the collaboration more fun, especially if you are familiar with what your team can do. The most confident person could be assigned as the main speaker. A tech-savvy person could take care of getting the information your pitch needs. Meanwhile, a design-oriented person can take charge of assembling the slide deck.

Collaborating with each other and understanding what your client needs will keep your PowerPoint simple and effective without unneeded distractions.

Bonus Tip: Know When to Ask For Help

Stress will always be a part of assembling anything, from a piece of IKEA furniture to a business PowerPoint presentation.

Communicating with your clients and team members can clarify exactly what your pitch needs. The extra legwork even has the potential to make your ideas more relevant and convincing.

Collaborating with your team defines what each one will need to do, from getting information, to making the deck and presenting it. Respecting each other’s capabilities will make the whole process faster and less stressful. Of course, there will also be times when you need to ask for help.

When it comes to taking your PowerPoint to a professional level, consulting with a professional presentation designer will always be a wise investment.

 

References

Potkewitz, Hilary. “Can Your Relationship Handle a Trip to IKEA?” WSJ. April 22, 2015. Accessed August 13, 2015. www.wsj.com/articles/can-your-relationship-handle-a-trip-to-ikea-1429724227

Willett, Megan. “Assembling IKEA Furniture Is Apparently a Unique Form of Couples Therapy.” Business Insider. May 4, 2015. Accessed August 13, 2015. www.businessinsider.com/ikea-furniture-relationship-problems-2015-5

 

Featured Image: “tool chest DSC_0558” by el cajon yacht club on flickr.com

Let’s Get Visual: 3 Reasons Why You Should Use Infographics

Infographics are a popular medium of data presentation. While they don’t necessarily replace research, it’s become a go-to medium for quick information sharing.

In her article on Piktochart, digital strategist Nevyana Karakasheva explains how infographics compress your content into easily digestible visuals that can go viral online, depending on how much social shares you generate. The potential for sharing makes it an effective marketing tool, both for sharing relevant content to your prospects and subtly promoting yourself.

What exactly influences the infographic’s overall appeal? When reading infographics, people ask these three common questions:

Why are infographics the current trend?

What’s an infographic’s selling point?

Will using these visual aids attract your target audience?

Here are some answers that could help:

[blockqoute text=”Looking for a PowerPoint Expert?”]

Q: Why are infographics the current trend?

Visual learning is in. With 65% of the population identifying as visual learners, according to professor Patricia Vakos of Pearson Prentice Hall, it’s no wonder why infographics are an attractive option to the majority.

An infographic’s strategic use of color, layout, image, and text appeal to the visual learner’s desire for creative knowledge. Even for the not-so visually-inclined, infographics help break down the data overload many of us experience in today’s world.

In a world bogged down by too much information, having something to summarize data into appealing and easily digestible points is like a breath of fresh air. Because of its all-around charm, an infographic can attract the interest of most audiences, making it perfect for presenting facts and statistics.

Q: What’s an infographic’s selling point?

It helps explore your creativity when planning its design and layout. You can opt to place content to an existing infographic template or play around with design elements.

Challenge your creativity while dishing out valuable information. After all, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating an infographic.

You can make use visuals to point and connect to facts or illustrate them. This makes your material engaging and more attractive than plain textual overload.

Q: How will using these attract your target audience?

It’s accessible to users, mostly online. Because they are being shared over social media, infographics are more appealing and accessible. Their various layouts and visual designs also make plain data more interesting to look at.

An infographic turns difficult statistics into discernible information. It also makes your brand easier to share and understand. The added exposure and clarification help expand your network, boost your page views, and introduce you to prospective clients.

Although nothing beats a face-to-face presentation, having infographics on your site or your slide deck saves you time explaining facts.

Conclusion

Infographics are striking sources of information.

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t just cater to visual learners; they also attract all types of people. The visual aspect leaves you free to explore the infographic’s creative possibilities.

At the same time, they also break down difficult data into easily readable information. This lets viewers easily process them and share it with their friends. If you want to get yourself out there, consider putting up your own infographic.

Need advice for your infographic design? Let our SlideGenius experts assist you. Contact us today for a free quote!

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References:

Karakasheva, Nevyana. “Why Infographics Are An Inseparable Part of a Successful SEO Campaign.” Piktochart Infographics. June 1, 2015. www.piktochart.com/why-infographics-are-an-inseparable-part-of-a-successful-seo-campaign
Vakos, Patricia. “Why the Blank Stare? Strategies for Visual Learners.” Pearson Education, Inc. 2003. www.phschool.com/eteach/social_studies/2003_05/essay.html
“The Visual (Spatial) Learning Style.” Learning Styles Online. n.d. www.learning-styles-online.com/style/visual-spatial

 

Featured Image: “Visual Acuity” by Elizabeth Hann on flickr.com

Why You Should Improve Your PowerPoint with Animation

Last November, Microsoft released two of its newest PowerPoint features for 2016– Designer and Morph.

While Designer smartly matches an appropriate layout for your content, Morph is a handy tool in creating basic animation. This feature improves on the animation process with a more user-friendly approach.

It removes the hassle of previous animation options including key frame, motion path, and flash once, which deterred presenters from animating their deck.

To use Morph, click Transitions, then Effect Options. You can choose to animate either objects, words, or characters.

It sounds like a good improvement in terms of visuals, but it’s more than just an added aesthetic to your deck.

Here’s why you should improve your PowerPoint with animation:

Transition with Ease

It seems like the future of presentations is headed towards increased accessibility, particularly with the help of digital media and the Internet.

With more ways to upload your deck online, and share it to a wider audience, your deck will sometimes need to stand on its own. Latest innovations in the program like hyperlinks, voice narration, as well as automatic and manual timings made it possible to pitch self-presenting PowerPoints to anyone at any time.

If you want to create your own stand-alone slides, animation serves as an effective transition tool without needing to switch between slides.

For PowerPoint Morph users, simply move your selected images or text in a certain path after you select the Morph button, similar to creating a work path.

Once you apply Morph to the objects on your deck, they’ll move on their own without needing a prompt.

Gain Positive Attention

It’s already established that 65% of people are visual learners, according to Prime Infographics.

Using graphics is a more effective method of reaching out to them than simply relating hard facts with too much text and numbers.

That said, why not engage the visual learners in your audience further by animating your images? Add some spice to your slides by animating them. But don’t let your deck look dated and unappealing with static and overused clipart.

The fluid movement of the animated objects on your slide can keep your audience’s attention as you expound on your key points.

Tell Your Story

One of the most effective ways to appeal to people is through their emotions. This gets them to see things from your perspective, and eventually sympathize with you.

Tap into their emotions by crafting a story around your pitch that everyone can relate to. You can do this verbally during your actual pitch, or through your deck.

While your PowerPoint serves as a visual aid, it doesn’t have to stay flat all the time. Let your deck tell your story with you. Craft an animated slide with a beginning, middle, and end without needing too many clicks on your part.

Conclusion

The recent development in deck animation lets you explore creative possibilities on your slide.

Use PowerPoint Morph to create stand-alone slides with fluid transitions. Let your visuals interact with your audience by strategically animating slide elements. This will help you not only explain difficult concepts better with visuals, but also tell a good story.

Work together with your visual aid through animation, and let it complement your pitch.

Need a guide for your presentation needs? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References

“65% of All People Are Visual Learners.” Prime Infographics. Accessed December 18, 2015. http://primeinfographics.com/65-of-all-people-are-visual-learners

“PowerPoint “Morph” Brings Animation to Microsoft’s Widely Used Presentation Software.” GeekWire. November 13, 2015. Accessed December 18, 2015. www.geekwire.com/2015/powerpoint-morph-brings-animation-to-microsofts-widely-used-presentation-software

“Using the Morph Transition in PowerPoint 2016.” Office Blogs. Accessed December 18, 2015. https://support.office.com/en-US/article/Using-the-Morph-transition-in-PowerPoint-2016-8dd1c7b2-b935-44f5-a74c-741d8d9244ea

 

Featured Image: “Art class” by Pavlina Jane on flickr.com

How to Align Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2013

Each slide has its own elements, such as text, charts, images, and shapes—all easy to arrange in PowerPoint. A clean, even layout leaves space that lets the eyes focus on more important slide objects. Simply aligning them with each other provides a great deal of order and sophistication into any layout.

We’ve already learned how to group slide objects to help you rearrange many objects in one go. This enables you to move an entire selection of objects, but you might find it inconvenient having to constantly group and ungroup them to access each element separately.

The ability to align objects is especially vital for comprehensive decks that may contain sales figures, which can end up with lots of elements on screen. There are also several ways you can align your objects so you can speed up your process.

We’ll focus on aligning different objects on your slide deck to save you time in managing your own slide workspace.

Align Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2013

In PowerPoint, there are guides that help you adjust your spacing and keep objects lined up. Luckily, you can simply drag an object around, and a floating guide helps you snap objects in place. The temporary guide usually shows up as an orange dotted line.

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This is an already helpful feature in itself. Here’s how you can align objects en masse while still retaining individual control of each element:

1. Select what particular object on the slide you wish to arrange. If you want to select several objects at the same time, hold down Shift and then click on the slide objects.

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If you want to align multiple objects, click on an empty slide corner and drag your mouse around the chosen items to select each of them. To make sure you don’t leave any object unselected, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A.

2. Click on the Drawing Tools Format tab that will appear once you select the item or items.

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3. Select the Align dropdown menu in the Arrange group and then choose one from the six selections: Align Left, Align Center, Align Right, Align Top, Align Middle, and Align Bottom.

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4. You’ll notice that the slide objects selected will be aligned according to your choice.

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Specific Alignments

There are other align options, namely Distribute Horizontally, Distribute Vertically, Align to Slide, and Align Selected Objects.

Your slide objects will line up horizontally or vertically as the command implies. However, these alignment behaviors will be different if you pick Align to Slide or Align Selected Objects. When you select the former, all the scattered objects outside the slide area will be distributed within the slide area. As a further example, if you select all your images to Align Center, all the slide objects will be located at the center of the slide.

Choose Align Selected Objects and Align Center and all your slide objects will line up but not at the center of the slide area or within the slide limits.

Control where you want your slide objects to be with the help of the Align function.

Get Organized

You may be thinking that aligning objects is a simple task. It’s indeed simple and easy! PowerPoint just goes the extra mile to make sure that your slide elements are aligned according to your exact needs. Whether you’re working on a deck that requires detailed content, such as graphs, tables, and charts, using this feature can help you accomplish your task with ease.

The Align PowerPoint feature can help you polish your presentation into a more organized and professional-looking layout, keeping you from placing each element randomly and untidily.

To deliver a more dynamic and engaging PowerPoint presentation, SlideGenius experts can assist you and offer you a free quote!

 

References:

Reynolds, Garr. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery. Berkeley, CA: New Riders Pub., 2008.
“Align or arrange a picture, shape, text box, SmartArt graphic, or WordArt.” Office, n.d. support.office.com/en-us/article/Align-or-arrange-a-picture-shape-text-box-SmartArt-graphic-or-WordArt-bfd91078-2078-4b35-8672-f6270690b3b8
“PowerPoint 2013: Arranging Objects.” GCFLearnFree.org. n.d. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/19

Why ‘Planning Analog’ is Better than ‘Going Digital?’

There are two basic steps to planning: conceptualizing, and organizing your ideas. These steps determine your presentation’s core message. After all, you won’t be able to discover what points would work and what wouldn’t without careful planning. This involves in-depth research and freewriting before you can come up with the best ideas that you can focus on.

But where do most presenters begin when planning for their pitch and deck? In some cases, most of them go digital to start the process. They use presentation software programs like PowerPoint to identify and structure their discussion points.

Alternatively, some still prefer writing down and outlining rough ideas using the analog approach. They use this method to allow their thoughts to flow naturally without the distraction of any digital devices.

You might be asking, between these two methods, where do you begin planning your business presentation? Should you think digital, or plan analog?

In this post, we’ll cover how planning analog is more effective than the digital method. But before we proceed, let’s look at how each approach varies to find out which fits your purposes.

The Downside of ‘Planning Digital’

The Downside of Planning Digital

Nothing’s wrong with going digital when you start throwing in all your presentation ideas. It actually helps you do straight edits and modifications on your slides, making your work easier.

While others may view this approach as helpful, some may not agree with putting their ideas straight to the deck. Just by doing it often might negatively affect the deck’s overall quality.

PowerPoint offers support to your performance, but it can also distract the crowd when your edits result in a cluttered slide deck. Outlining your thoughts this way limits your ideas from flowing naturally since you’re editing on the fly.

Giving in to what PowerPoint can provide makes you stay within your comfort zone. With a digital device on hand, planning won’t be smooth sailing compared to an idea generated with a pen and paper.

The Benefits of ‘Planning Analog’

The analog technique uses brainstorming as a mind-mapping strategy to dig up brilliant ideas.

It enables speakers to generate ideas on a paper, sticky note, or whiteboard, helping you to flesh out more important points for your topic.

Here are more good reasons why you should opt for this approach during the planning stage:

a. Provides Clearer Objectives

Provides clearer objectivesListing down your ideas helps you determine what you want your audience to understand, even if this list was made on a simple sticky note. This involves bringing together your key points and highlighting your presentation’s main message. Also, it gives you an idea in identifying what objectives will successfully execute your plans.

In this way, you can think of effective strategies that will not only generate audience interest, but will also guide you in creating an outline that compresses your thoughts.

Focus on your goals to develop cohesive content that emphasizes your core objective.

b. Reinforces Creativity

Reinforces creativityStructuring your pitch using a pen and a paper allows you to come up with better ideas to improve your visuals. Choosing these traditional drawing tools helps you produce different concepts relevant to your subject.

Dumping your thoughts straight to PowerPoint can make your deck’s structure look haphazard since content weren’t arranged systematically beforehand.

When planning, consider going to other places where you can discover new ideas that can build up your pitch. Squeeze out your creative juices by creating a storyboard using traditional tools. This lets you sort out and prioritize your points first.

c. Saves Time

Saves timeIt doesn’t only unleash your creative side, but it also saves you time when creating a perfectly-designed deck. Planning analog gives you more time to categorize and specify each idea that you’ve gathered and thought of.

According to sales trainer Jerson James, arranging your ideas using a computer will only distract you with other things. These distractions include email alerts and even other office tasks, which only draw attention away from your main priority.

Time yourself when organizing your thoughts. Even something as simple as taking a five to ten-minute breather to sort out your ideas can help you arrange everything afterwards.

Let’s Go Analog!

Let's Go AnalogWhether you prefer to do it on your laptop, or on a piece of paper, planning is important to deliver your message effectively. Choosing between planning digital and analog isn’t a problem. Skipping the stage can only make things worse. However, using the analog approach is more advisable since it opens a doorway of great and clearer ideas, as James wrote in his article.

Remove any barriers when planning for a visually-appealing presentation. Concentrate on drafting your pitch to produce clearer objectives that’ll help you achieve your main goal.

Use traditional tools to reinforce creativity that offers fresh, new perspectives that’ll entice the audience. Plan analog to save time and keep you from any distractions that’ll put the entire presentation at stake. Once you’re done, then you can open your PowerPoint and execute your plans to craft a winning deck.

Need a well-designed PowerPoint presentation? Contact the SlideGenius team now to get a free quote!

Check out and share our infographic!

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Reference

James, Jerson. “Preparing for a Presentation? Think Analog.” LinkedIn. July 13, 2014. Accessed October 19, 2015. www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140713181747-35264839-preparing-for-a-presentation-think-analog