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Preparation: The Secret Weapon to Presentation Survival

It’s impossible to survive a zombie apocalypse without weapons.

When we say weapons, they can either be concrete arms, defense tactics, or escape strategies.

You need to get in shape and plan your journey to travel the path of survival.

The same thing applies with presentations.

Make this happen with a clear and organized discussion flow.

To do this, you need one powerful weapon to cover all your marketing efforts:

Preparation.

Let’s look at useful chunks of your pitch that we can connect with this presentation weapon.

Who’s Your Audience?

1 - Who’s Your Audience
Before you attack, you should know who your targets are first.

Whether facing the undead or a living, breathing crowd, know who your audience is and what they do.

Understanding your audience beforehand is the first step to structuring your content.

Investigate how much they know about your topic, their possible take on your idea, and what they expect from your presentation.

This helps you determine the succeeding steps needed to market your product.

When’s the Right Time?

2 - When’s the Right Time
You can’t strike at just any time.

As the saying goes, “Preparation and timing make a good formula for success.”

Timing matters if you want to combat fearsome zombies or people’s short attention spans.

With proper speech delivery and a well-timed topic, a great business opportunity awaits you.

Make your ideas parallel to your audience’s needs. Tailor your content and get all the facts you need so that it will appeal directly to their interests.

Plan when to strengthen your main idea for greater impact. If someone asks you about your speech’s purpose, create a hook in the beginning, then emphasize it more by citing examples of how they’ll benefit from it.

A logical path explaining your concepts from slide to slide also trims down your thoughts into a more digestible format.

On the other hand, a smooth speaking approach gives your audience time to think about what you said.

If you play your cards right, you can even get them to join your side.

Where Should You Go?

3 - Where Should You Go
If you wander aimlessly, you’ll exert tons of energy but get nowhere fast.

Some people fail to survive a grueling presentation experience.

This happens when there’s no clarity between what the presenter wants to say and what the audience wants to hear.

Of course, you want your presentation to go nowhere but up.

This end goal can be best achieved with a coherent flow of ideas.

Consider things like the best parts in your speech to emphasize a problem and a solution.

The classic story structure—beginning, middle, end— is ideal for outlining your key points.

Communicate exactly what you’ll be covering in each part, including why they should care, and what they’ll be taking away.

This approach keeps your viewers from getting bogged down with heavy data.

Equip Yourself for Survival!

4 - Equip Yourself for Survival!
You can’t win a battle without the right tools and strategy.

You can’t win over a crowd just by showing up.

To survive, you have to be well-armed and equipped to make your business pitch a success.

It requires many important elements like coherent flow and masterful planning.

Understand the basics of knowing your audience, proper timing, and outlining thoughts to give your business pitch a huge impact.

Don’t come to any battle empty-handed.

Be quick on the trigger with preparation to conquer your presentation!

 

References

Getting the Presentation Structure Right.” Presentation Process. n.d. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Brooks, Max. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. New York: Three Rivers, 2003.

Your Voice Is The Most Valuable Presentation Tool

Technological advances have given us access to a variety of tools, from PowerPoint slides to interactive apps that bridge the gap between audience and presenter.

However, when all your equipment starts to fail, your voice is the one presentation tool you can use without having to worry about technical requirements in the venue.

But using your voice isn’t just about saving yourself from unexpected technical difficulties. It’s also a useful way to connect with your audience.

Hearing a voice that’s clear, confident, and enthusiastic will encourage them to engage with the message. It’s not enough to stammer through your pitch while reading note cards or slides. Use your voice to deliver a winning speech.

Here are a few things to help you do just that:

Volume and Clarity

Always be mindful of the fact that you’re speaking in front of an audience. A presentation isn’t a one on one conversation.

Renowned speech evaluator, Andrew Dlugan writes on his Six Minutes blog about the role the volume of your voice plays in delivering a clear and understandable pitch.

There are plenty of people that need to hear you, but this doesn’t mean that you have to shout. Just make sure you’re articulating every word and speaking louder than you normally would in everyday scenarios. If there’s a microphone available in the venue, still be mindful of your modulation and articulation.

Intonation and Emphasis

More than a loud and clear voice, it’s also important to add some variety to your speech. A monotonous voice isn’t exactly engaging. Practice your intonation by changing your pitch and adding color and interest in your presentation. It also creates an emotional impact your audience can relate to.

For example, the statement “will you help me out” can be read in different ways depending on your intonation. With a falling intonation or by ending at a lower pitch, the statement can sound aggressive and impatient. On the other hand, a rising intonation (also called a high final pitch) indicates a sincere question.

Experiment with your approach on your speech by emphasizing different keywords and phrases.

Pausing and Pacing

What use are all the previous techniques if you end up racing through your presentation? You can have a loud voice or use appropriate intonation. Long-time actor and Speakers & Artists International, Inc. CEO, Eric Stone, emphasizes the importance of speech pauses in creating a bigger impact on your listeners.

The audience will feel lost if you speed through your presentation. Pause help pace your speech at the right moments.

To use your voice properly, know when not to use it at all. In our previous point, we made a case for emphasizing certain words and phrases that are important to your presentation. Pairing that with correct rhythm and pausing will definitely add to the impact. This gives your audience a chance to absorb the information you’re presenting and even heighten its sense of urgency and importance.

When preparing for a presentation, we often focus all our energy and resources to making sure we have the most eye-catching visuals and content. It’s also important to learn the proper way to wield your most valuable presentation tool. To be a great communicator, you need to know how to utilize your voice.

 

References

5 Presentation Tools to Encourage Audience Interaction.” SlideGenius, Inc.. January 12, 2015. Accessed January 28, 2015.
Presentation Set Up: 5 Things to Do Before You Start Speaking.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 2, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2015.
Troubleshooting Your PowerPoint Display Issues.” SlideGenius, Inc.. October 21, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2015.
The Art of Speaking Is the Art of Pausing by Eric Stone.” Succeed When You Speak. October 31, 2010. Accessed January 28, 2015.
Volume and the Public Speaker: Be Heard and Be Effective.” Six Minutes. August 19, 2013. Accessed January 28, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Ben Grey via Flickr

5 Presentation Tools to Encourage Audience Interaction

Encouraging audience interaction can do a lot for your presentation. At a time when almost anyone can share their thoughts and ideas online, audiences crave to be heard.

They’re looking for similar opportunities to connect and participate during your presentation. When you open the floor to allow their opinions in, you’ll find that their input can add an interesting new dimension to the ideas you’re sharing.

The best way to go about this is by allowing them to ask questions and share comments.

While this is an easy task for small group presentations, it’s a lot more difficult when you’re facing an audience of about 50 or so people. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can encourage audience interaction without having to waste valuable presentation time.

All you have to do is set up a poll at strategic points of your presentation.

If you want to see the diversity of opinions in your audience and use that to add flavor to your discussion, here are a few presentation tools that will allow you to encourage audience interaction:

IQPolls

audience iqpolls
IQPolls.com

IQPolls‘ response system lets audience answer questions immediately via their mobile devices. You can create a voting scale that they can respond to with a click of a button. Allow them to type down their thoughts to send your way. Best of all, you can embed the poll you made to your PowerPoint presentation to be able to show the real-time results.

DirectPoll

audience directpoll
DirectPoll.com

DirectPoll is pretty easy to set up. All you have to do is visit their website and start adding questions you want to ask, along with the answers you want to measure. When you’re done you can save your poll and access it through your browser.

Presentain

audience presentain
Presentain.com

Aside from allowing you to set up polls for the audience to answer, you can also use Presentain to receive direct inquiries. Its use doesn’t stop at audience interaction either. It also allows you to use your phone as a timer and recorder. However, the most notable of its extra features is the recorder. When you record your presentation, you can share it online and stumble upon a larger audience.

SlideKlowd

audience slideklowd
SlideKlowd.com

As its name suggests, SlideKlowd utilizes cloud technology to receive questions, check for attendance, and conduct polls. It also gathers some useful data to help you measure audience interaction. Having that data will definitely be useful to see how you can improve your presentations in the long-run.

Sli.do

audience slido
Sli.do

Sli.do is the perfect tool for bigger presentations and events. Using a unique code, your audience can access a platform where they can ask questions, answer live polls, and share their opinions. You can also use Sli.do to display a Twitter feed for a specific hashtag.

Audiences love a good show, but love being able to take part in that show even more. If your topic calls for it, why not consider encouraging audience interaction in your presentations? It’s a great way to help create a valuable connection between you, your message, and the people you’re trying to reach.

 

References

How to Take Tough Questions Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc.. July 16, 2015.
Interactive Presentations: Using Twitter to Break the Fourth Wall.” SlideGenius, Inc.. December 17, 2014. Accessed January 13, 2015.

 

Featured Image: Mike Fisher via Flickr

Where to Find Unique Images for Your Presentation Design

The easiest way to elevate your presentation design is by finding images that match your message. As we’ve continuously emphasized, your visual aids play an important role in your presentations. Whether you choose PowerPoint or an alternative presentation software, the use of images is a better technique than filling the screen with bullet points and text. If you want the audience to remember what you say, illustrating your points with images can help you go a long way.

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Before you can create a presentation design that stands out, you’ll need to gather your resources. It’s easy to say that images can change the look of your presentation deck, but it’s a lot harder to find something that works well with the topic you’re covering. There’s a lot of stock images available online, but they often look generic and unimaginative. Your message is unique to your presentation, so the images you use should feel the same way.

Aside from browsing through Flickr, there are plenty resources you can turn to. Here’s a list of 7 great websites where you can find images for your presentation designs:

Death to the Stock Photo 

images-death to the stock

This site has become pretty popular recently, and it’s not hard to imagine why. In fact, we constantly use their images in this blog. Basically, the photographers running this site will send you a photo pack of 10 unique images every month. Each photo pack will revolve around a specific theme. Best of all, you’ll be able to receive it straight in your inbox. When you sign up for the first time, they’ll also give you a starter pack. Check out their website here.

Picjumbo

images-picjumbo

Picjumbo is another great resource for amazing images. Here, you can access a large collection of photos that you are free to use for both personal and commercial works. Browse through different categories like abstract, nature, technology, and food to find something that’s perfect for your presentation. The photographer Viktor Hanacek updates his collection regularly, so you won’t run out of choices. You can also sign up for a premium account to download exclusive collections. You can take a closer look here.

Superfamous Studios

images-superfamous studio

This website has a large collection of photographs by designer Folkert Gorter. The images you’ll find here are mostly of nature. There are a lot of scenic shots of mountains and oceans, but there are also macro shots of tree barks and leaves. If you’re looking for something a bit abstract or muted for your presentations, the images here are a great choice.

Startup Stock Photos 

images-startup

If you’re looking for images that feel closer to home, this website is where you should head next. As its name suggests, Startup Stock Photos has a collection of images documenting that startup life. There’s plenty of pictures of office spaces and colleagues discussing ideas over coffee. The images are by Sprint and you can use all of them for free. Browse through the collection here.

New Old Stock 

images-new old stock

Another site you need to take a look at is New Old Stock. Here, you’ll find vintage photos from the public archives curated and ready-to-use. Visit their site to learn more about using these images. You can also submit a photo or make a donation to keep the site going.

Life of Pix 

images-life of pix

Life of Pix is another great resource for high-resolution images. It’s a project by Leeroy, an advertising agency in Montreal and their group of photographers update the site weekly. You’ll find plenty of useful pictures under categories that are quite different from other websites. Some of these categories include “Construction” and “Industrial”. You can look at the rest here.

Gratisography

images-gratisography

If you’re looking for really unique images, this site has a pretty quirky collection. There’s plenty of pictures to be found in the Gratisography gallery including a picture of a person in a bunny suit and someone climbing inside a washing machine. Add some humor to your slides by checking out their website here.

There’s a lot of pressure to deliver a great presentation. Make sure your stand out by incorporating eye-catching and memorable visuals. The easiest way to do that is by using images for your presentation deck. Visit these websites to find something that will help illustrate and elevate your message. Do take note that the pictures in these websites are often free from copyright restrictions or under a creative commons license. Some of the images available might require attribution before you can use it.

 

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Featured Image: Startup Stock Photos

Interactive Presentations: Using Twitter to Break the Fourth Wall

iphone techIn our previous blog, we emphasized the fact that presentations are a two-way street. If you want your message to stick, you need to be able to connect with the people sitting in your audience. Your priority as a presenter is to keep everyone engaged. One way you can do that is by encouraging interaction. You can break the so-called ‘fourth wall’ by posing questions and asking for feedback. Interactive presentations allow you to openly communicate with your audience.

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Obviously, encouraging discussion is a lot easier when you’re addressing a smaller group. However, managing feedback can be a challenge when faced with a much larger crowd. There are plenty of presentation tools you can use for this. Apps like SlideKlowd allow the audience to answer polls and ask questions directly from their mobile devices. Another tool you can consider is something you and majority of your audience are already familiar with. If you don’t want to bother with any other app, Twitter is your best option.

Most interactive presentations will end inside the venue. However, Twitter gives you the ability to reach out to those who aren’t even in the room with you. If you’re presenting at a large conference, trade show, or any industry event, Twitter is a valuable presentation tool for extending the reach of your message.

Here are a few tips on how to use Twitter for interactive presentations:

Decide on a hashtag

To keep your discussion contained in one place, you need to set up a hashtag for your presentation. An effective hashtag needs to be short, specific, and easy to remember. To keep the tweets curated, everyone will have to type the hashtag each time they tweet. Don’t make it hard for them by deciding on a phrase that’s too long or complicated. Most organizers will set up a hashtag for their event. If that’s the case where you’re presenting, you can ask your audience to use that instead.

Public speaking expert Lisa B. Marshall also suggests using a second hashtag. While the first one is specific to your discussion, the second one is something that corresponds to the overall topic you’re covering. A general keyword will allow non-attendees to come across and take part in the Twitter conversation.

Set up a live feed for display

It’s hard to acknowledge tweets in your presentation if not everyone can see it. To make sure you and your audience are on the same page, it’s important to have a live feed displayed. Tools like TweetChat allow you to access a stream of tweets for a specific hashtag. You can have someone else watch the tweets that are coming in, so that you can be notified when an important point or questions comes up.

Moderate the discussion

With the live feed up, it’s easy to reference specific tweets coming from your audience and beyond. While it’s important to keep the backchannel going, constant tweeting can be distracting. While you should encourage discussion, it’s important to determine when to do it throughout your presentation. Set specific moments when the audience can take out their phones to tweet you something. Presentation blogger Kathy Reiffenstein calls them “Twitter breaks.” During this time, you can ask the audience to send you questions or answer a specific poll. Spend some time discussing their tweets before you move on to your next point.

Keep the conversation going

Twitter is also a great way to keep the conversation alive even when your presentation is long over. At the end of your speech, don’t hesitate to ask the audience to follow you or your organization’s official Twitter account. Encourage them to keep sending in their questions and feedback. Just make sure you also do your part. Social media is a valuable space to share your message. Don’t waste the opportunity you garnered by failing to update your Twitter regularly.

Delivering interactive presentations can be a hard task. When you have to address a large audience, it’s hard to encourage every single person to share what’s on their mind. Through Twitter, you can make sure that the audience takes part in your presentation. Keep the communication process open and inclusive with these four tips.

 

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Featured Image: Kooroshication via Flickr
iPhone picture: picjumbo.com

Presentation Tools and Gadgets for Your Christmas Wishlist

Christmas may be a time to spread some love and cheer, but shopping around for gifts can be pretty stressful. Have you spent some time pondering on the gifts you’ll give and might want to receive? If you’re drawing a blank, consider gifts that are a bit more practical. We all love to receive things for fun and play, but gifts that can be used for work and the office are also great options. Since presentations are a vital part of business, presentation tools and gadgets will prove both useful and helpful.

Brave the coming year and ease the process of communicating your ideas with these suggestions:

1. Portable Projector

Save your presentations from disruptive tech errors by having a back-up plan. A portable projector is the best fix for unforeseen display problems encountered at the venue. If the projector you’re supposed to use malfunctions, you can easily set-up your own projector and get on with the presentation.

epson portable projector

The writers at PC Mag came up with a list of the best portable projectors earlier this year. The article is a great place to start and familiarize yourself with several options. The Epson PowerLite 1761W Multimedia Projector is the list’s front-runner. At $799.99, it weighs only 3.7 pounds and has a WXGA resolution that’s compatible with widescreen laptops. If you want something less expensive, the Epson EX3212 SVGA 3LCD Projector is also a good option. It costs around $485 and has a bright and high-quality display.

2. Wireless Presenter

Another presentation must-have is a wireless presenter. As you know, you’ll need to move around the space if you want to deliver a dynamic presentation. The Logitech R800 is a presentation tool that allows you to do just that. With a 100 feet wireless range, you don’t have to worry about standing close enough to the receiver. You can easily point back to your PowerPoint deck and move on to the next slide regardless of where you’re standing in the room. Among its other pros are the easy-to-grip design, straightforward controls, and built-in timer. You can get it for $79.99.

16078

You can also use your smartphone as a wireless remote. The Satechi X-Presenter Smart includes an app and a simple add-on that you can plug in through the audio jack of your iPhone, iPad, or Samsung Galaxy device. With the gadget plugged in, you can flip through slides or use the laser pointer directly from your phone.

3. External Battery Pack

Presenting through a tablet is quick and convenient, but you’ll also have to contend with some battery life issues. If you’re worried your iPad might die in the middle of  a pitch, an external battery pack is great for some peace of mind.

anker astro e battery pack

According to a poll by Lifehacker, the Anker Astro Series is something you might want to look into. With a wide-range to choose from, you’ll find an external battery that’s perfect for the device you’re using. We highly recommend looking at the Astro E line for reasonably priced high-powered battery packs.

4. Subscriptions for Online Tools and Resources

There are plenty of resources to be found online that can help improve your presentations. If you want to come up with creative designs, subscribing for full access to online presentation tools should do the trick.

shutterstock online resource

 

A Prezi Pro license, for example, will give you access to additional features such as adding your own custom logo. Meanwhile, subscriptions to image providers like Shutterstock and Death to the Stock Photo allows you access to unique and interesting visuals. You can read this link to find other online presentation tools and resources for your needs.

5. Presentation Books

While it’s easy to get pulled into new and exciting technologies, your presentations can also benefit from an analogue gift. Books are a classic gift, particularly for presenters looking to improve their skills. In terms of helping you with your presentations, these titles can work just as well as any other presentation tools.

presentation books

Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact by Nick Morgan is must-read for anyone looking to communicate their ideas. In it, Morgan offers a scientific look at effective persuasion in a clear and accessible language. Another book for your Christmas stocking is Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together. Here, author Pam Slim offers some useful lessons for anyone looking to sell their stories and ideas.

The workplace can be very demanding. If you want to deliver better presentations in the coming year, take note of these presentation tools and add them to your Christmas wishlist.

 

Featured Image: Janet Ramsden via Albumarium

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 

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

Helpful Tools for Designing Presentations

Have you ever been impressed by an exceptional presentation that it made you wonder how the presenter had done it? We’re going to let you in on a secret.

Behind every successful presentation are a bunch of design and productivity tools. To give you some ideas, here are some of the tools for designing presentations that experts commonly use:

For organizing ideas

Taking down notes is an essential part of the brainstorming process to come up with presentation ideas. Many of us, however, are not used to putting thoughts on paper anymore. In this case, a mind mapping software will come in handy. Mind mapping involves drawing bits of information in diagram form instead of writing them in complete sentences. And in place of pen and paper, you can use a software application to create the diagrams.

Xmind is the one of the most popular mind mapping software out there. It’s packed with so many features yet easy to use. Best of all, it’s free.This program lets you create a concept map from scratch or with the help of its templates. Apart from the templates, it also comes with a number of charts that you can choose from for different purposes. This makes Xmind not only one of the best tools for designing presentations but it is also great for improving your productivity in general.

For creating attractive graphs and charts

Data-driven presentations can be hard to pull off. Failure would mean exposing your audience to torturous, boredom-inducing barrage of information. The best workaround would be to use charts and graphs. Creating such visuals can be tiresome, though. Especially for those of us who are not that good with Microsoft Excel. Thankfully, there’s a tool that can serve as a guide in the process of creating charts.

Oomfo is a plugin for Microsoft PowerPoint that helps users create engaging charts in presentations. With its user-friendly interface, you can create a wide range of charts that range – from the basic bar types to the more complicated ones such as the interactive waterfall chart.

For taking screenshots

Incorporating some screenshots in your presentation can help illustrate the points you are trying to make. However, you can’t simply rely on the Print Screen key on your keyboard. Sure, it’s handy but it offers a very limited capability. For one, you will have to paste the captured screenshot into an image editor such as Microsoft Paint or Adobe Photoshop before you can save or manipulate it. For a more efficient solution, you may want to check out Skitch.

Skitch is a screen capture tool that doesn’t just take a screenshot but also allows you to annotate it if you need to clarify your point further. You may choose to instantly save the screenshot as a JPG, BMP, PNG, or TIFF file. Skitch also lets you perform modifications to your screen shots. You can resize, flip, crop, and rotate the resulting images and archive them for use at a later date.

Creating a presentation involves more than just putting together a bunch of PowerPoint slides. With the right tools, a professional presenter can make his presentations remarkable and effective in getting his message across.