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Display a Live Twitter Feed in PowerPoint 2016

Adding a live Twitter feed in your PowerPoint is one of the many ways to make your presentation more engaging. Fortunately, only a few presenters know how to insert a website in their presentation, which is why using this feature gives you the opportunity to take advantage of your listeners’ curiosity and make a good, lasting impression.

Apart from spicing up your presentation by making it interesting and more interactive, having a live Twitter feed lets you expand your ideas as you deliver your speech. You can show it during the first part of your presentation to encourage the audience to tweet about your talk, or with the help of a hashtag, put it at the end of your speech to show them the live tweets of the event.

To get a clear picture of how to successfully add a live Twitter feed in your presentation, here’s an infographic that will give you a step-by-step tutorial using PowerPoint 2016.

Use Social Share to Post Your PPT to Facebook & Twitter

Use Social Share to bring your PowerPoint to your Facebook feed or send a download link via tweets. This free plug-in was developed by Microsoft Garage, a small and diverse community within Microsoft that creates innovative projects.

Now, there’s no need to open a new browser to check on your deck’s status. Use this new feature to share your deck on Facebook and Twitter without having to leave PowerPoint, saving you the time and effort of switching from program to browser.

Fast and Easy Application

Upon downloading the plug-in, you’ll see a new tab in PowerPoint’s ribbon called Social Share. This is where you can choose which social media network you want to share your deck to. It also automatically uploads your documents to OneDrive, where you can share a link of your file to your friends.

Post your presentation per slide as an image, an album, or even a video on Facebook. PowerPoint will already display a live feed of your presentation’s status on Facebook and Twitter. You can watch the activity feed from this window and get immediate feedback from your presentation.

Watch this video to see Social Share in action.

A Few Hitches

Since it’s a recent release, Social Share comes with a few limitations.

Because Twitter doesn’t fully support it yet, you currently cannot share a photo album or video on that social media platform. Not all is lost though: there will be a download link to your presentation at the end of your tweet. Social Share also can’t tag friends and add location information to your deck when you post it on Facebook.

In addition, authorization is also limited to the Friends-Only status for this popular social network. Despite these setbacks, you have nothing to lose by downloading this free plug-in.

Use Social Share to work on your slides anytime, anywhere, and share your deck while opening up more opportunities to gain instant feedback online.

 

References

“Microsoft Social Share Makes It Easier To Share Your PowerPoint Presentations To Social Networks.” Microsoft News. November 5, 2015. Accessed December 2, 2015. www.mspoweruser.com/microsoft-social-share-makes-it-easier-to-share-your-powerpoint-presentations-to-social-networks
“Share from PowerPoint to Facebook and Twitter.” Social Share. Accessed December 2, 2015. www.officesocialshare.azurewebsites.net/help.html
Social Share, A Microsoft Garage Project. Office Wildfire. www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPD4a2eXEgc

 

Featured Image: “freeuse.io

Save Painful PowerPoint Presentations with Twitter

Millions of Twitter users collectively ruffled their feathers when rumors spread that Twitter lifted its 140 character limit. Those who weren’t quick to jump the bandwagon checked Twitter’s official announcement on the change. They were assured that the change only affected Direct Messages in Twitter.

And so, Twitter users were put at ease and continued to publicly broadcast their tweets. But what if something similar happened to PowerPoint? Let’s say that Microsoft announced that PowerPoint slides were now limited to a hundred per deck. And each slide will be limited to a hundred characters each.

Presentations will be forced to be more concise now that each pixel on a slide is prime real estate. But at least the files are going to be much smaller.

Rock the Nest

The above scenario is not as bad as it seems since this limitation shouldn’t obstruct a good pitch. Twitter and PowerPoint are at ends with each other on the surface. One could say that you chat in Twitter and then discuss on PowerPoint. But we learn more through our differences than our similarities.

A pitch is allotted a specific time and place to get all its ideas across, but a tweet will need to fight for attention and space on the web to get noticed. In the same way, not everyone gets the chance to have a time and place to be heard. Even with the prepared audience in presentations, you still need to fight to keep their attention focused on you and your topic.

Try to have a bigger stage in mind when delivering your pitch and aim to be understood on a greater level.

Speed Up

While Twitter rapidly sends out millions of tweets a day, PowerPoint presentations gradually spread out information per slide. This isn’t to say that presentations won’t be as effective when slides move fast. On the contrary, if you spend more than ten minutes to explain a slide, the audience will begin to expect the next slides to last just as long.

Avoid preemptively boring the audience by changing up your presentation’s pacing. Breeze through several slides, each containing only one main point. Make each slide memorable, or #tweetable.

Engage

A trending tweet is a force to be reckoned with. Getting a tweet to trend is the addicting and engaging aspect of Twitter. It’s like being placed in the spotlight over the Internet. And you can do this regardless of who you are, so the playing field is evened out. This is a large contrast to being a speaker.

Professionals, businessmen, and important personalities are expected to be knowledgeable in their fields. The experience they have makes them stand out from the average person. They already have the spotlight placed on them. It’s a matter of making themselves relatable to everyone.

Work with Your Strengths

The focus of the presentation is on you. Your deck is there to compliment you while you deliver your speech. There is enough time to get all your ideas across with this. If 140 characters are enough to spark discussions, a few slides surely can. Hasten the pace of your speech by making your slides keep up with everyone’s attention.

If possible, encourage the audience to take pictures of your slides, and let them tweet. Make others connect to your passion, help them understand what you can offer through your words and your experience. And most of all, value the spotlight placed on you.

 

References

Agarwal, Sachin. “Removing the 140-Character Limit from Direct Messages.” Twitter Blogs. August 12, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015. www.blog.twitter.com/2015/removing-the-140-character-limit-from-direct-messages

 

Featured Image: Hainan Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis hainanus)by Sheau Torng Lim from flickr.com

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
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Social Media Lesson: Twitter and the Interactive Presentation

In recent years, the word ‘tweet’ has come to mean more than just the chirping of a small bird.

Since its successful launch in 2006, Twitter has become one of the most popular social media platforms on the Internet today. It recorded 500 million registered users in 2012, and the numbers have only been growing since then. It’s time to consider that a majority of your audience make part of this huge number.

Incorporating elements of social media in your presentation makes it more interactive and relatable, especially to a younger crowd, who may be more active in the social media scene. But for users of all ages, an interactive presentation is an effective presentation.

Twitter gives you the ability to reach out to people who aren’t even in the auditorium with you. Twitter can be a valuable presentation tool if you’re presenting at an industry event (or any other occasion where you expect to have a large audience).

Use a hashtag (or two)

Hashtags are a bit tricky for social media beginners, but it’s the most useful Twitter tool for your presentation. It’ll help create a back channel of discussions. Presentation coach Lisa Marshall suggests the use of two hashtags: one that’s unique and specific to your presentation or the event you’re speaking at, and another that covers the general topic you’re covering.

The first one is moderates all discussions about your presentation into one place, while the second allows non-attendees to see the tweets about your presentations. Just remember that the hashtags you choose shouldn’t be too long or complicated. Flash them in bold letters in your PowerPoint presentation.

It’s also become the norm to have hashtags for events. If that’s the case, ask the audience to use the official hashtag instead of trying to come up with your own. Their tweets can be seen by those watching out for the event at home.

Display a Twitter feed in your PowerPoint presentation

Here’s how you can have a real conversation with your audience: Refer to their tweets at the end of your presentation.

Include a twitter feed in your PowerPoint presentation by following this tutorial by Liz Gross. (It might seem a bit complicated, but the hashtags you specified will make things easier.) You don’t have to go into each and every tweet, but try to address some of the conversations that came out of the points you raised.

And if you’re really interested in expanding the conversation, you can encourage your audience to follow your (or your company’s) Twitter account. Address any other questions or comments there. This will turn your interactive presentation into a full discussion outside the auditorium.

 

References

Curtiss, Kristen. “How to Create a Hashtag to Build Engagement at Your Event.” Constant Contact Blogs. 2013. Accessed August 12, 2014.
Hiscott, Rebecca. “The Beginner’s Guide to the Hashtag.” Mashable. Accessed August 12, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Shawn Campbell via Flickr

Twitter: Lessons from Social Media

If there is one social media platform that has changed the way we connect with the world around us, in only 140 characters or less, only one network comes to mind.

Twitter was founded all the way back in 2006, when social media started to take the tech world by storm. Like many young startups, Twitter’s popularity didn’t start growing until a few years later. It’s now one of the ten most visited sites on the Internet.

With over 500 million users and with over 400 million tweets sent daily, the platform has been noted as the “SMS” of the Internet. The application is simply designed to engage and connect users with hashtags and trending topics that spike during notable world events such as The Olympics
twitter follow me logo

Social media strategists now use Twitter to reinforce their client’s (or own brands) marketing efforts. They take advantage of the platform to boost their presence on the Internet. To successfully use Twitter there are a few rules and regulations one must follow. Some of these guidelines are also applicable in creating an effective PowerPoint presentation

If you pay attention, there are a few similarities between creating a well-rounded “tweet” and a successful presentation.

Step 1: Simplify Your Thoughts

A tweet can only be 140 characters or less. This means your information has to be condensed and minimized to fit this requirement. A great presentation is one that is simplified. It only has minimal bullets, text, images, and animation.

Overloading your audience with too much of these will distract them from understanding your content. Before you go ahead and add extreme fonts or a fancy template, think about how less is more and how this can positively affect your presentation.

Step 2: Get With What’s Trending

Twitter is known for staying on top of prominent world topics with phrases or words that are “trending” or being tweeted by many users. Try to apply this concept to your presentation ideas. Utilize culturally in tune twitter trendsgraphics, stories or videos within your presentation to better speak to your audience. Stay on top of the news and understand what’s going on in your audience’s culture. What do they know? What do they believe in? Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to connect with your audience at a higher level.

Step 3: Get Your Audience to Follow

Within the Twitter world, your “followers” are the equivalent to your friends on Facebook or connections on LinkedIn. You have to constantly engage and entertain your audience or followers if you want them to keep following. The same can be said for presentations.

You want to be constantly interacting with your audience the entire time. Ask them questions. Pause at the end of presentations to get feedback from them. You have to appeal to your audience over everything, if not you are basically speaking to an empty room.

 

References

“Keeping Your Audience in Mind : The 4 Essential Questions.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 11, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014.
“Study Shows Simplicity Is Key When Creating a PowerPoint Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 24, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014.
Twitter. Accessed January 23, 2014.

Why Your Presentation Needs to be These 3 Words

Regardless the topic of your presentation, regardless the audience in front of you, regardless time allotted to you, and regardless the goal you have in mind; every single one of your presentations should be about these three words: Understandable, Memorable & Emotional.

Shape your presentation to concurrently fit these three categories, and you will be able to make millions! Not really, but you will definitely have a very effective presentation, which will lead to more sales.

Here is a Forbes’ breakdown of these three categories and the significance of each one:

Understandable.

Without clear and understandable slides, your professional PowerPoint presentation is practically useless. Simplicity is key when it comes to design. In aims to make your content and CTA’s clear to your audience, aim to keep your deck to ten slides and at a very maximum of 4 points per slide.

Bullet points are probably the most widely used form of delivery, but they aren’t necessarily the best. “In 2001 the iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket.” In 2008, the MacBook Air was “The world’s thinnest notebook.” Steve Jobs always described his products in one sentence.” Bullet points can be effective because they are simple and quick, which makes them easy to understand, but nothing beats delivering your point in a conversational, one-sentence structure. Saying your point as if you were telling it to your mom, friend, or a random stranger is a great way to think of your delivery during your presentation.

Another useful way of thinking of understandability is the “Twitter Test.” If you can express your point in 140 characters or less, you’ll make your point in its simplest form, which is always the best form.

Memorable.

Memory’s magic number is 3! “Neuroscientists generally agree that the human mind can only consume anywhere from three to seven points in short-term, or “working memory” (This is why the phone number is only seven digits. Long ago scientists discovered if you ask people to remember eight digits, they forget just about the entire sequence of numbers). Incorporate this concept of 3 in your presentations. This can be done in a handful of creative ways: describe concepts in three words, divide your whole presentation into three parts (and say that you’re doing that), give the “three next steps,” or use the idea however you see fit. Rule-3 packaging makes things easier to understand, which in turn is more memorable.

Emotional.

Not all people are logical, but I can assure you that everyone is emotional. An emotional story will be more likely to reel in sales than a scientific finding. Ethical, unethical, right or wrong, it seems hearts and guts prove to be better salesmen than brains! Emotion can be presented in a multitude of useful venues. These include, but are not limited to photographs, videos, songs, colors schemes, the way you dress, the way you talk, and even the lighting in the room you present in. Everything around us can sway the way we feel in some way; large and small.  Knowing your audience well enough to the point that you can identify what will make them cry, laugh, scream, or sing can be the single most useful tool at your disposal. Be emotional in the way you talk; if you want your audience to be excited, talk as if you were excited!

To sum up, when you’re designing your next corporate presentation, or investor pitch, or just any PowerPoint presentation, make sure you can describe the deck as understandable, memorable, and emotional, and you will find yourself accomplishing whatever the deck was created to accomplish.

 

Reference:

Gallo, Carmine. “The Three Basic Secrets of All Successful Presentations.” Forbes. February 22, 2013.

Analyzing the Attention Span of Your Audience

Now that our lives have been swallowed whole by the constantly updating online world, keeping anyone’s constant, undivided attention can be a near-impossible task. Turning one’s phone off is an extreme measure reserved only for plane rides and funerals. Email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts demand more nurturing and attention than a 3-month old child. So when you’re tasked with keeping an audience’s undivided attention in a professional setting for over ten minutes, it’s no exaggeration when we say, you’ll have to work hard at it.

yl-short-attention-span

British bank Lloyds TSB did a study earlier this year on the cause of careless household accidents, and they discovered something that has some broad implications that reach far beyond house chores. According to the study, the average adult attention span has plunged from 12 minutes in 1998 to a measly 5 minutes in 2008. Participants attributed this mostly to stress and decision overload, but I suspect that our rapid-fire, Internet-driven society has exacerbated this trend.

Whatever the cause may be, it undoubtedly poses a new challenge to presenters.

Television commercials rapidly shrunk over the last decade, the average commercial condensing from 1 minute to between 15 and 30 seconds. This is something those of us giving presentations shouldn’t ignore, but the subject matter we’re presenting only allows us to condense so far, and sometimes we may not have a way around giving a 30+ minute presentation. In that case, here are a few strategies that must be used in order to retain the dwindled attention span of your audience.

Condense your slides

This doesn’t mean you should cut out information, but try to present more information orally, and reduce overloading your slides with information. Spend more time articulating your information aloud and less time forcing your audience to read slide after slide packed with information.

Break Up Your Presentation

Especially for a presentation that passes the 30-minute mark, a short break can make the all the difference between life and death by PowerPoint. The most natural way to go about this is often by posing a question to the audience or incorporating them in some other way, but if the setting allows for it, think of a creative activity that can illustrate your point while mixing things up for your audience. If possible, get your audience up and moving around a bit.

Lastly, and this is requires a bit of work on your part, so I won’t classify it as a “quick tip”–your presentation needs to be a story. It needs to have an arch.

Sure, the visual capabilities in Hollywood movies help encapsulate us, but there's another reason why movies hold our attention so easily.
Sure, the visual capabilities in Hollywood movies help encapsulate us, but there’s another reason why movies hold our attention so easily.

There’s a reason why we can sit motionless in a dark movie theater for two hours and our eyes are never tempted to waver from the movie screen, but when we’re in a dull corporate presentation for more than 10 minutes we feel like our brains are melting. These movies have a great story arch. They build suspense and anticipation then release it, and this keeps us looking forward to what comes next.

Craft your presentation in a way that presents a problem (or, “what is”) then shows them the solution (“what could be”), then keep building and releasing tension this way. In this manner, you can have the audience eagerly awaiting for you to move to the next slide, not because it means you’re one slide closer to the presentation’s end, but because they are genuinely eager in what information you will present next.

References:

How To Incorporate Your Audience Into Your Presentation.SlideGenius. July 26, 2013.

Turning Your PowerPoint into a Video (Part II): Marketing Your Video

In the previous post, I talked about the benefits of turning your PowerPoint presentation into a video and how SlideGenius can do this in the most professional, financially viable way. This post will cover what happens after you get said video into your virtual hands.

As mentioned before, the greatest benefit of having your PowerPoint presentation in a stand-alone, video format is the ability to leverage it by vastly increasing its exposure. The only trick is, how do you reach these new online audiences?

Most of these mediums we recommend pushing your video through will hopefully sound familiar, but having an all-encompassing social media strategy is imperative in order to be effective.

YouTube and Vimeo

Uploading your video to both of these sites is a good first step to ensure your video is easily viewable. Not only does this make your video accessible with an easily sharable link, YouTube and Vimeo have become surprisingly socially active sites.

Especially if you’re new to video sharing, and your YouTube and Vimeo channels don’t have a lot of activity, your videos won’t get many (if any) organic hits from these sites, but like almost any social medium, staying active with these channels will have a rolling effect of attracting audiences to your content over time.

Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

I lump these three commonly used social mediums together because, from a business standpoint, content on each is pushed in a very similar manner. The goal here, with all three of these, is to be mindful of how you present the content, since you’ll be more than likely posting the content as a general status to all your fans, followers, connections, etc., and not to anyone in particular.

Being proactive with social media will help draw traffic to your video presentation.
Being proactive with social media will help draw traffic to your video presentation.

Not to start a lecture on the basics of social media, but sites like Hubspot and Hootsuite are great for synchronizing your content across these sites. Coordinating and scheduling consistent content across your different social mediums can help to avoid redundancy when pushing your video presentation.

Email Outreach

Plug your video at every chance you get. Interaction with potential or existing clients through email presents a lot of opportunities for you to tag on the video near the bottom of your message. And if you have an automatic reply programmed to go out for potential leads on your website, a link to your professionally made video can’t hurt!

Get Creative

Whatever you do, don’t spend resources on a top-of-the-line video presentation, use it once, then leave it in the corner to collect digital dust. Keep it in the back of your mind, look for openings in online conversations with clients to work it in, post it on an appropriate landing page on your website, or incorporate parts of it into your next presentation.