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Cinematic Insight: Cutting to Continuity in Presentations

Continuity cutting is one of the most commonly used methods in filmmaking and editing. It’s associated with maintaining the flow of a scene or action sequence to preserve the illusion of reality on screen.

Missing a small part of this technique can create lapses on a sequence of shots and angles, as well as frame size. In fact, even blockbuster movies fall victim to continuity errors, including Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.

Simon Gallagher, Executive Director at What Culture, reviewed the said historical drama epic film and revealed movie goofs that might have been overlooked during the editing phase. One example is when a crew member was seen wearing a baseball cap at the back of the Scottish warriors.

What’s the issue here? Sporty caps weren’t common yet in the 13th century, so this one badly compromised the period setting.

This explains the importance of cutting to continuity. Failure to establish coherence between shots distorts the illusion of realism, causing audiences to express disbelief.

How Does it Relate to Presentations?

Director shooting a film or movieThe purpose of continuity editing is to create smooth transitions between shots. Though this method is predominantly used in the film industry, it can also be applied in the context of presentations.

If movie scenes are expected to run seamlessly, necessary cuts are likewise important in presentations to achieve a better delivery. The consistency of actors’ costumes, make-up, setting, and props in movies have equal importance with the messages and ideas conveyed in a presentation.

Let’s delve deeper into continuity’s two transitional devices and how they’re associated to making professional speeches and presentations:

1. CutawayCutting to Continuity in Presentations: cut away

In film editing, a cutaway shot is an interruption of continuously filmed action by inserting a view of a secondary scene. For instance, a shot is focused in the dance performers on stage. Cutaways might consist of crowds, and cheering fans who are watching intently, applauding, and shouting for joy.

These shots may not be a primary part of the main scene, but it helps aid the storytelling process.

Cutaways can be equivalent to buffers inserted between topics in a presentation. Plugging in secondary information that’s not directly involved in your message helps build the story.

In your presentation, giving out product information is a vital step in selling to prospects and customers. But this one can’t always guarantee you a new deal. That’s why, like a cutaway scene, it helps to skip shortly on the product details, and briefly talk about something else.

For example, you can bring your audience’s attention to the challenge or situation they’re experiencing. Share scenarios that touch your customer’s concerns to make your message more relatable. This should be a problem that has not been addressed for them—or addressed well—yet.

2. Cut-inCutting to Continuity in Presentations: Cut-in

Another method used in cutting to continuity is cut-in. Unlike cutaways, cut-ins are close up shots of something visible in the main scene. They specifically show a part of the subject in detail.

Let’s say the main shot is centered around the dancers performing on the stage. The cut-ins could be a close-up shot of a dance crew member. It could be his face, feet and anything that highlights the actual performance.

What sets it apart from cutaway is that it focuses more on the parts of the main scene to create emphasis.

This cinematic style also works in presentations, especially if you want to emphasize important points in your pitch. If the former suggests inserting points that are relevant to the main idea, this one prioritizes going in-depth with the subject matter.

If you’re introducing your company’s newly launched product in a trade show, it’s ideal to demonstrate how it works. Go over all the product’s features and provide a little background information to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Perfect Take!Supporting Images - 4-01

Cutting to continuity may have been a unique method associated with filmmaking and video editing. But when put into context, this technique can also be applied in public speaking stints.

A controlled delivery of information is important in any kind of presentation, and that’s where continuity comes into play.

You can either choose between cutaway and cut-in, or you can also apply both at the same time.

Use cut-away when you want to condense an extended flow of action. This creates a buffer by sharing information that’s not directly involved with the subject but somehow relevant to it.

Try applying cut-ins to highlight the primary purpose of your speech. Delve into the necessary points, no matter how small or big the idea is.

Explore these film techniques and be amazed on how it helps you deliver your message!


“Continuity Cutting.” Integrated Publishing. n.d. Accessed January 26, 2016.

Gallagher, Simon. “10 Movie Mistakes You Won’t Believe Made It To Screen.” What Culture. November 5, 2012. Accessed January 26, 2016.

Ossohou, Eric. “The Art of Cutaway.” VideoMaker. February 1, 2008. Accessed January 26, 2016.

Canons of Rhetoric: The Power of Memory in Presentations

Missing out an important part of a presentation sometimes causes fear. Those speech pauses, stutters, and eye twitches can prove a sudden feeling of emotional tension and mental block.

In this post, we’ll highlight the importance of rhetorical memory in recalling a presentation material for maximum impact. Let’s see how it can save you from sabotaging your pitch’s success.

What about Memory?

The art of rhetoric in the form of oration has become existential in political debates, legal proceedings, and philosophical inquiries in ancient Greece and Roman times.

In Renaissance period, memory or memoria played a significant role in the educational system. According to Paul Gehl, print historian and custodian of the Wing Foundation, texts were learned by repetitive memorization and then reread for meaning.

What is Memory?

The fourth canon of memory is defined as the “firm retention in the mind of the matter, words, and arrangement.” The Latin manuscript Ad Herrenium considers this principle as the “treasury of things invented,” linking to the topics of invention or, rather, the process of refining your arguments.

It’s not only about memorizing a speech but also embodying innate knowledge of one’s topic for better delivery.

Here, we’ve listed the three elements of the rhetoric memory and how they can guide you throughout your presentation:

Memorizing Your Speech

Ancient orators memorize their speeches to speak with confidence. The Classical Age believed that memorization should take place to absorb the material and deliver it naturally. This improves total recall of a presentation idea and flow and establishes maximum speaking credibility.

A good command of memory allows for on-the-spot improvisation of key points, response to questions, and refutation on opposing arguments. To improve memory retention, read the speech out loud and do it repeatedly. A 2010 study by psychologist Dr. Art Markman from the University of Texas found that spoken words were remembered better than those read silently.

Break the speech into parts to have designated feel and purpose. Represent your main points with images to remember it easily.

Making it Memorable

“Thinking memorable thoughts is the primary means of retaining and retrieving carefully articulated thought,” said Walter Ong, a cultural and religious historian and philosopher. This implies that memorizing your pitch alone isn’t enough for your audience to absorb your speech.

Avoid depending too much on your script. It may only distance you from the crowd.

Learn your speech by heart by focusing on your key points. Think of some ways to keep them stuck on you and your topic by associating them with images or events you can easily recall.

Limit your main points to no more than three for easier retention. Arrange your speech in the classic structure—beginning, middle, and end to emphasize points. In effect, tell a story instead of simply verbalizing facts to guarantee attention.

Keeping a Treasury of Rhetorical Fodder

Roman rhetoricians like Cicero and Quintilian encouraged their students to keep a commonplace book, a simple notebook for jotting down anything that catches your interest for future references. These include ideas, quotes, anecdotes, and general information.

In today’s presentation world, keeping a treasury of rhetorical fodder like in the ancient times is also a good practice. After all, there’s always a chance you will have to cite current events or the occasional pop culture reference for your audience to relate more to your speech.

Coming in prepared with useful data in mind and on hand not only cures your stage fright, but also bolsters your presenting image. Store up relevant quotes, facts, observations, and stories to your core message. Incorporate supporting visuals like images, videos, and infographics to add a fun element. Translate numerical figures in the form of graphs, charts, and tables to make hard data easier to understand.

Improve Your Working Memory

The rhetorical canon of memory eases the fear of public speaking.

With combined memorization and full grasp on your topic, you’ll be able to deliver memorable presentations. Memorize a speech to absorb the material and deliver it naturally. Make it memorable to increase your audience retention. Keep a treasury of rhetorical fodder to boost your presenting image. Incorporate the three elements of memory to communicate your message more effectively.


Gehl, Paul. A moral art: grammar, society, and culture in Trecento Florence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015.
The Canons of Rhetoric. Pearson: Higher Education.
Holiday, Ryan. “How And Why To Keep A ‘Commonplace Book’.” Thought Catalog. August 28, 2013.
Markman, Art. “Say it loud: I’m creating a distinctive memory.” Psychology Today. May 11, 2010.
McKay, Brett and Kate McKay. “Classical Rhetoric 101: The Five Canons of Rhetoric – Memory.” The Art of Manliness. June 10, 2015.

Featured Image: “Now” by new 1lluminati on

Your Quick Guide to Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013

Outlining fonts in PowerPoint allows you to emphasize words or statements displayed on-screen. Aside from helping your audience better understand your main idea, it also lets them read your text clearly using a few adjustments. In this post, we’ll focus on how to outline fonts to emphasize your key message.

Bring Up the Interface in PowerPoint 2013

1. Select the text that you wish to format by dragging your cursor from the start to the end of the word. You can also select all of the text by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A.

2. Right-click on the highlighted text. A context menu will appear.

3. Click on the “Format Text Effects…”, which is the second to the last option.

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips:  Format text effectThe Format Shape window pane will appear on the right side of the screen. It displays two main options: Shape Options and Text Options.

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips:  Format Shape4. Click on Text Options. There will be three icons underneath.

5. Click the leftmost icon which is the Text Fill & Outline icon (this is the “A” icon with a rectangular shape beneath it).

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips: Fill text and outline6. Click on Text Outline to expand the menu.

Text Outline

There are two submenus underneath Text Options, namely Text Fill and Text Outline. These settings individually control the look of your font. Expand or collapse each submenu by clicking on the triangle on the left of each word. Outline text fonts in PowerPoint 2013 by toggling the three options underneath Text Outline

If you don’t want any outline effect on the selected text, click on No line. This is selected by default.

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips: No lineChoose the Solid line option under the Text Outline if you want your text outlined with a single flat color. You can also adjust the transparency, width, compound lines, dashes, cap, and join type.

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips: Solid LineClick the Gradient line button if you want the outline to start from one color and slowly fade into another color. You can choose what specific colors the gradient should use, how it should look (Linear, Radial, Rectangular, or Path), and what angle it should show at. You can also adjust its Position, Transparency, and Brightness.

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips: Gradient lineText Fill

1. Select Text Fill under Text Options to alter the font color without making any changes on the text outline.

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips: Text fill2. Click the Text Effects This is the icon next to Text Fill & Outline icon, which is also an “A” icon with only an outline. Choose among the six submenus: (Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, 3-D Format, and 3-D Rotation) to apply additional effects to the selected text.

In the example below, the Glow effect is used to improve the appearance of the selected text.

Outline Text Fonts in PowerPoint 2013 Tips:  GlowCustomize Your Text

You don’t need to download a different font every time you want it to look a certain way. Simply format a pre-existing font within PowerPoint and have free reign on your font’s design. Outlining text enhances your key points, making them more readable and understandable for your audience. If you want to highlight your text and convince the crowd to focus on your main idea, apply the instructions above to achieve visually compelling PowerPoint presentations.

Aiming to deliver a more visually-pleasing PowerPoint presentation? SlideGenius experts can assist you by offering you a free quote!



“Change the Color of WordArt.” Office Support. Accessed January 22, 2016.
Weedmark, David. “How Do I Outline a Font in PowerPoint?” eHow, January 10, 2015. Accessed September 17, 2015.

Using Laser Pointers for Effective PowerPoint Presentations

How often do you use a laser pointer to highlight a key point on your slide? Though they’re useful tools for your presentation, laser pens or pointers can unintentionally distract audiences from focusing on your topic. This may happen when you’re overly focused on highlighting a certain point on your deck instead of explaining each idea clearly from your pitch.

While they can help you emphasize a particular idea projected onscreen, they can also keep you from actively engaging your listeners. How? Pointing out something on your slides forces you to look at it rather than establishing an eye contact with your audience. If done frequently, it might prevent you from moving closer to the crowd and interacting with them.

To Use or Not to Use?

Laser Pointers for Effective PowerPoint Presentations Ideas

Pointing at data or objects on the slide with a laser pointer easily attracts attention. This is because the human eye is more sensitive to things in motion rather than still ones. That said, a gleaming and clear dot can be easily detected by our eyes, causing others to pay attention to the detail being pointed out.

However, there are speakers who subconsciously wave it around the room. The reason might be forgetting to turn it off while trying to expound on facts and arguments. Other presenters can also mistakenly point it at their audience. This is why in-depth practice is needed to avoid such incidents. When preparing for the big day, make sure to rehearse your pitch together with your slides to give you an idea when to use the laser pointer when delivering your message.

Whether caused by nervousness or unsteady hands, these actions negatively impact your presentation. Instead of drawing your audience to your performance and directing them to pay attention to your slides, they might get disturbed and distracted. This, in turn, will keep them from getting the intended message and understanding your point.

This is why you need to be careful in handling this tool to avoid losing their interest.

What Should You Do?

Disturbing Laser Pointers in PowerPoint Presentations

You may be asking if a mere pointing device can really improve and strengthen your pitch. However, the answer may depend more on how you convey your message.

With or without a laser pointer, an engaging and dynamic approach keeps your audience in tune with your discussion. However, in this post, we’ll focus on how its usage makes an effective pitch.

Indeed, there are speakers who use laser pointers to read text or encircle an object on the slide. This can work well if you’re speaking in front of a few people. Take note that these shouldn’t be abused and overdone to avoid turning off your listeners.

Aside from crafting a well-designed deck that summarizes your main points, here are a few tips on how you can amplify your performance with laser pointers:

1. Choose your words wisely

performance with laser pointers in powerpoint presentations

If you’re trying to put emphasis on a particular point, make sure not to state the obvious. Instead of uttering phrases like “This one,” start saying “The image shows” to describe the object displayed on your slide. Aside from displaying professionalism by not stating something that can be seen by the audience, it’s also beneficial to some members who find hard to see the laser pointer.

Doing so also gives you the impression that you’re well-prepared and experienced in terms of speaking appropriate words that show respect to your listeners. If they notice that you’ve given much effort in it, they’re more likely to listen and focus on what you’re saying.

2. Maximize your body movement

Maximize your content: lazer pointer in powerpoint presentations

If your topic requires a dynamic approach, then feel free to move and maximize your body language. Whether you’re emphasizing a certain key point or describing something that requires exaggerated movements, do so to support and complement the object of discussion. However, it doesn’t mean that you can use whatever movements or gestures you desire to show without considering if it’ll help strengthen what you’re trying to convey.

Also, make sure to turn off the laser pen when doing so to avoid pointing it towards the audience.

3. Learn to pause

Laser Pointers for Effective PowerPoint Presentations: learn to pause

If you know your topic by heart, you’ll be aware of when to stop and proceed. If you want your audience to recall an important idea, you’ll give them enough time to absorb your message by learning the art of pausing. This can be mastered through deliberate practice and preparation before your actual performance. Before you speak in front, go back to your script, pinpoint those statements that need emphasis, and mark them to guide you when to pause.

You can also record yourself when rehearsing. This will help you pace your speech and match the right words with appropriate body movements.

To Sum It Up: Don’t Overuse Your Point

powerpoint presentations: Don’t Overuse Your Point

Whether you’ll be using a laser pointer or not, you still need a well-designed and animated PowerPoint deck to complement your message. Select the right words, maximize your body language, and learn to pause when using a laser pointer to help you deliver more interesting and impactful PowerPoint presentations.

Consider using pointers as a way to highlight elements in your slide deck for a focused presentation. Never allow your laser pointers to control you. Instead, control them to aim for your purpose.

Our PowerPoint professionals can assist and offer you a free quote to produce well-crafted PowerPoint decks.

Check out and share our infographic!


“Effective Presentations with Laser Pointers.” Colblindor. May 22, 2006.
“Presentation Myths: I Need a Laser Pointer.” The Singular Scientist. July 21, 2013.

The Hunt is On: How Presentations and Easter Eggs are Alike

“Resurrection Sunday,” commonly known as “Easter,” is an annual Christian celebration, with Easter Eggs being symbols of rebirth. Today, this celebration is usually associated with rabbits and decorated eggs, with Easter Egg hunts being one of the most exciting and highly anticipated events.

As a professional presenter, you can share the same fun and excitement to your audience. Showcasing your proposal as a treat for their business is a good way to get them interested in what you have to say.

Compelling slides and pitches can help you achieve your goal, so get a head start by gathering useful facts about your topic, removing unnecessary information that can mislead the audience, and incorporating your idea with visuals that accentuate your content. However, you also need to consider other elements that can complement your overall idea, such as body language and hand gestures. Your content and delivery work hand in hand to convey your message clearly and give life to your performance, ensuring success.

It’s no surprise that you want to give the best for your audience, but it’s impossible to do this unless there’s mutual effort from both parties. While you’re aiming to deliver your existing message in a way they can easily understand, most audiences are much more excited to hear about something new.

How, then, can you take inspiration from Easter egg hunts to spice up your presentation?

Let the Hunt Beginlet the hunt begin | easter eggs

Award-winning speaker and marketing expert Chakisse Newton says that some pitches have ideas that are like treasures from an Easter egg hunt: useful and sought-after but hidden too well. When presenting to your audience, though, you don’t have to make your meaningful insights so hard to find. First, get them excited about what they can expect to hear from you, like when you are getting people excited about what treasures they’ll find. Then, present your ideas in a way that isn’t obtuse—make it clear but give them just enough hints at the beginning to get them wanting for more. Give them facts, guidelines, and benefits to capture their interest and motivate them to take action, whether in the form of relatable videos or visual representations.

However, it’s not just about sharing information that you think is relevant to your subject. Rather, it’s about meeting their needs without making them have to spend too much time finding your core message. Here are some possible ways to generate audience interest and convince them to look for hidden treasures from within your presentation without making it so hard that they give up and quit:

1. Surprise the Audiencefinding easter eggs

Packaging your proposal as a surprising treat is a good way to arouse people’s curiosity. Just like in an Easter egg hunt, children look forward to the surprises that they’ll run into as they hunt for their prizes. Likewise, your audience will look for something that makes you stand out from the competition.

This is why answering your listeners’ most important concern is still one of the most effective ways to make them more interested and attentive. That question is: “What’s in it for me?

Before you stand in front of the crowd, make sure you’ve taken the time to find an answer to their question. While establishing facts enhances learning, telling stories can stimulate curiosity as it allows the crowd to visualize what they’re being told about. By using familiar tropes, arcs, and outlines, you can use storytelling to make your point easier to find and understand.

You also need to prepare your outline as well as a list of facts to help you meet their expectations. This includes conducting research or surveys about their interests and then matching the results to your topic’s main message. Don’t let that excitement die down. Arrange all the necessary things, such as your visually appealing PowerPoint deck and fresh insights, to excite the audience on your big day.

2. Satisfy Their Needseaster egg hunt

Some Easter egg hunt organizers handle such events for fund-raising projects, knowing that investing in this kind of activity can provide benefits to others. Likewise, addressing your audience’s needs makes them feel that you care about their problems more than your own. Giving them enough reasons to stay connected also makes them feel that you’re worth their time and effort.

Above all, show that you value their presence and that they’re your priority by attending to any questions or concerns they might bring up. You can do this by introducing cost-effective services they can depend on in the long run. Identifying their own objectives also enables them to see how serious you are about providing them with the solutions that they’re looking for. Will you make a long-term or short-term partnership? Are you just going to sell something or build up a client with a portfolio of services to offer them?

Once you get this information, keep them entertained by adding humorous elements to your pitch. You can play with words and use puns while talking about facts and ideas related to your topic. Aside from this tactic, incorporating stunning images, interactive videos, and visual representations of facts like graphs and charts will support your message and increase audience recall.

3. Stimulate their Impulses

looking for an easter eggs and easter bunnies

After you successfully grab their attention and keep them engaged, you can end with a call-to-action that’ll persuade them to take immediate response. Always leave them with a URL to your Web site, social media accounts, and other contact information to ensure your connection with them and allow you to conduct followups. With this information in hand, they can easily reach out to you and ask about your offerings. You can include these contact details in your freebies, handouts, or any other take-home resource materials.

Since their motivation is what keeps them going, it’s important that you establish the foundation first. Focus on how you can make your personal branding stand above the rest by highlighting your distinctiveness. Once they notice that you’re determined to offer something beneficial, they’re more likely to take action and choose you over the others, making them want to come back for another transaction.

Finders Keepers
easter egg: finders keepers

While Easter is celebrated every year, you can make its essence last for more than a moment. Likewise, your pitch’s message isn’t only confined to any one venue or auditorium. Convincing your audience to participate in your activity makes them feel involved and valued, so do your best to create an impact on them that will last even after your presentation is over.

Planning before your performance helps you prepare some surprises to build up their interest and enable them to give you their undivided attention. Meeting their expectations and addressing their concerns make them feel satisfied and fulfilled thanks to your hard work. Keeping them connected and engaged inspires them to act without delaying it any further.

Encourage them to search for hidden treasures without having to stress themselves out. Make the experience worthwhile by giving them something they can keep and cherish. Make your pitch memorable so that they’ll look forward to a more exciting and fun-filled activity during your next performance.

Need to give your audience something memorable? Our presentation specialists can assist you with a free quote!

Check out and share our infographic about Easter eggs and presentations!


Newton, Chakisse. “Are Your Presentations Like Easter Egg Hunts?” Newtons Laws of Influence. April 25, 2011.

3 Cropping Options to Use in PowerPoint 2013

This tutorial is also applicable to Microsoft PowerPoint 2016.

Previously, we’ve looked at some of PowerPoint’s uses, such as hiding slides, looping backgrounds, and outlining fonts. Today, let’s learn how to crop images into a shape and edit them perfectly all inside your PowerPoint. Here are three cropping options to start with:

A. Crop a Picture

PowerPoint 2013’s cropping tool can help you trim the edges of an inserted picture. This will let you focus on an important segment you want to highlight.

1. Double click on the picture you want to crop in your PowerPoint file. This will bring up Picture Tools above the Format tab.

powerpoint picture tools

2. Click on the Crop icon at the far right, under the Size group.

cropping pictures in powerpoint 2013

SlideGenius Tip:
You can also right click on the picture to crop it. A smaller menu with two large icons will float above the context menu. Then, click on the Crop icon beside the Style option.

how to crop images in powerpoint picture tools

3. Typically, you will see four corners and one on each side with cropping handles. Drag the crop handles inward and outward to adjust your image’s crop area.

powerpoint crop image area

4. To change the position of the image inside the indicated crop area, click and drag the picture around until you’re happy with the results.

crop image in powerpoint 2013

SlideGenius Tip:
Make sure to fill up the entire crop area so your image won’t have a transparent gap.

powerpoint picture tools transparent

5. When you’re done, click outside the gray area to apply the changes and exit crop mode. You can also press the Escape (Esc) key on your keyboard.

powerpoint picture tools ESC

Before you move ahead with the other methods, it’s important to note that the image area outside the cropped image isn’t automatically deleted. This means it’s still viewable when dragged around during crop mode, so you’ll need to delete the trimmings manually.

1. Double click on the picture you want to crop in your PowerPoint file. This will bring up Picture Tools above the Format tab.

powerpoint 2013 cropping tools

2. Go to the Adjust area located on the left of the screen and click on Compress Pictures. A dialog box will appear named Compress Pictures.

powerpoint 2013 compress picture tool


3. Select the box that says Delete cropped areas of pictures to trim the image.

powerpoint delete crop areas of pictures option

4. Check the box that says Apply only to this picture so only the current image will be affected.

powerpoint apply only to this picture option

5. Click OK.

powerpoint crop images ok

B. Crop to Shape

PowerPoint also allows you to crop a picture into a specific shape without affecting your original image.

1. Double click on the picture you want to crop in your PowerPoint file. This will bring up Picture Tools above the Format tab.

powerpoint 2013 crop to shape

2. Click on the arrow below the Crop icon.

powerpoint 2013 crop icon

3. In the Crop drop down menu, choose Crop to Shape. A drop down gallery will appear.

powerpoint 2013 crop to shape features

4. Click on your desired shape from any of the various categories.

powerpoint 2013 crop to shape optionspowerpoint 2013 crop to shape round edge

C. Crop to a Common Aspect Ratio

This lets you crop a picture with an exact measurement and fit it into a predefined space.

1. Double click on the picture you want to crop to an aspect ratio. This will bring up Picture Tools above the Format tab.

powerpoint 2013 Crop to a Common Aspect Ratio option

2. Click on the arrow below the Crop icon.


3. Go to Aspect Ratio.

powerpoint 2013 Crop to a Common Aspect Ratio

4. Lastly, choose any of the Square, Portrait, or Landscape ratios.

powerpoint 2013 shapes square, rectangle, cirle

Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to crop images in PowerPoint 2013:

Now You Know How to Crop an Image!

Personalize your images with PowerPoint’s versatile cropping options and choose the best look for your presentation slides!


“Crop a Picture or Place It in a Shape.” Office Support. n.d.
“Crop Pictures in PowerPoint 2013.” Indezine. n.d.

5 Presentation Habits That Skilled Speakers Should Avoid

Professionals sometimes neglect minor factors while presenting, often thinking that they’re trivial.

However, they forget that these seemingly insignificant habits can make or break their presentation.

Though there are guidelines to remember when speaking in public, there are also negative practices that could ruin your performance.

Here are five practices that presenters should avoid:

  1. Oversmiling

Learn when to smile and when not to.

What are the advantages of smiling?

Smiling helps you build rapport and connect with your audience, while also reducing your anxiety and boosting your confidence as a speaker.

When shouldn’t you smile during your pitch?

Though almost a given, remember not to smile while telling unfortunate stories.

You can also use a neutral expression to show professionalism and respect, especially when you’re discussing sensitive issues.

Knowing your content also lets you identify what part of your pitch requires specific kinds of facial expressions.

  1. Depending on Memory

Know when to depend on your script.

For beginners, it’s advisable to use notes to help them remember their cues.

For experienced speakers, it’s better not to depend on scripts to appear more professional and prepared.

However, there are times when you have to return to your notes. You may need to refer to your references if you’re discussing a particularly complicated topic. This is acceptable, as long as you don’t do this too often.

Try recording your speech and listening to it, watching out for any lines that stand out to you. List down anything from your speech that sounds powerful. You can use these as guideposts for the best times to deliver your strongest lines.

  1. Overacting

You can add humor to your speech to lighten your audience’s mood, making them more responsive. You may use stories that require exaggerated body language that’ll definitely make your audience laugh.

However, when delivering a serious topic, be gentle when you dramatize. This’ll convince your audience to feel the deep emotions you’re portraying and emphasizing.

  1. Overusing Authority

Learn when to be enthusiastic and when to be serious.

You can entertain your audience by telling them irrelevant anecdotes and information, but this doesn’t get you anywhere closer to driving your big idea home.

Don’t use your authority to overly engage your audience with stories that have nothing to do with your main message. You might get them into a better mood, but they’ll fail to recall what you want them to learn and understand.

If you want to use stories, tell only those that support your core message.

Always get back to your presentation’s main objective.

  1. Asking Unplanned Questions

People often end up asking unplanned questions when they make a mistake or when an unexpected event arises.

This is most presenters’ last resort in regaining their audience’s attention, but this often causes them to neglect their original plan for their pitch.

Understand that you have different types of audiences; some are expressive, while others are straight-faced.

While asking questions is important, only include relevant queries to save time and avoid boring your audience.

Start by asking the right questions, that is, those that clarify important points so that your listeners can better understand you.


Great presenters often overlook some practices that disrupt their presentation’s success.

However, understanding these negative presentation habits lets you avoid them and develop a more effective presentation. 

Know when it’s appropriate to smile during your presentation. It’s usually fine if you’re talking about something lighthearted, but it’s better to put on a neutral expression when discussing controversial topics.

Though reciting your pitch from memory makes you look like a professional in your field, there’s no harm in referring to your notes in case you forget what to say next. It’s better to have a back-up plan than to fumble and be unable to recover at all.

Using different facial expressions can add an emotional punch to your points, but don’t overdo it or you’ll only look like you’re forcing it.

You may be tempted to tell your audiences all the interesting stories you have in your head, but only share those that actually have something to do with and support your core idea.

Finally, don’t ask unplanned questions or you’ll drive your discussion off-track. Always be prepared to ask the right questions to regain your audience’s attention.

Removing all these unproductive habits are guaranteed to make better, more engaging pitches that convert into sales.

To help you with your presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!


Genard, Gary. “For Public Speaking Success, Ask the Right Questions!” The Genard Method, February 24, 2013. Accessed June 9, 2015.
Mitchell, Olivia. “The 5 Bad Habits of Experienced Speakers.” Speaking about Presenting, June 2, 2011. Accessed June 9, 2015.

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7 Deadly Presentation Sins: Sloth, or Failing to Prepare

We’ve discussed much about the usual gaffes that take your core idea towards the wrong direction.

Today, we’re kicking off a seven-part segment that’s inspired by Andrew Dlugan’s article, The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking.

We all know that the seven deadly sins are delinquencies fatal to spiritual progress. As set in literature, these are enumerated as sloth, envy, lust, gluttony, greed, wrath and pride. These sins are not only undesirable traits in life but also infelicitous acts that shouldn’t be likewise administered in the business setting.

Ready to get started? We now present to you the first part our blog series about 7 Seven Deadly Presentation Sins.

Let’s talk about the first presentation deadly sin—sloth, the failure to prepare—and why it’s depraved when delivering persuasive speeches and professional presentations.

What is Sloth?

In Christian scripture, sloth is described as the avoidance of physical and spiritual work, or being lazy and idle about God’s teachings.

The late Jesuit Fr. John Hardon defined it as “sluggishness of soul or boredom because of the exertion necessary for the performance of a good work.”

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How Does It Relate to Presentations?

If sloth is akin to apathy and inactivity, the closest way to relate it to public speaking is the lack of preparation.

Benjamin Franklin once said that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Unless you consider yourself a PowerPoint expert with the ability to discuss ideas without mastery of the structure and rehearsal, you’re a sure pass.

But you can’t guarantee that the odds will always be in your favor, let alone predict possible accidents that could break your concentration. Your PowerPoint file may get corrupted, batteries may drain, and your audience may respond with disagreements or negative reactions. That’s why to ensure that you and your discussion are on the right track, vigilant planning and preparation are important.

You are not presenting out in front to embarrass yourself. Similarly, your audience aren’t waiting in their seats only to be disappointed by your performance.

The best thing you can do is to fill the room with sensible words to satisfy their hunger for new and helpful ideas.

How Do You Cure the Deadly Sin of Sloth?

Cure sloth with its exact opposite: effort. The sin can be defeated with combined planning and practice.

Invest your time in writing scripts or guideposts, but know when to depend on them. Use them only as your guide to avoid looking like you’re reading a speech. List down your notes, ideally in four to five sentences, so you can organize your thoughts and remember your cues.

Find a specific speaking style that suits you and practice delivering it. Try recording and listening to your speech, as well as watching out for any lines that stand out to you. You can also record a video so you can evaluate your body language too. These help you identify which parts to improve on in your presentation.

Study presentation tips from the history’s great public speakers. Learn about their rehearsing habits and apply it on your own speech. Let their success stories inspire you to strengthen your skills both in personal and professional life.

Read online references, books and journals that feature tips on speech writing, delivery techniques, and PowerPoint presentations. Doing this gives you a crash course on the things that should be done and avoid while doing a public speaking stint.


The sin of sloth or failing to prepare means sacrificing your pitch’s flow.

It helps to create an outline of your main points. Write down your script to present your ideas completely and seamlessly.

Explore different speaking styles and choose what you can best deliver. Self-evaluate your speech by recording your speech. Watch and listen your recorded video so you can examine both your verbal and nonverbal communication skills and find out what needs improvement.

Lastly, take advantage of an array of references available in the web, at your home, and offices. Reading is never a bad resort when you want to nurture more your public speaking skills.

Slay this sluggishness as early as in the pre-presentation stage by following these tips.

Remember, nothing makes a presenter more confident and credible than being well-practiced and prepared.

Need a great deck to match your speech? Check out our portfolio for inspiration, or contact our slide design experts for a consultation with a free quote.


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Dlugan, Andrew. “The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking.” Six Minutes. September 21, 2009.
“Sins, Virtues, and Tales.” Seven Deadly Sins.

Hardon, John. Pocket Catholic Dictionary. Garden City, New York: Image Books, 1985.

“7 Must Read Life Lessons from Benjamin Franklin.” Business Insider. May 31, 2011. Accessed March 2, 2016.


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