PowerPresentations - Presentation Tips & Secrets

Aviation company goes digital with new catalog

Written by Kevin Lerner.

Autoplay CD-ROM sales video with PDF catalog distributed at tradeshow to business prospects

Perfect Presentation Averts Near-Disaster

Every year since 1986 Mohammed Mahmoud and his team of airline support professionals have traveled from New York City halfway around the world to attend the Africa Airlines Association's annual convention. With their tradeshow booth stocked with novelties and colorful catalogs, Mahmoud's company, Aero Industrial Sales (AIS), is a visible presence at these conventions, translating to new business relationships and solid revenue.

But for their 2011 conference, Mahmoud felt it was time to scrap their printed catalog of commercial airline parts and materials, opting to distribute the catalog electronically as a PDF file on a CD-ROM.

Driven by a desire to reduce costs, increase visibility and help fortify AIS's brand image as a technology leader, AIS turned to The Presentation Team to integrate their catalog in PDF format, together with a dynamic video introduction.

Old Technology still Holds Value

When AIS first contacted The Presentation Team about the CD-ROM project, presentation designer Kevin Lerner was curiously confused.

"Why would they want an outdated technology like a CD-ROM?" he asked, encouraging them to consider a DVD or USB memory stick, confessing that "we haven't developed a CD-ROM product since 2005."

Mahmoud was strong-willed in his desire for a digital disc catalog. "It's economical, easy to distribute, and tangible. Customers and prospects want something they can have and hold-on to. The disc makes sense."

As the project was contracted and development began, it became evident that this "outdated" technology still maintained its marketing magic.

A Catalog with a Kickoff

The PDF catalog was much more than a file on a disc. Upon startup, viewers were treated to a dynamic video intro showcasing AIS' services and products.

This intro video started showcased an AIS spokeswoman (initally developed for their website) keyed against a modern 3D earth motion video. Following the 30-second spokeswoman's intro, a 90-second PowerPoint presentation (converted to video) featured the company's services and solutions through a mix of text and graphics. The 2-minute production was set to contemporary rhythmic dance music. Rendered at a resolution of 800x600, the MP4 video integrated smoothly into Adobe Director. Until playback.

A Bump in the Road

To presentation designer Kevin Lerner the production "seemed simple and seamless." Everything was on-track and within budget. But with the finish line in-sight and the client's deadline fast approaching, the technical glitch was a harsh and unwelcome blow.

"We were having trouble getting the exe file to scale to the full size of the screen," Lerner explained. The autoplay disc loaded the video in a fixed-size 800x600 window. "It seemed like such a simple request, but I couldn't figure it out," the stressed presentation expert confessed. Hours turned into days. Calls to colleagues were met with replies of "I haven't used that antiquated application in over 10 years."

Down with Director; Fixed in a Flash

With hours counting down til the disc duplication deadline, Lerner found his salvation with Legal Graphicworks. The Palm Beach-based company known for high-end litigation graphics, also has some multimedia mojo. Andrew McClary, Vice President of Interactive Multimedia, immediately saw that the issue was with Adobe Director. He effortlessly took the files and re-developed the interactive presentation in Adobe Flash, relying on a simple line of Action Script programming code.

"Director is a great tool...but Flash is more contemporary and is easier to achieve what the client wanted," McClary explained.

With mere hours remaining, the final digital CD-ROMs catalogs- running at scalable full-screen resolution were duplicated and packed into a box on a flight to Africa.

Four days later, at the airline convention in Addis Abbaba, a small crowd gathered around the AIS booth, watching the video playing from the projector, and shaking hands with the Mohammed Mahmoud. The bulky catalogs of the past have been replaced with a slick digital CD-ROM catalog that that is helping propel AIS into the future.


  • "We engaged The Presentation Team to do a Presentation training for our team and he did a great job. He spent time understanding our requirements and the skill level of our team members and created a course which met our expectations and goals. I highly recommend The Presentation Team as a Presentation (PowerPoint) trainer."

    Navdeep Sidhu
    Senior Director, Software AG
  • "Kevin Lerner provided best-in-class services when hired to work on promotional materials for the launch of a key product at Motorola. The expertise and quality that he brought to the project were second to none and as a result, he delivered a top-notch presentation that was quickly adopted throughout the organization. Kevin is great to work with, delivers on time, is a great team player and is always willing to go the extra mile."

    Maria Cardoso
  • "Kevin has been a working with Cox Communications to deliver world-class PowerPoint presentation visuals since 2009. His ability to meet our specific needs, timeframe, and budgets has been exceptional. His professional interaction with our team reflects his deep expertise in the industry, superior presentation design skills, and commitment to superior service."

    Jonathan Freeland
    VP, Video Marketing at Cox Communications
  • "Kevin is an enthusiastic, creative, and passionate presentation guru. Our company was impressed and felt the value of his training in 2013 that he was invited again recently to again share his knowledge. Both times he has been energetic and addressed many areas for presentation development. From planning to follow-up Kevin is personable and easygoing, motivating our teams to take their presentations to the next level."

    Yoshimi Kawashima
    Project Coordinator, Nissin International
  • "Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from tips & tricks to aesthetics, all with the intent of getting the message across crisply and creatively. I've already received praise for decks that incorporate the skills obtained from his training. I highly recommend Kevin's services."

    Era Prakash
    General Electric
  • "The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting."

    Leah Gordillo
    Saint Francis Medical Center
  • "Kevin was a pleasure to work with. He was well-prepared and was an excellent example on how to give effective presentations."

    Seminar participant
  • "The PowerPresentations seminar gave us the tools we need in order to create effective presentations that sizzle."

    Seminar participant
  • "Kevin has always had vision, creativity, and enthusiasm for his professional and works tirelessly perfecting whatever he is working on."

    Marty Smith
    Zenith Goldine Pharmaceuticals
  • "[Kevin and The Presentation Team have] always delivered 110% in terms of meeting our objectives for finished product and budget"

    Paul Price
    Watsco Corp.
  • "I had more people come up to me after I spoke, commenting on the visuals you created, than I did on the subject matter!"

    Andy Smith
    Smith & Robb Advertising
  • "By working together, we have been able to substantially improve the quality of services and products originating from our department"

    Myrlene Clifford
  • "As a Fortune 1000 company, we sought to produce a classy, yet conservative presentation for our shareholders. It was evident that you and your team listened to our thoughts as you developed the presentation..."

    Will Flower
    Republic Services
  • "We were told by the customer's selection committee the presentation of our solution was the deciding factor in NextiraOne winning a five-year contract valued at over $35 million at Miami International Airport"

    William McGlashan
  • "Your presentation added an extra dimension to the program and was very well-received."

    Tom Feltenstein
    Neighborhood Marketing Institute
  • "Kevin is an excellent speaker, effective team worker, passionate about his craft, enthusiastic, well-organized and reliable."

    Marilyn K. Volker
  • "Lant & Associates will never look as good as we do today - because of the relationship we created with The Presentation Team.  'We came...You pushed...and We are flying!' "

    Tom Lant
    Lant & Associates
  • “Kevin is a professional. He did a complete overhaul of my power point presentations and I have had excellent results with his work. He was on time, he sent as many betas as was necessary until we got a great final outcome.” 

    Joachim dePosada
  • "Your expertise in the filed of PowerPoint and general presentation techniques helped elevate us to the level necessary to beat the competition."

    Mike Geary
    James Pirtle Construction
  • "The contrast between the old version and The Presentation Team's version is like night and day."

    Keith A. Bostian, Ph.D
    Iconix Pharmaceuticals
  • "Kevin and his team never failed. The persistence and discipline enabled my projects and other others to be completed in a quality fashion."

    Kent Rodgers
    I2 Technologies
  • "Every day, someone, somewhere, is viewing the training presentations you and your team created for HelmsBriscoe. Indeed, this interactive 12-module PowerPoint presentation has become a powerful tool for our sales team, and has helped HelmsBriscoe in achieving our mission."

    Kari Moberg
    Helms Briscoe
  • “I came into a new position but inherited a lifeless ppt presentation. Kevin and his team reworked my ppt and turned it into a powerful presentation tool for me . . . which I used without much need for revision for several years. Kevin's great. He's that good.” 

    Greg Kreuziger
  • "One of the things I appreciate most about our relationship is peace of mind.  Your team has the latest technology and knoweledge, yet maintains old-fashioned respect for your customers." 

    Kathy Watkins
  • "Your dedication, diligence and professionalism was very much appreciated and helped us achieve a complete multimedia presentation including voiceover all in a 4 day period."

    Jennifer Cassandra
    Designline Construction Services
  • "Over the past twelve months, your dedication has demonstrated a true commitment to a common goal."

    Adam LaWare
    DePuy Spine
  • “Kevin redesigned PowerPoint slides for clients of mine, as well as some of my own slides. As an executive presentation coach for nearly 25 years, I'm very picky. Everything he did looks great.” 

    David Greenberg
  • "We worked well together; his work style was relaxed yet focused, and our email and frequent phone calls helped us to communicate clarly and timely."

    Sherry Alumbaugh
    Data Solutions
  • "You and your team hit the mark with what you delivered.  Many thanks for your outstanding customer service and design ideas."

    Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.
    Corporate Coaching International
  • “I have worked with Kevin for over 15 years. He has consistently distinguished himself not only as a creative expert but a valuable business partner. There have been many times I needed someone with excellent creative skills to help me take complex business issues and make them simple and easy for high level professionals. Kevin never failed me and always exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with his commitment level and do "whatever" it takes attitude. I recommend Kevin as a valuable and creative business partner.” 

    Bruce Frcek
  • "The City of Oakland Park has successfully received the ranking for grant money it was seeking thanks in part to the great presentation that the Presentation Team created.  Thank you for your hard work, creativity, and expertise in brinking this dynamic video presentation to life."

    Stan Brown
    Ambit Marketing Communications
  • "Kevin brought a high level of creativity, enthusiasm, and deep multmedia experience to our team.  He worked dillegently with the team to produce an outstanding proposal which we subsequently won."

    Jeffrey Keller
  • “Kevin has on more than one occasion taken on a project for me and provided a great product when my budget was limited. I felt he had my best interest at heart at all times.”

    Derrick Witt
    Corporate Fitness & Wellness
  • “Kevin is a high energy, creative professional very focused on achieving customer goals. I enjoyed working with him very much and would recommend him without question.”

    Ellen Mughal
  • “Kevin brings a great deal or knowledge and professionalism into his presentations. He conveys valuable information to his attendees that prove beneficial in their day-to-day operations within their own organizations.”

    Jeff Parrish