Think Efficiently & Use the Keyboard!
To improve efficiency and shave hours off your presentation development time, it’s helpful to learn the keyboard shortcuts.
Keyboards aren’t just for typing. In conjunction with control, alt and shift keys (or the option and apple keys on the Mac), you can move along at a much faster pace than just using the mouse.
Rather than inefficiently moving the mouse all over the screen clicking on menu commands, learning a few simple control keys can speed up development and make creating presentations easier and faster.
| TOP KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
| Increase Font Size
| Decrease Font Size
| Grid/Guides On/Off
| New Slide
| New Presentation
|| CTRL+ N
|| CTRL+ S
| Help Menu and list of shortcuts
| Redo Last Action
| Slide Show
| Slide Show from Current Slide
|| Shift F5
If you knew that spending just one additional hour to work on your PowerPoint presentation would help you win a $1M account,would you invest the time to make it shine?
Everyone loves good visuals. Extraordinary visuals get noticed…and remembered. Presentation software has made it easier than ever to tell a story and communicate key concepts…but far too often people still saddle their slides with text-heavy bullet points, and flat boring backgrounds.
The next time you’re called on to present, consider these 4 Tips on The Value of Extraordinary Visuals.
1. Graphics Get Noticed and Remembered
Presentations with extraordinary visuals help audiences to understand and comprehend your message. Comprehension leads to connection…which leads to success. Whether it’s a brief company overview, a training presentation, or a quarterly update to company shareholders, the presentation with the extraordinary graphics will stand out and get noticed. Presentations with extraordinary visuals can have a direct and measurable impact on sales and revenue. Boring bullets and technical diagrams create a barrier between presenters and their audiences. Slides with images help presenters get noticed and remembered. By investing the time to make a presentation shine, you’ll gain a greater connection with your audience, delivering a greater meaning in your message. Some ideas:
- An inspirational graphics from a stock photo library.
- One thematic concept image that supports the key message.
- A cartoon to add humor or levity to the topic
- A quotation or introspective insight to support your message.
The graphic can be full screen, or off to the side, with your bullet points balanced to the other sie. When creating your presentation, stay focused on your core message and aim to find a graphic or example that’s simple, concise, and memorable…that supports and enhances the core message.
2. Graphics Build your Brand and Help You Look Your Best
Most companies spend millions of dollars on their marketing and branding. But when it comes to “the presentation”, executives often fail to acknowledge the vital link that the presentation plays in supporting the company brand. All too often I’ve seen company executives spend millions of dollars on marketing and advertising…but then tackle the presentation themselves or let an unskilled amateur tackle it. Crazy and creative templates, wild animation, fonts and messages that distract and detract, reinventing and distorting the company brand. The next time you have to give a presentation, make sure the presentation supports your company brand…it should all tie-together and look seamless, consistent and professional. Indeed, looking good is what most presentation visuals are all about! Consciously or subconsciously, good graphics send a message of prestige and professionalism, helping to bolster brands, drive revenue, and build great companies.
3. Connect and Retain
People remember 20% of what they hear, and 30% of what they see, but 50% of what they hear and see. Good visuals get noticed…and remembered. The bullets and specific talking points may fade from your audiences’ memory, but visuals stick. If your presentation is beautiful, people will remember. And if it’s ugly …it’ll also be remembered, but not in the way you want! If you want people to remember you, make a great visual. Take the time…look at it from the eyes of the audience, and aim to make it clean, consistent, and with quality.
4. Getting Your Ovation
Presenters strive for recognition, praise and ovation. Getting an ovation requires a delicate balance ofmessage, delivery, and presentation. When these three elements are in harmony, the accolades and ovations will shine upon us. The goal of a finding graphics for your presentation should be more than just making it look good or finding a “good looking graphic.” In the larger picture, investing the time to find the perfect picture or creating extraordinary visuals can translate to a major return…
- An illustration that simply and succinctly explains your business process- rather than a diffused and messy text-heavy graphic- can help a client or business partner gain more confidence in you, and help close a deal.
- One photo to stir the souls of your audience and support your core message, helping to gain confidence in you as business leader or speaker, creating additional revenue opportunities.
- Or one stunning template that supports your company brand and make you look like a million dollar speaker, and translate to greater marketability and professionalism.
Extraordinary visuals can translate to extraordinary results…and investing the time and money in creating a powerful presentation can translate to significant gains and successes. So the next time you’re called on to create a presentation, consider the value of an extraordinary visual. Turn to a colleague for insights, search online for graphics/examples, or connect with a presentation professional for insights and strategies. Your time, efforts, and recognition of the value of visuals is certain to generate a maximum return on your Return On Presentation Investment (ROPI), in new business, revenue, and recognition.
Create a Presentation the Steve Jobs Way
“It’s not about the software; it’s about the story”
As a communication and presentation skills coach, I often get asked, “How do I make my slides look like a Steve Jobs presentation?” The first thing I tell them is that they do not have to use Apple presentation software (Keynote), although it’s a beautifully refined program. I’ve seen gorgeous PowerPoint designs as well, especially with PowerPoint 2007. So it’s not about the software; it’s about the story. Steve Jobs treats presentations like theatrical events complete with heroes and villains, a supporting cast, stage props and visually stunning backdrops—slides. I know designers who have actually worked with Steve Jobs at Apple, so I wrote an entire book on how to create and deliver a presentation the Steve Jobs way. While there are about eighteen techniques that Jobs uses, one stands out. I call it “unleashing your inner Zen.” Here are some tips on creating a presentation the Steve Jobs way.
A Steve Jobs presentation is strikingly simple, visual and devoid of bullet points. That’s right—no bullet points. Ever. Of course, this raises the question, would a PowerPoint presentation without bullet points still be a PowerPoint presentation? The answer is yes, and a much more interesting one. New research into cognitive functioning—how the brain works—shows that bullet points are the least effective way to deliver important information. In fact, memory processing is aided by pictures. Scientists call it picture superiority: ideas are more easily recalled when presented as text and images instead of text alone.
Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
When Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air in January, 2008, the most memorable slide showed the notebook computer being pulled from a manila inter-office envelope to show just how thin it really was. No words could equal the power and simplicity of that image. The average PowerPoint has forty words. It’s hard to find forty words in ten slides of a Steve Jobs presentation. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Jobs quoting from one of his heroes, Leonardo da Vinci. Jobs keeps his slides simple by eliminating unnecessary words, charts and other eye clutter. The influential German painter, Hans Hoffman once said, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” By removing clutter—extraneous features and information—from his products and presentations, Jobs achieves the ultimate goal: ease of use and clarity.
To gain a fuller appreciation of Jobs’ simple slide creations, watch the first few minutes of his keynote presentation at the Macworld Expo, January, 2008. The first several slides have one or two words per slide. When Jobs reviews the new products that Apple introduced in the previous year, the slide simply reads: 2007. Jobs thanks his customers for their support and the slide reads: Thank you.
Confidence, Time and Practice
Creating simple, visual slides requires three things: confidence, time and practice. First, confidence. Slides should not take center stage. The audience’s attention should be directed at you, the speaker. The slides compliment the speaker. That means you had better know your material and have the confidence to deliver your message with conviction. The second thing it requires is time. It’s easy to create cluttered slides—just write everything you want to say on the slide. Thinking visually about displaying information takes more effort, but it’s worth the time to stand apart. And the third thing it requires is practice. Because you’re delivering information that is not on the slide, you can’t read from the slide. You have to commit the information to memory and use the slide as a prompt to deliver the idea. Steve Jobs rehearses for many, many hours over many weeks to get everything just right.
Steve Jobs may be a hard act to follow, but once you start using some of his techniques in your own presentations, you’ll be hard to forget.
Start Your Presentation Right To Save It From Going Wrong
Techniques to get your presentation started fast and eliminate procrastination.
Are you a presentation procrastinator? A PowerPoint put-offer? A stalled sleepless speaker? Let’s face it: most people dread developing presentations. But with computer-based presentation tools such as PowerPoint, it’s easier than ever to start your presentation development correctly- and save it from spinning out of control. A well-planned and organized presentation can save lots of headaches down the road. Try these techniques the next time you have to pull a presentation out of thin air:
Content First…Then Visuals
When starting a new presentation, try not to become distracted by the desire to make it look good. Rather, focus on creating the content first. Use the outline view to get your bullets and main points in place. Talk over the ideas/themes with friends and colleagues. Draft a storyboard on paper. Also, the auto content wizards of PowerPoint are helpful in getting the key messages in place.
Design for your Audience
Select or create a template design that’s appropriate for your audience: are they young or old…colorful or conservative? The colors you use should be compatible with the company’s brand/image. The number of people in the audience affects how large the type should be on screen and how much information should be crammed together. Look at the presentation through the eyes and ears of your audience.
Use Master Slides
The slide master’s purpose is to let you make a global change — such as replacing the font style — and have that change reflected on all the slides in your presentation. By creating a master slide (or multiple masters), you can make revisions to the presentation quickly, rather than page-by-page. (Select View…Master…Slide Master).
Plan ahead of your Deadlines
Before starting your presentation, it’s important to have an idea of how much work is involved in developing the presentation…and how much time it will take. Set benchmarks and goals throughout the development period. Aim to finish the presentation a day ahead of schedule.
Know your Presentation Venue and Output Medium
Are you presenting in a large auditorium or in a small group? Will your presentation be shown on paper, 35mm slides, or laptop-based? These questions are vital to help determine the appropriate fonts, sizing, and spacing. Try to preview the presentation venue beforehand to get a better idea of how your show will look.
New presentation for Office Depot features brighter and cleaner design
Updated visuals help capture suppliers’ attention and promote strategic goal of “One Partnership.”
Before: The original opening slide had big logos, big photos, and big text. However, the slide’s graphic elements competed with each other for attention.
After: We chose one stock photo from Photodisc to replace the four images on the original slide. The logo’s proportions are adjusted and centered. And the text, though smaller, becomes a focal point.
Before: Straightforward but hardly inspirational, this flow chart plainly explains Office Depot’s vendor-selection process.
After: The Presentation Team took extra time to re-create this slide by punching up each step and making the slide more visually appealing. Using Macromedia Freehand for the shapes and Adobe Photoshop fro creating PNG images files, we shifted to an icon-based approach. Each “image arrow” is introduced separately with a Wipe Right build in PowerPoint.
With a nationwide network of megastores, Office Depot has transformed the way America shops for office supplies. The Delray Beach, Fla-based retailer recently needed a transformation of its own, particular for its Supplier Diversity electronic slide show. In early 2004, the company came to The Presentation Team looking to update this 10-slide Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.
The original design was bland and cluttered with content, which detracted from the company’s message. And because of the small number of slides, company presenters were creeping along at a pace of nearly one page every four minutes.
We set out on a mission to overhaul the sideshow by designing with more white space, replacing boxy JPG images with transparent PNG graphics, and improving audience attentiveness by increasing the presentation’s pacing.
We began the full redesign by creating a new slide template using Adobe Photoshop. In a departure from the conventional use of light text on a dark background, we opted for the cleaner look of dark text against a white background. We created a beige banner with muted images of diverse people for the title bar and ran a narrow gay bar across the slide’s bottom for balance.
Several slides featured complex bullet points with complex concepts. To help the presenter more effectively communicate these ideas, we expanded these bullet points onto separate slides. The presentation increased to 18 slides total.
We returned to Photoshop to work on the graphics. We chose updated images from Photodisc, resizing them and using channel masks for highlighting as needed. We saved the edited images as PNG files and imported them into PowerPoint.
Finally, we replaced the original fly-in graphics with graceful wipe and fade effects. The result was a clean and updated presentation that captured the excitement of the sales force and viewers.