Posts Tagged ‘help’

1. Time Manage Your Presentation

Planning a Perfect PowerPoint – 7 Point Checklist


This 7 Point Checklist for Planning your PowerPoint can help save you from hours of rework and embarrassment.

Creating PowerPoint presentations with Graphics, Video and Text can be creatively alluring…and easier than ever to dive in and get started.  But like the speedy rabbit darts ahead of the tortoise, ultimately, the slow yet wise tortoise emerges the victor.

Early on, it’s important to know what your end-presentation venue will look like. Take some time to visit the location of the presentation, or if you’re a speaker, get the details of the meeting room and presentation hardware from the meeting planner or AV team.  This will help you to plan ahead and answer these checklist questions, ultimately translating to a smarter, more prepared presentation.

1. Time Manage Your Presentation

1. Time Manage Your Presentation

Address all graphical and technical aspects of developing the presentation by using this 7 step presentation Time Management approach.  <Full Article>

Step 1: Set key goals/objectives, know your audiences’ goals and interests.

Step 2: Establish an overall graphical look and feel and draft a and high-level outline with key sections.  Create a storyboard.

Step 3: Get Creative:  Shop & tag relevant images for ideas and inspiration.

Step 4: Forge a first draft with key graphics and messages.  Give an impromptu test-run- perhaps with colleagues- to see if the presentation flows.

Step 5: Deep-dive on the presentation with research, supporting text/messages and relevant imagery.

Step 6: Practice aloud to get comfortable with your presentation, and make any fine-tune edits. Print out any drafts/supporting material.

Step 7: Get a good night’s sleep, eat well in the morning, and be bold and confident that you’ll ready and successful.

2. Screen Size and Aspect Ratio

2. Screen Size and Aspect Ratio

Early on, it’s important that you see (or at least know about ) the room and screen where you’ll be showing your presentation.

If your showing the presentation in a on a small screen or laptop, makes sure the minimal size of your visuals can be seen and read by everyone in the room.  Remember, if you can’t see it, there’s no point to showing it.

Just as important, make sure your slide aspect ratio – the proportionbetween the width and the height – matches the screen and projector’s or screen’s standard output. The most common aspect ratios are Standard (4:3) and Widescreen (16:9).   Most newer conference rooms are implementing HDTVs or widescreen projectors using 16:9.  But it’s best to be sure.  Sometimes, I’ll encourage my clients to create two versions of their presentations in both 4:3 and 16:9 to avoid any headaches.

3. Operating System, PPT Version, and Connections

3. Operating System, PPT Version, and Connections

By ensuring your presentation will be played on the same end operating system (Mac or PC) and PowerPoint version that it was created (PPT 07/2010/13, etc.), you can avoid last minute trauma and troubles.  Though similar, a presentation created in PowerPoint 2007 for PC may display differently in PowerPoint 2013 for Mac.  And if your presentation has embedded or linked media, take the time to test that it plays smoothly on the output computer. 

If you’re playing the presentation from your own laptop, ensure their cables are compatible with your system…and arrive early to setup and test.

4. Themes, Templates, Layouts + Chart & Table Templates

4. Themes, Templates, Layouts + Chart & Table Templates

PowerPoint is much more than just a blank page to write text and insert graphics. Themes, Templates and Layouts help add structure and intelligence while ensuring presentation consistency.   Most of the time, companies will have a basic approved corporate PowerPoint Theme/Template (.potx file).  These files contain predefined colors, title/body fonts, animations, and layouts.  Unfortunately, these PowerPoint templates are often fairly limited, and not well structured, and can limit creative development.  If you can, it’s helpful to adapt and modify these elements to meet your specific needs.

When starting a presentation, take the time to know your Theme and pre-existing Layout slides.  If you’ll be replicating a specific page formatting/layout often, create a custom layout of your own.  (Duplicate, rename).

Do you have preferences for a certain chart type? A certain table type?  Tables and Charts can have preset styles (templates) that once defined, can shave hours off intricate design work.  Just click to apply your pre-defined chart (or table) template to any existing chart or table. 

Predefining and knowing these features can help you create a professional presentation with greater consistency and efficiency.

5. Look and Feel

5. Look and Feel

Although the theme, templates and layouts work maintain a standard look and feel, it’s up to you to work to stay within- or deviate outside- those creative boundaries.  More often, it’s vital to maintain respect to the company branding and styles.  Some companies have a Visual Style Manual that goes into detail about all placement, logo, and color issues.  If you’re presenting at a conference or conventions, organizers often place restrictions on what you can- and cannot use in your presentations.  Better to know what’s expected ahead of time than be blasted by the branding police for being too deviant.

Still, it’s important to consider what the overall look and feel of your presentation will be…and whether it’ll be more reflective of you or your company.  Will it be light or dark?  Colorful or monochromatic?  Will the animations and transitions be wild or tame?  Establish the standards of your presentation’s look and feel with an early sign-off by management, and you’ll avoid any last-minute entanglements.

6. File Size and Distribution

6. File Size and Distribution

Early-on, it’s important to be aware of any technical limits of your network or email. 

If you’re working on a 200-page data-heavy PowerPoint, it can get snarled by a network or be rejected by email!  Ensuring your presentation is small enough to be transferred over the network or by email is critical to avoid any late production problems. Consider a file-sharing service to exchange files; Dropbox and GoogleDrive are easy and commonplace.  If the file is still too large, split it into two separate logically-named files (part-1.pptx and part-2.pptx).  Plan ahead and be ready to meet your deadlines.

7. Presentation Resources

7. Presentation Resources

Like a movie director, producing a PowerPoint presentation takes planning and preparation.  Don’t try to do it all yourself..  Presentation resources can be anything from a stock photo website, to a presentation design agency, to a colleague providing input and analysis.  Make sure they’re ready and you can use them to make your presentation great.  By having presentation resources ready to assist you in creating or delivering your PowerPoint, you’ll be more confident, prepared, and ready to present like a pro!

Even before the first slide is created on your next presentation, applying a presentation checklist will help you reduce rework and troubles, while keeping a clear line of communications and expectations…helping everyone to look like a presentation expert.

Geetesh Bajaj contributed to this article.

Ending Presentation Procrastination


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.

10-tips-to-reduce-powerpoint-clutter

10 Tips to Reduce Cluttered PowerPoint Slides

10-tips-to-reduce-powerpoint-clutter

Ten Simple Tips to clean-up those boring PowerPoint slides

You’ve worked and worked on your presentation…but it still looks cluttered and ugly. Here are 10 quick and easy methods to improve busy and ugly slides, reduce on-screen clutter and improve boring boring presentations.

 provide-more-breathing-space

#1: Simply provide more breathing space.

Rather than cramming all the graphics and text items together, taking up all the available space on a slide, bring the items into the center a bit…shrink them down to a reasonable size…and provide at least 80% “white space” around the items. It creates a more clean and inviting look.

 

group-bullets-and-use-smart-art

#2: Group bullets and objects into shapes (SmartArt).

Rather than having a whole page of bullets or graphics, try grouping the points into a few colorful rectangles or squares. That way, they’re psychologically percieved as a collective entity.  Also, we remember graphics more readily than text, so work to find a graphic from a stock photo collection or a scanned photo that will support the bullet and make it come alive with graphics.

 

eliminate-the-template

#3: Eliminate the template.

On slides where there’s no way around the busy-ness (like an organizational chart), simply place your graphics or text on a pure black background. Though templates are great for creating a consistent look, there’s nothing bad about deviating from it once in a while with a non-competing image to get the point across.

 

span-bullets-across-pages

#4: Span Bullet Points Across Multiple Pages

It’s a good idea to limit your bullets no more than 6 per page. But this may not be practical in all cases, so rather than cram them all on a single page, split them over 2 or 3 pages. You may consider creating a separate page for each bullet point with related graphics. Though it can add many pages and take longer to develop, the fast-moving graphical pages work to maintain a strong level of interest with the audience. And don’t get worried that you’re adding so many pages to your presentation…it’s virtual! With this method, it’s not uncommon for a 30-minute presentation to have more than 90 slides.

 

create-a-video

#5: Create a video montage of your graphics.

Instead of a single page comprised of many images, edit a brief video in Google Picasa or Adobe Premiere,(or any other video editing program that imports still images), with each of the graphics moving and dissolving from one to another. Remember to include this video file if you distribute your presentation.

 

print-handouts

#6: Print Handouts for Complex Concepts

 

use-animation

#7: Use animations to introduce text and elements.

Bringing items in one at a time helps to keep the eye focused. Take the time to add transitions and entry/exit effects to your text (dimming bullets after they’ve appeared is also effective), and they’ll flow easier on the eyes of your audience.

 

 reduce-text-and-edit

#8: Reduce Text, Merge Points, and Edit your text.

Bullet points should highlight key words…not showcase entire sentences or paragraphs of text. Let the speaker elaborate/expand upon each bullet point rather than having the audience read the whole speech on screen. Work to reduce your text to only the crucial information.  And then work at it again.  

 

text-graphics-shouldnt-compete

 

drill-down-for-detail

#10: Drill-Down and Create Interactivity

By using drill-down “hiearchtical navigation,” you can navigate from a high level overview (main menu), to different sections of your presentation, with each bullet, title, or graphic, serving as a link to another page with more detailed information. 

 

 Though many of these techniques may add time to your development, it’ll pay off in the end with a more memorable and effective presentation. 

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  • “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.”

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  • “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.”

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  • “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.”

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  • “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.”

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    General Electric

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