Posts Tagged ‘powerpoint’

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Great Customer Service through a Great Presentation!

Speaker and business consultant Margie Seyfer transforms her PowerPoint presentation from Weak to Wow.

Margie SeyferMargie Seyfer is an acclaimed speaker and business consultant living in Colorado. For over two decades she has helped professionals to improve customer service and improve their bottom line. Her “Winning Women Customers” is a dynamic and informative program with compelling content about the differences of men and women…and what can be done to more effectively earn the business of women.. But the graphical design of the presentation was not as bold as Margie herself So Margie turned to The Presentation Team in March 2010 to transform her PowerPoint presentation from Weak to Wow.

The Enhanced Presentation Package provided an efficient and economical approach to transform Margie’s 40-page basic PowerPoint into a powerful presentation that matched the professionalism of her delivery.

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Because Margie frequently speaks to large groups at conventions, conferences and meetings, the visual design needed to be bold, graphical, and easy-to-be-read from the back of the room. Our design strategy focused on creating a look-and-feel that reflected Margie’s professionalism and her company brand and identity, while involving elements of people, speaking, a light-hearted approach to the differences of men and women. The 6 hour project involved…

  1. Development of a custom professional template (title and body masters), that reflects Margie’s professionalism and his company brand, while integrating her existing content.
  2. Re-working the overall look-and-feel of the presentation (light grey and white colors, Tahoma fonts, clean layout) for a more polished look.
  3. Clean and professional imagery/graphics (portfolio, schematics, people, concept art, etc.).
  4. Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
  5. Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
  6. Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
  7. Consulting and collaboration to help Margie to refine and present new ideas.

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Statistics simply stated: Margie’s original PowerPoint slide featured a bland and boring blue background. The two statistical percentages were presented top-to-bottom, and interfered with the template’s sweeping arc. Although the yellow title supported the blue background, yellow is not a strong bold color.

The new template (inserted on the master slide as a background image) featured a light grey textured background, conveying a subtle and flowing theme of openness and modernism. The bottom arc at the bottom (inserted on the master slide as an image) was created in Photoshop to convey the message of women in business. The two percentages were moved left to right. The title color was converted to a more bold blue, and the font was converted to the more unique Calibri.
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Times New Roman is one of the most common fonts…but not the best for presentations. The “serifs” or edges of the letters often run together, creating a hard-to-read image. Margie’s original presentation lacked a consistent typeface throughout, and frequenly used this common but hard to read serif font. This slide featured an image at the bottom left of the page…separated from the core message of the slide. Our re-worked slide relocated integrated the title into the master slide, placed in the upper left in bold blue Calibri font. The photo was repositioned in the center left, and amplified with a rounded rectangle white border picture style. To help drive the key point of the differences of men and women, we changed the color of key words to 32-point in blue and red…and made the core point of the fact “not in all circumstances” in a 36-point green Calibri font.
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Statisics by bullet. These four statistics were simply presented in a line-by-line bulleted list. Again, the slide simply comes to life through integration into the template. But by taking the statistical information and integrating it into a table separated by varying shades of grey (rather than border lines), the information is cleanly presented. The percentages are amplified by larger font.
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The full-screen graphic was placed on the page as an imported graphic. Edges ran off the page, and a lack of a title left the slide without a comment or grounding. By adding a title with a transparent rectangular title block, Stan’s Automotive suddenly took on a new meaning. Additionally, the graphic was cropped, resaved as a JPG, and imported as a background image (rather than inserted as a standard image). This reduced file space and allowed for more flexibility.

After just three days and three rounds of edits, the presentation was success! Margie speaks frequently at conventions and business groups. Her style, delivery, eloquence- and now her great-looking PowerPoint slides help to captivate her audiences…while helping them to improve their customer service and bottom line!

* Margie Seyfer is a Presentation Team keynote partner.

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Financial Risk and Reward: PowerPoint Visuals that Make a Point

 

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The story of how Trevor Franklin of TD Waterhouse created a focused but impactful presentation to support his 20-minute “Building Trust in Financial Services” keynote speech for a local business group.

To help communicate the risks and rewards of investing in today’s uncertain financial market, Trevor Franklin of TD Waterhouse turned to The Presentation Team to create a focused but impactful presentation to support his 20-minute “Building Trust in Financial Services” keynote speech for a local business group.

Our mission: enhance his short PowerPoint with a limited budget and short time-frame. Our “Speedy Presentation Package”, was the perfect solution: a quick and easy approach to transform a basic PowerPoint into a get-noticed masterpiece.

Trevor was speaking to over 30 executives and potential clients at a local business seminar. The visual design needed to be bold, graphical, and easy-to-be-read from the back of the convention room. Our design strategy focused on creating a look-and-feel that reflected Trevor’s professionalism and TD’s brand and identity, while involving graphical elements of finance, and customer service. The 2 hour project involved…

  1. Integration of a stock template (title and body masters), that reflects Trevor’s professionalism and TD Waterhouse’s company brand, while integrating his existing content.
  2. Re-working the overall look-and-feel of the presentation (colors, fonts, layout) for a more polished look.
  3. Clean and professional imagery/graphics
  4. Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a “cleaner” look with greater effectiveness.
  5. Clean and conservative slide transition effects (fades and wipe effect).
  6. Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different computer systems.
PowerPoint-Example-Before1-TDWaterhouse PowerPoint-Example-After2-TDWaterhouse
Before:
The original slide featured a flat white paper template. The graphical elements were weak, complicated, and busy. The title was integrated into the body of the page
After:
A clean and modern template helped add dimension and flow to the presentation. New bolder and more prominent graphics for the Japanese symbols for Crisis were implemented using Photoshop to add shadow and outlines. The title was moved to the upper left of the page.
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Before:
Prior to our makeover, Trevor spent over 15 minutes on this single text-heavy slide, which focused on Five Explicit Needs of Risk and Reward.
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The Five Explicit Needs of Risk and Reward were presented in an overview list, and then each topic was presented in depth, one-by-one (below).
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Rather than taking 2 minutes each for each of the Risk and Reward bullet points (as Trevor did in his original presentation), we created a separate slide for each of the give points. Now, the presentation graphics moved at a faster pace, and the audience had graphics to remember each of the key messages more effectively.

A quick fix and perfect presentation! After just two days and three rounds of edits, the presentation was success! Trevor presented to his business audience to applause and praise, and has generated several new business leads…in part thanks to a smooth delivery and great graphics from The Presentation Team!

 

Presentation Time Management

Effective PowerPoint Presentation Time and Cost Management


Tips to looking at presentation design as more of a science than an art

Adopt a “managed methodology” and work more effectively.

View this article as a SlideRocket Presentation 

Presentation Time Management

For most people, presentation development is more of an art than a science.

They spend more time focused on the look and feel of the presentation and the details of each page, rather than the pure message and content.  Here are some tips to help you look at presentation design as more of a science than an art, so you can put a “managed methodology” behind your work and work more effectively.

PowerPoint is a fun program!

Let’s face it….PowerPoint is a fun program!

Developing presentation graphics is one of the few times in the workplace that you can actually be creative. Which template to use? This graphic or this one? How can I say this better? Which bullet color is right?

 A Formula for Failure!

Before you know it, it’s the end of the day and you’ve created only five slides. Yes, five magnificent artistic slides…and dozens more to go. And only a few days before your deadline. Working at that pace is a formula for failure.

For most people, presentation development is more of an art than a science. They spend more time focused on the look and feel of the presentation and the minutia of each page, than the pure message and content. Subsequently, they often rush to meet their deadline and have little or no time to practice (or print handouts, info etc.). One hallmark of poorly time-managed presentations is a strong start with heavy graphics and a weak finish with little or no creativity.  

By looking at presentation design as more of a science than an art, you can put a “managed methodology” behind your work to help you meet deadlines and prepare for the known and unknown variables of presentation development.

Steps of Presentation Development

Rather than diving right into the project, start by looking holistically at the presentation and budget your time.

Divide your allocated time window into sections similar to these:

  1. Project scoping and objectives
  2. Presentation outlining
  3. Digital content acquisition
  4. Template/style development
  5. Body text and graphics and end-venue testing
  6. First draft review/meeting
  7. Core development, iterative revisions and review
  8. Slide transitions, body animation, and screen effects
  9. Practice and final tweaks/revisions
  10. Print/distribute/present

As for the actual design time spent per slide, I use a 3-level guide to estimate slide design time and revisions (and subsequent costs)….

3 Levels of Slide Design

This formula works best for updates/enhancement to existing presentations, but can also be applied for new projects. Early on, just designate the level of each slide you’re envisioning and calculate the time.

By spending more time up front on the template, outline, and overall content of the project, you’ll save yourself time in the end. Sometimes I like to craft the outline of a presentation on paper or in a word processor so I’m not distracted by the urge to make it look pretty in PowerPoint.

By thoughtful planning and proactive thinking, you’ll remain on time, within budget, and arrive with a polished presentation.

 

PowerPoint for MonaVie

Alive and Affluent: Dynamic PowerPoint for MonaVie Showcases Health Beverage


The secrets to transforming a boring and basic PowerPoint for Mona Vie into a high-impact presentation…showcasing the power drink’s business potential.

PowerPoint-Before-and-After-SamplesEST-Logo-100wMonaVie is helping people to be healthy…and wealthy.  This refreshing beverage integrates the Brazilian açai berry and 18 other body-beneficial fruits from around the world to support a healthy lifestyle.  But it’s a much more than just a beverage in a bottle…it’s a money-making enterprise!  In April 2009, Michael Murano of Executive Success Team first turned to The Presentation team to transform their boring and basic PowerPoint inta high-impact presentation to showcase the Mona-Vie’s beverages and business.

The presentation’s objectives were twofold: both educational/informational, as well as sales/marketing. It was created to be delivered in person, or online via webinar or webcast. The deliverables included:

  • Consultation and collaborative development/editing of core presentation content (key messages, bullet points, diagrams, etc.)
  • Development of a custom professional template (title and body masters), to reflect the presentation’s content and/or MonaVie and EST’s brand.
  • Establishment of a “presentation palette” defining the colors, fonts, and layout…to make the presentation more memorable.
  • Clutter-reducing techniques and presentation strategies to create a clean look with maximum effectiveness.
  • Clean and professional slide transition effects (fades and wipes).
  • Professional fonts/typography to ensure consistent playback on different operating systems.

The presentation was designed with a clean and contemporary design style integrating positive/motivational imagery featuring diversity, while reflecting a professional positive image.  Graphics were created to integrate transparencies, motion, and shadows.  The Project was contracted as a 40-hour endeavor, with work divided into 4-phases:

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4
  • Template Design
  • Graphic Look & Feel
  • Text Structure / Outline
  • Projector/Display Testing
  • Interviews and Research
  • Content Development / Writing
  • Photo Acquisition
  • Iterative edits
  • Transitions and Animations
  • Final Edits/Refinement
  • Coaching/Rehearsal
  • Testing and Sign-off 

PowerPoint-Design-Sample-Executive-Success-Team

Light, Bright Modern Widescreen Template sets the stage for a “fresh” presentation

The widescreen 16×9 template was designed to be clean, light and open, featuring a grey textured background to provide dimension and flow. The green fonts and graphical accents complemented EST’s brand and their website and helped create a consistent look and feel.

One of the early slides (for the live audience presentation version) showcased a friendly message to remind people to shut off their ringer…for a focused and un-interrupted seminar. The graphic featured a clipped PNG Graphic of a cell phone. In Photoshop, we added the “Silence” Message. We selected Optima LT as the primary font. It conveys a clean and professional look, while maintaining a unique and relaxed appearance.

PowerPoint-Design-Sample2-Executive-Success-Team

Show it! Antioxidants explained through Food Pyramid Image

To help convey the fundamentals of antioxidants (and its eventual tie-in to MonaVie), The Presentation Team integrated a transparent PNG graphic of the “Food Pyramid” with a short message about the increased need for fruits and vegetables in our diets.

 

PowerPoint-Design-Sample3-Executive-Success-Team

Ditch the template!  Full Screen sends a bold message.

To convey the concept of openness, freshness, and good clean living, we integrated a full-screen graphic of a happy healthy family.  Bullet points were minimized in text and offset to the left of the graphic.  To maintain consistency and unity throughout the presentation, we kept the bottom green arc and logo in place together with the Optima font.

 

PowerPoint-Design-Sample4-MonaVie

The Need…and the Solution.

After creating the “burning platform” of the importance of antioxidants in our lives, the “right product” of MonaVie makes a grand and colorful appearance as a transparent PNG graphic off-set to the right of the text.  Key words appear in bold Optima font.

 
PowerPoint-Design-Sample6-MonaVie

There’s still value to Vector Clip-Art

Many designers have opted to integrate the more realistic and dimensional “stock photograph” for the two-dimensional and illustrative “clip-art.”  But there is a value for clip art, especially when dealing with diversity.  An illustrated group of people can help convey diversity without divisiveness.  In this presentation slide for EST, the clip-art people add a generic human element to support the “Am I Ready” business message…without pigeonholing the viewer into connecting with a specific person on screen.  It’s generic yet inviting, creating an image that everyone can relate to.

After 2 weeks of collaborative development, a winning presentation finally emerged. Michael Murano of Executive Success Team now has a winning presentation…and his MonaVie associates/downline are helping America to live healthy…while making money!

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10 Tips for Using Fonts in PowerPoint


Make your presentation Fontastic with these 10 Tips…

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Next to graphics, type and fonts are the most effective way for communicating your message. Fonts add emotion and impact to your presentation. They also can create variety and help to keep the attention of your audience. Here are 10 tips for using fonts in your next presentation…

 

#1 Include/Embed Your Fonts.

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If you don’t save your presentation with the fonts, the end computer may substitute a default font that could destroy the perfect presentation you’ve created.  As an added safety factor, distribute or copy/save the actual font files (.ttf/.otf) together witih your presentation (below).  

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#2 Employ weight contrast for visual interest.

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You can draw attention to key points on a slide by emphasizing key words in boldface, or in a larger typesize.  Just a subtle change in size can increase visual variety and interest in your presentation, while emphasizing the key takeaway messages.

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#3 Check out www.google.com/fonts 

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This free site by Google is loaded with over 300 Open Type fonts (OTF) typefaces.  The fonts are organized by style, with examples. They’re easy to download, install and integrate into PowerPoint.  OTF fonts are cross-platform, so they’ll work well on Windows or Mac if you’re using Keynote.

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 #4 Limit Serif Fonts to Headlines.

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Fonts like Times Roman, Garamond often look busy on screen. The “Serifs” (frills) on the edges of the fonts help guide the eye along on paper.  But when projected, smaller serif fonts often blend together and look cluttered. Instead, use Sans Serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica. These are easier to read when projected.

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An example of a presentation with a headline in Garamond (Serif) vs. Century Gothic (Sans Serif).


#5.  Avoid High Tech and Modern Typefaces

 powerpoint-font-tip-5-avoid-funky-fonts

Modern fonts may look cool, but they’re difficult to read and detract from the message. They may be okay for the opening slide, but audiences will grow tired of them if they’re forced to read lots of text.  

Script-based fonts are hard to read are best used sparingly on one or two words, or to send an informal image.


#6: Investigate Slab Serif Typefaces

powerpoint-font-tip-6-investigate-slab-serif

Often overlooked, these sturdy fonts- Lucida, Verdana, Tahoma, Calibri, and Segoe- reflect a no-nonsense feeling of strength and contemporary design. They hold up well when projected and help promote a feeling of fresh design to any presentation.

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Two presentations using Slab Serif fonts.


#7: Define your fonts in your Theme or Master.  

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Most people work with templates for efficient and pre-set layouts for text and images.  But a template can also have pre-defined fonts…for the title and body of a slide.  Collectively, preset fonts, colors and templates/layouts are called “Themes”.  By using preset fonts, it’s fast and easy to change the overall look and font of a presentation instantly!

powerpoint-font-tip-7-define-fonts-in-master-example-1powerpoint-font-tip-7-define-fonts-in-master-example-2

Steps to take to define your fonts in your PowerPoint’s theme.


#8:  Maintain maximum foreground/ background contrast.

 powerpoint-font-tip-8-maintain-contrast

Be sure there is sufficient difference in tonal value between type and the background it appears against.  The majority of presentations these days use a lighter background, so having a darker font is helpful…especially if you’re going to print the presentation.

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Examples of yellow type against a white background.  The revised option has the text converted to black and spanned across 3 pages for easy readability.


#9: USE CAPITALIZATION WITH CARE.

PowerPoint Font Tip 9: USE CAPITALIZATION WITH CARE

Capitalizing makes letters harder to read and takes up more space.  They maybe okay for titles, but it’s better to emphasize with Bold, Underline, or a larger font-size.   

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The key words “deserve” and “negotiate” stand-out because of the bold and underline.  (Not to mention they’re not all capitalized!)


#10:  Save as a PowerPoint picture presentation.

PowerPoint Font Tip: save as a PowerPoint Picture

By saving your presentation as a series of jpg photos (File…Save As…JPG), you can be assured of a “What You See is What Your Get” presentation.  All the slides will convert to graphics- rendering them uneditable and will destroy any animations- but any concern of incompatibilities with typefaces will be gone.  This works great for systems like SlideShare.net, where many typefaces are often downsized to a basic Arial or Times Roman font.  If you don’t have the time to test the presentation on the end computer (which will guarantee it looks the same as on your computer!) this is a great way to make sure it looks great.

powerpoint-font-tip-10-save-as-a-powerpoint-picture-file-example

Fonts are not just words!  They’re graphical elements that can convey meaning and emotion to your presentation, making it more memorable and meaningful.  By taking the time to build a library of typefaces and fonts, you can help build presentations of intrigue and impact.

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  • “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
    Motorola

  • “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

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from “The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting.”

    Leah Gordillo
    Saint Francis Medical Center

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from “[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

  • “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

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