Free 1-hour “interactive” speech lesson by @DarrenLaCroix, former World Champ of Public Speaking [Video]

Do you ever struggle with knowing what to talk about when you give a speech? Or do you want a new perspective on the value you bring as a speaker?

If so, be sure to check out this 1-hour video by Darren LaCroix, who’s now a renowned speech coach, and was the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking (in the annual contest run by Toastmasters International).

Darren’s a great speaker, and his talk’s filled with both humour and powerful insight. In fact Patricia Fripp, former head of the National Speakers Association, is quoted as saying:
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Spotlight part of a picture with PowerPoint’s slide-background-fill [Video, part 2]

Do you want to highlight part of a photo or screenshot (or other picture) as though you’ve shone a spotlight on it? In this post, you’ll see just how to do that, with the 2nd in a short series of videos on using PowerPoint’s slide background fill option.

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4 neat Storyline (and PowerPoint) shortcuts – help you save 8 days a year!

keyboard shortcuts for productivityIf you’re looking for keyboard shortcuts for Articulate Storyline, check out this list on their site. Or you might prefer their (slightly shorter) 1-page PDF, which prints well.

Here are 3 more handy shortcuts that aren’t listed above (and which work the same in PowerPoint), plus a 4th that’s only in the longer of those 2 lists (and which differs in PowerPoint). They’re all for use in Normal view:
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Rotate meter needles in Articulate Storyline (or PowerPoint) – via David Anderson @elearning [Video to watch]

Easily rotate an object around any point

If you use either Articulate Storyline or PowerPoint, you might find this video handy. It shows you how to easily rotate an object around any point, not just its centre. So you could find this tip useful if your slides have things like meter needles, clock hands, or levers on them.

You can use the tip either to:

  • Control the angle of objects when you place them on your slide.
  • Animate objects to spin around a chosen point when people view the slide.

I was inspired to make the video after watching fab tutorials by David Anderson of Articulate. In his 9 videos (totalling 45 minutes), you’ll see all the details you need to show quiz results on a dial.

The 5th video in David’s series fascinated me

I’m new to Storyline, having developed just one course with it so far, and am learning how its states feature works. So the 5th video in David’s series fascinated me, because it uses states to show the learner’s score.

It can be tricky to place the meter needle at a certain angle though, because when you rotate any object, by default Storyline and PowerPoint rotate it around its centre. So then you have to put the needle’s end back to where you want it, which can be quite fiddly.

Using the tip in the 7-minute video below, the meter rotates around its end, so you don’t have to struggle to put it back.

(If you’d like to make the video bigger, you can watch it on YouTube and click the Full screen symbol below the right end of the video’s timeline.)

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Using PowerPoint’s slide-background-fill to “cloak” objects [Video, part 1]

Make your slides look like you used Flash

Want to make your humble slides look like you used Flash, Photoshop, or another fancy (and pricey!) Adobe tool – when you only used PowerPoint? Well here are some videos to help you do just that.

In 2013, the Duarte blog featured an animation of objects emerging from behind a line, as though rising over the horizon. And in a great 12-minute video tutorial, last month Nick Smith of AdvanceYourSlides.com showed how you can use that same effect on your own slides.

To extend Nick’s method, the 4-minute video below shows how you can reuse the effect on any slide, without having to customise it each time:

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PowerPoint for e-learning – more like Storyline than you’d think

Unhappy and happy counterpartsDo you use PowerPoint to train people? That’s very common of course, and there are many ways you can do it:

  • Face-to-face, in the same room;
  • Remotely, using something like Microsoft Live Meeting or Adobe Connect;
  • Asynchronously, perhaps using a tool like Brainshark or Articulate Storyline.

Here we’ll look at that 3rd option, because recently I read a short but fascinating post that compares PowerPoint and Articulate Storyline as training tools. (If you’ve seen my about page, you’ll know I’m a training developer – hence my interest in the topic.)

Storyline’s the “new kid on the block”

Storyline’s the “new kid on the block” of major e-learning tools. When you open Storyline, it looks a lot like PowerPoint, and it has many similar features. But it’s designed to make e-learning, rather than just slides.

Anyway, the post I mentioned is by Brian Washburn, and it’s provocatively titled:
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Draw like a pro: Make perfect circles, squares and triangles in PowerPoint [Video to watch]

In this 6-minute video, you’ll see how to:

  • Draw perfect circles, squares and triangles in PowerPoint – in just 2 clicks.
  • Resize a shape without distorting it.
  • Draw a shape so it’s centred where you want, even before you finish drawing it.

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Highlight text in yellow in PowerPoint (like in Word), when making slides [Video]

Here’s a 3-minue video showing how you can highlight text in yellow in PowerPoint (while you’re designing your slides, rather than just when you present) – much like you can with text in Word.

This method has the advantage that if you move or copy the text you highlighted, the highlight stays with the text. (You might have seen people suggest workarounds like putting a yellow shape behind the text, but if you do that it doesn’t move with the text of course.)

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Secret #6 of star presenters: 3 great benefits of pausing (by Keith Bailey of @DeckerComm)

pauseRight now, why not take a moment to vividly imagine achieving these 3 outcomes whenever you present?

  • Feeling relaxed.
  • Influencing people more.
  • Delighting your audience.

Those 3 are the Holy Grail of public speaking! No doubt you’d be glad to achieve any 1 of them, so to get all 3 would be bliss.

Well according to Keith Bailey of Decker Communications, you can achieve all 3 of those outcomes simply by pausing effectively.

In fact, in 2 neat sentences (just 15 words), Keith encapsulates not only those 3 outcomes but also how simply (though not easily) you can achieve them:
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12+ ways to be remembered when you present (FiRST framework – part 3)

Does your talk’s goal involve your audience taking action afterwards? I hope so, because only by people acting on your talk can it be truly effective.

To act though, your audience needs to remember afterwards:

  • What they should do
  • Why they should do it – that is, how important it is to them.

This post helps you make those 2 aspects of your talk vividly memorable. And if you happen to have read the overview of the FiRST framework (of which this is part 3), you’ll already know of “SMS”, which represents the 3 types of tips in this post.

Here, SMS stands for:
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