PowerPoint’s golden shortcuts – how many are you missing?

Here’s a quick quiz for you

Do you know how to do these tasks in PowerPoint with just a few keystrokes:

Well, read on to find out, and see how other neat PowerPoint shortcuts can help you.
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Dump text from your slides! Here’s how – without forgetting what to say (or skipping key details)

Shredded PaperHow many of your slides serve double duty? Let’s look at an example of what I mean

Suppose you have a slide with several contact numbers and email addresses on it, like the one shown below:
contact details slide

Slides like that serve double duty because they’re both:

  • Part of your slideshow during your talk
  • Used for reference afterwards, because people won’t remember all the details

If people won’t remember what a slide says, why show it?

My question is, if people won’t remember what a slide says, why show it during your presentation at all? That needlessly burdens your audience, who don’t know what you expect them to remember (or what details you might give them a copy of).

By all means, include details like that in a handout for people to refer to later. But don’t overwhelm your audience with details during your talk.

Many presenters give their audience a copy of their slides to look at afterwards – in effect using their deck as their handout. But unless you’re careful, using your slide deck as your handout has 2 big problems:
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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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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 – both of which do a good job of importing PowerPoint slides.

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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Black is back, but better – 3+ new ways to hide your slide while you speak

key B++Imagine you’re presenting, and you’re just about to go to your next slide. Right then, someone in your audience asks a great question about your topic.

The thing is, suppose the question’s only loosely related to what’s on any of your slides, but you’re happy to discuss it because everyone seems interested, and you have time. All the same, you’re left with this glaring issue:

What do you do with your current slide?

Leaving it on your screen amounts to “blur” (that is, a distraction from the discussion), so that’s not a good option.

You may be thinking:

“A-ha! I know about the obscure feature
that lets me black out my PowerPoint slide!”

Well in this post, as well as the standard solution that PowerPoint (and Keynote) provides, you’ll find at least 2 completely new and better ways to hide your current slide.
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Stop Q&A hypnosis – keep audience attention during your talk or webinar

In this post:

The pain: What most audiences see

During Q&A at the end of a talk, you know how most presenters show a slide saying something like “Questions” the whole time? As you can see here, that can quickly get very boring to look at, causing your audience’s minds to wander:

Well, here’s a far more engaging technique, so not only will you grab people’s attention, you’ll also come across as being really polished. This technique’s particularly handy when you present online, where your audience can get distracted all too easily. Continue reading

Wow them: How to spotlight part of your PowerPoint slide [Video ×2]

Golden Gate Bridge San FranciscoHere’s a great 3-minute video that shows how to sharply focus attention on part of your slide – by using a dramatic spotlight effect:

http://www.screenr.com/ZhM

UPDATE: Here’s a video of a 2nd method that automatically adjusts to show the new background if you move the spotlights (or even if you change the background picture).

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