What skills could you transfer to your public speaking, from other disciplines?
For instance, in my work as a learning designer, I’ve been heavily influenced by experts like Cathy Moore. While her advice is aimed at designers of e-learning, you might be surprised how much of it could also apply to your next talk or presentation.
Like to see an example? Try Cathy’s post called How to get everyone to write like Ernest Hemingway. (It’s under 800 words, so it’s only about a 3-minute read.)
What’s that for?
You could use that post to help with your speechwriting (or with writing slides or speaker notes). That’s because it shows how you can take these 2 steps:
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.
How 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:
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:
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.
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:
Do 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:
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.
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.)
Imagine you’re presenting, and one of these situations comes up:
- You want to tell a story.
- Someone asks a great question, and it’s only loosely related to what’s on your slide.
In either case, 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 visual distraction), so that’s not a good option.
You might be thinking:
“A-ha! I know about the PowerPoint shortcut
that lets me black out my current slide!”
“My remote clicker has a button for
blacking out my slide”
Well in this post, as well as the standard solution provided by PowerPoint (and many remotes), you’ll find at least 3 completely new and better ways to hide your slide.
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