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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Quiz: How many words should you put on your slide, and WHY?

How many words (at most) should you put on a slide? It’s a common (and reasonable) question. But depending on who you ask, the answer you get can vary hugely.

Here are 4 typical answers:

  1. As many words as you want
  2. Up to 36 words (6×6 words)
  3. Around 15 words
  4. At most 6 words (as Seth Godin suggests, which I wrote about last month)

Before you read on, what do you think is the best answer – and why?
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Secret #3 of star presenters: @NakedPresenting on preparing

Woman's FeetAsk yourself, honestly: How long will you spend preparing your next presentation? It can be a long process of course. Yet, it’s likely you’ll often get distracted by your other work and not get to spend the time your talk needs. Or your slides may become so vital to your talk – or so detailed – that you spend nearly all your available prep time grooming them.

So with that in mind, consider this quote from Emma Sutton (@NakedPresenting on Twitter), who’s a presentation coach and blogger in the UK: Continue reading

How consistent should you make your slides? (I say “Go for cohesion instead”)

Glass SquaresHas anyone ever said you should make your slides more consistent? What was the issue, and how did you respond? (Feel free to join all the other people who’ve left a comment below with their thoughts and experiences on consistency.)

Last week, speaking coach Susan Trivers wrote a short post called “Avoid uniformity for the sake of uniformity”. It resonated so much with me – and consistency is probably a hot topic for you too – so I hope you find both this post and Susan’s helpful.

Susan wrote:

“During a recent discussion …people were pushing for [several slides’] titles to read either Improvements or Innovations, even though what was being proposed [on the slides] were neither all of one or all of the other.”

Here’s my 1st thought on those slides: Continue reading

Here’s the RIGHT way to show your company logo on your slides – Be distinctive (not dismissive)

distinctive full-size logo slideDo you use a PowerPoint template with your brand’s logo on every slide? If so: Yikes!

Having your logo on every slide just creates “blur”, or noise. By that I mean it subtly distracts your audience, because it doesn’t help them to understand or remember your specific message.

But don’t just take my word for it – these 3 experts agree:

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How to use quotes in your presentation – 25+ tips from Six Minutes & me

“First, why should I use quotes in my presentations?”

Decisions are made on feelings about facts, not on facts themselves.(In a rush? Jump to the tips.)

Quotations offer a kind of social proof to support the claims you make in your talk. The well-known people who said each quote make your message more credible. And in boardroom-style presentations in business, well-chosen quotes make your talk stand out and look more professional because so few business presenters use them.

These days, I recommend this 3-part formula for using quotes:

  1. Be shrewd, by which I mean use quotes sparingly, and quote a source your audience admires, like Melinda Gates or Richard Branson.
  2. Keep it short. Typically, the shorter a quote is, the more power it has.
  3. Make it shine. For a “professionally designed” look, put it on a full-screen photo and wrap it in oversized quotation marks, like in the example below:

3-part formula for using a quote in your presentation:
“Be shrewd. Keep it short. Make it shine.” Tweet this

For in-depth tips about using quotes, check out the sections below

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Make killer PowerPoint presentations in 7 clear steps (Free e-book by Olivia Mitchell)

Quick quiz: In a 7-step method for building killer PowerPoint presentations, at which step would you make the slides?

Step 1? …Step 2? …Step 3?

Any advance on step 3?

Well in this tried-and-tested method by presentation expert Olivia Mitchell, you may be staggered to hear you don’t make the slides until Continue reading

Manage projects with Excel and PowerPoint, by MVP Glenna Shaw

Want to manage a fairly small project by using Microsoft Office? Well here’s a neat how-to article written by PowerPoint MVP Glenna Shaw that’ll give you a great start. In it, you download her sophisticated Excel spreadsheet so you can track your project’s tasks, milestones, resources and risks. Then, you follow Glenna’s steps to adjust the spreadsheet to your needs, and to link it to PowerPoint so you can present your latest project plan in style!

This is 1 of 4 chart types the spreadsheet creates for you:

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Free 80-page e-book on boardroom-style presentations, by Andrew Abela

Four business executives having meeting in boardroomHere’s a thought-provoking yet quick read for when you’re creating a boardroom-style presentation – that is, for a small audience (rather than a ballroom-style event, for a large audience).

It’s written by Andrew Abela – who’s an academic, a former management consultant, and creator of the Extreme Presentation Method.

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