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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Create your last slide first (Secret #9 of star presenters, by Jim Endicott) [Video]

When you build a deck of presentation slides, how do you keep on track? If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve sometimes felt pressure (from yourself or some-one else) to include more and more content.

You know, like:

  • Background on your topic, even though most of your audience doesn’t care (or already knows it)
  • Existing slides on your topic, but which were made for a different purpose

Here’s one great tip that’ll help you resist pressures like those, and it comes in just a
20-second video clip from experienced speaking-coach Jim Endicott:

As Jim suggests:
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Strengthen your words – 5 simple speaking tips you can use today

cool-729445_640If you use weak words, you weaken your message. So to make what you say more vivid and compelling, you should rarely use words like “very” or “really”.

For instance, instead of saying “very good” or “very bad”, you could use stronger adjectives – like “superb” or “awful”.

That’s what well-known public-speaking blogger John Zimmer wrote recently, and I agree.

In fact John shared a handy list of almost 150 words you could use when you’re tempted to say “very”. (The list was originally compiled by Jennifer Frost.)

Does that mean you should never say “very”? No, it doesn’t. As John says:

“[Very] has its place when used sparingly”

To my mind, that’s because sometimes when you avoid “very”, you might cause 1 or more of these 4 problems, where you choose a stronger word that:

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9 tips to design presentations for webinars – critique of Ellen Finkelstein’s post [Part 2]

wise-webinar-owlWhen you prepare for an online session, do you wonder:

  • How long should your introduction be, and what should it focus on?
  • How much content should you show on each slide?
  • Is it OK to use animations, and if so, what sort should you use – and when?

In this post, you’ll find answers to those questions, and more. It’s part 2 of a review of Ellen Finkelstein’s post called:

9 tips to design presentations for webinars

(Be sure to also check out part 1 for my review of Ellen’s tips 1 to 4.)

In this post, we’ll look at the last 5 of Ellen’s 9 webinar tips, which I’d summarise like this:
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9 tips to design presentations for webinars – critique of Ellen Finkelstein’s post [Part 1]

owl-947741_640bDo you ever present online – at work or for yourself? If so (or if you’re about to for the 1st time), you’ll find superb tips on Ellen Finkelstein’s blog.

Ellen’s a PowerPoint MVP who presents and hosts lots of webinars, including the annual Outstanding Presentations Workshop.

Below, you’ll find part 1 of a review of Ellen’s post called:

9 tips to design presentations for webinars

In part 1, we’ll look at the first 4 of the 9 tips (plus a few of my own), which – among other things – deal with using your webcam, and interacting through polls or other means.

I’d summarise the first 4 tips like this:

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Thanks a ½ million! (5th birthday news at Remote Possibilities)

birthday-675486_640Thanks for your continued support, reading & commenting on this blog.

You rock!

In just the last 18 months, you and thousands of other people from over 200 territories have viewed my posts 300,000 times.

So with your help, today Remote Possibilities reached what I think are some rather momentous milestones:

Total page views Age this month Number of comments
500,000 5 years 550

Plenty of fives there, and I like the way they sound!

Again, thank you so much for your support, and I look forward to reaching many more milestones in the months and years ahead.

Related posts

Critique of Toastmasters video: “Managing Fear”

Have you ever stood in front of an audience and felt so nervous that you couldn’t remember what you wanted to say?

I’m sure you’ve been nervous about speaking in public

I bet you can relate to that feeling, and even if you’ve never felt exactly that way, I’m sure you’ve been nervous about speaking in public. (I have, for sure!)

Because so many people can relate to that question, and it’s emotionally charged, it’d make a great opening line for a talk on public speaking.

In fact, it is the opening line for the 3½-minute Toastmasters video below. At least, you could say it’s the opening line – or you might argue it’s not.

More on that shortly, but 1st, why not watch the video and make up your own mind?
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6 tips for great videos of your presentations or demos

clapper-boardDo you record videos of your talks, presentations or demos? Videos can be a great way to spread your message, while building your credibility and experience.

The 6 tips in this post should save you lots of time, because I’ve refined them over about the last 5 years. (And my most popular YouTube video currently has about 120,000 views and 130+ likes.)

You can use the tips (as I have, too) for all these types of videos, and more:

  • Slides being presented by a speaker
  • Someone talking directly to camera – often called a talking head
  • Demos of how to do something (like use software) – often called explainer videos

The names of the 6 tips form an acronym (“ASPECT”) which I hope’ll help you to recall the tips, and also to be systematic when you approach your video-based projects.

If you’d like to jump straight to any of the 6 tips, you can click these links:
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Slide makeover: 5 steps to replace boring bullets with audience awe

During your professional life, you’ve no doubt seen more slides with bullet lists on them than any other type of slide. The problem is, so have your audiences, too.

You can’t inspire a disengaged audience…

Because audiences see wordy bullet lists a lot, they’re disengaged by them instantly. And, despite your best efforts, you can’t inspire a disengaged audience to act on what you say!

So how can you use fewer bullet lists? Let’s work through an example to see what you could do instead, using this bullet-filled slide as a starting point:

original bullet-point slide

This is what the slide will look like when you finish the makeover:

bullet-point slide makeover - labels

And here are the 5 steps you can use to complete that overhaul:
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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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