Time for a Break!
What do you do during the 15 minute break from your presentation? Make some phone calls, use the washroom, get a snack, drink some water, talk to other people...sure. But what do you do if you're the presenter --- what do you show on your slide projector?
Microsoft suggests their 15 minute countdown presentation (you can download it here
.) It's not a bad idea. The presentation automatically counts down the remaining time you've given your audience for their (and your) break. You can even insert this presentation within your own, and give it some more entertaining touches....perhaps a more vibrant color. Perhaps some entertaining quotes, puzzles, or Q and A.
You can also design your own 15 minute presentation to auto-play during that time. How about playing a roll like you see at the movies before the previews come in? You can design word scrambles about your topic, design a trivia question with Multiple Choice answers, display pertinent pictures, pithy thoughts and quotes
or other scraps of wisdom
....use your imagination.
Let me ask you this: what other creative concepts can you display during a 15 minute break?
Tom Peters! PowerPoint...
Tom Peters is a management consultant who is internationally known for giving highly engaging presentations. Tom Peters also has a blog, tompeters!
, where he discusses "why" he uses PowerPoint. In addition to "why", Tom also discusses "how" he uses PowerPoint for great effect...and he offers a number of great presentation techniques, as well.
Here's but one quote from Tom's blog:
""Jokes" suck. PERIOD. But humor is the Coolest Thing on Earth."
You can read Tom's Blog and download his PowerPoint presentations at http://www.tompeters.com/entries.php?rss=1¬e=http://www.tompeters.com/blogs/main/007810.php
How to Handle Hecklers...
In the Midwest, people are usually to polite to heckle a business presentation. Either that, or they're too scared of getting fired when they loudly shout "boo" or "yeah, right" at the boss in the middle a PowerPoint presententation.
It's a tight job market, after all.
But if people are afraid to actively respond to what you say or how you say it, how on earth do you know if you're connecting with them at all? Or on what level?
How do you respond to criticism, nags, or hecklers? There are definite advantages to inviting
, as opposed to avoiding
How do you invite good criticism? And what are the differences between good critics and a nasty nags?
Listen to my rant about hecklers
. Under 12 minutes.
Online Presentations in Jeopardy!
Your online presentations can be highly engaging, interactive conversations.
For example, Business Week does regular internet slide shows. They are often simple: a paragraph with a headline that describes a compelling picture. The audience clicks on the "next" button until the slide show is over. This gives the audience a way to control the pace of the presentation.
For extra interaction, the last slide is often a quiz...(see Podcast Slide Show
for an example).
I've also seen online slide shows where every slide contains a quiz question (you've seen them, too.). You can get the answer by clicking to the next slide. That's a great "hook" to keep your audience interested.
Hey, it works for Jeopardy! (By the way, you can download "Jeopardy" PowerPoint templates created by teachers here
And honestly, what sentient beings really care about American Idol finals (snore)? Watching Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings face off in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions was much more rewarding TV viewing!
Even though it might be raining all throughout the Memorial Day Weekend, you can still fly the U.S. Flag in your Memorial Day PowerPoint presentations (it never rains in cyberspace!)
You can download truly free flag clip art at the following sites:U.S. Flag Clip Art
Don't Tread On Me Clipart
State Flag Gifs
Free Little Download is Soooo Useful....
The Pixie Color Picker is an incredibly useful little freebie - and at 8K, let's put a heavy emphasis on the word "little". This free software download lets you look at the rgb (or cmyk/hex/html/hsv) codes for colors on your computer screen.
So, when you need to match exact colors in your presentation...this little tool lets you do it easily. For example, you might want to match your headline text to a color tone within a photo or graphic element. With the Pixie Color Picker, you just float your cursor over the color, and you'll instantly know what its values are.
Couldn't be simpler...or more useful.
Give it a try!
Try PowerPoint 2003 For Free
Try before you buy!
You can order a trial version of Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, which includes PowerPoint 2003, Access, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, and Word. Microsoft will send you a CD that lets you test drive all of these programs for 30 days.
To order your free 30-day trial CD, visit the Microsoft site at http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/prodinfo/default.mspx
"Welcome" to the Dark Side of PowerPoint!
Welcome to the Dark Side. If you have Star Wars tickets, today’s the day. You’ll be among the first to see how Anakin Skywalker gets seduced by the dark side.
But today, I want to talk about the Dark Slide, not the Dark Side.
What's the Dark Slide? In my opinion, the Dark Slide is the PowerPoint Welcome Slide" that doesn't really welcome the audience.
If your welcome slide just says "Welcome"...or maybe "Welcome and Your Company Name Here" with a date and your name....you can do better.
Listen to the Dark Slide Podcast and find out how. Under 8 minutes.
Change Your PowerPoint!
In today's 12 minute PowerPoint podcast
, I discuss an important visual cue that promises your audience that they are going to hear something different or new.
And I discuss two OTHER visual cues in your PowerPoint presentation that just might tell your audience that they're going to hear the "same old, same old."
What are those visual cues? And what might you need to change?
Listen to find out!Show notes:
In first few minutes of the podcast, I reference Robert Scobles' blog, and this article
And in the last few minutes, I might inadvertantly offend people who attend a Big Ten school in Ann Arbor -- what's the name of that school? You know, the one that's not as good as the one in East Lansing? ;)
Mastering the 30-Second Pitch...
What's an elevator pitch, and why do you need one? And how can you craft the perfect pitch for your business AND guarantee that your prospects will listen to you while you deliver it?
Take a tip from pitch master Donald Trump. Love him or hate him, this Business Week article, Mastering the 30-Second Pitch
, outlines the four questions you must ask...and answer... so that you can deliver a compelling story.
A short and worthwhile read!
Three Tasty PowerPoint Shortcuts
There are three incredibly useful shortcuts that every presenter must know when they stand up to deliver a PowerPoint Presentation. What are they?
- Display a black screen, or return to the slide show from a black screen
- Display a white screen, or return to the slide show from a white screen
- Go to the next hidden slide
If you already know these three presentation shortcuts, good for you. But when I showed these three little “tricks” to a very
seasoned presenter recently… he “remembered” that he knew them at one point, but he “forgot” them while he was developing a new PowerPoint presentation!
I can totally empathize with forgetting something basic: sometimes we get into our groove, and we forget how much we actually know! A tiny little thing like a B, W, or H is bound to slip our memories!
little PowerPoint or presentation tip do you find most useful?
Labels: PowerPoint Tricks
Mindmapping Your Presentation Checklist
Mindmapping: how I love it! Much better than a linear laundry list, a mind map is a series of pictures you draw to associate your ideas. For me, it works.
In high school and college, I would fill up my notebooks with doodles as my teachers and professors nattered on about their topics. My actual written notes didn't do much for me when it came to studying. However, I could look at the doodles and experience a great recall of the subject matter.
Later in life, I led a class on creativity, where we focused on mind maps. Think of it as word association -- but without words. With mind maps, you associate ideas with images.
One main advantage of mind mapping? You can experience better recall of ideas when they are laid out graphically. If you're like me, you can remember complicated ideas better by creating a picture, rather than by looking at words.
Another advantage: grouping ideas fosters creativity, whereas linear groupings do not. Think of it this way: suppose I asked you to tell me about your day yesterday. Now, try to tell me the story chronologically, i.e. what happened at 8:00 a.m. yesterday...then at 9:00...then at 10:00... ?
Chances are, you won't be telling a creative story if you choose to tell it chronologically. But if you group ideas of your day together, punctuating the highlights and eliminating the mundane, you'll tell a story that has a chance of excitement and energy!
So before you create your next presentation, try creating a mind map. You'll literally see the difference it makes!
PS - There are quite a few technology tools to help you facilitate mindmapping. Over the years, I have purchased three different mind mapping software, but my absolute favorite is Mind Manager
by Mindjet. You can download a free 21 trial to check it out.Bonus
: Mind Manager can also export directly to PowerPoint. For an example of both a mind map and a Power Point presentation, I put a Mind Manager's Mind Map of a Presentation Checklist
here. It outlines 8 areas you need to cover for your next presentation.
Free PowerPoint Backgrounds - Shhhhh!
Oh, those pesky cell phones, Blackberries, and pagers! How do you get people to turn them off and pay attention while you are presenting?
The best thing to do, of course, is
1) to remind people up front to turn off their devices and
2) give a fascinating, riveting presentation... so that your audience won't even be tempted to fidget with their little techno-devices while you're presenting!
To assist you with step one, you can download some very good looking, professional, and totally free PowerPoint Backgrounds for your next presentation. The folks at Parting Water designed a set of 6 free PowerPoint
backgrounds that serve as a friendly reminder to your audience to keep the noise level low. The backgrounds are very professional and good-natured.
As for step two, I was shocked and horrified to read the suggestions in the May 9, 2005 issue of Newsweek titled "Not Another PowerPoint Presentation
." The article insinuates that the audience is rude when they act bored and start fidgeting with their techno-devices! The article actually suggests fining the audience
-- one dollar for ringing cell phones, and two for BUOB (blatant use of Blackberry.)
What a horrible idea! Blame the audience? Talk about blaming the victim!
If presenters resort to punitive measures to keep audience attention, you can bet that they're not getting their point across very well! Instead, any presenter needs to take responsibility for leading the conversation. And good leadership requires enthusiasm and preparation -- two bare minimum requirements for presenting to an audience!
If you prepare and deliver a fascinating presentation, and your audience won't even think of Blackberrying!
What's ruder -- being bored...or being boring?
The Show Must Go On...
What do you when you have a speech or a presentation to give…and you wake up in a hotel room in a strange city...and you have a fever....and your voice sounds completely shot?
It happened to me. It could happen to you. It could happen to anybody.
A few days ago, I watched a video of Kelsey Grammar falling off a stage while he was doing a presentation at Disney. I don't mean to sound all Bill Clinton, but I felt his pain.
And I admired him for his show biz work ethic. He went on with his job, even though he must have been hurting.
But it's not just show biz folks. Us Midwesterners with our Puritan work ethic...we show up for work, even though we might be contagious. Some wise firms all across the nation are cracking down on this bizarre behavior...they won't let sick people come to work and spread their contagion throughout the rank and file. Sick time costs plenty!
If you have a ragin' contagion...stay home! But what to do if you're on the road and you're a one man or a one woman show....what do you do?My podcast
on this topic today is very brief (under four minutes). I'd like your comments, please.
What should I have done, and how could I have handled it better?
Thank you for your support!
Cinco de Mayo Presentations and Clip Art
May 5 Reminder:
you can download free Cinco de Mayo clip art
for your Cinco de Mayo presentation at the Microsoft site.
And if you need more Cinco de Mayo information in order to put your May 5 presentation together, I suggest visiting the following sites to learn more about this holiday.
Labels: PowerPoint Presentation
Mother's Day Clip Art and Media -- Free!
Don't forget Mother's Day this Sunday...and remember that the Microsoft site offers free special occasion clip art, photos, and media for you to download. This means that you can make Mom a nifty card
or even a presentation to show how much you love and admire her.
And isn't home made always best? :)
Orson Welles and PowerPoint?
What would Orson Welles make of PowerPoint? (If you don't know who Orson Welles is, please watch Turner Classic Movies this month -- they will be playing some of his classic movies, including Citizen Kane. It's both a pleasure and an education to experience his film work.)
In this 11 minute, 40 second
Podcast, I freely admit it: I have no idea what Orson Welles would do with PowerPoint
. (Your comments and ideas are welcome, though -- !)
However, I do
talk about the Power of Telling a Story
. Mr. Welles was famous for crafting and delivering great stories. And he used a variety of media: radio, film, television, as well as good old print.
What's was more important to Welles: words...or graphics?
And what's more important to you?
Tulip Festival Screensaver -- Free Download
Tulips are blooming in this lovely screensaver, filled with professional quality photos of gorgeous tulips. The screensaver is available for free at cnet's Download.com "
Tulip Festival Screensaver - Reviews and free downloads at Download.com
Excerpt from the software publisher:
"This amazing collection of 31 professional photographs taken during the Canadian Tulip Festival and the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is sure to brighten any day."
"These original images all are high-resolution (1,024x768) with low JPEG compression for enjoyable viewing at resolutions as high as 1,600x1,200. Screensaver-tray and wallpaper-tray controls are included but may be uninstalled separately from the screensaver."
"Tulips originated in Persia, where legend tells of a Persian youth, named Ferhad, who fell in love with a young woman named Shirin. She did not reciprocate his feelings for her, so he went out into the desert to die from a broken heart. As he wept, his tears fell into the sand and beautiful tulips sprang up. To early Americans, the tulip represented all things associated with a peaceful and contented home life and the stylized three-petaled tulip represented faith, hope, and charity to the Pennsylvania Dutch."