Best of 2005: Free PowerPoint Stuff!
Don't you just love those end of the year wrap-ups? You know: the "best of-worst of" top 100 countdown articles and TV shows? After a year of blogging about presenting, I took a look at my stats to find "the best of" blog postings based on the number of click-throughs at this site.
Turns out that 5 of the top 10 headlines had the word "Free" in them. And a whopping 8 of the top 10 had the brand name "PowerPoint" in it.
So now I know what you want and what you're looking for in 2006: Free PowerPoint Stuff!
Well, OK then. In the future, I'll do my best to point you to more free PowerPoint templates, backgrounds, add-ins, and other cool presentation-related stuff.
For a look back, here are the backlinks to my top "Free PowerPoint" blog posts of 2005:
Look for more freebies in 2006!
Happy New Year, everyone!
Podcasting from PowerPoint....
January 19, 2007 "Podcasting from PowerPoint" Update:
Here is my lastest post on How to Podcast from PowerPoint
I deleted all
the original content in this post.
Why? All my how-to instructions for podcasting from PowerPoint that worked in 2005 no longer work in 2007!
Here is my lastest post on How to Podcast from PowerPoint
Please visit this link -- and I apologize for the extra click you have to endure to find what you are looking for!
Thanks for your understanding,
PowerPoint to OPML
January 19, 2007 Update:
I deleted this post because it linked to a site that is no longer functioning. Too bad -- it had a lot of promise!
Thank you for your understanding....
Finding PowerPoint Presentations Online...
Here's a neat, 2-step trick for finding content-rich PowerPoint Presentations online:
- Go to Google.com and type in a search term of interest in quotation marks
- Directly after your search term, type in the term filetype:ppt
Like so: "Your Keywords" filetype:ppt
Google will present you with a list of PowerPoint presentations only -- no html at all, only posted PowerPoint files. I can think of two good reasons why you might want to do this:
- Type in the name of the presenter to download a specific presentation you saw and liked...
- Enter a topic of interest, and you'll typically get an educational presentation, instead of a sales pitch (for an even greater likelihood of an educational presentation, type in -.com after your search phrase: this will eliminate all URLs that end in a .com, so that you're more likely to get .edu, or educational presentations.)
And as you might imagine, this also works with pdf files -- type in pdf instead of ppt, and you'll get nothing but pdf files. This type of search is very useful for finding packaged content on a topic of interest.
Free PowerPoint Templates for Christmas
Merry Christmas! 'Tis the season and all...so here are three free PowerPoint templates for Christmas...a gift just for you! Just on the graphic images below, and they should open right up. If you want to save them to your hard drive, just click "File" then "Save" within PowerPoint.
Enjoy the Holidays!
Christmas, PowerPoint, and Streaming Abundance!
As we enter the season of Advent, I know a ton of churches that are planning special PowerPoint programs...let's face it: people love singing Christmas carols this time of year, but sometimes, we forget the words!
To make sure we're all on the same page, many churches use the "follow the bouncing ball" type of Christmas PowerPoint presentation for lyrics. I've seen this done to great effect...with the more creative souls choreographing the lyrics with breathtaking photos of Christmas, as well as other powerful images.
It's a great time of year to get creative with Christmas PowerPoint! And you can easily share your visionary, spiritual PowerPoint presentation with a much larger congregation that your local church!
About a month ago, I received a call from a spiritual healer, Kim Spalding. Kim wrote and performed an inspirational song (complete with piano and vocals) -- and her friend created a PowerPoint slide show with images and lyrics. Kim wanted to share the PowerPoint file on her website -- but alas -- the file was too huge!
I told Kim to give Camtasia a try: Camtasia Studio
by Techsmith easily records PowerPoint files, and will save them as any number of streaming video files: avi, wmv, mov, swf.
Why is this important? Two words spring to mind:Instant Gratification-
When the file size is smaller, your audience doesn't have to wait (long) to see your huge presentation! Further, your online audience doesn't even have to download your PowerPoint file, and then launch it to view your presentation. By streaming
your presentation over the web, your audience can enjoy a richer web-based multimedia experience.
Kim chose to record her PowerPoint file as a .wmv file, so that her online audience could either use RealPlayer or Windows Media Player to view her presentation....and usually most online browsers will have one of these programs installed as their default media viewer. (If they don't -- no sweat! Each of the players is a free download, to boot!)
If you have RealPlayer or Windows Media Player, you can hear and view Kim's beautiful song and presentation "Calling All God's Children".
You can visit Kim's site to see and hear her presentation...
And with the magic of Camtasia, Kim's song is readily available for the entire world to enjoy.
Now, what about you? How are you going to use PowerPoint to spread a message of hope this holiday season?
Naming your website or company: 2 Great Tools
The whole idea of "naming" has come up a lot for me lately. I am frequently asked about that old devil - "what should I name my new website / company / product / blog: especially since all the good names are already taken?"
Great question. But I'm not so sure that all the good
names ARE taken!
A better question: "What's a good name for my new company, product, or website?"
I think if you are a small business, you'll want to start with that question instead!
: I didn't say the "ideal" or "perfect" name. Just a good name. There is no such thing as the perfect name, so get over any perfectionist tendencies you might have right away!)
When I consult with companies on the whole "naming" issue, I tell them that there are a few things they should know about the theory of picking a new name, as well as a few online tools they can use to make sure their name is a) unique and b) available.
This is valuable stuff-- it's information that ad agencies and marketing firms don't want you to know!
The truth is: you can do this. You can name your own company and land your dotcom URL. And you don't have to pay some marketing gurus tens of thousands to do this basic task.
If you know your customers, niche, products, offerings, services, etc. -- then you ARE the best person to name your company or website! But a word of caution: if you spend over a week on this most basic task, you are PROCRASTINATING! This is not the toughest task when it comes to running your business.
So I'm going to cut through myths and get to reality -- and I'll give you the tools to DIY quickly - so Do It Yourself Today!
Tool #1 - The Naming Podcast
-- This podcast is about 20 minutes long. I usually give this presentation as a chalk talk -- but because you might be driving or running, I'm just talking my way through the visuals. Listen to this podcast first -- then go to Tool #2:
Tool #2 - The Nitty Gritty Naming Tools
- In previous posts, I alluded to the idea that there are some free and cheap online tools that can let you brainstorm and snap up great names for your new website or company. This is a 6.5 minute video presentation that shows you exactly how to pick a "hip and now" name for your company.
And if you think that all the "hip and now" dotcom names are taken by December 7, 2005 -- think again.
The video shows you unequivocally -- it's not true! There are several hip and now names that are available for you to snap up online right now!
Labels: podcast, video
PowerPoint, Professors, Names, and Trademarks....
What to name your company...especially
when your company sells another company's products?Hint #1:
Unless you have a franchise, partner, membership or other agreement with the holder of the trademark, you can't use their trademarked product name within your own company name. For example, I can't decide to be "Bergells Honda"...if I don't have a franchise arrangement with Honda Corporation to open up an auto dealership. And I can't name my site "Bergells Realtors Dot Com" if I don't have a current, active relationship with the NAR - the National Association of Realtors (believe it or not, "Realtors" is actually a trademarked name!)
So check out this recent blog titled "Professor PowerPoint is No More.
" This fellow Tom went by the name "Professor PowerPoint" for years: selling books and videos about how to use PowerPoint. And he did this without permission from Microsoft. According to Tom, Microsoft nicely asked him to stop, referring him to their preferred trademark use guidelines
And I can see from Microsoft's trademark guidelines that I'm also might be
guilty of a trademark violation -- on this very website, I frequently refer to the trademarked name "PowerPoint"... without the little "R" after it.
So: am I guilty?
My goodness, can you imagine how ugly my online articles or blogs would look if I had to put a little TM or an R or a C after every written trademark? Hideous! Imagine this --
"I drove my DaimlerChrysler(C) PT Cruiser(TM) to Walmart(C) to buy a Thermos(C) and some Spam(C). But then I got a chirp on my Nextel(C) from my client in the Systems Storage(TM) division at IBM(C), and he told me to pick up some Krispy Kreme(R) brand doughnuts on my way to the office, or else he would say 'You're Fired'(TM)."
Written communication could get real ugly, real fast!
Happily, that's why there is The Chicago Manual of Style
for journalists, teachers, and others who write publicly. Magazines and newsletters and little websites like mine would have to pay a fortune for all the extra ink and paper or server space to take up all the little Rs and Cs and TMs and such.
To gut check, I just picked up a few magazines and flipped through them. Sure enough, the articles reference PowerPoint and Microsoft and other trademarks all the time....no little Rs at all.
That's because the Chicago Manual of Style says,
"In publications that are not advertising or sales materials, all that is necessary is to use the proper spelling and capitalization of the name of the product. A trademark attorney can tell you when the use of the symbol is required."
So apparently, I can continue to write the word "PowerPoint" in articles without using the TM...as long as I'm not trying to actually sell you PowerPoint. That seems fair.
Don't buy PowerPoint.
That ought to do it! That should make Microsoft lawyers happy!
Seriously though, according to Tom, Microsoft is not aggressive about suing people who might inadvertantly break a rule or two about the use of their trademarks. But naming your website and company after a trademarked name without a business agreement is a pretty big, definite no-no. And that's not just Microsoft. That's Law 101 for everybody.
Hint #2: Since this post is getting longish, tune in to tomorrow's blog post. Here's a sneak preview: I'll give you a free audio podcast with a bonus video that shows you how to use two free (or cheap) tools that will easily let you snap up a name for your new website or business. No ad agency required, and you don't necessarily have to buy anything, either!
Free Download of Microsoft PowerPoint
What can you do if you do not have access to PowerPoint, but you need to view a PowerPoint file -- a .ppt or .pps file?
You actually have three fantastic, free download options available to you.
1. Download free PowerPoint 97
Viewer - This is a direct link to the Microsoft PowerPoint 97 download site, which will let you view PowerPoint 95, 97, 2000, and 2002 presentations. It's free, and with a quick internet connection, you can download and install this program in a matter of minutes. You'll be viewing your PowerPoint presentation in no time! The only downside is that you can't EDIT the files with this program, or create your own PowerPoint presentations with this free download. But this is a quick, easy, and free option for viewing files.
2. Download free PowerPoint 2003
(and then some!) - In addition to offering the free viewer, Microsoft also offers a free 60-day trial of its Office Suite, which includes PowerPoint 2003, Excel 2003, Word 2003, and Outlook 2003. The upside is that this download is completely free. The downsides are that the download is only good for 60 days, and you should probably only attempt the download if you have a broadband connection (this will be a huge file!). You have 60 days to view, create, and edit PowerPoint files -- as well as test out three other popular Microsoft programs.
3. Download OpenOffice to get Impress
(and then some!) OpenOffice is open source -- so it's free. It contains Impress - which will let you create, view, open, and edit PowerPoint files. It also contains Writer - which will (among other things) let you create, view, open, and edit Word and WordPerfect files. And if that wasn't enough, you also get CALC - an advanced spreadsheet program -- and you guessed it -- this will allow you to open and edit and create Excel files. OpenOffice is very user friendly and versatile. If you can use PowerPoint, you'll have no problem using Impress, and you might even find features within Impress that blow PowerPoint away -- for example, I absolutely love the ability to save my presentation as a PDF file with speaker's notes.
And other than these three free download options, you can also order a free 60 day trial Microsoft Office suite CD
directly from the Microsoft site. This isn't exactly free: you'll probably have to pay a nominal fee for shipping and handling. And you won't have the instant gratification that a download provides you -- you'll have to wait to get that CD in the mail. And once again, the trial is only good for 60 days.
My pick? If you're in a hurry and you only need to view the files, go ahead and download option 1: the free PowerPoint viewer
. But if you need to create, edit, and view PowerPoint files for the long term, you can't go wrong with OpenOffice
. Free, easy, and powerful -- what's not to like?