Passionate Purple PowerPoint
Purple is not a popular PowerPoint background color. I took an online survey a few years ago, and sure enough -- purple came in almost last.
Conversely, blue is extremely popular. My online poll showed that blue was far more popular than any other color for PowerPoint backgrounds. And if you look at TV news, you'll see that most of their video background colors when they do bullet points and such...they are on a blue background.
Now, purple is a hue that's only a few degrees away from blue. So why is blue popular...but not purple?
One thought - we don't see much purple in nature: we have to dig deep to see it in amethysts, or wait until spring to see it in butterflies or fields of lavender. It seems we save our use of purple for special, magical, mystical occasions.
Like spring. Or the Easter season. Or advent. Or the entire decade of the 1960's.
Our eyes are used to seeing a wide range of objects against a field of blue...but not so purple.
A little purple goes a long way. It's more of an accent color, a violet peeping up among a dark forest floor. Paint a picture of a purple sky, and the viewer's senses become akilter.
What images does purple conjure up for you? How would you feel if you listened to a speaker who presented with purple PowerPoint backgrounds?If you need to beat the winter blahs, here's a purple PowerPoint template.
Ego v Heart
Good PowerPoint design is nice, but not necessary.
When it comes to designing a presentation, ask yourself this:
Are presenting from your ego...or performing from your heart?
When you present from your ego, you are concerned with looking good (or avoiding looking bad). You put a strong focus on trendy design details.
When you perform from your heart, you reflect on how to emotionally connect with your audience. You put your focus on building a relationship with them.
Think about that the next time you develop a PowerPoint presentation. What's important to your audience? And what do you want to achieve?
When do you long for bullet points & clip art?
God help me, overly slick PowerPoint presentations that focus on fashionable design over fascinating content make me long for clip art, lots of bullet points, and Dad’s Tie template.
But more than that, I long for presenters who put sharing their passion for their field of expertise far in front of showing off a new and trendy style.
Because it’s hard to imagine that truly “great” teachers are anything but enthusiastic about their subject matter and sharing it with their students. You can’t imagine a truly wonderful teacher -- or any great expert in their field, for that matter -- fretting about PowerPoint design and fashion trends.
And you don’t want to hire a salesperson who whines about how out-of-date the company’s PowerPoint deck looks. That salesperson probably can’t tell a story, connect with his or her audience…or sell your products.
Are You a Slick Presenter?
Believe it or not, there are some audiences that respond very unfavorably to hip PowerPoint design trends. They're put off by not just the big egos associated with fashion, but wary of overly polished presenters.
I witnessed a presentation recently that had all the latest PowerPoint design trimmings - the carefully constructed spare & lean approach. I’ve seen this quite a bit lately - heavy emphasis on professional, high-quality photos. Limited text and bullet points.
Oh-so painfully perfectly-coordinated hip-and-now colors.
So, I talked to the presenter, (I'll call him Mr. Slick) after his dog & pony show. He very proudly told me he spent a fortune developing his presentation with a pricey design firm.
I left the presentation thinking, "My, that dude was slick."
And by slick, I don’t mean smooth, charming, or persuasive. By slick, I mean oily, insincere, and superficial.
So I didn't buy his product. And I didn't see anyone else ask him about his product, either-- but I did
hear people ask about his presentation
Conversely, I went to hear a speaker who was a designer's worst nightmare. His PowerPoint presentation was a clip-arty, color-clashing, bullet-point ridden mess. However, the presenter (Mr. Allheart) was wonderful. He told fascinating stories and weaved a wealth of facts throughout his performance. People were waiting in line to buy his products after his show.
I feel certain no one asked him about his presentation design.
In all fairness, I'm sure Mr. Slick would have gone over very well in certain crowds where ego, fashion, and design are all-important. But he didn't connect on an emotional level with this particular Midwestern audience. And conversely, Mr. Allheart would have been scorned and ridiculed if his audience was filled with heartless fashionistas.
Design with the audience in mind.
A Whale of a Deal...and a Few Dolphins, too!
Free trials of PowerPoint add-ins abound on the internet! The "try before you buy" approach is smart: it lets you know what you're getting into before you make a commitment.
And even if you don't have an immediate need for a particular PowerPoint add-in, someday, somehow, sometime in the future...you might find a very poignant use for the add-in, and you'll plunk down the dough.
That's going to be the case with DzSoft's PowerPoint Slide Show Converter
. They offer a free 30 day trial of their nifty product, which...[quote]"...turns a presentation created with Microsoft PowerPoint into a self-running slide show application (exe file) that can be copied to any computer and will run on Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, XP and 2003 without requiring any additional program files or libraries."
So, I put their free trial to the test. Downloaded and installed it in seconds. Then, I created an .exe file with music sound track and transitions: total time to develop the pres? About six minutes.
(You can download the dolphin presentation here
-- but I warn you, it's 4.66 mg....I stripped the soundtrack files, too -- otherwise it would have been 8.5 mg!)
(Cabin Fever Warning: There are also plenty of free pictures of dolphins, whales, and water in this presentation! One of my favorite clients from Hawaii loves to taunt me every February by sending Hawaii dolphins (and whale) photos. I usually put up the whale and dolphin photos in her gallery - which also lets her website visitors view the photographs as an online cetacean slideshow with a three second delay between slides. If you have cabin fever, this might be the site to visit!)
But back to the PowerPoint SlideShow Converter add-in: this is a great application to use for a trade show booth, a self-running sales presentation, or a break loop to use when you want something playing on screen while your audience takes a washroom break. It's easy to use, and at $50, it's definitely a low cost way to package your PowerPoint presentation.
Flickr For Free Photographs...
My friends Kimberly and Gary went on vacation in Costa Rica. Now, usually, when they get back from one of their exotic getaways, we get together for cocktails and flip through their stack of vacation pictures.
But by using flickr, all they had to do was post their photos online...so that when we get together, we can focus more on catching up and noshing.
Flickr not only makes it easy to share photos with your friends, but it's also easy to share digital images with colleagues and others who may wish to use your photos in PowerPoint presentations, marketing and training materials, or blogs. For example, I'm blogging this post directly from flickr.
Flickr is free to use. You can upload, organize, and share your photos with the world. Easy and fun.
Sky Blue PowerPoint Background - Free for You!
It's been awfully grey (or is that gray?) here in beautiful West Michigan for the past few months.
That's why I took a break from my regularly scheduled PowerPoint template color and treated my audience to a sky blue background, complete with puffy clouds. Using an alternate background is a welcome break in the regular routine!
You can download your free sky blue PowerPoint background
here...it's perfect for your rainy day presentations.
(Remember to right click on the image, and then click on "Save Picture As..." All should be blue skies from now on -- I don't care what that darn Mr. Groundhog said!)
If you need more instructions on how (and why!) to use alternate PowerPoint backgrounds in your next presentation, you can read the post below about using alternative PowerPoint backgrounds.
PS - And for more fun with color, you can watch my 4.5 minute PowerPoint Presentation called "Color and Emotion
" (it's been converted to a tiny QuickTime video vlog for those of you who like to download video podcasts on your iPods...)
Get Creative With Multiple PowerPoint Backgrounds
PowerPoint template designs should
complement your presentation's content. But how many times have you thought, "My presentation looks great. But..."
- "...this ONE slide would look so much better with a different background color."
- "...and this graph -- it would look more polished with a less busy template design."
- "...or this picture is terrific -- I wish it could stand out more clearly from the slide's background."
Happily, you can end design/content conflicts and put any background you wish on any slide -- no matter which PowerPoint version you use
. Here's how:
- In PowerPoint, go to the slide you want to change and select the Format menu...then click Background.
- Click on the box that says "Omit background items from master."
That's it! You can now insert whatever kind of background you want to this slide. In the Fo
ground menu of PowerPoint, you can also:
- Select a different, complementary color for your slide's PowerPoint background by clicking "More Colors..."
- ...or by clicking on "Fill Effects..." you can change your background's Gradient, Texture, Pattern, or Picture.
To learn more about complementary backgrounds...and why you might want to change backgrounds within your PowerPoint presentation, you can read my "Templates v. Backgrounds" article, which discusses the differences in a little bit more detail...
PowerPoint Tutorials: Free Online Videos
I am pretty amazed by the quality of some of the free training videos that are now available at Google Video
. I readily found a number of topics of interest and was able to instantly absorb some high quality training material.
And what's more, many of the video publishers allow you to post their videos at your own site.
For example, it took about two minutes for me to post this excellent "Intro to PowerPoint
" tutorial by MicroVideo on my site. Now, multimedia and video files can get pretty hefty, but I don't even have to worry about that.... because Google hosts the video at its site, and allows me to stream the video content within my own website's shell.
In other words, Google takes care of the bandwidth.
So if you're a teacher, trainer, coach, or lifelong student: go ahead and give Google Video a try. Simply enter a phrase of interest, and you'll receive a wealth of streaming video content. You'll even get access to handy links that let you email the video to your students...or to post the video material at your own web site.
Just be careful: it's not all
great video or rated PG-13!
Free Red PowerPoint Template for Valentine's Day!
You can download a big red heart PowerPoint template for Valentine's Day...for free! This is a traditional Valentine...with the classic red heart that's so big, it falls off the screen.
Download your Valentine PowerPoint Presentation
Or keep browsing this blog...you'll find other free Valentine PowerPoint templates, backgrounds, and presentations that are available for free download, as well.
PS - Happy Groundhog's Day!
Make Your Heart Happy...
This Valentine's Day, make your heart happy...take a tedious task, and make it more fun with teamwork and competition!
Last week, I took four adults (including myself) to get our cholesterol screened. For two of us, it was our very first time...and I was rather amazed at just how painless the whole process was.
But then again, my little group turned what could have been an aggravating procedure into something of a fun outing....and since we were all in it together, our spirits were high.
We all packed into my PT Cruiser at 8:40 am, drove to the hospital, filled out some paperwork, had our blood drawn by an incredibly gentle and gifted young person, stopped for coffee & breakfast...and we were all back in our respective offices/homes by 10:00 am.
The hardest part was the twelve hour fast preceding the blood draw...hence the necessity of stopping for a big breakfast afterward.
And yesterday, we all got our scores in the mail...and I'm happy to report that we can all continue to eat buttered eggs and lead extremely sendentary lifestyles, because we're all (more or less) within our target range.
But the fact of the matter is...we won't let our good habits slide! There's already some competition brewing...one person thinks that with a little more oatmeal and a little more time on the treadmill, she can beat my score when we all get tested again next year.
Fat chance, Mom.
Anyway...think about how many ways you can use teamwork and competition to turn something tedious into something fun. Opportunities abound!
(You can click on the link to download my drawing of my happy heart chakra
, if you want! It's a favorite Valentine's Day PowerPoint Background among the spiritual, new age crowd!)
Your Free Pink PowerPoint Valentine...
How about a big pink PowerPoint Valentine template that you can download for free? Here you go...download away!
This PowerPoint presentation features a big pink heart background that's so big, it falls off the screen. You can easily modify the contents to make your own pink PowerPoint Valentine. Add your own sweet sentiments, your own pictures, your own mush-filled audio or video files...and you've got a stand-up PowerPoint Valentine.
Why just send a paper card...when you can stand and deliver?
Happy Valentine's Day!!
Labels: PowerPoint Templates