PowerPoint Templates for Memorial Day
Lots of free PowerPoint 2007 templates are available for download at the Microsoft Community. Just in time for Memorial Day, you will see five recently-submitted PowerPoint templates at the MS website that extol a military, patriotic theme.
- American Flag Design
- War Memorial Template
- Military Camouflage Template
- Army Soldier in his Cammies
- Tanks, Helicopters, Missiles, Oh My
But don't forget...
The above five are templates for PowerPoint 2007 only. If you don't have the latest version of PPT, you can try these three free template downloads at Microsoft:
- Flag Waving
- Excellence Award with U.S. Flag and Sky
- Excellence Award with Flag
And for Memorial Day content for your PowerPoint presentation, you may wish to keep an eye on the number of soldiers and civilians who gave their lives for the current war.
Flags fly at half mast this Memorial Day.
Labels: PowerPoint Templates
Email Signatures Your Clients Hate
Today, the Wall Street Journal weighs in on evil email signatures
-- and why evil email sign-offs are poised to get worse.
For the record -- I like to see a simple, consistent approach to email signatures
But I actually like some of the add-ons that the WSJ hates. Logos, graphics, banners, and other promotional sign-offs do not necessarily have to be overbearing or tacky bandwidth hogs. Used with discretion, some of the fancier email signature techniques can be quite useful...and have a positive promotional impact, as well.
Of course, you can always vote or comment your opinion on email sigs...and see what others think immediately.
So tell me...what do you think about promotional email sign-offs? Or in other words, what do you think about "Email Bling"??
Labels: Poll, Presentation
Email Signatures Your Clients Love
This year, I find myself receiving emails from people in the HR, Finance, Marketing, and Sales departments of a huge corporation. But by the look of their emails, I would never guess that they all work for the same company.
Consistency is Key!
- The fonts and sizes are different.
- The background colors vary.
- Even the signature formats are woefully inconsistent.
As part of my internet marketing consulting
practice, I often recommend that corporate clients "get it together" with regard to presenting a consistent email image. And oddly, the humble but powerful email signature is frequently overlooked in corporate brand guides.
But what medium do organizations use more abundantly than email? And what medium is more ripe for a marketing message to "go viral"? A company with only 10 employees can easily send out over 100 emails every day -- and each email can get forwarded to dozens if not hundreds or thousands of other people.Humble But Powerful!
Even though an email sig is humble bit of corporate communication, do not dismiss its potential to make a powerful impact.
I recommend that corporations adopt at least
a simple, consistent sig format...
Name, phone number(s), extension, link to website.
...and that the sig format be applied consistently throughout the organization.
You cannot go wrong with the basics! Everyone -- your clients, your suppliers, and even your family and friends -- we can all get behind this simple, bare basics approach.
But for added impact, some organizations go quite a bit further in their corporate email signature approach:
Name, title, phone number(s), address, fax,
tag line, logo, offer, email, rotating banner,
photo, confidentiality notice...
How much is too much? In many cases, I receive signature files that are much longer than the email message itself!
That's why I am all for the simple, consistent approach. But I can see some of the add-ons. For example, I can get behind a tag line and a seasonal offer. And if your business has many locations or a real world address where you want people to visit, by all means, add it to your sig. Lately, I also fancy the rotating banner with top news or blog posts. I find myself actively looking for new company information or press releases on them.
In fact, I like the simple rotating banner so much that I use one myself in my own emails. The one that comes with feedburner
is simple and clean looking:
However, some of the stuff you see in email signatures can be a bit much...
- Email address: When you send an email, your recipient already has your email address, right? So why be redundant and include it in the sig?
A confidentiality notice: I doubt this lengthy bit of copy really has any legal teeth. But I am not a legal expert, so I could be wrong. However, it IS ugly and takes up bandwidth. And just about everyone I know ignores it entirely. If you really MUST have one, why not just link to it in your sig?
Logo and Picture. I am on the fence about using a logo and/or picture in the signature. A Realtor I know includes his head shot in his sig, and I think it's nice to see his grinning mug from time to time. But others have told me that it creeps them out to have a face embedded in their emails. And while your logo belongs on real world letterhead, do you really need it in your email signature?
But that's just me. I like to see simplicity, consistency, and useful information in corporate email signatures.
What about you? What do you like to see in a signature file? And what items need to be tossed in the trash?
And what about your organization? Does your organization's corporate brand guide provide a standard for the email look and feel and the signature? Why or why not?
PowerPoint Logos: From Pac Man to Canada
last year, I noted that the PowerPoint logo
looked like Pac Man going after goblins. However, I think the icon really depicts a pie chart trying to gobble up bullet points.
This year, as I work on PowerPoint presentations, I glance at the new PowerPoint 2007 logo in my taskbar and think, "Is that the flag of Canada? Wait, no. It's the new PowerPoint icon."
However, one might also think that in this new Power Point logo, the bullet points are trying to eat that pie chart!
(Although the flag of Canada is red, when the logo is scrunched down to taskbar size, the new PowerPoint logo looks like a waving flag to me.)
I guess we see what we want to see.
Best Graduation Speech Template Ever - 2007 Edition
Quite a few people are online searching for "graduation speech templates" this month. Honestly, what sort of valedictorian or salutatorian
would want to merely "fill-in-the-blanks" for a commencement speech that should be an honor to prepare and deliver?
Creativity and originality is important to the overachievers who give graduation speeches. I kind of doubt they are looking for a fill-in-the-blanks, boilerplate approach.
So, just who are the people who are looking for graduation speech templates online? Are you the same folks who use the old Microsoft PowerPoint AutoContent Wizard to develop presentations like "Communicating Bad News" or "Motivating a Team"?Or are you just looking for a little fun
-- a little humor to relieve the last stressful month of Senior-itis?Well, here it is, for Seniors only:
a free, 2-page pdf download created just for the Class of 2007, which I immodestly call "Best Graduation Speech Template Ever: 2007 Edition
". Seniors, you can download it, print her out, fill in the blanks, and easily get that pesky writing assignment out of the way -- a month early!
Don't forget to horrify your parents and teachers by asking them to listen to your templated speech before you threaten to give it to a commencement audience!
Best wishes and congratulations to the Class of 2007!
Labels: fun, images, PowerPoint Templates
Top Nine Visual Cliches
Every year or so, I get so sick of a visual image, I cannot even see it anymore.
Recognizing Visual Clichés. I think it started the year a company I worked with "went global". Leadership insisted on sticking a globe on everything -- brochures, annual reports, PowerPoint slides, employee orientation videos, coffee cups -- everything.
For about 2 years, I could not face a map. I would not look at a magazine with a globe on it -- and there seemed to be dozens. Web sites? It was the late 90's, and the term "World Wide Web" became all the rage, so -- globes became visually omnipresent.
I had to avert my eyes to prevent myself from rolling them.
Today, I can look at representations of planet Earth. I remembered that I like globes, maps, and geography -- long before I was visually assaulted with them.
But I frequently develop and dismiss new visual peeves. Here is a current list of my top 9 visual clichés:
Light Bulb = Bright Idea
Handshakes = Partnerships
Chess Pieces = Strategy
Gears = Thinking
Handprint = Handmade
Fingerprint = Unique
Jigsaw Puzzles = Completion
iPod Silhouette = Trendy
Wooden Blocks = Simplicity
What are your pet visual peeves in 2007?
And which image metaphors are you banishing from your PowerPoint slides this year?
And which should go away permanently?
PowerPoint Death Watch
If you Googled the phrase last year at this time, the search engine dredged up 55,000 pages that use that term.
This year, we are up to 82,400.
That is almost a 50% increase. See chart.
Apparently, the cliche is here to stay. What will next year yield?
Labels: fun, PowerPoint