PowerPoint 2010 is coming!
Back from the PPTLive conference!
Using PowerPoint for Best Educational Outcomes-handout of my talk
Free teleseminar: Top 10 Mistakes Professionals Make that Hurt Their Career
Workshop: Create an outstanding presentation! Oct. 7-9, Atlanta, GA
Lost Art of Persuasion - new e-book!
Workshop: Create an outstanding presentation! Coming June 15-17!
Don't Let Data Errors Ruin Your Reputation - Use Excel Information in PowerPoint
Book review: Point, Click & Wow! by Claudyne Wilder
Tutorial video on YouTube: One point per slide
What I'd like to see in PowerPoint slide design in 2009
Jeopardy-like quiz game available
New slidecast on slideshare.net - Tell 'n' show (SM)
Julie Terberg's effects and animations posted on Microsoft's site
New video course! PowerPoint 2007: Make the Upgrade Easy
Interview with Nancy Duarte, author of slide:ology
PowerPoint Live 2008 Report
Interview with Jay Green, Marketing Manager of Balesio PPTminimizer
Interview with Geetesh Bajaj, owner of ppted.com and Indezine.com
Review of presentationzen by Garr Reynolds
Two articles published
New e-booklet! 7 Steps to Great Images
New poll on which versions of PowerPoint you use
Recent seminars and webinars (updated)
How to Do Everything with PowerPoint 2007 published
Review of PowerPoint 2007
Articles on PowerPoint
Archive: Grand opening of Virtualis conference center in Second Life
Archive: Review of PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit
Archive: Prezvision: An interview with Wataru Sugawara
Archive: PowerPoint Live 2007 Report
Archive: Interview: Geetesh Bajaj, author of Cutting Edge PowerPoint
Archive: Interview with Tim Hards of Perspector
Archive: Report on PowerPoint Live 2006
Archive: PowerPoint 2003 new features
This e-book is about persuasive presentations, and how to succeed. If you need to sell or persuade others, this book will give you a blueprint for creating your presentations.
Discover the 3 mistakes most presenters make in their persuasive presentations.
If you're a sales rep, or a business manager recommending proposals, you'll find this e-book an invaluable tool.
Don't Let Data Errors Ruin Your Reputation - Use Excel Information in PowerPoint
It's a scary title, but it just means that I'll cover all the ways to get Excel data, in both spreadsheet and chart form, into PowerPoint in a way that's accurate, readable, and easy to edit. In researching this topic, I've come up with several secrets and lots of best practices. So, if you need to share data between Excel and PowerPoint and the process needs to be quick and accurate, check out this webinar!
Are you still creating PowerPoint slides with lots of bullets and text? This 4-min. video will revolutionize how you create presentations. You'll see a makeover, step-by-step, that gets rid of a distracting background and turns a boring, bulleted slide into a clear, image-rich presentation. Watch the video!
Geetesh Bajaj is the owner of Indezine, one of the most-visited PowerPoint sites on the Web. He also owns a site, ppted, that offers templates, both free and for sale. The design of these templates is outstanding. I asked Geetesh a few questions about his site. Read on for a special free offer!
EllenFinkelstein.com: There seems to be so much there. Can you summarize what the site offers?
Answer: Ppted.com has evolved as a site that provides only the highest quality PowerPoint templates. We now have 130 sets of PowerPoint templates -- so that's actually far less than what many other template sites provide.
We may create only one set every month but careful research goes into everything that is created - right from the subjects to the layouts, visuals, and colors. We try to provide as much value as possible to the end-user.
EllenFinkelstein.com: When people buy a background or a set, what exactly do they get?
Answer: Each set includes five coordinated designs in both regular and wide screen sizes. In addition, there are three variations in each design including slides meant for print usage. Finally, each individual set includes four color schemes created using standard color harmonies. When you add up those choices, you'll find that the end results are not canned templates at all -- everything in the template can be customized. In fact, we also include the actual backgrounds in the download so that users can customize them as well.
Most designs now also include multiple masters within the templates, sample presentations, and ten transparent PNGs that are subject-coordinated with the theme of the set.
EllenFinkelstein.com: With well-known designers such as Cliff Atkinson and Garr Reynolds recommending no backgrounds at all, why do you think people still want them? What advantage do they offer?
Answer: Everybody needs to use a background -- even if they end up using a white, black, or grey background, they are still choosing a background. And I am glad you included this question because I absolutely subscribe to the school of thought that Cliff Atkinson or Garr Reynolds are trying to propagate.
But I also believe that life is all about choices -- and how we humans make those choices based on real world circumstances. It's good to know that we have the ability to choose our own approach -- and there's also not much that will not benefit from an uncluttered background, no bullets style. And these presentations also need everything from good layouts to appropriate fonts, and from aesthetic color harmonies to good proportions.
All these are provided by templates. Templates are not just an attractive background -- they are much more than that.
To enter, click here to send an e-mail with your quick tip.
Garr Reynolds is a well-known presentation designer and communicatons expert. His blog, Presentation Zen, has been a beacon of good design and practice for a long time.
His new book, presentationzen, puts his ideas about presentation design together in a coherent way that is accessible to non-designers. He espouses a simple "zen" look, with no backgrounds, prominent images, and little text. Here's an example of a slide from his blog:
presentationzen, which is flying off the shelves, systematically covers the topics of preparation, design, and delivery. Lots of figures will give you ideas for slides that have a big impact.
Here are some of his recommendations:
- Go "offline" to prepare and craft your message. This usually means using paper and pencil.
- Prepare by finding the answers to "What's my point?" and "Why does it matter?"
- Use handouts as a leave-behind (after the presentation) so that you don't need to put everything on your slides
- Craft a message that is simple, concrete, and credible. Include emotion and stories (examples).
- Storyboard (draft out the story in squares before creating the final slides)
- Keep your presentation as short as possible, and edit out anything that's not necessary
- Keep the design simple, which means slides that aren't too busy, 2D (rather than 3D) charts, images instead of bullet points, and bold images front and center.
- Speak without a lelctern and with the lights on
The book is beautiful, as befits a great designer. If you are serious about creating more effective presentations, read the book.
Two of my articles have been published recently. "5 Steps to Slide Design for Non-Designers" was published in the slideshare.net blog. This article provides guidelines for creating good-looking, effective slides to people who are not graphic artists -- which is most of us! In this article, I talk about the tell 'n' show system of slide design, which I first introduced in my tip, "Tell 'n' show slide design." Please tell your friends about this article. I'm trying to spread good design around the world!
Another article, "Use a Menu to Create an Audience-Centered Presentation," appeared in the PresentationXpert newsletter. I have a tip, Designing a web-style presentation, that briefly covers this topic, but in less detail. The article was based on a Web seminar that I gave. I think that you'll find the PresentationXpert article interesting and useful.New e-booklet! "7 Steps to Great Images"
The results of the poll are in. With 97 people responding, here are the results:
|Mac (all versions)||3%|
The percent of people using PowerPoint 2007 is steadily rising. Some people are upgrading, but others are buying new computers that come with Microsoft Office 2007 and thus upgrade by default. I've been including instructions for PowerPoint 2007 for months, but now I'll start including an occasional tip that applies specifically to 2007.
I wanted to let you know about some of the recent talks I've given, in case you might find a similar event useful for your organization. I've started to give webinars (web-based seminars) and seminars at conferences. The webinars have been on the following topics:
- Designing PowerPoint Slides Like a Pro
- Making the Upgrade to PowerPoint 2007 Easy
- Creating Interactive Quizzes in PowerPoint
The webinars are generally 1 to 1-1/4 hours long and include a Question and Answer period. I provide a downloadable handout covering all the material, as well as the PowerPoint presentation I'm using. These webinars take a hands-on approach; I go into Normal view and show participants exactly how to create the effects I'm discussing.
The seminars were on Creating Effective Presentations; the PowerPoint 101 session took a basic approach, and the Advanced PowerPoint session covered video, Flash, and animation.
I've received unsolicited comments like:
"I enjoyed your webinar yesterday and have already used one of the things I learned."
"Thanks for the presentation, yesterday. I found it very helpful!"
"Thank you for an informative presentation– your techniques are good."
"I WAS AMAZED HOW MUCH STUFF COULD BE DONE."
"We enjoyed your presentation today. It was very thorough and clear."
"Thank you for the presentation! It was very informative. I’m so glad that you focused on 2002-2003 versions. I look forward to getting the tips and sharing them with those who were with me. We had 10 people in the room."
Other possible topics are:
- Animation Techniques
- Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know (Based on my e-book, 101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know)
- PowerPoint Design for Non-Designers
I can easily create a customized webinar or seminar to meet your needs. Training directors and conference planners may find these sessions especially useful.
Please contact me if you're interested in scheduling a seminar or webinar.
How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, is an in-depth and complete guide to the most widely-used presentation software in the business.
PowerPoint expert Ellen Finkelstein provides detailed information on new features in the just-released PowerPoint 2007 as well as everything readers need to know to create dynamic and professional-quality presentations.
Through clear explanations, handy tips, and knowledgeable recommendations, How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 delivers that extra edge for best practice design and organizational techniques that make presentations leap off the page. This essential resource delivers everything presenters need to get started, organize content, and add finishing touches for a top-notch presentation.
The book not only explains how to use PowerPoint features, but why and when to use them. For example, the section on recoloring graphics starts, “You can recolor images to match a color theme, to provide more contrast for text, or for any artistic reason. Recoloring pictures can be indispensable when you have a picture that does not look good against the presentation background or if you need a series of color-coordinated images.” Technical instructions are balanced with helpful suggestions, provided in the context of the wholeness of the presentation.
Written for both beginners and experienced PowerPoint users who want to sharpen their skills, the book covers a wide range of topics, including:
• Using text, graphics, sound, and animation to get the message across
• Organizing an effective outline
• Using text, color, and layout effectively
• Drawing and laying out a slide with pinpoint precision
• Creating effective graphics, tables, and diagrams
• Sharing and presenting content using a wide choice of media
• Publishing a presentation on the Internet or an intranet
• Creating interactive slide shows
In-depth coverage of new PowerPoint 2007 features includes:
• Redesigned user interfaces
• SmartArt diagrams
• New special effects
• Custom layouts
• WordArt for any text
• Compatibility and roundtripping for collaborating with those who don't upgrade
• New security features
How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 also delves into presentation skills, such as rehearsing in stages, using animation and transition effects wisely, choosing a projector, and speaking in front of a group.
Throughout the book are two types of special sections, “How To” and “Did You Know,” that provide advanced and supplementary material. As a special promotion, the content of these sections is available as a free download from the author's web site.
About the author:
Ellen Finkelstein has written several books on PowerPoint, AutoCAD, Flash, and other computer software. She maintains a Web site that includes tips, tutorials, and news on PowerPoint and AutoCAD at www.ellenfinkelstein.com. There, PowerPoint users can sign up for the free PowerPoint Tips Newsletter. Her articles have been published in numerous publications, both in print and online.
How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 (ISBN 0-07-226339-3; 432 pages; $24.99) is available in bookstores, from Amazon.com, from the McGraw-Hill Professional web site, and from the author's web site.
For quantity purchases, corporate purchases, international inquiries, please contact 1-800-262-4729.
For author interviews, please contact:
Ellen Finkelstein, author, [email protected]
For media or user group review copies, artwork or excerpt permission, please contact:
Bettina Faltermeier, publicity manager, McGraw-Hill/Osborne
[email protected]; 212-904-3604
I've been working hard on updating my PowerPoint, which will be called How to Do Everything with Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007. It's due out in January. As I've gone through the chapters, I've delved into every nook and cranny of the new program, and here is my review. (Note: Features could change or be eliminated before the final version is shipped, but don't expect any major changes.)
Much has been made of the ribbon. Essentially, it's just one big toolbar with tabs. The old toolbars and menus are gone, but the old dialog boxes and taskpanes are mostly the same. Sometimes the ribbon is annoying, because you have to display the appropriate tab before you can get to the command you want. Other times, it's more efficient. It's not customizable, but there is a Quick Access toolbar at the top of the application window that you can customize.
A major new feature is themes. They are like templates, but they can't have slides in them. They are meant to contain design information only. You can create your own themes, save them, and reuse them, just like templates. Themes are made up of sets of theme colors (like the old color schemes), theme fonts (just two, one for titles and one for slide text), and theme effects, which are various treatments of shapes. (AutoShapes are now called just shapes.) You can quickly change the entire look of a presentation by changing the theme colors and theme effects. Another benefit is that Word and Excel can use them, too, but you need to understand them well to make this work effectively.
Background styles are very simple backgrounds -- solids or simple gradients. Their advantage is that they look sleek and they know if they're light or dark. So, if you have a light background with dark text, you can switch to a dark background style and your text automatically becomes light -- no contrast problems!
You can finally create your own layouts and save them in your templates and themes. Templates and themes now include all the layouts. To create your own layout, you insert one of 8 placeholder components, then resize and place them as you want. Slide masters have 12 layouts, by default, including section slides and comparison slides. I'm very pleased, as this was an improvement that I requested.
SmartArt graphics are an evolution of the old diagrams, which were pretty useless. They're much better now. First of all, there are many more of them. Also, they work better; for example, you can convert bulleted text into a diagram. The styles look better, too.
Everything has Quick Styles. These are preset formatting for shapes, backgrounds, charts, tables, pictures, SmartArt diagrams, and more. You get at these styles through drop-down galleries. What's cool about the galleries is the (almost all of the time), you can see the result on your slide by just hovering the cursor over a choice. So, no clicking and undoing over and over.
Would you like to see this in action? I'm still new at Camtasia, which is a program that takes videos of the screen. For some reason, it didn't pick up the Picture Styles. On my screen, the styles were expanded so I could choose them. But you see the results, as I try style after style. Do you like the one I finally chose? Watch the movie. (Note: This is a 9 MB file.)
New text styles
Text has more options, similar to Word. So you can do (all caps, small caps, strikethrough, double underline, and more.
Both shapes and text have new effects, specifically glow, soft edges, reflections, and bevels.
WordArt for any text
Speaking of text, you can apply WordArt-type effects to any text.
Charts integrated with Excel (if you have it)
Charts are done in Excel, not the old datasheet, if you have it. (Otherwise, you're back to the datasheet.) This gives you more capabilities, but also makes it easier to transfer data from Excel. They also have more formatting options.
Gradients are much improved; you can now have up to 10 colors! And specify where each color switches to another color. Hallelujah! (This was one that I asked for.) This one has 6 "stops."
Visibility and Selection taskpane
This new taskpane lets you set the visibility and display order (front to back) of objects, but also lets you rename them. This is very helpful for animating many objects on a slide.
There are extensive features for helping people who will be collaborating with those who don't upgrade. Features can be downgraded to 2003 levels and then automatically upgraded when you open a presentation in 2007 again (roundtripping).
Zipped XML format
The file format is different, and files are generally much smaller. The file is in XML format, then zipped.
New security features: document inspector, prevent changes (mark as final),
The document inspector removes personal information from a file. You can discourage changes by marking a presentation as final (although that can be changed). You can add a digital signature.
Save as PDF
You can save a presentation in PDF format, using a separate, free download.
Wide-screen slide sizes (16:9 and 16:10)
PowerPoint includes wide-screen sizes for wide screens.
Many other smaller changes
This list isn't nearly complete. Some other nice features are:
- Paragraph level rulers so you can change settings from paragraph to paragraph within a placeholder
- Columns (two or more) in a placeholder, text box, or shape
- Convert to Freeform: You can convert shapes to freeforms, so that you can edit their points and use Béziers on them.
- You can change brightness and contrast of a background image
Publish to HTML
This feature is pretty broken, unfortunately. PowerPoint 2007 saves to the same HTML as 2003, so you don't get any of the new features. Presentations don't display properly in Firefox. Maybe Firefox will update their browser?
Yes, some features have been removed:
- AutoContent Wizard: no great loss here
- Macro recorder: a great loss, in my opinion. Apparently, it wasn't working very well, anyway. For example, you couldn't record setting up animation. With the new features, it was only going to be worse. The macro recorder is still in Word and Excel.
- Broadcast feature: This feature for displaying a presentation to multiple people over the Web or an Intranet was difficult to use anyway.
- Send for Review: Instead, you just e-mail the presentation and add comments.
- Summary slides: I thought this was a good feature. Too bad.
- The title master: There's a new title layout in its place, which is simpler to use.
- Speaker Notes: I'll miss this one, too. It was the only simple way to add audience input during slide show view.
Review of How
to Do Everything with PowerPoint
By Julie Hill, Managing Editor, "Presentations" Magazine:
"For those starting out in the PowerPoint world, this book covers the basics, from designing slides, to inserting, to actually hooking up a projector to the laptop. For the more experienced user, this book covers advanced issues, including slide and application interaction, designing for the Web, customizing slideshows, and working with animation... a quick-and-easy read. Whether you're using it as a novice, or picking it up to serve as the office reference guide, How to Do Everything with PowerPoint 2002 does a good job of giving presenters what they need to know."
"Combine animation techniques to create stunning PowerPoint slides" explains how to combine motion paths with scaling and rotation to give the appearance of an object coming closer or turning. From Presentations magazine.
"Easily create a quiz in PowerPoint using Visual Basic for Applications" explains a simple method for creating quizzes -- guaranteed for non-programmers. From Presentations magazine.
"Organization and design help unite content and context" explains methods to make your layout and design reflect your content. organization techniques, icons, and layering can all help to make the content clearer. From Presentations magazine.
"A PowerPoint world without bullets is possible, and beautiful as well" in the January, 2004 issue of Presentations magazine, explains how to design slides without bullets.
"Turning reports into presentations isn't easy, but it's often necessary" in Presentations magazine, explains how to convert long documents and reports into a presentation.
"Let content drive the presentation" at Presenters University explains how to make content king.
"Think deeply about your topic" at Presenters University offers specific techniques for making your content shine.
InfoComm article names EllenFinkelstein.com one of the top 3 PowerPoint
Web sites! Go to www.infocomm.org to read it for yourself and discover all the other great PowerPoint
resources. Look for the article, "Quick, free cures for the
PowerPoint malaise," by Paul Pirner.
My article, "Use PowerPoint to design Internet-based courses" is available at InfoComm.
See my article, "Use Web-style navigation to pull in Web-savvy audiences" at InfoComm.
"PowerPoint and the Future of Education" in article form at Presentation-Pointers.com.
Read "Tips for Rehearsing Your PowerPoint Presentation" at Presentation-Pointers.com.
A complete set of PowerPoint tutorials (based on PowerPoint 97, but mostly applicable to later versions) at Maharishi University of Management's Help Desk.