Watch my PechaKucha presentation!

powerpoint-tips-watch-pechakuchaDo you know what PechaKucha is? I describe it in an earlier blog post, “Stay focused with Pecha Kucha.” And I wrote about my experience giving my first PechaKucha here.

Briefly, a PechaKucha is a short, structured presentation, only 6 minutes, 40 seconds long.

I had practically forgotten about it, because it was more than 2 years ago.

My assistant was looking at the PechaKucha website and clicked the Most Viewed and Most Applauded tabs and found my PechaKucha! My presentation is #3 on the Most Viewed tab and #2 on the Most Applauded tab. We were both surprised, especially since I’ve never given anyone the online link.

You can watch it here. After all, it’s only 6 minutes, 40 seconds long! If you like it, please click the APPLAUD THIS button!

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And let me know what you think in the comments. And if you think the presentation is valuable, please share this post with the Share buttons because your friends might find it valuable too.


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4 secrets to choose the best images for your slides

powerpiont-tips-bare-4-secrets-choose-best-images-for-slidesYou use images in a presentation for 3 reasons:

  1. To help your audience understand what you are saying
  2. To help them remember what you are saying
  3. To persuade them to change their mind and take action

How do you choose the best images for your presentation?

A common question people ask me is how I choose the best images for my presentations. I’ve come up with a 4-part method, BARE: Read more! →

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Integrating Live Power BI Dashboards into PowerPoint


german-picture-2At we create professional PowerPoint Templates to help our subscribers save time creating professional presentation decks. An important segment of our customers is interested in presenting business data and require professional visualizations for this task. Dashboard templates include several charts, cards and visual representations of data in a way that is easy present. Our Dashboard templates are created with usability in mind, and they comply with design best practices. They are data driven, this means that the visualizations are created through Excel charts, allowing the user to use live data for those visualizations. Even more, if the user connects Microsoft Excel to external data sources (as a database or other files) the user can refresh the charts with you information dynamically. Having said that, create the report once and use it always.

Power BI

In the last months, has been receiving requests from their dashboard users in order to integrate their templates with the new tool of Self Service Business Intelligence from Microsoft, called Power BI. This new tool and service from Microsoft provides end users the ability to create local data stores, analyze the data, create stunning visualizations, and publish them into the web for sharing. The Power BI service has a free version, and the analysis tool (Power BI desktop) is also free to download. The tool is gaining tremendous traction and several corporations are adopting it as their self service BI option.

The main benefits of using Power BI for your presentation dashboards is:

  • Power BI is connected to live data. Build your reports and dashboard once, refresh and be able to show updated data.
  • Power BI provides new visualizations not available in Office 365 and is powered by a growing developers community that posts new visualizations regularly.
  • Power BI is a self service BI tool, harnessing the power of Power Query and DAX and making available already summarized visualizations.


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Add power to your message with better slide titles

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Add action verbs to your slide titles

When I work with clients, I sometimes find that their slide titles are boring and even meaningless. We work together to make the slide titles more powerful

Use verbs when writing slide titles

I recently worked with a client from a Fortune 100 company on a presentation. She needed to make several proposals about how to work with clients. This presentation was also part of a request for a promotion. Of course, I can’t show you the actual presentation, but I wanted to share with you something I discovered — using verbs in your slide titles makes your point much more clear and powerful.

Why is that?

When you add a verb (or even a gerund, a verb with “ing” at the end), you make the title more like a sentence. You go from a fairly meaningless combination of words to a phrase that actually says something. Audience members can read the title and understand immediately what you are trying to say. Adding action to your slide titles makes them speak to your audience and they become more powerful.

Here are some before and after slide titles (modified for privacy): Read more! →

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Leveraging existing slides with TeamSlide, slide library software

kartik-sundar-teamslideThis post is an interview with Kartik Sundar, co-founder of TeamSlide, Slide Library/Management software. I asked him some questions so you can evaluate whether it might be useful to you.


Ellen: How does TeamSlide help its customers?

Kartik: When working on a new PowerPoint presentation, you typically want to leverage previously created slides, charts, images, and other collateral.  However, this wealth of information is often buried in a variety of presentations across different locations.  At best, you end up opening several presentations, flipping through dozens of slides, and emailing others to find the slide you want.  At worst, you end up recreating a slide or using an out-of-date version.

TeamSlide gracefully solves this problem by ensuring you can quickly find the specific slide you need without ever leaving PowerPoint.  This PowerPoint add-in lets you search, preview, insert, and share content with just a few clicks. Either in the cloud or on your premises, TeamSlide provides a secure repository or slide library to organize and manage all your PowerPoint content.

Ellen: What differentiates TeamSlide from other solutions?

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Speaking to inspire

powerpoint-tips-speak-inspireLast Monday, I spoke to the Boca Raton Junior League. The topic was “From Death by PowerPoint to Life by PowerPoint: Speaking to Inspire.”

I started with the story of how I was strongly criticized by a reader of a magazine for a slide I had used as a figure in an article I wrote and how much that hurt. It led to a journey to figure out how to design clear, powerful slides—not initially easy for me, since I wasn’t a designer.

You’ll see in a minute why that story was important for the topic.

Isn’t inspiration only for non-profits and houses of worship?

NO! I believe that you can add some inspiration to almost any presentation. Let’s take something very business-like—a quarterly sales report. Are sales up? You can congratulate the people who made it happen  and give a vision of the implications for the next year.

Are sales down? If possible, you can talk about plans to turn things around. Maybe there are reasons to believe that the trend is temporary. Or you can inspire people to make the necessary changes to increase sales.

What’s the difference between inspiration and persuasion?


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2 reasons and 5 easy steps to convert a PowerPoint presentation to EXE

Brian_headshot-iSpring guest postThis is a guest post by Brian Tarr of iSpring. Before finding an outlet for his talents – both tech-savvy and creative – Brian Tarr worked as an iSpring tech support pro for two years. Now that his latent writing abilities have finally been discovered, iSpring website visitors enjoy reading his every single article. Always full of humor, his work is invariably built on a solid foundation of research and facts.

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powerpoint-tips-convert-pptx-to-exeA PowerPoint PPTX file is what you use most of the time for your presentations. But in certain circumstances, you may find that it doesn’t do the job. In these cases, you can convert the PPTX to and EXE (executable) file.

2 reasons why you might want to convert a PPTX file to an EXE file

1.   Compatibility issues: Your viewers might not have PowerPoint! Read more! →

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Create cool animation with Morph in Office 365

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled new new features for PowerPoint, Morph and Designer. Here, I want to discuss Morph and focus on effects that you can’t create with PowerPoint’s animation feature.

How you get access to Morph

Unfortunately, not everyone can get Morph. You need Office 365: If you are paying a monthly subscription for Office 2016 at a level that gives you PowerPoint, you have Office 365. If you or your company bought a permanent version with a one-time payment, you don’t.

How to use Morph in Office 365

Using Morph is very easy:

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Keep your audience riveted by adding anticipation to storytelling

powerpint-tips-storytelling-anticipation-loopFor months, I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about 2 new features in PowerPoint 2016 that are available if you have Office 365 (meaning that you pay a monthly subscription) and you belong to one of these free programs:

  • Office Insider: For consumer Office 365 customers (individuals)
  • First Release: for commercial Office 365 subscribers

But I couldn’t get access to it! It was very strange and I was the only PowerPoint MVP who didn’t have it — although others had difficulties earlier on. I got messages saying I didn’t have access to PowerPoint! Other messages said that my account didn’t exist. Read on and I’ll tell you what happened… Read more! →

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Import text from Word or Notepad

I recommend writing what you will say in Word first, because it’s easier to focus on your message. In another post, “Organize content with an outline,” I provide some more details.

Importing an outline

powerpoint-tips-import-outline-1You can import then text from Word or even Notepad (or any text editor) to create a new presentation. This is called importing an outline. Follow these steps to create the outline:

  1. Open a Word or Notepad document.
  2. Type the content if you haven’t already done so, following the guildines below.
  3. Make sure each line, whether for a slide title or bulleted text, is on its own line. There should be no blank lines, because these come in as blank slides!
  4. For each slide title, format the line as Heading 1 in Word or just type in Notepad.
  5. For each line of bulleted text, format the text as Heading 2 in Word or insert a tab in Notepad
  6. For each line of indented bulleted text, format the text as Heading 3 in Word or insert 2 tabs in Notepad
  7. Save the file as a .docx or .txt file.

Here’s an example done in Notepad. Notepad is the free text editor that comes with Windows.


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