Do you need to create striking graphics for company newsletters, blog posts, posters, training materials, and so on?
A nice way to do this is with one of the burst or star shapes. Here you see an example.
This is easy to create: Read more! →
Have you ever wanted to sync animation with a video or audio file so that the animation happens at a specified point?
Starting with PowerPoint 2010, you can add bookmarks to video or audio files. You can use a bookmark to quickly go to a specific location in the file but the real fun is when you use bookmarks to trigger animation.
In this short presentation, I added video of me speaking to the left side of the slide and on 2 slides, synced animation so that it appeared at a specific point — a bookmark that I set — in the video.
Watch it here — it’s only 2 minutes long. You’ll see animation on the 1st and 3rd slides. Note: The event I’m talking about started in the beginning of April, so I’m not trying to sign you up!
Add the bookmarks
Here are the steps for adding the bookmarks:
Add the animation
The next step is to add the animation and you do that in the normal way. That is:
Set the trigger
The final phase is to set the trigger, in this case, the video bookmarks. Here are the steps:
Tip: Use the Selection pane (Home tab, Editing group, Select, Selection Pane) and rename the objects so that you can easily recognize them in the Animation pane. Also, if your video file’s name is long, you won’t be able to see the full name of the bookmarks, so you can shorten that in the Selection pane as well.
Always test your animation. Once you get it right, the look is quite magical!
Can you think of a way to use this technique? Leave a comment!
Sometimes you need to show a head shot of several people, such as a departmental team or the presenters for a presentation. The problem is that you ask them for a head shot and they all look different, like this. What are you going to do?
Don’t just resize them to make them the same size. Instead, you need to crop them so that they include approximately the same view, the same amount of head, shoulders, and body.
Here’s the result after cropping. Read more! →
A nice background is a texture that isn’t too striking. It provides some interest without distracting from your content. Whether you want to find one texture and use it a lot or you want to create a variety of backgrounds, a black & white texture can give you lots of flexibility.
These textures make your slide look artistic and hand-made and were created by fellow PowerPoint MVP Geetesh Bajaj. They’re amazingly inexpensive and cost only $20! They come in both 4:3 (standard) and 16:9 (widescreen) versions.
This type of “grunge” look is very popular these days.
How to add a semi-transparent rectangle on top of the image
Here are the steps to follow:
Here the result using the default blue color in PowerPoint 2013 and a 64% transparency setting. I love how the dark gray blends with the blue to create a sophisticated blue-gray color! And all I have to do to change the color is select the rectangle and change its fill color! In fact, if you change the theme colors, the color will automatically adjust, as long as you choose one of the theme colors when you create the rectangle.
You can make the colored rectangle less transparent to show less of the texture and more of the color. It’s up to you. This one is 36% transparent, but it’s the same color as the previous example.
Colorize the textured image
Here you see the textured image colorize with a gold color and brightened 40%.
I LOVE this look, don’t you?
You can purchase the full-slide textures here. (Note: this is an affiliate link.)
Starting with PowerPoint 2010, you can use Artistic Effects to create some cool effects for your pictures. You can convert a shape to an image and then apply an effect to that image. You can use the texture as a slide background or as an object on your slide. Here’s an example.
Here’s how to create this texture:
Here are some other changes you can make:
There are other possibilities as well; poke around the settings to see what gives you the effect you like. Here’s another slide that uses these settings.
I’m working with a colleague to get you a great price on a whole library of textures — I think you’ll love them!
If you’re a trainer or teacher, the title of this blog post is an obvious statement for you.
But if you do more persuasive presentations, it may not be obvious.
All training involves persuasion; my trainer clients taught me that, telling me in no uncertain terms that they need to persuade their trainees to pay attention and implement their training.
But the opposite is also true. All persuasion includes training or teaching. After all, if you are trying to sell something, you need to inform your audience about the benefits they will get. If you’re trying to get approval for a proposal, you need to convey its value. No presenting happens without teaching or training. You might call it informing.
When I give webinars, I have a lot of trainers in my audience. I once asked why, since I don”t think that trainers make up the largest segment of presenters as a whole. They told me, “We’re trainers. We love to learn!”
I think that’s why so many of my clients are trainers.
Trainers are very invested in the success of their students, so they go out of their way to present in an engaging way. In fact, often their trainees are not in the audience by choice. Some trainers need to teach boring subjects, such as legal regulations. This forces them to use stories, graphics, and interactivity to keep the attention of the trainees.
The value of getting training
Some business presenters who are not trainers think of presenting as an off-the-cuff activity that doesn’t require much knowledge or preparation. They do themselves an injustice, because they could
In my experience, getting training is transformative for presenters. That’s why I train. Occasionally I do slide makeovers but I prefer to teach people to do their own. It’s like the difference between giving someone a fish and teaching a person to fish. I love training because people are so happy with the result. They not only like the slides–and maybe their reorganized, rewritten content– they feel much more self-confident when they present.
In fact it’s hard for me to do makeovers of content and organization on my own because this must be a collaborative effort. After all, only the presenter knows what content needs to be conveyed. So working together in a trainer-trainee relationship is most productive.
My clients who are not trainers get the value of training. They are managers (often executives), sales people, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. They want to make a bigger impact, get better results, and maybe even change the world.
How about you? Have you had training for your presentations? What was the result? Leave a comment!
You’ve probably seen videos which are just a series of photos that zoom in or perhaps move a little. You can create this in MovieMaker or a similar low-end video editor but you can also do it in PowerPoint. It isn’t difficult at all, since you’ll cycle among only a couple of animation and transition effects. You can then output it as a video. It’s great for personal photos, employee photos, event photos, etc. Here’s the video I created from some photos I took at a local park last fall.
So let’s get started creating this video!
Import, resize and place the images Read more! →
A few weeks ago, in my newsletter, I announced a contest based on my blog post, “Customize slide objects to the extreme.” With a great prize — the winner would get a choice of one of my two $97 products.
What, you aren’t a subscriber? You can subscribe here. Subscribers sometimes get special offers like this one.
We received some beautiful and creative entries and I wanted to show you some of them. I added the creators’ comments where I thought they would be useful to you. I couldn’t pick one winner, so I chose 3! Congratulations to them and everyone who submitted an entry. Read more! →
A reader wrote:
With a request like that, I have to answer!
Creating a photo album
The Photo Album feature lets you insert multiple images at once. It’s true that it always creates a new presentation and I don’t know why that is. But it’s SO easy to move those new slides to your original presentation.
Let’s start with the steps to create a photo album: Read more! →
Do you have to reproduce paper forms or software screens on PowerPoint slides? This is common for training. For example, one of my clients created a training session to help K-12 school administrators complete important forms for the state Department of Education.
The problem is that the forms have lots of small text on them and are virtually unreadable.
The same thing happens when you need to show software. Often people go directly into the software itself (out of PowerPoint) but there are a couple of reasons that trainers use PowerPoint:
Insert a picture and then what?