9 tips to design presentations for webinars

powerpoint-tips-9-tips-design-presentations-webinars-1aI recently gave a presentation on this topic at the Presenters Network meeting in Manhattan and thought I’d share with you my points for designing presentations for webinars.

By the word “design,” I mean both the visual design of the slides and the design of the content.

Webinars have many advantages over live presentations:

  • No travel (time or cost)
  • Greater reach (all over the world)
  • Easier follow-up
  • Availability of a recording

They also have some disadvantages:

  • Difficulty of keeping people from multitasking
  • Lack of engagement between the presenter and the audience

The points below address these disadvantages.

1. Use and design for the webcam


If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

4 steps to create a video from PowerPoint slides

You can create great videos using PowerPoint! A common reason to create videos is to post them on YouTube but you can post them on a website or on social media as well.

You can make them as simple or as complicated as you want. Here are the basic steps to create a video from PowerPoint slides:

1. Create animated slides (including transitions)

Of course, you start with animated slides. The basic concept is to keep things moving like they would in a video. A video is a very different medium from a slide presentation, so you have to think differently.

For example, after you apply entrance animations, you can apply exit animations so that objects come in and go out. Use some of the more extreme animations that you would never use in a regular business presentation.

2. Add audio (narration and/or music)


If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

Anticipate the next slide with transitional statements

In writing, it’s good practice to create transitional statements between paragraphs or sections. For example:

“Next, I’ll cover how you can implement the ideas I’ve discussed.”
“On the other hand…”
“That was one example; now I’ll give you another example.”

The same is true when you speak. Transitional statements help glue your points to each other and to your talk as a whole. They make clear the relationships between ideas. These relationships make the entire talk hold together for your audience.


Gluing slides together

Unfortunately, when people use slides, they often think in discrete chunks because each slide is a separate element. This turns into an awkward pause as they switch to the next slide. This is especially true then they aren’t sure what’s coming next.

You should always know the content of the slide that is coming next! Read more! →

If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

Why you need a story for your presentations

powerpoint-tips-story-presentationHow do you persuade people to implement your training, buy from you, or approve your proposal?

Yes, you need a good “offer,” whether that offer is to help trainees perform better, improve client’s results, or get more done with less money. But a good offer isn’t enough.

Lots of research has shown that emotion is necessary for people to make a decision. They buy in because it feels good. They believe that whatever you’re offering will help them in some way. It’s a common saying that people buy on emotion and justify it afterward. This applies even when the transaction isn’t a purchase for money. They buy the premise of your proposal. They accept that your training will get them where they want to be in the company.

And perhaps the best way to convey emotion is through a story, especially when backed up with strong images. For more information on how to choose the right images for your presentations, see my post, “4 secrets to choose the best images for your slides.”

So you need a story for your presentations. You can use many types of stories:

  • Case studies
  • Examples
  • Your story (an experience you had)
  • Stories about employees or customers
  • A story in the news
  • A story from history

A good way to start telling stories is to find something from your own experience that illustrates your point. It’s obviously going to be original, it’s personal (adds emotion), and you already have the content. You’ll often find that you can use this story over and over–just make sure it’s relevant to your presentation and the audience!

This is sometimes called a “signature” story and public speakers use it a lot. If you haven’t written your signature story, use the guidelines here to get it done!

Evoke emotions with a story


If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

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!

3 orange large asterisks
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.


If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

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! →

If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

Integrating Live Power BI Dashboards into PowerPoint


german-picture-2At SlideModel.com 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, SlideModel.com 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.


If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

Add power to your message with better slide titles

superhero running-cape-briefcase

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! →

If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

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?

If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!

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?


If you found this useful, please use the buttons below to share it!