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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Geetesh, Interviewed by TJ Walker

Recently, TJ Walker interviewed me. We spoke about many things: how I evolved and got to do what I do, what are my thoughts on presenting, and so much more. The transcript below covers only the first five minutes, but the recorded podcast that you can play spans more than an hour. TJ: Our special guest today is internationally renowned PowerPoint expert, Geetesh Bajaj. He is the

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

6 Reasons Why Your PowerPoint Presentations (Still) Look Boring

You must have something important to present. Otherwise; why bother giving the presentation in the first place? And as such, you probably have prepared the content of your message well. And you might have even prepared a PowerPoint presentation to accompany your talk. But does it stand out? Does it do justice to the point you want to bring across? Or do your PowerPoint slides bring your talk

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

The Sixth Success Factor for Startups: The Perfected Pitch: by Jerry Weissman

“Startup Veteran” sounds like an oxymoron but it describes Bill Gross perfectly. Fresh out of Cal Tech in the 1980s, he started, grew, and sold three of his own companies. In 1996, he founded Idealab, a Pasadena-based organization to create and operate pioneering technology companies. Since then, Idealab has fostered the development of 125 companies, 40 of which have gone public or been

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Presentation Industry Standards: Conversation with Simon Morton

Simon Morton founded Europe's leading presentation design company Eyeful Presentations in 2004. His goal was big but simple—support businesses to create more powerful, engaging and effective presentations that make the most of the opportunities and deliver results. Twelve years, thousands of presentations, and millions of engaged audience members later, Eyeful's mission continues. Simon’s book

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Preparation Before Speaking: Conversation with Nigel Holmes

Born in England, Nigel Holmes studied illustration at the Royal College of Art in London and then freelanced for magazines and newspapers for 12 years in London before going to New York in 1977 to work for Time Magazine. He became graphics director and stayed there for 16 years. He has written several books on aspects of information design. With his son Rowland, Holmes makes animated short films.

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

How To Present A Fireside Chat In 4 Easy Lessons: by Jerry Weissman

Creative Commons: Image by National Archives and Records Administration In case you haven't heard, presentations delivered standing behind a lectern are out and fireside chats are in. Whether it is an effort to emulate the format originated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt or an effort to avoid the curse captured by the old Jerry Seinfeld joke: "To the average person, if you go to a funeral,

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Do You Buy Stock Photos for Clients?

As a presentation designer, do you need to buy stock photos to use in your client presentations? But did you know that you may be breaking the rules, without being aware—even if you are paying to license the photos? Thanks to Nancy Duarte for highlighting this area in a recent conversation. Here is what she said: There's a little-known clause in terms of stock photo houses that states that

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Choosing the Right Picture for your Slides: by Jullietta Stoencheva

You've probably heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same goes for presentation photos. Whether it's using PowerPoint, Sway, or one of those old school overhead projectors (ok, so we might be wrong about that last one), images make messages stronger. But why? Well, without getting all geeky about it, research shows that the human brain processes information more easily when

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Moving Beyond Clichés

If you see one more picture of people shaking hands or a light bulb, then you will know that the slides themselves must be unimaginative. How do you create an imaginative thought process that goes beyond clichés? Since its launch in 1990, Microsoft's PowerPoint has become an integral tool for business. With 95% market share and over 1.2 billion users worldwide, it is estimated that millions and

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

The Single Most Important Factor For Persuasion: by Jerry Weissman

An indisputable fact of life in every company, every industry, every vertical, every geography, is that salespeople sell features when they should be selling benefits instead. This mistake is also chronic in presentations because presenters too often focus on their own message to the exclusion of their audiences, causing them to think: "Why should I care?" or "It's all about you!" Politicians

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Design Shapes: The Circle, The Sun

Long, long ago I talked about circles and had wanted to bring up this amazing shape back to focus again. It has been a while, but the circle is as important as ever, and will always be. Why have people, over the years, played around with circles? What is it about a circle that draws people across lands? Probably, the circle was the most important shape known to ancient man and represented the

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Infographics and the Presentation Revolution: by Vikas Agrawal

'A picture says a thousand words' is perhaps a hackneyed truism, but infographics are proving it right all over again in the digital age. Infographics transform complex facts and figures into simple images and depictions which enable viewers to grasp difficult concepts instantly and make easy comparisons. These colorful, mesmerizing visual tools masquerading as work actually make learning fun.

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Using Pictures in PowerPoint: Conversation with Ellen Finkelstein

Ellen Finkelstein is a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and author of several PowerPoint, Flash, and AutoCAD books. She also holds webinars on presenting skills on a regular basis. In this interview, Ellen shares her thoughts about using pictures in PowerPoint. Geetesh: Ellen, can you share your resources on getting great pictures that you use within your slides? Ellen: The two websites I use most are

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Overcoming Visual Clichés with Visual Clichés!

We have discussed visual clichés in the past—the idea has been to explain how you can overcome visual clichés by using the four principles of thinking creative, thinking profound, thinking logical, and finally thinking again. In fact, in a cliché case study, we spoke about how everyone thinks about a light bulb when they need to express a bright idea. In fact, a search on Google Images for the

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Finding Your Presentation Metaphor: by Jim Endicott

For most people, creating presentations is not their day job. They sell things. They manage people. They drive projects. They make stuff happen. So it's understandable that when it becomes necessary to actually create a presentation, the process is rarely motivated by an understanding of the science of how our brains actually assimilate information (who has time for that). But more often by

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

12 Engaging Presenter Behaviors to Keep Your Audience Awake

Picture Courtesy: Pixabay "I want to engage my audience," is what over half of the presenters I coach tell me. Here's what I tell them. First, many people in your audience are tired—probably at least a third of them just don't get enough sleep. They're sitting there hoping they won't embarrass themselves by nodding off. Part of your job is to help them stay awake, to actually pay attention and

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Standing Out in a Sea of Voices: Conversation with Jim Endicott

Jim Endicott is an internationally-recognized consultant, designer, speaker specializing in professional presentation messaging, design and delivery. Jim has been a Jesse H. Neal award-winning columnist for Presentations magazine with his contributions to the magazine's Creative Techniques column. Jim has also contributed presentation-related content in magazines like Business Week, Consulting

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Your Escape Plan for Networking: by Fred Miller

Your escape plan for networking must be in place! If you're a regular networker, I'll bet this has happened to you. The seminar is scheduled to begin at 8:30, and the event notice suggested to: "Arrive early and Network!” "Great!" was your initial reaction. That's one of the reasons you attend events. You have developed and practiced you Elevator Speech. You've tweaked it enough times that

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Should You Create Widescreen Slides

The same goof up happened but at yet another conference! The text size on the slide was teeny-weeny, and you could not see much, even if you squinted your eyes. This time, the problem was not that the presenter had used 8 point text on the slide; this text was 20 points, and that did not make it too small. Even then, you still could not read the text! Yet, the presenter was referring to

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Presenters Think Different, Also: by Fred Miller

'Think Different' was Apple's slogan for a long time. It was appropriate to their products and services. They did, and still do, 'think different' and 'do different.' This has been a huge factor in making them one of the world's most successful companies. Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons We speakers can improve our presentations by 'thinking different,' when developing slides for our

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Clichés: Target and Dart Pictures

How many times have you seen slides that include pictures of targets and darts, especially when the presenter wanted to emphasize that targets need to be met, or wanted to celebrate the success of a target met? OK, that last sentence itself sounded so clichéd! Imagine how clichéd that slide must appear to the audience? Not another target with darts! So what visual do you use instead?

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

How do spreadsheets end up on slides – and what you can do differently for your next presentation: by Dave Paradi

I often hear about leaders asking staff members to put a spreadsheet on a slide. I see this in the work I do reviewing slides from participants before my customized corporate workshops. These huge tables of numbers are overwhelming. In my workshops I prepare makeovers of slides and show the participants how the key message of the spreadsheet could be communicated as a visual instead. It is not

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Keep the Audience Attentive: by Claudyne Wilder

Imagine that you are listening to a presenter droning on and on, using the same tone of voice and the same pace. Before long you start thinking about the vacation you want to take and the plans you would like to make for the weekend. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that you are no longer really listening. But wait, the presenter just said something you might need to know. It's too late.

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Clichés: Light Bulb Pictures

If someone wants a visual to express a bright idea, chances are they will use a picture of a light bulb! And probably there are thousands of people who decide to use that picture of a light bulb for the same reason – and that's made it a visual cliché! Can you imagine that a search for the term “bright idea” on Google Images got us almost nothing but light bulbs? OK – now one has to wonder --

10/23/2016 03:09 PM

Andreessen Horowitz Shows How to Avoid the Worst Death by PowerPoint: by Jerry Weissman

Of all the many bad raps against PowerPoint—TMI (Too Much Information), MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over), Data Dump, Show up and Throw Up, and "Just mail me the deck!"—the worst is The Laundry List, in which the slides in a presentation have all the continuity of a deck of cards shuffled by a Las Vegas dealer. We've all been there: "First, I'd like to talk about…then I'd like to talk about…then I'd

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