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Learn PowerPoint 2011 for Mac: Change Layout of Organization Chart

November 04, 2011

Once you have inserted an organization chart (org chart) within PowerPoint 2011, you might need to change its layout. In org chart terms, layout refers to how subordinate levels in the hierarchy branch out from top to bottom -- probably you want all subordinates flushed to the left, hanging to the right, or distributed evenly across a horizontal plane.

Learn how to change the layout of your organization chart in PowerPoint 2011.

Learn PowerPoint 2010: Picture Fills for Slide Backgrounds

November 03, 2011

Texture and picture fills for slide backgrounds have so much in common -- in a previous tutorial we explored how you can use a texture filled slide background. While the same picture can be used for both a texture or picture fill, the main difference is how the results vary. While a picture fill spans the entire slide expanse, multiple tiles of the same picture form a texture fill.

Learn how to apply picture fills as slide backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010.

Are You Prepared?: Guest Post by Claudyne Wilder

November 02, 2011

Claudyne Wilder

You tell a colleague that you are nervous about the presentation you are giving tomorrow and she responds, "Don't worry -- you'll do fine." What I would tell you is that you can feel prepared and (somewhat) relaxed if you have practiced the talk out loud with at least one person who is like a typical audience member. Also, did you practice using the technology. For example, if you plan to use a remote mouse, then you should rehearse using that mouse.

Read more in this guest post by Claudyne Wilder.

Learn PowerPoint 2011 for Mac: Adding New Shapes to Existing Organization Charts

November 02, 2011

Once you insert an organization chart in PowerPoint 2011, you might find that the shapes available are not sufficient for your requirements, and you may want to add some more shapes to your org chart. The default org chart that PowerPoint places has very few shapes -- also you may need more hierarchy levels for the new shapes you want to add. Fortunately, you can make these additions and edits with just a click or two.

Learn how to add more shapes to an existing Organization Chart in PowerPoint 2011.

Learn PowerPoint 2010: Texture Fills for Slide Backgrounds

November 01, 2011

When you want to format your slide background to look different than the readymade styles available in PowerPoint, you can certainly explore both options we have already covered in separate tutorials: solid or gradient filled slide backgrounds. In addition, you could also choose a picture or texture fill for your slide backgrounds. Note that both picture or texture fills work very similarly -- but choosing one option over the other can make the same background look so different. While a picture background results in your slide using a single picture as a backdrop, using a texture background can result in the same picture being tiled across the slide background. Also some pictures lend themselves better to being used as textures, especially if they are seamless.

Learn how to apply texture fills as slide backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010.

Using Charts in PowerPoint: Conversation with Mike Parkinson

October 31, 2011

Mike Parkinson

Mike Parkinson is an internationally recognized visual communication expert and multi-published author. Mike has spearheaded multi-billion dollar projects and created thousands of graphics resulting in billions of dollars in increased revenue for his clients. He is often requested to speak at national conferences, large and small companies, and graphic industry events. Mike is a frequent contributor of visual communication articles for magazines, newsletters, and a variety of professional websites. Visit Mike's site, Billion Dollar Graphics for helpful presentation graphic tools and articles. In this conversation, Mike discusses best practices on using charts.

Read the conversation here.

Learn PowerPoint 2011 for Mac: Insert an Organization Chart

October 31, 2011

Organization charts in PowerPoint 2011 are just one of the many variants of SmartArt graphics you can insert in your slide. An organization chart graphically represents the management or hierarchical structure of an organization. This is great if you want to illustrate the reporting relationships in your company or organization. Make sure you choose any of the Organization Chart variants that the SmartArt option offers.

Learn how to insert an organization chart in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Duarte's 16th Annual Pumpkin Contest: Conversation with Nancy Duarte

October 28, 2011

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte has been a Principal of Duarte Design since 1990. Her firm is in the heart of the Silicon Valley and the client list is loaded with Fortune 500 companies. Her passion for business communications that are clear, meaningful and attractive has opened doors for her in a business world full of cluttered and complex visual communications. In this conversation, Nancy goes off the beaten track to discuss pumpkins rather than slides!

Read the conversation here.

Learn PowerPoint 2010: Gradient Fills for Slide Backgrounds

October 28, 2011

Like previous version of the program, PowerPoint 2010 continues to provide an amazing array of options to format your slide backgrounds. We started this series of tutorials by exploring how you can Format Slide Backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010. This tutorial builds upon what you have already learned, and show how you can add a gradient fill to your slide background. Gradient fills are typically blended fills between two or more colors that graduate from one color to another.

Learn how to apply gradient fills as slide backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010.

Learn PowerPoint 2011 for Mac: Animating SmartArt

October 27, 2011

Animation in PowerPoint can work in many ways depending upon what you are animating because PowerPoint has extra options up its sleeve for animating different types of slide objects such as text, charts, or even SmartArt. Once you add animation to your SmartArt, you'll discover that the entire graphic animates at the same time -- it may seem that you have no control over animating individual SmartArt shapes, but that's not entirely true. PowerPoint 2011 does provide some control over animating SmartArt shapes in sequence.

Learn how to animate SmartArt in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Presentation Secrets: Conversation with Alexei Kapterev

October 26, 2011

Alexei Kapterev

Alexei Kapterev is one of the Russia's leading experts on presentations. He currently has a private consulting practice in Moscow. As permanent lecturer, he teaches at the Graduate School of Business Administration (Moscow State University) and as guest lecturer at the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo. He is also working in cooperation with Mercator, Russia’s premier studio producing corporate presentations, films, and business graphics. One of his presentation scripts was awarded the finalist award at the New York Festivals competition. Alexei runs his site and a blog at In this conversation, Alexei discusses Presentation Secrets, his new book.

Read the conversation here.

Learn PowerPoint 2010: Solid Fills for Slide Backgrounds

October 26, 2011

PowerPoint 2010 provides umpteen options for your slide backgrounds. While our earlier Format Slide Background in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial provided a generic walkthrough on changing the slide background, this tutorial builds up on the techniques and steps you learned in that tutorial. Your new slide background can be a solid color, a gradient, a texture or a picture, or even one of PowerPoint's built-in patterns. Within this series of tutorials, we will show you how you can choose from any of these background fill options. We start this series with this tutorial that explores solid fills for your slide backgrounds.

Learn how to apply solid fills as slide backgrounds in PowerPoint 2010.

Learn PowerPoint 2011 for Mac: Convert SmartArt into Shapes

October 25, 2011

As part of this ongoing SmartArt series, you have learned that SmartArt graphics can be customized to a large extent – you can resize and move individual shapes, format text and change colors, add and delete shapes, and animate them in sequence -- yet, even the customization options have their limitations. Any customization is within the bounding box within which your SmartArt graphic is contained. To get over these limitations, you may consider converting your SmartArt graphic to a collection of individual editable shapes that can be manipulated further. This approach does have its advantages since you are no longer tied to the SmartArt feature and can now treat the individual shapes as normal PowerPoint shapes that can be formatted, positioned, or animated as you deem fit! However, this freedom does come at a price -- first of all, this is a one-way process, and you lose any editability for the SmartArt graphic from that point of time.

Learn how to convert SmartArt to individual shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

Five Uses for One Speech: Guest Post by Kevin Lerner

October 24, 2011

Kevin Lerner

Taking the time to translate your talk into more mediums will increase your online audience, authority, and revenue. Speakers take their speaking seriously. Their speeches are often the result of relentless research, writing, and word wrestling. Some speakers spend days -- even weeks whittling their words with their potent pens to get it right. And then ... the delivery! The applause. The accolades, praise and critique. And then it's over. A great speech relegated to the trash heap of history. But for those of us who want to add longevity to our letters…and credence to our creativity, there are solutions.

Read more in this guest post by Kevin Lerner.

Learn PowerPoint 2010: Format Slide Background

October 24, 2011

There are twelve default slide Background Styles available in PowerPoint 2010. Beyond that, you can always change the default background to a solid color, a gradient, a pattern or texture, or even a pattern. In this tutorial, you will learn how to change the default slide background in PowerPoint.

Learn about different options available to format the slide background style in PowerPoint 2010.

How to Avoid the Four Biggest PowerPoint Color Mistakes: Guest Post by Laura Foley

October 21, 2011

Laura Foley

PowerPoint makes it easy to use bright, vibrant colors in a presentation, which can either be good or very, very bad. Used correctly, color can draw attention to important parts of a slide, elicit a desired emotional response, or reinforce a company's brand identity. But poor color choices can be distracting in ways you might not even be aware of. And any time your audience's attention is focused where it shouldn't be, they're missing your main message. Some of the most common results of bad color choices in PowerPoint are illegibility, unintentional associations, unclear charts, and the creation of slides that are just plain ugly!

Read more in this guest post by Laura Foley.

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You May Also Like: Stop Being Predictable!: Conversation with Bob Boylan | Nick Morgan at the Presentation Summit 2011

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Night Sky Starlit Backgrounds

The ZIP file that you will download contains five Night Sky Starlit Backgrounds in three resolutions: Full Size: 4000x2250 pixels (16:9), Widescreen Size: 1365x768 pixels (16:9), and Standard Size: 1024x768 (4:3). Also included are five PowerPoint Presentations with Night Sky Starlit Backgrounds, set to work with the Morph transition. Yes, these background designs can also animate between slides using PowerPoint's Morph transition.

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