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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 040

Issue 040 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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Product/Version: PowerPoint

The 40th Issue

Is it true that life really begins at 40? I don't know, but that's a good excuse to change some directions for this ezine.

I've been hearing from all of you who want the ezine to have less content! When I first started this ezine, it was more of a list of happenings in the world of PowerPoint and presentations. And these days, so many things are happening! I end up with an ezine issue every two weeks that perhaps takes you more than an hour to get through with all those links to explore.

It's time for change. I'll still cover happenings and news, but in much less detail since those are available to you all through my blog - and that's updated each day. This ezine itself will now completely focus on PowerPoint tips and tricks and get you all more freebies, giveaways and special offers. And yes, I'll introduce you to PowerPoint personalities - many of you have mailed to say that you enjoy all the interviews.

And now a word about our sponsors: we wish to thank them for supporting this site and the ezine. It's only through their help that we can get across quality content to all of you on a continuous basis.

Special Offers

Hemera has allowed me to provide you all with a 10% discount on all their boxed products for just three days - March 29th, 30th and 31st. Go here to take advantage of this offer (link no longer exists).

CrystalGraphics is offering you all the complete Ultimate Combo suite of their PowerPoint add-ins at a much reduced cost - the discount is 70%! Just use this insider promo code when you place your order: 'Ultimate14' without the quotes. This offer ends on March 31st - that's just three more days. Go here to take advantage of this offer.

It's Raining Gifts Again

It's raining gifts again! By being subscribed to this ezine, you are eligible to win!

This image is from Hemera's BizArt collection - more info here.

Betsy Weber of TechSmith is providing two free copies of their award winning SnagIt screen capture tool. SnagIt is used by over 7 million people worldwide and was recently awarded PC Magazine's coveted Best of the Year title. Thank you, Betsy.

I'm including two copies of my own PowerPoint Textures collection this time - you get over 800 textures you can use anywhere!

There are even more goodies - they will be announced in the next issue!

Now for the winners - Mark Pavone and Jim Carelas won the giveaways for a free copy of Neuxpower NXPowerLite. Mark Semeneck and Lynn Hadfield won copies of Wildform Wild FX. Congratulations to all of you.


Indezine Interviews

Tad Simons This time I have a treat for all of you - an interview with Tad Simons, editor of Presentations magazine. Tad frequently writes about the effects of technological change on communication, work and life, and reports on all aspects of multimedia, projection and display, digital imaging and collaboration technology. Whenever I get my copy of Presentations magazine, I just have to read Tad's editorial before anything else - it's one of the best editorial pages on the planet. Here's an excerpt from Tad's interview:

"I think PowerPoint is a fine program that gets horribly misused millions of time every day. Where we went wrong, I think, is in assuming that just because PowerPoint resides on everyone's computer, everyone can and ought to create their own presentation slides. That's the reason there are so many awful PowerPoint presentations in the world - because people without a lick of design sense are out there creating their own slides, inflicting their ineptness on unsuspecting audiences everywhere." Don't you want to read more?

Richard E Mayer Richard Mayer is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among the most prolific researchers in the sphere of educational psychology, Richard has authored 18 books and more than 250 articles and chapters. Among his most famous books is Multimedia Learning, an amazing treatise based on his findings that explains how you can use multimedia learning to its full potential. And that's something so relevant to PowerPoint creators and audiences today.

I love Richard's answer to the criticism being meted out to the use of bullet points in PowerPoint presentations. Richard responds: "Bullets don't kill learning, but improper use of bullets kills learning. In order to create effective PowerPoint presentations, it is important to understand how people learn. In particular, cognitive scientists have discovered three important features of the human information processing system that are particularly relevant for PowerPoint users." You have to read the rest of the interview.

Tom Bunzel If Richard's interview was thought provoking, Tom Bunzel provides responses that are completely different since he looks at PowerPoint as a multimedia tool for both corprate and non-corporate scenarios. Here's an excerpt from Tom's interview:

"I agree that PowerPoint is venturing out of the business world and into the living room, and in fact I try to describe other uses for the features like PhotoAlbum, as you mention, for family pictures. I also am a big believer in other creative uses of PowerPoint to storyboard video projects and movies, to make inexpensive corporate video (by using a video output graphics card), and I have sent animated Valentine's Cards using PowerPoint." Read more of this interview that brings back the fun in PowerPoint.

Music Span for PowerPoint

Sometime last month, I was again asking Shyam Pillai, a PowerPoint VBA guru to create an add-in that allows users to span a sound file across slides. Luckily, Shyam had some time to spare and he created an add-in that did just that! After a few tests between us, the add-in was created - and Shyam decided to release it as freeware! The add-in is called Music Span. Thank you, Shyam.

To add icing to the cake, I put in a hundred MIDI background music scores that I had created a few months ago into a zip file and released that as freeware too. So, now you all can download a free add-in with a hundred looping sound scores to use in your PowerPoint presentations absolutely free.

Download Music Span here.

Download the free music here.


News & Content

Read the PowerPoint Blog here. The PowerPoint Blog now includes the Atom syndication service so that you can use a Atom compatible newsreader to read all postings.


Events & Seminars

Great Graphics and Perfect Presentations
March 23-24 (Dallas/Ft. Worth); March 29-30 (New York/New Jersey); April 1-2 (Chicago); April 20-21 (Phoenix); April 27-28 (Calgary AB Canada); May 5-6 (San Jose)
Rick Altman, R Altman Digital Consulting
PPT Live

Winning Presentations Seminar
April 15 and 16, June10 and 11, 2004, Boston, USA
Claudyne Wilder, Wilder Presentations

PowerPoint Live
October 10 to 13, 2004, San Diego, California, USA
Rick Altman, R Altman Digital Consulting
PPT Live



During the preparation of this issue of the PowerPoint Ezine, I received assistance, content or feedback from Adam Schwartz, Betsy Weber, Carolyn Dennis, Lin Sharon, Paul Lafreniere and Shyam Pillai (all in alphabetical order). I would like to use this platform to thank them for their help.


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Jigsaw Graphics for PowerPoint

Here are 10 jigsaw graphics containing different shapes. These graphics are available in both black and white and are contained within separate sample presentations that you download. Additionally, these jigsaw graphics are vector shapes, so you can easily edit them within your Microsoft Office program by changing fills, lines, and effects or even applying Shape Styles.

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