Category Archives: PowerPoint

Conversation with Tom Howell & Mike Parkinson: The Presentation Podcast Episode #42

The Presentation Podcast

 

Episode #42, A Conversation with Tom Howell & Mike Parkinson is live!

Recorded at the Presentation Summit in Clearwater, FL, Troy and I chat with the two newest Microsoft MVPs, Tom Howell of Synapsis Creative in Australia and Mike Parkinson of Billion Dollar Graphics.

Don’t forget to give us a rating on iTunes if you like the Podcast and want to help spread the word!

Subscribe on iTunes and check out the show notes for more info.

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Categories: Design, PowerPoint.

TalkTime: A Free Presentation Time Management Add-in for PowerPoint

I speak and give trainings often, and it’s not unusual for me to have a 400-slide deck from which I need to pull 60 or 90 minutes of material. Like many presenters, I’m not always perfect at managing the time of my talks, and until now, I have relied on Excel to calculate the running time of my slides. But now, thanks to a brand new PowerPoint add-in called TalkTime, I know instantly the total time my slides will take to present even as I add or delete material. And you can too, because I helped develop it and we’re giving it away for free!

Jamie Garroch of YouPresent is one of the best add-in developers for PowerPoint around. He steps in and creates Office solutions for clients when Microsoft can’t quite get the job done. One of my favorite add-ins (which you can download for free here) is Text to Outline which can turn all of a given font in your presentation into outlines, allowing you to use non-standard fonts in shareable presentations.

It was at the recent Presentation Summit that I casually mentioned my desire for an add-in that could calculate the total time of a presentation based on times assigned to individual slides. Literally a few hours later, Jamie sent me a prototype that blew me away. We then spent the next couple of weeks going back and forth and dramatically improving the functionality well beyond what I thought possible.

The result is TalkTime, a free and simple add-in that adds a small set of tools to the transitions tab.

These tools let you copy PowerPoint’s rehearsal times into TalkTime, enter them manually for each slide, record timings from a normally delivered slideshow or even copy times from audio narrations. TalkTime keeps track of the total time you plan to spend delivering your presentation and even takes into account hidden slides. And it shows you the times of individual sections, letting you manage large chunks of content.

Watch the above tutorial video to see what it’s all about or visit Jaime’s page for more info and screenshots.

You can download TalkTime or grab it anytime from this site’s Goodies page which also includes tons of other great free tools and assets to make you a better presenter. You can access the Goodies page by subscribing to this blog.

We would love to know what you think and if TalkTime helps you stay on time. Use the feedback button in the “About” section of the add-in or drop me an email.

If you’re looking for other PowerPoint add-ins or customized solutions, definitely check out YouPresent. And, of course, if you’re looking for a speaker or presentation trainer who never goes over his time, call me!

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PowerPoint for Digital Signage

One of the things I look forward to each year at the Presentation Summit is meeting new people, discovering what’s new in the world of presentation and learning how people are using PowerPoint in surprising ways. This year I saw some absolutely incredible video animations authored in PowerPoint, delivered a talk myself on how to create print documents with the software, and I got to meet Kurt Dupont from Belgium-based PresentationPoint.

Kurt produces a few different custom software solutions for PowerPoint, but his flagship offering is DataPoint, an add-in that transforms PowerPoint into a powerful digital signage solution. And after a demo and learning more about DataPoint, I came to realize that I have probably been staring at PowerPoint out in the wild far more than I realized – and you have as well. When you walk into a hotel lobby, or visit a factory floor or pass by any screen offering you information, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at PowerPoint.

There are many competitors that offer various digital signage solutions, but most are closed systems with their own design tools. DataPoint lets you design and author all of your visuals right in PowerPoint. And then, all from a PowerPoint interface, you can connect live data feeds such as weather or financial information plus proprietary and local databases containing just about any information you can imagine. Need a real-time scroll of your daily conference schedule? Connect DataPoint to your Google Calendar. Need to see current inventory? Connect DataPoint to your in-house Sharepoint database. Just want a rotating list of clients? Drop them into an Excel file and connect.

My favorite example of DataPoint in action is Sotheby’s. Yeah, you know when you see those screens behind the auctioneer indicating current bids? That’s all PowerPoint/DataPoint pulling information real-time from connected databases.

And if you’re worried about the logistics of connecting a computer to the actual screen, many users have fixed that problem with the Intel Compute Stick attached discreetly to the back of the monitor. Again, something I didn’t know existed.

And maybe the best part is that the software is a one-time purchase at a ridiculously low cost. Seriously, when you look at their client base (NASA, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, NYSE, Boeing, etc.), I’m even more amazed.

My only disappointment is that I just don’t get called upon to create digital signage all that often by clients. But if you’re looking for a really slick solution yourself, definitely take a look!

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Categories: Design, PowerPoint.

Presentation Mistakes We Have Made: The Presentation Podcast Episode #40

The Presentation Podcast

 

Episode #40, Mistakes We Have Made is live!

 

We’re not perfect, not by a long shot. Join Sandy, Troy and I for a stumbling trip down memory lane as we discuss failures, mistakes, errors in judgment and flat out fiascos we’ve experienced in the the world of presentation.

 

Don’t forget to give us a rating on iTunes if you like the Podcast and want to help spread the word!

Subscribe on iTunes and check out the show notes for more info.

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Categories: Design, PowerPoint.

PowerPoint for Rapid Social Media Video Creation

I’m just back from the recent Presentation Summit where I had a chance to hang out with many old and new friends including Tom Howell from Australia’s Synapsis Creative. Tom is the newest PowerPoint MVP, and one of the things I love about the MVPs is that each comes to the PowerPoint with a very different perspective and skillset.

Tom’s specialty is using PowerPoint to author professional videos exploiting the program’s powerful, but often overlooked animation and video output features. Tom did a session at the Summit breaking down exactly how his studio creates videos for brands such as Coca-Cola, P&G and Nestle. Occasionally, he will use live video mixed in with graphics, but usually these videos all make use of vector-based objects, illustrations and text. I won’t go through Tom’s whole process and workflow, but one of the advantages to working in PowerPoint that he stresses is the ability to storyboard and author all within the same program, saving a great deal of time. Synapsis is gaining more and more clients who want a social media video executed in under 48 hours, and apparently that’s something they can do.

Oh, and he also said that they rarely use Morph which I found fascinating.

Check out an example of their PowerPoint video work above, and see their whole portfolio here.

And check out their blog as well.

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Categories: Animation, PowerPoint, Video.

Software Productivity Tips, Hacks, and Cool Apps: The Presentation Podcast Episode #35

The Presentation Podcast

 

Episode #35, Software Productivity Tips, Hacks, and Cool Apps for the Busy Designer is live!

After last episode’s kvetch session, we’re back to practical solutions, including software solutions and tips outside of PowerPoint. Take a listen to hear about those small little things that ave us hours of time and let us do our jobs the best we can.

Oh, and I have a little announcement at the top of the show as well…

Don’t forget to give us a rating on iTunes if you like the Podcast and want to help spread the word!

Subscribe on iTunes and check out the show notes for more info.

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Categories: Design, PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Frustrations: The Presentation Podcast Episode #34

The Presentation Podcast

 

Episode #34, Yes, PowerPoint Frustrates Us is live!

Join Sandy, Troy and I for a kvetch session, but one hopefully that contains some answers and helpful tips to navigate around what bugs us most about PowerPoint.

Oh, and I have a little announcement at the top of the show as well…

Don’t forget to give us a rating on iTunes if you like the Podcast and want to help spread the word!

Subscribe on iTunes and check out the show notes for more info.

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Categories: Design, PowerPoint.
visual training presentation