10 Things to Learn From the World’s Best PowerPoint Presentations

About four months ago SlideShare launched a presentation contest. The goal was to find the World’s Best Presentation. The presentations were judged by top presentation gurus and the viewers (us, you and me).

The judges and top presentation gurus were Guy Kawasaki, Bert Decker, Garr Reynolds and Jerry Weissman.

Now I’ve created my share of presentations and I’ve been really proud of most of them… but these WAUW! I can’t wait to create the next presentation for a bunch of IT-executives or managers. Looking through the contributions you will quickly notice that they have a lot in common.

  1. Most use very large font sizes
  2. Lots of colour contrast - most have a dark background with light text
  3. Each presentation tell a story
  4. Graphic images are big and simple - generally just one per slide
  5. Images help tell the story - often critical to understanding the text
  6. Text is minimal - many of the presentations only have a few words per slide
  7. Text isn’t in the same place on every slide
  8. Headlines aren’t used very much - Regular sentences or “Down style” are more common
  9. Text and images are static, they don’t scoot around on the page
  10. Slides don’t need audio to be understood (I might have some difficulties at that, people need a reason to listen to you)

Some of my presentations are way too text-heavy and according to these 10 observations way too boring and I might not get the right message out. Now all I need to learn is how to create the beautiful and fancy graphic in Photoshop (and be creative *ahem*). You can check out the winning presentations on SlideShare’s page. Amazing what you can do with PowerPoint.
Source: www.shoutwire.com

How To Edit and Add Video Clips to Powerpoint Presentations

Another Teacher Tech Article for you. This is for anyone who would like to edit a video clip from a video file or from a DVD and add that video clip to your PowerPoint presentation. There are several steps in this process - some of which you might not need if you already have a video clip on your hard drive.

1. If you want to get a clip from a DVD, you will first need to convert the movie to a file format usable in PowerPoint - NOTE: If you already have your file on the hard drive in an mpg, wmv or avi format go on to the next step. Download and install the freeware application Handbrake. Once you run Handbrake, Insert your DVD into the DVD Player. Select the Browse button and select the movie if it doesn’t load it automatically.

You then need to select the “select title” button and choose the movie title if there is more then one movie on the DVD. In the destination section select your file format to be avi and type in the name you want to use for the clip. There are many additional options you can use to customize, but for simplicity, lets just click on the “encode” button. At this point it will begin to work behind the scenes to convert your movie to a usable avi video clip in the directory you chose to save it to. When it is complete, the window like the one in the photo below will say “complete” You can close it and move on to the next step.

2. Edit MPEG or AVI video files. Next we will edit the movie or video clips to show exactly the portion of the video you want included as a clip on your PowerPoint presentation. To do this we will use the free software provided with all Windows XP licenses called Movie Maker although you could use many other programs such as TMPencDVD Author for example . Find Windows Movie Maker on your PC (typically by selecting Start-Programs-Accessories) and open it.

On the left under “capture video” you will see “import video”. Select that and select your video clip from the appropriate folder. That will import the video and break it up into several smaller clips. For the next steps, watch the video below on how to use Windows Movie Maker to edit the video clip:

One thing you might need to do in Windows Movie Maker is to increase or decrease the volume level of the video clip. To do that, on the Audio or Audio/Music track of the timeline, select the audio clip whose volume you want to adjust. Then click Clip, point to Audio, and then click Volume. To adjust the volume, do one of the following:

To reduce the volume, slide the Audio volume level slider to the left.

To increase the volume, slide the Audio volume level slider to the right.

To mute the clip, select the Mute clip check box.

To reset the volume to the original volume, click Reset.

3. Add Clip to PowerPoint. Now that you’ve edited the video clip, just save it. There are two methods of playing video during a PowerPoint presentation.

You can embed the video clip into a slide by going to the point where you want the video inserted, select Insert Menu-Movies and Sounds+Movie from File. Find the movie file in your folder and double-click on it. PowerPoint will then import the file and then you can reposition or resize the clip.

A second method is to embed a WMV file in the slide itself. This way you will have the Windows Media Player controls (play, pause etc) beneath the clip which is nice for longer video clips.
Its best to keep your video clips small for size and better presentation.
Source: www.brentevans.blogspot.com

Apple Keynote vs. Microsoft Powerpoint

Attorney David Sparks who writes about Apple and the Mac at MacSparky.com, penned a review of Apple’s Keynote ‘08 presentation software recently, see Review - Keynote ‘08.   In comparison to Microsoft’s Powerpoint, it is not difficult to see which product he prefers:

Presentations and word processing are my bread and butter. That is, I earn my living writing and presenting. I have been writing Power Point presentations for years. I’m actually very good at them and occasionally freelance for my geek challenged colleagues. It is with those years of experience in mind that I was initially skeptical about using Apple’s presentation software, Keynote. That was, at least, until the first time I saw a Keynote presentation.

I think Keynote (even before this recent update) is superior to PowerPoint in both ease of use and final product. With the release of Keynote ‘08, the gap has just grown larger. For the purpose of this review, I’m going to skip over a lot of the features that already existed in Keynote and focus on the new additions. If you are not familiar with Keynote, even before the upgrade it was full of stellar templates, transitions, and text effects that made producing convincing presentations a breeze. Indeed there are even more new transitions and effects but that is just the start of some fantastic changes and additional features.

Mr. Sparks’ post continues, and is quite detailed, for those who wish to explore Keynote ‘08 in more depth; just click Another Lawyer’s Review of Keynote ‘08.

Attorney Ben Stevens, writing at The Mac Lawyer, also apparently loves the product: Another Lawyer’s Review of Keynote ‘08

You can also catch this podcast Surfbits MacReview Cast Episode 121 for even more on the subject.
Source: blog.blawg.com

Where to Upload PowerPoint Presentations On the Web and Why?

Comparing The Tools for Getting your PowerPoint Presentation Online 

Zoho Show, SlideShare, Scribd, SlideAware and Splashcast are some of the most popular hosting services for uploading PowerPoint files on the web for others to watch the slideshows online or for you to embed the presentations inside web pages.

If you want to skip the details, watch the PowerPoint embeds from all the different services compared side-by-side.[The embed feature is unavailable with ThinkFree Docs and Google PowerPoint inside GMail.]

Though we compared SlideShare and Zoho Show in the past, it’s probably time to revisit the topic with the entry of some very good PowerPoint players like the one from SplashCast and Scribd.

Scribd [review] - This may surprise some but Scribd is an excellent place for uploading PowerPoint files. The big advantage of using Scribd is that visitors can search inside the content of your PPT files right inside the viewer. Another feature unique to Scribd is Zoom which is not available in any of the other PowerPoint players. And you can select the slide number that should load at the beginning.

SplashCast - This “one size fits all” web player allows you to embed PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, MP3 songs, videos and photographs right inside one player. And you know what - SplashCast gives a skinless PPT player - the navigation bar is visible only when the visitors wants to see else it remains neatly hidden. The transition effects between slides are again very impressive.

SlideShare [review] - The most popular PowerPoint hosting service is also the most convenient one. Upload, grab the Flash embed code and paste. Slideshare create a text transcript of your PowerPoint presentations making it easier for search engines to discover your content. Presenters can learn which websites are embedding their PPT presentations which is such a useful feature. The SlideShare player looks good but you cannot resize it and there’s no autoplay option. Supports multiple uploads in one go.

Zoho Show [review] - Zoho is the only service to provide an IFRAME based embed code though the player is done in Adobe Flash like other services. With Zoho Show, viewers can jump to any slide by selecting the slide name from the drop-down in the player bar. They can also select the slide transition duration and run the slideshow. Zoho Show lets you edit your existing presentations before sharing them.

SlideAware [review] - Unlike other PowerPoint hosting services, SlideAware is mostly paid but they do have a free plan which should work for lot of presenters. The PowerPoint player of SlideAware can be resized and you can decide what buttons to display on the player skin. SlideAware provides excellent viewership stats per PPT slide - you’ll know who viewed your Presentation, when they viewed it and how long they spent on each slide.

Live Example:
You can also compare all the different PowerPoint players. Here’s a quick recommendation:

If you a have a long text-based PPT, use Scribd since visitors can quickly search for text phrases.

If you want to edit the PPT online before sharing, Zoho Show is the way to go.

If you want to integrate the PowerPoint presentation with pictures from Flickr, videos from YouTube and even MP3, SplashCast is the perfect service for you. Very clean interface.

If you want a quick and easy way for sharing (multiple) PPTs, go with Slideshare. Your presentation will gain maximum visibility here.

Source: www.labnol.blogspot.com

How to Avoid Bad Presentation

No one willingly gives a presentation when they don’t believe in their presentation skills, but a lot of people are forced to in their every day lives. Sometimes these presentations are required through school or work or some other event but most people do have to give one sometime in their life. No one wants to have bad presentation skills either, but sometimes they just can’t get it right and none of the instructions on what to do is working for them. Too often guides to becoming a good presenter focus only on what to do and what are good presentation skills and they don’t even mention what bad presentation skills are. Sometimes the traditional style of learning doesn’t work for people and knowing what not to do helps them more than anything else. Because of this need for information about bad presentation skills, below is a detailed explanation of everything done wrong in a presentation and why it’s bad.

There are always two steps to giving a presentation, and because of that there are two steps in which poor choices are made. The first is always going to be the organizational phase. The organizational phase is when all the information for a presentation is gathered, sorted and processed into a presentation. The number one mistake here is that it is done too late. Procrastinating to the night before can be hard not to do, but even giving yourself an extra day can help improve the presentation drastically.

The next example of bad presentation skills is poor ordering. Simply throwing together all the information will create a hard to deliver and hard to understand presentation. Along with the technical aspects of the organization phase, it’s often viewed in bad light when you don’t write anything down at all. Some people can naturally organize things in their head, but all people will benefit from putting it down on paper, even if it takes a little more time. These are the bad presentation skills that you should avoid during the organizational phase.

The next phase, delivery, has just as many poor presentation skills. The first and most common is muttering or speaking softly. While many people are shy in front of crowds, muttering and speaking quietly will only draw more attention to you than if you were to speak in a reasonable manner in the first place; on top of that it makes your presentation impossible to understand. The next example of bad presentation skills is ignoring the audience. Without acknowledging they are there or making eye contact the audience usually loses interest in what you have to say fast, and that will make your entire presentation wasted. Finally, don’t acknowledge mistakes during the presentation. It’s fine to discuss and reflect on how you could have done better afterwards, but don’t interrupt the flow of the presentation to dwell on a mispronounced word or mistake, simply correct yourself and move on; often times an audience won’t even realize that you had made a mistake, so acknowledging it in this fashion only makes it more pronounced. These are the bad presentation skills related to delivery.

There you have it, the worst and most prominent presentation skills. Often time’s people won’t realize they are doing any of these and while they’re actively utilizing the good presentation skills, they are oblivious to the bad ones and are unable to fix them. Becoming a good presenter is a two step process, the first is to cease using the bad presentation skills and the second is to start using the good ones. Usually being aware of not to do will be just as useful as knowing what to do. Knowing this is half the struggle to become a great presenter.
Source: www.urownbusiness.blogspot.com