Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Fireworks as a model for PowerPoint slides
Thursday, July 26, 2007
PowerPoint Tip: How Many Features Do You Need To Know?
One of the reasons we have used Larry in the past is his ability to touch up a photo using Photoshop. He and I were talking about this in the house after the photo shoot and I had assumed that he was a Photoshop expert user. Turns out he only really knows the eight or so functions that he needs to make photos look amazing.
As I thought about it later, that makes perfect sense. I teach that you don't need to know every feature of PowerPoint, only the ones to be effective at presenting in your role. That's why most top presenters only use about 20-25% of the features at most. It's also why I'll never be Microsoft certified at PowerPoint. All their tests focus on knowing every esoteric feature, not what you really need to be an effective user. That's why today I am introducing my PowerPoint Effectiveness Assessment.
It is an online assessment that will allow you to measure yourself again 40 best practices and 74 specific skills I have found that real business presenters need to know. Like Larry, you don't need to know every feature, just the ones that will help you do what you need to do in your job.
The big question is which of the hundreds and hundreds of features do you need to know? Now, with this online assessment, you will get a personal report listing which areas you are doing well in and which areas and skills you need to work on. It's like getting a personal road map to becoming an expert PowerPoint presenter.
To take the assessment, check out the details at http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/assessment.htm . You'll even get to see a sample of the extensive report that you will receive after completing the questionnaire. If you have a team of colleagues who would benefit from the assessment, such as a team of sales professionals, e-mail me for group rates.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Use Your Own Remote
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Start Your Presentation Right
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
PowerPoint Tip - Why Not Use a Map?
A recent client slide from a Canadian client is a perfect illustration. They were showing market share in each region. They used a column graph and had one bar for BC, one for Alberta, one for the Prairies, one for Ontario, one for Quebec and one for the Atlantic provinces. It was a well designed slide. But it could have been even more effective.
When showing market share, a pie chart is a great visual because the proportion is instantly clear to the audience. But how do you create a pie graph that would show market share in each of six regions? The answer is you can't. But you can use a pie chart for each region.
What I used was a map of Canada as the base graphic for the slide covering most of the slide. On top of the map, I created a small pie chart that showed the market share in BC. Then I positioned the pie chart over British Columbia on the map. Then I did the same for each of the other five regions. So the slide had a map with six small pie charts showing the market share in each region.
The result was a much clearer picture of where the company had strong market share and where they needed to focus efforts at increasing market share. There was very little text needed because the pie chart and the positioning on the underlying map said it all. The next time you have geographic data to present, think of how you can use a map to give the audience context that is far more effective than just words.
Members of the Think Outside the Slide Members Site have access to a new video that shows the slides I refer to above and shows you how to get clean, simple maps that you can use on your slides without using complex mapping software. If you are not a member yet, you can join at http://members.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com . You can also learn more about using diagrams instead of text in chapter 6 of "Guide to PowerPoint" available at http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/guidetoppt.htm .
Monday, July 02, 2007
Princess Diana knew the power of a visual
He commented that Diana really knew how to use the press, especially when it came to helping charities through having herself photographed in a way that helped the cause. One photo they showed was of her walking and she had a T-shirt with the name of the charity on under her jacket. She walked with her hands in her pockets holding the jacket open so that the name of the charity was clear for everyone to see when that photograph was published.
Another story concerned her trip to a leprosy hospital in Southeast Asia. When she came in, she deliberately went over to a man suffering from the disease and shook his hand and spoke with him. The director of the hospital commented to an observer that the one photo of Diana speaking to this man would do more for the cause than his 30 years of work at the clinic.
That's the power of a visual. They could have written letters, grant proposals, met with delegates of many nations, but the visual trumped them all.
So what's the point for business presenters? That visuals have the power to stick in people's minds. People remember images and the emotions they bring forth. In your presentations, look to create and use images that tie your key message to an emotion and you will have a much better chance of your message being remembered and acted upon.