Tag Archives: pitfalls when using PowerPoint

Transform slides into word document

notes

I presume your first question would be: ‘Why on earth would I do that?’ I can think of a number of reasons but the most important one is this: it is by far the best way to keep slides ‘ZEN’ during your talk, only showing messages. Though afterwards you ideally send your audience a detailed document, and slides with only messages will not do!

 

So how do you do this? First of all create your story and then translate that story into ‘ZEN’ slides. The best way to make simple slides is to draw your slides first on a paper or imagine what you would put on a flip chart if the beamer does not work.

 

When the slides are ready, press ‘file’ in the upper left corner and choose ‘export’. This is for the most recent versions. For older versions of PPT you might have to choose ‘publish’ or ‘save and send’. In either of these options you can click ‘create handouts in Microsoft Word’ (or similar descriptions). Click ‘create handouts’ again and then choose ‘notes below slides’.

 

Automatically a word document is being created. Slide 1 has become page 1. On that page your slide has become a picture and the rest of the page is empty. This is where you create your text that the audience can read afterwards. Save this as a PDF and send it to your audience.

 

You might say that you do exactly the same using ‘notes’ in your PowerPoint document. The thing is, I advise you never to send your slides because it is too big when you have lots of pictures and people never read the notes. Plus, you can edit the word document by deleting whatever is not needed or adding a logo on each page which is a good idea.

 

This works great to create for example a syllabus based on a slideshow for a training or for conference presentations. Enjoy your next presentation!

 

Free stock photos

color-pencils Often people ask me where to find pictures for their presentation because google images is not your best choice! Often pictures are too small (you need high quality) and it is not always clear whether you can actually use the pictures or not. Be careful with this! I just read this post of Guy Kawasaki where he shared great sites with free stock photos. I loved it and now I share it with you. So here is the link: https://designschool.canva.com/blog/free-stock-photos/

Is your company presentation a christmas tree or a story?

large_6604960497 I actually should have written this newsletter one month ago as I love to compare company presentations with christmas trees. What we tend to do is focus on detailed slides, like a brochure. And as we all know by now that visuals work in slides, we decorate the bullets with pictures, even clipart (still), pretty much like a christmas tree. But here’s a question for you: do you show and comment these slides when you present your company or do you have a story to tell??

I advise you to focus on a story and use your slides as backup to use them if needed during the discussion with your prospect. Of course, the first thing you will do is ask questions and get to know what their problem or question is though at one point you will have to tell your story. You should be able to tell that story in 1 minute, have a 5 minute version and sometimes it can be even a longer version.

Here is a guideline you can use for your 1 minute that is actually the basis for every longer presentation you would do:

  • Describe a situation, which often results in a complication
  • Ask the most important question linked to that situation
  • Give an answer, which is your core message

When your answer is a solution, end with the 3 most important reasons why this could be a solution for your prospect.
When your answer is a specific product or service, end your 1 minute with the 3 most important benefits for the customer of that product or service. 3 is a magical number, easy to memorize for you and memorable for your audience.

Don’t just focus on a agenda saying where you come from, how big your are, what your mission is. Focus on them, give them benefits, tell your story and prepare it well!

 

 

You may need an expert for your live event!

 

Microphones

I just read this article by Kyle Tanner and I absolutely want to share it with you as I agree with him 100%. I have seen too many speakers fail on stage because of lack of preparation. Please speakers on events, I love to guide you with your next presentation!!! Read the article of Kyle below…

‘A few weeks ago I was at a medical event. 4 days of pack filled presentations. I was responsible for making sure all imagery was going to screens. I was running 3 PC’s and 3 Macs and we had a tech running video playback.

I was amazed at how many “seasoned presenters” were handing me a thumb drive literally seconds before walking on stage. A few presentations were using special fonts, so those were not showing. A few presentations had linked videos, but the presenter could not find the original files. Some video files were embedded but with the wrong Codex (so basically useless) some presentations were 4:3 projecting to multiple 16:9 screens. Some presentations had audio clips (yet we never had a chance to check the levels).

If the techs don’t have time to preview your file(s) on their system, that’s when problems occur (the audience doesn’t care what your presentation looks like on your computer). When I get the file the day before, I can preview and makes sure videos are working, sizing is correct, volumes are good, etc. When I get the file as you hit the stage, every click forward is a new surprise for all of us, and I don’t like to rehearse in front of hundreds or thousands of people (aka your audience).

And, while I’m correcting slides, 2-3 slides ahead of the current slides on the screens, these “seasoned presenters” who have given this ‘same talk hundreds of times’ were taping me on the shoulder asking if they can change a few slides before they go on in 3 more minutes.

At some point (i.e. the flight to the event), you need to decide, this is my talk and this is my visual support, and I really don’t need to cause 99% of my stress over one detail out of 200 slides.

So if you want your next prefect presentation here are some ideas.

1 – You may be an expert CEO or brain surgeon, but you may need an expert to help you fine-tune your presentation! Yes PowerPoint & Keynote can be easy to use, but so is Word, but I do not consider myself a best selling author.

2 – You are at your event to give an amazing talk on your subject. Do you really need to be stressed the last 3 minutes before going on stage to make sure the right graphic flies in from the left edge or your special font is working?

3 – If you are an event planner, consider an amazing service to your Speakers. Provide a Speaker Ready room. I can tell you when I have been in the Speaker Ready Room, and its slow, I have spent hours with presenters fine tuning their presentation. 1 – It’s a must for an event with lots of files. 2 – It helps the speakers and the crew. 3 – It’s a great-added service for your Speakers (if you have a service oriented person wanting to help).

4 – Know the difference between a Graphic Designer who can create an amazing presentation, and a Graphic Operator who specializes in live events and can interface with the onsite video crew and engineers, to get you the best results possible.

If I can help you on your next event, please let me know. I truly do love to help people and being on the road. I’ve worked with Fortune 500’s, TV Networks, and small companies with presentations just as important.’

How to give an awesome presentation

I just found this on youtube and I really like the ideas and the way they get their message across. I completely agree with their main idea that a presentation is all about the story. This is the first thing you need to do when preparing a new presentation. The storyline I like to follow works like the pyramid principle. Never focus on topics as a storyline, focus rather on conclusions, ideally no more than 3 and give a logical reasoning how you got to these conclusions!

Do you really need PowerPoint?

powerpoint-template-sample-from-business-title-sets
I just witnessed an interesting converstation while waiting at a reception desk. 2 ladies just met their contact, and the latter proposes to have a coffee first and sit in a relaxed area. She even proposes to have the meeting there and asks ‘or do you really need to show a PowerPoint??…’ The other 2 ladies answer yes, they have prepared a PPT and their faces show apologies… Wouldn’t it be easier to have dialogues and conversations instead of monologues with PowerPoint?…

How NOT to use PowerPoint

The title of the you tube movie below is ‘how NOT to use PowerPoint’ and actually needs no further explanation…My challenging objective for the coming years is to dramatically change the ‘PowerPoint culture’ in companies. Why ? Just check the movie…

[youtube=http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=cagxPlVqrtM]