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Make better presentations

Download free PowerPoint templates, backgrounds and videos. You'll also find great links to online reference and research tools. There are special resources just for teachers, traveling presenters, ministers and business people.

Recent Posts

Online video in 2011

B to B Online  posted interviews from What are your plans for using online video in 2011?

via What are your plans for using online video in 2011? :: BtoB Magazine.

To find stock video, we recommend Pond 5. Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5 Pond5 Stock Footage

Music for your Presentations

There’s no doubt that music can be a great addition to a presentation. But where do you get music you can legally use? Well there are a couple of sites you should try. Both have tons of songs available for download with liberal usage licenses for non-commercial use. Some of the music is even free for use in your commercial work.
For your presentations, you’ll find that the majority of these artists only ask for attribution (just a credit at the end of your presentation will do). You can find every style from rockin fast to slow and dramatic. I suggest searching for instrumentals or for sound tracks as a start.
Try these great sites: dig.ccmixter and Jamendo.  The downloads are fast and the quality is very good.
Take a look at this little video I edited for our local (non-profit) film festival.  The music conveys the playfulness of the event.  So if you want to set a mood with your presentation, take a listen and grab a free download!
YouTube Preview Image

Use different fonts for your presentation for free

Many free font sites aren’t necessarily where you want to go when you need fonts for work or an important presentation. Questions about quality and copyright abound.

However, if you visit Font Squirrel, you’ll find free fonts that are specifically free for commercial use. These free resources can help you add some design flair to your presentation. Just remember to load the font on the computer you will use to present. I generally do that by putting a copy into the folder with my presentation. That way it will travel with me and can be easily installed if needed. Try Font Squirrel here.

Pixie – a free tool to pick up color

I’m a fan of little applications that do one thing, do it well and don’t use a lot of resources. Pixie is exactly that, and once you use it, you won’t want to design presentations without it. Need to match font colors to a photo or a logo in your presentation?
It only runs when you need it, so it’s not a resource hog. pick up colorJust start it from a desktop icon and cursor over anything on your screen – a photo, video, illustration, color on a website…

Pixie will produce the hex, RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of that color!  Works with Windows  2000, XP, Vista or 7.

Pixie / Nattyware.

Convert PPT Presentations to Video

I’m a fan of tools that help me use media for more than one purpose. Since I do use PowerPoint frequently, I started looking for a tool to convert PPTs to video files that I can use for YouTube. I found a CNET review of the Leawo PowerPoint to Video program decided to give it a try. Since it was an Editor’s Choice, with 4.5 out of 5 rating, I decided to download the free trial. You can try it here: Leawo PPT to Video Trial

Overall, Leawo PowerPoint to Video is a sleek program that performs its job with no troubles, just how we expected.

Leawo PowerPoint to Video leaves a watermark on output during its trial period. With a professional look and excellent results, we highly recommend this program to anyone looking to perk up their PowerPoint presentations.

via CNET Download.com.

I tested using PowerPoint 2003 and 2007. I set up a couple of slides, added some custom animation sequences and a music file. I easily output FLV, AVI, MOV, and h264 versions of both MOV and AVI. The interface was completely intuitive and the batch process worked well. The output was clean and lightning fast. (HD h264 takes a little longer, but not an unreasonable processing time.) The product lets you set the time between slides and you can add audio outside of PowerPoint if you didn’t include it in your presentation file. Best of all, all of the animations, timing, links and audio stay intact when you convert.

Here’s a YouTube version of a short little test.
YouTube Preview Image
If you want to use YouTube for instructional or training purposes, if you make content for digital signs using PowerPoint, or if you want a self-running file – I highly suggest trying the free trial version. Leawo PPT to Video Trial (As you can see above, it has a watermark.) But at $44.95 (you can buy it through regnow/Digital River right from the trial interface), I think this little application may really be useful for many presenters.

Animated Video Backgrounds – free download

Grab this free volume of animated video backgrounds to compliment your presentations. This volume includes 20 animated backgrounds and is free for your personal use. Soft, slow and primarily monochromatic – these professional animations will add interest to a presentation without overpowering the message. These understated looping (wmv) video files are the best for [...]

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Online Presentation Tool: this web page will self destruct in…

Presenters, teachers, team leaders…do you need a temporary planning hub for an upcoming business project or classroom presentation? Well here’s a free online tool that will help you plan and execute. Now you can collaborate using a temporary web page that works like a wiki.  Just set up your temporary web page at [...]

Continue reading Online Presentation Tool: this web page will self destruct in…

YouTube Channels – an easy to use Presentation Tool

We all watch videos on YouTube. If you are a teacher, product manager or presenter, you are likely already using or planning to use YouTube to share information, demonstrate product use, show how-tos or tutorials. The power of video as a teaching tool is well documented, so a YouTube channel is definitely a [...]

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3M Pocket Projector MP160 Review

Unusually bright for a pocket projector and almost too large to be considered pocket size.  The 32 lumen rating puts it on the higher end for brightness in a pocket projector and makes up for the larger size. The unit measures 1.2 inches thick by 5.9 inches long and 2.5 inches wide, and weighs less than 12 [...]

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Projector in your pocket: present on the go!

If you are a coach or trainer, your presentations generally take place in a linear and orderly fashion. Likewise, if you’re in the office presenting to colleagues, you have all your presentation “stuff” available. There is a standard presenters discuss in great detail that pertains to presentations we make with the luxury of [...]

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