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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!
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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.

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 disposablewebpage.com, and you can post information for review or editing by others.

Even better – it’s free (you don’t even have to sign up for an account unless you wish).
Use it to brainstorm, make notes for yourself or collaborate with others on projects, plans, ideas, meetings…


1. Choose a page name
2. Bookmark your URL so you can go back to the page and/or share it with your team. 
3. Save your Login Master Key (auto generated), and set an Editor Key if you want others to co-edit.
4. Set your own count down clock (up to 90 days) before self destruct!




I think this is a great free tool for classrooms collaboration, event planning, presentation reviews, project teams and so much more. We all know that planning and collaboration help us make better presentations, so this is a presentation tool you can really use.

Take a look at a temporary web page example I set up and check out some of the cool features. This tool has a simple visual editor, is intuitive, and has some great features and options: upload up to 5 photos, leave sticky notes, keep a history of all revisions to the page.

This free service is brought to you by:   disposableWebPage.com.

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 tool you want available for certain presentations. It’s easy, it’s free, and it facilitates collaboration.

Let’s say you are a manager planning to show your employees a series of training videos. You can set up a free channel and start uploading videos to YouTube in 15 minutes or less. There are many channel settings available to you for sharing, embedding, playlists, tagging, etc. (You can even set your videos to be private and only allow a selected list of viewers.)

When you set up your YouTube channel, you’ll choose a username. To send your employees a link to your YouTube channel, just substitute your username after /user as shown below (our PowerFinish Video channel for purposes of this post). You can put your link in any email, document, PowerPoint presentation or website.
http://www.youtube.com/user/PowerFinishVideos
With a little HTML, you can use that same URL to make a text link like this:
Free Professional PowerPoint Videos
Linking to a youtube channel

If you plan a series of videos, you can send that same username as a subscription link and users can subscribe to updates on your channel. So every time you add a video, your subscribers will be notified.

For example, this URL:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=powerfinishvideos
can be used in a link that will ask if you want to subscribe to our free video channel at PowerFinish Videos on YouTube.

The only requirement is that your viewers have a YouTube or Google account themselves. When they subscribe, there will be a box post-subscription that lets them opt into the email. So when you have new information, your subscribers will get an email from your channel immediately.  And if you choose, you can allow your subscribers to comment on the videos and even post video responses – so collaboration and interaction is easy.

If you have a website, you can embed the subscribe button, too.

Subscribe to me on YouTube

Just login into your YouTube account and visit the Creator’s Corner:
http://www.youtube.com/t/creators_downloads
You’ll be provided with the code required to place the button of your choice on your website.

Let us know, how are you using YouTube for your classroom or business presentations?

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 ounces. Runs on batteries for two hours or an ac adapter, street price is around $350.00.

Read a full review of this projector at the PC Magazine website.

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 time and equipment available so we can follow the “how to make a great presentation rules”.

portable projectorBut many presentations are far less formal and made on the fly using tools that emphasize speed and immediacy of information over polish. These aren’t your traditional PowerPoint based presentations. I believe that this kind of information sharing creates a real niche for a tiny class of projectors that start at the size of your iPhone and all weight under a pound.

Check out the Mobile Magazine review of this little device from Aaxa that will hook to your camera, camcorder or iDevice (iPhone, iPod, iPad). At just over $100, I’ll bet there are some tech-savvy travelers out there who will just love this little tool. If you’ve ever shared photos or videos on your phone – this could be for you.

Pico projector’s are relatively new to consumers. They haven’t gained a widespread adoption yet, simply because not many people can imagine the possibilities of carrying one around. At nearly anytime and anyplace you can pull up a 50″ screen on a wall and begin presenting, displaying or projecting a video.
This is not going to replace your LCD TV, nor will it replace your full-sized projector. This will go along in that ever-shrinking gadget bag of yours, giving you an enhanced sense of mobility and that cutting edge ability of blasting a film on the wall at any time.

via Aaxa Technologies P1 Jr. Pico Projector Reviewed – Mobile Magazine.

Is PowerPoint Really the Problem?

If you visit forums for presenters or google ” how to make a powerpoint presentation “, it won’t be long before you see something about the evils of PowerPoint. In fact one company – SlideRocket – currently has a new promotion based on the very fact that we tend to blame PowerPoint when we make a bad presentation.

SlideRocket Celebrates National ‘Say No to PowerPoint Week’
Enter at SlideRocket.com to Win Your Free SlideRocket Pro Account
It’s time to say rest in peace to presentations 1.0 and embrace a new way of presenting that engages the mind and senses. To help drive a stake through the heart of “Death by PowerPoint,” SlideRocket will give away one SlideRocket Pro account every day this week.
via SlideRocket Press Release.

I’m no PowerPoint evangelist. I think it has suffered from a market monopoly that slows product evolution, so new competition is good. In fact, I think that typical PowerPoint use can be just short of criminal. But I have seen really excellent presentations that were made using PowerPoint for the slides – so perhaps this is actually a case of “don’t shoot the messenger”. The presentation is the sum total of the speaker, the story, the enthusiasm, the call to action…PowerPoint slides are there to support the story.

I’ve seen this slide show several times, but each time I get a little grin. Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones we forget. So for your enjoyment and illumination – from jessedee at slideshare…

via Slideshare.

Teachers Using Technology

I really admire people who think outside of the box and come up with innovative tools for presenting information. That’s just what a pair of history teachers in Hawaii have done. You can listen to an interview with them on NPR and take a look at their videos for inspiration.

This video has had over 260,000 views! The right method can generate interest! They’re even popular on facebook.

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Crossfading MTV and the History Channel

How do you reach young people in the classroom when they’ve grown up watching Youtube videos all day long? Amy Burvall is one half of the musical duo at the Le Jardin Academy in Hawaii responsible for a new sensation in education. Amy and her partner Herb Mahelona take popular songs that kids love – and then turn them historical. Amy joined us to talk about the personal origins of the project and how its changing the way she teaches.
via NHPR.org – Crossfading MTV and the History Channel

See all 50 of their history/videos at their YouTube channel.