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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.

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Motivational
Posters

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

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 business – conservative, but not boring. The Square Boy volume zip download also includes 3 matching static slide backgrounds for each animation. The flash file below includes a sample of each video in the free download.

Get Adobe Flash player

Animated Looping Backgrounds - Free Volume


Download and unzip the volume. Choose a video and its matching slide backgrounds for your presentation. If you use PowerPoint 2010, you can add text right on top of the video using PowerPoint. If you use a previous PPT version, just open the video in Movie Maker or iMovie and add a title before placing it in your slide show. For assistance with the free Movie Maker or iMovie software, check our Animated PowerPoint Video Background FAQs.

This free download is for personal use only. (For other uses, you can buy the volume here for only $9.99.)

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?

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.

By the way, the review also includes a coupon code for about $50 off 2 of the small Aaxa projectors – good through 2/23/11.

Presenting with Google Docs

Take a look at Google Docs. Here’s proof that creativity can trump tools. Since it was made with software that does not support animations, this little demo is like making a stunning photograph with a pinhole camera instead of the latest mega pixel DSLR.
Although this presentation is clearly a promotion for Google Docs, but I think it serves as a great reminder that our creativity doesn’t have to depend on software. This cool show was made one frame at a time then played back to give the illusion of an animation.

What does that number in your presentation really mean?

A lot of our presentations include statistics.  We use charts, graphs and numbers to tell our stories.

Statistics get thrown about for shock value sometimes, so understanding the data source, the sample size and the measurement referenced can help you decide if that headline is really meaningful.

statisticsIn case you have a few questions about exactly what a statistic means, check out this great reference called Statistics Every Writer Should Know.  Find everything from the basics (what is the mean, median, average?) to more advanced topics regarding sample size and confidence.  The author has even compiled a fabulous list of where to find statistical data on the internet.   His list covers sources for information on crime, military, economics, agriculture…you name it – he lists a source for it!

Statistics from over 100 US Government agencies.  The preeminent source for federal government statistics is at FedStats.gov.

Top 20 resources for traveling presenters

If you spend enough time on the road making presentations, there are a few resources you’re bound to need at one time or another. Following is my top 20 list of links for the road:

Where’s my stuff?
Track that important package online at:

FedEx
UPS
Airborne/DHL

I need it now!
Run out of paper, ink, pens… Need stamps, copies or a presentation bound? Find the nearest:
Kinkos / FedEx Office
Office Depot
US Post Office

Destination Information
Get the latest weather information anywhere at NOAA
Get the maps and driving directions you need at Mapquest
Get the Zipcode

Need Your News?
Links for online news:

PBS
NPR – listen online, from anywhere!
CSPAN
BBC
From the Independent Media Institute, an alternative view of the news.
Headline news, right now.CNN
News and Finance up to the minute at Reuters
Quick market news at Yahoo Finance

Airlines

The FAA provides current links to all US airlines, so if you need to book a flight online or check out the customer service policy of an airline, go here. The thing that’s nice about this site is you get all the links on one page…so if you’re looking for options, this is the place.
Want to know the rules for lost baggage, ticket refunds, overbooking and delays? Everything from the agency that enforces the rules, the DOT Consumer Protection Site.

WI-FI

Stay connected, find wi-fi hotspots when you travel.
Here’s another source forfree wireless connectivity.
Here’s a list of airports with free wireless

Do you have links you use frequently when traveling for business or vacation? Leave a comment.

Download free backgrounds

Free for your personal presentations, backgrounds for any presentation software. These designs are in .JPG format, so you can use them with any software that displays images. The download includes 3 .JPG slide backgrounds in a zip file. The abstract designs work for inspirational, sales or classroom presentations.
Download these free PowerPoint backgrounds in a single zip file.

free powerpoint background free background download background download for your presentation

Do You Use Flickr Slide Shows?

A friend asked me to make some photos of a rental house she owns and post them on the web. She had prospective renters in Canada and wanted them to see the photos right away. Since this was a tour of the house and yard, we wanted a slide show – not just random images – to intice the prospective tenants. I uploaded the photos into an existing installation of Coppermine Photo Gallery that was on one of my web sites to provide a slide show of her house. Coppermine is free software, and I already had it installed on my server. (Installing and maintaining Coppermine isn’t for the faint of heart., so it wouldn’t really be my preferred solution for a quick, temporary slide show.)

The need for a fast slide show came up again when I was shooting photos of an event on Siesta Key beach – The Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition. I needed a to post some photos really quickly during the event, so I chose Flickr. Many of you probably already use Flickr to post your favorite photos, and know that you can just email a link to your family or friends. Linking to or embeding a slide show turned out to be incredibly easy as well.

If you group your photos into sets, it’s simple to share a slide show of a particular set. I uploaded a group of photos of the sculptors doing a group carve and organized them into a set on Flickr.

Then going to my photostream and clicking on the thumbnail of that set,  I chose the slideshow option at the top right of the page.

flickr slideshow

That brought up a slideshow of the set. Then by clicking SHARE at the top right of the slideshow, I was presented with the option to grab a link to the page or to embed the slideshow.

how to embed a flickr slideshow

By inserting the embed code into this post, I got the slideshow you see below. You could do the same with any web page or in an e-mail.









Of course you can also run your slideshow directly from within Flickr on your computer. But I started thinking – why not use the same process to make other slide shows? For example – if you have content (photos, screen captures, or even PowerPoint slides exported as jpgs) you would like to share with someone as a slide show, just upload it to Flickr. Make a set, and set the privacy settings as needed. If it is public, anyone can view your show. If you prefer to limit who can see it, just set the privacy for “Only Friends” and send an invitation to the individual(s) you want to see your slides.

It’s easy, free and your viewers don’t need any special software – only an internet connection. If you set permissions so your friends can comment – you can collaborate on your content, too. Do you have more experience with Flickr slide shows to share? Leave a comment.

Join the Community

Join the Presenters’ Resource community now and get more free templates, backgrounds, videos and themes for your presentations. When you join, we’ll send you occasional e-mails with links to free file downloads for your personal use in presentations.

Examples of just a few of the currently available downloads are shown here:

free powerpoint template download free presentation background download
Free HD Template Free Template in High Definition

Community members get new tutorials and tips, special offers and free samples. We won’t fill up your mailbox or share your information with any third party. You can opt out at any time.  Join our community now, and you’ll get both the current downloads as well as ongoing e-mails with new downloads and offers.