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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

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.

Preparing for a Great Presentation

No doubt we would all love to present like Steve Jobs. A lot of people think that truly great presenters are just “naturals”. But. according to Carmine Gallo, author of How to be Insanely Great in Front of any Audience – The Presentation Skills of Steve Jobs:

Truly great presenters like Steve Jobs visualize, plan and create ideas on paper (or whiteboards) well before they open the presentation software.

This slide show by Mr. Gallo has been viewed by over a hundred thousand people in the last couple of years, and one slide in particular is my inspiration for this post. Your presentations will improve if you adhere to this rule of thirds. Presentation software just isn’t designed for the initial planning process. Do your thinking, sketching and scripting with a white board or a note pad or sticky notes. Any method that helps you develop a free flow of ideas.

If you spend the majority of your time working on building slides, keep in mind that slides are meant to support your message, not replace it.

great presenters prepare
You can see the entire slide version of this presentation: The Presentation Secrets Of Steve Jobs here.


Or buy the book it came from here:

Presenting Data – Charts or Infographics?

Since I just posted a resource for statistics, I thought you might need some inspiration for using statistics in an engaging way.  We aren’t all designers or illustrators, but looking at good infographics may just give you a different perspective about how to present data.

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education.

via Information graphics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Check out the Infographics section of GOOD for examples of truly creative ways to present information.   Infographics is a regular feature of this site and they have an article showing their most popular examples of 2010.

great infography

GOOD’s Most Popular Infographics of 2010 – Design

And while you’re there, give the Slideshow section a browse. Get inspiration for great slide graphics and content.

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.

Set up PowerPoint Options

Customize your PowerPoint settings for easier and more efficient use.

settings for powerpoint save options
Use Tools/Options to set up your PowerPoint work environment.
Continue reading # »

Add Symbols to Your Presentation…¢®Ω

You can easily add non-keyboard symbols to your presentation without the Windows Character Map. See our tip below on quickly adding symbols like, ©, ™, ¢ and graphical symbols from Wingdings and Webdings.

You can insert symbols not on the keyboard by placing your cursor in a placeholder and choosing Insert/Symbols or by clicking on the Symbols button.
insert symbols into powerpointchoose the symbol
Select the symbol you want and click Insert.
choose a symbol to insert

Your selected symbol will appear at the point where your cursor was placed.
click insert

If you frequently use Symbols, add the Symbols button to your toolbar for easy access to symbols like ©, ™, ¢. You can also access alternate bullets, wingdings, webdings, etc.

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.

Quickly Now! PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts for Speed

Take note of these time saving keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint. Find the right keystrokes for building presentations and for making them.
Helpful shortcuts while preparing a presentation

  • CTRL+N: Create a new presentation
  • CTRL+K: Insert a hyperlink
  • F7: Check spelling
  • CTRL+Z: Undo an action
  • CTRL+Y: Redo or repeat an action
  • ALT+F4: Quit PowerPoint
  • CTRL+M: Insert a new slide
  • CTRL+D: Copy selected slide
  • Continue reading # »

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.

Want to Know How Things Work?

How Everyday Things are Made An introductory website for kids and adults showing how various items are made. It covers over 40 different products and manufacturing processes, from airplanes and candy to clothing and plastic. This site has almost 4 hours of manufacturing video developed by Stanford University.

The Tech Museum of Innovation Their mission is “… to inspire the innovator in all learners”. Find a network of teachers engaged in using design and problem-solving as a method of teaching science and integrating other disciplines. The lesson plans and activities offer a design-based problem solving approach to learning science that supports the development of technology literacy.