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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

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.

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?

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.

Free PowerPoint Template to Download

Download this free PowerPoint template for your presentation. Free for your personal use, the design will work for business, classroom or other presentations. The .POT format works with both MAC and Windows OS and any version of PowerPoint.
Free Template Download
Download this free template with an abstract arrow design.

Express Yourself – Free Political Graphics

New media to download. Free for personal and classroom use. Click on the image to download the files.
Voting is Patriotic.

Complimentary Download: Voting is Patriotic

Complimentary Download: Voting is Patriotic

Download a zip file with several stylized Democratic
and Republican party icons as transparent PNGs,
a graphic US map, and some JPG backgrounds
sporting US flag designs.
Use these graphics in presentations to encourage
learning about and participation in the political process.
You can use these files for any non-commercial
project…fliers, presentations, blogs…

Free Alternative Software – Free and Good

OpenOffice is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite. An open-source project, it is compatible with all other major office suites. The product is free to download, use, and distribute. Get OpenOffice as a download or on CD.
A collection of five tools, OpenOffice includes Writer, Impress, Math, Draw, Calc and Base components. The interface will look familiar to MS Office users. This suite was designed as one complete office package. Opens and saves in Office compatible formats. This free software could really help with your classroom budget.

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. Go here and check out the screenshots and features – then download and install.

Free at Flickr

Almost 1,500 photos suitable for worship backgrounds.  Uploaded specifically for free use by churches.  You can browse thumbnails or search.  When you see an image you want, right click and see the information, copyrights, and sizes available for download.  This group also accepts uploads.  Take a look at the Shared Worship Background Graphics photostream on flickr.