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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

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 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?

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.

YouTube Preview Image

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.

What is the Future of Presentation Software?

We communicate with texts and tweets. We update our friends with our current status on facebook, control video games with our body movement and watch movies on our telephones. When I can do a quick interview, put a video on YouTube, upload it for the local/national news, and embed it on any blog in a very short time…I wonder – what is the future of presentation software? I’m not suggesting that a video replaces a presentation – but does our audience expect more than a set of slides to accompany our talks?

In the video above, I asked Matt Long – a participant in a local competition – to help me with a short promo for the event. The result was a little piece that the news, weather channels, etc. could run almost immediately. This experience made me think about the ways I presented in the past vs the tools available today. As an ex-salesperson, I wondered…how would I make presentations to my most important clients now? We can make presentations on the internet without traveling – but they still tend to be static slides. Are we using the available technology effectively?

If I want to share an idea with you, in just a few minutes using very affordable hardware and software – a camera and After Effects (or Movie Maker or iMovie or YouTube editing tools…), I can create a message. Just like using PowerPoint – the message can be well or badly done, but the format helps to engage.

I’d love to hear from expert presenters and consultants -

    - what tools are you using now, and what will you be using in the future?
    - has the latest version of PowerPoint (which allows a bit of text over video at least) made this tool viable for the future?

How should be thinking about our presentations? Are we using the right technology if we stay with the tools we know? I do know that a video is far more likely to be engaging than a series of slides with bullets. Can we harness that and make more effective presentations?

I’ve been presenting since the days of writing on transparencies and overhead projectors. From Harvard Graphics to the latest version of PowerPoint – the tools have always seemed to shape the message. I don’t blame PowerPoint like some do. I just wonder if we can get past how easy it is to follow the dots to boring and use our tools in a more effective way. At a time when self published video is so accessible, when a plethora of easy to use software presentation platforms are available, is PowerPoint still relevant?

If it is, how do we make a leap to the kind of engaging experience we have all come to expect? What’s your opinion?

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.

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.

Open Resources

Open Resources.  Churches can download from a library of 50,000+ free creative materials. Includes sermon audio, countdowns, promotional design graphics and opening videos from a wide variety of message series and churches.