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The Slide Blog


Wednesday 8th August 2018

Having someone else operate your slides

On occasions I have seen people present and have an assistant operate their slides for them.

I think it’s a great idea if it’s done right. To me, that means making it seamless so that the audience isn’t even aware that someone else is involved. I don’t like it when the presenter has to keep saying “Next slide George please.” It breaks up the flow of the presentation and it would be much better if the speaker was to use a remote control to move the slides on themselves.

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Tuesday 15th May 2018

Do you really know how to ride a bike?

Knowing how to use PowerPoint (or Keynote or Prezi or whatever you use) is completely different from knowing how to use PowerPoint. (Duh, that’s the same thing on both sides of the equation Dave!) Yes, but you know what I mean – really knowing how to use PowerPoint.

It’s a bit like riding a bike. When you were a young child and had never ridden a bike, you probably thought you knew how to ride a bike. It couldn’t be easier. You sit on a saddle, put your feet on the pedals and move your feet round and round.

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Monday 23rd April 2018

The hardest PowerPoint presentation

There’s been a bit of a hiatus in my blog posting and you’ll see why in this my first post for over 2 months. I didn’t know whether or not to post this blog but, after some thought, I decided to do so.

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Tuesday 20th February 2018

Want to avoid this feeling? Then rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more

If you’re presenting with slides, then you need to make your presentation as seamless as possible. It should appear totally natural and the slides should complement what you are saying. You should know what’s coming next so that you don’t have to look round at the screen or even too much at your laptop. And the only way to do that is to rehearse. And then rehearse again. And again.

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Thursday 8th February 2018

Other ways of using PowerPoint – Producing video

PowerPoint is, of course, a presentations program and that’s what it should be used for. But there is one thing that PowerPoint is surprisingly good at and that is producing clear and high-quality video.

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Thursday 1st February 2018

Getting creative with data

The chart tools in PowerPoint and Keynote are very powerful and quite capable of producing perfectly good charts. But if you want to differentiate your presentation, not to mention make it more memorable and therefore more effective, why not try getting creative with data?

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Thursday 18th January 2018

Using 3D models in PowerPoint

One of the newest features of PowerPoint is the ability to bring in 3D models and manipulate them. It can be a really useful feature especially if you want to show off all the attributes of a product for example.

In this video clip, I have produced a title slide that shows simply how to bring 3D models into PowerPoint and use the morph transition to move them on screen.

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Wednesday 10th January 2018

Other ways of using PowerPoint – As a teleprompter

As I pointed out in my blog post in October, PowerPoint can be used for things other than for speaking. And I promised I would expand upon some of these, so here goes.

The first usage I want to cover is still concerned with speaking. It’s inspired by people who tell me that they only use PowerPoint as a prop, and I hear that a lot!

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Wednesday 3rd January 2018

From bland to beautiful – how design can produce a winning slide

When producing presentations, more often than not, I am taking a slide deck that someone has already created and transforming it into something that is far more effective and compelling.

Recently I worked on a presentation for a company that was launching an IPO. There were several slides in the presentation, but I want to show you just one and how I changed it from a very plain and busy slide into a set of slides that really worked the way the client wanted.

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Monday 18th December 2017

This slide is pants, isn’t it?

What do you think of this slide? If you've read my posts (or better still my book) you'll know that two things I rail against constantly are complexity and too much text. This slide breaks both of those rules so it's rubbish isn't it? Well, actually...

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Tuesday 7th November 2017

I learnt something new (and simple) last night

Last night I was at a networking meeting at the offices of one of the country's biggest business organisations. There were three short presentations given by senior people and in all three cases, their slides sucked! However, this actually turned out to be irrelevant because there was one thing that trumped them all.

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Wednesday 11th October 2017

PowerPoint is not just for speakers

My main focus is on helping people produce slide presentations for use in a speech or talk to help reinforce, illustrate, clarify or enhance (RICE [link]) the message they are trying to get across. But, taking off my presentations hat for a short while, there are other things that PowerPoint can be used for and I wanted to briefly talk about these in this blog post. I’ll come back to these in more detail in future blog posts along with concrete examples so, watch this space.

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Thursday 3rd August 2017

Using the morph transition in PowerPoint 2016

The morph transition is a really neat facility added in to PowerPoint 2016. It's very simple to use. But of course, it’s also dangerous. It would be really easy to get carried away using the morph transition, adding morphs left, right and centre without any purpose or direction. As with anything in your slide presentation it has to achieve one or more of the RICE aims.

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Tuesday 18th July 2017

Would you like some RICE with your slides?

You may often have heard presentation material referred to as speaker support slides. I’d like to dissuade you from that way of thinking and instead, encourage you to always think of them as audience support slides.

Your slides are there to help your audience not you. Never use slides as a crutch or an aide memoire for your own purposes. The use of slides throughout a presentation may well help guide you through the speech but that’s not what they are for. They are there to make your speech more comprehensible to your audience and therefore get your points across in a more powerful way.

The acronym RICE is a handy way of determining if a particular point you are making could be made better with the use of a slide or graphic.

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Thursday 15th June 2017

Don’t nick images!

So we were working a presentation when the client sent over several images and asked us to add these to some of the pages. Now, I took a look at these images and they were quite a disparate bunch. My suspicions were immediately aroused. These didn't look like the sort of images a client would normally send. They were all different sizes, all very different subjects and of varying quality.

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Tuesday 16th May 2017

PowerPoint is rubbish

Here’s what PowerPoint says to you when you open it up to start work on your presentation. “Hello Sir / Madam (delete as applicable). Thank you for opening me up to produce your presentation. Now let’s get started. That’s right, add a new slide and look, it’s a title slide. Pop a quick title in there and we’ll go on to the next slide. “OK, the next slide is a text slide. That box at the top is where you can type in your title and then there’s a nice big box underneath where you can start tapping away those lovely bullet points."

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Thursday 20th April 2017

The 28 mistakes people make when producing slides

So I thought for my first blog on the website I’d help you to hit the ground running with a list of some of the most common mistakes people make when putting together a slide presentation. There’s probably a whole bunch more but I decided that 28 was plenty to be going on with!

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