Are you using “shiny happy people” in your slides?

A couple months ago I was asked to help some colleagues design and deliver a major presentation for a project at a children’s hospital.  We didn’t have much time to plan our strategy. To get started I did a short email survey asking everyone what they thought the main message/theme of the presentation should be, and I chatted with my colleagues who knew the audience best.   In the end we chose a simple but meaningful theme “It’s about the kids”. We wanted the presentation visuals to amplify our message.  This turned out to be a challenge. All we could find in our marketing database were images of “shiny happy children”,… Read More

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Want to make a video? Why not use PowerPoint?

PowerPoint has a variety of applications. In addition to designing slides for presentations I have used it to make promotional posters and to design logos and buttons for the animal welfare groups that I am involved with (see Life by PowerPoint). I have also started creating videos.  You can insert music to link to your slides (for the  examples below I used music from iStockPhoto.com).  For me, the biggest challanges in making videos with Powerpoint are telling my story in just a couple of minutes (I recommend you keep you videos to 2-3 minutes), and having the music timed just right. Re timing: using the Transitions tab you can select the transition… Read More

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Why people don’t change – solving the “Death by PowerPoint” mystery

It was always a bit of a mystery to me as to why people continue to produce and deliver “Death by PowerPoint” type presentations.  There are so many resources available on how and why to change your presentation style from bulleted list PowerPoint slides to something more innovative.  Yet “Death by PowerPoint” persists in most organizations, one day I had the proverbial ah-hah moment. I was at our cottage on the south shore of Nova Scotia; I do a lot of my presentation and other design work there.  Looking for inspiration on a project I was working on, I scrolled through Twitter and followed a link to a link to… Read More

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