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3 Tips for Every Presentation You Create

3 Tips for Every Presentation You Create

Presentations are a way of life in business.

And – despite what you may hear from some quarters – PowerPoint remains a popular tool for helping to deliver them.

You may in your VA career come across grumbles from some clients or company employees.

They might even use the withered phrase “Death by PowerPoint”.3 Tips for Every Presentation You Create

But what they really mean is they have endured experiences where the presenter was poor – or the slides were dull and boring.

The tool itself is designed to deliver impressive presentations. It’s the people who use it badly who need to make some changes.

As a Virtual Assistant, it’s probable that at some point you will be asked to put something together for a client – or even create something for your own business.

Here are THREE ways to ensure your presentations on PowerPoint sing a beautiful tune.

Tip 1: Use ONE Idea per Slide…

One of the biggest reasons why presentations miss the mark is too much is crammed onto the slides.

It makes it dull and hard for the audience to take in the information.

Each slide should have just one core message.

And the presenter can speak to that message – then move on to the next slide and the next idea.

They should have prepared and practised their talk beforehand. And there is a ‘notes’ feature in PowerPoint should they need a little prompt.

Tip 2: Keep it Simple…

Before you jump into PowerPoint, take time to get the story straight in your mind.

Sketch out little visual representations of your ideas on sticky notes or some paper. This helps you to think of clear words and pictures before you begin to create them in the application.

It’s another way to avoid writing loads of words on the screen. Simple works best.

Tip 3: Turn Your Words Into Pictures…

They say a picture paints a thousand words.

And it’s certainly true that Images are easier for people to instantly grasp and understand.

So, take a look at the words on your slides or being considered for your slides.

For example, you may have a slide with bullet points.

Pick out and circle all the nouns or verbs on the slide and see how they relate to each other.

What you may well find is that you can recognise a visual relationship between those words. And it’s likely to be one of five types.

  1. Flow – Which reveals a process. Like a flow chart or diagram.
  2. Structure – Like a family tree or team hierarchy.
  3. Cluster – It shows groupings. For example, a Venn diagram.
  4. Radiate – This shows links or nodes. For example, a Mind Map.
  5. Influence – This picture presents cause and effect. For example, a Fishbone Diagram

The better you know how to use PowerPoint (and all its design features) the better you will be able to serve your clients.

Some will be confident about presentations and know exactly what they want. Some may be less sure about talks.

As a VA with presentation expertise, you can offer advice and guidance about how best to put everything together.

And in guiding your client through the process you will also be making your task a little easier as well.

When you know how to use the software – the tasks become fun!

3 Tips for Every Presentation You Create

P.S. If you want to speed up your mastery of PowerPoint you can take my online Master the Slide Master course for Windows. Oh, and there’s a version for Mac, too, of course.

How to Stay Ahead of the Infographics Curve

How to Stay Ahead of the Infographics Curve

Infographics

Businesses are constantly looking at the best ways to get their message across to their audience.

And sometimes the information they want to get across can be quite complex.

That’s when they may turn to using an infographic to tell the story.How to Stay Ahead of the Infographics Curve

You have probably seen examples of these around – or might even have been asked to create one yourself.

An infographic is a piece of visual content that presents information using a graph, chart or image. It could represent statistics, trends, results, forecasts or other data.

The idea is to convey the message in a simple way.

This makes it easier for people to view things at a glance, take in the information and remember it.

Take this example infographic of ideas for a Lead Magnet :

How to Stay Ahead of the Infographics Curve

Infographics have certainly seen a rise in popularity so you may find clients asking you to help put one together.

And you can do this in PowerPoint (which is why I put together a course to show you how to do that).

One of the challenges when creating infographics is that they can end up looking the same as any other.

But there are ways to keep up with the current trends and make something that really stands out.

Firstly, choose original images instead of stock photos to add that personal branding touch.

A second way is to use quote roundups.

These can work if you want to share a dose of inspiration or food for thought.

Find a quote aligned with your topic and add the picture of the person who said the quote. Add more quotes from other people to create a set.

For this to add value, the people you quote are probably as important as the information in the quote. Look for celebrities, famous people and key influencers in a relevant niche. Or it could be a compilation of sayings from your client’s senior team.

A third trend is the emergence of dynamic infographics. As the name suggests, this is where the content includes GIFs and other moving elements.

There also seems to be a bit of a resurgence in the use of 3D designs. They do stand out compared to two dimensions.

Another trend is towards brighter and bolder fonts.

They help to draw the reader’s attention to the information and make it look fun. The danger is that you can go overboard with colours and fonts and spoil the professional feel of it.

If you’re unsure about the basics I’ve got you covered in my course about How to Create Infographics with PowerPoint.

And when you get good at these you can make a bit of a name for yourself.

People are always on the lookout for VA’s with specialist skills sets.

You might become the go-to infographics expert.

How to Stay Ahead of the Infographics Curve

3 Tips for Every Presentation You Create

VAs – Start a presentation from a template

Templates In PowerPoint

Now you may be thinking – I know you can start a presentation from a template, but did you know that Microsoft provides lots of ready made design templates both locally on your computer and online? No? Well let me show you.VAs – Start a presentation from a template

In PowerPoint click File New and you can choose from any of the templates offered on the screen. These are Design templates and include colours and layouts and sometimes variations.

PowerPoint Template

But if you look at the top of the New screen you will see that you can search online and there are categories. One such category is Business which I picked to use as an illustration.

PowerPoint template search

When I click Business I can now choose from quite a selection and I chose Tech Dividend Design.

PowerPoint Online template

It downloads the template and when you click Create a new presentation is opened on your screen complete with ready-made slides for you to simply update with your data.

PowerPoint template

Cool no? I think so!

PowerPoint courses

Did you know that I have three PowerPoint courses in the tomorrow’s VA Academy?

Master the Slide Master takes you through how to get to and modify the slide master so that you can update the design of your presentation in one place.

How to Create Infographics just using PowerPoint – shows you how to harness the software you have on your machine to create Infographcis.

Create Instant Instagram Posts in 30 Minutes or Less – yep, you are correct! I show you how to use PowerPoint to create Instagram posts. Once your template is set up you can create 30 or so in half an hour.

The Master The Slide Master comes in two flavours, one for Windows and one for Mac.

The other two are recorded using PowerPoint for Windows – however work the same way for Mac.

Get them here – Courses

You will see that there is also a bundle – Social Traffic Mastery which includes all three courses.

VAs – Start a presentation from a template

 

 

 

 

Testimonial – This is what one of my students says about Master the Slide Master

The first thing I heard about Shelley Fishel, the author of this course, was from my web designer – “she knows EVERYTHING about Microsoft Office. Any problems, just message her.” This came an the right time. I had just had my first skirmish with the Slide Master and I had come off worst. Still licking my wounds, I didn’t have the confidence to ask for help. 

Word reached Shelley that I needed help and she told me about the course. I knew I needed it but ego knew better. Oh, crud. A few months went by and I had reached the dizzy heights of 20 to the Slide Master, 0 to me. I had spent hours trying to recreate the same thing in Excel that someone had done using the Slide Master. It didn’t work. Of course, it didn’t work! 

Swallowing my pride, I took this course. It’s great. Easy to manage, there’s one video that’s just over five minutes and the rest are less than five minutes. It’s in bite-sized pieces and everything is carefully explained with Shelley doing it as she’s talking. 

It’s clear and easy to understand even a bolshi 63 year old can understand it. 

I’ve changed the fonts and I’ve changed the colours in the Slide Master, which is my new BFF. It isn’t quite purring but we’ve shaken paws and I’m taking it out for a drink later πŸ™‚

Why would anyone take a perfectly good idea for a presentation then build it using the Slide Master when PowerPoint is so good for putting projects together? 

Because, when your project is a daily planner with 365 pages and you get to the end and realise you’ve got the same spelling mistake on every page you’ll wish you had used the Slide Master to build it on, because you’ve got to go and correct every page. Or start again using the Slide Master. 

Using the Slide Master will be a game-changer in my journal design business. It will save me hours of work. 

Thank you, Shelley! 

Shân Marshall

3 Tips for Every Presentation You Create

VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

PowerPoint Chart

You have a client who asks you to create a presentation. Now amongst the information that needs to go into that presentation is some data. Your client really wants this data presented as a chart and asks you to do this.

What if you are not sure how to do so? How long is it going to take you to learn? How many hours will you spend trawling the inernet to find out how to create a chart in PowerPoint?

In today’s blog post, I am going to help you with that

Get started via the Insert Ribbon or the Chart Placeholder on a slide.VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

Inserting charts

  • Click on the Insert Chart icon in a placeholder
  • Or Click on the Charts Icon on the Insert Ribbon

VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

Figure 1 – add a chart

You will see the Insert Chart Dialogue Box which prompts you to select the type of chart you want to create.

VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

Figure 2- choose the chart type

Once you have selected the type of chart, an Excel spreadsheet opens up on top of your slide, with a sample chart in the placeholder. Fill in the data area on the spreadsheet and the chart will update with your numbers and categories. When you have finished filling in the data, simply close the spreadsheet. The chart updates and the spreadsheet disappears.

VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

Figure 3- fill in the mini spread sheet

Open and view chart data

You may want to see the data in the spreadsheet in order to make a small (or even big) change.

  • Click on the chart you want to modify.
  • On the chart tools ribbon click Edit Data
  • The mini spreadsheet opens up and you can now modify the data
VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint
Figure 4- edit the data
  • If you select Edit Data in Excel, then a full size spreadsheet opens up on top of PowerPoint complete with data ready to edit.

VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

Figure 5- complete the spreadsheet

You can overtype the cells that are filled in. If you need to add more columns to the chart drag the small blue triangle which appears at the bottom right of the range and then add in your new data.

VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

Figure 6- drag the corner to make the chart larger

Continue to update the mini spreadsheet until you have all the data. Then use familiar Chart Tools just like in Excel as the Ribbon will change to show the Chart Ribbon.

Leave me a comment telling me how this has helped you and what else you would love help with in PowerPoint?

VAs – How to Insert and Format Charts in PowerPoint

3 Tips for Every Presentation You Create

VAs – Do you know how to create a Timeline in PowerPoint?

VAs – Do you know how to create a Timeline in PowerPoint?Why do you need a Timeline In PowerPoint

Why would you need to create a  timeline? What purpose does it serve? What if a client asks you to create a visual timeline in PowerPoint to show her book launch plan? It would be a real shame if you declined the job because you did not know how to do this.

The first thought to pop into your head might be, wow. This is going to be really time consuming. How will I be able to charge the client for all that time. I will have to draw lots of shapes and arrows and connectors, add the text and change how it looks. Easier to just say no or to outsource it.VAs – Do you know how to create a Timeline in PowerPoint?

I will let you into a secret. If you have PowerPoint 2016 as part of an Office365 account you can utilise the Artificial Intelligence that is built in to the PowerPoint Designer, to create a timeline. With just a few clicks!

Here is how to do it:

Step One – add tasks with dates

Add the events that need to appear on the timeline in a bulleted list with dates – like this:

VAs – Do you know how to create a Timeline in PowerPoint?

Step Two – use Design Ideas

Once you have your bulleted list of items to add to the timeline the next step is to go to the Design Ribbon and click on the Design Ideas Icon at the far right of the Ribbon

VAs – Do you know how to create a Timeline in PowerPoint?

When you click on the Design Ideas icon, PowerPoint will show you a list of design ideas in a task pane on the right-hand side of the screen.

VAs – Do you know how to create a Timeline in PowerPoint?

Just pick one of the designs that you like. If you don’t see one you like, click the Design Ideas button again to have PowerPoint suggest more designs for you.

Design Ideas

The Design Ideas button is now one of my go-to buttons in PowerPoint. As I am not a designer, and often don’t trust my own aesthetic judgment, it is great to have a tool that suggests how to set out your graphics. It works for pictures as well as bulleted lists and it will also adjust the way that Smart Art looks. It suggests different layouts and picks up your colours from the colour palette. If you have changed the default colour scheme that is what it will use. Really handy for keeping everything on brand.

You do need to be using PowerPoint 2016 and have an Internet Connection for this to work!

Have you used Design Ideas yet? If so what do you think? Please leave a comment below.

VAs – Do you know how to create a Timeline in PowerPoint?

 

 

 

P.S – did you know that over on the Course Directory you will find links to all my PowerPoint Courses? Take a look at the Course Directory to see what is there!

How to Stay Ahead of the Infographics Curve

Online Course Creators – why branding your slides is important

What is this branding you talk about?

When you see a logo on a billboard you notice it and without thinking, you know who the brand is. Think Coca Cola or Nike or even Tesco.

The colours and shapes that are associated with the brand – the visual elements reinforce recognition.Online Course Creators – why branding your slides is important

Now when you are working on slides for an online course or presentation, you want to keep your brand top of mind.

I Thought Less Is More When It Comes To Slides For Courses?

And you would be correct. The best slides are plain with minimal branding (but some!) and have lots of images to help retention of the learning.

So, What Do You Mean By Brand Your Slides?

I mean using your brand fonts and colours and keeping your slides consistent with the visual elements of your branding where possible. For example, for my own online courses I use slides that have my brand colours top and bottom, the headings use one colour and the body text another.

Online Course Creators – why branding your slides is important

Logos are used sparingly as I don’t want to detract from the content – however I have found a way of incorporating the logo into the slide background so that it is not taking away from the messaging.

Themes or Designs are the way to go

I have a design theme which incorporates my colours as mentioned above. I have a dark blue border at the top incorporating my logo and a turquoise border at the bottom the titles are all in the Orange from the brand and it has the logo in the top left dark blue border.

Now you don’t need to have the borders, you could just have a discreet logo top left or use your brand colours for titles, shapes and borders of pictures etc. The choice is yours.

However, using some form of branding that helps your learner remember who you are is a good thing! When teaching reinforcement is key.

OK – You convinced me, now how do I do this without taking too much time?

You can of course create a slide in a presentation and keep on duplicating that slide so that the brand elements you set up are on every slide. However, there are problems with working this way. First off you may forget to delete content that exists on one slide and it becomes included in the next one. Then, if the colours and fonts are not embedded within the design, you can easily miss them or use the wrong shade.

Enter the Slide Master

You may have heard about the Slide Master and wondered what on earth it had to do with you!

What does the Slide Master do?

The slide master is like a template – for the design elements of your presentations. In the Slide Master you can set the colour scheme, choose which fonts and colours to use in the Headings and body text. What the bullet points or numbers should look like. You can create specific layouts that do a particular job and are always consistent.

By setting up the Slide Master to reflect your brand, you no longer need to edit the colours or fonts on the slides themselves. If you also set up the way shapes look and which overall colour scheme to use, then picking colours from your brand palette is a cinch.

How do I get to the Slide Master and Make these Changes?

In PowerPoint, go to the View Ribbon, choose Slide Master from the icons on offer.

Online Course Creators – why branding your slides is important

Next up you will see all the layouts in the side bar on the left. Here you will find the Master master slide with the number 1 showing and below that all the master slides for each of the different layouts on offer.

Online Course Creators – why branding your slides is important

You can make changes to any element on the Master Slide, change the font and/or font colour here, and any new slides you create will have the new fonts and colours.

When you are done making changes, close the Slide Master and you will be back in the presentation.

Now when you add a new slide, you will be using the new colours and fonts and whatever else you have changed.

Can I save this Slide Master to use again?

Yes of course! That is the whole point. As an online course creator, you will be creating more than one course – or you may be a virtual assistant that has been asked to put the slides together for an online course creator. This means that you need to have access to this particular slide design again and again with the ability to switch to it fast.

The Slide Master is saved as a Design in Windows and a Theme on Mac.

They are saved in a special location on your computer and the next time you open up PowerPoint will be available on the Design Ribbon.

How do I Use my new Slide Master?

When you start PowerPoint, simply go to the Design Ribbon and select the Design you wish to use. The design will be applied to whatever slides you have, or you can even apply it mid presentation.

What About A Template?

A template is a master presentation that holds the design and any standard slides you want to use. So, for example, if you always have an opening slide or an end slide, you can create a presentation, apply your course design, create the standard elements and then save it as a template.

Next time you start a presentation for a new online course, you have the design sorted and need only concentrate on the content of your training! A real time saver I am sure you will agree.

To learn more about the Slide Master, you can take my online course called Master The Slide Master. In the course I take you through exactly what the Slide Master is, how to get to it, how to modify it and also how to change the colours so that you are using your brand colours. You will also learn how to create custom layouts and to save both the Design and a template.

There is one version of the course for Windows and one for Mac – you can access them here.

Master the Slide Master – Windows Version

Master the Slide Master Mac Version

I also have a couple of ebooks on Amazon (they are included with the course so when you sign up to the course you get the guide too!) if you prefer to learn by reading.

Master The Slide Master PowerPoint Windows on Amazon

Master The Slide Master PowerPoint Mac on Amazon

Until next time…

Online Course Creators – why branding your slides is important