1. Using Images on Slides
Last issue we talked about using the IrFanView tool to improve the quality of your images in PowerPoint slides or Word documents. Loyal subscriber Dick Larkin passes on a great tip to add on to what we discussed last week. In addition to getting the best quality image, he suggests that whenever you use an image/photo/web screen shot on a PowerPoint slide, that you highlight what you want people to look at. He makes an excellent point. Many times we put an image on the slide and when we show it, we either walk to the screen and try to point out what we want the audience to focus on (which blocks some people from seeing what we are pointing out) or we use a laser pointer and wave it all over the screen. A better approach is to use a callout arrow to point to the important item or put a box or circle in a contrasting color around the important part. An even more advanced technique is to use a graphics program to cut out the most important part of the image and create a second slide with a larger view of just that most important part of the image on it. In this way you are zooming in on the part of the image you want the audience to see. You can even use a zooming slide transition to make it look like you are zooming in if you want to. Don't be afraid to create another slide if it increases the audience's understanding. Remember that I have always said: "People don't want your message to be the technology you use, people want you to use technology to help them understand your message."
2. Quick Start of Your PC
If you are using Windows XP, let me share a technique I have been using now for a few months that allows me to start my PC a lot faster. At the end of the day, instead of shutting down your PC, put it in Hibernate mode. When you start the PC again, it goes back to where you were very quickly. You can even leave applications open and it will go back to the state you left them in. To put your PC in Hibernate mode, click on the Start button, click on Turn Off Computer. Then hold the Shift key down, this turns the Standby button into a Hibernate button, which you click. This technique is better than Standby when you are travelling with a laptop because it uses up less battery power and your laptop can still come on quickly at a security checkpoint or when you want to get a few minutes of work done. The only problem I have had with this technique is when I move between different networks where I need to get a new network IP address. In Hibernate mode, it assumes you still have the same IP address and when you connect to another network, it may cause an IP conflict with another computer, essentially causing you to restart both computers. But other than that issue (which most of you don't have to worry about I am guessing), I have found it works great to get me up and running quickly each time I start my computer. Now I still do a full shut down about once a week so that anything that has gone wonky due to software issues gets reset, so I am not suggesting you never do a full shut down, but it can speed things up a lot.
3. Useful Resource - Google tips
Google (http://www.google.com) is the number 1 search engine, with almost half of searches running through Google in one way or another according to recent surveys. PC Magazine recently published a great article on how to better use the Google search engine. It includes tips on how to search for links to a web site, how to search for words in just the title of a page and much more. If you are among the millions who use Google on a daily basis, then I highly recommend you check out this article. Here is the link. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1306756,00.asp