Issue #72 November 23, 2004

1. How Many Slides?

What would you think of a 35 minute presentation in which the presenter showed 115 slides? If you are like most people your reaction to that first sentence was something along the lines of "Oh my gosh! That must have been horrible!" Recently, I reviewed a videotape of this presentation for a client - and it was very effective. The presenter is one of their top sales professionals and I could see why. Now you might be asking, "How can that be possible??" Well, most, probably 85-90% of his slides were product photos that were presented in an almost video like way. At one point he showed 8 slides in under 15 seconds to demonstrate how certain features of the product were built. It taught me a valuable lesson that I want to share with you. Up to that time, I subscribed to the idea that each slide should be shown for two to three minutes on average. And I still think for the average text based slide the traditional rule still applies. But this experience opened my eyes to the variability of how long a graphic slide should be used for. Depending on the graphic, you could use a graphic slide (like a photo or diagram) for as little as 5 seconds or as long as a few minutes - it just depends on the slide and the graphic. I have written a longer article on this topic and have posted it on my web site at: http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/articles.htm If you think this is an interesting idea, use the link at the bottom of the article to send it to someone else.

2. What do those keys do?

The average keyboard today has over 100 keys and we know how to use most of them. But a recent conversation with a client suggested that many of us may not be familiar with some of the keys we don't use. Here are some of those keys and what they really do (your keys may have slightly different text on them than what I have below since different manufacturers use slightly different short forms). Ins or Insert key - the Insert key toggles insert and overwrite mode. This controls whether your typing will overwrite text that is already there or insert what you type at that spot in the document. It is most important when using a word processor or e- mail program. NumLk or NumLock - this key toggles the Number key lock. On a full size keyboard this controls whether the numeric keypad types numbers or is used to navigate as arrow keys. On a laptop keyboard, this turns some of the letters into numbers as if they were a numeric keypad. Windows key - this key looks like the Microsoft Windows symbol and is usually located close to the spacebar. When pressed, this key acts as if you clicked on the Start icon in the taskbar. This allows you to access any program or even shut down your computer if your mouse stops working. Menu key - this key looks like a series of lines with an arrow pointer highlighting one of the options. When pressed, it is like clicking the right mouse button and it allows you access to all of those options (which differ by which program you are in and what you have selected). Alt key - this key allows you to access the menus in a program. When you press the Alt key, you can then use the arrow keys to navigate the menus of the program you are using. This can be a useful alternative to a mouse.

3. PC World Annoyance Fixers Article

The complexity of the Windows operating system can sometimes drive me crazy - I am sure it drives you nuts sometimes too. Lots of little things annoy us about it, but what can we do? PC World recently wrote an article with 24 neat tools and utilities that fix some of these annoyances. Check it out and see if your top complaint has been fixed by one of these programs. See the full article at: http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,117411,pg,1,00.asp