1. PPT - Remote Presentations
With business travel declining due to costs and other factors, presentations that would traditionally be held in a conference room have been forced to change as well. More presentations are being delivered remotely, either through a webcasting technology or by teleconferencing with each person having a copy of the slides in advance. If you are delivering presentations where most of the people are not in the same room, there are some things you need to keep in mind. First, the involvement of the Internet in the process will create some limits. Whether it is trying to send large files to others or transmitting complex graphics or motion across the continent or the world, The limits placed on Internet traffic needs to be considered. You will also have to use new techniques to engage your audience since they know you can't see them and they will be multitasking while you are presenting. Finally, you will have to ensure that each graphic is clearly explained since you won't be able to point at anything on the screen and have the audience see it. I have expanded these challenges and offered some ideas in my latest article called "Presenting From a Distance". You can read the full article at http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/articles.htm.
2. Corrupt Files
A reader recently wrote about a problem with corrupt PowerPoint files. He did extensive research on tools that would recover the files but has not yet found a tool that works perfectly (not a surprise actually). He asked my advice and I want to share with you some techniques that may help for more than just PowerPoint. I try to minimize file corruption by turning on auto-save every five minutes and keeping current backups. I also try not to do any work during lightning storms or storms that could cause power outages. Recently we did have a problem at home where a file my wife had spent two hours on got corrupt because of a power surge. I don't use file recovery tools, because I prefer to go back to the old days and open the file (or an autosave version of it) with a text editor such as Notepad. Then I can usually copy out the text portions that have been previously saved. I have tried this with my own PowerPoint and Word files and indeed you do end up seeing the text from your slides or document in plain text in the file. Then you can just copy it out and paste it into a new file. You will not be able to save graphics such as pictures, graphs or diagrams, or any of the formatting but at least you will have something (which is better than nothing). Make sure you always have backups, and keep this technique in mind if you ever face a corrupt file.
3. Useful Resource - Graph Paper
While we wish we could never have to use paper, the fact is that we still need it sometimes. One of the uses I have it for graph paper when I am drawing something to scale. There is a neat web site at: http://incompetech.com/beta/plainGraphPaper that has neat ways to create graph paper of different types. It even has practice writing paper for kids just learning to print or write. Check it out or keep it in mind when you need graph paper.