Issue #197 November 3, 2009

PowerPoint Tip: Top Ideas from PowerPoint Live

I’m back from PowerPoint Live and today’s tip is about the top ideas I learned while at the conference. First off, the conference is changing its name. It is now known as The Presentation Summit, reflecting the evolution of the content beyond just software features to many other techniques and ideas that presentation professionals need to know about. The next conference is Oct 17-20, 2010 in San Diego. I went to an excellent session by Echo Swinford on creating templates in PowerPoint 2007. She gave a clear workflow to follow and explained how we can create a theme in PowerPoint that can carry colors and fonts over to Word and Excel for even greater consistency in our communications. I see so many problems with templates designed by professional designers who don’t know the secrets Echo shared. Echo is going to create a series of video programs that every marketing, design and presentation professional should watch to save themselves and their colleagues hours of frustration in working with templates. I’ll let you know when the videos are available. Dr. Carmen Taran gave a session on using dramatic photos to capture attention. The session was so popular that she was asked to deliver it again at the end of the conference. The great idea I got from her session was to keep a lightbox on istockphoto of photos that you may need in the future. A lightbox is a folder where you can keep items you like but aren’t ready to purchase yet. Then, purchase the photos only when you need to use them. This is a great way to capture those interesting photos you see and save money until you need to spend it. Conference attendees were also given a sneak peak at PowerPoint 2010. I heard nothing but positive comments about it. Some of the new features include true embedding of video files, the ability to create a video of your presentation from within PowerPoint and more. A public beta version will be available before the end of the year and it has virtually the same user interface, so the upgrade learning curve won’t be as steep as between version 2003 and 2007. If you want to get a sense of the commentary that Twitter users filed during the conference, search for hashtag #pptlive on Twitter. Thanks to everyone who stopped me in the hall or came up to me during the day and said that they enjoy my work. It means a lot to know that my ideas are making a difference for you. I look forward to seeing many more of you next year in San Diego!