Monthly Archives: February 2014

Adding PowerPoint presentations to your story map map tours

by Bern Szukalski


When someone mentions “presentation” invariably Microsoft’s PowerPoint comes to mind. PowerPoint slides, and even entire presentations, can be easily incorporated into story map map tours, and can provide some extra context for your tour. In this post we’ll cover adding static “slides” as well as using Slideshare and Box for hosting the presentation used in your tour.

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Scary Presentations: 10 Ugly PowerPoint Slides

Written by Kevin Lerner

10 of the world’s scariest slides and pathetically bad PowerPoint presentations…and a few PowerPoint makeovers and redesigns just in time for Halloween.


Bullets kill. And so do bullet points…sucking the life out of audiences, who stare like zombies into the abyss of the grey and heartless projection screen while a mummy-like speaker recites mind-numbing paragraphs of text. So as the cool autumn winds blow, let’s open the crypt of ten of the world’s scariest presentations…and share a few magical potions to bring them back to life.

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Don’t Be Boring: A Surefire Approach to Engaging Your Audience

By Nancy Duarte

No one wants to be that guy, the one whose captive audience spends the majority of the meeting sighing and staring their smartphones. We all know that guy, and chances are we’ve been him, too. How can anyone be expected to pay attention while Mr. Monotone drones on? Fortunately, you can avoid the mistakes that are costing you the attention of your audience—once you know what to look for.

At the root of a dull and dreary presentation is a lack of contrast. The contrast I’m talking about is a multi-dimensional technique that can easily apply to every aspect of your presentation.

Why does contrast work? Because, as humans, we are naturally drawn to it. Everything about life is filled with contrast—black and white, male and female, love and hate.

Here are some common mistakes people make around contrast.

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Tips for the best PowerPoint presentations

By Simon Jones

Simon Jones explains how to create effective slideshows in Microsoft’s market-leading tool – and keep your audience from boredom or nausea

When you’re designing a presentation, it’s tempting to make it as whizzy as possible. After all, PowerPoint offers plenty of fancy features, so shouldn’t you try to use them?

Actually, no – just because you can perform eye-catching tricks doesn’t mean you should. PowerPoint is a great presentation tool, but it’s too easy to go overboard by adding stuff that distracts from the message you’re trying to convey. The general principle when working with PowerPoint is definitely “less is more”.

Let’s take an example. The act of moving from one slide to another is called a transition, and PowerPoint lets you choose from many different effects. Some of them are subtle, but many are so garish that you risk frightening your audience right out of the door. Preview them all, then pick the one that best matches the message you want to convey, your company’s image and the audience that will see the presentation.

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7 Top Reasons Why Educators Need To Use Social Media:

By Dean

There is one comment that my professor in Teacher’s College made over 20 years ago which I will always remember.  “You need to truly understand your students, where they are coming from and what interests them if you want to have any hope of reaching them.”  I believe that statement to be true in many ways.  If we truly want to excite and engage our students in learning, then we need to consider their interests, prior experiences and what ultimately motivates them.  While the answers to these questions will vary from child to child, there is one area of interest which is virtually unanimous…technology and the use of social media.  In fact, according to a relatively new 2013 survey from Pew Internet and American Life Project, together with Harvard’s Berkman Center, 95% of teen students use the Internet and 81% of them utilize social media sites. (1)  This is a number which continues to grow daily.  With these facts in mind, those in the education field should harness this unique force in order to benefit their students, schools and districts in general.

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Slide Design 101: The Rule of Thirds

By Scott Schwertly on

RuleofThirdsI am often asked how one can make slides look more engaging and visually appealing. Today, I want to offer up one simple technique that does not require a background in design, or expertise at programs like Photoshop or Illustrator: the Rule of Thirds.

What is it?

Imagine splitting up your slide into 3 equal parts, both horizontally and vertically. You can then use this grid to place and align your subject matter, optimizing the visual experience. You can apply this approach both to how you view your slides moving forward as well as how you take pictures. It’s a simple technique that separates the professionals from the amateurs.

Here’s how you can use it.

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4 Steps to Finding a Speech Topic that Clicks

By Michelle Mazur

“You can speaking on anything you like. I’m sure whatever you come up with will be great.” These words give you absolute freedom to say whatever you want. With absolute freedom comes absolute terror because now you have unlimited speaking topics!

Ahhhh! What’s a speaker to do?

Before I launch in, this post is meant for aspiring speakers, Toastmasters and students, those who have no clue what topic to choose for their next speech. It’s also for anyone looking for their next big speech idea.  I’ve been asked this question a lot lately via email – “How do I choose a good speech topic?”  I’ve even been asked, “What’s the best speech topic?”

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Four Presentation Myths and How you can Overcome them

Do you enjoy speaking in front of an audience? More than likely you don’t. Glossophobia, or the severe fear of public speaking, is one of the most common phobias. Statistics say far more of us prefer death to giving a speech. Although you may not consider yourself a glossophobic, giving a presentation in front of an audience may still not be your idea of a fun day.


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