How to Make a Presentation that stands out?

by Caya

There’s a lot going into creating a compelling presentation. From planning to creating and delivering, and you should tackle each process accordingly.

Planning your story

A good exercise is to sketch your story as a timeline. I’d say 99% of presentations tell a story, either if it’s a sales deck, a startup pitch, a business report or even a thesis; you are always walking your audience through a story.

Once you sit in front of your presentation software and start adding slides you will be terribly distracted from the story; this is why paper, I believe, works best. This is a great guide that you can follow, I often use it for my investor and sales decks.


Notice how presentations can adapt to this structure easily. All throughout your deck you are building up to a climax, which is the moment when you can sell your product, say how much money you are raising, or do what I call ‘The Ask’, whatever that may be.


It all starts with connecting with your audience. Humans are emotional beings and empathy is a weapon(?) you should use to your advantage. Find that thing that you have in common, a pain point, a shared interest. If you don’t have anything in common (unlikely), then make sure that they can connect with you personally, that your passion for whatever what you are doing is reflected here. If you don’t empathize with your audience at this point, you probably won’t be able to do it later.

Continue reading

4 Easy Tips to Manage Your PowerPoint File Size



You finally finished your PowerPoint deck! Following all the best PowerPoint practices, you were able to incorporate interesting visuals and make use of minimal but creative animations. You’re confident that it looks great, and you’re sure that your slides will definitely enhance the message you want to deliver. After some final adjustments, you’re ready to share your PowerPoint file online, transfer it to another device, or run a test drive.

And then your laptop starts to lag. The program starts to crash. If you’re sharing the presentation online, you’re met with an upload that’s expected to run for hours. The culprit? A PowerPoint file that is too large. If you want a seamless presentation experience, you need to learn how to shrink your PowerPoint file to a manageable size.

Lucky for you, there are 4 simple ways you can fix PowerPoint file size issues. Take note of the following tips and find the most applicable solution to your dilemma:

Continue reading

How valid is Edward Tufte’s argument that PowerPoint is “evil”?



By Robert Frost

It’s total nonsense.  Tufte has a bug up his butt about PowerPoint and can’t see straight where it is involved.  I found his negativity about the application to taint his seminar.

There used to be a video game called Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat.  In that game, audio recordings of Yeager were used to provide mission feedback.  A line he often said was “Remember, it’s the man, not the machine.”

I use that line, with my best Yeager impression, every time I teach lessons on effective presentations, because it is such an important point.  PowerPoint is not a poor tool.  People use PowerPoint poorly.  And it is an easy thing to fix.  PowerPoint is quite powerful and PowerPoint is easy to use to create effective visuals.

Tufte is old enough to remember the pre-PowerPoint days, when presenters often provided no visuals or if they did, they used horrible text-filled acetate overheads.  PowerPoint didn’t create bad presentations.  It did make them easier to produce, just as word processors have made it easier to write terrible books.

With each revision, Microsoft has improved their application.  SmartArt allows, with just a few clicks, a user to take a flat, contextless, near useless list of bullets and convert them to a graphic that has context, is more engaging, and easier to remember.
Continue reading

How To Make Public Speaking Easy And Painless



By  Megan Ingenbrandt

There’s two types of people in this world. People who are comfortable speaking in front of a crowd, and people who aren’t. Some people enjoy getting up in front of a large group of people, and other people dread it. My twin sister, Nicole, is the latter.

I’ll never forget it. We were in our high school Honors English class, and the assignment was to recite a monologue from a Shakespearean play. Alphabetically, Megan comes before Nicole, so I went before my beloved twin. I recited my speech no problem, because I enjoy speaking in front of a large group. We’ll just say I’m a big ham.

For my sister, it was a different story. She walked over to the podium, and froze. You could almost see the beads of sweat forming on her forehead. She then got visibly upset, almost to the point of tears, rushed through her speech, and quickly sat down. It was pretty obvious that Nicole hated this.

This type of reaction is normal amongst people who do not like to be the center of attention. But when you’re a leader, it comes as part of the territory.

So for those of you who hate public speaking as much as my sister, here’s a few tips to make the experience less painful.


Instead of stressing out about giving a presentation in front of a large group, turn that negative energy into a positive. How do you do this?

With preparation.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. I know this can be hard with that nervous energy you’ve got brewing inside of you, but trust me. This works. Start your bedtime routine an hour or so earlier, unplug from your devices, and relax.
  2. Eat a healthy meal beforehand. Any personal trainer will tell you, food fuels your performance. Eat a healthy and hearty meal before your speech. You’ll stay full and focused throughout the presentation. And you’ll feel a lot better than if you ate a greasy cheeseburger.
  3. Don’t read your presentation, know it. A mistake a lot of speakers make it relying too much on their powerpoint. Know what points you are going to make, and where each one is in your presentation. Use a notecard if you have to, but don’t turn around too much to see what’s in the powerpoint. Know what points you’re trying to make. Then, recite them to the audience. Talk to them, not the back wall.
  4. Have a back-up plan. Nothing is more upsetting than when things don’t go as planned. If you can’t prevent it, have that back-up plan ready. If possible, send your presentation to someone at the venue ahead of time, or make sure you have a backup copy on a flash drive. (Bonus points if you do both!)

Don’t forget to sure all electrical equipment you’re going to use is working. You want the audience to hear as well as see you, so make sure your mic is working properly. That should help you avoid having technical difficulties come showtime. If the equipment isn’t working, the show must go on. Speak loud enough for everyone to hear you, and don’t stress out about it.

Remember, bad things are going to happen sometimes, but that’s why you should always have a plan B.

Continue reading

Just Do It: Put The Clicker Down

Just Do It: Put The Clicker Down

by Brad Phillips

When we conduct our presentation training sessions, almost every speaker begins their presentation with a PowerPoint remote in their hand. By doing so, they send a signal to their audience right from the start: Boring PowerPoint show about to begin! The vast majority of presentations shouldn’t open with a slide. The opening moments are a critical opportunity to forge a connection with your audience, which is best accomplished by speaking directly to your audience, not by clicking to a boring agenda slide. That being the case, there’s no need to keep the remote in your hand at the beginning of a presentation. If you’re using PowerPoint, you can pick up the remote when you’re about to click to your first slide, which may not occur until several minutes into your talk. And if there are long gaps between slides, you should put the clicker down during those gaps as well.

Continue reading

Top Ten Delivery Tips

ppt_slide1 (9)

by Garr Reynolds

1. Show your passion

If I had only one tip to give, it would be to be passionate about your topic and let that enthusiasm come out. Yes, you need great content. Yes, you need professional, well designed visuals. But it is all for naught if you do not have a deep, heartfelt belief in your topic. The biggest item that separates mediocre presenters from world class ones is the ability to connect with an audience in an honest and exciting way. Don’t hold back. Be confident. And let your passion for your topic come out for all to see.

Continue reading

Ten Fun Ways to Liven up Any Presentation


By  Sandra Schrift

Most of us would agree that having humor in our lives increases rapport, strengthens our relationships and overcomes communication barriers. People who work in a positive, often playful environment are more likely to stay. Productivity and creativity increase while stress is reduced. We just feel better after a good laugh. Think funny!

1. Open with a humorous story. . I remember the time the lights when out and I fell off the stage. I wasn’t hurt and quickly said, Now I will take questions from the floor. I’m at my best when taking questions in the dark. Before you can be funny, you must learn to see funny. Find the humor around you, in your life every day. The lady who takes an aisle seat rather tan sit next to the window . . . doesn’t want to mess up her hair. Practice telling the story out loud, and cut out any parts that aren’t crucial. As Shakespeare so wisely said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

Continue reading

How to create a great presentation in under four hours


by Kevin Lerner
Time-saving 6-Step process helps create great looking PowerPoint presentations fast and easy

Most people dread presentation design. Tell someone they need to create a PowerPoint show and present it and you’ll likely hear a sad list of excuses…

“I don’t know where to begin!”

“It takes too long!”

“I don’t know how to make it look good!”

Creating presentations need not be viewed as a time-consuming chore! After years of creating professional presentations for myself and for clients, I’ve developed a time-saving 6-Step Process to create a great looking and full-featured PowerPoint presentation, without frustration — in under four hours. Here’s how…

Continue reading

5 Tools For Teachers To Create And Publish Apps Of Their Own


by Viviana Woodbury, 

What with the almost universal proliferation of smartphones among students, even at the elementary school level, it would seem like a no-brainer for an educator to utilize mobile apps as effective and readily-accepted learning tools. And if an educator can’t find an app that does exactly what he or she wants, the logical next step is to develop and publish their own. Besides, what else do they have to do with all the free time with which all educators are blessed?

Continue reading

5 Tips on How to Present Like Steve Jobs

By Mikal E. Belicove

Whenever I’m asked to speak to a group — whether it’s a large gathering like a college commencement, or a smaller one like those found at a local chamber of commerce’s monthly breakfast — I think of Steve Jobs, the master presenter. The co-founder of Apple didn’t just focus on statistics or technology in his communications; he sold the benefits of his company’s products.

Continue reading