Tag Archive: Microsoft PowerPoint

Google Presentations Edit Master Slide

Yes, we all know about Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote, but have you tried Google Presentations? Only one in a hundred presentations I have seen has used the bells and whistles you need a big piece of software for. What do you need for Google Presentations? A web browser.

Now Google has added built in widescreen support and the ability to edit master slides.

I’ll admit, this is an important step. Branding, even personal branding (that is, how people see you the presenter as well as the organization you represent) and the branding of your ideas needs to have a touch of unique style. If you pull out the template-of-the-month favorite and awkwardly stick a JPEG of your company logo in the corner you’ll regret it.

Take a look at what you can do for free, with your web browser, go visit drive.google.com and make a new presentation. Make a template for yourself. Spend a bit of time and then you’ll have something that always works for you. Save time in the long run by doing it once upfront.

PowerPoint Dos and Don’ts

PPT LogoA useful and common teaching tool is Microsoft PowerPoint. Common uses of PowerPoint are: instructional purposes, large group presentations at conferences, and informational presentations for interview purposes. This article will cover a few Dos and Don’ts to effective Presentation Building.

Do Limit Text. A common presentation mistake is writing a full paragraph on your slide and then reading it verbatim. This has several problems. First, your audience may not be able to read the entire slide before you advance. Second, the more text on a slide, the smaller the font, thus resulting in slides that are visually difficult to read. Third, as a presenter, you may not look like you know your material if you are reading it word for word. Instead, use only key words and important phrases on the slide to help jog your memory about the material. Then have a dialogue with your audience about the topic.

Do Limit Text VS. Don't Write a Full Paragraph

Do Use Progressive Release of Bullets. This will keep your audience alerted to where you are in your presentation. In addition, the slight change in the slide as you progressive from one bullet to the next will draw the audience’s attention to the presentation.

Don't Bullet VS. Bullet 1Bullet 2Bullet 3

Do Embed URL Links for easy access to Web pages.

Do Embed Video and Audio Files. Make sure you have the files in the same folder as your presentation so that they play when you take the presentation to a different computer.

Don’t use Too Many Transitions. This can distract from valuable content.

Do use Contrasting Font and Background. Don’t use light colored font on light background or dark colored font on dark background. This will make the presentation visually difficult to see.

No Contrast VS. Contrast Color

Do create a Master Template Style. This will make building multiple presentations easier and less time-consuming.

Do use Graphs, Charts, and Models to represent facts in place of text.

Interested in learning about Excel? View information on how to create Header Rows , format with every other row shadowed, or filter, sort, and remove duplicates in Excel.

Don’t Panic- How to Prepare for an AV Emergency


An AV issue is never an easy thing to navigate through. It’s even worse when your entire presentation depends on your slide show or video clip. Sadly, AV emergencies often, if not always, come unexpectedly and at the worse possible times.
Never the less, we have to push through as though we knew it was going to happen. After all, if the boy scouts are always prepared, shouldn’t we have at least a flint rock and a pocket knife with us at all times?
Here are a few tips on how to keep your all important presentation from going under. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order.

1. Always Keep a Spare Here and There.
Make sure you email a copy of your slideshow to yourself, save a copy on a flash drive and drop it in your cloud drive. You can never have enough back ups. Even emailing it to your class ahead of time can save your bacon.

2. Keep Calm, Carry On
Regardless of the situation, don’t forget that you are the featured highlight of the presentation. Slides are there to enhance your words not deliver them for you. If you find your slides aren’t advancing or the computer you’re using decides to randomly start updating and restarts, be like water; keep flowing.

3. Adapt(er) for Your Surroundings
This applies to our Mac users who need to connect to a projector or outside display. It’s pretty likely that where ever you go, they won’t have the appropriate video adapter for your Mac. Always bring your own to the show.

4. Hand Outs All Around
Never forget the value of good ol’ dependable paper. Print out your slides so everyone can follow along. If the AV gear goes Ker-plooey, you’ll wish you had.

These are just a few precautionary tips on how to keep the panic out of your presentation.

Good luck and great speaking!

Adding Video to PowerPoint, Part 2

This post is a continuation of Adding a Video to PowerPoint: Part One. Here, I will explain how to download a YouTube video and embed it into your presentation.

There may be times when you do not have an Internet connection and/or would like to include a video without having to access the Internet. In those instances, the best option is to download the video to your local computer and embed that video in your PowerPoint.  NOTE: If you save your PowerPoint on a USB drive and take that to class, you will ALSO need to save all downloaded video files as well on the USB. If you do not do this, the files will not play in your PowerPoint presentation.

First, go the video.Then, in the address bar replace the domain name (youtube.com) with (SaveMedia.com). For example, if your video’s URL is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qorfG_CrVkM 

Go into the address bar and take out the www.youtube.com and replace with:http://SaveMedia.com/watch?v=qorfG_CrVkM

Bring your cursor to the end of the URL and hit ENTER/RETURN. You will be taken to the savemedia.com web site and a window will pop up – select RUN (see below).

Running SaveMedia ProgramNow on the savemedia.com web site, you will have the option to either download video (in a variety of formats) or download just the audio.  Select the format that works best for you. I would recommend using at least Medium Quality video and saving as an MP4 file. Selecting Video File OptionOnce you select the format, a window may pop up asking if you want to save to your computer. Choose SAVE FILE then click OK. Depending on the type of computer you are using, this should save the file to your Downloads folder.  I would strongly recommend moving this file to the same folder where your PowerPoint is located BEFORE you add to your PowerPoint presentation. Saving Video File to Local ComputerIn your PowerPoint presentation if you are creating a slide just for the video you can choose the Title and Content slide.  In the content area there is an icon that looks like movie film. Click on that to insert the video. If you bring your mouse over to that icon, it should say Insert Media Clip. See below. Inserting Video into PresentationWhen you click on that, a window will pop up showing you your computer files. Go to the folder where the video file is located and select the video file. Click Insert. Saving File in Local Computer DirectoryIt may take a few minutes to load. Once it loads, you will see the video on your presentation. It should look like a black square with a play button and other buttons at the bottom.  You can resize the video as necessary to fit in your slide. Note that making it larger may cause the picture quality decrease. I would also recommend only resizing the video from the corners (as this will prevent you from distorting the video).

Video Displayed in PresentationDO: In addition to inserting the video to your PowerPoint, it may also be a good idea to include a hyperlink to the video on that slide as well. This way, if you share your presentation with others, they will still be able to access the video.

NOTE: If you share your Presentation file with another person, they will need both the PPT file and the video file in order to play the video correctly on the PowerPoint.

If you want to add a video and you have a blank slide, simply select the Insert tab, and then select Video from the Media section.

Inserting Video using ToolbarThen follow the steps as outlined above when selecting the file from your local computer.

Adding Video to PowerPoint, Part 1

In the next two posts I will explain how to add a video to your PowerPoint presentation. In this post (Part 1) I will describe how to add the video via a hyperlink. This is often the best option when you have a good Internet connection. In Part 2, I will explain how to download a YouTube video and add that to your presentation. That option is ideal when you know you will not have an optimal Internet connection during the presentation.

One of the best options for adding a video to your PowerPoint presentation is simply to include a hyperlink to the video. When you are presenting, you will click on that hyperlink and it will take you directly to the web site. To add a hyperlink, first, highlight the text that you would like to turn into a link.Click on the Insert tab and then select Hyperlink.

Insert Hyperlink in PowerPointA window will pop up (see below). Make sure on the left-hand side that Link to: Existing File or Web Page is selected. Next, enter in the URL in the space to the right of Address: (see below).  Click OK.

Add URL to PowerPointNow your text is hyperlinked. Depending on the type of design/theme you have selected for your PowerPoint presentation, it is likely that the text will now be underlined, indicating a hyperlink.

DON’T: Don’t underline other text (non-hyperlinked text) in your PowerPoint presentation if you are going to use hyperlinks.  This will confuse you and/or the student as to which text is in fact a hyperlink. Instead of underlining non-hyperlinked text, consider using bold, italics, or another color to emphasize the text.  Hyperlinks should be the only underlined text in your presentation.

DO: Type a meaningful title of what that URL will link to instead of the URL. Then follow the steps on the previous page to hyperlink that text. The end result will be a much neater presentation of content and no lengthy URLs will be displayed on the screen.

There may be times when you do not have an Internet connection and/or would like to include a video without having to access the Internet. In those instances, the best option is to download the video to your local computer and embed that video in your PowerPoint. Next week I will tell you how to download a YouTube video and post on your PowerPoint presentation.

NOTE: If you save your PowerPoint on a USB drive and take that to class, you will ALSO need to save all downloaded video files as well on the USB. If you do not do this, the files will not play in your PowerPoint presentation.

Pictured above is text that is hyperlinked to a YouTube video.

Pictured above, the URL is displayed rather than text describing what the link is. The slide on the left is neater and takes up less space than a lengthy URL.

Are You Missing Out?

It’s hard to keep up with all the new bells and whistles of MS Office, since Microsoft comes out with a new version every two years or so. In this post I’m going to share with you some new updates to MS Office 2010 that you may have overlooked. I hope these will be useful to you in your personal and professional endeavors. Don’t miss out!!

Instant & Easy Screenshots
Did you know that MS Office tools now provide you with a faster way to take a screen shot and paste it into a document, worksheet, or presentation? All three applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) are equipped with the ability to instantly capture screenshots. Simply click on the Insert tab – then select Screenshot (see image below). You have the option to either take a screenshot of your entire screen (an available window) or choose a selection (screen clipping). Once you make the selection, it is automatically added to your document, worksheet, or presentation.

Screenshot in MS OfficeCustomize the Ribbon
Now you can customize each application in order to make them more relevant and appropriate for your unique needs.The ribbon is the menubar that you see across the top of the screen in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. See image below.

Ribbon in MS Word

There may be items in this ribbon that you use more than others. Or perhaps there are elements that you use that are not easily accessible on the ribbon. To customize click on the File button in the top left-hand corner of the program. Next, select Options, then select Customize Ribbon. Your options will vary depending on what program you are using. Below is an image of the customizable options for Word.

Customizable Ribbon in MS Word

From this area, you can add items on the left side (commands) to the space on the right side (Main Tabs). You can also un-check certain elements on the right side to remove from the current ribbon. And if you make a mistake and un-check something that you do use, you can always come back and check it later.  One thing I would recommend doing is taking a look at the commands that are not on the ribbon. To do so, where it says Choose commands from (on the top left-side of the window), change Popular Commands to Commands Not in the Ribbon.  This will show you some options that you don’t typically see, but may be useful. If you see something you like, click on the Command and then click on the Add button to add it to the Main Tabs. After you are done making changes, click OK at the bottom of the window and you now have your own custom Ribbon. Enjoy!

Making Graphics in PowerPoint

When you make a digital sign here at the Law School, we ask that you submit two copies of the slide. A PNG and the “PowerPoint Original”. This is so we can whip up a few quick corrections, if needed.

This presupposes that you use PowerPoint to make your digital sign. In fact, this is what our latest round of training did. At that training I asked if anyone wanted to try a graphics design class to supplement this and go “to the next level” with better graphics instruction. There was some interest. I hope we can support that interest soon.

The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

In the meantime, I ran across a quick eLearning article about how to make graphics in PowerPoint. I think it’s excellent. You might want to give it a try.

See How Easily You Can Create Graphics in PowerPoint