16 Jan 2015

Happy Birthday... 6 years!

My blog has turned 6.

I started blogging in January 2009 after I had quit my job.
I took up another job, life got busier but I kept going.

6 years later, I have 518 posts and 1.3 million views.
I also have advertisers :)

It's an awesome feeling.

Today, I am again in a similar situation. I have quit my job and starting on my own; as a marketing consultant and a presentation architect. The blog gives me confidence as I move into the unknown future. 

Thanks for reading, thank for sharing and thanks for advertising.
Thank for liking my stuff, writing to me and all the encouragement.

To read some of the best stuff from my blog, click here.

Book Review: Dan Roam's 'Show & Tell'

I have read more than 10 books on presentations so far and do not wish to read any more in the near future. It is better to implement what one has learnt than keep reading new stuff. Having said that, I got hold of this book for free. Could not resist buying it (I mean it was free!).

I did read the book. I have read Dan Roam beforeThe book is quite simple, nice and very fast to read.

Here is the crux of the book:

How can you make extraordinary presentations?

Tell the truth
Tell it with a story
Tell the story with pictures

We deliver a report, a pitch or a presentation so that the audience sees the things the way we do. A normal presenter shares data. A good presenter changes what you know. A great presenter changes what you believe.

If we follow these three rules, we will achieve our objective. How?

When we tell the truth - we connect with our audience, we become passionate and we find tremendous self confidence. Our fear comes down. We remember what to say and we are more convincing.

When we tell it with a story - we are able to make complex things simple, we make our ideas memorable and we appeal to everyone. We are understood by everyone and they remember what we said (stories have high recall).

When we tell our story with pictures - we communicate clearly and there is no confusion. We captivate our audience and we remove boredom.

To figure out how you will implement these, do read the book.
Ratings: **** (4/5)

9 Jan 2015

Ban these words from your presentation

Here is a list of words which are losing their meaning because we have joined the band wagon and started using these too liberally. In this new year let us say not to these:

World Class
State of the art
Leading brand
360 Degree Marketing
Proven Track Record
Experienced Faculty
Extensive Research
In-Depth Knowledge
Rich & Proven Experience
Dynamic Personality

Which other words / phrases would you like to add to this list?

2 Jan 2015

Design Tips from a Visiting Card

I have started my own consulting business and one of the first things I needed to have was a business card. Instead of designing on my own, I chose a website this time. After I chose the layout and typed my content, I came across some good tips about design.

Please check the following:

1. Information is accurate and spelled correctly
2. Text is legible and contrasts against the background
3. Images are clear and don't appear blurry
4. Nothing is overlapping and close to the margins

I found these tips really useful. Use these as a check-list after you have designed your slides.

Is my information accurate?
Are there any spelling mistakes?
Is my text legible?
Is the text colour contrasting well with the slide background?
Is my image pixellated (blurred)? Usually happens when we use low resolution images
Is my text/ image overlapping anywhere?

Here is the visiting card:

1 Jan 2015

New Year... a New Beginning

Dear friends and readers,

This new year has brought something completely new for me. I have resigned from my job as the marketing head of a consumer goods company and have decided to consult companies full time.

Yes, I am now a full time independent marketing consultant who will help clients across the world make better presentations, market their stuff and build awesome brands.

Happy New Year. Have fun this new year.

24 Nov 2014

Run Part of a Presentation in Continuous Loop [Reader Question]

In an earlier post, I wrote about how to make a presentation run in continuous loop. Example: A 5 slide presentation starts at slide 1, then goes to 2, 3, 4, then 5 and comes back to slide 1 and again 2. It keeps running.

Yesterday a reader asked a question: "Is there a way to have a loop in one part of the slideshow then advance on click in the next part?"

Problem: You have a 7 slide presentation. You want to run slides 1 to 5 in a continuous loop. Slide 6 & 7 are not part of the loop. Then after a while, you wish to start presenting from slide 6. How can we set this up?

Solution: The solution is simple. Open PowerPoint normally. You have all slides on the left side. Hide slides 6 & 7. Right click on them and select Hide Slide.

Now create a loop with slides 1 to 5. You can read the earlier post to know how to create this loop.

Now when the presentation is run in slideshow mode (press F5) you will only see slides 1 to 5 running in a loop. Slides 6 and 7 will not be visible. Whenever you want to move to slide 6, just press '6' on your keyboard and press Enter. Voila! You can now move forward and start presenting normally from slide 6 onward.

I tried this in PowerPoint 2010. The same should work in other versions as well.

17 Nov 2014

Buy Dan Roam's Book on Presentations for FREE

Looks like a special promotion on Amazon. You can buy Dan Roam's book on Presentations 'Show and Tell' for free.

Click here for Amazon.com
Click here for Amazon.in

It is only the Kindle version which is free. Go ahead and download it before the offer is gone.

Update on November 23: The offer is now only available if you login from India. I can still see $0 for Kindle version.

13 Nov 2014

Pixabay: Free Photos for Your Presentation

Pixabay is an awesome website where you can get free images for your presentation. What's great about this website is its high quality high resolution images, most of which are free for commercial use and there is no need for attribution as well.

Just type your keyword. The first few images are from shutterstock. This is an ad and these images are not free :). Choose the image you like from the second row onward. You can choose the resolution you prefer. For PowerPoint, M or L is good enough. When in doubt, choose L size.

Do read the terms of usage every time you are about to download the image. As I said, most images are free for commercial use and you don't need to even give a hyper link to pixabay.

Other than photos, you also have vector graphics and illustrations. It's awesome and it's free. You have to try out this website and spread the word. Share this post with your friends.