Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Better Typography And More Readable Text In Powerpoint

Writen by Kevin Potts

PowerPoint is, fundamentally, a tool for communication, and the heart of that communication is written words. As many charts, videos and illustrations a presentation might have, without text these add up to little more than a collection of disjointed elements pasted between slide transitions.

Words remain the glue that ties information together. Because of this, good typography is as important -- if not more so -- than any visual element in a presenter's PowerPoint file. (This not to say good presentation is a substitute for weak content; after all, content is king.)

"Typography" is a medium-independent term used to describe how type is presented. This includes everything from mixing fonts to choosing colors and point sizes to laying elements on a page in certain relation to other objects.

Good typography doesn't happen by accident -- it is a skill that is developed through practice and experimentation. Just as there are some general, fundamental guidelines that are as applicable to presentation software as they are to billboards and annual reports, there are a few typographical principles that relate directly to PowerPoint alone. Adhering to these simple strategies can result in a much more polished and professional-looking piece.

1. Fonts should never be less than 12 points in size. Even with substantial magnification over a projection system, people have difficulty focusing on smaller type. This really works against you anytime the audience needs to carefully read something, since most of their effort is spent squinting and leaning forward and not on actually understanding the content. The only exception to the 12-point rule would be small copyright information, dates or watermarks that are not related to the primary content.

2. Bigger is better. Headlines should float around 20-24 pt, larger if needed. Body copy generally works well in the 16-18 range, although 14-point is not uncommon for squeezing a few extra lines in. Headline point size should never be smaller than the content size.

3. Don't be afraid of leading. "Leading" is the term for adjusting the space between lines, and can be found under Format > Line Spacing. This does not have to be drastic; often, a subtle 1.1 - 1.5 can really open up the design on a page and make long blocks of text much easier to read.

4. Stick with the standard font faces that are included on a typical Windows machine. These include Times New Roman, Impact, Arial, Verdana, Georgia and Trebuchet. Using off-beaten fonts that you've installed may make your presentation more visually interesting, but it will cause numerous problems when moving the piece between different computers. While these non-standard fonts can conceivably be moved with your file, the end product is rarely worth the resulting headaches.

5. When choosing fonts, it is often better to stay with sans-serif typefaces like Arial and Verdana. Their blocky, minimal nature makes them ideal for headline applications, where they can be displayed at larger sizes and still retain maximum readability. In PowerPoint, it is even more important to use sans-serif fonts in bullets, paragraphs and other small point size applications. Serif fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia are more decorative, and while they perform superbly in the printed realm (look no further than The New York Times for endless columns of the Times face), study after study demonstrate they hinder reading speed and comprehension when presented on screen.

6. Pick font colors that contrast with the background:

* For white backgrounds, black and dark versions of red and blue work exceptionally well.

* For dark backgrounds, like black or rich blues, white is ideal, but options such as yellow or very pale, icy blues can achieve interesting and often captivating color combinations.

* A good visual trick is to use a background color that accepts both white and black font colors. Dark oranges, rich greens (apple green especially) and even certain blues can be excellent choices for the design-adventurous.

* Color combinations to avoid: Black and red, in any situation. Color-similar combinations, such as orange text on yellow backgrounds, or light blue text on dark blue backgrounds.

7. Since PowerPoint works so well with bullet points, it is a presentation technique widely adopted as a means of displaying important information in bite-sized chunks. But consider exploring different typographic solutions for bullets; small changes can often encourage better readability and audience interest. There are several techniques that I have successfully used.

* Consider making the actual bullet a different color than the text. For instance, if your text is black, a medium gray bullet might work well. They serve to primarily guide the eye from line to line, so it is not always critical to make them as visually important as the text.

* Also, making the active bullet line a different color might be a good way to reinforce what you are saying. If each bullet appears manually, dependent on where you are in your speech, this can be a subtle but powerful means of reminding the audience what you are talking about.

* Also, try using different shapes for bullets! PowerPoint's flexible options allows a variety of pre-installed symbols, or even an imported graphic, to be used in place of the rather dry default circles.

8. Consistency. This is, without a doubt, the most important typographic tip in any medium, PowerPoint or other. Design your master template and stick to it. If you use 24-point Arial as a headline font, 16-point Verdana as the body font and a customized set of bullets that change color, use that combination through the entire presentation. And not just sizes and colors, but also positioning. The first sign of amateur PowerPoint is text fields jumping from spot to spot across different slides.

Kevin Potts is the webmaster of Blogging Articles and

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tips For Making A Sales Presentation To A Group

Writen by Chris King

As a free agent, independent professional, and/or freelancer, we are often asked to present a summary of what we offer to a board of trustees, several officers of a company, leaders of an organization, or members of an association. Dealing with more than one person can create a plethora of different considerations and approaches before reaching a successful outcome. In this article, I share some of my experiences with group presentations -- what's worked for me and what to watch out for.

Find out as much as you can before meeting with a group. I do a good bit of work for non-profits. These corporations all have vocal boards of trustees to whom they must answer when the spending of a considerable amount of money is involved. The more information I have about the corporation and its leaders, the better. If possible, I try to connect before the "big meeting" with the executive director and find out exactly what they are seeking and how much they are planning to spend -- most non-profits, for example, vote on a yearly budget at the end of their fiscal year, so know exactly how much they have ear-marked for a project.

Others are putting out feelers to find out how much -- or how little -- they should set aside for the project. Oftentimes, there is background information you can discover. A lot of proposed projects have been in the works for awhile and have quite a history. Ask lots of questions and do all of the research possible. For example, I just finished an extensive website for a group that I discovered had initially talked with and had been turned down by many of the big design firms in town. I believe that I got the job because I was willing to take the time to meet with their board, listen to their suggestions and do the custom work they desired.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. No matter what kind of presentation you are making -- whether to two people, twenty people or two hundred people -- proper preparation is the key. First of all, know what your goal for the meeting is and have a plan and strategy ready. Write down the information you want the group to know about you and your services by the end of the presentation. What makes you unique and why should they hire you?

Realize that just telling them this is not going to work. You must create the right questions to ask them so that they will ask you the right questions. This is the way you will discover what it is they are looking for and whether or not you can help them get it. The operative word is "help." When others feel that you care about them and their problems, that you are on their side and ready to help, they will be much more willing to open up and form a bond with you. You will also learn what you need to do to please them.

Group presentations can really pay off when handled with preparation and enthusiasm.

Chris King is a free agent, professional speaker, storyteller, writer, website creator / designer, and fitness instructor. Chris has what she calls a "Portfolio Career" --many careers at the same time. If you wonder if you could handle and love having a "Portfolio Career" you will find a free assessment to take at Sign up for her eclectic E-newsletter, Portfolio Potpourri, at You will find Chris' business website at

Monday, December 29, 2008

How Not To Present Top 3 Presenting Donts

Writen by Kevin Augustine

Yesterday I had the singular displeasure of sitting through a particularly bad presentation, so bad that I had to write this article as a form of catharsis (see: Aristotle). Without further ado, here are my Top 3 Presenting Don'ts:

Reading off a slide or other presentation materials - This might be my biggest pet peeve: When someone just stands there and reads directly off of what they are presenting. PowerPoint presentations are where you see this the most, as the offender in question will just sit there and read their slides word for word. What good does this do me? I could easily read the presentation on my own time and get the same thing out of it. The same goes true for just reading paragraphs from your notes. Even if you are giving a speech, you should be using notes. Bottom line: Don't use your materials as a crutch, use them as a tool.

Um...yeah...Um - Another problem I have is when the presenter is not a good public speaker. This may sound harsh, but it really grates on my nerves when every other word out of the presenter's mouth is "Um". The biggest problem with this is that the flow of the presentation is interrupted every time one of these words slips out. If the flow of the presentation is constantly disturbed, the audience is going to get less out of the presentation. Another problem (at least in my eyes) is that these words make the presenter sound less professional and sure of themselves. It's much easier to get your point across if you are seen as an expert rather than the intern.

Looking at your feet - Last but not least, I hate it when a presenter constantly looks anywhere else besides their audience. This is awful practice and serves to keep the audience distant from the presentation as opposed to deep into the content. Eye contact really draws people in and makes them pay attention. If you don't maintain eye contact, you've probably lost half your audience right off the bat.

These are three of the biggest problems I see at many of the presentations I attend. I'd be interested in finding out what others think of the problems I've stated above, and any other problems you've experienced.

At Workplace Life, I specialize in making the life of the everyday business professional easier. For free tutorials on common Microsoft Office applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel, career management advice, office life advice, funny office stories, and professional email tips visit

Sunday, December 28, 2008

High Definition Hd In Conferences And Events

Writen by David Gray

HD stands for High Definition (HD) and is a digital video format and offers the promise of sharper, clearer pictures and sound than currently available using analogue video and television formats using the PAL / SECAM or NTSC system.

There are two standards of HD which are 720 and 1080. Each can be shown and recorded in two different ways, Interlaced (i) and Progressive (p). Each uses square pixels. This gives rise to the four commonly stated standards which are: 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p.

To understand better it is worth first looking at the common PAL system which is used currently in the majority of VHS, DVD, television and projection systems used in conference presentations.

PAL has only half the resolution of 720 HD and only a fifth of 1080 820 HD.

HD based video (720 or 1080) are a vast improvement on PAL systems with a significant improvement in the clarity of image, amount of detail visible and improved colour rendition.

Using HD based source material, cameras and presentation formats in the conference arena offers significant opportunities to increase the impact of presentations and the method of display.

We are all familiar with the standard conference set of a projection screen or two, mounted against a felt covered stage set lit from above and below with a couple of static logo boards attached.

This can now be changed into something altogether more dynamic and useful.

Prior to the advent of high brightness projectors large displays were often limited to the use of videowalls (visible joins and high cost) or low light environments (audience in the dark and presenters unable to maintain eye contact). HD enables the screens to be larger without loss of clarity, colours and detail in PowerPoint text, data, graphs and pictures more lifelike with resulting message transmission, reception and retention by your audience.

HD uses square pixels as a standard, so do the latest generation of DLP projectors and these are now available with native HD resolution, therefore your source and the resulting projected display are exactly as intended, without any degradation or scaling.

With PAL based systems the larger the screen the more the original source materials lack of inherent data becomes apparent.

From this it can be seen that the images are broken down into much smaller chunks with the use of HD this enables much larger screen sizes to be used without the picture looking blocky or having jagged edges to diagonal lines, pictures, numbers and fonts.

Examples include pin sharp PowerPoint text and graphics and excellent colour rendition; for AppleMac users Footnote is as the designer intended – no reduction in quality from PC to the large screen.

Camera shots of presenters enable clear bright and lifelike images.

Screens may make up the whole of the set backdrop with overlaid multiple live images reflecting the mood of the conference, and particular presentation elements.

Close up detail of artefacts are possible (e.g. components, medical…) with enhanced clarity previously achieved with great difficulty and at significant cost.

That all important "wow" factor has extra dimension and flexibility.

What you see as clear and evident on your PC screen remains so at screen sizes measured in metres.

David Gray is Technical Director at Status AV - a high end audiovisual company based in the UK. He has experience of a huge range of installations and event productions, including high definition and widescreen projection.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What The Devil Wore Prada Can Teach You About Dressing For Success

Writen by Susan Sommers

More than entertaining, The Devil Wore Prada could be considered life changing because of its powerful style lesson: To get ahead, dress appropriately—and well—for your job and lifestyle.

People often overlook the potential power of their own personal image. The right attire, geared for your job and lifestyle, can actually help you rise to the top. Studies indicate good-looking people get paid more and climb higher than plainer folks and style and grooming—and the confidence and improved communications skills that looking great gives you—are essential components of beauty. In fact, the right image can validate and empower you, just as it did heroine, Andy Sachs, at Runway, the fictional magazine in the film.

However, dressing like a fashionista isn't for everyone, only those in the worlds of fashion magazines, advertising and design agencies or other creative enterprises, although a divorce attorney might want to choose designer clothing to indicate success. You have to first figure out the impression you want to make and then determine if it's suitable for your industry, company, location and/or lifestyle. Here are a few guidelines:

Pay attention to your company dress code, which will probably spell out not only what business professional and business casual means, but also what you can and cannot wear, where.
Follow your boss's lead if the dress code is limited or non-existent.
Dress more formally when meeting a client for the first time. For some, this might mean a business suit (and tie, for men), for others, an unmatched outfit (a jacket over shirt or sweater set with skirt or pants for women; a sport jacket, dress shirt and trousers, with or without a tie, for men).
Be guided by your clients' attire in subsequent meetings. If they are dressed casually, you might want to forego a suit for a more relaxed outfit. However, make sure whatever you have on is a notch or two higher in quality than your client.
Consider what you'll be doing during the day. If you're an industrial engineer who's crawling around wires, jeans and a polo shirt might be most suitable, even if you're doing so for a bank. A litigator has to be very judicious about clothing choices for court—anything too trendy might be badly received by a jury.
Stay away from provocative clothing. Whether working in the front or back office, baring a little too much can undermine a woman's power.
Avoid sloppy, soiled or frayed clothing and scuffed, down-at-the-heels shoes. Whatever you put on should be cared for, clean, neat and pressed—no matter what your title.

Of course, clothes don't make the man, but they do help to tell the world who he is. And now, when snap judgments are the rule, you don't have a second chance to send the right instant message.

© 2006, Dresszing™. All Rights Reserved.

Fashion and business etiquette coach, Susan Sommers is the founder of Dresszing™, a wardrobing and visual communications company. To receive Style Flash, her free newsletter, sign up at

Friday, December 26, 2008

Presenting A Government Project To The American People

Writen by Lance Winslow

When the government wishes to promote a new project or social program to the American people it must be very careful to be able to clearly and concisely explain it. The program must be based or bathed in reality and containing a good portion of common sense. Of course the most important thing is it must be simple and easy to understand so that everyone can get the concept.

There must also be a secondary set of facts and figures for those who wish to check out the program and see if it is doable to help them better rationalize the viability of the project or program. It is not easy to present a new government project to the American people because the American people are inherently suspicious of new government programs, which will cost taxpayers money.

In fact, although most people trust the American government there are a large group of folks who didst trust the government and will immediately called any new program into question because of perceived past launched programs, which were botched. You can not please all the people all the time, but you must help the American people understand what it is that you are trying to do.

Additionally there should be a third set of scientific data and research to back up your program. And it must pass the smell test of common sense for the average citizen, as well as peer reviewed research. Please consider all this in 2006.

Lance Winslow

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Media Training 101 Where To Look During A Television Interview

Writen by Thomas Murrell

Ever had that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing where to look when making a point, delivering a message or asking a question?

Nervous furtive glances looking sideways, upwards or downwards? Anywhere but the gaze of the person you're trying to persuade and influence.

Effective communication is about making an emtional connection with another human being.

Media relations strategy is about using the media and dealing with one person to get your message across to many.

The question most often asked by people wanting media training advice is where to look during a TV interview.

Well, here are some key dos and don'ts.

1. Don't Look At The Camera It is just a hunk of metal and glass and won't smile back at you!

2. Don't Look At Your Feet Feet are good for walking on and never provide the positive feedback you're looking for when under pressure.

3. Don't Bury Your Chin in Your Chest You will mumble, stumble and be hard to hear.

4. Don't Look Up The ceiling of a room or sky rarely delivers the inspiration, word or phrase you're seeking. You will just come across as uncertain.

5. Don't Look to the Side Eye movement to the side makes you appear shifty and untrustworthy.

6. Do Take Your Sunglasses Off Sunglasses on TV is not a cool look. Even for rock stars.

7. Do Look at the Reporter Direct and firm eye contact establishes authority.

8. Do Address Each Question at a Press Conference Answer each question individually rather trying to engage everyone.

9. Do Remove Your Glasses 10 Minutes Prior Avoid unsightly red marks on the bridge of your nose by removing your glasses prior to an interview. Better still wear contacts.

10. Do Memorise, Practice and Rehearse Your Quotable Quote You can't read notes on camera. Plan, prepare and practice saying your seven-second sound bite before the camera rolls.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.

You can subscribe by visiting Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Present Your Message With Power And Pizzazz

Writen by Della Menechella

If you're ready to kick your career or business up to the next level, then make it a goal to become a powerful presenter. People view savvy communicators as being more capable, intelligent, and knowledgeable than those individuals who have difficulty in communicating their ideas. You can quickly gain the status of an expert in your field when you are able to present your ideas effectively.

Although many things go into giving a successful talk, I'd like to focus on one area that is very easy to apply – using body movements and gestures. When you use body movements and gestures appropriately, your presentation takes on a certain sense of aliveness that is often hard to accomplish when you use words alone.

Harness the Power of Gestures

Gestures include your posture, the movement of your eyes, hands, face, arms and head, as well as your entire body. They help to support or reinforce a particular thought or emotion. If our gestures support our statements, we are communicating with a second sense. People tend to understand and remember messages better when more than one sense is reached.

Winston Churchill was a master at using gestures to powerfully bring home his point. During World War II, Churchill rallied the citizens of Great Britain to continue their fight against overwhelming odds. He often visited the neighborhoods of London, which had been devastated by bombs and walked through them with his fingers held up in the sign of a "V". This victory sign accompanied his famous message, "Never give in. Never, never, never give in." This gesture so powerfully communicated Churchill's message that soon people gained greater resolve to continue fighting whenever they saw the victory sign.

Another reason that using appropriate gestures is so critical to your presentation is that communication does not just consist of words. Less than 10% of the words we use in speaking gets through to others. On the other hand, over 55% of our body language is communicated to others very clearly. Whether you are trying to sell your product or service to a client or you are trying to persuade a group of people to change their behavior, it is critical that your words and gestures match. Many people have sabotaged their messages because their words were saying one thing, while their bodies were saying the exact opposite.

Can you think of a time when someone told you that he would be able to do something while his head was shaking no? Which did you believe, the words or the gesture? When your body movements are congruent with your words, your message will have a very powerful impact on your audience.

Make the Most Out of Movements

People will begin to make judgments about you as soon as you stand up. The time to begin using effective body movements is when you walk to your position in front of a group. Stand up tall and walk with a strong posture. Let your body communicate that you have something important to say and the audience needs to hear it. If your posture is slouched, they will feel that you aren't convinced about your message and they will begin doubting you before you have uttered a single word.

When you get to the front, take a deep breath, calmly look at your entire audience and smile. One of the biggest mistakes presenters make is to begin talking as soon as they get up to the front, or even worse, as they are walking there. When you take time to look at your audience before you speak, you begin to establish that critical connection with them. You also give the audience sufficient time to focus on you and what you are about to say.

Look directly at the faces of your audience members, not over their heads. Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of speaking. An easy way to get over stage fright is to look at the faces of individual audience members and just talk to that one person instead of the entire audience. Rotate the people you talk to – someone on the left, someone towards the middle, a person on the right, someone in the front, etc. This will help you maintain rapport with the entire group, while allowing you to feel at ease.

A further advantage of maintaining good eye contact is that it will help you gauge how your message is coming across to the group. If you are trying to explain something and members of the audience give you blank stares, then you need to adjust your words so they can better understand you.

Use Conversational Gestures

Like Winston Churchill, you should strive to incorporate gestures into your talk. People naturally use gestures in conversations. They are not on the spot, so they easily move their arms and hands and make facial expressions to illustrate the points they are trying to make. However, an amazing thing happens when people stand up in front of a group to speak. They suddenly think, "Oh no! What am I going to do with these things attached to my shoulders?" and they either don't move them at all or they move them awkwardly. Gestures should be a natural extension of who we are. Presenters should strive to be themselves. They should be as spontaneous with their movements as if they were talking to their family or friends.

Practice Makes Natural

A good way to be comfortable with gestures is to know your speech well. Several of the most outstanding speakers offer the same piece of advice: "The key to effectively using gestures is to know your material so well, to be so well prepared, that your gestures will flow naturally." Practice your speech and know it well so that you can enjoy sharing your message with others.

Become a master at using your body to support your words. Have fun with gestures, be yourself, and you will certainly present your message with power and pizzazz.

About The Author

Della Menechella is a speaker, author, and trainer who inspires people to achieve greater success from the inside out. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at Subscribe to free Peak Performance Pointers e-zine - send blank e-mail to

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Four Different Ways People Process Your Information

Writen by Sandra Schrift

There are four different ways that audience members assimilate information. They are: visual, auditory, auditory digital, and kinesthetic. While all members of the audience will process information utilizing all four of these approaches at different times, each audience member will individually will individually tend to rely on one of these approaches more than the other three.

Visual: These people memorize and learn by seeing pictures and are less distracted by noise than others. They often have difficulty remembering and are bored by long, verbal presentations because their minds will wander. They are interested in how your presentation looks. They like it when you use words like "see, look, envision, imagine, and picture" in your presentation as these words encourage them to make pictures in their minds.

Auditory: These people are easily distracted by any noises occurring during your presentation. Typically these audience members learn by listening, Your vocal tone and vocal quality will be very important with these people. Words that work well with people in this category include "hear, listen, sound, resonate, and harmonize."

Auditory Digital: These audience members spend a fair amount of time in their heads talking to themselves. They memorize and learn by steps, procedures, and sequences. They want to know that your presentation makes sense. Words that are effective with these people include "sense, experience, understand, think, motivate, and decide."

Kinesthetic: These audience embers often speak very slowly. They are much more oriented towards their feelings than people in the other three categories. They learn by actively doing something and getting the actual feeling of it. They are interested in a presentation that "feels right" or gives them a "gut feeling." Words that are effective with these audience members include "feel, touch, grasp, concrete, get hold of, and solid."

Approximately 40% of the population are primarily visual, approximately 40% are primarily kinesthetic, and the remaining 20% are primarily auditory and auditory digital in how they process information.

Learn more about these topics by subscribing to "Monday Morning Mindfulness" at "".

Sandra's ezine 'Monday Morning Mindfulness' Sandra Schrift will help you grow and enlighten your soul with her bi-weekly ezine 'Monday Morning Mindfulness. Request a free subscription at and start improving your speaking success!

©2004 by Sandra Schrift. All rights reserved

Article URL:

Article Autoresponder:

Publishing Guidelines: You are welcome to publish this article in its entirety, electronically, or in print fre*e of charge, as long as you include my full signature file for ezines, and my Web site address in hyperlink for other sites. Please send a courtesy link or email where you publish to Thank you.

About The Author

Sandra Schrift 13 year speaker bureau owner and now career coach to emerging and veteran public speakers who want to "grow" a profitable speaking business. I also work with business professionals and organizations who want to master their presentations.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Brochure Printing Prices

Writen by Max Bellamy

Given the large number of printing companies that compete for printing jobs, having your printing jobs done can be very cheap. Most companies print your brochures for as low as one dollar per brochure or even less. Given this, you can be assured that you will be able to get a great value for your money.

However, you should not only look at the printing costs when you have brochures printed because there are added costs that you may not be able to anticipate. One of these added costs is getting a graphic designer to design your brochure, and in the same way that you look for the best price from your printers, you should also look for a graphic designer that can give you the greatest value.

Looking for a graphic designer

You should first ask your graphic designer is about his or her experience because getting a person with the right professional experience will save you both money and time. It is also a good idea to see his or her portfolio so that you will have an idea of kind of work that he or she does and whether a particular graphic designer is the right person for the job. You should also look for references so that you would have a feel of what his or her previous employers say about the kind of work that he or she does.

Other ways you can make sure that you have chose the right graphic designer is to give him or her little tests like asking them about mistakes you have intentionally put on a brochure or by giving them blank sheets and asking them to show you their ideas for the page. You should also ask the graphic designer how long it would take him to finish the job so that you can see if he can finish it by the time you need it. Most importantly, you should ask him his fees not only for the job but also for other fees such as makeover fees. Having this information can help you decide on which graphic designer can give you the best deal.

Getting a graphic designer to do the design for your brochures can be as practical as picking a printer. This is because there are also a lot of graphic designers to choose from and the key to finding the right one is to have a good idea of what your requirements are and looking for the designer that can fill them.

Brochure Printing provides detailed information on Brochure Printing, Brochure Printing Services, Full Color Brochure Printing, Color Brochure Printing and more. Brochure Printing is affiliated with Travel Brochures.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

3 Worst Mistakes People Make In A Presentation

Writen by Steve Kaye

Truly memorable disasters don't just happen. They require a special blend of misunderstanding and misguided effort. Here are three ways to guarantee a disaster in your next presentation, and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Believe in Magic

Show up hoping that a coherent, eloquent, useful presentation will magically appear once you start speaking. Avoid any type of preparation. Just wing it.

> What Happens

Everyone is amazed by the presentation because they expected more. They are also bored and disappointed. They may even become upset because an unprepared presentation insults the audience by wasting their time. Unprepared presentations sound like, well, unprepared presentations.

> Instead

Prepare. Identify the goal for your talk. Design a presentation that achieves that goal. Talk with key members of the audience about their expectations. Rehearse.

Mistake #2: Memorize your speech.

Spend untold hours committing every precious word to memory so that you can recite it even if awakened in the middle of the night.

> What Happens

You sound like a machine. And if you stumble on a word, you can become stuck-- speechless. I've seen this happen, and it's painful.

> Instead

Learn your presentation. Yes, write a script. Memorize the first and last sentences and then practice giving the presentation without looking at the script. Practice many times. Eventually, you will learn how to convey the key ideas in a natural, normal way.

Mistake #3: Talk About Yourself

Focus entirely on yourself. Tell about your background, your credentials, and your history. Tell your story. Just talk about yourself. Make the presentation all about you, yourself, and your life.

> What Happens

They listen politely. If you manage to be entertaining enough, they may actually pay attention. Otherwise, the audience reacts by thinking, "So what?"

> Instead

Talk about the audience. That is, talk about what they need and how they can achieve it.

Steve Kaye helps leaders hold effective meetings. He is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator, author, and speaker. His meeting facilitation and leadership workshops create success for everyone. Call 714-528-1300 for details. Visit for a free report.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Secrets To Customising Your Microsoft Powerpoint Design Template

Writen by Chris Le Roy

Microsoft Powerpoint is what I consider the most powerful presentation tool available on the market and whilst there are competitors, it is pretty obvious that Microsoft Powerpoint ranks as the number one presentation tool in the world. Just look at the number of seminars, lectures or presentations you go to and how many people are using Microsoft PowerPoint, in my experience, about 95% of them. Let me ask you a question though. How many times have you seen the same template, presentation after presentation?

Way too many and there is no excuse …

I wanted to set about teaching you in this article the secrets to customising your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations and how to change those common Microsoft Powerpoint Templates. See whether you realise it or not, all of the powerpoint template presentations that Microsoft provides are in fact customisable. In fact, most of the presentation templates you find in Microsoft Powerpoint 2000, XP or 2003 are simply built on individual drawing objects or shapes that can be found on the Drawing toolbar under the AutoShapes menu.

Lets look at how you customise Microsoft supplied templates …

First off we have to create a new presentation, which I strongly encourage you to do at this stage by opening Microsoft Powerpoint and using the shortcut keystroke, [Ctrl] + [N]. Next we want to apply one of those common Microsoft templates, seeing I am working in Microsoft Powerpoint 2003 as I am writing this article, I am going to describe changing the Digital Dots template. So you need to apply this template by choosing the Format menu and then choosing Slide Design from the drop down menu. On the right hand side of the screen the Task pane open. Move your mouse pointer over each of the slide designs till you see the one called Digital Dots and click on it once. You should notice this design now applied to your slide.

When you first see this template, you may probably think it looks pretty complex, something too difficult to modify. Well do not be fooled. This template is simply made up of a series of lines and circles from your Drawing toolbar. Not a single thing more. I know when I am running my instructor led courses, many of my students say to me "It's a picture and way too difficult to modify". Ahh, but its not, it is simply a series of drawing objects that are skillfully coloured to look like a picture.

So how do we modify it…

Very good question, the secret to modifying these templates, is to modify the master slide. The master slide controls the look and feel of your presentation so to do that you must first activate the master slide. To do this simply goto the View menu, choose Master from the drop down menu and then choose Slide Master. In the left hand pane you should see two pictures towards the top of your screen just before the toolbars. These two pictures represent your Title Slide Master and the Slide Master used by the main body of your presentation. The Title Slide Master should be open in front of you and this is the one we will modify. Keep in mind that the rules we do for the Title Slide Master also apply to the other slide masters in your presentation.

What you need to do is to modify the drawing objects in this slide so just click on one of the buttons in the slide that is away from the placeholders. What you should notice is that a square object select marker appears. This tells you that all of the elements you see are a group. So to ungroup these objects, right mouse click and from the shortcut menu choose Grouping and then Ungroup.

You will then see all the individual objects selected in the slide. Simply click away from the select objects and then click on any one object, actually lets change one of the buttons. Once you have selected the button, right mouse click and choose Format Autoshape. You should notice that the Format Autoshape dialog box is similar to the Autoshape dialog box you use for standard drawing object.

Let us change the colour of the object to green by choosing green from the Fill Colour drop down box. To complete your change simply choose the OK button. Now what you should notice is that you have one green button. You could now go through and change every single button and customise the slide master to look the way you require.

You can even go through and customise the background of the Slide master by going to the Format menu and choosing Background from the drop-down menu. When you change the background on the Title Slide Master and the Slide Master, it will be reflected in all the slides in your presentation.

Just a short side bar …

If you want to copy the formatting from one object to another, the simplest way is to first choose the object you want to copy the formatting from. Go upto the Standard toolbar and double click on the Format Painter button and then click on each of the objects you want to copy this formatting to. This tool is really useful especially in this case as you have lots of small objects to be modified.

Once you have finished customising your Title Slide Master and Slide Master simply click once on the Close Master View button on the Slide Master View toolbar. This will take you back to your main presentation. What you should now notice is that your whole presentation has been modified to suit the changes you made to the Slide Masters.

The bottom line is that there is no excuse for you to be using the same powerpoint template as everyone else who has purchased Microsoft Powerpoint. You can now ensure when you do your next presentation, or give your speech at your next seminar that you will have your own customised and unique looking presentation. No longer do we have to see the same boring old templates. Let the Microsoft Powerpoint Template revolution begin.

2006 Chris Le Roy - to help you give absolutely unique presentations I have developed a number of Free PowerPoint Design Templates that are totally unique you can use and customise. I also have available a Microsoft PowerPoint Cheat Sheet to help you learn the Microsoft Powerpoint Shortcuts. I also have available at my website free powerpoint sounds to download to spice up your slide transitions.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What Is A Front Surface Mirror

Writen by Mark Boehm

Over the past 25 years I have had the unique opportunity to talk directly with many of the professionals and instructors who use Overhead Projectors as an integral part of their profession. Through these interactions I have accumulated notes and information that has inspired me to write these articles that pertain to some of the most common problems experienced by owners of today's and yesterday's Overhead Projectors. This is the fourth article in a series of articles that will be written from a professional Electronics Technicians point of view in regards to some of today's most common Overhead Projector problems.

My clients often ask me "What's the big deal about replacing that reflective mirror in their Overhead Projector? A mirror is just a mirror, right?"

Well in reality it is a very big deal. There is a huge difference between a front surface which is what your mirrors are in your Overhead Projector and a standard mirror which is what you would find in your home. A front surface mirror is just how it sounds. The mirroring surface is on the front, where there mirroring on a standard mirror is on the back side. If a standard mirror is used in your Overhead Projector it will shatter from the heat. The reflective surface of a front surface mirror does not absorb the heat like a standard mirror does. Generally there are two types of mirrors in your Overhead Projector.

Body Mirror: The Body mirror in most cases is the mirror found in the base (body) of your overhead projector. The purpose of this mirror is to reflect the transmitted light from the projection lamp to the mirror and then through the Fresnel lens and on to the focus head assembly.

Head Mirror: The head mirror sometimes referred to as the reflective mirror, is located in the head of the Overhead Projector. The purpose is to take the light that is reflected from the base, reflect it through the exit lens of the head and of course on to your wall or screen where you are projecting the image from your transparencies.

So the answer to the question "Can't I just have a mirror cut at my glass shop?" is a resounding no. Front surface mirrors in most cases will need to be purchased from an authorized parts distributor or directly from the manufacturer. The cost of these mirrors will likely be higher because they are a specialty mirror that is not easily sourced from a local glass shop.

Mark Boehm is the president of M-B Electronics He has over 25 years of experience in the Audio Visual and Electronics Industry. You can contact M-B Electronics at 800-872-9456 or

Article source:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Introducing New Ideas Or Innovations

Writen by Joy Cagil

Masterminds recognize patterns around them and usually come up with new ideas. Archimedes found his principle, the law of hydrostatics, while he was taking a bath and ran out yelling, "Eureka" because he was so excited. I suppose Newton felt a similar emotion when the apple hit his head, no matter how much pain the impact produced.

Strangely enough, new ideas that cause leaps in human progress are more liable to get rejected than old stale ones. Human beings measure any new idea against what they already know. Consequently, the more unusual an idea is, the more liable it is to be made fun of or get rejected. During the eighties, I bet many people, starting with Bill Gates' teachers, shook their heads disapprovingly, when he announced he was quitting school--Harvard University to boot--to find his own way and build his own company.

Taking into consideration the resistance to new ideas and new ways of doing things, how can one assure the success of his new approach? Or if one has a new idea on how to do anything new, what kind of a business or sponsorship can he search for?

The first step could be to investigate for sponsorship within a business community. A place to start the search is probably in the area of one's interest, inside companies, businesses, or groups of people who are always coming up with new ideas, different products, diverse and better supplies. Original models in an area may develop usually because a new incentive is launched inside an existing condition. A revolutionary and better-working operating system for computers should not be searched in the plumbing supplies area, but in the vicinity of the computer companies that are noted for their ground-breaking procedures.

After canvassing the immediate area, the next step is to look at the surrounding areas. An innovative theater company, for example, may decide to give a chance to a poet to read his poetry before the curtain rises, if he has the talent for reading poetry.

Following that, one might try the more remote areas, even plumbing supplies for an operating system if a plumbing company is using a computerized system of any kind. That may be possible only if one is ready to modify or reallocate his ideas and apply them to different patterns with an eye for the appeal or the possible rejection of his new approach. The trick is to find out what is or is not working with the existing system and take it from there.

Some companies, as well as people, are more open to novel approaches in increments, rather than sticking out their necks totally with a unique project. A well-thought out positioning and presentation by the owner of the new idea or invention could overcome this inflexibility. Any company whose goal is progress would not turn down a novel idea if the concepts are explained clearly; if the continuity during the product development is guaranteed; and if the assurances are given that action and method will work in step with each other.

If none of these approaches work, the only way out for the innovator is through his own resources. Depending on one's own resources takes a longer time to reach one's ideals; however, one does not have to adapt his unique product to anyone else's criteria and the command and gain will belong to him alone.

When one is presenting an invention on his own, he will need services and help. At this junction, he may have to look for funding from non-profit organizations or outside connections and strategic partnerships, while making sure that his product never loses its quality. In addition, the innovator can draw in volunteers with the lure of sharing the credit when things get going. A new product, be it an idea or a tangible object, needs to be advertised. A resourceful innovator will look for high-interest, low-cost ways of getting the word out.

New ideas necessitate new associations to take hold and grow. Networking with other innovative industries or businesses inspires more flow and creativity in one's vicinity. At times, small groups may join together for big results. Surely, no one can go at it alone even if the novel product is the most fantastic invention after the wheel.

Joy Cagil is an author on a site for Writers (http://www.Writing.Com/) Her education is in foreign languages and linguistics. In her background are varied subjects such as psychology, mental health, and visual arts. She has been taking some courses on business and finance matters during the last couple of years. Her portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/joycag

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mind Upgrade Face Value Of Visual Communication Dynamics

Writen by Don Price

In your face marketing and selling, visual communication dynamics, overwhelmingly influence our thinking and behavior. We are dynamically visual beings by nature. The eye is the most powerful information conduit to the brain -- continually feeding us images that create our perception of the world and shapes how we think, behave and respond.

We think and dream in picture and images and the words we hear are processed and transformed into mental pictures. Images and sounds dominate human communication and as consumers we have come to expect media rich, entertaining dynamic visuals in advertising and marketing materials. What was once a trip to a shopping mall to purchase goods and services has turned into a visual entertainment event.

Technology, computers, and media arts have influence several generations who have come to expect every newspaper, magazine, video, post card and direct mail letter to bloom into full living color and MTV action.

It's no longer adequate to think that when making sales & marketing presentations, or presenting seminars, that we can communicate simply by painting word pictures and giving third party testimonials or stories of our products and services. Our customers want and expect quick conveyance of information and have a clear preference for pictures that show facts, features and benefits. Using the right visuals communicate faster, clearer, better and advantages the presenter in one-on-one presentations or group presentations.

The technology driving visual communication is only going to become more explosive for improved graphics and images that are far more effective than words or numbers for communicating concepts and ideas. Global business communication is enhanced with symbols and images and will expand the sphere of business contacts and potential business.

In this escalating, robust, explosion of visual communication, we find that, for those of us, in the presentation business – sales, marketing, customer service, negotiations, training and speaking requires new skill sets to be competitive. We must let the artist within come out and step outside the traditional box of word communications only.

Therefore, we must rewire our thinking – that is our visual thinking.

When making presentations of any kind. We have to remember that every presentation we make is not simply a matter of sharing information – it's about communicating effectively to persuade, influence, initiate change, sell a product, motivate, and create involvement.

Here are ways to assist you in moving outside the traditional box of word communications for creating more effective visual communication dynamics.

1. Study the trends of high impact TV commercials and magazine ads. Observe the orientation and dynamics of color, design, sound, images and speed.

2. Take an existing power point presentation and redesign it using symbols and images only to covey your message. Experiment with color schemes and layouts.

3. Use 3-D graphics and java to dramatize numbers. So that they jump out at the viewer.

4. Construct the same presentation several times. Using a combination of symbols, pictures, video, java, layout, color schemes and words.

5. For international business presentations, design you presentation using the color most associated with the country you're presenting to. Example: Mexico's dominant colors are green and red.

Visual presentations dynamics will only become more important as technology expands global business. Media rich presentation will be a primary differentiation for those companies that adopt visual thinking.

Don L. Price: Coaching Minds To Succeed -- Author, Sales/Marketing & Positive Change Solution Provider, International Speaker & Mental Fitness Coach

Invite Don to speak at your next Convention, Meeting or Retreat. Optimize your Power to Succeed with Strategic Performance Marketing/Sales and Success Coaching, for Reaching Higher Performance in Your Personal and Business Life.

-- Seminars, Keynotes, Retreats, Consulting --

Subscribe FREE to Price on Success e-Newsletter 101 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91502

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How To Attract New Business Like George W Bush Wins Elections

Writen by Thomas Murrell


He's been accused of "mangling the language, destroying its meaning by avoiding the use of verbs, twisting nouns into verbs, and endlessly repeating phrases until they become zombified" (Source:'Bush and Blair accused of mangling English' by Kate Kelland,, Mon 15 November, 2004 12:50).

But despite this George W. Bush has become the first Republican president to win re-election since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

And he's been able to motivate the US public to vote in record numbers.

In a time of stress and crisis, Bush was able to connect with the masses.

Bush – who according to language experts once famously used the word "misunderestimate", romped home with a record majority receiving 3.5 million more votes than John Kerry.

Why did Bush win by so much when analysts were predicting one of the closest elections in years?

Well, the shocking truth is that Bush and his advisers are masters of modern-day speechwriting.

What would you do if you had this skill to move and motivate others?

Well, here are the little-known speechwriting secrets of how George W. Bush won the US election?

Because they are universal principles, you can apply these to your own career and personal situation:

1. Strong Self-Belief

Bush has always had a strong sense of purpose to "build a safer world" and to make a difference. He is unswerving in his belief and mission to achieve this.

One of the most memorable lines in his acceptance speech summarises his own home-grown optimism and sense of destiny.

"There is an old saying, "Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks."

What is your passion and purpose in life?

2. Certainty in an Age of Uncertainty

In times of fear and uncertainty, sitting politicians have a greater chance of being re-elected.

Bush reinforced this message in all his speeches.

For example: "To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."

Trust was Bush's central campaign message to overcome people's anxiety about the future.

What is your central theme for your next speech?

3. Visual Imagery

Visual imagery is just as important as words in a speech, especially for people who take in information through visual rather than auditory channels.

Here are some clever ways Bush and his team maximised positive visual images in an election that was staged for television.

Pictures of his family, including that wonderful election night shot of George W relaxing in the White House with three generations of the Bush family, including his daughter, father and mother. (PS - only mothers with sons could appreciate that proud look on Barbara Bush's face as she looked over to George W)

He also used his tangible evidence of power such as alighting from the Presidential helicopter and plane to reinforce the trust and security message.

The American flag he wore on his lapel helped reinforce patriotism, as did his red tie when out on the election stump.

Interestingly, Bush wore a blue tie for his acceptance speech. This was subtle and sent the message "I'm in a different phase now, I've won the battle and its time to move on".

What non-verbal signal does your appearance send to your audience?

4. The Bush Personal Brand

The Bush personal brand is very interesting. Of course it is built on stories and everyone knows the story of the hard drinking, hard working Texan wildcat oil investor who at 40 years of age gave up drinking, found God and committed himself to public office.

In his acceptance speech, Bush reinforced this personal story and his special relationship with the people of Texas where his political career started.

"On the open plains of Texas, I first learned the character of our country: sturdy and honest, and as hopeful as the break of day.

I will always be grateful to the good people of my state. And whatever the road that lies ahead, that road will take me home."

Notice the visual imagery he uses to paint a picture of Texas and the warm feelings of home in middle-America.

How can you use this technique for your next speech?

5. Relentless Discipline

Bush ran a tight, disciplined campaign and his speeches never wavered or wandered from their key message.

Even in the glory of his win, he was focused:

"Our military has brought justice to the enemy and honor to America.

Our nation has defended itself and served the freedom of all mankind."

6. Family Values

Bush campaigned on family values - a common theme in both the US and Australian elections.

In his acceptance speech this is how he articulated these values:

"There are many people to thank and my family comes first.

Laura is the love of my life.

I'm glad you love her too.

I want to thank our daughters who joined their dad for his last campaign.

I appreciate the hard work of my sister and brothers.

I especially want to thank my parents for their loving support."

7. Shared Set of Values

Bush was attuned to the values of the heartland of America, "that heartland is spiritually and geographically the Mid West, a place of small town, conservative family values," according to Tom Carver, the BBC's correspondent in Washington.

Carver adds "Bill Clinton was a fair reflection of the laissez-faire mood of the confident, prosperous 90s. And President Bush is a mirror to the darker, more nervous post-9/11 America."

For Bill Clinton's 14 Speechwriting Secrets read my new book 'Understanding Influence for Leaders at All Levels' to be released by McGraw-Hill in February 2005.

8. Staying on Message

In the US, news is about emotion and is more orientated towards entertainment than just the facts.

Bush knew this and while he may not have the charisma of Clinton and his aversion to media conferences is well-known, his media performance during the election was one of his best.

Again, Carver from the BBC provides a great example of the legendary Bush media-savvy skills:

"There was a telling moment in his press conference ... when he was asked about the "big business" image that he and his party have. He completely ignored the question and talked instead about small businesses and how they are the engine of growth in the economy. He doesn't even allow the phrase "big business" to pass his lips."

9. Ability to Read, Reflect and Relate to Issues of Concern

Analysts predicted the US election would be a referendum on the war against Iraq.

How wrong they were. The big issues for voters were about patriotism, and in particular, who do the American people trust on:

i) Moral grounds, ii) The economy, iii) Terrorism, and lastly iv) The War on Iraq.

Bush won the moral argument in a landslide and again played this card in his acceptance speech:

"America has spoken, and I'm humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens.

With that trust comes a duty to serve all Americans. And I will do my best to fulfill that duty every day as your president."

How can you relate to the issues and concerns of your audience?

10. A Great Call to Action

I believe the purpose of every speech should be to make a difference and move people to action.

For Bush it was for people to trust him and win their vote.

The "who do you trust theme" worked well for Bush and won him the election.

In his closer to his acceptance speech, Bush articulates this trust issue well with a clear and strong call to action:

"The campaign has ended, and the United States of America goes forward with confidence and faith.

I see a great day coming for our country and I am eager for the work ahead."

What is the 'call to action' for your next speech?

© 2004 8M Media & Communications Thomas Murrell. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.

You can subscribe by visiting Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at

Monday, December 15, 2008

How To Turn A Five Minute Presentation Into A 200000 Marketing Bonus

Writen by Thomas Murrell

How do you increase your visibility by focussing on 'high pay off' activities to build your profile and profits?

Speaking in public is the fastest way to attract, win and even retain more profitable clients.

It is a 'one to many' activity that delivers an enormous return on investment for your time and effort.

It also builds your expert power and recognised authority status.

When combined with a good media relations plan it is one of the most powerful and cost effective marketing strategies around.

Here's a personal case study of how to turn a five minute speech into $200,000 worth of media coverage.

"Malaysia - Opening doors to Australian Business" was the theme for a business breakfast held on March 10th 2006. Malaysia is Australia's ninth largest trading partner, with two-way trade between our two countries currently standing at almost $10 billion.

As a Perth-based international business speaker working in Malaysia, I joined James Wise, Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia (left hand side) and Peter Kane, Australian Senior Trade Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei (right hand side) on the platform at a breakfast function "Meet The Ambassadors" to share firsthand insights on how to tap into the second strongest economy in South East Asia.

The marketing copy for the event was impressive.

"James Wise is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has been Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia since 2003.

Peter Kane has served as Austrade's Senior Trade Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur since 2005.

Peter has a wealth of experience gained from assisting Australian exporters in diverse markets across the world for nearly 20 years."

More than 250 people turned up to the breakfast. Including a columnist for Malaysia's most influential media vehicle, the The Star newspaper.

So why did the columnist choose to write a full page article about my five minute speech and not the two other more eminently qualified and experienced speakers?

Well, I believe there were five essential ingredients that made it irresistible to the media and journalist.

Here are the insider's secrets so you can achieve the same amazing success with your next speech.

1. Emotional Connection.

As US speaking coach Doug Stevenson says when he talks about strategic storytelling - making content come alive, "emotion is the fast lane to the brain" and you must feel genuine emotion to connect with your audience.

2. Tell A Story.

Relevant stories are a powerful tool to illustrate key points.

My most relevant personal story to my Malaysian message was my 'walking barefoot on hot coals experience' at an Anthony Robbins Unleash The Power Within seminar I attended in Kuala Lumpur with 4,000 other delegates.

Even the world's most powerful communicators use personal stories. Take for example British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

He was in Australia for the recent Commonwealth games and gave a speech to federal parliament on March 27th.

His speech was covered in the Australian media and here's part of that speech and in particular a personal story.

"Australia may not be in my blood, but it surely is in my spirit. My earliest memories are Australian. From the age of two, till five I lived in Adelaide ... At uni I was reintroduced to religion by an

Australian Peter Thompson, and introduced to politics by another, Geoff Gallop, both dear friends to this day. I've been back many times. I love the people, love the place, always have and always will. Australia is just a very special place to be."

3. See, Hear and Touch.

Use descriptive words to create visual, auditory and tactile anchor points for your audience.

Paint the picture and create the movie in their minds.

4. Make It Personal.

Share something personal from a place of vulnerability and you create instant rapport with your audience.

5. Have A Strong Call To Action.

Make sure your audience take action after listening to your speech.

If you go to my blog an unedited version of my "Meet The Ambassadors" presentation is available now for you to listen to.

And, here is the story Personal touch to success, Insight Down Under: By JEFFREY FRANCIS that appeared in the Star newspaper.

And how did I come to value this story at $200,000. Well to take out a full-page advertisement in the Star newspaper would cost $50,000. But editorial coverage is four times more credible than an advertisement and you need to multiply the advertising cost by a factor of four.

Now this method is not recommended by industry bodies such as the Public Relations Institute of Australia. But it does provide a useful framework.

And of course, the story is available for the world to see on the Internet.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries. You can subscribe by visiting Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dont Give Presentations Or Speeches Give Leadership Talks Instead

Writen by Brent Filson

The CEO of a worldwide business asked me to help him develop a talk he planned to give to several hundred of his top executives. He said, 'I feel as if I'm Daniel going into the lion's den.'

Indeed, it was the business equivalent of a lion's den that he was entering. Hired from a competing firm, he was a stranger to the company, a company hobbled by declining market share and bad morale caused by the arbitrary actions of the previous CEO, an isolated dictator.

'This is the first time most of them will see and hear me,' he said. 'I'll give a presentation on the state of the business.'

'Hold on,' I said. 'Don't give a presentation. Give a Leadership Talk instead.'

There is a difference, I explained, between a presentation/speech and a Leadership Talk. A presentation/speech communicates information, but a Leadership Talk not only communicates information but makes a deep, emotional, human connection with the audience.

Most leaders give presentations and speeches most of the time when they should be giving Leadership Talks.

'You're facing an important leadership situation,' I said. 'The old saying, 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression' applies here in spades. You've got a great Leadership Talk opportunity. But to have people believe in you and follow you, they must be emotionally committed to you and what you say. So understand what their emotional needs are.'

I went out into the field and talked to a number of his managers and found out that they were feeling intimidated by the demands of increasingly sophisticated customers. I found out that they feared not being supported in the decisions they made in the field. I learned that they were angry at having to meet what they considered unnecessary reporting requirements. I learned that they didn't trust the top executives.

Intimidation, fear, anger, distrust . . . those emotions described the state of his audience and, in truth, the state of the business.

The CEO gave a Leadership Talk that spoke to and answered the needs of those emotions, a talk based on the single idea that he was a person that they could trust.

That Leadership Talk marked the beginning of a turnaround for that company.

The lesson: Analyze and speak to the emotion of a situation, and you can become a dramatically more effective leader.

Make that analysis happen this way:

  • Know the difference between a presentation/speech and Leadership Talk then view every speaking situation you encounter as either a presentation/speech situation or a Leadership Talk situation.

  • Know that you rarely give presentation/speeches and that The Leadership Talk should be your primary leadership communication tool.

  • Analyze the emotions of your audience by asking what they feel at the time you speak, what they fear, what angers them, what inspires them.

  • Structure your talk around emotional-talking points. For instance, list three things that angers your audience. Make those things the main headings of your talk.

  • Speak to them about their emotions. Tell them, for instance, that you realize they are angry and what they are angry about. Tell them what you realize they are feeling.

Speak thus, and you are revealed in powerful motivational ways. Furthermore, they are revealed to themselves.

These revelations can create strong bonds between speakers and audiences.

Understand the speaking situation in terms of its emotional content, and you understand that situation in new ways. Understand it in new ways and you speak in new ways. And when you speak in new ways, your audience acts in new ways.

2004 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About The Author

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – and has worked with thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 20 years helping them achieve sizable increases in hard, measured results. Sign up for his free leadership ezine and get a free guide, "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Powerpoint Background Slides Tips

Writen by Thomson Chemmanoor

There are various tools available in the computers, for your web designing and writing. One of them is the tool, Microsoft Powerpoint. This powerful tool is used to create professional looking presentations and slide shows from scratch or by using its easy wizard. By using the PowerPoint software, you can make any form of background you may need for your program. Using different values in the program, you can get animated backgrounds, music backgrounds and even Christmas and religious backgrounds.

The world of internet has made advertising so easy, that you can shop, buy and download perfect PowerPoint templates and PowerPoint background videos in a matter of minutes. Not only this, there are terrific, ready-made PowerPoint background slides be available where you can change your dull PowerPoint presentation into an aggressive, attention grabbing and energetic presentation in not time at all.

With the free PowerPoint templates available in the internet, you can try out your skills at the PowerPoint presentation background, without actually first buying it. You can download these Microsoft PowerPoint templates for free for your education and use. Remember, all the PowerPoint background slides have been pre-set by expert graphic designers. The design background, typeface and colors have all been expertly designed; all you have to do is insert the text, and you have it!

You can experiment in making animated backgrounds in the PowerPoint by setting different values in the program. The background animates when an absolute value has been specified for either the horizontal or the vertical directions. If at all both the directions are specified, the background is animated diagonally. By making changes in the PowerPoint values, you can form blue blocks, closed circuit, award night and many more other PowerPoint background presentations. These changes bring about moving characters on the computer screen.

If you need graphics for specific web pages, they too are available in abundance in the internet. You just have to download these special backgrounds, like Christmas, New Year and other festivities' backgrounds from the internet for free. You then use these graphics in your web page as you desire. There is another free software available for download in the internet, the Movie Wizard, where you can spice up your slideshows with the addition of graphics and background music and animating photos with the help of their tutorials.

This article was written by Thomson Chemmanoor - Powerpoint background template designer and webmaster who operates and Article Submission Site To read more about this Powerpoint slide presentation article visit You can republish the articles without changing the content and the bio box.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Exhibit Booths

Writen by Kristy Annely

Exhibit booths are all about attracting new customers and business partners, or anyone who is interested in the exhibit. Exhibitors launching new products or services always try to put their best foot forward in order to generate wider interest from their customers. By placing eye-catching booths, exhibitors ensure that they are easily distinguishable from their competitors and that their presentation typically is in sync with their product or service offerings.

Booths can be classified into several types, based on their position on the exhibit floor. There are standard booths with 10 feet by 10 feet size, perimeter wall booths that come in the standard size but are located at the outer perimeter walls of the exhibit floor, and island booths that contain four or more standard units with aisles on all four sides.

To design a booth, exhibitors usually use the services of their in-house creative resources or seek the services of specialized professional exhibit booth service providers. The booth services offered by professional providers include a gamut of items, including lighting and display options. They have a solution for every need – from exhibitors seeking basic booths to the ones looking for contemporary high-tech booths.

Usually, booths are lightweight and easy to transport. Additionally, they are also very affordable. Tradeshow booths, for example, come at affordable prices and contain good graphics, and are very compact. Recent years have witnessed a greater demand for fabric booths that blend modern design with glossy colors.

Typically a booth includes an 8-foot-high draped backdrop with about 3-foot-high drapes on three sides, an identification sign (usually a company logo and name), and other value-added services like a security guard at the exhibit hall entrance, complimentary lunch for registered booth staffs, and so forth. However, different exhibits have different rules and regulations on the size of booths, and exhibitors should check these before beginning to workout the design of a booth. As they say, 'creativity should have some limits'.

Exhibits provides detailed information on Exhibits, Trade Show Exhibits, Exhibit Displays, Exhibit Booths and more. Exhibits is affiliated with Trade Show Exhibit Display Booths.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Presenting For People Starting Out In Business

Writen by Simon Raybould

In some ways, the time when you're setting up your business is just like any other point in the life-cycle: what you want to do is concentrate upon your 'core' activity (making widgets) but what you've got to do is spend half your time on irrelevant fripperies (selling widgets). Once your company is up and running you'll be dealing with actual widgets; up until that point you'll be selling the just the idea of the widget factory... that means you'll be making presentations. Like it or not, at some point you'll be doing at least one or two of this list:

  • outright competitive pitches to Venture Capitalists or Business Angels
  • presentations to bank managers
  • meetings with business partners (or potential business partners)
  • selling the concept to organisations like Business Link
  • doing a one-minute 'elevator pitch' at networking meetings
  • talking to colleagues, superiors and subordinates.

    In short, presenting yourself and your idea is a basic fact of business life and setting up a business, so you'll need to be good enough at it. The words are carefully chosen there - you don't need to be "good", just "good enough". That's a useful thing to remember because it makes the job of training yourself that much easier. So the story so far is that you've got to make presentations but that they're not as difficult as you might suppose - we're not looking for great orators here, just people with enough about them for the audience (think of whoever you're talking to as an audience and you won't go far wrong) to get the picture.

    I'm going to break down the process of making the presentation into three parts: the first is the obvious one of what you say. The second is the corollary of that - how you say it. The third part is what's referred to as the meta-language of how you look (and dress and so on) while you say it.

    To be honest, the first is outside the scope of an article like this: there are other articles on this site that should help you with that.

    The second part, how you say it, is absolutely critical. The last one is also important (but not as important as you'll be told by many NLP trainers who base their work on a mis-understanding of some good, experimental psychology).

    So, back to business.

    It's likely that when you're making some kind of pitch for your business you're likely to be nervous. I know I always am. When you're under stress, the body has a set of physiological responses designed to deal with the emergency: it's called the "fight or flight syndrome" and you've probably heard of it. It's very good at what it does, but unfortunately 'what it does' is designed to work in a much more primitive environment than today's business one - one where you were literally going to have to fight for your life or run away. One of the things your body does is start to use your upper chest for breathing with, in order to get oxygen into your lungs faster, which is great for fighting but no good for talking. To talk you need to try and remember to use your diaphragm to breathe in (and therefore breathe out). The diaphragm is the big sheath of muscle underneath your lungs and above your stomach area. If you can use that when you're making your pitch lots of good things will happen.

    The first, and most important is that your voice will firm up. It might go deeper, but it might not. Generally though, what it will do is sound richer and fuller - in short, you'll sound more interesting and more credible. When you're making a pitch, credibility is important. The second thing it will do is begin to calm your nerves. This is because there's a part of your brain that is fooled into thinking that, because you're breathing like there's no threat, there really is no threat. The consequence is that your body chemistry is altered towards a relaxed, almost sleepy state. Don't worry about becoming too drowsy, there's no chance of that, but it should make your whole voice and demeanour a lot more relaxed and confident. The third thing that will happen is that you'll actually have more stamina and a better oxygen flow over the longer term. That in turn means that you'll be more tuned in to what's going on around you: basically, you're likely to start thinking faster.

    Moving up from your lungs, the next part of your "speaking system" is your throat. This is where the actual sounds of your voice are made, as airflows between your vocal folds. Again, when your body is under stress, you'll probably react like the vast majority of the population and tense up your shoulders and your throat. That's bad. This constricts your throat and stops the vibrations of your voice being made so easily - or so well. The consequence is that horrible "nervous voice" sound that everyone has heard (coming from other people as well as themselves, usually). The solution is pretty straight-forward. Breathing from your diaphragm is going to help but you'll need also to make sure that your shoulders, head and body are positioned in the right relationship to each other.

    If your neck (and hence your throat) is twisted you're reducing the amount of vibration your vocal folds can achieve, so make sure that you're facing forwards when you speak. If that means you've got to turn slightly, in order to face whoever you're talking to, then do so. What's more, once we're stressed we all have an instinct to tip our heads back - to raise our eyes - but once again this constricts the throat and makes your voice sound thinner and less mature. It's important to make sure that you're not tipping back: it'll probably feel awkward difficult at first because most people are accustomed to raising their head too far, but once you've got the hang of it you should find it becomes second nature.

    The balance point for your head that you're looking for is the position where your head is resting on your neck in as "effort free" way as it can possibly be. Stand for a few minutes checking out your head position, making a conscious note of how much effort you're putting into holding it in one particular position compared to others. I want to give you a word of warning here - be careful not to get confused between the position in which you're actually doing the minimum amount of work and the position where it feels like you're doing the minimum; this position is almost certainly related to having become habituated to standing in a certain way, and so your muscles are used to doing that particular amount of work.

    Keep at it - little and often - because it's quite a subtle thing.

    Make sure that while you're doing this a few other things are also taken care off. For a start, make a point of remembering to breathe: you'd be amazed at the number of people who concentrate so hard on the position of their heads that they hold their breath. Secondly, drop your shoulders. Now drop them again, because almost no one drops them fully the first time: make very sure that no tension creeps back into them (or your arms, or your hands) while you're working. Don't assume that you're relaxed, check. Thirdly, make sure your breathing is from your diaphragm, not your upper chest. (I actually put my hands on my diaphragm and my chest to make sure when I'm doing this.)

    Lastly, relax the muscles of your bottom. It's impossible to relax your body if your bottom is tight. It might make you feel like you're slouching, but it's worth it in terms of how much better you'll sound.

    The last part of your "talking system" I want to mention here is where the sounds you make in your throat are converted into words - your mouth.

    The key thing to remember is to warm up your muscles here. Almost everyone lets these muscles atrophy a little, and under-uses them. What you think of as you doing an over-the-top impression of Noel Coward or the Queen is probably just clear speaking to someone else. Make very sure that your lips are working very hard as you talk.

    The key to warming them up, by the way, is a simple one. There are lots of exercises I give people to get them doing this when I'm giving courses and classes, but the key things to do are to yawn and to rub your face.

    When you yawn make sure it's not a polite, behind-the-hand, stifled thing. I'm talking about the kind of thing your cat does that looks like it's going to dislocate it's jaw. This has the added advantage, by the way, of clearing out build-ups of carbon dioxide from the lower parts of your lungs and thus making you feel more awake. When you rub your face, use the same kind of motion you use when you're giving yourself a vigorous wash in the morning. The area to cover is the area of your beard (if you're a man) or the area where you would be rubbing a beard if you had one (if you're a woman smile ).

    Pay particular attention to the top lip. This isn't because it needs more warming up than the other parts but simply because it's very easily overlooked as people put their hands to their faces.

    Put all this together and you should have a much, much better chance of making your pitch sounding cool, collected, mature, credible and relaxed. You never know, you might even end up enjoying it!

    The things that go with how you sound are pretty straight-forward, common sense type things. The basic rule is to be ever so slightly more formal than you need to be (how formal you "need" to be is taken here as meaning "as the other person expects you to be"). Don't over do it - and tend towards the conservative.

    Things to avoid are gimmicks such as dangly ear-rings, picture ties, plunge neck-lines and so on. The focus of what you're trying to do is get your audience listening to what you're saying, not seeing how far up your skirt they can see (consciously or sub-consciously) or watching the flashes from your gold watch as it catches the light or whatever. Patterns are generally a no-no.

    Colours are a matter of personal style but a few tips to bear in mind are that black looks severe and robust (but few people suit it) while red is generally interpreted as a physical colour; blue as an intellectual one and green as a balancing one (and few people suit green either!). Golden-yellow is often interpreted as a power colour. One combination I particularly favour when I'm making a pitch therefore is: black trousers, mid-blue (corporate) shirt and a rich, deep yellow tie.

    And that's it!

    I've simplified and skipped things, but you should have got a reasonable idea about the basics from this article. If so, I'm pleased; why not drop me a line and say so. If you've not got anything out of it, why not drop me a line in any case and I'll try and help. Enquiries should be to me by email at

    Above all, remember that your voice is unique to you and that the most important thing is to have fun. No one will be as critical of you as you are of yourself, ever, so just enjoy!

    Dr Simon Raybould is a trainer and author specialising in business presentation skills. His latest business presentations ebook is available now and his training courses are available for people living in the UK.

  • Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Whats The Difference Between A Thermal Fuse And A Thermal Switch

    Writen by Mark Boehm

    Over the past 25 years I have had the unique opportunity to talk directly with many of the professionals and instructors who use Overhead Projectors as an integral part of their profession. Through these interactions I have accumulated notes and information that has inspired me to write these articles that pertain to some of the most common problems experienced by owners of today's and yesterday's Overhead Projectors. This is the sixth article in a series of articles that will be written from a professional Electronics Technicians point of view in regards to some of today's most common Overhead Projector problems. This article will cover the difference between a thermal fuse and a thermal switch.

    Let's start with the thermal fuse. In many cases the manufacturer will place a thermal fuse in the electrical circuit of your Overhead Projector to protect the projector from damage due to excessive heat.

    How the thermal fuses works is rather simple in nature. The fuse is rated a particular temperature rating pre determined by the manufacturer. If for some reason the cooling system in your overhead projector fails the thermal fuse will open once it has reached the pre-determined temperature, shutting the power off to the projection lamp. Once the thermal fuse has done its job, it will need to be replaced, as it can not be reset.

    I am often asked if this thermal fuse can be bypassed instead of being replaced. Yes it can, but our advice is not to by-pass this important safety feature of your Overhead Projector. Saving a few dollars now could cost you a lot more in the future without this important safety device.

    Thermal switches perform a different function in your Overhead Projector. The thermal switch we refer to here is used to control the cooling system of the Overhead Projector. The thermal switch remains in an open state (no current flow) until it reaches a pre determined temperature, at which time the thermal switch closes and makes an electrical circuit allowing the cooling fan to operate. When the Overhead Projector is turned off the fan will continue to run until the unit cools off enough to let the thermal switch open back up turning the fan off.

    Both of these electronic components are an integral part of your Overhead Projector and should be replaced by a professional Electronic Technician.

    Mark Boehm is the president of M-B Electronics He has over 25 years of experience in the Audio Visual and Electronics Industry. You can contact M-B Electronics at 800-872-9456 or

    Furhter Info:

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    You Can Be A Movie Star

    Writen by Susan Trivers

    Blockbuster movies are in the news this summer. Whether you love swashbuckling adventure, the backbiting and changing alliances of a high-powered, image conscious business, or the adventures of a mild mannered man who flies to the rescue, you get involved in the movie from the first moment and stay glued to the screen until the last fade out.

    Great movies can tell us a lot about how to be great speakers. Great movies are a collection of very deliberate decisions about many details that are packaged in such a way that we don't see them individually. We feel them and we get absorbed by them. You can do this for your audiences.

    Grab 'em!

    How does a great movie capture your attention from the very first moment? Can you describe the visual and sound effects that got to you immediately? You can probably give an general description but not describe the exact details, and that's the way the director wants it. He or she wants you immersed in the mood, not conscious of specific details.

    You'll have heightened awareness, you'll think "this is going to be good", and you'll sit back and let it happen. You'll forget everything else that's going on in your life while you're absorbed in to the movie.

    Do you do this for you audiences when you're speaking? Do you grab them so completely in the first moment that their attention stays fully on you from start to finish? You can probably name a few speakers who have done this when you've been in the audience. How do they do it? And how can you do it?

    You can grab the audience from the first moment by creatively using your voice, your body language and your words. Think about creating a mood, such as suspense, curiosity, or familiarity. This is the same as the director who combines scary music with a benign looking landscape. Your mind is attracted by the disconnect, even though you can't articulate in words what has attracted you.

    Perhaps there are a series of location scenes that tell you about the environment of the action. In "The Devil Wears Prada," the opening scenes show New York City at a very fast pace. This fast pace, the relentlessness of the city's movement, tells us that relentlessness and speed are two themes that will play a significant part of the story.

    Instead of modeling your opening on the infinite number of other business speakers who begin in the same boring way, model your opening on the effects and mood of your favorite movie. You'll have the audience involved from the first moment and they'll mentally stick around long enough to learn from the rest of your speech.

    Hold 'em!

    Now that you've got their attention, how do you keep it? Again, we can learn from the movies. Does your favorite movie stop the action to announce each change of scene or turn of the plot? No, great movies seamlessly take you along for the duration of the story. Each new scene, new character or plot twist is introduced smoothly, so you are swept along without a stop in the momentum.

    What this means for your speeches is that you must move from point to point without a stop in the action. First, be sure that each point is related to the others. They can be three perspectives on the same topic, or three different topics, but you must be able to move from one point to another with great transitions that keep the momentum going. Second, you will embed your facts and figures, your technical language and your solutions into mini stories, which flow from one to the other. If you are presenting with others, each presenter will keep the momentum flowing by crafting transitions that are part of the story, rather than "cuts" in the action.

    Third, if you must use Power Point, you'll be sure that you are telling the story and that the slides provide back up for you, rather than letting the slides take center stage with your comments just being a sound track. No matter how exquisite the scenery, or fanciful the special effects, in a great movie it's the characters who are the focus and move the story from one scene to the next.

    The next time you go to the movies, see if you can figure out how the movie captures your attention from the first moment and keeps it till the last fade out. When you can mimic that kind of impact in your speeches and presentations, you'll be a standout when you are In the Spotlight.

    Susan G. Trivers coaches executives, sales teams and licensed professionals to use blockbuster movie techniques to ramp up the quality and memorability of their speeches and presentations. Her clients no longer subject their audiences to deathly, boring multi-media presentations and routine speeches that the audience won't pay attention to. Transform your presentations into events that deliver benefits to your audience and results to your company.