And Slideshop’s Halloween Treat Goes to…

Posted on October 31, 2014 by Slideshop

The long wait is over. We are finally announcing our Halloween Contest winner today!

Halloween Facebook Contest

Using a third-party app, our randomly-picked winner is Joe Pertl, and here is the winning suggestion:

Building a presentation pack that includes navigation elements from initial primary screens that can take you to multiple topics and then slides within each topic. In essence a one-stop-shop for your business that means you don’t have to stick to the normal linear PPT progression. So, you could use the same pack for different audiences/customers and change which slides are presented each time. This is because you can navigate wherever you like within the pack from buttons that are interlinked to other slides and content. Think of it like a phone switchboard network where calls can be transferred up, down, across, backwards and forwards anywhere someone needs to go in an organisation without having to hang up.

Congratulations, Joe! Please send an email to support@slideshop.com and we’ll reply with instructions for claiming your 3-month FREE membership with Slideshop, worth $299!

Thanks for the awesome suggestions

We’d like to warmly thank everyone who participated in the contest. It has been a real pleasure reading your suggestions. They were all awesome! In fact, some of the suggestions were so good that we’re now considering turning them into new releases over the next few months:

  • Financial indicators
  • Flat design on timeline navigation
  • ROI dashboards
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Organizational change management
  • Valuation pack
  • Women in business
  • Quality comparisons and improvement slides
  • Big data, its impact and leverage in others areas such marketing, social recruiting, CRM, etc.
  • Daily motivational slides for young students that foster positive attitude
  • 3D atom physics & neuronal themes
  • Ignite presentations
  • Slides for quotes (from experts and other references) with a footnote placeholder at the bottom
  • Quiz and game slides for students
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
  • Road maps and blueprints
  • Semi- transparent sketch of people and animals showing internal organs in animated form

We do appreciate all your suggestions, and we’ll try to implement them all, eventually.

Once again, thank you! And we’re counting on your participation in our next Facebook contest.

Posted in Slideshop News

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Speech Ideas – Where to Find Them?

Posted on October 25, 2014 by Slideshop

Speech ideas

Have you ever been invited to give a speech, but felt you had nothing important to talk about? Have you found yourself clueless about how to structure a speech because you’re uncertain about its content? Are you having difficulty coming up with facts, stories or jokes that will interest your audience?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you’re in a big trouble. As emphasized in many blogs about presenting, including ours, content is the most important element of your speech. If your content isn’t good, you will certainly lose your credibility as a speaker.

Fortunately, with technology dominating the scene these days, looking for speech ideas has become easier than ever. Here are some tips for tracking down good presentation material:

What’s trending?

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have established algorithms for identifying the most-searched topics over a particular period. These trending topics can come in handy if you want  to cite a current event or hot issue, to illustrate a key point. Trending topics are also a good source of inspiration for ad-libs and jokes.

What has gone viral?

The number of social media users has grown rapidly over the years. Facebook alone had 1.32 billion active users as of June 2014, according to Wikipedia. Emarketer says the number of social media users will reach 2.55 billion by 2017.

This means that staggering numbers of likes, comments, emotions, ideas and interests have been shared in personal and professional networks. That’s why your search for interesting speech ideas doesn’t have to end in knowing what’s trending. You also have to dig the details by knowing which article, status, or video has gone viral. You easily identify them by checking feeds, news, and blogs that feature viral updates. Read the comments, too, if necessary. At times, the most interesting part is in people’s interaction or reaction.

What’s being asked?

Quora, Reddit and StackExchange are just three of the many websites people visit if they want to through out a question, looking for public response. The threads that are viewed or followed by many people can be good source of presentation ideas. .

There are also websites that serve as forums for specific niches. These can also be rich sources of ideas, in any area from — from software development to snowboarding, from sales to sand dune racing.

Who are the emerging influencers?

People have always been high-interest presentation topics. It doesn’t take much of a search to find plenty of information on interesting and influential people, in almost any field. Wikipedia is often the go-to platform for such information, but there are always the “About Us” page of personal blogs and company websites, too. Learn how people have come with up with startup ideas, struggled at advocacy to their last breaths, or overcome major hurdles in life and the business world. There’s no shortage of relevant, fascinating and inspiring stories.

Though the web puts an abundance of presentation ideas in easy reach, it’s important to remember that not everything you find there is accurate. It is your responsibility as a presenter to validate any information you use in a speech.

Finally, don’t pick a topic just because it happens to be popular. You still have to answer the basic questions: “What topic will be valuable to my audience, and how will I present it to maximize that value?”

Slideshop Presentation Decks

Once you know what to talk about in your next presentation, your next step is to work out how to present it. To answer that, it’s a very smart move to check out our huge collection of presentation slides. Our decks offer you professional designs and easy customization, all to make it easy to engage, inform and impress your audience.

Posted in Public Speaking, Tips & Tricks

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Do You Know You Can Get Free Excel Templates?

Posted on October 22, 2014 by Slideshop

Microsoft Excel

Image source: Vertex42

Microsoft Excel has remained one of the most widely used software programs because of the simple utility of its core features. In spite of today’s broad and continual advances in technology, reliable old Excel is still frequently used in making spreadsheets, tables and graphs, as well as for calculations even database programming. Three of the more probable reasons for Excel’s enduring popularity are:

  • User-friendliness – Anyone can use Excel. Unless you need complicated macro solutions, you don’t have to consult an IT expert to do get things done.
  • Versatility – Excel’s uses are almost limitless. Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler keeping track of expenses, a finance manager creating reports for the board, or student deep in a research project, Excel will almost surely do exactly what you need.
  • Availability  – Once you have an MS Office license and install the program (easy to obtain online or in any office supply store), it’s there for you whenever you need it.

Free Excel templates?! Yes, there are.

If you’re a heavy Excel user, you probably know that creating forms, equations or charts on Excel can be time-consuming. But here’s the good news: Vertex42 has a wide selection of templates you can use for free. If you check their website and download the ones you need, you will skip all the dirty work and enjoy the following benefits right away:

#1: Gather, manage and analyze data

Using Excel templates is a good option for managing large quantities of information in a table/spreadsheet format. Their user interface makes it easy to enter data, customize formats, sort lists and filter information. If you’re dealing with numbers, the templates also have customized calculation formulas and functions, and automated financial and other computations.

#2: Understand quantitative data through charts

Vertex42 supports the learning principle that it’s easier to absorb large chunks of information through visual representations. Thus it offers some Excel templates with preset charts or graphs that automatically adjust based on the figures you enter. These templates are particularly helpful for entrepreneurs who want to understand financial reports at a glance — or present them to others.

#3: Use forms

With free Excel templates, you don’t need to design various documents such as invoices, financial statements, mortgage calculators, or project management forms. Everything has been prepared for you. These templates are fully editable. You can always edit, add or customize the design and equations as needed.

Visit Vertex42.com and start downloading free Excel templates now.

Posted in Tips & Tricks

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Situational Leadership – When How Depends on Who

Posted on October 19, 2014 by Slideshop

How do you manage your subordinates at work? Do you give detailed instructions or do you let them use their own initiative? How do you make decisions in times of crisis? Do you consult colleagues or do you prefer to think things through on your own?

Leadership PowerPoint slide

Since everyone is unique, we expect different readers to have different answers to these questions. But while personal leadership styles may vary, Dr. Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard encourage leaders to adapt their approaches based on task complexity and people’s maturity. These two reputable authors call this theory Situational Leadership. Read more

Posted in Tips & Tricks

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Differences between PowerPoint and Impress

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Slideshop

Impress vs PowerPoint

OpenOffice Impress is an affordable alternative to the popular Microsoft PowerPoint. While both programs have many similar features, it is good to know the differences between the two. If you need to choose which one best suits your needs, or to open a .ppt file with Impress, the table below can help you make decisions, and guide you in crafting your presentation. Read more

Posted in Technical PowerPoint Help

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8 Signs That Your Presentation Will Blow Your Audience Away

Posted on October 8, 2014 by Slideshop

Business Meeting

All serious presenters have one goal—to create an impact on the audience.  If you’re invited to present and you want to leave a positive impression, keep these 8 key points in mind as you build your presentation. Here they are—the 8 signs that your presentation will blow your audience away: Read more

Posted in Audience Contact, Public Speaking, Slide Content, The Key to Make a Successful Presentation

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The PowerPoint 10/20/30 Rule – Just How Applicable Is It?

Posted on October 4, 2014 by Slideshop

Guy Kawasaki 10 20 30

Here are three questions frequently-asked when preparing a presentation:

  • How many slides should I use?
  • How much text should appear on each slide?
  • How long should the presentation be

Guy Kawasaki has answered these questions with his 10/20/30 PowerPoint Rule. He evangelized this idea beginning in 2005, based on his experiences as a venture capitalist. He’d had to countless pitches, many of which bored him to tears. This prompted him to formulate his tried-and-true presentation guideline. Let’s review the concept and see how it can help you. Read more

Posted in Editing Slides, Slide Content, Slide Design

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4 Tricks to Engage Your Webinar Audience

Posted on October 1, 2014 by Slideshop

webinar

Gone are the days when people frequently traveled from remote locations to a special venue to attend a seminar, workshop, or conference. In the age of the Internet, technology has greatly reduced all the inconvenience, expense, lost time and general inefficiency involved, with the introduction of a simple tool: the webinar.

Unfortunately, as a webinar facilitator, you have to work harder to keep your virtual attendees on the same page with you. When you don’t see your audience in a room, it’s hard to figure out if they’re actually listening or mentally meandering. Without your knowledge, they can check emails, browse social media feeds, or read the news. Thus, it’s important to use creative and sensible techniques – such as the ones listed below – in catching their attention.

Read more

Posted in Tips & Tricks

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3 Self-Confidence Tips from Bestseller Books

Posted on September 27, 2014 by Slideshop

prince

Self-confidence, as a psychological construct, has been described as an attitude characterized by positive yet realistic views of oneself and one’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. Self-confident people go far in their careers because they trust their own abilities, take courage from their strong sense of personal potential, and believe that — within reason or even beyond reason — the greater scheme of things holds grand promise for them.

Self-confidence is perhaps the best possible personal attribute when delivering a presentation. Presenters who are well-composed and eloquent seem more credible than those who stammer or have a poor demeanor. Developing self-confidence, however, can be a long-term process of improving self-awareness, positive thinking, and conviction. To help you begin developing this valuable trait, let’s ponder some ideas presented by some bestselling authors in the field of self-realization.

Read more

Posted in Public Speaking, The Key to Make a Successful Presentation

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4 Ways to Present a Process Diagram in a PowerPoint Presentation

Posted on September 23, 2014 by Slideshop

Successful presenters know one thing for certain: Including too many words or images in a PowerPoint slide just doesn’t work. It confuses the audience, which leads to inattention and boredom. When you need to present a complicated process, you need to introduce it simply and comprehensibly, in a logical sequence of easily-grasped steps. Here are four common and effective ways of doing this:

Analogy

Economic growth analogy

An analogy can be especially useful when you want to introduce a process that is unfamiliar to the audience. Instead of explaining a totally new concept, you can simply relate it to a similar situation or process, which you’re certain your audience WILL find familiar. Choose an analogy that is timely, interesting and personal for your audience. It should also resonate emotionally and mentally for a more striking and memorable effect. Read more

Posted in Slide Content, Slide Design, Tips & Tricks

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