[David Strom's Web Informant] 15 November 2011: Three tools to make an impact with your presentations

David Strom david at strom.com
Mon Nov 15 11:43:24 EST 2010

Web Informant 15 November 2011:  Three tools to make an impact with
your presentations

As a professional speaker, I spend a lot of time polishing my
presentations to keep them up to date and making more of an impact. Of
course, the standard is Microsoft PowerPoint but over the years I have
found three particular tools worthy add-ons to use. Let me share with
you how each of these three can benefit your own presentations.

When I first started speaking many years ago, my slide decks were 100%
text and boring as could be. They were more like speaking notes or an
outline than something that should be shown to any audiences. After
getting help from other speaking friends, I realized that I needed to
completely rethink what I was doing. Now I start with the words but
take things a step further and present a series of images and ideas,
screen captures and other visual aids. You need the outline of your
talk settled first so you can complement what you are saying with the
right graphical images.

The easiest way to do this is to use a series of stock images from
CrystalGraphics called PowerPlugs. For $100 subscription, you can
download an unlimited number of royalty-free images from them. Your
subscription lasts for an entire year, and if you need more than just
a few images, it really pays to sign up for a subscription. They have
a great search engine, and the site is very easy to use. Once you
select your images and enter your subscription code, you get an email
with links to download each image. In a matter of minutes your
presentations can look very snazzy.

Once you are finished with your presentation, you want to share it
with your audience. Some speakers don't like to do this, claiming it
is their property and work product. I find that the more that I share
and give away for free, the more likely that I am going to get hired
for my next speaking gig. And I also like to tell my audiences when I
begin my presentation that they don't need to be concerned with taking
lots of notes and can just download the presentation from the Internet
themselves. Here is a link to all of my presentations:

There are a number of ways to share your presentation, including
Google Docs. Google is great when you have two or three presenters
that want to work together on the same slide deck. A better choice for
general sharing is Slideshare.net. It is easy to set up a free account
and within a few minutes you can upload your presentation. Slideshare
also has add-ons that make it easy to publish your slides to your
LinkedIn and Facebook accounts too, so that every time you upload a
new deck it goes out to your Facebook Wall and main LinkedIn summary
page. You can set restrictions on each presentation to just be viewed
or also to be downloaded, to make them private for particular people
instead of for the general public. You have an unlimited number of
uploads for the free account. Slideshare has a paid Pro service where
you can track and respond to leads of people who have viewed your
work, look at other analytics, and remove ads from your account
starting at $19 a month.

The third tool isn't for PowerPoint, but is a new way to offer your
presentations using an online service from Prezi.com. You can upload
pictures or PDFs, type in text, and create a dizzy animated tour
around a single canvas or surface that can be fun to view. I haven't
developed any presentations yet using this service but having seen a
few live. It is worth considering, particularly for webinars where you
want to keep your audience engaged and may not want to use all images
for your presentation. A good example of what you can do with this
service can be found in this presentation talking about teaching math
to high school students:

The downside is that you need an Internet connection to give your
presentation, which as we all know isn't always available from our
meeting locations. The basic Prezi account is free for up to 100MB of
storage space. If you need more storage, want to work or present
offline, or add privacy controls, you will need to sign up with one of
the paid accounts starting at $60 a year.

If you are interested in having me come speak to your organization,
here is a link to my topics and other materials:

Retweet this: @dstrom has three tools to make more of an impact on
your PowerPoint presentations http://bit.ly/aj1v65

More information about the WebInformant mailing list