Many business owners and community leaders who wish to take their enterprises to the next level eventually realize one important thing: proper public speaking skills are necessary weapons in one’s arsenal for corporate success. One of your corporate goals should be to enhance your speaking abilities.
Anyone can become a dynamic speaker. Anyone. Most of the time, though, on the path to success, there are stumbling blocks along the way. Locate and demolish them. Those blocks and boulders can kill an otherwise great speech. Here’s a small list of some of the obstacles that get in the way of a powerful presentation:
Starting the speech too informally. Projecting power onstage right from the start is an important element of any speech. When you approach the lectern and start your presentation, you should take command and grab the audience’s attention right away. Immediately. Don’t fidget or mumble, and for heaven’s sake, never start your speech with the word “okay.” This word became such a problem in many of one professor’s speech workshops that he promised to scream if anyone started a speech with “okay.” You can imagine the shocked faces of the students who committed this infraction when they heard a high-pitched scream coming from the professor’s mouth... but they learned to avoid using a weak opening.
Reading too much from the material. The audience doesn’t want narration—if folks wanted a line-by-line text overview, they’d have asked you to xerox the paper and distribute it to them. They want your dynamics behind the text, so make your reading exciting; put effort into meaningful voice intonation and appropriate pacing instead of reading aloud in monotone. You should memorize your entire presentation with the exception of a quote or small fragment that you may read word-for-word from your notes. Check the outline, sure, but don’t become a reader. Overt reading gives the impression that you haven’t prepared.
Not maintaining eye contact. Your audience is telling you something every time you set foot on stage. Listen to them. They seem to be saying, “Hey, I’m in your audience, and I want you to look me in the eye if you’re serious about your message. Please don’t look away. The wall isn’t human, and neither is the floor. Look at me.” Lack of proper room-sweeping eye contact means that you’re either afraid of the audience or being dishonest—and neither perception is very good for your presentation.
Hanging onto the lectern too much. Many business leaders often abuse this habit. Speech experts say that 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. Body language is a big communicator, and if you stay behind the podium, clutching it like a long-lost brother, you’re communicating that you’re insecure. Many speakers make it a point to avoid the lectern as often as possible to avoid looking as though they are hiding behind it. Rubbing, tapping, or gripping the lectern sends the wrong message. It’s okay to stand behind it, but rest a hand—one hand—lightly on the side of the lectern, and keep the other free to make gestures.
It’s wise to take a look at video-hosting sites, such as YouTube, and watch the speaking techniques of various corporate leaders. Notice their style and their strengths. Note, also, their weak points. As you practice learning better speaking habits, here’s a valuable exercise for you to do: study yourself in a mirror as you make your verbal delivery. Ask yourself: Based on what I am seeing in this presentation, would I leave the speech with a favorable or unfavorable image of the speaker and his business?
We are proud to present the new ShapeChef 1.3 release, which includes several improvements and bug fixes. You can update by downloading and running the installer from this link. The update is free for all current users.
We modified ShapeChef’s user interface so it integrates visually with the new black theme introduced in Office 365.
It’s now easier to navigate inside a shape library without using a mouse. When the shape library pane is focused, you can directly jump to items by typing the first letters of the name of a category or shape. We also added shortcuts for focusing the search box (Ctrl-F), adding a selected shape to the slide (Enter or Return), and jumping from an empty search box back to the list of shapes (Esc).
TLDR: I went through quite some trouble creating a set of device mockup templates for PowerPoint, which you can download here for free.
Realistic device mockups are a great way to showcase creative work, whether it’s a mobile app, a website, or any other digital product.
While Adobe Photoshop is certainly most designers’ first choice for creating device mockups, I wondered if PowerPoint’s “3-D Rotation” feature could do the job just as well.
(You can find the 3-D settings in PowerPoint by selecting a shape and navigating to Format → Shape Effects → 3-D Rotation → 3-D Rotation Options...)
I started with a photo of a MacBook on a table and a dummy image that I wanted to project onto the laptop’s screen. Unfortunately, PowerPoint doesn’t let you transform an image by simply dragging its vertices like Photoshop does – you have to manually adjust the rotation, perspective and size settings. Pretty quickly, I realized that guessing the right values was virtually impossible and that I had to try a different approach.
My idea was that in order to determine the optimal “3-D Rotation” settings, I first had to understand how the settings actually work. With some reading on 3D transformations and a good amount of trial and error, I finally found the math behind PowerPoint’s calculation of the coordinates of a 3D transformed shape.
Let’s suppose we have a rectangle shape located at position (left, top) with size (width, height). We want to calculate the coordinates of the (left, top) point after 3D rotating the rectangle using the “X Rotation”, “Y Rotation”, “Z Rotation” and “Perspective” values set in PowerPoint.
We start by building a transformation matrix:
Now we transform the (left, top) point using the matrix:
The resulting vector is divided by z to project the 3D coordinates to 2D:
We reverse the translation to the origin:
The resulting 2D point consists of the x and y coordinates:
Knowing the mathematics behind PowerPoint’s 3D rotation, I wrote a small, quick-and-dirty tool to find the optimal 3D settings for given input values. Basically, you feed the tool the four vertices of the screen and the size of the image to project onto the screen. It then tries possible combinations (using nested intervals to improve performance) of width/height, x-rotation, y-rotation, z-rotation and perspective to check which one gets closest to the target coordinates. I have published the source code on GitHub.
The result of the journey is a PowerPoint document comprising eleven mockups of different devices (laptops, tablets, phones). Here’s an overview:
The mockups are based on photos released by their authors under the CC0 license, which means they can be used for any purpose without attribution. I have included source links for the photos in the comment section of each slide. You can download the .pptx file from the link below:
To add your own screen image, simply select the placeholder image on the slide, go to the “Format” Ribbon and click on “Change Picture.” Have fun!
I just came across this great SlideShare presentation that gives examples of how to beautify slides in a few simple steps:
PowerPoint allows you to create headers and footers, that is, information that appears at the top and bottom of all slides. This information will typically include the name of the presenters, their affiliation, and the presentation title, slide number, and date, but other information can be added as well. However, be careful not to spoil your presentation with too much information.
Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to improve your productivity with PowerPoint. Why? Because usually, you already have your hands on the keyboard. There is no need to disrupt your workflow by reaching for the mouse and moving the mouse cursor across the screen.
In this post, I will introduce you to twenty very useful keyboard shortcuts for PowerPoint 2013/2016. Please note that I don’t include common Windows shortcuts such as Ctrl+C (copy) and Ctrl+V (paste) in the list.