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1.3 We’re happy to announce the release of Avopress Connector version 1.3. This release includes several improvements to Table Linking and additional interface options. Updates include:

  • Linked Tables in Word are and PowerPoint are automatically trimmed of extra spacing.
  • Linked Tables in Word stretch to page width by default.
  • Image Library Ribbon Controls are now optional in all applications.

Registered users can log in to http://secure.avopress.com/accounts/downloads and Download Avopress Connector 1.3 Now.


Agendas are a crucial component of any successful business meeting. Agendas provide vital information on the next meetings, where and when they will take place and the key points of the discussion during the meeting. Having an agenda before a meeting will make the meeting much shorter, more concise and the rate of productivity will increase.

image001Writing a Meeting Agenda

The first step to making an effective agenda is to understand how to write one. The 3 following steps will help you along in the agenda writing process.

· Step 1: Write the location and the time of the meeting, as well as the projected duration of the meeting in its entirety. This allows for your staff to arrive on time, all the while knowing what to expect during the meeting. This is that so they can better plan their schedule.

· Text Box: “Use headings to establish key points of the meeting.” Step 2: Use headings to establish key points of the meeting. This enables your partners to plan for the meeting; by knowing the principal aspects of discussion, partners can prepare notes, further points of discussion and provide ideas/suggestions that are relevant to the topics being discussed.

· image003Step 3: Once you have established the key points, be sure to include time to bring up any open discussions from previous meetings that have not yet been touched upon.

Once you have completed these three steps, send the agenda to all relevant members well ahead of time with any important notes attached. By doing so, your partners will have time to prepare what they need for the meeting in order to provide suggestions and points of discussion that help the entire team.

Standard Layout of Business Agendas

Most business meeting agendas follow the same or very similar format. Whether you’re in law, finances, sports management, etc. it doesn’t matter; by using the standard layout, partners will have a better understanding of the agenda and be able to plan accordingly. A standard agenda consists of:

· A welcome message or opening

· A Review of the points of discussion from previous meetings

· image004Why the day’s topics are being discussed

· A review of old business or open discussions

· Specific points of discussion on new points (this includes the bulk of the meeting and this is where the decisions for the day are made)

· Any issues that have not been discussed or resolved in a previous section of the agenda

· A close to the meeting which includes a review of all discussion points, decisions that have been made and communication plans for use during the actual meeting itself

Conclusion

Text Box: “The use of an agenda is essential to conducting effective meetings.” image006

The use of an agenda is essential to conducting an effective meeting. The agenda allows meetings to be conducted in a precise manner without wasting any time. This is made so by allowing partners to properly prepare for the business meetings. The agendas also provide the meeting’s key points of the discussion, so partners can be active members of the team during the meeting. So long as you follow a format that is easy to understand, such as the standard business format, your meeting(s) should flow easily. This will make it so that all of the discussions go smoothly and stay on topic.


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Offices around the world have depended heavily on the convenience of modern office equipment for a long time. Before this period, it was much more difficult and time-consuming to create copies of pages and send them over to a partner or client. Nowadays, people can simply scan them into a multifunctional system and directly email them to customers.
Because technology is constantly improving and changing, pretty soon people will remember a day when the technology that they are using now will seem outdated. Upgrading an office system can be quite an expensive proposition. However, there are a number of important reasons why it is necessary for companies to do so.

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Helps Achieve a High Level of Productivity

The majority of old office systems have a tendency to be closely connected with unproductive printing times because it takes a much longer time for them to load and actually print the documents that people need. New systems do not suffer from this disadvantage, and this tends to improve overall productivity in the office.

More Efficient in the Use of Energy

New office systems have the capability to supply superb performance in the amount of energy that they are using when printing and performing other office functions. This will increase the office’s return on investment in the long run. Aside from that, it helps contribute to a more productive and environmentally friendly office overall.

Helps Consolidate Old Equipment

Part of the problem that many business owners often face is that they have equipment that performs the same functions. Newer multifunctional machines can perform all of the functions in the office with one easy push of a button.Helps Make Employees’ Lives Much Easier

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Older systems can often be too much of a hassle to work with. Having new office systems makes sure that every employee can use them with only a small learning curve.

Improves Security

Upgrading systems allows computers to benefit from additional protection by making sure that they have the latest defensive solutions that will help limit the threat posed by hackers and malicious software.

Helps Keep the Systems Working

By keeping their office systems up to date, companies can make sure that their system works as it is designed to. It also helps reduce the possibility of bugs destroying the overall user experience.

Enjoy New Features

If a company fails to keep their systems up to date, it won’t be long before they are not getting access to new services and features that can offer value and add productivity to their organization. Using the latest solutions also gives them the opportunity to refine and streamline their operational process. For example, by investing in revolutionary printers such as HP LaserJet Pro Color Multifunction Printer which epitomizes the multifunctional! If you want your correspondence to look and feel premium, then a great printer will be your greatest asset.

Pay Nothing for Upgrades

Very often, vendors make office system upgrades available for free to improve customer experience. In the cloud age, it is pretty straightforward for people to modify solutions online.

Receive Vendor Support

As new office systems are being released and many users upgrade, attention often turns away from old solutions. This may also cause the vendor to withdraw their support for old office systems.

Employee Buy-In as another Reason for Upgrade

A company that fails to upgrade their systems may lead to employees feeling neglected. This is because these people have access to and can clearly see the benefits of upgrading before the management makes a decision.
At the same time, they may begin to wonder if the company is currently experiencing financial problems if the decision to upgrade is long overdue. Such signals can decrease employee commitment and lead to misinformation and rumors regarding management’s refusal to act on the advantages of upgrading.

Conclusion

The choice to upgrade office systems involves considering both implicit and explicit factors. Explicit aspects such as increased security and lower cost make a decision to upgrade office systems tangible because they are measurable. Implicit factors such as employee buy-ins and increased productivity are hard to measure at best. They are often forgotten when weighing the cons and pros of upgrading. 

Guest post: Ella is a techie guru. She is the source of contact for lots of companies looking for advice in new pieces of technology for business. Ella recommends Principal Corp to companies looking to upgrade their equipment.


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A company’s name is a huge part of their overall branding. For every rule that you try to create when it comes to thinking of a name for a company, there will be a dozen examples of hugely successful businesses that are exceptions to the rules, so it’s best to just stick with rough guidelines and to understand that sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to a great name, sometimes they just kind of happen on their own.

Types of Business Names

Here’s a look at some of the various different types of business names that exist. It’s impossible to cover everything, but we’ll be taking a look at business names that describe what the company actually does along with unique names, and names that define their category.

Descriptive Business Names

Some names will describe exactly what the company does, for example General Electric is a fitting name for a company that has their hands in just about everything relating to electricity. If you’re going to walk into a Pizza-Hut, it’s pretty obvious what you can expect to find there.

Unique Business Names

On the other hand, some business names don’t describe what the company does at all. If you went up to somebody who didn’t know any better and asked them to tell you what Firefox is or what their parent company, Mozilla, makes - chances are they would never guess that it’s a web browser.

Category Defining Business Names

The famous example is how everyone uses Kleenex to describe paper tissue. A more modern example is that everyone refers to looking up something with a search engine as “Googling” it. Certain businesses are so popular and so dominant in their category that they actually define it. The name, however, still has to lend itself to this. It’s not as catchy to think of referring to something as “General Electric-ing it”

General Tips For Choosing A Great Name

Here are some popular rules of thumb for choosing a great business name, but as we said before - sometimes you’ve got to break the rules. In any case, having a visual element to your name can help a great deal with creating a brand identity. It helps if your business name is easy to spell, or if it is at least spelled like it sounds. It’s important to avoid confusion.

Companies Who Changed Their Names

Over the years, certain companies have decided to re-brand. The reasons for doing so can vary, and the results aren’t always the same, but sometimes a rebranding really pays off.

Local nightclubs: Here’s an example a lot of people can relate to. Think of the local nightclubs in your city; ever notice how they seem to change names every few years? People want to go to the newest, latest club so it’s common for nightclubs to re-design the interior, re-brand, and all of a sudden become the hot new club again.

Virgin Australia: They were originally named Virgin Blue, and were marketed as a discount airline. After deciding to target business travelers more aggressively, they changed their name to Virgin Australia. They've gone so far as to change the URL of their frequent flyer program, from velocityrewards.com.au to http://www.velocityfrequentflyer.com/

WWE: This billion dollar publicly traded company is the world leader in professional wrestling entertainment. They had to change their name from WWF due to a conflict with the World Wildlife Foundation who ultimately won the rights to keep the name, forcing the former World Wrestling Federation to become World Wrestling Entertainment.

Choosing a good name is important for business. Have a catchy, or a descriptive name like some of the companies outlined above, and you will be much more likely succeed. So it pays to give this some thought before you name your own company.

Author: Guest Blogger Anita Reid


Happy Holidays from Avopress! From now until January 1 get Avopress Designer Professional Edition for just $85, over 30% off the full retail price.


custom-tables

Tables. No matter what some of the presentation design folks may like to think, people working in “hard data” fields like finance, real estate and analytics know full well that tables are essential to presenting data such as financial results, forecasts, and statistics, and that tables in PowerPoint Slides are important communication tools and are going nowhere any time soon.

Though the flexible, auto-sizing table features of PowerPoint are great, the options for display styles of tables on slides sometimes leaves something to be desired for companies looking to build their branding into their slide design.

Tables Galore

It’s not that PowerPoint doesn’t already offer you plenty of options for table formatting. There are a good 75 base tables style built-in, each of which can be customized further by selecting to display or hide certain elements using  the Table Style Options group on the Design Tab. You can get a good looking table out of this as long as you keep it simple, but more visually appealing designs are possible, and the “Best Match for Document” is often anything but.

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Designing Custom PowerPoint Tables

When building PowerPoint Templates with Avopress Designer, each of these Table Style Options elements can be completely customized, creating a new reusable Table Style accessible in the very same gallery.

Step 1: Select Table Elements

This is a step that you will probably be coming back to as you adjust your design, but it is important to understand how the elements work together. In a nutshell, the more specific the table element, the more control it has over the entire Table Style. For example, if you select Bottom Right Cell, as one of your design Table Elements, the corresponding row and column of that cell, Total Row and Last Column, will override any settings for Whole Table or Banded Rows. Once the Bottom Right cell is selected, these elements will have to be styled again directly. Settings for the least specific element, Whole Table, may not be immediately visible if several Table Elements are selected.Powerpoint-Table-Styles-Options

Step 2: Choose Table Element Settings

This is the main design piece. For each selected Table Element, choose the Fill, Font and Border Settings until you get just the design that you are looking for. Font settings are limited to a choiceimage between the Heading and Body fonts of the theme, but all of the color options, and the standard Bold and Italic settings are available.

 

 

Step 3 (Optional): Select Table Style Effects

If you want to design your table using theme effects, click on the Effects tab and choose from the available effects. Options include:Table-effects

  • Outer Shadow
  • Inner Shadow
  • Glow
  • Reflection
  • Soft Edges

This is one are where Table Elements do not apply, and any effects will be applied to the table as a whole.

 

Step 4: Name the Table Style

Finally, give the new Table Style a descriptive name, This is the name that will appear in the Custom section of the Table Styles Drop down menu. As with the built-in styles, the preview icon for the custom table will change according to the options selected in Table Style Options.

custom-table-styles-ribbon

Table Design Ideas

Most companies will choose to design their tables in their standard branded colors. This makes it very helpful that table designs are stored in the template, not the theme, and will adapt to theme color of any theme if Theme Colors are specified first and then used for the design. Professional designers and typography experts would know best how modern table designs should look, be here are a few designs that we like.

Total Row Line

This is a nice clean style that uses a header and a slightly think top border over the Total row to create contrast with a minimalistic appeal.

Custom Table Example

Box Braces

Use thick outside border the same color as the header and total row to give the effect of the table data floating within. Add slight outer shadow to intensify the effect.

Light and Airy

Translucent Bands

This is a nice effect to use when using an image background. Enable the Banded Rows table Element and set either the Even of Odd  rows to a solid fill, and the opposite rows

Custom Table Example

Corner Tab

You know how you don’t know what to do with the Top Right Corner cell, when you are using labels in both the First Column and the Header Row? If you can keep it short, you can use that cell as kind of a Title tab for the table. Just enable the element and style it differently to the rest of the table.

Custom Table Example

More Ideas

For more ideas on document and presentation table design, have a look at this article from Smashing Magazine for some good table design originally meant for the web. Regarding tables in presentations generally, check out a great book, The Designer's Guide to Presenting Numbers, Figures, and Charts. by Sally Bigwood and Melissa Spore.

Downloads

Download the files used in the article and try it for yourself!


Many Office users don’t realize that no matter which effect style you choose for your shapes and SmartArt; textured, flat design, 3-D; that all of these effects are defined and stored in an eftx file, one of the most important visual components of an Office theme.

Custom-Theme-Effects

One of the OOXML Theme files first introduced in Office 2007, eftx files define the look of shapes, Charts, and SmartArt.

Complete Office Themes consist of at least four files

  • Theme.thmx – The “controller” file. Links the other Theme Files together and specifies the name that is shown in the Theme Gallery.
  • Colors.xml – Theme file that specifies the 12 Theme Colors used in the Theme
  • Fonts.xml – Theme file specifying the Heading and Body font used throughout the theme.
  • Theme.eftx – Theme file specifying the appearance of SmartArt graphics and other shapes.

Theme Effects files are stored in the Theme Effects Directory in the User Profile: C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes\Theme Effects

Using eftx Files

In Office The contents of the Theme Effects file are displayed in various style galleries on the Format tab, a contextual Ribbon tab the is displayed when relevant objects are selected.

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Shape Styles, Chart Styles, and Smart Art Styles, are all composites of four Office Theme Elements: Theme Colors, Theme Fills, Theme Lines, and Theme Effects. These theme elements combine in specific, somewhat unintuitive patterns to create the resulting display style.

Theme Shape Styles

  Style Fill Lines Effects
Row 1 Colored Outline Light 1 Moderate -----
Row 2 Colored Fill Subtle Moderate -----
Row 3 Light 1 Outline, Colored Fill Intense ------ Subtle
Row 4 Subtle Effect Moderate Subtle Subtle
Row 5 Moderate Effect Intense Subtle Moderate
Row 6 Intense Effect Intense ------ Intense

Theme Chart Styles

  Border Color Border Fill Effects
Row 1 ---- ----- Subtle -----
Row 2 Light1\Dark1 Subtle Line Subtle Subtle
Row 3 ----- ----- Intense Moderate
Row 4 ----- ------ Intense Intense
Row 5 Variable Subtle Line Subtle -----
Row 6 ----- ------ Intense Intense

Theme SmartArt Styles

Style Fill Lines Effects
Simple Fill Subtle ----- ----
White Outline ---- Subtle Lines ----
Subtle Effect Moderate Subtle Subtle
Moderate Effect Intense Subtle Moderate
Intense Effect Intense ----- Intense

 

Creating eftx Files

One way to create eftx files is to simply copy and rename a thmx theme file with the eftx file extension. This creates a valid effects file, but the contents is usually just copied from one of the built-in Theme Effects included with office. Using Avopress Designer, you can customize each element of the effects along with the theme.

For example if a theme designer only wanted to use flat style effects with no access to the 3-D and textured effects in the default theme, they would set the Subtle Fill, Moderate Fill and intense Fill to use the Solid Fill type. Then on the Effects tab, they would copy the Moderate and Intense Effects style from the Subtle Effects style.

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The resulting Theme and Theme Effects Files provides a unified flat Style for all applicable shapes.

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Left: Built-in Theme Effects Right: Custom Theme Effects

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Custom Chart Styles. Notice the Absence of the “Shiny” Intense Chart Styles

For more information on Office Themes and Theme Effects, check out the great book Building PowerPoint Templates Step by Step with the Experts  by PowerPoint MVPs Echo Swinford and Julie Terberg. To build these types of templates and themes visually and automatically, download a demo of Avopress Designer and review the help text for the relevant template and theme tabs.


We think it came out rather well. Let us us what you think! @avopress


DSR-Icon-BIGIn our experience delivering document creation solutions to Avopress Brand Server customers, we’ve worked alongside several branding and graphic design professionals who work with their clients to craft an individual look and feel for their presentations that accurately reflect the image and brand of the company, helping them present their information and communicate their ideas in their own unique “visual voice”.

Until now, serious document and presentation designers had to rely on all manner of hacks, workarounds and manual coding to get the output they really wanted from Microsoft Office templates and themes. For them, and for anyone who wants to create well-designed, branded presentations, we’ve created Avopress Designer, a first of it’s kind design tool, specifically tailored for creating document and presentation templates taking full advantage to the display capabilities of Microsoft Office.

Most presentation experts will tell you about the importance of using diagrams in your PowerPoint slides. Before, limited control over the built-in display formats was a limitation that designers had to work-around. Now, Avopress Designer allows users to customize each built-in Shape and SmartArt format with precise control over each design element.

Custom PowerPoint SmartArt

Custom SmartArt and Shape Styles

Custom-PowerPoint-SmartArt

Another area where designers and users have long struggled is custom table formats for slides. Some even resort to the difficult and time-consuming task of hacking and hand-coding XML. Now, you can create PowerPoint Templates with reusable native formats that you can apply to any table on the fly, even tables linked to Excel spreadsheets with Avopress Connector.

Custom-PowerPoint-Tables

Custom Table Formats

Custom-Tables-PowerPoint

These are just two of the big features in Avopress Designer 1.0. There is also great functionality for working with fonts, colors, background images, bullets, text effects… everything you need to create stunningly beautiful and captivating presentations.

This is an exciting time for Avopress, and for the professional presentation community as a whole. The addition of Avopress Designer to our line of software tools completes our vision for an end-to-end solution where organizations can design, build and deploy everything they need to ensure brand compliance and consitency, and enable true Rapid Document Creation.

Avopress Designer will be available for download and purchase on Wednesday November 14. Keep an eye out for more news here on Proper Formatting, and follow Avopress on Twitter and Google+


Whether you are giving a presentation to potential investors or future business partners, understanding the ins and outs of presenting is crucial. While many in the business industry have a grasp of the basics, many fail to realize how understanding why presentations fail could help them to deliver better presentations. This means that the presenter is capable of knowing more than the basics of presenting. The following will provide reasons why business presentations fail and what you can do to avoid it happening to you.

Reasons Business Presentations Fail to Achieve Their Objectives

· Text Box: “…the presenter did not know his material…” Preparation: The number one reason why a business presentation may fail is that the presenter failed to prepare properly. While failure to prepare can literally refer to hundreds of sub texts, in this instance it refers to the fact that the presenter did not know his material. He failed to understand what his objectives were, who his audience was and the message that he was trying to convey. On top of that, not knowing material can also equal to not taking the necessary time needed to become a subject matter expert on the presentation contents. In order to avoid such situations where you fail to prepare as a presenter, you must spend as much time as it takes for you to become an expert on your material. Understanding the overall goal of your presentation is important as well. If you can clearly identify the five aspects of an effective presentation; objective, speaker, room, audience and message then you’re well on your way to delivering an outstanding presentation.

· image004Emotions: The second reason why a business presentation may fail is because the presenter let their emotions get the best of them. An example of this would be when someone begins to stutter during a presentation. While being nervous and having anxiety are natural, you must overcome these emotions and instill confidence in yourself. If a prospective partner sees a lack of confidence in you, in turn, they will have a lack of confidence in your product or business. This will most undoubtedly deter them from proceeding any further. As a presenter, it is of the utmost importance you master your fears or learn how to hide them. Take public speaking classes or practice your presentation with colleagues. The more you practice, the better you will become.

· image005Information: A third reason as to why business presentations may fail is that the presenter did not give enough information or reasons for their prospective partners to continue to conduct business with them. Different investors or potential partners look for different things when choosing who to conduct business with. Some people prefer to rely upon pure data while others look for potential growth in a company. By understanding what your potential partner is most looking for, you can adapt your presentation to suit their needs and wants. In situations where you are unsure of what the potential partners are looking for, then it is wise to include as much information as possible in a short amount of time. Cover all your bases and be sure to entice your potential partners in any way possible.

image006SUCEEDING IS NOT FAR OFF

All in all, a failed business presentation will not turn into a catastrophic event. At the same time, if you put in the time necessary to prepare properly, control your emotions and understand the desires of your potential partners, then your presentation is sure to succeed.

Text Box: “Different investors or potential partners look for different things…”


In the financial world, one of the most unbearably excruciating things to do is give a presentation. Whether it’s a sales presentation to prospective partners you’re looking to make a deal with or just a speech, presentations are one of the most challenging aspects of the financial world. Many of today’s top CEOs will tell you that public speaking is their greatest fear. The following will provide the top five tips for presenters as given by renowned CEOs. If you follow these steps, you will find presenting easier to do than before.

Top 5 Tips for Presenting

· image001Text Box: “A sincere, honest answer, even a slow, one is always better.” Practice your knowledge of the product: Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines will tell you that the key to successful presentations is instilling confidence in your product by knowing the exact message which you are trying to convey. He has said that one of the most embarrassing moments of his life was a speech that he gave at University College, London. He was devastated with nerves and it caused him to deliver “One of the worst speeches in the history of mankind.” But how did Sir Richard Branson become the public speaker he is today? Practice. Practice your speeches in any way possible and know your product or message. The best way to be confident is to ensure that you can answer any question about your product or message.

· Speak from the heart: Sir Richard Branson also stresses the fact that you must speak from the heart. Potential partners are much more likely to forgive mistakes if they believe what you are saying. A sincere and honest answer, even a slow one, is always better than a rapid run of the mill answer.

· image003Have fun with it: While Steve Jobs has many tips he uses to deliver a memorable and powerful presentation, the number one factor he stresses is to have fun. He believes that even if the presentation is rolling completely downhill you should just roll with it. What’s more fun that tumbling down an ever increasing slope?

· image004Text Box: “…you should adopt an image heavy approach.”Use a heavy imagery approach: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes that while PowerPoint is still very relevant, the format in which to give your presentation to potential partners has changed drastically. He believes that instead of using bullet points in your presentation, you should adopt an image heavy approach. This includes the use of graphs, pictures and sales forecasts. Bezos in a firm believer that images will more often be remembered than text. This is true in many cases. The majority of people are visual which means image use would fundamentally be a strong strategy.

What the CEOs say: A host of CEOs believe that one of the most successful ways to improve your presentation is to study.

· Study ways other CEOs have gotten their message or product out

· Study your own company

· Make a presentation that accurately represents this said company

· Study market trends for what potential partners are looking for

image006No one ever became a CEO by sitting around doing nothing. It takes hard work and dedication to make it in the financial world and studying is one of the most overlooked aspects of the business world.


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We have all been there; you’re just a few minutes away from giving an important business presentation to potential partners and fear suddenly rears its ugly head. It’s not so much fear as it is nervousness. Being nervous is natural in humans. This is an emotion that lets us know what’s happening is important to us. Many people feel that being nervous is a sign of weakness, but in reality it’s not.image001 While being nervous is a natural emotion, it can actually affect your presentation if you let it get the best of you. There are many ways to cope with being nervous that will let you overcome your anxiety and improve your presentation at the same time. The following will provide some tips and tricks on how to deal with being nervous.

WAYS TO COPE WITH BEING NERVOUS

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Know and practice: Above anything else, the number one most proven way to overcome the anxiety of being nervous is to know your material and practice your presentation. Remember the old adage practice makes perfect? Well, it does. The more you practice giving your presentation, whether it is in the mirror or with colleagues, the more confident you will actually be. Confidence is kryptonite to nervousness and anxiety. If you are image004confident that you know your material and automatically think that you will succeed in delivering a fantastic presentation, then you may still Text Box: “…a poor presentation is not the end of the world.” be somewhat nervous. The main difference is that anxiety and nervousness will not be your overwhelming emotion.

 

Find passion in your work: Another way to deal with nervousness is to find the passion in your work. Many people give presentations on things that they have no interest in. While this is ok because it’s your job, finding something in the presentation you love will greatly decrease your anxiety before a presentation. Being nervous is a natural human emotion and is a strong one at that. If you can find an emotion that is more overpowering, such as love or passion, the nervousness will simply fade out.

image006Turn the situation in your favor: Before and during the presentation it always helps to remember “What’s the worst that could happen?” In ninety-nine percent of all presentation scenarios, the benefits of delivering an exceptional presentation far outweigh the negative effects of delivering a poor presentation. A good presentation can lead to increased profits, promotions, future business opportunities and increased confidence. A poor presentation will usually only lead to having to give another presentation to a different group of potential partners. While there are certainly some situations where a poor presentation will result in more serious consequences, just remember that it is not the end of the world. No matter what happens, keep in mind that IF you are still alive, there is always a way to turn the situation in your favor.

DON’T GIVE UP

image007While there are literally hundreds of ways to improve your presentation and cope with being nervous, the top three tips are to practice, find the passion in your work and to remember that a poor presentation is not the end of the world. As time goes on, the more presentations you give, the easier it will become. Also remember that you should not fight feeling nervous. It is a natural emotion. Instead, you can embrace it and overcome it. It will only make you a stronger person in the long run.


image001When giving a business presentation, there are many common practices used to avoid killing your sales pitch. Your presentation will be the single most important aspect to improving your sales and chances of scoring investors. This article will discuss some common mistakes to avoid while giving your critical presentation.

Mistakes to Avoid

Looking at the back of the room: One of the most common practices while giving your presentation is to focus on the back of the room. Believe it or not, this practice is actually wrong. It is much better to look around the room and at different people during your presentation. When you fail to connect with people during your presentation it inevitably alienates them quickly in terms of business relationship. Just be confident and remember to make eye contact with your audience for proper connection.

Getting off track: Ensure that all your content is relevant to the idea or product that you are trying to get across to your audience. Many presenters have a tendency to get off track or put content in their presentations that is not relevant to their main message.image002 Focus on the main points of your presentation and stick to them.

No body language: Be sure to be engaging with your presentation. Don’t stand still while rattling off lines you memorized from your script. Use body language that exudes confidence and shows your belief in your product or idea. You should never memorize your lines either. Know your main ideas, as stated earlier, and go off your knowledge of the product or idea.

image003Not practicing your presentation: Practice, practice, practice. Just because you are not memorizing your lines does not mean you can’t practice your presentation. Public speaking is not something people either have or don’t have. There are always ways to brush up on public speaking skills. Read a book, take a class, research on the internet and do whatever it takes. Find tips and tricks and practice either in front of a mirror or in front of your Text Box: “…have a variation of relevant props at your disposal.” peers.

· Text Box: “Be sure to be engaging with your presentation.”

Complicated slides: If you use PowerPoint as a visual aid, ensure that your slides are easily readable, uncluttered and flow in a way that the presentation makes sense. Many presenters make the mistake of not using proper PowerPoint techniques. Proper use of PowerPoint is the same as perfecting your speech for the presentation. Have a look at some of the Blogs linked in the sidebar, and here here at Proper Formatting for tips and tricks for creating a presentation that flows and maintains proper adherence to your main ideas and points.

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image001

In today’s tough business world, there are many things business can do to establish itself as a trusted staple that is part of the market. One of the easiest things a company can do to not only build their reputation, but to hurt it as well, is brand consistency. Thriving businesses such as Nike and Wal-Mart understand the importance of maintaining brand consistency. What many do not realize is that a failure to maintain your brand consistency can lead to dire consequences. This is not with the government or law, but rather with the consumer (the people who keep your company in business.)

CONSEQUENCES OF INCONSISTENCY

image002You may be asking yourself, “How does inconsistency in my brand lead to decreased sales?” That is an excellent question.

· Text Box: “…it is wise to plan out finances for the rest of the year…”

Trust: The first thing that brand inconsistency affects in a consumer is trust. If a company changes its image, whether it be the slogan or commercials, the average consumer will take it as a sign of weakness; that the company didn’t have trust in its own image. As a consumer, why would anyone trust a company that doesn’t trust itself? They wouldn’t, which is why brand inconsistency can lead to decreased sales through lack of trust.

· Text Box: “…most businesses are better off developing their initial image…” Cost: The second way in which brand inconsistency can harm your business is through the cost of rebranding your image. The action of changing your entire image, ranging from commercials to blogs and to monthly mailers, can cost a business millions rebrand correctly. Certain companies, such as Wal-Mart, can easily afford the cost. However, if your business is like most out there, an image rebranding may mean the difference between producing profits for the year and being in debt. It is wise to plan out your finances for the rest of the year and see exactly how much you can spend if you absolutely insist on changing your image.

· image005The Actual Product: The third way in which brand inconsistency affects a business is through the actual product itself. An example of this would be in a business, such as a department store, where the owner decides to switch from one designer’s clothes to another. While the business may have carried Calvin Klein for years, a switch to something like Versace may cause a rift with your frequent consumers. It may not be that they dislike the clothes, but the fact that the clothes might now be too expensive for the average consumer. Consumers return to the same businesses time after time because they know they carry the brands they prefer and can afford the prices. A switch in brands will not only affect trust with the consumer but also their wallets.

KEEP IN MIND

Although it is necessary for certain businesses to change their image and brand, most businesses are better off developing their initial image rather than changing it. If a company goes through a rebranding it can affect consumer trust, profits for the year and cause a frequent customer to find a new store to purchase from. As an owner of a business, it is important to maintain consistency and build a rapport with the consumers. When you fail to maintain your image, this task will inevitably harm your business in the end.

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image001Being able to create brand experiences that will endure and help your business grow requires creativity. The ability to recognize a need within your target market and then being able to fill that need is beneficial to know as well. However, just because humans find a need that they wish to fill doesn’t mean that they are going to associate your product with being able to fulfill it. You need to create brand experiences through a process that stretches beyond just offering a quality product.

Provide a Positive Customer Experience

image002image003For long-term success and competitiveness, the first thing that you need to do is provide a positive and lasting customer experience. When customers feel as though they are being treated well and that their concerns are being addressed, then that forges a bond that lasts forever. Satisfied customers will return for your products and services time and time again in the future. For those customers who are looking for the cheapest prices, they aren’t concerned with the brand itself. These types of customers aren’t going to help you maintain a competitive advantage over the long-term and should be considered once the brand is well-established.

image004Anticipating Future Needs and Expectations

Companies that react to trends within their industry are always going to be playing catch up with the companies that anticipated the trends, or even created them. People change; needs change. Whether you’re talking about life or business, it’s a natural course of evolution. If you are able to anticipate where the trends will go in the future, then you can maintain a positive relationship with your existing customers and build the brand image with those that aren’t yet customers.

Think “Outside” the Box

image005When you want to create brand experiences that build a positive reputation and attract people to your cause or company, then you need to think from the outside-in. There are too many organizations that still operate with an internally-focused model. That means that they try to determine what will be good for the company first and foremost. Then they begin to look at how that can be advantageous to its target market.

Break this mold and start to focus on the external forces of the company first. What can your brand or products offer your target market? How will these affect your target market? When you can find these answers, you can begin to develop brand experiences that will have lasting impacts.

Text Box: “…you need to think from the outside-in.”

Creating brand experiences require forethought, afterthought, and attention to the details that many companies neglect. When you create positive brand experiences, you will notice the effects in your bottom line.

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“The first component of an affective presentation is the objective.” One of the main reasons a business presentation may backfire is because the presenter fails to understand the five critical components of a good and effective presentation. In order for a presentation to be affective, the presenter must acknowledge and understand these five critical components. The five critical components are as follows, the objective of the presentation, the speaker (such as you), the room you will be presenting in, the audience you will be presenting to and the message you wish to convey. Remembering the acronym OSRAM can greatly increase your understanding of the five components.

The Five Components:

Component One:

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The first component of an affective presentation is the objective. For this component you must understand what the ideal outcome of the presentation is. By understanding what you desire your outcome to be, you can focus on ways to reach that outcome through your presentation. A common objective can be something like gaining a partner in your business or gaining a distributor for your product.

Component Two:

The second component is the speaker or, as many prefer, the self. In this component it is critical to master your emotions. By understanding yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to deliver a thorough and effective presentation every time. This component also involves knowing your material and practicing your presentation as much as possible. Public speaking is a skill that can be developed with practice. You must be willing to put in the effort it takes to make your presentation the best it can be.

Component Three:

The third critical component of a good presentation is the room. If possible, give your presentation in a familiar area that you feel comfortable in. By knowing where the presentation will be given, you can arrange the room to that of an ideal layout, which will assist you in the best way possible. This can include arranging seating, using visual aids during your presentation and offering potential partners certain amenities that will help your overall efforts.

Component Four:

“Make your message as clear and concise as possible.”The fourth critical component is the audience. Knowing your audience, their likes, dislikes, and what they look for in partners is of the utmost importance. For instance, if you know that a particular group of potential partners is only concerned with profits, then you can tailor your presentation in a way that will best demonstrate to them why they should be a part of your endeavors. Another way of how knowing your audience can help you is by knowing what amenities to give your potential partners during the presentation. An example; if they like Vitamin Water you can offer them that over regular water. The extra effort will show that you are detail-oriented and will help you to go a long way in business.

Component Five:

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The final critical component of a good presentation is the message. Make your message as clear and concise as possible. This differs from the objective due to the fact that in this component you are looking at the exact message you are giving, your motto, business goals and profits. The message of your presentation should include everything a potential partner would be concerned with.

By understanding, following and tailoring your presentation towards the five critical components of OSRAM, you will undoubtedly deliver a presentation that will be memorable and, more importantly, effective. This will guarantee that you reach your main objective or the reason for why you gave the presentation in the first place.



Images in PowerPoint presentations make wonderful visual aids, but oftentimes the background color or subject matter may clash with the theme of your presentation. PowerPoint 2010 comes with an amazing tool that lets you remove background from your images cleverly and efficiently. There are different options in the tool that let you fine tune your image as well.

If you are concerned about the size of your PowerPoint file, you may want to consider compressing the photo. Should you choose to do this, Microsoft Office Support recommends you do it before editing it in PowerPoint. See tips on doing this here .

There are a few steps to this process. First, let’s start with an image whose background we will remove.

image001

So, what we want to do is to remove the background from this yellow flower. As a first step, click on the image and then click on the ‘Format’ tab. Click on ‘Remove Background’ button.

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When you click on ‘Remove background’, you get the following:

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Note the options given: ‘Mark Areas to Keep’, ‘Mark Areas to Remove’, ‘Delete Mark’, ‘Discard All Changes’ and ‘Keep Changes’.

After you have outlined the flower and removed the background, you have the option to click on ‘Keep changes,’ in which case the following picture is what you will see:

image004

Using Option ‘Mark Areas to Remove’

You may have noticed in the last photo that there were some small black marks leftover in the flower. ‘Mark Areas to Remove’ can be used for these small, difficult to reach areas of the photo. Simply click on ‘Mark Areas to Remove’ option and click on those areas that need to be removed and you will get as follows

image005

image006This result is a much cleaner image than what we originally produced.

image007
You can continue to improve the picture with this tool as extensively as you want (left). Once you make a mark and want to remove it, you can do so by clicking ‘Delete Mark’. Once you are satisfied with your markings, click on ‘Keep changes’ (below).

Using Option ‘Mark Areas to keep’

Let’s go back to the original image. If you want the small flower on the right bottom corner of the image, you can keep it by clicking on ‘Mark Areas to Keep’. Click on that, and click on the image on the portion you want to keep as below:

image008

Click on ‘Keep the changes’ and you get the following image

image009

Even in this image you can still remove undesired areas by clicking ‘Areas to Remove’. You will finally get the image as below; background removed and with the small flower on the right bottom corner.

image010

Additionally, once you’ve editied your picture the way you like, you can create added visual interest by applying artistic effects, as explained by Microsoft Office Support.

Using Option ‘Discard All Changes’

Let’s step back again. Say you clicked on the image and made all the markings for ‘Areas to Remove’ as follows:

image011

Now, If you want to start over and discard all the markings and changes that you have just made, just click ‘ Discard all changes’ and then you will get the original image.

image012


End notes may be an important part of your presentation, especially if it involved extensive research, but they must be inserted manually. Depending on the nature of your presentation, you have different formats and styles to choose from. There is ‘Chicago style’, ‘APA’ and ‘MLA’ style endnotes and citations.

Start by inserting a new slide at the end of your presentation. Once the slide is inserted, you have to include a ‘Text Box’ for your end notes. You can do this by clicking on the tab ‘Insert’ and then ‘Text box’.

image001

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After the text box is inserted, you can type the endnote you want in the box.

You can change the size of the font, colour, etc. by right clicking on the typed text:

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Citations

Including citations in presentations not only a professional standard, but also shows your audience that you have done enough research from credible sources to present effectively. It is always best to cite all the sources that you have used in your presentation. However, there is no specific rule that to follow when doing citations in PowerPoint; since you are more likely to have specific formatting requirements based on your presentation, use your judgement and find out the appropriate style. If you know the style you must use but are unsure of its requirements, Citation Machine is a great tool which will ask for all the info you need and then style it in the appropriate formatting.

General rules to be followed while doing citations are :

· Whenever you quote a source, paraphrase or even summarize a source, parenthetical citations must be included. These are generally positioned at the end of the sentence, before the period. It can also be placed closest to the text which had been quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.

· All the graphics used in the presentation should be cited using parenthetical citations.

· The format of citations in the reference page or citations page (usually the last slide of the presentations) are formatted exactly as they would be formatted for the References or Works Cited page of a Word document or paper.

After you have done the endnote, insert another new slide and add the title to indicate that the slide shows the citations.

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A parenthetical citation is shown below using APA format:

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Footnotes

A footnote is usually used when you want to elaborate on a certain point in your presentation, though some use this for citing a source used in the presentation.

To add a footnote, select the slide you want the footnote to be added to, click on ‘Insert’ tab and then ‘Text box’:

image006

If you want to add a footnote to be included in all the slides in your presentation, you can do so by doing it at the ‘Slide Master’ level.

In the tab ‘View’, choose the group ‘Master’ and then click on ‘Slide Master’. You can either choose the ‘Footer’ text box for adding the footnote, or click on tab ‘Insert’ and then ‘Text box’ to add the footnote. You can format the footnote as you need in both cases by choosing a different font or colour for the text.

image007

Another way to add footnotes is to make the text superscript; Shawn Lankton Online includes this shortcut and many others that will make your life on PowerPoint easier.


Slide Master is the top slide in a series of presentation slides. This master slide will have the information about the theme of the presentation and its slide layouts, including color, fonts used, background, different effects used, positioning and placeholder sizes. One Slide Master will exist for every presentation containing such information. The main advantage of having a Slide Master is that if you want some changes, such as a font change across all slides, you can do so by making the change in the Slide Master. Slide Master is especially helpful in saving time when you have to make universal changes in a big presentation that has many slides.

Since any change you make in the Slide Master affects the whole presentation, you have to work in Slide Master view when you create or edit a Slide Master.

To create Slide Master, open a blank presentation, and go to the tab ‘View’ and in there in ‘Master Views’ click on ‘Slide Master’

image001

What is seen as slide 1 is the Slide Master, and the following slides are associated with the Slide Master. So, when you make changes to the Slide Master, you will see them reflected in the following slides.

When you make changes to the Slide Layouts on any slide, you are in effect making changes to the Slide Master as well. The Slide Layouts are displayed in the left pane (as shown above) and allow you to make layout changes in the Slide Master view that will affect the Slide Master, and therefore the entire presentation. Even though each of the Slide Layouts is set up differently, the color themes, fonts, effects, etc. will be of the same for all the slides under a Slide Master.

Notice when ‘Slide Master’ has chosen the ‘style 17’ in PowerPoint 2010, all the following slides will have the same background theme, as below:

image002

Now when we change the Master Slide’s color to ‘Essential’, all the following slides also get the same color. Guides and Tutorials provides a step-by-step Slide Master setup tutorial.

image003

Custom bullets in Slide Master

image004

If you have a list and would like to insert ‘bullets’, right click on the list, which brings up the bullet menu from which you can choose the predefined bullets, as below:

image005

If you want to customize your bullets in terms of size, color or even picture, you can do so by clicking on ‘Bullets and Numbering’ under the ‘Home’ tab, which brings up the following menu:

image006

You can change the bullet size according to certain percentage of the text, change the color and choose any picture from the menu for your bullet from the list, or even import photos from the web

image007

You can also click the ‘Customize’ option to choose any symbols for your bullets:

Slide Layouts

Slide Layouts contain positioning, place holders and formatting for all the content present on a slide. It basically tells you where each slide element, such as title, body, footnotes, background object, etc. should go.

Following is a ‘Slide Layout’

image008

There are 9 in-built Slide Layouts provided by PowerPoint, and you can also create custom Slide Layouts.

Following are the different Slide Layouts built into PowerPoint 2010

Layouts



So, when Slide Master controls the background, theme, colour, etc. of the slides in the presentation, ‘Slide Layout’ controls how and where the texts are placed on the slide. Tech Vise has some additional tips regarding logos and page setup. Usually a large presentation with different themes will have multiple Slide Masters controlling the slides hierarchically under each ‘Slide Master’. You can change the formatting in ‘Slide Layout’ differently from ‘Slide Master’ if you want the slides based on that ‘Slide Layout’ to be different, but if you change the ‘Slide Master’ again, it will override those changes in the ‘Slide Layout’.


We’ve all experienced the sheer panic of accidentally closing an unsaved document. We all know to save regularly, but it somehow manages to happen anyway, and then you’re left with the dread prospect of starting from scratch. Fortunately, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 has taken this into consideration and put safeguards in place to help you recover unsaved work.

The key to this solution is that, before all else, you enable the ‘AutoRecover’ option. If you do not take this step first, you will not have anything to recover. Enabling this option is simple; first go to ‘File’ and then to ‘Options’. In ‘Options,’ take the ‘Save’ tab and make sure you have both the boxes referring to ‘AutoRecover’ clicked. If you have PowerPoint 2010, both of these options come enabled as default.

image001



image002



In the same screen you will see the location in which your AutoRecover files will be saved. You can also adjust the time intervals on which these saves will be made, the shortest being 1 minute.

To recover the unsaved file, you can click ‘File’ and try to locate the file in the C: / folder, or whichever space was indicated earlier as the recovered file location. As noted here by fppt.com, these files are temporary and will be wiped if you do not recover them within a few days.

image003



Recovering a new file in PowerPoint 2010

Even if you’ve just begun working on a new presentation or you downloaded one to work on and forgot to save, the presentations can still be recovered.

In order to do this, go to ‘File’ and then click on the ‘Recent’ tab, which will bring up a screen that has ‘Recover unsaved presentations’ at the bottom:

image004

When you click on it, it will automatically take you to the location where unsaved presentations are displayed and you can locate the one you were working on. Once you’ve opened the file, you can ‘Save As’ to save the file to your desired location.

image005

Another way to do this is to go to ‘File’ and then click on ‘Info’ tab. At the bottom, click ‘Manage Versions’ and you will get two options, ‘Recover unsaved presentation’ and ‘ Delete All unsaved presentations’. When you click on the first, it will open up the location of your unsaved presentation.

image006

You might also try looking in the ‘Recent’ tab under ‘File,’ as demonstrated here by “Everything about PowerPoint & Wallpapers.” This page may also be useful for Windows XP or Windows 7 users who have trouble with hidden folders.

Fortunately, this feature is also available in Microsoft Excel 2010 and Microsoft Word 2010.


Branding and branding consistency are crucial aspects to any business, whether online or offline. It is what gives your business its identity with the customers. It can be a slogan, logo or symbol. However, one thing is clear: without a proper brand, your business will suffer. You will always struggle for a new loyal customer, due to the fact that you will ultimately struggle with your business’ identity.

Building Your Brand

image001The first step to building your brand is to identify what it is you and your business stand for. Think of these three questions:

· What is it that you want to convey to the public?

· What is your mission?

· What values do you want to convey?

To answer the above questions and to prepare yourself, you must answer when considering what your brand is what you want your customers to remember you for. Whether that’s dependability, safety, a superior feature about your product or another feature, it is for you to decide on. Think about values that you would want to convey from yourself, independent of the business itself.

image002Taking Affirmative Action

Once you’ve decided on the qualities that you want your brand to convey, you must come up with a slogan, motto or logo. This will be the single identifier between your company and your customers. Instant recognition is the ultimate goal here. Think about these slogans: “Just Do It,” “I’m Lovin’ it,” and “Finger Lickin’ Good.” When you hear these slogans, you know exactly what companies they represent. These companies have spent years building their brand and instilling trust into their customers.

Hire a Professional to Establish your Brand

Many companies hire third parties to help them come up with a brand slogan or motto that represents their business. There are marketing companies that are experts at coming up with identities and brands that will set you apart from your competition, while remaining true to what you stand for.

image003 Building your brand will take patience, a fairly large budget for advertising, determination and a good dose of luck as well. Sometimes it takes years to build a brand that gives off the kind of recognition that Nike, McDonald’s and KFC has.

Branding Consistency

Be careful about changing your brand once you have one established. This can confuse your customers and you may lose the trust that you’ve spent so much time building with them. Consistency is the key and it will give your business the identity and recognition it needs with your customers and potential customers from around the world.

Make sure that your brand is on every piece of marketing material that you have: business cards, flyers, brochures, advertising, social media and even e-mail signatures.

Step-up to the Challenge

image005The challenge with brand consistency is that you have to make sure that your brand remains up-to-date. A company that’s been around for fifty years, for example, will have changed their brand identity at least once. If they didn’t, they probably would not still be in business.

Conclusion

Branding and branding consistency takes much thought and courage to think outside the conventional ways of thinking. It is used for coming up with something that people can remember and relate to. This should be something that aligns with your business’s values, mission, and overall identity. Once you have a brand well established, consider the thought carefully before changing it.


There are many occasions to use tables in Microsoft Word documents, particularly for business communications. It is fairly easy to create a table in word; all you need to do is position the cursor on the document where you want your table to be created. Open the ‘Insert’ tab and click on the option ‘Table’. From here, you need only hover your mouse over the squares to determine the number of rows and columns you want, and then click.

image001

Once the table is created, you need to know few tips and tricks to work with the table.

Inserting and deleting rows and columns

If you want to insert more rows at the end of the table, place your cursor at the end of the last column of the last row and press tab. A new bottom row will be inserted. If you want to insert rows or columns in between, you need to keep the cursor on the column or row where you want it to be inserted and right click on it which will bring up the menu at the left, and click ‘Insert’:

Similarly, you can delete whichever row or column you want by positioning the cursor on the cell which you want deleted and right click to choose ‘Delete cells’. If you want the whole table to be deleted, select the entire table, right click, and you will get an option to ‘Delete Table’.

image002Choosing a table border:

Click on the desired table and then click on ‘Design’. You can choose different borders for your cells by choosing the different border options from the drop-down menu. You can choose between color options, bold borders and varying shades.

Making borders for the cell contents:

If you want to highlight certain text by putting borders on individual cells, Word provides a simple solution.

Say you want to put border for the text ‘A’ in the following table.

A

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

image003J

K

L

image004

To do this, position your cursor on the appropriate text - in this case, the ‘A’ - and then go to ‘Design’ tab. Click on ‘Borders,’ then ‘Borders and Shading’. You can choose the color, size and style of the border. You have to click on ‘Paragraph’ in the Apply to tab.

The result that you get is as below:

A

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

If you want to customize your tables further, Dave’s Computer Tips has some great tips on using Draw and Eraser controls to add dimension and display a certain way.

Numbering the rows:

image005

Easily number the columns in your table by clicking on the desired column (in this case, the far left) and then on the ‘Home’ tab. In ‘Paragraph’ click on ‘Numbering’ and then whichever style of numbering you want.

In the same way you can number the rows of your table as well. Numbering the entire sequence of cells in the table may require numbering rows/columns individually and then customizing the number from which the sequence begins.

Convert table to text:

Why might you insert a table into your word document, and then choose to convert it to text format? It may simply be a stylistic preference, or perhaps the table in your document has been imported from elsewhere and you would like it to appear without gridlines because of the type of values contained in it. Regardless of your preference, Word makes it easy to convert a table to text format, and vice versa. In the ‘Layout’ Tab there is an

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option ‘Convert to Text’. Select the table you want to convert and then click on ‘Convert to Text’.

image007Below shows the options you will see on how you want Word to interpret the conversion:

The options shown (‘Paragraph marks,’ ‘Tabs,’ and ‘Commas’) indicate the different ways that you can replace the table gridlines to differentiate the values when they are displayed. So, if you want to separate your values with commas, then Word will separate the contents of the cells from each other using commas. The opposite is true when converting text to tables; commas will indicate where a gridline should be. Microsoft Support has a page which demonstrates a text to table conversion here .

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In this case, we have chosen ‘Tabs’ to separate the content, meaning that there is simply a tabbed blank space between them. The results are shown below:


The high amount of multimedia images and videos available today have made audio and video files a standard part of presentation. Video files are a great way to convey a message or demonstrate your message in a more convincing way.

To accommodate this need, Microsoft PowerPoint has a feature that lets you download and add YouTube videos to your presentation. What is necessary is of course an internet connection so that the video can be downloaded. If you are 100% confident about the availability and speed of your internet connection, it is possible to directly access the video from the internet without having to download it on to your computer. However, this often isn’t the case.

Insert the Video

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Once you open PowerPoint, click on ‘Insert’ and then ‘Video,’ which will give you the following screen:

You can now whether you want to download the video from web, use it from a file location in your computer, or use a Clip Art video that is provided as part of Microsoft PowerPoint.

When you choose the option ‘Video from Web Site,’ a box will pop up asking you to insert the link of the YouTube video file from the web.

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Insert the address of your YouTube video if you already know it, or do a search for your video in www.YouTube.com and find video.

Highlight the ‘Embed’ link to copy and paste it on the space provided, then click on ‘Insert’. Tech Thoughts clarifies for us that you cannot simply use the video url, but must find the ‘Embed’ code under the ‘Share link’ heading. Your YouTube will be downloaded on to the slide where you have placed it.

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Another way to download high quality YouTube videos to your presentation is through YouTube Downloader HD. It is a free tool that can be used to download videos from YouTube and can save to your computer. It lets you download videos in high definition HD and full HD and is available for both Windows and Mac users.

Video Quality

There is a remarkable difference in quality between HD and non-HD video that you can see when you download videos using this software.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?



HD vs Non-HD

When you are using YouTube Downloader HD, you also get to choose the quality of the video. This is good if you don’t have to worry about file size or internet speed, in which case you can opt for normal quality. You can also choose the file type when you are using this downloader.

Even though you have many options for video quality, it is always safer and more reliable to have the video downloaded as part of your presentation, rather than downloading it through web at the presentation.

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You can insert the previously downloaded YouTube video from your computer by selecting ‘Video from File’ in the PowerPoint menu ‘Insert’ tab:

When prompted, find the location of the video and click on insert as before.

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It is under the same ‘Video’ tab that you can opt to insert a Clip Art video should you choose to do so.

Only want a portion of the video to play? Tech Tips For All has a simple form you can use that will create a code for you to insert your desired section of video to the slide.


End notes may be an important part of your presentation, especially if it involved extensive research, but they must be inserted manually. Depending on the nature of your presentation, you have different formats and styles to choose from. There is ‘Chicago style’, ‘APA’ and ‘MLA’ style endnotes and citations.

Start by inserting a new slide at the end of your presentation. Once the slide is inserted, you have to include a ‘Text Box’ for your end notes. You can do this by clicking on the tab ‘Insert’ and then ‘Text box’.

image001

After the text box is inserted, you can type the endnote you want in the box.

image002

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You can change the size of the font, colour, etc. by right clicking on the typed text:

How to do Citations Right

Including citations in presentations not only a professional standard, but also shows your audience that you have done enough research from credible sources to present effectively. It is always best to cite all the sources that you have used in your presentation. However, there is no specific rule that to follow when doing citations in PowerPoint; since you are more likely to have specific formatting requirements based on your presentation, use your judgement and find out the appropriate style. If you know the style you must use but are unsure of its requirements, Citation Machine is a great tool which will ask for all the info you need and then style it in the appropriate formatting.

General rules to be followed while doing citations are :

· Whenever you quote a source, paraphrase or even summarize a source, parenthetical citations must be included. These are generally positioned at the end of the sentence, before the period. It can also be placed closest to the text which had been quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.

· All the graphics used in the presentation should be cited using parenthetical citations.

· The format of citations in the reference page or citations page (usually the last slide of the presentations) are formatted exactly as they would be formatted for the References or Works Cited page of a Word document or paper.

After you have done the endnote, insert another new slide and add the title to indicate that the slide shows the citations.

image004

image005
A parenthetical citation is shown below using APA format:

Creating footnotes

A footnote is usually used when you want to elaborate on a certain point in your presentation, though some use this for citing a source used in the presentation.

To add a footnote, select the slide you want the footnote to be added to, click on ‘Insert’ tab and then ‘Text box’:

image006

If you want to add a footnote to be included in all the slides in your presentation, you can do so by doing it at the ‘Slide Master’ level.

In the tab ‘View’, choose the group ‘Master’ and then click on ‘Slide Master’. You can either choose the ‘Footer’ text box for adding the footnote, or click on tab ‘Insert’ and then ‘Text box’ to add the footnote. You can format the footnote as you need in both cases by choosing a different font or colour for the text.

image007

Another way to add footnotes is to make the text superscript; Shawn Lankton Online includes this shortcut and many others that will make your life on PowerPoint easier.


Big-2.0We are excited to announce that version RC1 of Avopress Brand Server 2.0 is now available for immediate download for customers and Beta Program participants. Registered users - log in to your Avopress Customer account and find the download in the Beta Software section.



marketing-christmasJust in time for the Holiday Season, we are offering a 20% discount on our best-selling Avopress Connector add-in suite.

To take advantage of the discount enter the coupon code ASDXMAS2011 in the Avopress Online Store. Hurry, offer ends January 3rd 2012!


We are pleased to announce that Brand Server 1.3 has completed Beta testing and is now available for immediate download from the customer account page.

Version 1.3 adds the incredible new feature of automatic installation of VBA add-ins directly to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This new functionality will come to save hours of work for administrators and sets Avopress apart from the pack as a true centralized management system for the Office Desktop.

Customers, please download and test this major upgrade, and be sure to leave your reviews and feedback on the customer site. Thanks and enjoy!


113_WEB-BasilSt-FrontWe are extremely proud to announce the opening of Avosoft EMEA Limited, our new sales and support office for customers in the Europe, Middle East in Africa. The EMEA office will help us to better server our international customers and support our growing network of partners in the region.

Our UK customers have been notified of the upcoming changes to their support process, and we’ll be making some exciting new personnel and partner announcements very soon. See the official Press Release for more details.


We are delighted to announce our upcoming Document Creation solution, Avopress Brand Server. Our new solution will help organizations create brand compliant documents and presentations by providing a centrally managed content store for all of your document and branding assets. Templates, layouts, logos, graphics and fonts are uploaded and made available as default to all team members. Easily create, update, and distribute approved templates and branding assets to team members for use in document production. Stay tuned for updates, release windows and opportunities for advance access.

We are happy to announce our first product, Avopress Connector. Avopress Connector is a set of add-ins for Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint that will increase your productivity and significantly enhance your data security. At the core of Connector is a unique linking and embedding engine that gives you the ability to directly edit your linked data as needed, without needing access to the source data. Maintain data links in your presentations, reports and pitchbooks, while keeping your source data secure, only embedding the data necessary to create the linked chart, graph or table. Stay tuned for news and updates, and make sure to follow Avopress on Twitter and Facebook!

When you are making a business presentation, it is likely that you will need to show some financial data in your slides. Opening Excel during the presentation takes time, is distracting, and creates a choppy presentation. Fortunately, it is easy to have Excel data readily available in your PowerPoint slides without having to open Excel separately.

Or, for the sake of demonstration, you may want a blank spreadsheet to fill in during the presentation, perhaps in a class or conference. You might even want to edit and update the data based on inputs from your audience. You can do all these without opening the Microsoft Excel, from within PowerPoint presentation.

image001 Creating a new spreadsheet

For inserting a ‘new’ Spread sheet onto your slide, there are the steps you need to follow.

Go to ‘Insert‘ tab and then ‘Table’ and at the bottom, click on ‘Excel Spread sheet’.

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You get a blank Spread sheet inserted which you can fill in with your required data, as shown below:

Resizing

You can resize the new spreadsheet by clicking on the outside and dragging the edges to the desired size. You can also select the entire spreadsheet and drag it to where you need it on the slide. When you click inside the spread sheet it will bring you all the tools that are available in Microsoft Excel, so that you can work with the spread sheet just as you would in Excel.

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Once you have input your values, your spreadsheet will show up the same way as any other data in the slide. When you want to edit it, just position the cursor inside the spreadsheet and double click; just as before, the Excel tools will become available to you.

Inserting an existing spreadsheet

If you want to insert an existing spreadsheet that you have previously made, such as an annual report with financial data which you are presenting, it can also be done easily.

As before, go to the ‘Insert’ tab and then click on ‘Objects.’ From there, choose the option ‘Create from file,’ which will have an option to locate the Excel file through ‘Browse’. Choose the file you want to insert in the slide by clicking on it; the spreadsheet will appear in your slide.

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Text Box: There are also options for inserting parts of a spreadsheet rather than the entire document. This primarily involves a simple copy/paste function, but this Microsoft Support page offers some further guidance regarding this, should you need help. Once you choose the file, you can get the ‘Example’ spreadsheet on your slide as below:

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image008Resizing

You can resize and edit the spreadsheet to your preference by clicking on it as before, which will again bring up all the Excel tools needed to make your changes.

Sheets

You can use the ‘Sheet’ tabs for the Excel spreadsheet in your PowerPoint the same as you would in an Excel document; there is no need to separate multiple sheets across the slide(s). Just double click on the spread sheet and present the other sheets by clicking on their tabs. Below, you can see that the presenter has switched to ‘Sheet 2’:

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Altering data

Adding or changing the data in the slide’s spreadsheet is done easily by double clicking and making the change in the spreadsheet within the PowerPoint. After you are done with your changes, click outside the sheet and the changes will be reflected in your PowerPoint slide.

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Even though the changes will be reflected in the PowerPoint Slide, note that the changes will not be reflected in the Excel spreadsheet which you originally imported.

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How else can you combine Excel and PowerPoint? According to Glenna Shaw from the Microsoft MVP blog, utilizing both for project management helps efficiently plan and execute projects. Her method, “allows you to efficiently estimate time and costs, create the project schedule, monitor the schedule and budget and manage the resources and risks as well as document lessons learned.” Check out how she does it here .


Avopress is pleased to welcome you to our new website! We’ve worked hard to deliver an experience that we hope you will find enjoyable and easy to use. On this site we will bring you the latest information on our Avopress products, as well as several new support and contact options.


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