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Monday, February 22, 2010

Delivering the Presentation

Keyboard shortcuts are helpful when you’re delivering a presentation:

F5 (the function key) starts the slide presentation.

B toggles to a black screen and then back to the presentation. (Eliminate the visual so the audience focuses on you, especially when you're answering a question that's not related to the current slide or you’re starting your presentation but the slides aren’t part of the introduction.)

W toggles to a white screen and then back to the presentation.

N advances to the next slide (same as pressing ENTER key or clicking the Left mouse button).

P moves back to the previous slide.

HOME key goes to the first slide of the presentation.

END key goes to the last slide of the presentation.

Ctrl+S displays a menu of slides in the program; type the number of the slide to go to and press ENTER. Or, if you know the slide number; type it and press ENTER without using Ctrl+S.

ESC key ends the presentation.

TAB key moves to all hyperlinks on slide; then, press ENTER to select.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just Say No to PowerPoint?

Next week, February 7 – 13, is “Just Say No to PowerPoint” week. Really? Say no to PowerPoint? Is it PowerPoint’s fault if a presentation is lousy?

While some presenters use the slide deck as their cue cards, the slides are for the audience, not the presenter. Text competes with your message because people are reading the slide or writing down everything on the slide while you’re speaking. So, is the audience really listening to what you’re saying?

Images, on the other hand, help reinforce and complement your message. Having pictures and possibly a “headline” that relates to your topic is recommended. Be sure to use professional photo images; iStockphoto ( is a first-rate resource for images. Two excellent books on this subject are Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds and Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson.

To create a more engaging slide deck, use the Title and Content slide layout:

  • Click the Layout button (located on the Home tab in the Slides group—version 2007). Or, select Format Slide Layout from the menu bar in version 2003.
  • Select the Title and Content slide layout.
  • Click the Insert Picture from File icon.
  • Locate the image file and double-click the filename.
  • Resize the image.
  • Click the title placeholder (“Click to add title”)
  • Type the text/title.