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communication design PowerPoint Presentation video

6 Tips on Using Color in Slide Design.

using color in slide design

Color choices on your slides are important. People react to color on both a physical and emotional level.

Often, we see color on PowerPoint slides that don’t seem to have a purpose. Or worse, the color undermines the emotional intent of the message. Sometimes, setting constraints or following basic rules on colors can help you make better color choices.

Here are 6 quick tips that cover the basics of using color in slide design.

1. Use bright colors to attract + stimulate. Don’t use color merely for decoration. Use it for a purpose like drawing attention or setting a mood.

2. Use muted colors for reflection + contemplation. You don’t want to be in “attraction + stimulation” mode all the time. Think about the emotional content of color and how it can enhance learning outcomes.

3. Be careful about using too much color on one slide. It can be confusing. Remember the design concepts of contrast and sameness: without balance, you can create clutter and chaos.

4. Beware of bevels, gradients, and red text. They can be hard to see.

5. Check contrasts for accessibility. For those who are color blind or have photosensitivity, some colors may be difficult or impossible to see. Check contrasts at https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/

6. Consider a limited, coordinated color palette. Pick one that meets your needs here: https://color.adobe.com/

What’s your fave quick tip for using color in slide design?


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

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PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation social media video

Get a QR code that links to your LinkedIn profile – put it on the last slide of your presentation

How do you get a QR code of your LinkedIn profile? You can do it directly from within LinkedIn!

I often put a QR code that leads to my LinkedIn profile on or near the last slide of my presentation. I sometimes will put one in a video.

With a QR code that leads to my LinkedIn profile, an audience member can scan the code and connect with me on LinkedIn, if they wish.

A few people asked me how to get their own QR code to use in their presentations and videos — and the answer is that it’s available right from within LinkedIn!

In this short video, (45 seconds) I show you how to create and scan a LinkedIn QR code.

If you feel so inclined, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Scan the code in the video, and you’ll go straight to my profile!


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

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Blogging Coaching communication content ideas design Education PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation public speaking social media Twitter video

How to transform presentation content into video social media posts

Here’s a question about presentations and videos I started to get a lot last month. I’ll paraphrase it:

Hey Laura. How do you do those square, short, silent little videos that you share on LinkedIn and Twitter?

The answer is: really easily! I use a tool called Canva. Update: And here’s a direct link so you can use Canva to create presentations and slides.

As a stand & deliver trainer, I have oodles of presentation content. Canva lets me repurpose bits and pieces of this content for easy social media sharing.

Yes, Canva excels at quick online video creation. I’m finding a lot of people use Canva — but we tend not to think of using it for video. We tend to think of it for images.

I’m also thinking a lot of people have PowerPoint presentations. Why not try using Canva to repurpose your presentation content for social media posts?

Canva lets you do this in a way that’s super easy to accomplish. I show you how in this two minute video. Enjoy!


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

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Coaching communication content ideas Education PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation public speaking video

Introduce emotional relevance to your presentations

Brain Rules by John Medina

“We don’t pay attention to boring things.”

John Medina, Brain Rules

Sounds basic, right?

But how do you NOT be boring when you’re speaking or presenting?

Medina tells us to be sure to introduce something emotionally relevant every 10 minutes.

At least every 10 minutes!

If we don’t, we risk losing the attention and interest of our audiences….because….

“We don’t pay attention to boring things.”

What can you do to shake things up for your audience?

Click on the video to discover 5 things you can do…in under 51 seconds!


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

Categories
Coaching communication design PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation public speaking

Never end your presentation with Q&A.

Never end your presentation with a Q&A.

Got that? Don’t end your next presentation by saying, “Any questions?”

There’s no need to announce that it’s time for questions and answers.

You can do better.

Always plan a strong closing.

If you’re planning a Q&A session, you can have it near the end, but not at the end.

Answer audience questions, then deliver your closing statement.

Don’t risk letting your super awesome presentation drift off into whatever might be on the mind of the last person who asked a question.

Wrap it up, partner. Put a bow on that presentation. 🎁

Consider this: I cover five strong closing techniques in my public speaking foundations course on LinkedIn Learning.

The full course is one hour. It’s a great resource to revisit before your next big speech or presentation, free for LinkedIn Premium Members.

Check it out. >>> http://linkedin-learning.pxf.io/JAb4N

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Coaching communication PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation public speaking

The 5 Worst Ways to Begin a Speech or Presentation…

5 worst ways to start a speech or presentation

Let’s explore 5 of the worst ways to open your next keynote or major presentation…that we hear ALL TOO OFTEN!

  1. Ahem! (clearing your throat – do vocal warmups beforehand, please!)
  2. Thank you…. (your audience doesn’t need to hear this.)
  3. It’s really great to be here….(you’re wasting even more time.)
  4. Can you hear me? (do your audio check before you hit the stage.)
  5. Hey, can you see my slides? (check your visuals beforehand, please!)

    If you’ve done one or all of these, you can do better. I know you can!

    Start with a strong opening technique.

Consider this: I cover five strong opening techniques in my public speaking foundations course on LinkedIn Learning.

The full course is one hour. It’s a great resource to revisit before your next big speech or presentation, free for LinkedIn Premium Members.

I get paid when you click on the link and take the course, though.

Check it out. >>> http://linkedin-learning.pxf.io/JAb4N

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PowerPoint Presentation Sway video

Microsoft Sway: give it a try, avoid the hype

Microsoft Sway is now freely available online. If you’re a story teller, check it out. Take a few minutes to watch the Microsoft tutorial video.  It will give you a broad overview of what Sway is and how you might use it. Then, go monkey around with it a little. It’s at Sway.com.

Whatever you do, don’t read too much about Sway right now. Avoid tech and business journals in particular. I’ve read too many online posts about Sway that I’ll politely call “myths mixed in with enough facts to be confusing”.

Three Microsoft Sway Myths Widely Perpetuated in Media Hype

Myth 1: Sway is a PowerPoint killer! Nope. It’s not. In fact, one of the first activities the Sway interface challenges you to do is to upload a PowerPoint presentation. Hmm. Unless Sway kills PowerPoint by telling you to use PowerPoint, how is it a PowerPoint killer? At its core, Sway is an online storytelling tool. PowerPoint is presentation slideware. The two coexist peacefully.

Myth 2: You need to download an app to use Sway! Uh-uh.  You can go directly to Sway.com and create a online story, right now. All you need is a computer with internet access and a Microsoft user name + password. No download is necessary, although if you like that kind of thing, go for it. You can go app happy at the Microsoft store.

Myth 3:  You can’t create original content in Sway! Sigh. I lost track of how many times that I read that you MUST upload a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or PDF — otherwise Microsoft Sway is useless.  Those writers must have missed the giant “Create New” button. Fact: you can start a story from scratch. (I did that for my very first Sway story.)

Sway is not a PowerPoint Killer
These are the first two activities you’ll see in Sway. And yet, it’s a Powerpoint killer? And you can’t create new content? Phooey.

Go ahead and give Sway a try. Avoid reading about it and have a little fun actually playing with it. Bring along a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, and a PDF file to see what Sway will do with them when you upload them. You might like it, hate it, or feel indifferent: but if you play with it for a half hour, you’ll probably have 29 more minutes of experience with Sway than many of the reporters who wrote about it.

Have some fun. Play with Sway. You can form your own cursory opinions, free from confusing media hype and spin.

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Education fun PowerPoint Presentation

Do you want me to bore you?

Tiger Yawning

“I can bore you to death with a couple hundred PowerPoint slides for the next hour, or we can have a discussion and make this fun and interactive,” said the speaker.

Seriously. Those were the first words out of his mouth. The audience of around 50 just sat there, including me.

After about 5 silent and stunned seconds, I was the first to speak.

“Let’s make it fun and interactive,” I said.

“Oh, good,” said the speaker. “I was hoping someone would say that.”

He flipped off the projection unit that showed the title page of his slide deck. He began interacting with the audience. He held our attention for over an hour. I walked away learning quite a bit and enjoyed the give-and-take between speaker and audience members.

But it left me wondering. Why would he give us a choice? And why would anyone choose the boring option?

 

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PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation

Who else remembers a world before PowerPoint?

Who can remember the first presentation they ever gave using PowerPoint? Can you remember with any specificity, or is PowerPoint so ubiquitous that you can’t really remember?

For those of use who are over 23 years of age — we are not PowerPoint natives. Some of us can remember a time before PowerPoint existed…and we gave presentations, anyway.

My first PowerPoint… it was in the early 1990’s. As a leader of a corporate IT user group, I was charged with giving the team’s recommendations to the executive staff.

I gave my first PowerPoint presentation a yellow background. I used few words — mostly pictures and headlines — and picked the “dissolve” transition between each slide. I gave it on a computer, as the executive staff circled around the monitor, amazed by the potential to use this whiz-bang new technology to tell a convincing story.

I remember a lot of “oooooh’s and aaaah’s”, followed up by “Neat. How’d you do that? Can we do that for sales? How about training?”

The executive staff approved our proposal. And PowerPoint became a global standard for business presentations.

Are you a PowerPoint native? Where were you when you delivered your first PowerPoint presentation?

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design PowerPoint Presentation

Slide Design: Try this ‘Simple’ Game…

I love working with talented professional designers. They can help you create slides that not only look beautiful, but really help enhance your presentation.

However, most of the time, I don’t have the luxury or budget to hire a design team to produce my slides. For many business presentations, slide design becomes a do-it-yourself effort.

When designing slides, I need to remember my limitations! I’m not a professional designer, so I need to keep my slides simple. And as luck would have it,  simplicity makes for great slide design.

Stingy Design Restrictions

Ironically, simplicity isn’t as simple as it sounds. It often means using restraint. Holding back can be really difficult when you’re using slideware that offers you zillions of design options. Like a kid in a toy store, you can be tempted to play with all these distracting features — and forget to connect to your audience with solid content and excellent presentation skills!

And that’s a key concept when designing with simplicity — avoiding distractions. When you approach your slideware, try playing this eye-opening little game. Start by giving yourself some very restrictive rules.

To begin, let me give you a set of design rules that may seem really harsh. Remember, think of this as a game. Your goal is to design your presentation using 5 very spartan rules:

  • Use 1 font types and 2 font sizes, max.
  • Use black, white, and grey: no color on your slides.
  • No bullet points or 3D.
  • No more than 10 words on any slide.
  • No pre-packaged design templates, clipart, animation, & transitions.

That’s pretty harsh, right? Go ahead and give it a try. You’ll find that giving yourself some very restrictive rules can really open up your creativity. You may or may not like the way this presentation looks in the end, but this is only round one of the game. Save your presentation, and let’s try round two.

Open up your B&W presentation, and save it as another name — maybe something with Part 2 in it. Now, let’s loosen up the rules a bit. This time, you can follow these 5 rules, instead.

Loosen Up Design Rules

  • Use 2 font types and 3 font sizes, max.
  • Only one color other than black, white, and grey.
  • Use up to 3 bullet points — but on one slide only.
  • No more than 14 words on any slide.
  • No pre-packaged design templates, clipart, animation, & transitions.

That’s only a little less harsh, right? But notice what happens when you start from a place of restriction and gradually open yourself up to a few new features. You’ll start to see what’s really essential — and what might be distracting.

This approach is almost in direct opposition to what we see with most slideware. Instead of giving yourself access to every tool in your design toolbox, start by limiting yourself. Gradually, add a few techniques in each iteration.

For your third and final iteration, go a little crazy. Open up your design restrictions to these rules:

  • Use up to 2 font types and 3 font sizes.
  • Use unlimited amounts of color on your slides.
  • Limit yourself to seven bullet points on three slides.
  • You can put up to 20 words on any slide.
  • Still no pre-packaged design templates, clipart, animation, or transitions.
Go nuts with design

photo by Euromagic

Try this exercise. You’ll discover some surprising insights when you do. You may even find that you like your black and white presentation so much, you’ll be inclined to keep it!

Remember, simplicity is often best in slide design. You may feel that it’s impossible to keep to the stringent rules I’ve outlined. But, your mind will love a creative challenge. And remember that giving yourself design limitations may help you design a more polished presentation.