During my webinar yesterday I covered the MediaPlayer object as a way of using DVD in PowerPoint, but it has limitations. About an hour after I finished, it occurred to me that there is a much better way to do it–put an empty button on the Slide Master and give it an Action Setting with a Hyperlink to your default DVD Player: Intervideo WinDVD or even Media Player. With your DVD player launched during the presentation, and a DVD disc in your drive, you can move from Title to Title whenever you want to play your content, and then close the player and continue whenever you want. This beats the MediaPlayer object which does not have the navigational capability to go through a DVD.
Posted by Tom Bunzel at 12:19 PM .
12 Comments »
Tradeshows are like Halloween without the costumes. You go from one booth to another and people give you treats (candy, t-shirts, key rings) to make you like them.
At the VNU Training Fall Conference and Expo last week in Long Beach, CA, I came away with a lousy box of mints, a blinking lapel pin and a couple of rubber earth balls. No matter, I was more interested in seeing which business presentation vendors were exhibiting at the event. What I found was a sparsely attended regional show dominated by e-learning vendors, most of them offering enterprise-level software and services. Only a six-pack of companies were clear crossovers to business presentation: Articulate, PointeCast, Serious Magic, SMART Technologies, TechSmith and Turning Technologies. As close as presentation and training are in spirit and practice, the two worlds are still mostly segregated. Why do you suppose that is?
Still it was worth the trip. I ran across a few products that might be of interest to the blog goblins who haunt Visual Being. See what you think.
One is ReadyGo. The company offers a Web Course Builder that boasts ease of use. But its real attraction is price. Most similar products run in the thousands of dollars. This one retails for less than $500. The thinking behind the product is that people who are not e-learning specialists can now create courses without a high cost of entry or a steep learning curve. Courseware for the masses. I suppose this means that soon everyone will publish their own online school. “I got my degree at the University of Fred.”
Qwizdom is an audience response system that focuses on the training market, but is fully applicable to business presentation. It competes with ARS products such as Turning Point and Fleetwood. The two keypad styles have digital readouts that give them extra flexibility for audience interaction. Unlike Turning Point, which works as a PowerPoint plug-in, Quizdom Interact software is a stand-alone application that imports PowerPoint slides and other media types.
The last product, which you should look at just for laughs, is called FastTrack, from Apixel in Australia. The company sells a training course package (Metamorphosis) that uses a “smart” search engine to quickly parse Word documents into training modules, complete with layouts and auto-selected artwork. For reasons the sales rep could not explain, the company took the same software engine and packaged it for presentations. FastTrack divides paragraphs in a Word doc into individual slides then searches its built-in stock photo database for images that correspond to the words on the page. Sound nutty? See for yourself. There is very little info on the site, but you can download the trial version and user guide. (Beware: If you are doing a presentation about “boxers,” the system might paste in a dog, or a factory worker, or an athlete, or a pair of men’s underwear. Talk about trick or treat.)
Posted by Robert L. Lindstrom at 6:06 PM .
The PowerPoint Universe session at PPTlive last month was well attended and appreciated by attendees and technology providers alike.
See this release from Turning Technologies who provided their TurningPoint audience response system (ARS) for the session.
Todd Dunn and Mary Waldera are quoted.
Posted by Ray Guyot at 7:40 AM .
2 Comments »
I spend 80% of my time on the road, my finance will attest to that, and I am always making color copies of our graphics and color books. Take with me to create interesting & compelling color schemes for our clients.
There are some great online resources, such as bamag.com but a wi-fi is not always available.
The color wheel pro helps you quickly create color schemes based on color theory. www.color-wheel-pro.com
The real world examples are awesome, especially since they are illustrated in various forms such as logos and charts. When you click on the examples they give you an RGB Dialog box appears and you can type your values right into PowerPoint.
The cost is minimal, only $39.95.
Posted by Julie Marie Irvin at 4:11 PM .
I just found another program for converting PowerPoint files to DVD. PresenterSoft has released PowerVideoMaker.
Key features from the website:
Convert existing PowerPoint presentations to smooth video of the highest quality
With PowerVideoMaker Professional , you can convert PowerPoint to videos of crystal clear resolution in AVI , MPEG or WMV format.
Easy-to-Use,No Experience Necessary!
PowerVideoMaker Professional is remarkably simple to use, even if you have no experience. Everything that you need to do is easily and quickly accomplished through an intuitive user friendly interface.
Preserve all of the original PowerPoint file
Preserves animations, graphics, transitions, audios and narrations from the original PowerPoint Presentations
Supports multiple audio tracks on the same slide.
PowerVideoMaker preserves multiple audio tracks which are playing simultaneously on the same slide.
Supports audio files that play across multiple slides or animation effects
Audio files that play across multiple slides or animation effects can also be preserved.
Supports sound effects of animations and transitions
PowerVideoMaker keeps sound effects of animations and transitions in the video.
Supports Three Timing modes
Currently, PowerVideoMaker supports “Automatic Timing”, “Rehearse Timing Now” and “Use existing Timings”.
This is promising and some competition for Wondershare’s PPT2DVD.
Some solid solutions should be here soon now that the competition has started.
I still don’t see features that handle videos in a presentation yet but that can be done in the DVD authoring.
I’ll give them both a try and see what happens.
Posted by Todd Dunn, CTS at 9:53 AM .
Those of us who provide services and content for the presentation professional community tend to overlook a sect of the marketplace, largely because they are difficult to define. For our conference, I can tell you that locating them could be the holy grail of our marketing efforts.
I refer to the administrative assistant.
Do they get a fair shake with regard to inclusion in our professional community? Perhaps not…
It’s almost insulting to think that I would have to reiterate this, but an admin is much more than a secretary (and in my best Seinfeld tone, I would quickly say “not that there’s anything wrong with that”). Today’s admins are called upon to provide support and execution in a dizzying array of categories, and in that regard, they are representative of a very real dynamic of our PowerPoint community: there is no one job title or description that can ever suffice.
We would overlook the admin at our own peril, in our Presentation Council activities and here at Visual Being. And I can tell you with certainty that if I knew how to tap into the ever-so-diffuse association of administrative professionals, I don’t think I would ever have to worry about marketing PowerPoint Live again…
Posted by Rick Altman at 10:24 AM .
2 Comments »
While I did not post LIVE as Rob Lindstrom did, I managed to write up my experiences and insights at the recent PowerPoint LIVE conference for InformIT.com. Here’s the link.
Posted by Tom Bunzel at 2:09 PM .
I subscribe to a newsletter called Graphics.com. Though mostly for Mac Users and PhotoShop junkies (of which I am not), I get some valuable design and link information. The latest newsletter has a link to a site called Creatas Images. It’s a one-stop shop for a whole bunch of royalty-free images available as single images (for around $90 for low res up to $270 for hi res) and in CD collections (around $400-500). Also available are footage clips, design tools, and the site even has a Bargain page. The bargain page for instance right now has Dynamic Graphics photo CDs and liquidlibrary CDs for only $99, Dynamic Graphics illustration CDs only $25, and Dynamic Graphics Footage CDs only $299. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Mary Waldera at 4:09 PM .
On Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools, a new(old) review of:
Beyond Bullet Points
Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations that Inform, Motivate, and Inspire
2005, 223 pages
Also see the Beyond Bullets Blog
Following the approach of this book, I have spent dozens of hours storyboarding my own recent presentations, and hundreds of dollars on custom photographs and image research. It has paid off. I’ve used this approach on all kinds of audiences all over the world, and it works. Right now, anyone using these techniques has a strategic advantage in being heard — after listening to the second or third speaker reading words on the screen, audiences who see a well-orchestrated visual accompaniment to a well-plotted narrative start waking up and paying attention.
Do not advance one slide further without reading this book.
– Howard Rheingold, acclaimed public speaker and author of
Posted by Peter Durand at 8:27 AM .
1 Comment »
A couple of months ago I was asked to give a presentation at our quarterly department meeting. These meetings regularly feature an ‘in-house’ speaker and I’d somehow managed to avoid being called for my turn of duty for over three years.
So what to talk about?
For years I’ve been proselytizing locally about new approaches to presentations and PowerPoint use – and I’d got about half-way through Cliff Atkinson’s book – I thought that it was about time I formally introduced the Beyond Bullet Points approach to our site.
I finally got around to preparing the talk at the beginning of this week – I find tight deadlines always focus the mind. I hastily skimmed the remaining chapters of the book, downloaded the template and started constructing my screenplay and storyboard. A presentation about presenting; I called it ‘Telling Stories’.
To cut to the chase, I gave the presentation today – 3 acts, 30 slides, 25 minutes – no bullets.
It was the only presentation given at a department meeting that has concluded with a spontaneous round of applause.
But basking in my five minutes of fame is not what this post is about. After all, most presentations – no, make that all presentations – given at internal meetings here follow the old-style format we are all too familar with. By adopting the storytelling approach and using striking visuals I produced something so different that people were impressed by my temerity if nothing else.
What I thought might be of interest was a document that I found whilst checking some links I planned on sharing with my audience. Just before the presentation I found a link to Till Voswinckel’s thesis: Presentational Visualisation: Towards an Imagery-Based Approach of Presentation Visuals (large PDF-4Mb) – on the powerpointless blog.
It seems to cover pretty well everything that I was talking about in my presentation and more. I haven’t read it all yet but thought that it might be of interest in the current debates surrounding academic research into approaches to presentation.
Posted by Roy Hammans at 2:59 PM .
“Change the form of information, or its quantity, or speed, or direction, or accessibility, and some monopoly will be broken, some ideology threatened, some pattern of authority will find itself without a foundation. We might say that the most potent revolutionaries are those people who invent new media of communication, although typically they are not aware of what they are doing.”
~Neil Postman, Teaching as a Conserving Activity
Posted by Lee Potts at 11:40 AM .
This doesn’t seem to be on their web site yet, but I just received an email announcement:
We are very excited to announce our name change. Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., Executive Director, explains: “We believe the name ‘InfoComm International’ provides better name recognition for prospective members, consolidates the usage of various brand names within the association, and better reflects the high-tech union between information technology and the audiovisual industry.”
Posted by Lee Potts at 12:28 PM .
1 Comment »