We are kicking off a new series here at Panda called “This is how I work” – where we interview presentation experts to understand their routines, tools, hacks, resources and more.
Our first guest is Lea Pica, a presentation hero who has a TON of experience creating awesome presentations.
Lea is an accomplished speaker, writer and podcaster having spoken at industry and company events including eMetrics, Analytics Demystified, ConversionXL, and ForeSee. Her podcast, “The Present Beyond Measure Show”, helps listeners learn how to tell compelling stories with data, as she interviews the leading minds in digital analytics. The show has become one of the most popular analytics podcasts in less than a year.
So without further ado, here’s how Lea works. You are going to love the presentation tips, tools, and resources she has to share!
Location: Home office in beautiful Bucks County, PA
Current Gig: Director of Data Visualization and Storytelling, Search Discovery and Host of the Present Beyond Measure Podcast
One word that best describes how you work: Passionately
Current computer: Custom-built PC and Apple Macbook Pro
Preferred program for creating presentations: PowerPoint
First of all, tell me a little about your background and how you got to where you are today?
After deciding not to pursue my musical theater aspirations, I spent the first 12 years of my career in various roles in the digital marketing space. I managed search marketing and web analytics programs for the likes of Scholastic, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and Prudential. Somewhere along the way, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere with presenting my data to stakeholders and decision-makers. I had my big eureka moment when asked to present in Prezi for grad school, and I realized I had to completely rethink my approach.
I picked up Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds on a lark, and was totally hooked. I voraciously consumed every resource on presentation and data visualization I could find. I began to study the work of Edward Tufte, Nancy Duarte, Stephen Few, Guy Kawasaki, and Seth Godin. I began incorporating these principles into my work, and the results amazed me: I was earning more budget for analytics capabilities for my team, getting invited to kickoff projects, and reactivating dormant optimization projects. My presentations were finally beginning to inspire action.
When I attended a digital analytics conference later that year, I realized that these same mistakes were being made everywhere I turned. No one was being empowered with the right toolset for delivering information in an impactful way. I vowed that one day I would take that same stage to spread the message that there was a better way.
Four years later, I was invited by a software vendor to present at their annual status. I decided this would be my inaugural platform to spread the word about effective data presentation. Despite my no-name status, lack of polish and severe stage fright, it ended being one of the summit’s highest rated sessions to date. This reaffirmed to me the importance of tackling this issue in the analytics space head-on. Folks in the industry caught wind, and I was invited to a number of conferences and seminars in the years to follow. I finally decided to go rogue two years ago and leave the corporate world to pursue my dream of training, blogging, and podcasting about all things data presentation.
And here I am!
What presentation tools can’t you live without? Why?
One of my favorite finds is a suite of tools by Veodin. The first tool is KeyRocket, which is a little productivity app that acts as a keyboard shortcut training coach for your entire computer, including PowerPoint. Every time I use my mouse to perform an action, KeyRocket pops up a little prompt with a time-saving keyboard shortcut. Shortcuts are essential to finishing that slide deck in the 11th hour and creating more time for planning and prep!
The second tool is SlideProof, which acts as a majorly anal-retentive editor for your PowerPoint presentations. Through an 80-point check, it hunts down every rogue misaligned object, inconsistent spacing, and grammatical error. It’s saved me from more than one potentially mortifying slide flub! SlideProof also boasts a huge shape library, pulls together an agenda on the fly using site sections, and conveniently surfaces the program’s most powerful features.
Last, I can’t live without the Voice Memos app on my iPhone. Listening to myself speak was a game-changing practice for identifying and refining my weak points in diction and intonation. And, I listen to my recordings while traveling to speaking engagements as a method of preparation.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I have a whole lot of workspace stuffed into an itty bitty living space! My monster custom-built PC monitor sits next to my amazing Audio-Technica ATR2100 podcast microphone on a vintage gray desk. I have a filing cabinet to my left which houses my DBX 286s Mic Pre-Amp and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. My microphone plus those two bad boys make my podcast voices sound silky smooth with resonant depth. Atop my monitor sits a Logitech 720p HD webcam for video tutorials and interviews.
While working I’m able to view my sprawling backyard from my little cottage. I absolutely love mentally stepping into a vision of nature and stillness while in my peak creative zone.
What’s is a trend you see in presentations right now?
One of my favorite trends is a dimmed photo behind a bold statement or quote in white text, or a background using bokeh lights. I love seeing fresh interplays of thin and think font families to emphasize key words in content.
What’s your process/method for creating presentations?
I always start with a presentation planning method I discovered some time ago from Olivia Mitchell called Presenting By Boxes. It is a super practical approach for distilling and organizing your content into a clear framework that always keeps your audience and objective front and center. I love how it emphasizes succinctly supporting your key message and prompting your audience to action.
What is one of your favorite presentation hacks/tips/tricks?
My favorite hack is customizing the Quick Access Toolbar (or QAT) in PowerPoint. The QAT allows you to create your own shortcuts for rote tasks like object alignment that take your hand away from the keyboard and waste precious seconds. I learned about it through my friends at Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, who offer an entire course dedicated to tapping the productivity power of the QAT. It is one of the best-kept secrets in PowerPoint!
What’s a great presentation related resource you use often?
I adore the Canva Design School for inspiration on how to design beautiful and impactful quote slides, statement slides, and an overall look and feel. Canva’s interactive lessons are simple, fun, and visually entertaining. It helps prove the point that you do NOT have to be a professional artist to design effective presentation slides.
What makes you “cringe” the most when you think about a boring/ugly presentation slide?
Rather than one element being cringe-worthy, I rather cringe when I see a slide stuffed with many missteps. I often see a typical slide where the title is a boring statement about what the slide is showing, rather than a bold observation or insight behind the visual. Then there are multiple charts or tables crammed into a small space, usually rendered with cognitive-loading, visual noise like gridlines, excessive labels, and rainbow color palettes. The final nail in the coffin is a barrage of bullet points at the bottom in tiny font, hinting at the key insight but buried in excessive wordiness.
When I witness this symphony of slide sloppiness, it makes my heart sad. It is truly a function of never being taught a better way, and that is why I am so passionate about my “No Slide Left Behind” mission!
What do you listen to while you work on your presentations? Got a favorite playlist? Maybe talk radio? Or do you prefer silence? How do you get into the creative zone?
I’m a music fiend and always have something playing during go time. I have multiple playlists on Spotify running on a continuous loop throughout the day, catering to my specific mood and concentration. My favorite productivity playlists range between Deep Focus, 90’s R&B, and the soundtrack to Interstellar. Eclectic, I know!
Another amazing find is Focus@Will, an online radio station that plays what they call “neuroergonomic” music designed to maximize productivity by helping the listener enter a flow state. I FLY through my presentations when I listen to the Focus@Will Alpha Chill station.
What are you currently reading in relation to presentations? What’s something you’d recommend for people to read?
Right now I’m finishing Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo. I’m fascinated by the storytelling mastery behind TED, and am loving learning what makes an engaged audience tick. I particularly enjoy the analysis of the common threads between the most successful TED talks, such as an engaging backstory and delivering “jaw-dropping moments”.
My first recommendation when it comes to upping your data presentation game would be Storytelling with Data by my friend Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. For me, this read distils the best of every presentation and data visualization book I’d read into a practical approach to telling your data story. Cole’s approach leverages cinematic storytelling techniques and her tone is balanced without a hint of dogma or judgment.
How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?
I’m an avid yogini and incorporate a daily yoga and affirmation practice into my day. My cottage overlooks a stunning valley so I frequently go outside to my deck for some grounding and recharging, especially during the spectacular sunsets.
What’s a good piece of advice you’ve received when it comes to creating presentations?
Exercise extreme discrimination and intention when using animation. Early in my career, I was told by my boss that while my content was great, my animations made him seasick. I’m talking checkerboard and spiral transitions while laser beaming in every single letter on the slide (yes, that was an available animation back then.) I thought that because I knew every feature, that made me an expert on how to present. Oopsie daysie.
Today, I am very judicious with animation, using nothing more than simple fades and white boxes to strategically hide and reveal information as I guide the audience through my narrative. Animation is even riskier with Prezi, and I would advise an abundance of caution when creating your animation path to avoid vertigo-inducing death spirals.
What’s the one piece of advice you would tell someone before or during public speaking (delivering a presentation)?
Do NOT walk into that room or stage without rehearsing your talk. In my professional experience, I have learned that my stage fright is inversely proportional to my amount of preparation. There is a reason behind the old theater adage of “practice, practice, practice”, and the number three is quite relevant here. I believe that when you run through your material at least three times, you begin to integrate the concepts in a way that dramatically builds confidence. At the very least, practice at least one time more than you typically do (which often means one time!)
I frequently encounter resistance from my workshop students when expressing the importance of preparation due to a lack of time. I advise my workshop students to adopt a mindset that practicing your presentation is as critical as creating a slide deck or showing up to speak. If we treat preparation with the same degree of importance, pockets of time begin to reveal themselves.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans?
I am a super crunchy-granola closet hippie and amateur homesteader, which means I cook almost everything I eat from scratch. I love adapting traditionally indulgent foods like muffins and pancakes to a nutrient-dense Paleo template, it’s one of my great passions. I also adore crafting fun treats like homemade gummy candy and beef jerky with my budding toddler chef!
The Presentation Panda: How I Work series asks presentation heroes, experts, and flat-out awesome people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. If you would like to be featured or have someone you want to see featured contact us here.
PowerPoint vs. Canva! Could this be the most important debate of our time?
Probably not … but here’s the deal:
Here at Presentation Panda, we live for pitting two perfectly good software programs against each other in a bitter showdown fight to the death to see who wins.
We simply love looking at the pros and cons of different programs and while we do voice our opinions from time to time (looking at you, Prezi vs. PowerPoint), we think it all depends on what you’re looking for.
So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Canva and PowerPoint for presentations so you can make the best choice!
Canva – a fast and super simple free online tool to easily create slides
Canva was born out of a desire to make design simple for people, and it grew from there. It’s used for all sorts of designs, from social media posts to presentations (which is what we’ll be talking about here). It’s grown in popularity tremendously, and claims to have over 10 million users today.
So what’s the big deal?
Simple Well, like we mentioned before. It’s simple. Like, really simple. It’s easy to understand, easy to use, and a great intro for people who have never tried to design anything in their life. And if that sounds too difficult, they even offer an interactive tutorial when you get started (that gets you up to speed in 23 seconds – what a time suck!).
Minimal Features Of course, with simplicity comes a bit of a sacrifice in features. The design ability is pretty limited – but again, that’s part of the point. With the small amount of features and that tutorial we mentioned above, it may actually be easier to learn than PowerPoint!
A Nice Selection of Preloaded Custom Fonts Okay, on to something you hear us talk about a lot here: fonts. You’ll be happy to hear that not only does Canva have a pretty decent selection of pre-loaded fonts, but we approve of them! In fact, a lot of them are ones we highly recommend.
Drag-and-Drop Functionality We really love this functionality. Not only is it user-friendly, when it’s combined with the search feature, it makes it super easy to discover image elements and include the ones you like.
Price We know what you’re thinking. We can read your mind. You’re thinking, “But Presentation Panda, this has to be a crazy expensive program. With that slick website and fancy talk about making design simple for everyone, they must charge a lot.”
Nope! They’re free.
If price is your biggest concern, you really can’t go wrong with Canva. You can use every single template Canva has for free, no sneaky “freemium” business. The only thing you would have to pay for is if you wanted to use one of the premium images they offer, and even then it’s only $1 an image.
Don’t want to pay a single penny? We feel you. They also offer tons of free images, so there’s no need to use the premium ones if you don’t want to.
Canva also has a premium pricing model for some extra features which leads us to our next point.
Canva for Work For $12.95 a month you can get access to Canva for Work which will allows you (and anyone else on our team) to easily create graphics that are aligned with your visual branding — no extensive design training required. Using Canva for Work can save you time and ensure your graphics look awesome.
Branding Before we start on this one, know that this is a premium option. But it’s really cool, so we wanted to share.
If you’re making presentations regularly for your business or the company you work for, and you have certain fonts and colors you use consistently, you can save them within Canva. This makes them easy to access and use instead of having to enter them in each time. If you do this a lot and you don’t mind spending a little money, this could be worth it.
Of course, no program is perfect. Which brings us to…
Yeah, this is a pro and a con for us. While it’s awesome that it’s so easy to use, the features are really, really minimal. Currently, the ribbon only lets you:
Pick your font
Make the font bigger, smaller, bold, or italic
Change the color of objects or make them transparent
Annnnd that’s about it. Simple, yes. For YOUR specific needs though, it may be TOO simple. We will leave that for you to decide!
Control Just because we like to have complete control over the fonts, colors, animations, images, and transitions doesn’t mean we’re control freaks!
Okay maybe. But all of those things come together to create a really amazing, unique, and personal presentation. If you’re looking for that special touch and really want to wow your audience, you may find it harder if you’re using Canva.
Maximum of 30 Slides This may not be a problem for you if you have a short presentation, but Canva maxes out at 30 slides. We do like to think that less is more, but sometimes you just need more slides.
Features We Miss There are a lot of great features on PowerPoint that we really love, that are sorely lacking with Canva. Included are:
Animations – you can’t introduce points one at a time, or animate any of the content on your slides. We do generally advocate going easy on the animation, but a little bit can spice things up! This makes it pretty static.
Transitions – it just cuts to the next slide, no option to insert a transition. Again, this can make your presentation feel pretty static.
Parallax scrolling – this is one of our favorite features because it just brings that next level of slickness and professionalism to your presentation. It’s a great way to emulate Prezi a little bit (without the dizziness), and that’s just not available with Canva.
Video – you definitely can’t record video with Canva – you can’t even insert video! You’re limited to images only for this program.
PowerPoint – a powerful (but still user-friendly) program to make some slide magic
PowerPoint is a household name. It’s sturdy, reliable, and even though it can be used for evil, we like to help people use its powers for good!
Basically, PowerPoint is a Microsoft product used for creating presentations. It has a lot of awesome features and is very adaptable to just about anything you want to use it for. And if peer pressure is your thing, an incredible 500 million people around the world use it.
Of course, it’s no secret that we love PowerPoint at Presentation Panda. In fact, our awesome template is made just for PowerPoint (plug plug plug). We may be a tiny bit biased, but we’re more than capable of recognizing the pros and cons of PowerPoint.
So what do we love and hate about it?
Easy Yes, Canva is easy, but so is PowerPoint! Most of the functions are extremely user-friendly and easy to figure out just by poking around. It’s all organized really well, and the ribbon is easy to navigate.
Robust Features PowerPoint is like Earth-based heaven for anyone that wants a lot of features to use in their presentation. The design features and possibilities are close to endless! The contrast really comes out when going from PowerPoint to Canva – we love our design features and really miss them when using Canva.
Hacks! Yeah, the word is getting a little overused (cough, Buzzfeed, cough). But it’s true! There are lots of hacks and workarounds you can do with PowerPoint that can result in some stunning looking slides. Some that we love are animations to introduce your points one by one, custom templates (like are award winning Influencer Template), and inserting video clips to change things up and keep your audience engaged.
Compatible This one is easy – PowerPoint doesn’t play favorites. It works on every computer, simple as that. Your boss probably expects your next presentation to be in PowerPoint and if your company is a stickler about keeping info secure on a private server (i.e., not stored in the cloud like Canva) PowerPoint may be your only option.
Shortcuts If you need to whip up an awesome presentation and you’re on a time crunch, PowerPoint is the place to go. There are tons of design shortcuts like templates, ppt keyboard hacks, and easy-to-do animations that give it some pizzazz.
Video Speaking of video, it’s not only possible to insert video; you can actually record and play videos through PowerPoint.
Extra Control During Your Presentations Even if you create a stunning looking presentation, it’s still possible for your audience to get a little bored. There are a lot of options for things you can do within your presentation to keep people engaged!
In addition to inserting a video like we mentioned above, you can create a hyper-linked table of contents so that you can jump from section to section, you can draw on the slide to get and direct people’s attention to a certain point, or you can use Control + B to turn the screen black and shift attention back to you.
Okay, enough of the lovey-dovey stuff. We’ve got some bones to pick too…
Cost It’s always money, money, money with you! But it’s true, PowerPoint is certainly not free. Most people buy the entire Office 365 program (which includes other essentials like Word and Excel) for a one-time purchase of $149, or a yearly cost of $100 or $70 (depending on the functionality and different programs you want).
That can be a lot of money for some people. You can buy PowerPoint separately for $109, which makes it a pretty clear choice to just buy the package. But still, just looking solely at a money comparison with Canva, $0 vs. $109 is a pretty easy choice.
Fonts We gave Canva props for their fonts, which we’re going to rub in a little bit here. We are just not a fan of the pre-loaded fonts on PowerPoint, and they’re pretty limited. Canva is the clear winner in this category as well.
If you’re still in the PowerPoint camp but want more font options, it’s easy enough to download the fonts you want from places like Font Squirrel. There are tons of categories that are organized really nicely, so it’s very easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
What you’ll notice is that there are two decent sized cons with PowerPoint, and lots of small ones with Canva. It really does just depend on what you’re looking for – a fast and super simple free program to easily create some basic slides, or a powerful (but still user-friendly) program to really make some magic.
Of course, either one can fall prey to what we talk about a lot here, which are boring presentations with no creativity and lots of bullet points (we really hate bullet points). Whichever program you end up using, check out the rest of our blog for tons of tips on how to make a great presentation!
What do you think? When it comes to PowerPoint vs. Canva are you partial to Canva or PowerPoint, or do you use another program entirely? Did we miss any of your favorite features or biggest pet peeves? Let us know!
If you aren’t using PowerPoint 2016 already … you should!
Microsoft Office 2016 has received some pretty great reviews online and today we are going to be talking about the top 5 benefits of PowerPoint 2016 (which is included in the Microsoft Office suite) and why you need to consider making the 2016 PowerPoint upgrade.
Just imagine all the functionality and features you’re used to, but with added enhancements to help you create the most stunning slides.
You’ll be glad you made the switch.
So let’s begin!
Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #1: Morph – a clever transition effect for making smooth animations, transitions, and object movements across your slides. We would upgrade to PowerPoint 2016 for this reason alone!
Morph Transitions in PowerPoint 2016 was created to take your ANIMATIONS to the next level.
It hasn’t created that much buzz yet but we think overtime people will realize how awesome this feature really is.
Simply explained, Morph allows you to SEAMLESSLY move an object from Point A to Point B. To move objects effectively you’ll need to have two slides with at least one object in common. An easy way is to duplicate the slide and then move the object on the second slide to a different place. You can also copy and paste the object from one slide and add it to the next.
PowerPoint then “AUTOMAGICALLY” estimates the difference between the two slides and applies a smooth animation between them. Play around with movement and transitions. You can use Morph to move objects, change colors, shrink or zoom into a particular view.
So, how can this tool be applied?
You can apply the Morph transition to slides and create the appearance of movement in a wide range of objects, such as shapes, text, images, and charts.
Check out the animated GIF below that we created to see the Morph transition in action. Pretty cool right?!
The direct transitions of Morph can be a very powerful tool to help you explain business processes or steps.
Morph Transitions is an easier way to animate without the use of complicated motion paths. But unlike motion paths, the transition takes the shortest direct route.
One thing to note about Morph, it’s an Office 365 subscription only feature. This means that you can only access this feature if you have purchased Office 365.
However, keep in mind that animations and a smooth transition between slides can mean the difference between captivating your audience or putting them to sleep.
Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #2: PowerPoint designer – suggests color schemes and layouts for your presentation, based on the picture you add to your slide.
Suffering from presentation design-block? Staring at a blank canvas and nothing comes to mind? Stressed about where to even begin? We know how difficult it can be to design a presentation.
So what is PowerPoint’s new Designer tool? According to Microsoft, “Designer applies cloud intelligence to analyze and identify the most compelling portion of your images to determine which blueprints work best with your content.” Wow! That sounds fancy, right?
Well the good news is that this time-saving assistance isn’t only about dropping a pretty graphic on a slide. Even better… Designer uses cloud smarts to analyze and highlight the most compelling portion of your images. Designer will automatically suggest a number of options for you when you add an image to your slide, instantaneously making your slide more visually appealing.
Check out the quick demo that we put together below to see how PowerPoint Designer works:
Of course you may still need to clean up the slide after selecting the design you like.
One of the things I like most about it is that it’s a really fast way of taking an image and having it fill the entire slide perfectly. Simply take a high-res photo, from somewhere like Unsplash, and paste it anywhere on the slide. Then, select “Design Ideas” from the Design Tab and select the option that takes the photo and fills the entire slide with it. That’s it and badabing! … PowerPoint fills the entire slide with your image. No more annoying (and sometimes inaccurate) image cropping!
Obviously this tool won’t design your ENTIRE PowerPoint for you (that’s what our team of Presentation Pandas are for :D) but similar to our award winning Influencer presentation template (seen below), and other presentation tools we often talk about, this tool can help. At least give it a try and see how you like it!
While PointPoint designer can help make your slides look better, there are a few downsides worth mentioning.
One downside is that similar to the Morph tool that we mentioned in reason #1, PowerPoint Designer is an Office 365 subscription-only feature, meaning you will need to purchase this cloud-based subscription.
Also, this feature will only work with Microsoft supplied templates, so we do not recommend using it if you have a custom template. And lastly, you’ll have to be sure you are connected to the internet since Designer goes online to pull design ideas.
Lastly, while PowerPoint Designer can be useful to some people, the design recommendations are somewhat limited. If your looking for a more robust solution we recommend checking out our Influencer presentation template that is filled with 200+ beautifully crafted slides.
Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #3: Tell Me – a clever little shortcut box that finds the right command when you need it, so you can save time and focus on your work.
At Presentation Panda we are all about smart presentation hacks and shortcuts for getting the job done better and faster! And we love telling you about them…
Microsoft Office 2016 introduced the Tell Me assistant feature. This tool is meant to help you navigate through the many options of Office 2016.
Remember 1990’s Clippy? The annoying little paper clip mascot that wasn’t all that helpful. Well, you can think of “Tell Me” as Clippy’s smarter and more attractive cousin.
The Tell Me What to Do text field is located after the last Tab of the Ribbon.
To use this feature, simply type what you want to do in the Office program. You will notice a drop-down menu open with suggested searches as well as recently used options. The little genie will not only show you how to do what you want to do, like a help feature, but gives you the option to do it directly from there.
For example, if you want to adjust line spacing, but haven’t memorized how to do it, just type it in the little “Tell Me” text field. PowerPoint will then provide you with your line spacing options faster than you can blink.
Here’s a quick demo that we put together to show how the Tell Me assistant feature it works:
So unless you have memorized how to edit every single thing in PowerPoint this tool will probably work wonders for you.
Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #4: Smart Lookup – brings research directly to PowerPoint.
How many times do you find yourself having to jump out to a browser to do a search for a definition, image or for inspiration? With PowerPoint 2016 you no longer have to leave PowerPoint to look up simple information.
By using Smart Lookup you can quickly learn more about text you select by seeing definitions, images, and other results from various online resources, including Wikipedia (all powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine). How convenient is that?
In order to use the Smart Lookup feature all you have to do is:
Right-click a particular word or phrase on your slide
Choose Smart Lookup and that’s it! PowerPoint will then bring up a side panel and show you more info, images, and other results about the word you just looked up.
Here’s a quick demo that we put together to show how the Smart Lookup feature works:
Using a tool like this can also help eliminate errors by quickly checking the facts or the vocabulary you will use on your slides. There’s nothing like an error free presentation!
You can also use the Smart Lookup tool to quickly find creative inspiration. Just be wary about using any of the images that come up for the image search results right away.
If you come across an image you like, be sure to check the license before using the image for your presentation or give attribution for the image if required by the author.
Reason to Upgrade to 2016 PowerPoint #5: Real Time Group Collaboration – When you share your presentation with others, you’ll see them working with you at the same time.
Collaborating with your coworkers on your PowerPoint presentations just got way easier with PowerPoint’s Real Time Group Collaboration feature.
What is the Collaboration feature? When you save your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365, you can work on a presentation at the same time as your colleagues. Pretty cool right? With real time editing you no longer have to deal with emailing edits to your coworkers (and vice versa) and then piecing all the edits together at the end.
Using the Real Time Group Collaboration is pretty easy. Just follow these steps:
Open your PowerPoint presentation, and choose Share in the top-right corner of the ribbon when you’re ready to collaborate.
Choose Save to Cloud and choose a location to save your presentation to.
Once your presentation is saved to a shared location, you can invite others to work on it as well. In the Invite people box, enter the email address of the person you’d like to share the presentation with.
If you already have the person’s contact info stored, you can just enter their name.
So what type of group collaboration does PowerPoint 2016 provide? Here’s what you can do:
See where others are working in your shared presentation – If someone else is viewing or working on the presentation, their thumbnail picture appears in the top-right corner of the ribbon. PowerPoint will also alert you when people enter or leave your presentation. You can instantly chat with the people who are working in the presentation by using Skype for Business. It opens a chat window for instant conversation. Choose the Skype for Business button to start a group chat with everyone working in the document.
Resolve conflicting changes – If there are conflicting changes, a visual comparison between your changes and the conflicting changes from one of your collaborators will pop up when you select Save. You can choose the changes you’d like to keep.
Document activity – The Activity pane lets you see the complete list of changes made so far. It also gives you access to the earlier versions.
Review Comments – Leave comments for other team members to see. Team members can respond to each others comments.
As we have mentioned before, getting feedback and input from others is a great way to enhance your presentation. As long as everyone is on the same page with the design direction, Group Collaboration simply makes the design process easier and more efficient.
As you can see there are many exciting new features that come with PowerPoint 2016.
Just remember, these tools will not do everything for you! But you can be certain that using these new PowerPoint features will take you one step closer to building the perfect slides and creating them in record time.
So, here’s my question to you:
After reading this article do you agree that features like the Morph tool or Group Collaboration can help make your PowerPoint decks much better? How do you think you would use these new PowerPoint features?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about the benefits of upgrading to PowerPoint 2016? If so, email them the link to this post.
Thanks for reading and be sure to share this article if you enjoyed it (by using the sharing buttons to the left).
Hungry for more PowerPoint tips, tools, and tricks? Here are a few articles you might like:
To help take your slides to the next level, we have compiled a list of some the best places to find design inspiration for your next PowerPoint presentation.
#1) Note and Point – Hand Selected PowerPoint Decks To Get Your Creativity Flowing
Note & Point is simply one of the best websites I’ve ever seen dedicated to well-designed visual presentations.
While I am a big SlideShare fan (more on that in a bit), Note & Point does a better job at filtering the death-by-PowerPoint (i.e., the ones that suck) to only feature elegant, awesome looking PowerPoint and Keynote decks.
Not only is Note & Point full of awesome prsentation design examples, most of their presentations are actually design related, so you get to learn some great stuff about design along the way!
#2) Dribble – Where The Best Designers Showcase Their Talents
Dribbble is an awesome site that showcases some of the best digital design on the web.
It’s home to an all-star group of designers, ranging from leaders in today’s design world to outright spectacular up-and-coming designers.
Web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers, and other creative types share small screenshots (shots) that show their work, process, and current projects.
While the community is invite-only, anyone is free to spectate and soak in the design inspiration.
Using the search bar you can search for PowerPoint inspiration on whatever you heart desires. For example, imagine you’re putting together a presentation and want to use a Game of Thrones theme. Simply type in “Game of Thrones” into the search bar and instantly you will be given tons of awesome designs around that topic (as seen in the image below).
Canva is another great destination for finding unique ideas for PowerPoint.
If you’re not familiar with Canva, the website is essentially a design service that takes the friction out of designing. The website has reached a whopping 2M users in the first two years of launching and has been growing rapidly ever since.
To explore some presentation inspiration from Canva all you have to do is choose one of 11 available templates (including presentation templates) or start from a custom-sized blank canvas. You then use the Layouts and Background tabs to get a rough idea of what you want to design. These tabs are chock-full of options to choose from, whether you want a complete template or just a nice background to build on.
Even if don’t purchase any of the templates, browsing these professionally designed decks should fill your head with plenty of presentation ideas for your next big project.
#6) Pinterest – Scan Presentation Related Boards For Awesome Presentation Ideas
Pinterest is another place for finding awesome ppt ideas for your next important project.
Did you know that Pinterest is one of the biggest and fastest growing imaged-based social media platforms and is a great source for finding inspiration online?
Packed with stunning images, graphics, templates and more Pinterest is easy-as-pie to navigate and search.
If you’re new to Pinterest and do not follow any design related boards, the best way to find cool inspiring ideas is to use the main search bar.
Within the search bar, a few things you may want to consider searching for include “presentation design,” “presentation templates,” and “PowerPoint presentation.
And don’t forget to set up your own Pinterest account to store and refer back to the presentation design examples you like the most.
#7) Creative Market – Another Great Source for Graphic Related Items
Similar to Graphic River, Creative Market is a place for buying graphic related items from today’s leading designers. They have presentation templates that you can browse for inspiration and also purchase if you want to save some time.
To find PowerPoint inspiration on Creative Market click on the “Templates” category and then select “Presentation” within the drop down menu.
They have lots of presentation templates to get inspired from. Some are better than others so you may want to filter the templates by “most popular” or take a look at the selection of “hand picked” templates from the Creative Market review team.
In my humble opinion, I think the quality of presentation templates over at Graphic River is better than Creative Market. And of course, the better the templates, the better inspiration you will get from them.
I would be interested to hear what others think about this in the comments.
#8) Design Seeds – The Perfect Site for Finding PowerPoint Color Inspiration
When it comes to finding colors for your slides Design Seeds is top notch.
Design Seeds is an awesome website for finding inspiring colors to use in your presentation.
Design Seeds provides you with inspiration to build seamless color combination palettes based on high resolution photos.
What’s super cool about their catalog is that each of the colors that is featured prominently in any given image can be searched for in Design Seeds’ database, so if for example an earthy shade of orange catches your eye in a picture of autumn leaves, you can search for other photos that have that exact same shade.
You can also search the website for an exact color value using their simple color slider or search by themes such as winter, rustic or succulents.
Tips for Better Presentation Inspiration Hunting
1) As you become better at finding PowerPoint design inspiration, one of the best things you can do is to start collecting things you’ve read, seen or listened to that you found interesting or inspiring. You can do this by bookmarking websites to refer back to; pinning images to a Pinterest board; and following designers on SlideShare and Dribble. Creating a collection of images and designs will provide you with a reference source for future projects. Tools like Evernote and Google Drive can also be a good way to capture things you find online.
2) Finding awesome inspiration for your PowerPoint decks can be time consuming. Walking away from your laptop every now and then and and getting some fresh air can do wonders for recharging the mind and energy levels. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, take 5 minutes or 30 minutes to go outside and you’ll be surprised with what your mind can come up with based on the initial inspirations you have come across.
3) Remember, when it comes to finding ideas one piece of design inspiration leads to another and another. Keeping some type of mood board (see example below) will help you think about new things to search for within the various websites mentioned above.
Inspiration is the motivator that drives us from the start of a PowerPoint presentation project and stays with us until all the slides have been successfully designed.
Whether it’s going out and finding the spark that will ignite your vision, or immersing yourself in a pool of inspiration and imagination, the web is filled with good places (like the ones mentioned in this article) to start your idea hunt.
I hope that you go out and explore some of the inspirational sources we’ve talked about today when creating your next presentation.
Here’s my question for you?
Do you have a favorite place for finding inspiration for your PowerPoint presentations. If so, share your go-to source(s) in the comments below. I’m really eager to know where you guys find your inspiration for ppt slides.
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about where to find inspiration when creating PowerPoint decks? If so, email them the link to this post.
Thanks for sharing and be sure to post this article on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or your other favorite social media spot using the sharing buttons to the left!
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The doors are closed, everyone’s sitting around the conference room table, notepads out, coffee in hand.
This is a moment you’ve been preparing for months now. The chance to raise capital for your business and start down the road to success …
But first you have to pitch the investors.
How do you get potential investors excited about your business idea and engage them in a conversation about funding?
If you’re raising money for your business, having an impressive investor pitch deck is perhaps the key component in your fundraising toolkit.
You wouldn’t play baseball without a bat, or paint a picture without a canvas, would you?
Having a winning investor presentation deck on hand is no different.
If there was ever a time to develop a beautiful presentation it would be for your investor pitch deck. If your pitch deck design sucks, what sort of message does that send about your idea?
People won’t trust you can deliver the goods.
To make sure that investors ask for more, not just show you to the door, you need a kickass startup pitch deck that makes the case for your business. Today we’re going to talk about 13 “must have” slides that are essential to any winning investor pitch.
Let’s get started!
Pitch Deck Slide #1 – Vision and Value Proposition – Your elevator pitch in a slide
Thanks to Twitter and memes, pretty much everyone these days is familiar with the art of writing out complex ideas in a short amount of words. Of course, not everyone is very good at this, but you’ve already made it this far!
A quick one sentence overview of your business that proposes the value that you provide to your customers is an essential start to any winning investor deck presentation.
Think about this slide like you approach scrawling out a 140 character tweet, and try to sum it up in a way that your parents (or anyone else who isn’t a technophile) would understand.
One common approach that tech companies make with the value proposition is by comparing their enterprise to another well-known company. For example, you see many pitches that start with things like:
“We’re the Uber for Coffee”
“We’re like Yelp but for Movies”
Drawing these comparisons can help, but just make sure that your comparison makes sense and you’re not just name dropping a big name company like “Uber” to signify growth potential. Your business model has to truly be similar to the company you drawing a comparison to.
The other issue to keep in mind when you make this sort of value proposition is that while a major brand can simplify things, people will automatically envision your app/company/idea working in exactly the same way. So it’s important to distinguish as you go through with your presentation how you follow Netflix or Uber’s model but also explain how things might be different.
Pitch Deck Slide #2 – Introduction – Tell people who you are and why you are here
Besides your name and what you’re doing in front of a group of investors, there’s not really much that needs to be said as far as introductions are concerned. If you’re proposing a new app to make travel bookings easier and you once spent a year backpacking around the world, that might be a relevant bit of information to include in your bio.
If it isn’t relevant, cut it out!
A great pitch deck doesn’t have more; it has less. Nowhere is that more true than your intro slide.
Pitch Deck Slide #3 – Target Market Opportunity – Here is the addressable market and the prospects who will buy your product
Once you’ve introduced yourself to your potential investors, it’s time to explain the most important part of your company and the reason why it exists in the first place: your customers!
Use this slide to expand on who your ideal customer is and how many of them there are. Do they live in urban areas on the coasts? How many of them hold college degrees? What is the total market size and how do you position your company within the market? If you can find the data, investors will want to know how much people or businesses currently spend in the market to get a sense of the total market size.
This is where you tell the story about the scope and scale of the problem you are solving.
If it makes sense for your business, you’ll want to divide your market into segments that you will address with different types of marketing and perhaps different types of product offerings.
Be careful with this slide, though. It’s tempting to try and define your market to be as large as possible. Instead, investors will want to see that you have a very specific and reachable market. The more specific you are, the more realistic your pitch will be.
When you’re looking for a brilliant investor pitch presentation, make sure that it includes easy-to-edit graphics which your audience can look at and instantly understand the data being shown.
Influencer Presentation Template gives your audience a few nifty graphics to include when you talk about your market share and how you’re targeting your customer base.
Pitch Deck Slide #4 – Problems and Solutions – Define the problems people have, and solutions you offer to relieve this pain
If there was no such thing as rain, there would be no need for umbrellas. No problem, no solution waiting to solve it.
If you aren’t solving some problem in the world, you are going to have a long uphill climb with your business. But you’ve no doubt identified a real problem on the market, and it just so happens that you’ve found a solution.
Use this slide to talk about the problem you are solving and who has the problem. This section of your investor pitch deck should tell your audience how it’s raining, and you’ve got one hell of an umbrella to keep them dry. You can talk about the current solutions in the market, but don’t spend too much time on the competitive landscape on this slide—you’ll have a chance to do that on a later slide.
Doing some market research (focus groups, 1v1 interviews, online surveys, etc.) is a great way to learn about the problems your target customers face. The more you can show you understand your customers issues the better.
When talking about your problem focus on a story that people can relate to.
The more you can make investors feel a personal connection to your problem (or somebody else’s problem), the more they will get your business and what you are trying to accomplish. A good slide for this section should explain the problem and solution in 3-5 different steps, and it might be a good idea to include icons adjacent to each talking point when you’re putting it together.
You may also want to include some customer testimonials talking about their initial frustrations and the happiness your product or service has brought to them.
Pitch Deck Slide #5 – Product – Briefly describe your product and benefits it provides to potential customers
Once you have outlined the problem and solution to your potential investors, it’s time to explain to them how your product will change everything.
Ideally, this slide should have a combination of relatable stock image, a mockup (especially if you’re selling an app), and a few major talking points that sum up how your product addresses the problem discussed in the previous slide.
You’ll be tempted to move this slide closer to the beginning of your pitch deck – don’t do that! This is classic story telling at its best; dramatically build up the problem and describe how bad it is for lots of people:
Then, Volia: Now your product or service is coming to the rescue!
Most startups pay a lot of attention on their product when instead they need to be focused on their customers and the problems those customers face. By keeping your investor pitch deck focused on your customers you will tell a more impactful story.
Pitch Deck Slide #6- Business/Revenue Model – How your business strategy is going to make your investors lots of money
Once you have provided lots of exciting info on your amazing product or service, you need to go into some detail on how this is going to bring in the cash!
After all, investors do like being paid back!
For example, will your customers pay a one-time payment to use your service or are there various monthly pricing models available?
It’s important to go into some details here.
The best way to lay all of these ideas out in one slide is to include some sort of sequential layout with icons and text, so that it’s easy for investors to see how you go from A to B and make money along the way.
Pitch Deck Slide #7 – Status and Milestones – Where you are in terms of product delivery, and specify the next key milestones
If you already have sales or early adopters using your product, talk about those accomplishments on this slide
Investors want know that your business model is sound and has already worked at some stage.
I’m sure you have seen this on any Shark Tank episode when the sharks light up with excitement that the product being introduced has already brought in a significant volume of sales.
Any proof you have that validates your solution is extremely powerful.
For example, if you’ve already had five thousand users download your beta version and thirty percent of them said they would sign up for an enterprise edition down the road, this would be a great time to bring that up!
You can also use this time to talk about your accomplishments:
What big milestones have you achieved so far and what are the major next steps you plan on taking?
A product or company roadmap that outlines key milestones is helpful here.
A great design pitch deck should have at least one of these slides, if not two – and they don’t need to be fancy. Notice how in the layout above, you can have an image with a couple bullet points to outline your status and milestones.
Pitch Deck Slide #8 – Marketing and Sales Strategy – How you reach your customers and get them to sign up
Marketing is one of the most important points in your investor pitch deck. No matter how good your product is, if you can’t sell it then you will fail – and no VC is going to give you a penny.
That’s why you should have a slide that explains how you reach your customers and get them to sign up. A slick infographic like the one you see above is a cool way to do explain the sometimes-complex levels of a sales and marketing funnel in one slide. Each step should have a corresponding icon with a short blurb of text that describes the marketing process for your company.
Targeting and winning over customers can sometimes be the biggest challenge for a new company.
That’s why it’s important to demonstrate that you know how to reach your customers and what sales channels you plan on using.
If your marketing and sales process is different than your competitors, it’s important to highlight that here.
Pitch Deck Slide #9 – Team – Make investors believe in the people behind your company
Why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this company? What experience do you have that others don’t? Highlight the key team members, their successes at other companies, and the key expertise that they bring to the table.
Even if you don’t have a complete team yet, identify the key positions that you still need to fill and why those positions are critical to company growth. For example, if you plan on expanding into direct sales but don’t have a head of B2B sales, let investors know. Even if you don’t have a hire yet, it shows that you have a plan and the ambition to reach your lofty goals.
The best investor pitch deck always has a slide that explains why your management team – from your CTO to your Creative Director – is strong and more than capable of paying back the investment. You should include headshots of the key members of your team and a sentence or two (max) describing their roles and importance to your company.
Pitch Deck Slide #10 – Financials – Explain your company’s financial health
OK, don’t actually show your financials off here. In-depth spreadsheets are difficult to read and absolutely the worst idea to include in an investor pitch presentation. Limit yourself to charts that show sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits.
You should be prepared to discuss the underlying assumptions that you’ve made to arrive at your sales goals and what your key expense drivers are.
Remember to try and be realistic. Investors see “hockey stick” projections all the time and will mentally be cutting your projections in half. If you can explain your growth based on traction you already have or compared to similar company in a related industry, that is extremely useful.
The slide you use to explain your financial situation should ideally be an infographic and give a bird’s eye view of your financials. Save the actual docs for a more secure environment and keep them in a virtual data room if investors would like to see the nitty-gritty bottom line.
Pitch Deck Slide #11 – Competition – Show who you’re competing against and explain how you’re better
Lebron has Steph Curry. Rocky had everyone from Clubber Lang to Ivan Drago. Your business has its rivals too; sometimes one, sometimes more.
Even if you are opening up an entirely new market, your potential customers are using alternative solutions to solve their problems today. So you need to describe how you fit into the competitive landscape and how you’re different than the competitors and alternatives that are on the market today.
What key advantages do you have over the competition? What “secret sauce” do you have that others don’t?
The key here is explaining how you are different than the other players on the market and why customers will choose you instead of one of the other players on the market. A side-by-side comparison of you versus the Stephen Curry’s and Kevin Durant’s of your world is a good way to show investors how you stack up.
Pitch Deck Slide #12 – Investment – In this slide you should define what kind of investment you are looking for and how you are planning to deploy it to meet the specified milestones
Finally, it’s time to actually ask for dough!
That’s why you’re creating this awesome investor presentation, correct? At some point your potential investors will want to know how much money you want
That’s why you need to be able to explain why you need the amount of money you are asking for and how you plan on using the money. Investors will want to know how their money is being used and how it is going to help you achieve the goals you are setting out for your business.
If you already have some investors on board, now is when you should be talking about those other investors and why they chose to invest.
This investor pitch slide is a bit tricky, but this tree infographic is actually a really neat way to detail the various uses for investor capital you have in mind. Will you hire more developers? Rent a bigger office space? Order premium bean bag chairs for all your employees? Best to leave that last one out, but you should visualize your hopes for investment in this slide.
Pitch Deck Slide #13 – Contact – Don`t forget to leave your contact details for investors to reach you quickly
Well, this one is pretty obvious. By the time you finish your investor pitch presentation, hopefully you’ve really given them something serious to think about. Include a final slide with relevant contact information and then cross your fingers and hope for the best!
There are some pretty obvious things you should include in your investor pitch deck, so hopefully you know now what works and what doesn’t. We hope that you’ve liked the sample slides we’ve included here, so the next time you have an investor pitch you come equipped with a stellar looking deck that has all the right information and looks great too.
What pitch deck do you plan on using the next time you have a round of funding come up? We’d love to know! Don’t forget, Influencer makes a perfect investor presentation pitch deck – you can get it here on Graphic River.
Lastly, do you have a friend that could benefit from learning about these presentation tips? If so, email them the link to this post.
Thanks for sharing and be sure to post this article on Twitter of Facebook as well (by using the sharing buttons to the left).