PowerPoint can be a tremendous waste of time. Thinking how each slide should look like, designing it, and formatting it takes countless hours. In some jobs like consulting or marketing, people actually spend more time creating slides than anything else. Most of the time, those users are skilled workers, whose time is both valuable for themselves and expensive for their companies. This is where the Power-user add-in can be a life-saviors. Power-user is a productivity add-in for PowerPoint and Excel, providing dozens of useful features to save time and create better presentations.


Power-user gathers on a single tab everything you need to create appealing presentations Power-user provides you with all the content you need to create appealing presentations. 02

For instance, you can start picking up one of the 140 PowerPoint templates and just customize it to match your needs, instead of starting from scratch. Save here your personal favorite slides or your templates from poweredtemplates.com, and you will be able to access them anytime, from any presentation!

03You can also access all the visual resources you need to make your slides look nice. There is a library of icons which you can browse, type keywords and use to enhance your slide messages. Use editable maps to display geographical information. You can also access a library of royalty-free pictures, and create custom diagrams such as value chains or relationship diagrams. Just a couple clicks and your slide looks much nicer!

  On top of that, Power-user provides a great number of tools that will save you hours in manipulating shapes and formatting your presentation. Harmonizing fonts, bullets, colors or titles style in an entire pre   04 Power-user may very well be one of the best product for heavy PowerPoint users. It can be tried for free for a generous 3 months, and it has a free version for students as well. But be careful, once you have tried it, it’s really hard to go back to making slides without it!


When we are shopping for new software and programs to install on to our computer, there are a huge amount of options to choose from. There are programs available for pretty much every need and many of them are expensive and complicated.

Of course, it is useful for us all to identify the programs we need most and add them to our PCs, but we should also recognize that any computer that uses a Windows operating system is equipped with a number of tools that can already help you complete some key tasks. Our guide runs through five important tools, so you know where to find them and how you can use them.

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Scott Hanselman posted about fixing images that have been distorted in PowerPoint when moving from a 4:3 to to 16:9 aspect ratio. But what if you have many distorted images in your deck. If you manually try to correct those aspect ratios according to the instructions at the link above, you’ll be in for a lot of work.

However, if you aren’t afraid of working with VBA macros then below is a little bit of code that may help. It will reset the aspect ratio for all images in your deck.


Sub SetScaleSizeForAllImages()
Dim s As slide
Dim sh As shape
Dim factor As Single
factor = 1.0
For Each s In ActivePresentation.Slides
    For Each sh In s.Shapes
        If sh.Type = msoPicture Then
            sh.ScaleHeight factor, msoTrue
            sh.ScaleWidth factor, msoTrue
        End If
    Next sh
Next s
End Sub




 I don’t want to call this nervousness. To be honest, I don’t even know what this is. 

Every time I am told that I will be making a presentation in class (I’m in 9th grade) my body flips. I don’t even know how to explain this feeling in words but I’ll try. ….

David McQueenDavid McQueenSpeaker. Presentations Coach. Startup Mentor

This is anxiety my friend. A lot more people suffer from this than they care to admit.
Nothing is wrong with being afraid of public speaking but there are ways to be able to tackle it as well. Some things I get my clients to do

1. Keep a panic diary. Writing stuff down helps you to stay calm, as the mind focuses on what happened you become more of an observer than a sufferer.
2. Meditation. I get clients to spend time before they speak with their eyes closed just meditating. Silent deep breathing to control their heart rate
3. Breathe and smile. Just before you speak, shake your hands out and smile. Reduce that cortisol and raise testosterone.
4. Pause. When you feel that wave of panic, sometimes you have to let it wash over you, pause a minute and then start again.

These interventions are best done with someone who understands anxiety but even if you have a friend who can keep you accountable, who you trust and is not judgemental then it’s a start.

I wish you well in your presentation.
Look back on it when it’s done and you might find it’s not as bad as you think

To your success.


Sunayana Reddy has made more than 100 PowerPoint presentations

The quickest way to develop amazing slides is to follow these 10 hacks:

1.6×6 Rule
This cardinal rule of PowerPoint design should never be violated. According to this basic rule, any given slide must have only six lines with six words on each line.

2. Black out/White out
You see your audience’s attention waning? You can very cleverly just black out the projected screen. Hit the B key on your keyboard and all your distracted audience will see is blackness in front of them.If you are a little more peace-loving, you can choose a white-out as well. Hit the W key on your keyboard and dazzle your audience with the white screen.

3.No Messy Bullets
Bullets can look messy and can well be considered as a waste of space. They often are quite unnecessary and the best slide designs prefer not using bulleted text.  A better way to do it is to space out each point across individual slides.

4.Bow down to the Master Slide
More often than not your presentation ends up looking drab, courtesy the boring templates that Microsoft provides you. There are a host of templates that you can download from the net and the latest Microsoft Office has included sleeker, more appealing slide designs. But when you have the option of creating your own unique slide design why settle for something readymade? Look at your topic, pick images and the colour scheme and put it all on a master slide.

5. Make use of the Grids and Rulers
Life is so much easier when things just fall into place. The grids and rulers option in the PowerPoint helps you do just that. The grids and rulers are not on by default but you can turn them on by clicking on the space outside the slide but not on the sidebars.

6. Animated!
PowerPoint offers a wide range of animations and they can be used to create interesting slide designs and jazz up your presentation.

7. Animate the Charts!
Boring statistics? Worry no more, because your pie chart or bar graph or histogram can now be animated. Once you have inserted your chart and added animations to it, go to the final tab “Chart Animation” and change “Group Chart” from “As One Object” to “BY Category”. Now you can get your chart to appear as you speak about each of its components.

8. Duplicate – Don’t Copy and Paste
We are sure that CTRL + C and CTRL + V aren’t your favorite keyboard shortcuts. But imagine copying and pasting a particular text or image multiple times on a slide? That would annoy even the biggest fans of Copy-Paste. An easier way to do it is to duplicate instead. So click on any object that you want to be copied and press CTRL while you drag it. They space themselves out evenly as well.
The more useful thing is duplicating an entire slide. Select the slide or set of slides that you want to duplicate, go to the New Slide menu and select Duplicate Selected Slides. You get all the slides duplicated automatically.

9.Create New Shapes
PowerPoint has a beautiful variety of shapes that you can use in your slides. But what if we told you that you can combine them together to create more shapes of your own? You can just select all the objects, go to the Drawing Tools option and select Format under which you can select Merge Shapes. It subtracts the overlapping portions from the two shapes, giving you a cool new shape! What is more exciting is that it can do the same with images and text as well!

10.Save it as .PPS 
Remember the last time there was a group presentation and the person controlling the PPT kept fumbling around the screen trying to look for the slideshow button and you lost out on precious time because of that? Well, this trick will eliminate the entire process of opening the presentation and going into slideshow.

Once you finish designing your PPT, go to File and select Save As. In the dialog box that follows, select the file type as .PPS and voila! When you click on this file, it directly opens the slideshow screen and takes care of the hassle in between.


John Ramos

John RamosWrote the book The Super Student’s Guide to Presentations @ TheStudentPower.com


3 minutes seems like little time to deliver a compelling presentation, but I’ve been asked to present my entire Master’s thesis to a jury in 3 minutes - it’s possible, but you have to be objective and systematic.

First off, define a clear structure to your speech and stick to it. There’s not time to ramble whatsoever:

  • Minute 1: Tell your purpose, what the presentation is all about and what’s the message you want to send across.
  • Minute 2: Tell the audience why, what’s the reasoning that supports your argument, what is the story you want to tell, where is the proof backing your claims.
  • Minute 3: Repeat your message and end on a high-note, using a quote, sentence or story that the audience won’t forget easily.

Some actual suggestions for topics:

  • Your Project Explained in 3 minutes
  • A Cool Mathematics Trick Explained in 3 minutes (check some here)
  • Your Country’s History in 3 minutes (use lots of comedy elements)
  • 3 Lifehacks in 3 Minutes
  • My Life’s History in 3 Minutes (interesting introspective exercise, as well)
  • The Politics of the Middle East in 3 Minutes
  • Newtonian Mechanics Explained in 3 Minutes

As you see, there’re a lot of creative options at your fingertips, or should I say at the exit of your vocal chords?


John RamosJohn Ramos,

Wrote the book The Super Student’s Guide to Presentations


Excellent question! Most technical presenters do not put any effort into their presentations at all. To me, that always came a bit as a disappointment – in today’s world, the best science is not made inside the lab, it’s made outside, communicating with our peers.

I have presented my Masters’ thesis in the form of poster and slide presentations in the past. Every time I did I tried not to put my audience to sleep, by following these steps (note that I assume that you’re planning, researching and rehearsing correctly apart from all of this):

  • Assume that most of your audience will not understand most technical terms. No, I have no idea of what ubiquitin is – I study brain imaging! Explain your project slowly and carefully, making one point at each time.
  • Use pictures and diagrams as much as you can. Explaining Science through words alone is painful. It’s much easier to use diagrams, charts or pictures from other papers or that you created on your own.


  • Organize your speech so that you don’t go over the allotted time.

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Jason Whyte

Jason Whytewhen I present, I usually get invited back

What you’re basically asking is how to make a good presentation. The technique is the same regardless of who you are presenting to and what you’re presenting on. Here are some simple rules:

1) Think about your audience.

Who are they? What sort of topic might they want to listen to? How do you connect your topic to their lives? What’s in it for them?

2) What’s your point?

What’s the one thing you want them to take away from the presentation?

3) Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em, tell ‘em, and then tell ‘em what you’ve told them.

You generally need to repeat your message seven times to make it stick. (I like to think of the funeral speech in Julius Caesar, with its repetition of “for Brutus is an honourable man” – though in that case, the meaning changes over the course of the speech)
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author imageCarolyn Williams
Carolyn Williams began writing and editing professionally over 20 years ago. Her work appears on various websites. An avid traveler, swimmer and golf enthusiast, Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College and a Master of Business Administration from St. Mary’s College of California.


The more you practice your public speaking skills, the easier it will be to speak in front of a group. Exercises for public speaking in class can help you continue to advance your public-speaking abilities. Classroom exercises help if you’re teaching a course on public speaking, wish to incorporate public speaking into your general curriculum or want to brush up in advance of your class.

Imaginary Animal
Give students 10 minutes to create an imaginary animal and prepare information about the animal. List five questions on the board to ensure students have a uniform set of information to present, such as its habitat, size, color, sound, number of legs and predatory abilities. Have students then present their animal in front of the class using their notes and answering each of the questions. This type of exercise helps students gain confidence, a critical component when speaking in front of a group. Since the animal is known only to the student, she can share information with an air of authority and expertise.

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John Browne

John BrowneFormer foot soldier in Bill Gates army of world domination.


I can only tell you what it was like in my experiences; not what it’s like today. For all I know Bill has changed his methods and style in his foundation.

Over the years at Microsoft meetings to review plans and status on products morphed into something that, by the last few years that Bill was still at the company, caused product teams enormous amounts of grief and worry. My experience of Billg meetings were that he would ask the three vital questions that you hadn’t thought of, and that, in hindsight, were obviously critical to your plans. How he managed to do that I don’t know.

He was always late. His schedule was always crammed–it was tough to schedule time on his calendar. You’d be in the room all set and waiting for him to show up. When he did it was all business, no small talk, no fooling around. You’d start the presentation and he’d interrupt with questions; he wouldn’t wait until you were done.

Bill was (and probably still is) super analytical. What you couldn’t do in a meeting with Bill is speak to your intuition or feelings about stuff; what he wanted to know was what facts could you bring to the table. Everybody can argue about their hunches, or intuition, or best guess; nobody can argue with data. So instead of saying “We think we customers will really value extended database capabilities in Excel” you would need to say, “Here are the results of extensive customer feedback, help desk issues, focus groups, and market surveys that tell us that the most common use for Excel is to create non-relational databases, basically flat files.”

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