by Dave Paradi

Have you ever been at a presentation where you could hardly make out what was on the screen because the presenter used colors that made it hard to tell what was text and what was background? Have you ever done this in one of your presentations?

The choice of colors for presentation slides is one of the important decisions that must be made at the start of the process of developing your slides. Some organizations today dictate a template with corporate colors that must be used for all presentations outside the organization as part of a branding initiative. In that case, you have no choice in the colors. But many internal presentations and in many other organizations you can choose your slide colors. So how do you choose? Here are some ideas to keep in mind when choosing colors for your next set of presentation slides.

Webster’s defines contrast as “To set in opposition, or over against, in order to show the differences between”. One of the most common mistakes in selecting colors for presentation slides is to not have enough contrast between the colors chosen for the background and the text or graphics. If you want the audience to see the text or graphics on the screen, they must be in a color that has a high contrast with the background color. This makes the text or graphic appear to float above the background instead of blending into it. In general, this will lead to selecting one of two color schemes – a dark background with light text and graphics or a light background with dark text and graphics. The further apart the colors are the more contrast they will have and the easier it will be for audiences to see the text or graphic you are using.  To ensure that the colors you have selected have enough contrast, use the online Color Contrast Calculator to test the colors using the two international standard tests for color contrast.

Emotional Meaning of Colors
Studies have shown that different colors evoke different general feelings in many people. This can be important when selecting colors for your presentation slides since you will want to avoid colors that will negatively impact the message you are delivering. Here are some common interpretations for colors.
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FAIL #1: Using the same deck for in-person presentations and for email


Garr Reynolds was one of Steve Jobs’ presentation trainers. On his bookPresentation Zen, he introduces the term presdoc. A presdoc is a hybrid between a presentation and a text document that serves neither purpose well… it has too much text to be a proper presentation, and to few text to be a readable, understandable document.

If you are standing in front of your slides there’s no need to type everything you are about to say. It distracts your audience, because they can’t hear you and read at the same time. If you intend to present, make sure that your slides simply complement and reinforce your point.

You can’t always present in person, in these cases an alternative may be an email-presentation. These decks contain much more data than an actual presentation, but shouldn’t be a replacement to an actual text doc.

A couple rules to keep in mind are:

- Make sure that the font size doesn’t go below 12pts.

- Stick to one idea per slide. More slides is not necessarily bad, as long as you don’t go over 50 or so.


The most important thing here is, don’t use the same presentation to email and to present, make (at least) two separate documents. 

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As all professionals have figured out, the most effective PowerPoint slides are never the ones that contain a smorgasbord of data and information. In fact, the only time slides like these are effective is if you want to put your audience to sleep. The best PowerPoint slides help the presenter tackle a topic with memorable and arresting visuals.

In other words, effective PowerPoint slides should only act as visual aids that help enhance a presenter’s discussion. A PowerPoint presentation isn’t there to act as your script or teleprompter, from which you can simply echo every bit of information flashed on screen. It’s there to make sure your discussion is accessible and easy to understand by turning key points into interesting visuals. Unfortunately, not all presenters have mastered this distinction.

If your presentations are always burdened by text-heavy PowerPoint slides, it’s time to dial back and strip your deck bare. Try the following suggestions to make sure you don’t have walls of text blocking the audience’s interest in your discussion:

Strip your content down to its essentials
Learning to cut back text-heavy PowerPoint slides will really rely on your ability to edit your own content. Before you start making your PowerPoint deck, review the draft you’ve prepared and see how you can simplify your points even more. Your goal is to strip down your content to the bare minimum.

You don’t have to waste space on your slides to elaborate particulars. Your slides are there to highlight the main points and takeaways. Every thing else that needs to be discussed or described is for the presenter to do on his own. Learn more about how you can properly edit your presentation content here.

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by Stephen Ashby

How to export Keynote presentations to work with Microsoft PowerPoint, iOS devices and more

infoboxmainAmazing as it is, you won’t want to keep your presentations locked up in Keynote forever. You might be looking for the best way to create a hard copy of your slides, so you can rehearse using them, or you might be looking to collaborate with someone who is using that other well-known presentation app. Fortunately, Keynote’s got you covered.

Not only can you export your presentation as a PPT, PDF or series of JPGs, you can even export it as a QuickTime video, either as a self-playing video with a set number of seconds between each slide or as a slideshow recording that you make yourself, pacing the presentation as you see fit. We’re going to run through all these options for you, so you can focus on your presentation without worrying about the logistics.



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By Tatiana Estévez

Bullet points are lists of items or short statement points. They are not supposed to be full sentences, at least not when used in PowerPoint. The traditional style of formatting bullet points is to finish each line item with a comma or hyphen, and the last bullet to have a full stop.

My favourite things to do on Quora are:

  • Answering questions;
  • Discussing answers in comments;
  • Writing blog posts; and
  • Collapsing joke answers.

This is considered a bit old fashioned and many companies prefer the style of ‘open punctuation’ for PowerPoint slides. I wouldn’t allow the above in my documents and will take it out if someone tries to do this.

Generally there is no real rule and you can write the above either with full stops or without as long it is consistent:

Oxford Dictionaries says:

Bullet points are used to draw attention to important information within a document so that a reader can identify the key issues and facts quickly. There are no fixed rules about how to use them, but here are some guidelines.

Source: http://www.oxforddictionaries.co…

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Facebook is no longer new, nor are the unspoken rules of engagement. Really when you think about it, all the rules of social media are just plain common sense. And yet on a daily basis, Facebook users are pestered, poked, and plagued by people who just don’t seem to get it.

No more excuses people – it’s time to GET IT! Pleading newbie and playing dumb doesn’t cut it anymore. Take a hint from the people who delete your spam posts on their walls, quietly remove photo tag after annoying photo tag, or leave the group you created for the sole purpose of promoting your business, and STOP doing what you are doing! Just STOP. Please.

7 Ways to Get Unfriended on Facebook…IMMEDIATELY
(In no particular order of annoyance)

#1: Photo Tagging – Drawing attention to your product, promotion or profile by tagging a group of people who aren’t IN your photo is truly lame. People do not want photos of themselves as a magical gasoline additive, new-fangled diet systems or even the inspirational photo of the day on your business page.

#2: Posting Promotions – Sharing links on your own wall or business page is fine, but posting promotions on other peoples’ walls without their permission is unacceptable. I recently unfriended someone who shared a link back to their anti-aging product as part of her birthday wishes to me – SPAMMING ME ON MY BIRTHDAY…REALLY?

#3: Automagic Subscription – Signing people up to receive your newsletter by culling email addresses from their Facebook profiles is not only a bad idea, it puts your newsletter account at risk of being reported for spam. Note for those who are tempted: lots of people have special email addresses that they share via Facebook so they will catch you!

#4: Group Messages – Asking a giant group of your Facebook friends to vote for you, join you for your free informational call on this brand new MLM you joined or whatever other promotion you just have to send out is a bad idea. If you don’t know someone well enough to send them a conversational note with a P.S. with your request, don’t do it!

#5: Irrelevant Event Invites – Inviting people to events that they can’t possibly attend on topics they have no interest in is annoying. Again, if you don’t know enough about your Facebook friend to know whether or not they would be interested or could possibly attend, invest the time getting to know them before clicking invite.

#6: General Creepiness – Poking, propositioning or stalking is unacceptable and will likely get you blocked and possibly even reported. This applies to Blonde Collectors who only friend attractive (and usually much younger) women, and any other single men of any age who use Facebook as a dating service. If the profile says, “Interested in: Networking”, take a hint.

#7: The Random Pitch – Launching into a pitch the second you meet someone isn’t something you would do at a networking event so why do it via Facebook? The idea of social media is to BUILD relationships over time, not friend them in order to pitch them a few seconds or months later.


Carla Young, momeomagazine.com Publisher If there’s living proof that women can have it all – and then some – it’s Carla Young. Building her multiple businesses on a virtual work-at-home model, Carla is an inspiration to other mothers who want to start a lifestyle business. During her early days as a mom entrepreneur, Carla made every single mistake in the book (and a few new ones for good measure). Realizing that “doing it all” was unhealthy and unsustainable, Carla started by getting organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family. After other mothers started asking how they too could enjoy her lifestyle, Carla launched momeomagazine.com to support moms at work, at home and at play (because every mommy deserves a little me-time)!


by Lei Han
My husband shared this video with me and I laughed out loud – “Life after Death by Powerpoint” by Don McMillan. Within 4 minutes, Don talked about some of the most common mistakes we make with our PowerPoint presentations. Here are my favorites.

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1. 15 seconds—the amount of time you have to make a positive first impression on your audience.

From the moment you step on stage, your audience will make an assessment of you and then look for evidence to confirm their first impressions. This subconscious phenomena is called thin slicing – and we all do it.  Research shows that the first fifteen seconds of a presentation are the most important because 90% of your audience’s initial judgments remain the same even after you’ve given your presentation.  Knowing this, you want to do everything in your power to make a positive first impression to ensure that initial judgment swing in your favor. How? Dress for success, be prepared, know your audience and don’t forget to smile.

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by PoweredTemplate

Today you have made your mind to impress sophisticated audience giving a knockout presentation. You have spent the night drafting cute wording and selecting your best slides. Now take your time and think: is your presentation really intended for your listeners or it’s just a set of slides? We often use PowerPoint to inform, to persuade, sometimes to provoke. But there can be no better way to absolutely lose the support of your audience than to irritate them. So, how to avoid such a mistake? Let’s ask ourselves a simple question: what drives us nuts when we watch someone giving a presentation?

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by Garr Reynolds

1. Keep it Simple


des-1PowerPoint uses slides with a horizontal or “Landscape” orientation. The software was designed as a convenient way to display graphical information that would support the speaker and supplement the presentation. The slides themselves were never meant to be the “star of the show” (the star, of course, is your audience). People came to hear you and be moved or informed (or both) by you and your message. Don’t let your message and your ability to tell a story get derailed by slides that are unnecessarily complicated, busy, or full of what Edward Tufte calls “chart junk.” Nothing in your slide should be superfluous, ever.

Your slides should have plenty of “white space” or “negative space.” Do not feel compelled to fill empty areas on your slide with your logo or other unnecessary graphics or text boxes that do not contribute to better understanding. The less clutter you have on your slide, the more powerful your visual message will become.

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