Whether you’re in the boardroom, pitching to investors, closing a deal, lecturing to a class, summarizing a class project, or sharing photographs from your latest Himalayan adventure, a presentation brings your story to life. We’re excited to announce a brand new Inspiration Gallery so that you can go from 0 to 60 in seconds flat and be off and selling your product and telling your story in no time.
SlideRocket’s Inspiration Gallery
We’ve worked with sales, marketing, and design experts to pull together a library of presentations for you to reuse. Just substitute your own images and text, and you’ll be well on your way to sharing a great presentation. Props to our presentation experts, Presentation Advisors, Viktor Venson, Veronica Peng, Project Presentation, and Empowered Presentations, whose amazing presentations you will see in the gallery. To check out the new inspiration gallery, login to SlideRocket and click on “Get Inspiration”.
We’re also really happy to offer 10 new professional themes, designed to capture your prospect’s attention and engage your audience in style. Themes are rolling out to all accounts through February 11th.
You’ll notice several new fonts to choose from as you work on your presentations. We’ve added a new handwritten/script category, a few more display fonts, and some grunge fonts. You’ll also see popular fonts such as Droid Serif, Tinos, and Lato – all free for you to use in your presentations.
Say No To PowerPoint
This week is “Say No To PowerPoint Week”, so we suggest you use the inspiration gallery and new themes to say yes to stunning presentations. Plus, all this week, you can win a free SlideRocket Pro account and 20 Marketplace credits.
SlideRocket’s new Inspiration Gallery, professional themes, and fonts are available to all users, Lite and Pro. Looking forward to seeing your presentations, be sure to send them our way!
Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?
My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, the author of Complete Web Monitoring and Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks), Hugh McGuire (The Book Oven, LibriVox, iambik, Media Hacks) and I decided that every week or so the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".
Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:
- Space Stasis – Slate. "I’ve been a huge fan of Neal Stephenson since I first read his stuff. Over the years, I’ve bought more than a dozen copies of Snow Crash for others, so it’s a treat when he writes something… and this is no exception. Here, he looks at the way rockets have changed – or haven’t – over time. It’s reminiscent of James Burke‘s take on where new ideas come from." (Alistair for Hugh).
- Completely Impossible Pictures – Luke Tech Tips. "I try hard to find erudite, thought-provoking, highbrow stuff for these links. But sometimes the Internet is about cool pictures. In an era where photoshopping is an accusation of subterfuge, it’s great to see it being put to such good use. These images by Swedish artist Erik Johansson are remarkably creative, and just plain fun to look at." (Alistair for Mitch).
- Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail? – Rolling Stone. "I think this will be my last weekly link about the economic collapse, but I could not resist this one. Read it… and weep." (Hugh for Alistair).
- Margaret Atwood – "The Publishing Pie: An Author’s View" – YouTube. "I was at O’Reilly‘s Tools of Change for Publishing conference this past week, and a highlight was Margaret Atwood‘s wry and lovely keynote." (Hugh for Mitch).
- Innovating with Business Data – Technology Review. "Business keeps getting bigger. Data keeps getting bigger. At some point soon, those two worlds are going to collide in a much bigger way than they ever have before. In this eight-minute video, Erik Brynjolfsson (director of the MIT Center for Digital Business) talks about the potential for businesses to really have innovative breakthroughs through IT… and for cheap." (Mitch for Alistair).
- How Bill Gates’ Favorite Teacher Wants to Disrupt Education – Fast Company. "Nothing interests me more than how we can use the Internet to make us all smarter. This hyper-interconnectivity is incredible, but the truth is that we have not even begun to scratch the surface on what we can do (better and cheaper) to change our world. One of the biggest areas of opportunity is education. If you’ve never heard of Khan Academy, this article will make you re-think everything you ever thought about education." (Mitch for Hugh).
Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.
Tags: alistair croll bill gates bitcurrent bite-sized edits complete web monitoring education erik brynjolfsson erik johansson fast company gigaom great links hugh mcguire human 20 james burke khan academy librivox link linkbait luke tech tips managing bandwidth margaret atwood media hacks mit center for digital business neal stephenson oreilly conferences photoshop publishing rednod rolling stone science fiction slate snow crash technology review the book oven tools of change for publishing year one labs
My friend Diggy from upgradereality.com just put together a great ebook about personal development. The ebook features some of the best posts from three top personal development blogs:
You can download the ebook for free from here.
VizThink NYC kicked off 2011 on Thursday evening, January 13 with a full house of old-timers and new-comers, all bringing new ideas to life through visual exploration. We were very pleased to welcome attendees visiting from Spain and Japan!
Steve Cherches warmed up the group with a visual version of the game “Telephone” where individuals clustered in small groups (of 3 or 4) to initiate, pass on, and creatively elaborate upon a simple drawing. This quick, non-verbal collaboration caused new stories to emerge and took participants down unexpected roads with some surprising insights.
Visuals act as metaphors for our life situations, our goals, our hopes, our dreams, and our ideas. People tend to think in patterns, which are how we organize, create, and execute processes, i.e., how we get from here to there successfully. Patterns are most easily understood visually!
Collage can be used to tell a story of who/what/where we are — what we do, what we produce, what we represent — or what we want to be, using images, words, and color purposely placed on the page to guide the viewer through that story. In creating a collage, we focus our thinking and “looking” to find descriptive images that demonstrate our intentions and goals, and what we will need to get us to that place. We can show physical materials (rock, paper, water, money, etc), services (programming, design, investment strategies), modalities (working in an office, working independently, exploring or manufacturing) and values (encouraging innovation, seeking well-researched truth, fostering education, being creative or taking risk)..and then organize the contents to give either a simple or highly detailed picture of our goals and desires.
Dean then outlined basic compositional structures to help frame the exercise:
• ONE: Circle, unity, wholeness, inclusion, gathering, emanating from a central core
• TWO: Duality, attempting to find balance, showing conflict or tensions, “drawing a line in the sand”
• THREE: The pyramid/triangle, the Venn diagram, heirarchy of order
• FOUR: Square, corners of the earth, the elements, balance
• NETWORK: Multiple links, a collection of branches, interconnected systems
Attendees had about 45 minutes to explore what is important to them and what the future might look like through drawing and collage. Available supplies included loads of old magazines, large-format paper, scissors, markers, tape, and glue sticks. Energized participants worked both individually and collaboratively. The room literally buzzed with creativity, energy, and fun!
It was great to see everyone dig into both activities, learning more about their fellow attendees and themselves in the process. During the walk-around-the-room and group discussion that followed, participants were enthusiastic:
“I left collage back in third grade and it is not the type of activity I would ever think to do on my own, especially to solve some business problem. I was surprised at how much it opened up my thinking.”
“I learned about this event through an email forward from a friend at work; I’m really glad I came!”
“Looking at magazines, particularly those I don’t usually see, caused me to consider ideas I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
“At work I am constantly trying to find answers or solutions to strategic problems. Tonight I realized the area of my inquiry has been far too small and I need to step back and look at the bigger picture.”
“Going to a VizThink event is a great way to flex your eye/hand muscles in a relaxed and energized group setting.”
“Getting a group of people together, providing the materials, time, and direction to use a visual thinking technique in perhaps an unexpected and delightful way is what VizThink local groups should be all about.”
Liked this article? You may also enjoy:
- [Simple Tools] Business Origami
- Daniel Weil: Drawing the Process
- SketchCamp: San Francisco May 28, 2011
We’ve seen a decade of fabulous stories, infographics, animations, and ideas. We highlighted these presentations together as the most Dramastic Presentations of the Decade – the best presentations with the most dramatic, fantastic, even drastic visual stories. Click to view the presentation. You voted for the best one, here are the results!
We clicked on “View Duration” to see which slide captured your attention the longest. Guy Kawasaki’s “Enchantment” presentation held your attention more than any other – an average of 2 minutes and 32 seconds.
It was close one! Congratulations to “The Girl Effect” for receiving the most votes! “Enchantment” was one vote behind along with runners up “Parisian Love” and “An Inconvenient Truth”.
Fonts are a subtle and surprisingly easy way to set your slide design apart from the crowd. It’s easy because you only have to choose a font once and you reap the rewards on every slide.
Font Squirrel is an excellent place to start looking for the best presentation font for you. For one thing it’s free. But there is a lot of talent on the site, and we’ve picked out 4 fonts that really caught our eye. Read about them below and see them in action in the SlideRocket presentation. We picked a Museo 300, ChunkFive, Aller and a District Thin font. These are all excellent and we definitely recommend them for your next presentation.
We also spent an equal amount of time on the sites of the font designers to make sure they had the design chops and character to back-up their fonts. They all do.
Quick Presentation Font Primer
Remarkable fonts make a good slide design element in their own right, and focus attention on your message. But make sure you stick to solid design principles when choosing. If you wander too far into the land of script fonts, or serif fonts for that matter, you may find your audience getting distracted. Though if you’re not projecting to a screen, and if you keep your font sizes relatively large, you can safely venture into more serif fonts for your presentation.
The Search for Great Presentation Fonts
Much like looking for presentation images, I find looking for new fonts to be overwhelming. With so many choices it’s not hard to burn hours browsing the many available font sites. Which is why we focused on Font Squirrel and helped you sift through the many options to uncover 4 great font designers and their free fonts.
Exljbris – Museo 300
A one-man Dutch shop, Exljbris brings us a striking Slab Serif with Museo 300. Great clean design with a dose of flair that’s not distracting. We paired Exljbris with a bright green chameleon to play off the little “slabs” on his claws.
Dalton Maag – Aller Font
When your presentation needs a little sophistication, look to Dalton Maag’s Aller font. Super smooth with a touch of class, this font is a great accent for your top-end product. Dalton Maag hails from London but has since expanded to Brazil and Cairo.
Garage Fonts – District Thin
With it’s District Thin font, Garage Fonts caught our eye. The sharpness of the font grabbed us right away. We put together a bombastic jellybean slide to exaggerate the merits of this font. Garage Fonts has been pushing the envelope of font design for many years.
The League of Movable Type – ChunkFive
An edgy group, The League of Moveable Type brings us ChunkFive. This robust font tells your audience that you’ve got something meaty to share with them. With such a unique portfolio we’ll be back to dig a little deeper.
Want to share with us your favorite font?
Check this post Slide Design – Make Your Presentation Images Sizzle from SlideRocket Online Presentation Software:
A key ingredient to memorable slide design is presentation imagery. But making your slides sizzle takes more than just a pretty picture. It’s best to take a little time to position and frame your images for maximum impact.
Fortunately, the extensive use of PowerPoint clip art has set the bar low for slide design success. And, the pervasive, monotonous use of images of businesspeople staring at computers and “doing business stuff” makes standing apart from the crowd that much easier. Dare to be a bit more inventive with images and you’ll be a hit.
11 Striking Ways to Display Images – Check Out the Presentation
Here is some more detail on three of the slide design approaches for presentation images:
Let the Image Lead the Eye
The imaginative placement of images keeps viewers engaged by nudging them away from the standard left-to-right reading pattern. Explore this slide design approach:
- Place the image in the upper left corner of the slide
- Choose a small image with a linear design element
- Set the text so the design is pointing to it
Take a look at slide #4 “Ladybug on Leaf” for a compelling layout.
Use Unique Image Frames
Adding a border is a common way to frame an image. Group 3 of them together as a “deck of cards” to juice things up a bit. Here’s how:
- Place 3 images on white rectangular “cards” and use a drop shadow
- Place the “cards” to the upper right
- Allow the very top of the images to bleed over the edge
Explore Slide #6 “Deck of Cards” to see the effect.
Set the Slide Background as the Canvas
Gone are the days of white backgrounds with squared-off presentation images placed symmetrically to the right of bullet text. Try this instead:
- Pick a small image that “pops”
- Set it to the right so the text is more prominent
- Set the background to a complementary color and add a gradient
- Keep text to fewer than 10 words and use a contrasting font color
Check out slide #1 “Blue with Balloon” for a sample.
For more great effects, advice, and resources visit the Slide Design “Launch Pad”.