Non-linear training using Action buttons and Tabs in PowerPoint

So I saw a great post last week on eLearningDesigner.com showing images of a Tabbed Training presentation they made for a client.  Put simply, it inspired me to create my own!  It turns out it’s actually pretty simple.  I just needed some action buttons (graphics with actions / hyperlinks on them) and then to set up the presentation as a Kiosk presentation.

You can download my sample here.

Set up the PowerPoint as a Kiosk presentation

First create your training presentation, remembering that you are going to create tabs.  Add images for each of the different tabs, with one page for each tab as shown in the pictures above.  The image relating to the current page should be one colour, the others a different colour.  You can use PowerPoint’s picture color correction tools to adjust the colour based on your color scheme.  The image relating to the current page in my template is white, on the other pages, it is grey.

picture color correction tool

Incidentally, to save time only add the pictures to one page first, copy and paste the images to the other pages once you’ve added the actions / hyperlinks.

To add the actions, simply click on an image and then click on Insert > Action. Check the Hyperlink to checkbutton in the action settings pop menu box.

action settings

Click the drop down menu box, select slide… and then navigate to the slide you wish the user to navigate to when they click the image.  Repeat for the other images and then copy and paste the images to the other slides, adjusting the colour as necessary.

Once your presentation is ready, you need to remove other methods of navigation. To do this, click on Slide Show > Set Up Slide Show.  The pop up menu box as shown below will appear.

set up slide show

Ensure that Browsed at a kiosk (full screen) is selected and then click on the OK button.  Finally, save your file.

Now when someone starts the presentation, they can:

  • Click on hyperlinks or action buttons to navigate through the presentation ONLY – they cannot use the keyboard or the mouse!
  • Press the ESC key to end the presentation

And that’s it!  You can download my sample here.

+Alesandra Blakeston

Advertisements

Tips for presenters – How I met your mother style

A very stylish presentation by esPrezo aimed at helping you to grab your audiences attention in the first 60 seconds of your presentation.  The SlideShare gives you 6 tips:

  1. Personal story opener
  2. The energy opener
  3. Humour opener
  4. Question opener
  5. Situational opener
  6. Tricky opener

Which is your preferred way to start a presentation?

Hi, guys! I’m Barney. Barney Stinson. Stand up and look down at your feet, because I’m going to drop a little bit of wisdom on how to open up your presentations.

So just try it out it’s going to be legen…
how-to-pick-up-your-audience-28-638

…dary!

+Alesandra Blakeston

Blurs and image effects

For those blessed few who have access to Adobe Photoshop – you are probably already aware of gaussian blurs and motion blurs.  In fact, you probably use them regularly!  For those of us who don’t, instagram and other mobile apps have now granted us access and a few of us have been having fun.

My post today though, isn’t how to generate these kinds of blurs, but instead, how these blurs can help you to make effective presentations.  I give the 2 examples below:

quote quote 2

What I was trying to do was to illustrate the following quote: “We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong.”  I searched for appropriate pictures that would match the essence of the quote, I changed fonts, and I repositioned the text, all to no avail!  No matter what I did, I couldn’t make it work.  So I blurred the image.

Slide8 Slide3

I leave it to you to decide which you prefer.  The first image has a motion blur applied.  It gives a sense of adventure.  The second image has a gaussian blur.  You can still vaguely see the image behind it, though I will probably tweak that blur a little and reposition the text some more before finalizing the presentation.  The idea though is that you get the idea of travelling to a tropical island.

There are probably hundreds of different blurs out there now and you can alter the settings of most to get the most out of the blur effect.  If you don’t have access to photo editing apps with blurs, then I suggest you visit this site: cellsea.com.  There are five basic blurs in there along with a lot of other tools.  It may not be the best site, but it’s free and I like it!  You can see the blur, gaussian, and motion blurs effects on each picture in this presentation.

Enjoy!

+Alesandra Blakeston

What are your presentation fears

Do you create great PowerPoint or Keynote slides?  If not, why not?  This SlideShare by Esprezo looks at 5 of the main fears people have when making presentations that lead them to creating just awful slides.  What’s your greatest presentation fear?

  1. Fear of short content
  2. Fear of simplistic design and whitespace
  3. Fear of experimenting
  4. Fear of stealing from others
  5. Fear of feedback

Hope it helps!

+Alesandra Blakeston

Hover over events in PowerPoint

I’m not a big fan of animations and transitions in PowerPoint.  That being said, I do like interactivity!  So I thought I would post a quick tip on adding Mouse Hover Over Events / Actions in PowerPoint.  You can download a finished version here

Step 1: Create your content

Note: I’m using an older template Green Theme, which I uploaded a while back.  You can use any template you wish!

Let’s imagine that you want to create 4 interactions.  This means 4 objects on one slide that you want the user to interact with.  I’ve created four hexagons, but you can use text fields as well. Don’t forget to add some text explaining how the user should interact with the slides

4 interactions

Then create one slide each for each of your user interactions.  Add a back button onto slide 2: Insert > Shapes > Action Buttons > Back

Slide2Once you’ve got your presentation ready, it’s time to add the interaction

Step 2: Remove the navigation

Go back to your first slide.  Click on Transitions on the ribbon and deselect both options to advance the slide.  Repeat for slides 2 – 5

advance slide

Then in normal view, select slides 2 – 4 and hide them.  This will ensure that the user cannot accidentally use the navigation

 Step 3: Add the interaction on slide 1

Click on the first shape you wish to add the interaction to.  As mentioned earlier, I have used the four hexagons on slide 1

With the shape selected (note, you cannot do this to groups!), click on Insert >Action

insert action

In the menu box that appears, click on the “Mouse Over” tab.  Select “Hyperlink to:”

mouse overClick on the drop down menu box, and choose “Slide” and then in the menu pop-up menu that appears choose the slide you wish to navigate to. Then press the OK button on both menu boxes

slideRepeat this for each interaction

Step 4: Add the return interaction

Go to slide 2 and click on the Action button you added.  Insert an action as before, only this time make sure that “Mouse Click” is chosen rather than “Mouse Over”.  Again, choose slide and this time pick the first slide.  To save time, you can then copy and paste this button onto slides 3 – 5

Put your presentation into slideshow mode and test!

And that’s it!  Hope you find it useful!

+Alesandra Blakeston

 

 

7 Sites For Free and Beautiful Public Domain Photos

Great SlideShare by Kapost detailing several sites that I didn’t know with public domain photos!

Enjoy

+Alesandra Blakeston

 

Better PowerPoint – quick and dirty tips

Found this in my SlideShare feed this morning and loved it so much I had to share it!  Which is your favourite tip?

Personally – I always tweak existing decks to make new ones.  Why start from scratch if you don’t have to?

Great presentation deck!

+Alesandra Blakeston

Embedding YouTube videos in PowerPoint 2010

If you’ve ever tried to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint 2010, you’ve probably come across a snag or two.  Depending on which update you’ve had, the embed procedure directly from microsoft may or may not work.  If it doesn’t here is my step by step method on how to do it!

Find your video on You Tube

For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8npy2oAmyU

Go to the video and then click on the Share tab

tabs

Then click on the Embed Tab

embed

Make sure that “Use old embed code” is highlighted.  You can also uncheck the “Show suggested videos when the video finishes” – it looks more professional at the end of the video.  Change the video size etc and then use Ctrl+C to copy the embed code highlighted in blue in the picture above.

Open PowerPoint

Open PowerPoint and go to the slide where you want to embed the video.

Click on the “Insert” tab of the ribbon and then click on the small down arrow beneath “Video”.

insert video

Choose the option “Video from Web Site.”  A new menu box will appear.

paste code

Click inside the menu box and press Ctrl+V to paste the embed code.  The code will look similar to the following:code

You’ll see in the picture above that I have highlighted in blue some parts of the code.  This is because for PowerPoint to embed the video, these parts need to be changed.

  • The quote marks before the address need to be changed to http:
  • The version number 3 needs to be changed to 2

Once you’ve pasted the code and made the amendments, you can press the Insert button.

Check the video

This version of the player doesn’t automatically show a play bar, so press F5 to view the slide, then wait for PowerPoint to contact YouTube and set up the player.  A play button should eventually appear.  When it does, press the button to check the video plays correctly.  Note: You can also click on the video, and go to the Playback tab in the Video Tools menu and press play.  This will add the bar so you can test it outside of slideshow mode.

And that’s it.  Hope it helps!

+Alesandra Blakeston

 

40 going on 4

Believe it or not, I actually turn 40 this year.  I have more in common with some of my millennial friends than with the typical 40 year old woman, and yet all of my friends have been telling me that I am getting old or have asked me if it bothers me.  The truth?  No.  Not even slightly.  The fact is that in many, many ways, I am still around four years old.  Old enough to know better, but still young enough to get up to mischief  I still love super heroes (Avengers and X-Men anyone?), I still devour fantasy stories (The Hobbit, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal to name but a few) and I still love Disney (Little Mermaid, Frozen!!!).  Of course, I’ve learned a lot along the way.  I’ve been hurt, knocked down and bruised.  I’ve laughed, loved and soared high.  Frankly I wouldn’t change a thing – even the REALLY painful parts.  Since not everyone I know feels this way about themselves and their lives, I thought I would share my life lessons in the hopes that it will help not just them, but others too.

It seems as though I’ve always been little miss confident, little miss independent as you can see from the photos below.  Was this behaviour learned or inherited, I couldn’t say, you would probably have to ask my family.  I do know though that I was the first and only one in my family to go to university, the first to travel outside of Europe and the first to work abroad.  Confidence can be learned, failure embraced and learned from, and fear should be seen as a motivator.  If you’re not afraid, you are not challenging yourself enough!  Why do I say this?  I present to you my facts of life:

20140502_0947241. Children learn by making mistakes.  You learn to walk by falling, you learn to ride a bike by crashing.  This first photo shows me at the age of three checking to see if my parents are watching before I sneak off to climb my neighbour’s six foot brick wall.  Funnily, there are plenty of other similar photos of me.  I once was grounded for peddling my tricycle on the main road.  There was a long queue of traffic behind me, the first and foremost of which was a six wheeler flatbed truck.  Everyone in my street was watching the funny parade of traffic following this 3 / 4 year old child being honked and blared at by the impatient drivers.  When I eventually turned off onto my side street, the lorry driver pulled up to talk to my parents.  When he asked “Didn’t I hear him honking?”  My reply was simple. “I was peddling as fast as I could…”

I have to admit I don’t remember either of these stories actually happening, but my parents (and their friends) have told me these stories and others enough times that they (and I) are village legend.  As you can imagine, I used to scare the pants off my parents on a regular basis!  I never fell off that wall, but I am sure I fell off enough smaller walls to be confident enough to tackle the bigger one.  I’m sure you get the point I am making.  Dont’ be afraid of falling or of making mistakes. Instead, be afraid of not trying.  Life is very very boring if you play it safe!  Also, you’ll never be noticed by doing what everyone else does.

20140502_0946442. Find out what makes you special and own it!  Both of my parents worked when I was young.  It was necessary as my parents weren’t rich by any standard.  This of necessity made me independent.  I used to walk myself and my brother to school.  In the small village where we grew up, it was perfectly safe back then!  As a result, I learned responsibility young.  That being said, I distinctly remember hating the dresses I was put in to go to school.  One of the parents of a classmate of mine was a dressmaker and almost every girl in the village wore these dresses as they were of a good quality and inexpensive.  Of course, I was a tomboy and hated dresses on general principle.  The only way my mother could get me into the day’s dress was if it had the colour red in it.  (I still prefer that colour to any other).  We also compromised with my school coat.  It had to have big buttons, so that I could use it as a cape when playing G-Force or Wonder Woman in the playground.

Growing up in a family where we had very little and in a village where everyone was related and knew everyone else’s business made me determined to escape, to be better and to be different.  Luckily for me, my mother encouraged me to read and let me live and play in my fantasy world.  I was always making up stories and little fantasies where I would be the hero and save the day.  Now I work for a global corporation, and have done not one but two different secondments outside of the UK.  My job entails creativity and innovation (I get to play and teach games for a living) and being a thought leader.

That being said, I went through a horrible phase (both professionally and personally) in the early part of my career with the company.  Work and home felt like a battleground.  During that time, I was lost.  I lost sight of who I was and why I should care.  I felt mired in failure and thought I couldn’t do anything right.  Fortunately one or two amazing people mentored me and helped me to regain that self-confidence that I lost for a while. They saw potential in me and helped me to bring it out.  I won’t name them (they know who they are) but because of them, I was able to win a National Training Award for the company and for a short while flew with the stars.  It only seems fair to pay that gift forward.

The fact is that everyone has a gift.  Some more than one.  If I can help just one person find what makes them unique, special and help them to turn that gift into a talent that they can leverage, then I have done well.  One of my friends is going through a bad patch at the moment.  She’s lost faith in herself and doesn’t know which way to turn.  She’s trying to fit in and keep her head down.  I keep telling her that regardless of what others around her think and say, it’s her opinion of herself that should have the most weight.  Value yourself and others will value you too.  Being different worked for me as a child, and being different is what has made me successful as an adult.  The truly successful are unique and original.

3. Be proud of your connections and help them to develop.  As the eldest child of three brothers and sisters, I was forever hearing “Take your brother / sister with you!”  or my favourite, usually when my brother had done something stupid and of course, it was my fault,  “Why didn’t you stop him?  You know better!”  Regardless of whether I was popular or not at school (and for a while, I really wasn’t!), I always had someone tagging along.  I learned a lot about teaching and mentoring and it made me a better person because of it.  I learned patience with my brother who is three years younger than me and I learned teaching with my sister who is eight years younger than me.  When I was a teenager, she was just a little girl.  I taught her to avoid all the mistakes I made.  Now I do the same with the young people I mentor at work and the interns whom I employ.  I learned that being responsible for someone (being a leader) means looking out for their welfare and development as well as bossing them around (like big sisters do).  You have no idea how proud I am of my little brother and how far he has come, especially since the birth of his gorgeous little daughter…  I feel the same way about my interns.  There’s nothing like the pride you feel when you see someone you have encouraged succeed.  The bike in the photo below eventually became my brother’s.  Both of us started with stabilisers and eventually moved on to a bigger better bike (I eventually moved onto a motorbike – but that’s a whole other story!)

20140502_094654

4. You should never stop learning, regardless of your age.  Incidentally, I would never have gotten as good on social media and blogging if it weren’t for my younger friends helping me out and paying me back.  Just because you are older and wiser, it doesn’t mean you are better.  The younger generation has a lot to teach us about life in general (not just the latest tech and which apps you should have on your smartphone). Having a reverse mentor doesn’t just keep your outlook young, it can help you be more assertive and dare I say it more successful.  I belong to Generation X, but have Baby Boomers as friends as well as Millennials.  Believe it or not, I learned how to demand what I want from my job and my position from my millennial friends.  I learned diplomacy, tact and how to behave at work from my baby boomer friends.  No one knows everything, regardless of how old they are or how wise they are.  Being willing to change and adapt, understanding what to do with information, is more important in today’s world than being an expert.  Let’s face it, you can find anything you might wish to know with Google search.

20140502_0947165. Passion and Humour makes the day go faster.  This year, I will have worked for the company for fifteen years.  Strangely enough, that feels more like a milestone than my turning 40!  As a typical Brit, I am a master of sarcasm and wit (ask any one of my team!) and of course self-deprecating humour.  That doesn’t mean though that I don’t value myself or others.  In fact, the people that I am most fond of, usually get the most stick, myself included!  When preparing a facilitation session or a presentation, I always try to add in some fun and some jokes.  After all, if you can make people laugh, they are much more likely to remember you and by extension, your message.  After 15 years I have hundreds of co-workers (or should I say co-conspirators?), many with the same irreverent sense of humour, and I think  I have stayed so long because the company believes in its people and doesn’t take itself too seriously.  We’re passionate about what we do and it shows.  Frankly, if you can’t be passionate about your subject, then stop talking!  My blog is chock full of tips and techniques, musings and inspirations.  Above all though, it is about things that I am passionate about, whether that’s developing people, innovation, simplifying difficult topics, Excel charts or PowerPoint presentations.  As a child I grew up knowing that I was an odd little duck – my blog (and my twitter feed) is no different.  But I was given this advice by an old friend who mothered me on more than one occasion.

Stick out your tongue, tell the world to get in line, be good to your friends and march to your own tune!

Don’t you agree?

+Alesandra Blakeston