Freebie: Open Blue template in Keynote and PowerPoint

It was my birthday last week, a fact I celebrated by going out and splurging on a macbook pro with retina display and a huge amount of memory! Obviously using a mac is very different to using windows, and though I’ve had a desktop mac before I think I’d forgotten most of the shortcuts. As a result I am getting back to grips with Yosemite OS, not forgetting the amazing software available for the mac e.g. Garageband, Keynote and Pages, and loving every minute of it.

While exploring, it occurred to me that I’d never offered a template in Keynote before on my blog, which that was enough to spur me into making one. Keynote is a very different animal to PowerPoint and you can’t just import a new master and colour scheme the way you do in PowerPoint – unless you are importing one of the amazing templates offered with the software. That plus the unfamiliarity meant it took me a while to create something I felt was worthwhile. You can have a first look at what I created below.  It’s a dark theme, with a bold contrast filled with hexagons and rectangles – very clean and simple.

Open Blue

It’s also the first template I’ve done in the 16×9 format rather than the 3×4 format I am more familiar with, but I think it works.  Anyway, let me know what you think. The font used is Open Sans and the icons are from iconsdb.com.  You can download the two versions of the template here: Keynote, PowerPoint 2010.

Hope it’s useful!

+Alesandra Blakeston

Animate a single series in a chart

Last week I posted a simple video showing a couple of graphs that had a single (or couple) of series animated for emphasis.  I thought this week I would post the how to!  It’s actually very simple.  You can download my PowerPoint here.

Adding an animation to a PowerPoint Chart is the same as adding an animation to any other object.  Click on the chart, then click on “Animation” on the ribbon and choose the animation you want to add.  (I chose “Wipe”).  You can then adjust the options for the animation using the “Effects Options” button.  Unfortunately when you add an animation it adds the animation to the whole chart – including the axes etc.  To see this, while the chart is selected click on the “Animation Pane” button in the animations toolbar.

animation pane

To be able to adjust the animation to the different elements of the chart, right click on the animation, and then select effect options > Chart animation.

chart animation

To be able to animate the series individually, click on the down arrow on the right hand side of the text “As one object” and select “By Element in Series” or “By Series” depending on the configuration of the chart.   I also deselected the “Start animation by drawing the chart background” check box.  Then press the OK button.

A double down arrow will now appear in the animation pane underneath the animated chart.

double down arrow

Click the double down arrow to see the individually animated series.

4 series animated

My chart has 4 series, so there are four elements that have been animated.  Since in my chart I want to emphasize series 3 and 4 only, I simply click on the ones I don’t want to see and press the delete key.  You can then adjust the options of the 2 animated series so that they start together or individually as you prefer.

I adjusted my charts so that the animation starts as soon as the viewer navigates to the page (using the start with previous option) and so that both lines start together.  You can do this using the down arrows next to each animation in the animation pane.  Click on the down arrow and then select “Start with previous”.

And that’s it – hope you find it useful.

+Alesandra Blakeston

Using animation with charts

Recently I posted a blog on how to simplify charts so that the key message came across simply by looking at the chart.  I got a few messages after the post from colleagues saying that while the overall message of “Less is more” is great, what about adding emphasis to really sell your message?  Can you animate charts?

Well the simple answer is yes, of course you can animate charts.  That being said, I would immediately qualify it with – less is still more.  You don’t want to emphasize the entire chart and every single data point.  The short video below shows 2 charts that have been animated.  The first is a column chart.  The last series has been animated to emphasize the improvement.  The second is a line chart where the progress of the last 2 series have been animated.

Let me know what you think!  I’ll be posting the how to do this later next week, but until then you can download the PowerPoint presentation here.

Hope this helps

+Alesandra Blakeston

Using Powerpoint like Prezi

Don’t misunderstand me.  Prezi is a very powerful, very awesome tool!  If you haven’t tried it out, well you should.  That being said, it is possible to do some of what Prezi does in PowerPoint.  I give you this very simple example:

In the video above you will see a PowerPoint presentation consisting of 10 slides.  The movement is created with very simple transitions between the slides called PUSH transitions.  You can download the PowerPoint here.

You can use this effect to create some very powerful effects and animations in your presentation, though beware – people come to see a person speak, not to see how mad their PowerPoint skills are!

Hope this helps!

+Alesandra Blakeston

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

Flat Shadow Icon PowerPoint Template

It’s Friday again, and here’s another Friday Freebie…  This one was originally for a friend who’s starting a new graphic design company that she hopes will be innovative and creative.  She’s really into primary colours, though and so went for option B which is also flat shadow, but looks very different.  Anyway, long story short, you get option A for free to use as you will.

You can download the freebie here.

Enjoy!  Hope you find it useful!

+Alesandra Blakeston

WordPress Stats PowerPoint Template

Have you ever found yourself needing to show your WordPress statistics in a presentation?  Well the easiest option is of course simply to print screen the statistics page.  however, if you are looking for something along those lines, well here’s today’s Friday’s Freebie!

Wordpress stats

Feel free to use this dashboard for anything you wish.  The word cloud unfortunately isn’t editable, but you can easily make your own using your most popular tags and wordle.com.

Hope it’s useful!

+Alesandra Blakeston

Free PowerPoint template – Photo Jigsaw

Thank goodness it’s Friday!  To celebrate, I thought I would put together a Friday Freebie.  This week, it’s a PowerPoint template.  You can download it here.

Three slides in total and 3 different jigsaws for you to use:

  • 2 x 2
  • 3 x 3
  • 4 x 3

You can also reuse the pieces to make other sized jigsaws as well.

To change the jigsaw to show one of your own pictures, simply click on a jigsaw piece.  From the Home tab of the ribbon, click on the small down arrow of the drawing group.

down arrow

Then click on the “Fill” tab of the pop up menu box that appears.  Click on the “File” button and navigate to the picture you want to use. Double click the picture and the fill will change.

format pictureThen without pressing the close button, click on the next piece of the jigsaw and repeat the action.  Keep going until all the pieces have been changed and then press the close button.

And that is it!  You can download the freebie here.

+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