5 reasons to replace your SharePoint slide library with TeamSlide

1. Microsoft discontinued the slide library feature starting with SharePoint 2013

Due to a design limitation, Microsoft deprecated SharePoint’s slide library feature. If you are running on an older version of SharePoint with a working slide library, note that you might suddenly lose access to it if your organization’s IT team decides to update SharePoint. Further, Microsoft will eventually stop providing user and technical support for the slide library.

2. TeamSlide can seamlessly integrate with SharePoint and PowerPoint

With TeamSlide you won’t have to start all over again. TeamSlide can integrate with SharePoint to access all your content and also connects with Active Directory to replicate your user permissions. In addition, TeamSlide allows users to search, find, insert, and share content without ever leaving PowerPoint.

3. Our intuitive UI makes it easier to use

All the core functions, including sharing slides and searching for slides, require fewer steps with TeamSlide compared to SharePoint.  From the ground-up our UI was designed to quickly give users the information and slides they need without disrupting their typical workflows. For example, users can easily adjust the size of slide thumbnails or access the slide meta data with just a click or two.

4. TeamSlide’s search technology and features drives productivity

Whether you have a 100 slides or 1 million slides, TeamSlide’s advanced search technology can quickly sort through your content to give you the most relevant slides. New features including the ability to connect to Wikipedia or email slides to colleagues can help save precious time as you build your next presentation.

5. We’ll support your technical and business needs

From the moment you get a free TeamSlide trial, we’ll work with you to understand your needs, drive TeamSlide adoption, and look for opportunities to optimize your use of slide libraries.  We’ll share best practices and actively collaborate to ensure that your business runs more efficiently.

4 tips to effectively use images in your presentations

A quick Google search will undoubtedly tell you that images are an effective way to communicate. However, your images need to be high quality, compelling and serve a point or else the audience will quickly dismiss them.

Here are 4 tips to help effective use images in your presentations:

1. Stay legal

Google Images is often used to quickly find images for your presentation but you likely don’t have permission to use these images. Consider paying for images from a stock collection like Bigstock or Shutterstock. If you don’t have the budget for stock photos, consider using photos licensed under Creative Commons as they are typically more open and often allowed for commercial use if the original author is credited.

2. Use images that align with your message

Random images that are placed to just fill space are distracting and reduce the impact of your presentation. Take time to select images that amplify your message:

3. Use PowerPoint to modify images to improve the fit

Now that you have an image, you can use PowerPoint to make simple edits that can make a world of a difference. For example, you can overlap images with your content as in the example below:

Or even just adding text or your company logo can help:

You can even make larger modifications like in the example below where we filled in the computer screen to match our application. Note that this was done solely with PowerPoint.

4. Organize your assets

Consider using a slide library solution to organize your images and ensure that your entire team has access to it (assuming covered by license terms). This help will stop duplicated images from being purchased. When uploading content, use a defined set of tags so that your colleagues can quickly search or browse assets to find the one they are looking for. Note that SharePoint’s slide library has been deprecated and is no longer supported.

TeamSlide Partners with PowerPoint Design Agency Buffalo7 to Help Customers Build Amazing Presentations

As you likely know, building a great presentation takes time and attention to detail. From the messaging to the actual delivery and all the slide manufacturing that happens in between, there’s an art to building engaging, effective presentations that leave a lasting impression.

At TeamSlide, our customers often ask us for insight into developing great PowerPoint presentations. While we dedicate our blog to providing presentation support, some customers just don’t have the time or need additional help. As such, we are proud to announce a partnership with Buffalo7, the UK’s leading PowerPoint design agency, to better meet our customers’ presentation needs.

Buffalo7 offers complete presentation design services encompassing the entire presentation lifecycle. From developing your story and refining key messages to bringing your slides to life with impactful visuals, Buffalo7 has the skillset and experience to make your next presentation shine. Everything they do is made to measure: they apply their knowledge in a way that is relevant and tailored to you, your brand and your audience. Buffalo7 has worked with some of the world’s best brands like UEFA Champions League, Sony PlayStation and Unilever to transform their presentation collateral.

For example, the agency was recently approached by Red Bull to build a marketing dashboard built around the DNA of its brand. Buffalo7 rose to the challenge and delivered a robust presentation template in PowerPoint that Red Bull’s team could use internally to report on their work in a very engaging, energetic way. The dashboard combined first-class visuals with the intuitive drag-and-drop editability that’s associated with PowerPoint.

If you need help building slides, ensuring your presentations works across platforms or pressure testing your messaging, consider checking how Buffalo7 can design PowerPoint presentations that deliver your content in an impactful and engaging way.

For more information on how Buffalo7 can help design presentations that blow the competition out of the water, get in touch at: hello@buffalo7.co.uk.

 

6 tips to manage a large number of PowerPoint presentations and slides

If your organization works in PowerPoint, you’ve likely accumulated hundreds or thousands of PowerPoint presentations. As presentations typically start with existing content, efficiently searching your repository to find specific slides can drive significant productivity gains.

Here are 6 tips to manually manage your repository or slide library:

  • Assign a shared location to store your presentations: Often presentations are stored across server locations and personal computers. Set a shared and secure location where your team can store their presentation. Check to ensure all members can seamlessly access the location and that your team is actively using it. This will consolidate all your content and prevent users from having to unnecessarily email presentations to each other.
  • Define a file naming convention: Setting a standard file naming convention will allow users to quickly sort through presentations. Some best practices for file names include:
    • Start file names with a date that starts with the year. For example: 20160501 Strategy Review. This ensures that files will allows appear in chronological older. If two versions are created on the same date indicate a version number: 20150501-02 Strategy Review. Note that ‘02’ was used instead of ‘2’ to allows double digit versions.
    • For large teams include the initials of the person who created the presentation: 20160501 Strategy Review KS.
  • Build a folder structure that reflects the business: If you support numerous business units in a large company, create folders for each business. Or if your projects are more functional use the project type as the folder names.
  • Create a best hits presentation: If you have a set of slides that are used on a regular basis, collate them into one presentation. This can include templates, visual elements, charts, and even important pieces of text.
  • Assign somebody to continually manage the repository: For manual repositories, you can’t just ‘set it and forget it’. Consistently clean and keep your library up-to-date to maximize its benefits. Give your library manager the authority to ensure team members are compliant with the established rules.
  • Manage versions: During the course of a project, several iterations for a presentation maybe created. Ensure that at the end of the project the final version is clearly marked and that older versions are saved in a related but separate folder.

 

TeamSlide interview with Sunday Mancini from Ethos3

From visuals to narratives, do you need support building insightful, engaging presentations? In our previous careers as management consultants and at TeamSlide, we know how important compelling presentations are to the business process. We were lucky to catch Sunday Mancini from renowned design firm Ethos3 for a quick interview.

Ethos3 comprises an amazing team of presentation experts that are focused on helping individuals and companies build better presentations through design, motion graphics, infographics, narratives, and training. Here’s our conversation with Sunday:

Can you share a little about Ethos3 and its core principles?

Ethos3 is a premier boutique presentation design and training company based in Nashville, TN. At our core, we believe every presentation matters. That’s why we have spent the last decade empowering presenters so that they can inspire others, bring people together, and maybe even change the world. We take pride in our ability to tell stories that matter and finding innovative ways to improve the presentation industry.

To view our core values, you can go here.

How did Ethos3 originally start?

Scott Schwertly founded the company in 2006 after realizing most people struggle with building, designing, and delivering presentations. Shortly after, he created “Meet Henry,” a presentation that snagged 2nd place in a SlideShare competition from that year. If you explore the history of that specific project, you will find that there was really nothing like it at that time period. It’s completely story-driven and visual, an approach Ethos3 still does today.

What has fueled your passion and growth since the early days?

I’m going to try and speak for Scott and the company as a whole here, but I know that we are all fueled by our own creativity and love for great stories and great design. Not all of our client projects allow for creative opportunities, but we still find ways to stretch our imagination. For Scott and the people he trains, I know he is personally pumped to share Ethos3’s philosophy with audiences who want to improve their presentation skills.

What makes Ethos3 stand out from the competition?

Everyone who works on our team is passionate, smart, and excited to try new technology or new trends. Because we’re a boutique and agile, we can adapt to changes and remain at the top of everything. This is not a stuffy company, and it shows in every project that goes out our doors, internally or externally.

As you’ve worked across a variety of customers, have there been any common themes or issues that you’ve noticed?

We see a lot of presentations that are just overwhelmed with content on each slide. There’s absolutely no way we can make a slide look great when it has three charts, fifteen bullet points, and a little paragraph about the weather in San Francisco. 🙂 Clients worry that if we stretch out their presentation, we will double their speaking time. This is absolutely not the case; more slides simply means that each element is featured separately. We’re not adding any content, and the designers have more freedom.

With new entrants like Prezi and Haiku Deck, have you noticed an impact on PowerPoint and how presenters are using it?

Only a fraction of our clients ask us to use emerging software, especially if they are interested in staying on top of trends. But most of the time, it comes down to design. Does it look beautiful? Does it look modern? PowerPoint is a blank slate. Whichever software it takes to create a gorgeous presentation, we’ll be there. If that’s PowerPoint or Prezi or Haiku Deck, we want to evolve along with presenters.

As you look 5 years down the road, how do you expect the presentation design and visuals landscape will evolve?

I’d like to think that we will have holograms, or maybe really immersive virtual experiences that could take audiences into beautiful settings during a presentation. But, if that doesn’t happen, I imagine more presentation software will become increasingly more mobile or fully online/in the cloud. Graphics will become more motion based, animations may become much more advanced, and screens will become way too big for their own good.

Sunday Mancini is a Content Strategist for Ethos3, a presentation design company located in Nashville, TN. She has personally worked with clients in major industries and Fortune 500 companies during her many years at the firm, helping them share their own unique stories. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Mapping your PowerPoint slides

Mapping your PowerPoint slides

In the last blog entry, we shared 3 steps to build your PowerPoint story. With your story written out in paragraph form, you can start mapping your slides.

This step doesn’t require PowerPoint – map your slides with pen and paper, with a word processor, or with a notes application on your phone. You can complete this step while riding a cab, on the plane once your laptop has died, or at your office desk.

Write Action Titles

Each paragraph of your story should correspond to a slide and the first sentence of the paragraph, which consists of your primary point, maps to the title of the slide. These are called Action Titles as they they alone can clearly tell your story and make it easy for the reader to quickly discern your primary points and insights.

Action Titles are far more effective than descriptive titles which provide little information:

  • Action: Price and brand recognition are our customers’ primary purchase decision criteria
  • Descriptive: Customer decision criteria over the last 5 years
  • Action: 70% of widget growth is driven by demand from manufacturing automation
  • Descriptive: Widget sales by customer segment from 2009-2016
  • Action: Our market share has dropped 5% as we have been challenged by new entrants
  • Descriptive: Market share analysis

From a visual standpoint slide tiles should be located in the same position and typically written in a larger font than any other text on the slide. Slide titles should not have a hanging or widow word – a single word that doesn’t fit on the first line and is placed alone on the second line. Either shorten your title or increase its length so that more than one word appears on the second line. Alternatively, adjusting the line break position may be an option. Hanging words are considered poor typography because they leave too much white space. In addition, concise slide titles that fit on one or two lines are more impactful as they are easier to grasp and understand.

Sketch out your slides

You should now have blank slides with completed titles. For each slide, quickly sketch out how you’d like the slide to look. Use a combination, of charts, visuals, and text boxes that will best support your title or assertion and can capture the remaining portion of the corresponding paragraph from your story.

Experience helps when sketching slides as the more slides you’ve read the more visualizations you can pull from. To jump start this process you can complete the following exercises:

Put the presentation frame in place

With the bulk of presentation in shape, step back and review your objective (as we’ve previously discussed). Does your presentation need an executive summary, conclusion, or next steps slide to frame the story?

An executive summary typically follows the title slide and provides a complete overview of the presentation. A well written presentation story can quickly be adapted into an executive summary. As a starting point you can use your slide titles from the body of the presentation (or first sentence from each paragraph of your story) to form a rough executive summary. The conclusion slide provides an opportunity to provide a summary, state any overall insights, and pull the presentation toward the final objective. And the next steps slide helps align a small audience on their tasks prior to the next meeting

Consider breaking long presentations into chapters and placing a rolling agenda – a slide that is repeated with the new agenda item highlighted each time. The agenda reminds the audience how the section fits within the broader story. Or if some slides are not critical to the story, create an appendix or back-up section. An appendix can contain extra analyses or research that may answer audience questions.

Writing your PowerPoint presentation story

Writing your PowerPoint presentation story

Before diving into the slide manufacturing process, it pays dividends to step back and map your story. This 3 step process involves determining your objective, understanding your audience’s perspective, and crafting your story to ensure you have a clear, comprehensive and concise presentation.

Determine the objective of the presentation

To start, write down the single primary objective of your presentation.  Some potential examples are:

  • Teach the audience to use a social app
  • Convince the audience to switch from bleached to whole wheat bread
  • Motivate perspective customers to buy your widget
  • Obtain funding for a drone research proposal

Focus on the objective of the current presentation. While your ultimate goal might be to close a sales deal, your current objective might simply be to engage the audience and schedule follow up meeting.

If you have multiple objectives, determine if one is more important than the other. In general, communicating several objectives at the same time risks the chance of confusing your audience or losing their focus.

Your objective guides the construction of your presentation – every slide, visual, and bullet should serve your objective. All other content likely distracts and should probably be removed.

Put yourself in your audiences’ shoes

While the objective defines the end goal of the presentation, understanding your audience’s perspective tells you where to start and what path to take:

  • Is your audience familiar with the content?
  • Are they friendly or hostile?
  • What does your audience want to get out of the meeting/presentation?

With the audience in mind you can compile a list of the content pieces required to achieve your objective. For example, new members not familiar with your work will require additional context and background information. In addition, you can choose a tone that will best engage the audience. If the group is a little hostile, soften the language around big statements:

  • Instead of saying “Adwords will double your revenue”, say “Adwords has shown to double the revenue of companies similar to yours” or “Adwords will likely double your revenue”

Craft your story by first writing it out

With your objective and audience in mind, write out your presentation story. Applying a story format gives you the opportunity to build a more compelling message that your audience will remember. You can write it in paragraph form where each paragraph represents one point. The first sentence states your point and the following sentences support it. For example:

Company X is the market leader in the widget industry with $300M in annual sales. Globally, X has a 35% market share and a near monopoly in Europe. Their widget paint product represents 80% of their business and is growing at a healthy 10% CAGR.

The story also acts as an initial draft of your delivery script.

As you write your story consider how your audience will react to it. Are your messages inline with their thinking or provocative? Typically, strong stories follow an ‘answer-first’ approach where the presentation starts with the key take-away message and follows up with the rationale. However, for provocative messages, consider an ‘answer-last’ approach where you first share the underlying facts before delivering the hard take-away message.

How slide libraries helped investment banks build better proposals more efficiently

Slide libraries used by investment banks

Over the last few months we’ve worked with several boutique investment banks that were looking for better ways to manage their critical PowerPoint collateral. Specifically, they wanted a way to efficiently build proposals that, while still customized to the specific client or project, could leverage their prior work.

Investment banks compose several types of proposals, all of which have a combination of common elements and client- or project-specific pieces. For example, prior transactions, market overview, and regulations would typically be standard, while company financials, projections, and capabilities are tailored to the client and contain only certain reusable components. As such, investment banks should be able to efficiently find relevant content from prior proposals and either reuse or adapt it based on client requirements.

Prior to using a slide library solution, investment banks were relying on a manual approach that was both time consuming and prone to errors. First, the proposal author would dig through a shared hard drive to find relevant presentations and then flip through them to find the key slides that he/she wanted. If a slide was missing or seemed old, the author would have to email colleagues and describe the slide needed. At times, slides would be recreated if colleagues took too long to respond or if content couldn’t be found. For example, if the proposal author found a market overview slide from 2013 but couldn’t find the latest version, they may re-do the analysis and update it for 2016. Beyond slides, the process would generally be repeated for visuals like company logos, industry diagrams, and charts. This process was inefficient and often led to poor output quality when out-of-date content was used, pieces were missing, and slides were hastily assembled.

After implementing a slide management or library solution, these firms were able to drastically improve efficiency and the quality of their proposals. First, they were able to easily build a secure shared repository of PowerPoint content where they could control exactly who within the firm had access to each specific slide. Then when putting a proposal together, authors could search the repository, get slide image previews, and quickly select the slides they needed. If they had a question about a slide, they could use the slide library solution to check who last uploaded the slide and instantly email them to ask any questions. Further, the slide library could be extended to visuals, allowing authors to find the very specific pieces of content they needed. Slide libraries also allowed authors to check their proposal to verify they had the latest content. And so, if that market overview slide was updated by a colleague since the author last downloaded it, he/she could be notified before sharing the proposal with others.

As exemplified by the implementation of a content management solution by the investment banking industry, a structured approach to managing PowerPoint content can yield significant gains.  As your knowledge repository grows and/or if you have employee turnover, consider using a slide library so that you have the content you need at your fingertips.

 

Your Business Presentation Isn’t About You (It’s About Your Audience’s Question)

Your Business Presentation Isn’t About You

Your presentation is days away, but already you’re feeling panicky and sick to your stomach. You hate public speaking, always have, and even though it’s just a hand-full of your colleagues, you feel like it might as well be the entire company.

So you read up on business presentations and learn how to get over your fear of public speaking. You learn techniques for projecting your voice, for appearing confident, for what to do with your hands. You practice over and over until every tiny movement becomes second nature. Then, on the big day, you walk into the conference room without fear. You deliver the performance of a lifetime.

The only problem is… no one cared.

This may be a little blunt, but it’s not about you. You weren’t asked to give a presentation because your co-workers wanted to hear the sound of your silky smooth voice. You were selected because you understand something that your audience doesn’t. Your business presentation isn’t about you, it’s about your answer to a question important to your audience.

Most of us will never give a grand speech in an auditorium with hundreds of listeners – but we will have to give more than one “sit-down” presentation to a handful of our work colleagues.

For these smaller, more common, boardroom presentations, your message is critical. To be successful, skills to identify the critical question and to structure, articulate, design and deliver a compelling answer are needed.

Unfortunately, the presentation training market is flooded with public speaking tips (as if we’re all giving TED talks). Have a look – advice on how to create an effective presentation is drowned out by tips on how to deliver an entertaining one. While a fear of public speaking is common, what should scare you more is failing to effectively answer your audience’s question.

TeamSlide helps you organize, plan, and ultimately present your slideshow, but we can’t design it for you. The structure of your argument, the order and pacing of your topics, the visualization of data, and the other critical nuances of crafting your answer are presentation skills on a whole different level.

SlideHeroes is a course that focuses on getting the substance of your presentation across.

With 20 video lessons ranging from 5 to 20 minutes, the SlideHeroes course covers in detail the process of creating a business presentation, plus the five main elements every effective presentation needs:

  • The Process: SlideHeroes’ step-by-step who, why, what, how process for building your presentation. SlideHeroes shows you how to identify the key question of your audience and organize an answer around that question. The course also focuses on how to ensure the objective and next steps of your presentation are clear.
  • Power of Logical Structure: A chaotic and flimsy presentation is a quick way to lose the attention of your audience. This section teaches the tried-and-true structures of building a logical argument, how to apply them to business presentations, and ways to generate the right ideas to flesh out your argument.
  • Art of Storytelling: Business presentations can be stories with a more practical message. Learn how to create a narrative arc within your presentation. Learn how the same storyboarding principles used in the movies can be applied to slides.
  • Harmony of Design: Looks aren’t everything, but they’re still something. The proper visuals can improve legibility, comprehension, retention, and can even set the proper mood. This section explains the science of sight and explores principles of visual processing. It then examines how these insights can be applied to the composition of your slides.
  • The Science of Fact-based Persuasion: The most reliable method of persuasion is hard-evidence. Here you’ll learn which facts are most useful and how to display information. The course compares the pros and cons of tables and graphs, analyzes the different types of graphs, and gives direction and when to use each type.
  • Drama of Performance: Learn the techniques of delivering a presentation that go beyond mere public speaking, including the best ways to rehearse and small tips that can add life to an otherwise dull graph parade.

The video format of the course is a practical, easy to digest means of learning how to write a presentation. Their segmented video lessons let you learn at your own pace, one topic at a time, with quizzes after each video to reinforce everything you have learned. The static online manuals of other presentation training can’t capture the intricacies of giving an actual presentation – some things you can’t just read about, you have to see in action.

Try SlideHeroes by signing up for their free trial. It will give you a very good sense of the SlideHeroes platform and course. We think you will enjoy it. Let us know what you think!

Importance of visuals in marketing and sales presentations

Importance of visuals in content marketing

The Internet is crawling with facts on the benefits of using visuals in social media marketing efforts:

  • Humans are able to process images more quickly and efficiently than text (source)
  • Engagement rate of social media posts with visuals is higher than those without (source)
  • Quality of visuals play a more important role in the customer purchase decision process than product descriptions and ratings (source)

Marketers are quickly realizing these benefits and we are now exposed to a variety of visuals (charts, info-graphics, pictures) on a regular basis. Mainstream media is also increasing their use of visuals (e.g. NY Times, Bloomberg) and we are becoming more and more accustomed to consuming information in this manner.

In conjunction with our content marketing efforts, our sales presentations (and other types of presentations) also need to consistently use visuals to improve customer engagement. Many times, however, these presentations tend to be a little stale with out-of-date templates and a lot of text. Here are a few suggestions on how to effectively use visuals in your presentations:

  • Between all your marketing teams build shared repository of visuals to ensure consistency across all your customer touch points
  • Invest in high-quality visuals that are relevant to your messaging
  • Keep an eye on image sizes especially if the presentations will be consumed on a mobile device

We’ve had the opportunity to speak with a few in-house expert presentation builders and they confirmed that their companies are making significant investments to improve their visuals. From their website to PowerPoint files, visuals and templates are being carefully redesigned to better improve customer interactions.


At TeamSlide we help PowerPoint users better manage their visuals and ensure that they have seamless access to them. Quickly build a shared repository of images, diagrams, templates, and charts. Save time by accessing them directly through PowerPoint – you won’t have to hunt for slides or visuals ever again.