Setting Out Your Presentation Slides for the Best Results

I like to use a few rules for my slides that I hope makes them more attractive and readable by the audience.

  1. The slide should have some level of symmetry or balance. For example if you have some bullets on the left maybe an image or diagram on the right to ‘balance’ the slide. Imagine a pivot in the middle of the slide and the words or images have weight – now will it fall to the right or left?
  2. Choose your colours wisely. Ask your self whether the colours go together and what the colour combination means. Do your colours look like the colours used in any brand that you know – this may be good or bad. It’s also good to keep some consistency across the slide pack. Using a different set of colours on each slide suggests that the slides have come from different origins. I am not a great lover of coloured fonts – but they can soften the impact of the writing. For example dark grey can look better than black. Dark blue is also effective and quite easy to read. Please avoid writing in red or green. Those of us who are colour blind just can’t read it. Even red on white is very difficult at a distance. This by the way is true if you are using a flip chart – put down the red pen and pick up the black or blue.
  3. Most people read slides from left to right. It is often best to place bullets on the left and supporting images on the right. When using a diagram and bullets you may like to swap this over. As the diagram/graph may be self explanatory and the bullets just pulling our some key points that if read first would not make sense.
  4. Best to leave off full stops at the end of bullets – it just looks messy and distracts the eye.
  5. Remember that you may be asked to print your slides so anything other than a white background uses lots of ink. The old style of yellow type on a blue background is indeed quite easy to read on a screen but now looks very dated and a good quality printed version is hard to create.
  6. Add automatic page numbering via the master – very helpful if you muddle up the printed slides as you are preparing for the big day. If you are presenting using a handout it is also much easier to ask your colleagues to turn to page seven, than to look for the page with the big graph and four bullets.
  7. To keep things simple it is often best to split the slide into three zones. These three zones will also help you in presenting the slide which we will come on to later. You don’t have to stick to this layout but it is a good place to start and seems to work quite well.
    • Top, where the strap line goes. The sentence that captures what the slide is all about.
    • The main part of the slide split into two or three areas vertical or horizontal areas for words and images
    • The bottom of the slide – often not used for bullets or diagrams but containing page numbers, copyright, logos, etc. The bottom of the slide can also contain the lead in to the next slide. For, some this is a sort of end of slide strap line and for others a small prompt or just a virtual zone that you need use to create the link to the next slide.

Communication and Presentations Skill Training for New Employees

If you are just starting a new job, it can be a daunting task to give presentations. After all, everyone is watching your every move and they almost always have over the top high expectations. The last thing you want to do is mess up your production, let alone give them the wrong impression. Luckily there are many different ways for new employees to learn business etiquette.

The main goal for any company is to make their employees comfortable in their surroundings. Therefore, any intelligent leader will know that presentation training is a must. We all desperately try to avoid it, for it is not only intimidating, but an assignment that will keep us up at night with fear. Luckily, presentations skill training is a great way to help new employees settle in.

The first thing a communication training program does is teach employees the necessary skills. It is essential that a presenter connects with the audience, and shows them exactly the message they are trying to get across. Without that connection, most staff members will feel disconnected and bored. The number one goal is to get them into your world. If you are passionate and interested in the topic, chances are they will be right there with you.

The majority of presentation training courses tend to also focus on body language and what to avoid. While most employees try to hide behind presentations, these courses tell you not to. It is vital that you do not let a PowerPoint slide do the talking. These slides are merely there to back you up. After all, you are the presenter and know the subject. These people are there to listen to you, not stare at a screen all day. It is also important to keep the presentation as brief as possible. For instance, if you are trying to give a four hour slide presentation, chances are the staff will be asleep by the second hour. By giving them an interesting shorter presentation, they will be yearning for more. This way you will have their attention the entire way through.

Other business etiquette includes practice! Without a great amount of experience backing you up, giving presentations can seem like you are a deer in headlights. Presentation skills training will show you that practicing will only benefit you in the long run. The first thing you want to do is find as many opportunities to present. While this seems intimidating, it will increase your confidence and your experience. Once you have done this, it is imperative to get feedback. This can help you immensely, as people will tell you what flaws you need to fix. It will also boost your confidence if you know your strong points. Another great way to get feedback is to video tape yourself. This way you can watch your every move, and know what you have to fix.

No matter what type of new employee you are, communication training is key. A great presentation could mean generating more clients and even greater revenue. If you have a sloppy production, it may result in a lot of bad publicity. Therefore, it is important that you take presentation training seriously. If you follow the above tips, you will surely be on your way to success.

Egyptian Cotton Bedding, The Perfect Christmas Present for The Person With Everything

As the freezing winter nights begin to draw in, it is in bed when most of us begin to feel the big chill. And if this Christmas time is as chilly as last then we’re facing icy toes and tossing and turning all night, getting up in the small hours to source a blanket to put on.

Ask yourself honestly; when was the last time you bought brand-new bed sheets? Many people keep their bedding for years on end, slowly wearing them down in the wash and ruining their warmth and softness. What you thought were good bed sheets 5 years ago might not be anymore.

Maybe you’ve been putting off buying new bedding. Coming to loggerheads in a shop with a partner over prospective sheets or the mumbo jumbo about thread counts and various types of cotton may have put you off. But you spend almost a third of your life between the sheets; surely you deserve some great bedding after a long, hard day? High-quality bed sheets are definitely worth investing in, they will provide a good night’s sleep and durability. And choosing from the wealth of styles and materials on the market might not be as confusing as you first thought.

Cotton is the most common bedding material. There are various types of cotton of different finishes and qualities. 100% cotton is a general term used to describe cotton of a non-premium quality. Organic cotton is an eco-friendly alternative to regular cotton, as it won’t have been produced using fertilizers or pesticides.

Egyptian Cotton has been the most sought after bedding for years because of its luxurious soft feel and its durability. But just 8% of worldwide cotton produced is from the same species as the plant used to make Egyptian Cotton. The long fibres in this cotton make yarns that are smaller in diameter yet stronger than other cottons. Smaller yarn means that there will be more threads per square inch, creating a durable fabric which is light in weight and breathes well. Egyptian Cotton can be purchased in a sateen finish which gives a subtle gloss to the fabric.

Silk sheets have a strong shine to them and a delicate feel. They are very pricey however, and not as warm as Egyptian Cotton sheets. Mulberry silk is where the silk worms which spin the silk are fed a diet of Mulberry leaves, which creates a much softer feeling material. Satin sheets offer the same sheen as silk but are less costly and less durable. They are also quite cool to touch however, so unless you have a very warm home both of them are ideally suitable for summer use.

Modal is a tough fabric produced from beech pulp blended with cotton. There are also bamboo bed sheets, which blend the fast-growing Asian plant with cotton for an eco-friendly bedding.

In cotton sheets the thread count shows how many threads have been used to create fifty four inches. A greater thread-count usually indicates a more luxurious and smoother feeling fabric. Greater thread counts are typically warmer, and experts recommend looking for sheets of no fewer than a 200 thread count.

Crisp new bed sheets are the ideal Christmas present for that person who has everything. They are the home furnishing used the most, yet least often replaced. Or what about treating yourself this Christmas? Bedsheets are the present nobody ever receives yet we all need. Snuggling down in some high-thread count Egyptian Cotton bed sheets makes a great way to stay warm this winter.