4 Ways to Spice up your Presentations

Have an upcoming speaking engagement? Want to make that PowerPoint presentation a bit more interesting? Check out some of these ideas to liven up your presentations.


1. Learn from the Popular

See what works by watching some of the all-time most popular presentations on Slideshare.net. Pick up pointers for improving your presentations by viewing Meet Henry, Death by PowerPoint, and Shift Happens. Also, I picked up many great presentation tips while watching a couple stellar presentations by Kathryn Greenhill and Judy O'Connell.


2. Get Expert Advice

The Presentation Zen blog and the related website are chock full of presentation advice, guidelines, and examples for creating professional PowerPoint presentations. Other sources of advice include presentation tips articles by experts such as: Guy Kawasaki, How to Get a Standing Ovation, Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Users, Better Beginnings: how to start a presentation, book, article…, and Common Craft's 10 Lessons from My Speaking Coach


3. Add Charts

Bestselling author and marketing guru, Seth Godin provides professional tips and advice about creating effective charts in his blog post How to make a PowerPoint chart.

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4. Use Images

Image Generators

Add a bit of imagery to PowerPoint slides with image generators such as the Txt2Pic website which lets you easily create custom images with your own text and font specifications. Choose from chalkboard signs, post-it notes, theater marquees, Etch-A-Sketch toys, fortune cookies and more. Just enter your text into one of the hundreds of tools on this website.

Vegas; The Custom Sign Generator offers users the choice to create custom Monopoly cards, arcade games, For Dummies book covers, and more.
Vader; Create custom comic strip images with stills from Shrek, Harry Potter, The Simpsons, and many others with The Comic Strip Generator which offers over 1,500 comics to choose from.
Postit; Find out about new image generators as they are announced on the
Generator Blog.


Professional Images

Add some flavor to your presentation by inserting a relevant comic, illustration, or photo. The folks over at Blaugh.com have made their tech-oriented comics available for use by the public, even issuing an API! Check out this list for places to find free stock photos, and also make use of the Creative Commons license search available on Flickr to find images which are available for reuse.


Image Caption Tools

Prepare your photos with speech captions, thought bubbles, text, or objects before adding them to your slides with tools such as Graphita which also allows doodling on images. There are many tools available which will let you add speech bubbles to photos such as Bubbleshare and Bubblr.