The LiveSlides Blog

The Secret to Great Project Management Meetings


flickr photo shared by Krystal T under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Raise your hand if you like meetings.

Now, let’s take a count. That’s one, two… exactly zero people who like meetings.

Thought so.

But meetings are necessary. They keep us on task, set the agenda, and keep everyone on the same page. As facilitator/ project manager/ stellar meeting-runner, this all falls under your purview.

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Facebook meet LiveSlides


flickr photo shared by Spencer E Holtaway under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license

5.4 million pages.

55 million status updates per day.

And a whopping $350 billion market valuation.

Facebook is big. In fact, it’s the largest connected network of human beings in the history of mankind.

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How to Embed Streaming Audio into your Presentations

By now, we all know that adding video to a presentation adds some much-needed potency to otherwise humdrum PowerPoints. What we haven’t discussed is the other end of the media revolution: streaming audio.

The likes of Spotify and Apple Music have changed the music landscape (for better or worse, depending on who you ask), and not just for backyard grilling parties. PowerPoint wants in on the action, too.

We’ve got you covered, PowerPointers.

Let’s talk about the easiest way to embed streaming audio in your presentations. We’re going to use SoundCloud, since it has a massive library not just of music, but of other audio clips like lectures, radio shows, and other audio goodness that can complement your presentation in pretty powerful ways.

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Prezi and the Art of Visual Storytelling


LiveSlides makes it easy to incorporate Prezi’s visual storytelling capabilities directly into PowerPoint.

The method of Loci (also known as the memory palace technique) is one of the oldest and most widely-used mnemonic devices in use.

It has its roots in a cheerful little story: ancient Greek wise man Simonides was attending a banquet when he was called outside, at which point the building collapsed, killing everyone inside.

The bodies were too mangled to identify for burial purposes, but Simonides found that he could identify the victims by rummaging around in his mind to recall where the diners were seated before the collapse.

In other words, Simonides took advantage of the mind’s unique relationship to physical space to supercharge his memory.

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Hello, world!


flickr photo shared by jurvetson under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Well, we did it. We finally said, “Hello, world” in a big way.

Though LiveSlides has been out on Windows for some time, and was released on the Mac a couple months ago, we’ve not really let the world know we’re here. Well, now we have.

After the release of the Mac app, we completely redesigned the website, added new content and just this week sent out our official launch press release. As of this moment the press release has been picked up by hundreds of sites. Though most readers hail from right here in the U.S., many have found us from the UK, India, Portugal, Germany, Finland, China, Singapore, etc.

So we just wanted to take a moment to say, “Hi!”

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Five ways to use tweet walls at your next conference


flickr photo shared by Anthony Quintano under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

One of the most popular forms of social media engagement is the tweet wall: a live Twitter feed embedded directly into your presentation or the big screen, where conversations and ideas can flow like selfies at a 13-year-old pajama party.

It’s a powerful tool. Threading topics and people together to form a single cohesive narrative is what Twitter does best, and the tweet wall harnesses that power to add potency and inclusivity to any event.

Like conversations themselves, tweet walls are basically infinite in their potential and limitless in their possibilities, but to get your creative juices flowing, let’s go over a few tried-and-true tactics and a couple of more creative uses.

Hashtag let’s do this.

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LiveSlides makes its Mac debut

For six months now people have been using LiveSlides to power up their presentations by effortlessly embedding web content (video, social media, web pages, etc.) into their slide decks. Alas, the LiveSlides fun was limited to only Windows PowerPoint users.

Over the past few months we received email after email asking for a Mac version of the tool. Well, folks, here it is. The LiveSlides Mac App is now live and available. What’s more, it works on both PowerPoint and Keynote!

And so it begins

For a while we’ve been sharing with you how to knock presentations out of the park by embedding video and Twitter feeds into your presentations. Now that LiveSlides works on both Windows and Mac (and not just with PowerPoint but with Keynote as well), the possibilities are limitless.

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When not to use video in presentations

Recently, we shared a secret, ancient practice proven to make boring PowerPoints riveting: video.

And while we stand by that bit of wisdom—some of our amazing readers even emailed us to tell us about their own success stories—we have to come clean about something.

Every bit of magic has its light and its dark side. So now let’s talk about the dark side of using video in presentations. Consider this your word of caution.

Like Hammer pants, just because you can embed video in PowerPoint doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

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Improving presentations with social media

It is said that each day 30 million PowerPoint presentations are given. It turns out this figure is both spurious and fifteen years out of date (though that hasn’t stopped many from continuing to use it). In any case, we all know that PowerPoint presentations are everywhere. Many of these presentations fail to connect with their audience. They’re boring. So why do we keep employing them? Well, despite their deficiencies, when done well, there’s simply no better means of communicating an idea which leads to action.

As much as we might like to blame PowerPoint, the problem is not the tool as much as how we use the tool. The question, then, becomes: How can we reinvigorate the presentation? How do we transform people from apathetic spectators to active participants which leads to action?

Out of the box

At a recent teachers conference educators were asked what area they would like to receive more training in. The resounding answer was “engagement.” You need to engage with your audience. Interaction is key. In our media rich culture this is becoming more difficult. Just adding a video to your slide deck is no longer enough. You need to get the audience involved.

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How and why you should use video in your next presentation

What comes to mind when you hear the word “PowerPoint”?

Based on an unscientific survey of web workers stopped randomly on the street/created entirely from our imaginations, you likely answered:

Boring | Ugh | Nap

Why is PowerPoint so nap-inducing? Perhaps because it was created in 1990…The year of Vanilla Ice, Home Alone (the first one!) and jean jackets.

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4 secrets of presenting so people listen - Part 2

In the last article I explained how your voice and body communicate something to your audience long before the content of your words hits their brains. Today I’ll share two secrets on connecting with your audience and wise use of slideware.

Content is nothing without connection

Theodore Roosevelt said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” A presentation is not just about content delivery. It’s about connecting with people. Audiences today need to feel and experience your presentation, not just hear facts rattled off to them.

Here are just a few tips on establishing a connection with your audience:

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4 secrets of presenting so people listen - Part 1

Have you ever given a presentation and realized you’ve lost your audience? It can be horrifying to look out and see the glazed over stares, or people looking down at their smart phones checking Facebook for the thousandth time while you talk.

We’ve probably all been there. So let’s learn from these mistakes. What can you do to truly connect with your audience? How can you ensure that your message is getting heard?

I’ve compiled four secrets of the pros you can use to ensure that your next presentation drives people to action rather than up the wall. In this article I’ll deal with the first two secrets on verbal and nonverbal communication.

Body language speaks volumes

When people say you never get a second chance to make a first impression they aren’t kidding. It takes merely a fraction of a second to formulate a first impression.

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Realtime data in your presentation

It happens every day in meetings all over the planet. Somebody screenshots a live dashboard, posts the picture in a slide, and presents it. Stop it, people.

LiveSlides makes it easy

Now you can simply paste the URL for your dashboard into LiveSlides, and your dashboard data appears full screen. This is the end of the bar chart screenshot, forever.

LiveSlides makes it live

When your data needs to be fresh, there’s nothing fresher than this-very-moment. Tickers load in real time; line graphs track to the second, all in your slide.

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Welcome to LiveSlides

LiveSlides is the brainchild of Poll Everywhere. It allows you to embed web content in your presentation slides.

But it doesn’t just embed the content. LiveSlides optimizes content to look gosh darn amazing on screen. That means YouTube videos play without ads. TweetWalls display in full screen. And audience response polls activate as soon as the slide appears.

How will you use LiveSlides in your presentation?

We’ve already seen a lot of exciting ideas, including…

  1. Live website tutorials
  2. Streaming video chat
  3. Photo wars on a TweetWall
  4. Khan Academy videos in class
  5. Prezi slides in a PowerPoint presentation
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