2008-01-13T21:25:34-08:00If you've been a reader of the Beyond Bullets blog, I'd like to thank you for keeping in touch over the years. I'm now happy to announce that this blog is moving to a new home at a new website... If you've been a reader of the Beyond Bullets blog, I'd like to thank you for keeping in touch over the years. I'm now happy to announce that this blog is moving to a new home at a new website called BBP Online. A lot has happened since I started writing this blog. I wrote my first post on May 30, 2004 with the intent of generating ideas for the book I was preparing to write, which became the first edition of Beyond Bullet Points. I wrote almost daily for quite a spell, ultimately writing more than 55,000 words in 135 posts. I enjoyed the writing and the community, but as the first edition of the book started to do well and make an impact in legal trials and in the media, I became so busy that I couldn't find time to keep up with writing blog posts on a regular basis. I was able to take a breather from my schedule in 2007 to write the second edition of Beyond Bullet Points, and realized that I really did want to reclaim the sense of community and also to help the many people who are using BBP to do their work faster and easier. So I've taken the leap and have launched the new BBP Online website, which is the community hub for all things BBP. Where before there was the separate Beyond Bullets blog, the Sociable Media website, and many people around the world who were working in isolation; now there is a single place we can all go to help one another to succeed. The new site features downloads, live online working sessions with me, on-demand video and much, much more - I'm excited because it is much more interactive than a blog alone can be. I've cut back my travel significantly so I can spend ample time with the members of BBP Online. I will continue to blog about BBP Online news, programs, and general effective communication - if you'd like to sign up for my new blog feed at BBP Online, click here. The content on the Beyond Bullets blog and at the Sociable Media website will gradually transition over to the new website. Thanks again for keeping up with the Beyond Bullets blog, and I hope you'll join me for the next chapter at BBP Online! Happy new year, -Cliff P.S. If any Beyond Bullets readers are interested in a complimentary 1-year membership at BBP Online, the first 50 readers who send me an email with the subject "Beyond Bullets Blog" will get an email back with a special registration page where you can sign up. (Sorry - we've already reached 50.) [...]
2007-10-20T13:41:40-07:00I'm pleased to announce that the latest edition of Beyond Bullet Points has just arrived! The new book is a thorough revision of the first edition, including 7 new presentation examples, expanded explanation of key concepts and many new tips...
I'm pleased to announce that the latest edition of Beyond Bullet Points has just arrived! (image) The new book is a thorough revision of the first edition, including 7 new presentation examples, expanded explanation of key concepts and many new tips and techniques you can apply to your BBP presentations. Weighing in at 350 pages, the book includes a new CD with a bonus chapter, an updated BBP Story Template and Storyboard Formatter, plus PDF versions of ground rules, checklists and technical guidelines. Although the book updates BBP for PowerPoint 2007, even if you have PowerPoint 2003 you'll still find the book a signficant resource to guide you through the BBP process. Order your book here.
(If you pre-ordered from Amazon.com you may have received an erroneous email saying the book won't ship until December - to resolve the issue, cancel your pre-order and then re-order the book from Amazon. Or if you prefer to order from Barnes & Noble.com, they also have copies in stock.)
2007-02-22T08:37:12-08:00Does it really matter what you put at the top of your PowerPoint slides? Absolutely, according to researcher Michael Alley, who tested two designs for teaching slides on two groups of students -- one design with the conventional category heading...
2007-02-22T08:19:06-08:00In case you missed my Feb. 20 webinar titled "The First Five Slides", you can now view the archived recording hosted at the Microsoft Office System Webcasts site. You can access the link through my web seminar archive page here.
2007-01-28T16:45:30-08:00I recently gave a pilot workshop at a large corporation that is considering adopting BBP training on a wide scale. I asked the group where they are with their current PowerPoint approach, and where they would like to be, and... I recently gave a pilot workshop at a large corporation that is considering adopting BBP training on a wide scale. I asked the group where they are with their current PowerPoint approach, and where they would like to be, and they came up with this list: Today, our current approach to PowerPoint is:- Overloading our audiences with too much information- Throwing in everything but the kitchen sink- Just doing a data dump- Usually not communicating a good story- Being too generic - one deck fits all- Not succeeding at helping an audience remember key messages- Creating decks that don't get used, or just one or two slides are pulled- Not producing a crisp communication packageWhere would we like to be is a place where we:- Find a better approach for internal and external presentations- Tell a clear story- Increase our audiences' ability to remember- Make our key messages clearer and more memorable- Create cleaner and simpler communication- Inspire- Ensure the audience will take action- Prompt conversation- Find a way to easily customize and tailor presentationsThe wide gap between the two lists at this well-known organization explains the growing sense of frustration that presenters, audiences and organizations are feeling today. (It's interesting that "better graphics" didn't make either list.) In spite of the widespread criticism of PowerPoint the past couple of years, the problem is not our lack of awareness of the situation -- it's painfully obvious that our current approach is broken, and that we need to fix it. The real problem is the lack of a practical solution that an entire team or organization can start applying today. Writers, gurus and your next door neighbor will tell you that you should "tell a story," "be more visual," or "keep it simple". But how, exactly, do you do that, tomorrow morning, at 9am, at your computer monitor with your PowerPoint application open, with a deadline of the next morning? And, by the way, how do you do all that within the context, constraints and culture of your organization? Part of the reason we haven't been able to solve the problem is that we're looking at the situation as an individual problem rather than an organizational problem. The reality is that PowerPoint is culture, and at any organization it is a specific culture of pre-determined templates, fonts and expectations. The only way to resolve the problem is for an entire organization to adopt a specific methodology -- a systematic process of producing consistent, reproducible, and quality results. The process has to work across the broadest range of topics and purposes, and yet allow variety within a set of constraints. Will we ever get to the point that we can cross the wide PowerPoint gap between where we are, and where we want to be? Based on the growing interest I've seen lately, more and more organizations just might be ready to make the leap. [...]