Mothers Day Presents

Of all the gifts we have to buy each year, a Mothers Day present can be the most difficult one to find inspiration for. However, with a clear plan of action and a little bit of patience, you can find something suitable in next to no time.

Start the process by deciding on your budget for your Mothers Day present. Whether it be £5 or £500 there are hundreds of things you can buy, but setting your budget will help narrow down the field immediately.

Once you’ve got your budget, you need to decide what kind of Mothers Day present you want to buy. Do you want it to be funny or sincere? Traditional or unique? Everyone’s mother is different so you know better than anyone the kind of present she’d most likely appreciate.

Now you’ve got the key information you can begin shopping for your present. These days there’s a pretty standard choice when it comes to buying gifts – the high street or online. For Mothers Day it’s normally better to shop online. The reason is you can find a lot more choice and if you’re on a budget can save a lot of money in the process.

If you’re going to use the internet use a reputable online gift shop. Not only will you find the best range of Mothers Day presents [http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=200&cat=Mothers+Day+Presents], but you’ll also have peace of mind that if anything goes wrong the people on the other end of the phone will be happy to help you. However, shopping online these days is safer and more efficient than it’s ever been so there’s no need for trepidation.

So far you’ve set yourself a budget, written down a list of factors and found an online store. Now comes the difficult bit: finding the right present. You’ll now realise the benefit of the information you’ve collated beforehand, as it will make it much easier to find a suitable present.

Once you think you’ve found something, make sure you examine the product thoroughly. Good online shops will give you the opportunity to zoom in on an image and rotate it to get an in depth look.

Finally, when it comes to ordering your present, make sure you’ll get it in time for Mothers Day. Check the delivery options and make sure you’ve picked the most suitable one.

Now all you have to do is kick back and wait for it to be delivered right to your door. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

Slide Design – 8 Best Practices For Exceptional Presentations

PowerPoint is a powerful business tool but only if it is used to its best advantage. Matt Thornhill, President of Audience First, a Midlothian, VA business that offers presentation training says, “PowerPoint makes slides; it doesn’t give presentations. Remember that you are creating slides to support a spoken presentation.” With that in mind, here are eight things you can do to create powerful slides to support your presentations.

1. Keep it simple. Don’t use too many words or too many graphics. Figures and numbers do not translate well on screen. Refer to figures and numbers in your handouts where they can be digested more thoroughly, later. If you need to emphasize a statistic in PowerPoint, consider using a graphic or image to convey the point.

2. Use fonts judiciously. Use the same font for your entire slide set and use no more than two complementary fonts (i.e. Ariel and Arial Bold). Regardless of what font style you choose, be sure the text can be seen in the back of the room. A font size of no less than 24 pt should be used for general text. For titles or headings, use 36 to 44 points

3. Use color well. A white or light background with black or dark text works best. A screen image with a dark background and light text will wash out, but dark text on a light background will maintain its visual intensity.

4. Don’t use cheesy or tired clip art. If you found your image in the clipart library that came with PowerPoint, your audience has seen it 1000 times. Use outside images and graphics for variety and visual appeal.

5. Limit bullet points and text. The best slides may have no text at all. Remember the slides are meant to support the speaker, not make the speaker superfluous. Well designed slides are worthless without the presentation that accompanies them; you’ll know you have achieved this when someone who missed your presentation asks you for your slides and later tells you they had no idea what the point of the presentation was.

6. Use bullet points properly. Bullet point should never contain full sentences. Use bullet points to deliver key ideas. Remember the 6 x 6 rule: bullet points should have no more than six words and there should be no more than six bullet points on the screen.

7. Have a visual theme. Similar to the library of clip art available in PowerPoint, it’s probable that your audience has seen every template which is available through the program. Go online to find other PowerPoint designs that are available or create your own with a simple background and color scheme.

8. Avoid movement of slide elements. While moving text or graphics around on the slide may look like fun, it’s very distracting to the audience. Avoid the “build” animation feature unless it is imperative that your points be revealed slowly.

PowerPoint Fonts – How To Font-Proof Your Next Presentation

I recently remarked to a colleague that I’ve seen a PowerPoint presentation malfunction of one sort or another at virtually every conference or meeting I have attended. Too often a simple step could have prevented a disastrous result, and this couldn’t be more true for PowerPoint fonts. If you’ve ever spent hours preparing a presentation with thoughtfully selected fonts only to see many of your fonts suddenly change at the moment of truth — when you’re on stage and presenting — then you’ve encountered the PowerPoint font trap.

It’s far more serious than just an aesthetic issue. The wrong font can change word wrapping, table spacing, and the overall readability and professional look of the presentation you worked so hard on. Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to prevent.

Why does this happen? The maddening font problem is caused by the simple fact that the computer you’re presenting on does not have the same fonts installed as the computer on which the presentation was prepared. Windows tries to substitute a similar font, but often the results are far from acceptable. The PowerPoint font problem can crop up in all versions of Powerpoint, including PowerPoint 2007.

Here’s how to font-proof your next presentation:

  • Alternative #1: Choose “Safe” Basic Fonts: If you stick to basic fonts that are likely to be installed on any computer (such as Times New Roman, Arial, Symbol, Courier New), you’re very likely, though not absolutely guaranteed, to be safe. (I’ve seen some computers where some popular fonts had been removed.) This is surely the fastest and easiest approach, though you’ll sacrifice some pizzazz by using unexciting and overused fonts.
  • Alternative #2: Embed Fonts into Your Presentation: When you embed the fonts you’ve used into your presentation, they’ll travel with your presentation and display no matter what fonts are (or are not) installed on the computer it’s being displayed with. To embed the fonts into your presentation in PowerPoint 2007, follow these steps:
  1. Select the Office Button (at the top left of the PowerPoint window)
  2. Select the PowerPoint Options button, which lies along the bottom margin of the window that opens when you press the Office Button
  3. Select Save in the list of options that appears on the left of the PowerPoint Options window
  4. Now check the Embed Fonts in File box and select the second sub-option, Embed all characters. This is the safest option and ensures that you’ll have ALL of the characters of all of the fonts in your presentation on any computer, a safeguard I highly recommend in case you or a colleague wants to further edit the presentation.

If you’re using PowerPoint 2003, select File > Save As…, then select Save Options from the Tools menu at the top of the Save As… dialogue box and check the Embed True Type Fonts box.

For PowerPoint 2000, select File > Save As…, then select Embed True Type Fonts from the Tools menu at the top of the Save As… dialogue box. (In PowerPoint 2000 you’ll need to specify this every time you save a new presentation.)

  • Alternative #3: Package Your Presentation for CD: In PowerPoint 2007 and 2003, use the Package for CD feature. In PowerPoint 2000, use the Pack and Go wizard. The Package for CD feature assembles and packages your presentation and related graphics, videos and fonts for distribution. For PowerPoint 2007, follow these steps:
  1. Select the Office Button (at the top left of the PowerPoint window)
  2. Select the Publish option
  3. Select Package for CD

I never underestimate the importance of peace of mind when giving a presentation and it’s often the little things that bite. Font-proof your PowerPoint presentations and rid yourself of at least one worry…and potential landmine.