Monthly Archives: November 2015

Presentation Overhaul: Prezi Online Presentation Software

prezi_logo_horizontal_color_png

It is often challenging to find interesting ways to present business data. Whether it’s a live meeting or online presentation, customers expect to be engaged visually.

When I recently had the opportunity to experiment with Prezi Online Presentation Software using content from a previous Powerpoint, I was blown away with the ease of use and wanted to share what I learned.

Prezi is a visually appealing and engaging, motion-filled and fluid presentation format.  I created a free online public account while I experimented with the software, but the cost for the software is very reasonable with a basic plan under $5 per month. As a freelance consultant and entrepreneur, I understand the need for finding affordable technology to remain relevant in a digital-driven social media marketplace. Prezi offers an easy, dynamic, and cost-effective method for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners.

If you are already savvy with maneuvering PowerPoint or catch on to software quickly, Prezi is a breeze to use.  I played around with it for a little over an hour using one of their templates until I had something I felt satisfied with presenting to my client for their preview.  Obviously, you need to already have the content you want to put into the presentation.  I used content from an existing PowerPoint to create mine, which probably made my learning curve easier.  I would suggest using the same method until you are familiar with navigating Prezi, but otherwise it’s just a cooler and more effective way of formatting and presenting data and information.

So here are my highlights:

  • Prezi works from an open canvas environment with options to use their pre-set paths or build your own.
  • Once you set up an account (public account is free but your files are accessible to anyone), choose from a library of reusable prezis or templates, and just have at it.
  • The software is simple to navigate with options to change backgrounds, shapes and colors to incorporate your company’s brand image.
  • As you build your prezi, the graphic and visual features allow you to zoom and pan through text, emphasizing main points and key information.
  • You can add and edit images directly onto the canvas.
  • Because it is cloud-based program, the presentation can be accessed remotely on a tablet, phone or PC, and it allows for ease of collaboration with others in real-time.

Here’s a preview of a Prezi template that you may enjoy.  Would love to hear your thoughts or feedback from your Prezi experience; submit comments below:

A Story Unsung: Getting Started

chalkboard-620316_1280

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story.  ~Maya Angelou

Yes, everyone has a story inside of them, especially women. Some stories are subtle, some are encouraging and empowering. Some explain and others teach. But all great stories have some level of conflict. You know when things didn’t work out exactly the way you originally planned. That’s usually your backstory.

So why would anyone really care about your story? Why does it matter?

While we all have our own stuff, it is never unique to just us. Our unique life experiences are what shape us into who we are in the moment, and there is always someone that can relate on some level.  More notably, Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, and executive producer of How To Get Away With Murder, recently shared her story.  In Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Rhimes recounts her personal struggles with weight and moments of insecurity and fear. While her story offers perspective into who she is and what shapes her creative edge as a storyteller, it is also a relatable story with many layers that speak to all women.

So, yes, your story does matter, and you don’t have to be a prolific storyteller, TV show creator and executive producer like Shonda Rhimes to have merit. Hundreds of thousands of people successfully write and self-publish books, a few who come to mind are Shelley Hitz with Author Audience and Kristen Joy of The Book Ninja, both of whom I met at a marketing conference last year. Some people use editors, like me, to help relate their story of life, love, fear, loss, betrayal, opportunity and discovery.  I’m sure this sounds familiar?

The key for you, however, is recognizing the merits of your experiences so you can begin shaping your story. Here are a few ideas that can help you get started:

  • Journal writing. You may not be quite ready to share your story with the world.  However, journaling providefemale-865110_1280s a more intimate and private option for expressing emotions and experiences. This can often be therapeutic and help to shape ideas for self-analysis and self-discovery.
  • Freewriting. You have to begin somewhere so just begin documenting your story in your own words. Grammar and spelling is not important. Just begin writing whatever thoughts/ideas emerge. Generally, freewriting involves a set time to write continuously without interruption.  Through this process, an unintended story may emerge that may have more impact than your original writing goals.
  • Outlining. If you require a little more structure, an outline will help to organize the flow of your writing, especially if you already know the story you want to tell.

So counting on you to get started with your story. Happy writing and let me know if you get stuck writing and need some help @divaninawrites or email me at divaninawrites@gmail.com.

Love and Peace Always….Ann