Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Questions with Geetesh Bajaj

Microsoft MVP, author of several PowerPoint books, and owner of—just to mention a few of his involvements—Geetesh Bajaj is a PowerPoint guru. His website hosts a multitude of PowerPoint articles from industry experts, detailed tips on PowerPoint features, a PowerPoint e-zine, and free templates for download. If you have a question about PowerPoint, you'll find the answer—and more–on his site. Recently, Geetesh answered 5 questions and imparted some of his PowerPoint wisdom.

  1. You have authored and co-authored several books on PowerPoint—including Cutting Edge PowerPoint 2007 for Dummies and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit—and you are an MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional). When and how did you first get involved with using Microsoft PowerPoint?

    My involvement with PowerPoint was not planned, nor were the books, or even becoming an MVP. So it’s probably something I was destined to do!

    I got started with PowerPoint around 15 years ago to help a client create a presentation—I still remember that presentation, because I used more of Photoshop than PowerPoint in the slides— a few more presentations later, I was asking questions in the PowerPoint newsgroups. I found that I could answer many questions asked by others and did that for the next 3 or 4 years before Microsoft recognized me as an MVP. I have been an MVP for the last 11 years now, and that has opened up a whole new world. Writing those books was part of this new world.

    I want to add that I no longer need to use Photoshop while creating presentations— Microsoft has put in so much graphic abilities in PowerPoint now that it is easier to create better presentations that take less time to make.

  2. What is one of the most useful features in PowerPoint 2010 for presenters?

    There are tons of great features that many users are aware of—but there are many others that are little known. I find the option to create a video clip of the entire presentation to be a huge timesaver—this lets me upload the video to YouTube without having to worry about anyone editing my presentation.

    In addition, PowerPoint 2010 lets you broadcast your PowerPoint, too. Also, while I was authoring a book on Office 2011 for Mac, I experimented with the co-authoring options available in both PowerPoint 2010 (Windows) and 2011 (Mac)—that’s an amazing feature that people need to discover!

  3. PowerPoint 2007 offers increased graphic capabilities with new tools that make it easier for presenters to create graphics. What graphic tools do you recommend in PowerPoint 2007? How has Microsoft improved on PowerPoint’s graphic capabilities in their 2010 version?

    PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 both provide amazing graphic abilities – but that’s not the most important graphic feature they include. I find that the Reset options for pictures are amazing. I can play with a picture, change it to black and white, change other attributes, add some effects, and then if I want, I can reset it so that all changes go away. Wow! I don’t even need an undo any more and would never go back to the Photoshop/PowerPoint workflow unless I need a real high-end graphic effect.

    PowerPoint 2010 adds the cool, background removal option, and this takes a little effort getting used to, but it is so useful.

  4. With articles from various experts, resources on everything related to PowerPoint, and millions of page views a month, your website has become the informational site for everything related to presenting and PowerPoint. When did you begin and why did you decide to create this website?

    As I already told you in a previous answer, I was a frequent participant in the PowerPoint newsgroups. In those days, newsgroups worked within news programs rather than as in-browser discussion groups. When users had questions about PowerPoint, they just went ahead and asked their questions because there were not as many search options to look for similar questions that other people had asked before them. Thus, you ended up with the same questions being asked several times a day. Rather than type in the answers repeatedly, I set up and would type in the URL that contained the answer users were looking for.

    Thereafter, just evolved into a community. Today thousands of subscribers and millions of visitors from all over the world frequent

  5. What is the most important piece of advice for a presenter who uses PowerPoint?
    Keep it simple and remember what you want to say is more important than how your slides look. If you have nothing to say, it won’t matter if your slides look amazing! Content is important, so create the structure of your presentation outside PowerPoint—preferably on a piece of paper. Only when you have the entire structure ready, go ahead and launch PowerPoint.

    Once your presentation is ready, keep plenty of time available to practice, and then redo your slides over and over again until you feel confident and happy!

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