Monthly Archives: June 2011

Converting Powerpoint presentations to Video

I discovered this cool feature on Powerpoint 2010 this week. Part of a project I’m working on includes developing a presentation that will be posted online. However, not everyone who may want to access it will have Powerpoint installed on their computer. So I thought it would be better if the presentation could be shown in a video format – that way it could be posted on YouTube, on the website and even on Facebook, and it would be much more universally accessible. A quick Google search later, and I found that Powerpoint 2010 does in fact let you do this, without having to install other conversion software. (Unfortunately, I didn’t have the 2010 version on my computer, but someone else in my office did, so they did it for me.)

If you have the 2010 version, it’s really easy:

Once your presentation is ready, click on File.

Then click on Save & Send.

Under the File Types section, choose Create a Video.

From here, there are a few options for your video:

sshot-2010-09-04-[12-41-25]

Screenshot from http://www.howtogeek.com

  • choose between High Quality, Medium Quality or Low Quality.
  • Don’t Use Recorded Timings and Narrations lets you control audio options by enabling or disabling the recorded timing and narrations.
  • Second to spend on each slide lets you select how long each slide will display during the video.

Then click Create Video, and you’ll be prompted to choose a location to save your video.

If you create a video this way, it’s only viewable in .wmv compatible video players. AVI And Mp4 formats aren’t supported, but .wmv format videos can be uploaded to YouTube. If you need the video in another format, try Free Studio – a free download that lets you convert and edit several different kinds of audio and video files.

If you have an earlier version of Powerpoint, you can still convert your slides to video, but you’ll need to download a conversion program. Acoolsoft offers a free version that lets you convert your slides to video in formats such as WMV, ASF, MOV, MKV. The paid version of the software lets you do lots more, like other video formats and adding cool features.

The most important thing to remember when getting your message out is remembering who your audience is and what the best way to reach them is. Don’t forget their needs, and that means the technical needs as well!

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Getting your home office organized

If you have a home office, you know that it can be difficult to keep it organized sometimes. I’ve had a home office for several years, in four different homes with different office furniture and configurations, and I’m still perfecting it. Just last night I was talking to my business partner (also known as my husband) about the plan for our current home office. When we were in the market for a new home last year, one of the criteria was that it had to have a separate office space. Our last house had started out with a nice ground level room that was going to be solely an office space, but as our kids grew older, it gradually became a family room as well, which didn’t work well for keeping home and work separate, and hence we outgrew the house.

I’m also a little bit of a freak for organization and avoiding clutter, so I love finding new ways to keep my office space organized. I find Ikea storage boxes to be the best invention ever, because they come in different sizes for computer paper, file folders, CDs and DVDs, and random supplies.

Ikea desks are also great because they are cost-effective for the quality, and there are lots of options for configuration. (Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Ikea in any way, just a fan of the home office wares!) I long ago got rid of the L-shaped desk I had for years and went to a straight Ikea table-desk, but my next goal is to create two workstations for the home office in a W-shape, similar to this:

If you are interested in more home office organization tips, I recently stumbled on this great blog post from Couch Manager:

14 Tips for Designing a Highly Productive Home Office

Lots of great ideas here (and I was a little proud to note that I already have quite a few of these tips in practice already!) I can vouch for the fact that a shredder and waste basket within reach make things MUCH faster and easier than trucking your paper waste to another location, or if you’re a poor shot like me, trying to hit the basket with your trash. However, I would humbly add a paper-sized recycling blue bin for your office paper, which can be emptied on a weekly basis to your recycling pick up items (if offered in your area).

Any other tips? I’d love to hear them!

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Help Wanted: Construction and Trades

One of my two jobs is marketing for a renovation company. Right now we are looking for skilled tradespeople for window installations and bathroom and kitchen renovations. However, in the past we’ve noticed that this category of workers is notorious for less-than-professional applications when applying for jobs.

Perhaps because it’s a blue-collar field, construction job seekers think it’s okay to be casual when applying for work. However, I think a general rule to abide by is this: whatever level of professionalism you use to apply for a job, that will be the type of employer you attract. If you want a good employer who treats you right, you need to present yourself professionally. Whether your skills are in trades or any other industry, you may not necessarily be an excellent writer. But whether your writing skills are great or not, always have someone look over your resume and cover letter. Get someone with excellent writing and grammar skills, or go to an employment centre and ask someone to review your work. You’ll end up with a much more attractive job application that will get you in the door at more companies you apply with.

I found this great article with some good examples of what do to and what not to do, as well as some general tips. The only thing I disagree with is checking your spelling and grammar using your computer’s spell-check. I’m not saying that’s not a good idea, and you should use your spell-check, but another set of human eyes can catch mistakes that you as the writer (and your spell-check) may not.

The Canadian economy is on the upswing, so there will be more jobs and work to be had. Applying for a job in any field should always include a professional resume and cover letter that has been reviewed by that valuable second set of eyes!

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