April 17, 2014

Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter. Here’s a look at Holy Week!

Image Credit: Presentation by Nubia Group
The Holy Week has begun! And so have a multitude of events around the world. Prayers, church mass, silent processions, vigil and liturgies, Easter party, and kids’ favorite Easter egg and Easter bone hunts. 

Did you miss watching the Palm Sunday service on April 13 at St. Peter’s Square? Creating a history of sorts, Pope Francis stunned 100,000 Vatican crowd by abandoning his prepared homily and speaking off-the-cuff to the crowds. Later, he climbed off his Popemobile and posed for ‘selfies’ with the young crowd! That’s unbelievable, right!

Watch the Palm Sunday celebrations at Vatican and around the world in the presentation below:  
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Now that Palm Sunday has passed, preparations are underway for Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper before Jesus’ crucifixion on April 17 and Good Friday, the day Jesus died on the cross, on April 18.

Millions will observe Good Friday by fasting and attending church service. It’s also a day of solemn reflection and to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for the world.
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And finally comes the day people look most forward to, The Easter! It’s the time of rejuvenation, of rebirth of life, of resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It’s also the time for lots and lots of chocolate and eggs. In fact, it’s even called Egg Sunday! Here’s why. On this day, you’ll find shops flooded with them, gift baskets overflowing with them, kids searching for the hidden ones in their garden, while others busy dyeing them in bright warm colors.

Then there is the Easter Bunny bringing gifts and candies much like the beloved Santa on Christmas! So, get ready to bask in the lovely colors of Easter this Sunday:
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And hey we forgot to wish you a Holy Good Friday and a Happy Easter! Do share with us how you celebrated these days in the comments below.

April 4, 2014

[Free Webinar] Robert Lane is back with never-shared-before presentation technique “Speaking Visually”

Get ready to have your pre-conceived notions challenged!
On April 18, 2014, founder of Aspire Communications Robert Lane is back with a one-hour FREE webinar “Speaking Visually”, promising users that this won’t be your typical “How to do a better PowerPoint webinar”. It is going to be a mindset change.

Yes, Robert Lane is going to share insights on a never-shared-before PowerPoint technique that thousands of speakers across US are now quietly adopting with great success. It is called “Speaking Visually” and you can learn about this presentation style from Robert Lane by registering yourself for the webinar scheduled for April 18 at 9.00 AM PST. (Tweet This!)

A little light on what Speaking Visually is about:
Visual speaking style is an entertaining and a conversational approach that audiences enjoy and appreciate.

The presentation style you’ll see doesn’t use long, linear slide shows. It forbids bullet points, clipart, silly animations and meaningless stock photos. Instead it focuses on picture roles, picture stories, video, meaningful animations and other entertaining elements. Some say it resembles navigating around within a highly visual, engaging website more than giving a presentation. Whatever you think, though, get ready to have your preconceived notions challenged.

Claim Your Free Handout Before You Join:To help you understand the topic better, Robert requests you to download a free handout and keep it handy during the live session. Robert will ask you to refer to the handout several times during the class. Download it here

More about presenter Robert Lane:
Robert Lane is the founder of Aspire Communications, a thought leader, author and corporate trainer.

He has applied his 20 years of knowledge and expertise in graphic designing to study visually interactive digital communication. He and his team help presenters and speakers across the world to have dynamic visual conversations with the audience rather than showcase them lengthy, canned, text-filled slideshows. 

Robert Lane is also the author of well-known books: Relational Presentation: A Visually Interactive Approach and Selling Visually with PowerPoint. He has conducted three successful webinars on authorSTREAM including The art of using animation in meaningful ways and Learn to make visually engaging presentations.

Key takeaways from the webinar:
You’ll explore four key principles that must be in place to speak this way:
  • Eliminate most text and build richly visual and entertaining content instead
  • Create small, reusable content pieces that span multiple audiences/situations
  • Organize those small, modular pieces so that finding just the right ones at the right moment is easy
  • Embellish presentation materials with user-friendly navigation strategies that enable dynamic, personalized delivery
Applying these four principles makes you more likeable, believable, efficient, relaxed, memorable and relevant. You’ll like the change.

The much-awaited webinar is scheduled on:
Day- Friday, April 18, 2014
Time- 9.00 AM Pacific Time (11.00 AM CST; 12.00 PM EST; 4.00 PM GMT, 9.30 PM IST)
Duration: 1 hour

Register here: http://www.authorstream.com/webinars

PS. Don’t forget to bring along the webinar handout in the session.

See you at the webinar!

April 3, 2014

Convert PowerPoint to Flash with authorSTREAM!

So, you have worked really hard on making a PowerPoint presentation. Sorry, it’s no use if people can’t view it because they do not have PowerPoint installed on their computer. 

Even if they do have them installed, the task of attaching a PowerPoint file on email is way too cumbersome. Luckily, the world has got one of the greatest softwares in Adobe Flash. It’s today the most popular media format be it for viewing videos, movies, and even presentations.

Why Convert PPT to Flash or the SWF Format?
The following advantages make Flash the preferred media for sharing presentations across education and business networks:
  • Flash files are compatible with most operating systems and most devices.
  • Audio can be integrated easily in a flash file.
  • Flash files are accessible as most browsers have the flash plugin installed.
  • Flash files are smaller in size compared to .PPT files.
  • SWF is resolution friendly.
  • The streaming technology enables you to play a video file without waiting for the whole file to download.
  •  Presentations can be easily edited, while Flash files are more secure
Why choose authorSTREAM for converting to Flash?
Yes, there are hundreds of softwares out there that let you convert PPT to Flash. They do the job well but also charge few hundred dollars to do the same. authorSTREAM does the same job for you, without charging a single penny. When you upload a presentation on authorSTREAM, it automatically gets converted to Flash. Icing on the cake, authorSTREAM retains all the animations, transitions, embedded videos, and audio in the flash output so that you can share presentations the way you wanted them to be seen. 
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Save yourself the hassle of downloading PPT to Flash softwares and spending hundreds of dollars on them. Upload your presentations to authorSTREAM and with the single click of Upload button, your presentations get converted to flash format. For free and for the world to see. 

Sign-up for free today. Happy authorSTREAMing!

March 28, 2014

We will switch off for Earth Hour. Will you?

Tomorrow, on Saturday, 29th March, 8.30 PM- 9.30 PM, millions of people around the world will join in switching off their lights for Earth Hour. This marks the eighth annual Earth Hour, the largest environment campaign in history.

The bold and beautiful initiative was first taken in Sydney, Australia in 2007 with over 2.2 million homes and businesses turning off their lights to raise awareness against the threat of climate change. In 2012, the event was observed in more than 7,000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories. Earth Hour 2013 too saw a phenomenal increase with major global landmarks going dark.

We, at authorSTREAM, are more than glad to join the noble initiative this year and flip the switches off in our building. We hope that you too will join us in doing our bit for the planet. Switching off lights does not necessarily mean a black out. You only need to switch off non-essential lights and devices in your home or office. It’s not that difficult, right?

In fact, each one of us should go beyond the hour and keep the Earth Hour spirit alive all year long. Here are some ways we can do that:
  • Unplug your appliances when not in use
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs for they use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer
  • Take stairs and avoid the elevator, if you can
  • Turn off the television and computer when not in use
  • Use an energy efficient dishwasher
Even though these may help us save energy and reduce carbon emissions only to a small extent, we are still showing our commitment towards the planet and doing our bit for a better future, right! That is exactly what Earth Day is all about.
So, regardless of where you live, don’t forget to switch off lights at 8.30 PM.

March 25, 2014

Bring your slides to life with Animated GIFs

Image: © Nevit Dilmen found at Wikimedia commons
Enter the virtual world of Animated GIFs. They are witty. They are fun. They are crazy. And they are alive and kicking. 

If you were an early entry to World Wide Web (Web 1.0 of 90s), you would probably remember seeing those notorious blinking under construction signs, waving american flags and prowling dinosaurs. If you are part of the new generation of Web 2.0 users, you would have probably stumbled upon short, video captures of hollywood movies and TV shows playing in an auto-loop fashion. And if you are still asking yourself what an an animated GIF is, go to Tumblr and you will see nothing but animated GIFs doing the rounds. 

What started as an experimentation in 1987 by Steve Wilhite of Compuserve has today become the new Internet language of teens (and adults too). Name any thought or emotion, the Internet fandom will have an animated GIF for that.

Twitter too is opening up to this funky format and slowly but steadily, we are seeing them being used in abundance in presentations too. The internet pundits forecast it will only get popular from here as they are short, more dynamic than static images and more immediate than a web video. 

Have you tried using animated GIFs in your presentations? Why not? It will surely up the entertainment quotient of your deck and also help you showcase your thoughts and emotions in a more creative and interesting manner.

Take for example the recent Oscars. Do you remember the disappointment for millions of Leonardo DiCaprio’s fans when he lost the Best Actor award, again. In seconds, animated GIFs and memes began trending across social media, mostly poking fun at the star’s snub. Leonardo fans have managed to be a sport about it and we hope you too are while watching this presentation:
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There are many more ways you can use GIFs in your presentations. It does not always have to be hilarious. Take a look:
More PowerPoint presentations from Muhammad Mustansar

If you love this spunky format, then go ahead and share your favorite GIFs through presentations. With Photoshop and several other softwares, it ain’t a difficult task to create an animated GIF anymore. Be it bursting of firecrackers, shimmering lights or claps of the audience, you can bring your slides to life with animated GIFs. And rest assured, authorSTREAM supports animated GIFs so that you can have fun with your presentation.

March 21, 2014

Festival Fusion: St. Patrick’s Day and Holi celebrations captured in presentations

Image Courtesy: Presentation by Nubiagroup
Celebrations are bound to be double when two extremely popular festivals come calling on the same day. That is what happened on March 17 this year. The festival of Irish Pride St. Patrick’s Day and the Indian festival of colors Holi coincidentally fell on the same day, making it a double delight in those countries where Irish and Indians are swelling in numbers.

Let’s pick up St. Patrick’s Day first. Legend says the festival commemorates the passing away of Ireland’s most popular patron saint St. Patrick who journeyed to this place 1,600 years ago and converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. It’s today an internationally celebrated festival marked with food, drinks and festivities.

Large parades are held and cities are dyed in the hues of green on this day with people adorning green attire called shamrocks and holding glasses of beer colored with green flavors. In Chicago, even rivers are tinted with vegetable dyes to match the hues of celebration. 

Did you know that 13 million pints of Guinness are sold on this day compared to 5.5 million daily?  That’s right. Watch the presentation below to know more surprising facts about this day:
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Let’s move to the spring festival of Holi celebrated largely in India, a land of festivals and fairs. Marking the victory of good over evil, the festival appears a riot with children, young and old running amuck, applying colors on each other, spraying others with water guns, some even pouring bucket full of water on unsuspecting revelers, drinking bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants), and playfully hitting others with water balloons.

Strangers become best friends this day and no one is spared from the riot of colors. In some regions, women chase and beat men with sticks! No one takes umbrage too as the slogan goes “Bura na mano, Holi hai” (Don’t mind, it is Holi today). 

The festival is also the best opportunity for singles to apply colors on their crush, for boys to take revenge on bullies, and for older men to drink and dance unabashedly. Watch the presentation below to know how crazy celebrations can become on this day:
More PowerPoint presentations from Nubia

What’s the most popular festival in your country? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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