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A SlideRocket Guide


Incredible Presentation Resources

Contents Introduction Chapter 1: Getting Inspired Chapter 2: Finding Killer Slide Deck Templates Chapter 3: Snagging the Coolest Fonts Chapter 4: Selecting Your Colors Chapter 5: Where to Get the Best Images and Graphics Chapter 6: The Best Sources of Audio Chapter 7: Finding Great Video Clips Chapter 8: Great Stories and Anecdotes Chapter 9: Adding Humor Conclusion

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Introduction Some presenters are lucky enough to be backed by large marketing teams with tons of man power. These speakers have an army of pros on hand to provide assistance whenever it’s needed. For them, building a top-notch slide set is almost effortless. But, the majority of you are on your own. No graphic designers at your disposal. No large libraries of image, audio, and video files to browse through. No pre-made corporate templates for you to choose from. It’s just you and your blank slides. Fortunately, there are a ton of resources to help you create a winning presentation – you just need to know where to look. Whether you are challenged to choose the right color scheme, are looking for unique fonts, want to incorporate some jokes and witticisms into your speech, or need dynamic and attention-grabbing images, there is plenty of help out there for you. In this eBook, we’ll tell you where to go to find the best presentation resources available today. We’ll highlight Web sites, software packages, industry gurus, and more, all designed to help you make your slide set the best it can be. From audio and video, to templates, color selection, and fonts – even inspiration and humor – we’ll point you in the right direction, so you can create and deliver an amazing presentation.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Chapter 1: Getting Inspired For most presenters, igniting that initial spark of creativity is the task that poses the greatest challenge. You’re likely starting out with little more than an overall theme in mind, and are struggling to find ways to expand on that topic in an interesting manner. Or, you may be having a hard time envisioning the best, most engaging ways to present your content to your audience. When you need inspiration for your presentation, here are some of the best places to go:

Traditional Media Believe it or not, movies, television shows, even magazine articles can help you get going. Like a presentation, they each aim to tell a single, compelling story. And, they also demonstrate the most logical and exciting way for that story to unfold. These types of traditional media, therefore, are great for helping you give structure and flow to your slide deck.

Music Scientific studies show that music has a profound impact on the right side of the brain – the side that is responsible for imagination, idea generation, and other creative activities. So, turn on the radio, download some heart-pumping tunes to your iPod, or put your favorite CD in the player to get your creative juices flowing.

Art Galleries Most people agree that nothing inspires more than some quality time spent admiring and appreciating great works of art. Experiencing presenter’s block? Then take a nice, leisurely stroll through an art gallery or a museum, where paintings, sculptures, and other works are on display in all their glory. Viewing these types of masterpieces is bound to move even the most un-creative soul.

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Mind Mapping Software Perhaps you have a ton of great ideas, but are having a hard time tying them all together. That’s where mind mapping software comes in. There are plenty of these types of technology tools on the market today, and they are all highly effective at helping you share your thoughts in the most cohesive and unified way possible.

Computerlove www.cpluv.com

This innovative online magazine is considered one of the best creative resources on the Web today. It covers art, design, and other aspects of today’s creative culture, and highlights numerous different types of works by professionals, students, and other artists. It also offers an exclusive forum where members of the creative community can participate in collaboration, idea-sharing, and networking.

The Muse Is In (www.themuseisin.com) This edgy site is the brainchild of renowned creativity coach Jill Badonsky. It includes a variety of resources, such as books, workshops, live and pre-recorded teleconferences, a blog, and a “Dear Muse” column, designed to deliver tips and techniques that can help visitors combat the urge to procrastinate, tackle writer’s block, and overcome other common creativity-hindering obstacles.

Chapter 2: Finding Killer Slide Deck Templates Your presentation template – its “look and feel” – serves as the foundation of your slide deck. If it’s done right, it will help you convey an image of knowledge and experience. If done wrong, it could make you look unprofessional and damage your credibility. But, even the savviest presenters often lack the solid graphic design skills needed to create a high-quality template. And, unless you work for a large enterprise with a team of designers on staff, chances are, you don’t have access to the right professionals to help. So, where can you go to get a killer presentation template?

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PresentationPro www.presentationpro.com

This Atlanta-based company, founded in 1993, sells over 18,000 predesigned slide templates in a variety of formats (Microsoft PowerPoint, Macromedia Director, and Macromedia Flash), in an array of categories including medical, consulting, sales, education, and more. Or, for an additional fee, they can create a custom-tailored template for you.

Presentations Magazine http://www.presentationmagazine.com/free_powerpoint_template.htm

Presentations Magazine is considered the premier publication in the industry, serving as both an authority, as well as a “one-stop-shop” for advice, tips, and resources related to presentations and speeches. They offer a portfolio of more than 300 templates, themes, and maps to help you get started on your slide deck.

SlideShop www.slideshop.com

SlideShop is a comprehensive Web site that offers not just templates, but other presentation elements including diagrams, shapes, charts (matrix, pie, org, graph, etc.), and custom images that can “take your presentation to the next level”. They also offer economical “bundles” that package several components together to address specific needs, such as annual reports, process diagrams, and information technology.

TemplateWise www.templateswise.com

Visitors can choose from a variety of templates, backgrounds, and themes for business or personal use. This site also offers a wide selection of music loops to enhance your slides with background sounds, as well as matching business card templates so you can create a complete “branding” package. An added bonus? It’s all free!

Make Your Own Can’t find what you want on the Web, but don’t have the budget to hire a professional designer to create a custom template for you? There are several online tutorials that can teach you how it’s done, such as the ones offered by Computor Companion (http:// www.computorcompanion.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=197) or All ‘Bout Computers (http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v21/kath21.htm).

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Additionally, most local computer schools will offer training on popular presentation packages, including how to create new templates. However, it’s important to remember that, while these resources can teach you how to use the tools effectively, artistic vision is not something that can be learned. Even if you master the needed steps, you may still need a professional to give it the right flair.

Chapter 3: Snagging the Coolest Fonts Tired of arial, times new roman, and other boring, over-used type styles? It’s easy to jazz up your slide deck by displaying your text using fonts that are cooler, sleeker, or more stylish. There are a variety of Web sites and other resources devoted to the creation, sharing, distribution, and use of unique, visually appealing fonts that convey your personality and your presenting style.

Dafont.com You’ll find it all here – gothic fonts, international-themed fonts, even fonts that celebrate popular holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Halloween. And, they’re all free. With more than 10 thousands fonts to choose from, plus over 2 thousand accents, there’s something for everyone, no matter what your need or preference.

1001 Free Fonts www.1001freefonts.com

Since it launched in 1998, this site has served as a primary source of new fonts for more than 150,000 visitors. Its font search engine provides access to the Web’s largest font database, containing more than 30,000 commercial fonts.

Fee-Based Font Sites While many of the font sites on the Web are free, there are several sites that offer higher-quality, professionally-designed fonts, for a price. These include the Adobe Type Library (http://www.adobe.com/type/ index.html), Bitstream (www.bitstream.com), and – what many consider to be the best font site out there today – MyFonts (www.myfonts.com).

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Incredible Presentation Resources

FontLab www.fontlab.com

If you don’t find what you need on the Web, and you’ve got some above-average design skills, FontLab makes a great font software package. Create fonts from scratch, convert fonts from various formats and enhance them to meet your requirements, add logos, signatures, or images, and more.

Font Tutorials Looking to create new fonts, without purchasing or learning a new software application? Learn how, using tools you’re already familiar with. For example, Chank (https://www.chank.com/howto/makeafont/) can help you learn to make fonts using Adobe Streamline or Macromedia Fontographer. Or, Divide by Zero (http://fonts.tom7.com/) has tutorials on designing fonts with Photoshop.

Installation Instructions Found the perfect font for your presentation, but not sure how to download and install it? If you’re a Windows user, you can access Microsoft’s instructions at http://office2010.microsoft.com/en-us/ access-help/install-a-new-font-on-your-computer-HA001094742. aspx?redir=0. If you’re on a Mac, you can learn how to set up and use new fonts at http://support.apple.com/kb/TA20707?viewlocale=en_US

Chapter 4: Selecting Your Colors The right use of color can significantly enhance your presentation content, evoking emotion in your audience, calling attention to key points, and highlighting important ideas. On the other hand, the wrong combination of hues can actually be distracting or confusing to your attendees. But chances are, you are not an artist – you’re a trainer, a sales person, an entrepreneur, or some other type of professional who possesses little or no savvy when it comes to graphic design. Fortunately, there is plenty of help for you during the color selection process.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

OB Color Picker According to the publisher, OB Color Picker is “a Microsoft PowerPoint add-in that gives you the power to easily pick colors for your shapes in presentation”. Key features include intuitive previews and a handy zoom feature that increases the precision of color selection. OB Color Picker can be downloaded for free at http://www.freedownloadscenter. com/Business/MS_Office_Add-ins/OB_Color_Picker.html.

Colorbrewer.org This site provides a tool, originally developed at the GeoVISTA Center at Penn State, specifically for color selection related to the presentation of sequential, diverging, or qualitative data on maps. However, some of the key techniques and principles used here can be easily applied to your charts, diagrams, and other presentation elements.

StoneSoup Consulting This firm’s founder, a former Xerox employee and a consultant in the areas of digital color and information presentation, has published a fabulous paper titled “Expert Color Choices for Presenting Data”. With everything from background details about color design principles, to guidelines for selecting shades, this document contains a ton of valuable advice. Access it on Google Docs at http://docs.google. com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:O1RViNnhMfEJ:www.stonesc.com/pubs/ Expert%2520Color%2520Choices.pdf+presentations,+color+selection& hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjK-sKMAuEgHZpZ9SWtJhm0T8GCy_ fndIJL85XPfIo09xVLlUje3O40V76a0alhX7BK5V2y25ctKX340cluL1WnbE Td1SwY1wBsFFfSsSvryHnFugMdVuLasz8ZGJATqgwafYId&sig=AHIEtbT0y9w-KwjoYvzdGDllOsSuxwQgA.

Color Cop This color picker includes a wide array of advanced features, such as an eyedropper, variable magnifier, and a complementary palette. Because it was designed for Web designers and programmers, its capabilities may be a bit too sophisticated for you if you are a novice presentation creator. Some self-training may be required before you achieve full proficiency. Color Cop can be downloaded for free at http://colorcop. net/download.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

ColorPicker for PowerPoint For just $19.95, this PowerPoint plug-in allows you to instantly select and apply colors by adding a number of color-picker drop downs to your PowerPoint menu. Known for its ease of use, this product does have one major drawback – it only offers support for older versions of PowerPoint, not PowerPoint 2007. Color Picker can be purchased from its publisher, PPT Xtreme, at http://www.pptxtreme.com/colorpicker. asp.

Chapter 5: Where to Get the Best Images and Graphics Images can add tremendous punch to your slide deck. But, unless you’ve got a knack with a camera, or you’re a design pro who can create your own graphics from scratch, you’ve got to search for the right images to help demonstrate your thoughts and convey your message.

iStockPhoto.com With image prices starting at just one dollar, and over six million files to choose from, iStockPhoto.com is a favorite among presenters, as well as the editors at Presentations Magazine. The site offers a wide selection of royalty-free stock photography and vector illustrations, as well as audio and video clips.

Flickr www.flickr.com

Amateur and professional photographers, as well as graphic designers, flock to this site to share their latest works. Much of it – posted in the Creative Commons – is absolutely free, as long as you include an attribute to the image’s creator. The site has become such a popular vehicle for publishing images, that it often experiences as many as 5,000 new uploads per minute.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Getty Images www.gettyimages.com

Founded in 1995, and the first company to license stock photography online, Getty Images has brought “the fragmented stock photography business into the digital age”. Today, they continue to be a leading creator and distributor of still imagery, live footage, and music to everyone from multi-million-dollar advertisers and leading newspapers, to individual presenters and bloggers. Be aware, although the images offered are very high quality, they are expensive, with fees starting at about $100.

Clip Art CDs If you’re looking for clip art, there are a number of great CDs available that contain as many as one million graphics in almost every category. Prices for these CDs range from $20 to $80, depending on the number and type of files included. Check out Nova Art Explosion or ClickArt for the broadest selection.attendees.

Corbis www.corbisimages.com

This site made Presentation Magazine’s list of the top 10 places to score great images for your presentation. Corbis serves as a “creative resource for advertising, marketing and media professionals, providing a comprehensive selection of photography, illustration, footage, typefaces and rights clearance services”. The site offers a wide array of both rights-managed and royalty-free works.

eLance www.elance.com

Sometimes, stock imagery just doesn’t cut it, and you need a custom diagram or illustration to get your point across. If you’re lucky, you work for a company that has graphics designers on staff, who can create your masterpiece for you. However, if you’re like most of us, you’re lacking the needed resources. eLance is an online marketplace for freelancers, and is home to many stellar artists. Post your job for free, and interested designers will bid. You can review proposals and sample works, and select the artist who is the best fit for your needs.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Chapter 6: The Best Sources of Audio Many experts agree that the best way to get your message across is to stimulate as many senses as possible during the course of your presentation. “Beautifully crafted music adds to the emotional impact of our images. One only has to see the reaction of clients to understand why we use music whenever we can,” says Massachusettsbased photographer Edward Zemba about using audio to enhance his presentations to potential customers. Fortunately, there is a wealth of terrific audio resources available to help you find the right music or sound clips to enhance your visual aids.

Musicshake.com This intuitive application allows you to easily create your own music clips using more than 55,000 copyright-free samples. It offers a wide array of genres and instruments to choose from, and even provides a suite of voice recording and editing features. Once clips are created, they can be posted to the site and shared with others – providing a catalog of truly unique audio samples.

RoyaltyFreeMusic.com As the world’s largest library of royalty-free music, this site offers clips for everything from music for callers waiting on hold, to backgrounds for advertisements. An intuitive search facility makes it easy to select from a wide array of styles, including jazz, children’s, acoustic, piano, R&B, and hip-hop music. There is also a compilation of clips for use specifically on the Web, or in presentations or Flash videos.

Presentations Magazine http://www.presentationmagazine.com/powerpoint_sound_clips.htm

Presentations is the leading publication in the public speaking and presentation market. In addition to advice and guidance, they also offer a variety of resources, including audio clips for use in slide decks. Some of the available sounds include a dial tone, a cappuccino machine, champagne being poured, a ringing cell phone, and a ship’s bell.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Sounds of the Web www.soundsoftheweb.net

Part of the Group Media Network, this resource has been around since 1999 and has been praised by Audio Media Magazine, Digit Magazine, and others as a pioneer in the industry. It offers thousands of music loops and sound effects to meet almost any presentation or digital media need.

Make Your Own If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, or you’re looking for something unique, there are countless audio editing software applications you can try. Check out Sony Sound Forge, Adobe Soundbooth, Dexter Audio Editor, FX Audio Editor, or Acoustica, which all run about $30 to $40 each. If you want real, recording-studio quality sound, try Adobe Audition or Sony Vegas Pro, which will cost you several hundred dollars. There are also a variety of free audio editors on the Web, such as Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) or Wavosaur (www. wavosaur.com).

Sound Ideas http://www.sound-ideas.com/ntwk-pres-audio.html

Just $129 will buy you 5 CDs packed with audio clips that are the perfect enhancement to your slide deck. Over 1,400 files are included in each volume, with packages for business/office, pop culture, comedy, and other areas of interest. Files can be easily exported to the format of your choice. You can also create loops, edit, fade in/fade out, and more!

Advice and Guidance Incorporating audio into your slide deck is more than just a matter of slapping in some background music and cute noises. There are right ways to do it, and wrong ways. Fortunately, there are many experts who have shared their best practices. From general tips and techniques (http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/articles/using_audio_and_ video_slides.htm), and advice on intellectual property and copyright law (http://www.imaginginfo.com/print/Studio-Photography/Want-to-AddMusic-to-Your-Presentation-/3$2788), to tutorials for inserting clips into PowerPoint (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/addsound-and-video-to-a-powerpoint-presentation-HA001159312.aspx), advice can easily be found in various locations across the Web.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Chapter 7: Finding Great Video Clips As you strive to make your slide deck as dynamic as possible, you may want to consider incorporating video clips to create a more exciting, engaging, and memorable experience for your audience. In fact, Presentations Magazine claims that, “if you are looking to make your presentation more multimedia, then adding video can certainly add the wow factor”. But, finding great video footage can often present a challenge – if you don’t know where to look.

Shuttershock Footage http://footage.shutterstock.com/

This site is home to a vast portfolio of top-quality video clips at affordable prices – just $10 to $50 each. You can choose clips from countless different categories, such as holidays, education, finance, or sports and recreation, and can download your selections in a variety of formats, including DVCam, BetacamSP, and HDCam.

Thought Equity Motion http://www.thoughtequity.com/video/home/presentation.do

Since 2003, Thought Equity Motion has been a leader in the production and distribution of high-quality video content for creatives, publishers, and producers. From nature and wildlife to inspirational footage, you will find everything you need right here – for just about $20 per clip.

FotoSearch www.fotosearch.com

This powerful and comprehensive online media search engine, owned by Publitek Inc., lets you browse and select from more than 124,000 stock videos created by a wide array of renowned videographers and agencies from around the world. But be aware, publishing agreements vary from one provider to the next, so be sure to read the terms carefully before you make a purchase.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

YouTube www.youtube.com

Over the last several years, the popularity of YouTube and other amateur video sites has exploded. Since most of the clips shared are copyright protected, YouTube has recently launched a beta program called YouTube Rentals where, for prices ranging from 99 cents to $19.99, you can license certain video content for use in your presentation for as short as one day, or for an unlimited period of time.

Editing Software The folks at Presentations Magazine advise that, “if you are including video clips into a presentation, make sure that they are short and snappy. We find that up to 45 seconds works best. We find that audiences typically get very twitchy after watching 60 seconds of video. If you have a longer clip, then we suggest that you cut it down to shorter clips”. Yet, a large percentage of the footage found online is much longer than appropriate. Fortunately, there are a variety of easy to use video editing software packages available, so you can pare down your clips to make them a more desirable length. Windows Movie Maker, which is included in the latest version of Windows XP, is a popular tool. There’s also Adobe Premier Elements, Corel Video Studio Pro, and Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum – good products that can each be purchased for under $100.

Chapter 8: Great Stories and Anecdotes Nothing will help your audience relate to you – and the content you are presenting – more than stories and anecdotes. Whether they’re about people you know or places you’ve seen, or even if you’re retelling a story you’ve heard elsewhere, they’ll add a personal touch to information that will help draw your audience in, and make what you’re saying more purposeful, understandable, and believable. But, even some of the best speakers lack solid storytelling skills. Luckily, there are a ton of great resources that can help you enhance your presentation with terrific stories and anecdotes.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Draw from Your Own Experiences You’re life is more interesting than you think it is, and your past experiences may be quite entertaining to your audience. Perhaps a few stories about your feisty toddler can add a dose of humor to your presentation about dealing with difficult employees. Or, telling them about that time you hiked a challenging five mile trail in a hail storm may enhance your speech about getting and staying motivated. Feel free to embellish for dramatic effect.

Books Hit up a nearby bookstore or your local library. Literary references make ideal stories for presentations and speeches. And, choosing popular books, or beloved classics that people remember fondly, are likely to strike a chord with your audience.

Awesome Stories www.awesomestories.com

This self-proclaimed “story place of the Web� provides countless fictional and non-fictional stories in a variety of categories such as famous trials, biographies, movies, history, religion, and sports. Here, you can quickly and easily find stories and their original sources, instead of spending hours upon hours searching national archives, libraries, universities, museums, and historical societies.

Anecdotage www.anecdotage.com

This site is home to the largest collection of celebrity anecdotes on the Internet. There are several thousand quotes and stories to choose from, covering a wide range of topics. An intuitive search facility allows you to search by keyword, or by your favorite politician, actor, musician, or other personality.

Story Arts Online www.storyarts.org

This educational Web site, created by author and storyteller Heather Forest, was initially designed for teachers, librarians, and students. However, much of its content is focused on the use of stories to enhance speaking and facilitate improved listening, and can provide much value to presenters and speakers of all types. Be sure to check out its comprehensive story library.

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Incredible Presentation Resources

Chapter 9: Adding Humor No matter how hard you try, the content of your presentation will sometimes be dry and boring. And, it can be quite a challenge to keep your audience interested and engaged while you’re flipping through one slide, chart, or graph after another. Sometimes, even pictures and videos aren’t enough. Humor is a great way to spice things up. Everyone loves to laugh, and nothing will grab the undivided attention of your audience more than something that makes them smile or chuckle.

Set the Tone Start your presentation off on a light-hearted note. Give your audience a big smile, and let them know that you want them to not only learn, but to enjoy themselves as well. They’ll immediately relax and take notice. But be careful, experts warn that it may not be wise to open with a joke. If it bombs, the rest of your session will suffer.

101funjokes.com If you need a good joke, this is the place to go. Dozens of categories – from jokes about celebrities, the Internet, kids, and the medical profession, to funny bumper stickers, limericks, quotes, and witticisms – make it easy to find whatever you need to incorporate some fun into your slide deck and give your audience a good giggle.

Humor Writers Let’s face it, some people lack a “funny bone”. If you are one of those unfortunate souls, you may want to hire a professional writer to help incorporate humor into your slide deck. They’ll be able to take your existing content, and make it more chuckle-worthy. Check out the Comedy Writers Guild (http://www.comedywritersguild.com/), or conduct a search on Google, Yahoo, or other popular search engine to find one in your area.

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Comedy Coaches Comedy is about more than just “scripting” jokes and quips. Delivery is also very important when you want to get the laughs. Check out your local comedy clubs or theater groups. Most of them will offer classes to help improve your comedic timing and execution. Or, you can check your Yellow Pages for private comedy coaches who will work with you one-on-one.

Learn from Professional Comedians Many professional comedians measure their success by evaluating one important metric – laughs per minute (LPM). As you gain more experience adding humor to your sessions, you may want to use this indicator to gauge how effective you are. How many LPMs should you strive for? That depends on your content. Some presentations may warrant several LPMs, while others that are more serious in nature may require just a handful of giggles throughout the entire slide deck to lighten the mood.

Conclusion The dictionary defines resourcefulness as “the ability to deal promptly and skillfully with new difficulties and situations”. The same holds true for presentations. Your success as a presenter depends greatly on your ability to find – and leverage – the resources you need to build and share a winning slide deck. It’s important to remember that the best, and perhaps the most interesting, presentations are those that blend a variety of different elements. From interesting font types and eye-catching color schemes, to audio, video, storytelling, and humor, you should pack your slide deck with numerous stimulators that enhance your content and engage your audience. But, in order to do this, you need to have a library of terrific resources at your disposal – places you can go to find anything you need during the presentation creation process. With the right Web sites, software applications, experts, and other help right at your fingertips, you’re always guaranteed to create and deliver an amazing presentation.

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