How To’s - Documents and Spreadsheets
How To... Create A Sharp Presentation

Here’s an easy guide to creating a simple, but sharp PowerPoint presentation.


PowerPoint is an incredible tool that can put all of your ideas, plans, strategies and more visually onto a screen for all to see.  So, if you work in an office, most likely you’ve seen it in action many, many times.  Now, you’re charged with putting together a little presentation on your department’s marketing strategy or what have you.  Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a simple, but sharp presentation.


First, open PowerPoint. Click ‘Start Menu’, ‘All Programs’, and then ‘Microsoft PowerPoint’.


Slide Design – Start with a ‘New’ Presentation.  Inside, look at options to ‘Change Slides’ or change ‘Slide Design’.  This will give you the various themes to choose for your presentation - meaning, color, image, font, and design.   Think of two things on a scale of conservative and modern when picking a theme.  The subject presenting, and the audience.  Then simply pick the most appropriate match.


Title Page – Now, your first page, called the Title Page, should contain the title of the presentation, your name and/or names of all who contributed in the presentation (or jointly the name of your department), plus the date. Then add maybe an image or logo, and you’re good to go.


Build Your Information – Click on ‘Insert’, then ‘New Slide’.  Again the layout dialog box will appear, and you can select the right layout for your next page. Concentrate first on adding the information and content, then on getting the layout just right.  Then keep adding slides when necessary.  You can use bullets and numbering too to get all the text visually appealing.  Then of course, you can never go wrong with adding images like pictures and logos.


Effects - You can set yourself above the crowd by using 3-D effects, shading, and more for select content.  Also, add timing, sound and transitions in Slide Transitions to keep the presentation moving.  Some of the most basic and easy transitions are Dissolve, Push, Fade, Box and Swipe.


Review, Review, Review – After adding all the necessary content.  Go over everything from the top as many times as necessary.  Simply click on ‘View Slideshow’. Rearrange slides to make your presentation flow better.  MS Powerpoint helps you do this by editing slide positions individually or in a group.  Review content and slide order and change until it is seamless.  And Voila!  Your basic presentation is ready.


Oh, and don’t forget, to Save, Save, Save.  Every minute if you can remember.  Nothing like working hard on something that disappears in the blink of an eye.  And I promise, a sharp presentation will always set you apart.

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By aprile

How To... Create A Contact Sheet

Learn how to assemble a contact list sheet in Excel to keep your necessary internal and external contacts organized.  A very necessary thing to do in this crazy, mutli-tasking business world we live in.


Creating (and maintaining!) a master list of business contact information keeps key information organized at your fingertips.  A time saver when you’re in a crunch on the job.  Microsoft Excel is one of the best programs to create a contact list with, and there are all kinds of contact lists you can create for you, your team or department, or your boss.   Just a few examples, before the nitty-gritty of how to start…


Business Leads List

Internal Team List

Emergency Contact List

Press Release/Media List

Important Numbers List

Office Birthday List


Add HeadersOpen a new worksheet in Microsoft Excel.  Start out by entering key Headers like Name, Company, Department Name, Title, Phone, Extension, Mobile, Fax, Email and whatever else necessary.


Save, Save, Save At this point, save the file whether it be on a server location or a local disk drive.  Your business contact list is NOT something you want to lose just cause the electricity went out.  


Format AccordinglySize and format the columns accordingly.  To auto-size columns, double-click on the right edge of the column header.  To format columns and cells, right click, then select Format Cells or select Cells from in the Format menu on the toolbar. 


Once there, pick a category type from the list.  Most columns can be formatted as “General”, but it’s important to use appropriate formatting for columns with numbers to prevent excel from trying to calculate someone’s phone number or losing trailing zero’s.  In the case of phone and fax numbers, choose Special or Custom, then Phone Number.  If the phone numbers will be international, select Text.


Title It – Add a title such as “Business Contacts” to the top cell of the page, and use the merge and center command to position it nicely over the entire document.  Then increase the font and bold it to make the title stand out.


Date It – Insert an “Updated On” cell with the current date of completion. Can be above or below the main list.  Usually best in smaller font.  This is just to use as a quick reference on when the sheet was created, and therefore should be updated.


Maintain Your ListCreating the spreadsheet is half the battle, but common sense says if you don’t maintain it then it’s relatively useless, isn’t it?  Get in the habit of always recording a new contact’s information immediately, and updating current contact’s information that have changed. 


If you’ve just begun your job you will likely be updating this sheet a lot as you come in to contact with vendors, clients and other business contacts.  A very necessary thing to do in this crazy, mutli-tasking business world we live in.

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By stacymorgan

How To... Create A Shared Document

Sharing documents with coworkers and bosses allows your colleagues to make necessary revisions (hello, red pen!).  And using proper file share procedures ensures everyone has the same revision to work with.


Company Intranet– Depending on your company’s size, you’ll be met with several different possibilities for sharing documents.  One way is on the company Shared Network, or Intranet.  Usually a common feature within large and medium-size businesses. 


These Intranetsare updated in real time, which keeps that guy “that’s always one step behind everyone” from editing an old revision.  Simply, Save As, navigate through the sometimes overwhelming network of company folders, and select the appropriate one.


Be sure to note your shared documents.  You can do footers that read “Rev:” and the format you select for tracking revisions, such as “Rev:1 SLM 1-17-10”.  This format indicates that it’s the original document, created on January 17th by the person whose initials are SLM.  Encourage contributors to update the footer appropriately so you can track revisions with ease.  Or you can save the file name with “v” (version) and the number.  So a document might be saved as “Budget v1”, “Budget v2”, and so on.


Shared Folder – You can also share files saved locally to your computer by allowing other users operating on your company network access to a folder that contains the files you wish to share. 


First Create a New Folder within your My Documents folder and call it “Shared Documents”.  It’s important to create a separate folder to ensure the gossip queen from 2 cubes over doesn’t peruse ALL of your documents.  Then, right click on the folder, and select “Share…Select the user (or users) you wish to share files with from the drop down menu.  If your office is not configured with a network to do this, then read on.


More – There are a bunch of file sharing softwares out there that can work for you and your team with just a simple download.  All you have to do is search for the right one and implement it on your computer.  But there’s one more surprising application that can do the job.


Everyone knows Google is taking over the world, and sharing documents is no exception.  Google Docs  allows you to sign in via your Google account and upload files for sharing.  Then the interface allows you to easily invite others to access your Google Docs and assign permissions like View Only or View and EditWhile you can be sure your data is safe from prying internet eyes on Google, it’s best to check with your boss on company policies before sharing documents containing highly confidential information. 


While giving up your hard work to others for editing can be upsetting for some, advanced sharing options and permissions keep shared documents and files within your control.  Just make sure you keep a separate copy of your original document, so you have proof that you’re not responsible for that silly sentence someone added back in “Rev 4”. 

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By stacymorgan

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