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Sticky Pre­sen­ta­tions

What do you think of when you hear the word “agility”? Flat hier­ar­chies? Fun at work? Or per­haps those little yellow sticky notes? These striking notes have become the visual symbol for agility in com­pa­nies. They stand for ideas and flex­i­bility. And they’re great for adding a spe­cial charm to our presentations.

Get the Stick-its

Down­load the free package of cut-out sticky notes from PRE­SEN­TAILOR. The package includes a set of Stick-its in dif­ferent colors and shades. Not your favorite color included? Just use Pow­er­Point’s image editing fea­tures and adjust the color to your liking.

Agility …

Just written notes alone won’t make your audi­ence wonder. It’s impor­tant to use the notes for what they are intended. Imagine we are in front of a board of an agile team meeting. We move our head, move closer to cer­tain notes, or pick up indi­vidual ones again to refer to them. We can sim­u­late this dig­i­tally — both in Prezi and PowerPoint!

… in Prezi.

Prezi is pre­des­tined for vir­tual camera move­ments. We first place all stick-its on the work­space, label them, and then use our zoom areas to zoom in on our notes with the Prezi camera. To make our pre­sen­ta­tion even more appealing, we can of course give our stick-its a back­ground. You are the best judge of which back­ground is the best the­matic fit for your pre­sen­ta­tion. Use the Prezi image search for a roy­alty-free image search.

… in PowerPoint.

In Pow­er­Point, camera move­ments work a little dif­fer­ently. We have two options available.


With a morph tran­si­tion between two slides we can create auto­mated trans­for­ma­tions of slide ele­ments. So we can create an ini­tial slide where all notes including labels are present, then dupli­cate them and zoom in on the target note in the new slide. This would allow us to sim­u­late a zoom effect. How­ever, you run into a number of com­pli­ca­tions with this method in this par­tic­ular set­ting. Text boxes do not zoom easily in com­bi­na­tion with graphics. The posi­tion of the text boxes may shift. Also, we have to apply this mag­ni­fi­ca­tion to all notes and move them out­side the vis­ible slide area of the new slide, and so on and so forth. Mor­phing is great for many sce­narios, just unfor­tu­nately less so for this par­tic­ular case.

Slide Zoom

Instead of a morph tran­si­tion, I rec­om­mend using “slide zooms”. To do this, we create a slide in which the note already has its zoomed-in size. Then we set a new slide in front of these indi­vidual zoom slides. On this slide we go to “Zoom” in the “Insert” tab and then click on “Slide zoom”. Now we select all the slides we want to zoom in on and click on “Insert”. To coun­teract the resulting chaos, we now need to arrange the slides a bit on our slide. When we start the pre­sen­ta­tion, we zoom in on each of the pre­view slides one by one. The frame of each zoom pre­view can be edited, just like all other objects in PowerPoint.

We can make the back­ground of the zoom slides trans­parent by selecting the zoom pre­view and clicking on “Zoom back­ground” in the “Zoom” tab (far right). We have to apply this process for each stick-it. This way, the back­ground of our overview will remain later. How­ever, this method has one catch. When zooming, Pow­er­Point retains the pixel res­o­lu­tion of the ini­tial slide of all “non-zoom” ele­ments. This makes the back­ground image and sur­rounding slides appear some­what pixelated.

Also, our graphic ele­ments of the zoom slides must be within the vis­ible area. Oth­er­wise, they will be cut off unat­trac­tively in the pre­view as well.

You can limit the neg­a­tive effects some­what with a few tricks. Maybe that would be some­thing for a future post.

Bottom line

With both Prezi and Pow­er­Point, it is pos­sible to create a pre­sen­ta­tion entirely in the spirit of agility. While Prezi shines here with sim­plicity, Pow­er­Point ends up offering more cre­ative options for the tech-savvy among us. Which tool would I rec­om­mend? Unfor­tu­nately, I don’t know you well enough for that 😉 Con­tact me to find out or best try both ways once.

Have fun with it!

Thank you for reading.

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