10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert

TED Blog

Speaker David Epstein created a truly stellar slide deck for his talk at TED2014. When your slides rock, your whole presentation pops to life. Here, advice from our office slide master on making Keynote and Powerpoint presentations that communicate strongly. Photo: James Duncan Davidson When your slides rock, your whole presentation pops to life. At TED2014, David Epstein created a clean, informative slide deck to support his talk on the changing bodies of athletes. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Aaron Weyenberg is the master of slide decks. Our UX Lead creates Keynote presentations that are both slick and charming—the kind that pull you in and keep you captivated, but in an understated way that helps you focus on what’s actually being said. He does this for his own presentations and for lots of other folks in the office. Yes, his coworkers ask him to design their slides, because he’s just that good.

We asked Aaron to bottle his Keynote mojo so that others could benefit from it. Here, 10 tips for making an effective slide deck, split into two parts: the big, overarching goals, and the little tips and tricks that make your presentation…

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Somebody did a golden deed

Somebody did a golden deed;

Somebody proved a friend in need;

Somebody sang a beautiful song;

Somebody smiled the whole day long;

Somebody thought “Tis sweet to live”;

Somebody said, “I’m going to give”;

Somebody fought a valiant fight;

Somebody lived to shield the right;

Was that “Somebody” YOU?

10 Scientific Laws and Theories You Really Should Know

Let us brush up some school physics this time. It is going to be refreshing.

In this article, we’ll look at 10 scientific laws and theories that you might want to brush up on, even if you don’t find yourself, say, operating a scanning electron microscope all that frequently. We’ll start with a bang and move on to the basic laws of the universe, before hitting evolution. Finally, we’ll tackle some headier material, delving into the realm of quantum physics.

Forgetful Edison

Edison- the inventor of bulb

Thomas Edison stepped from a train in Orange, New Jersey and walked down the platform.

The station master, knowing how forgetful the famous inventor was, asked his customary question, “Did you leave anything behind, Mr. Edison?”

Edison replied, “No, I’m sure I have everything.” and began taking a count of his suitcases. As he was doing so, he happened to look up at the train. With a start, he dropped his bags and raced back to the car in which he had been riding. What prompted this burst of activity was the face of his bride, with whom he had just married and returned from a honeymoon trip, staring from a window.

Two ways towards contentment by Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin-Franklin-Wise-Lighthouses-Churches

There are two ways to sufficiency and happiness. We may either diminish our wants or augment our means – either will do – the result is same; and it is for each man to decide for himself and do what is the easiest.

  • If you’re idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means.

  • If you’re active and prosperous or young and in good health, it may be easier for you augment your means than to diminish your wants.

But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.

What goes around comes around

Once a group of 50 people was attending a seminar.

Suddenly the speaker stopped and started giving each one a balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.

Now these delegates were let in that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written, within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.

At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon.

Now each one was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it.

Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.

The speaker began— Exactly this is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.

Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness, you will get your own happiness.

And this is the purpose of human life. Our soul is Sat-Chit-Anand. It is full of happiness as it comes from the infinite source of happiness – The God. Give this happiness to others and you will be filled with immense satisfaction and a great sense of fulfilment.

Microsoft’s new CEO- Satya Nadella’s mail to the employees

Microsoft Corp named company veteran Satya Nadella as its next chief executive officer on Tuesday, ending a longer-than-expected search for a new leader after Steve Balmer announced his intention to retire in August.

Read below, the email Nadella sent to his employees, following his appointment as CEO.

Feb. 04, 2014

From: Satya Nadella
To: All Employees
Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Subject: RE: Satya Nadella – Microsoft’s New CEO

Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today.

It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve and Bill have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with both Bill and Steve in my different roles at Microsoft, and as I step in as CEO, I’ve asked Bill to devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products. I’m also looking forward to working with John Thompson as our new Chairman of the Board.

While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to make sure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.

As we start a new phase of our journey together, I wanted to share some background on myself and what inspires and motivates me.

Who am I?

I am 46. I’ve been married for 22 years and we have 3 kids. And like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experiences. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.

Why am I here?

I am here for the same reason I think most people join Microsoft — to change the world through technology that empowers people to do amazing things. I know it can sound hyperbolic — and yet it’s true. We have done it, we’re doing it today, and we are the team that will do it again.

I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient. The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize — many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.

This is a software-powered world.

It will better connect us to our friends and families and help us see, express, and share our world in ways never before possible. It will enable businesses to engage customers in more meaningful ways.

I am here because we have unparalleled capability to make an impact.

Why are we here?

In our early history, our mission was about the PC on every desk and home, a goal we have mostly achieved in the developed world. Today we’re focused on a broader range of devices. While the deal is not yet complete, we will welcome to our family Nokia devices and services and the new mobile capabilities they bring us.

As we look forward, we must zero in on what Microsoft can uniquely contribute to the world. The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things.

We are the only ones who can harness the power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empower every individual and every organization. We are the only company with history and continued focus in building platforms and ecosystems that create broad opportunity.

Qi Lu captured it well in a recent meeting when he said that Microsoft uniquely empowers people to “do more.” This doesn’t mean that we need to do more things, but that the work we do empowers the world to do more of what they care about — get stuff done, have fun, communicate and accomplish great things. This is the core of who we are, and driving this core value in all that we do — be it the cloud or device experiences — is why we are here.

What do we do next?

To paraphrase a quote from Oscar Wilde — we need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable.

This starts with clarity of purpose and sense of mission that will lead us to imagine the impossible and deliver it. We need to prioritize innovation that is centered on our core value of empowering users and organizations to “do more.” We have picked a set of high-value activities as part of our One Microsoft strategy. And with every service and device launch going forward we need to bring more innovation to bear around these scenarios.

Next, every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this.

Finally, I truly believe that each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, but something that will improve other people’s lives. This is the opportunity that drives each of us at this company.

Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources, and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance. And as the new CEO, I can’t ask for a better foundation.

Let’s build on this foundation together.

Satya

(SourceMicrosoft News Center)