beyond bullet points – Create Top PowerPoints

learn to create effective slides iPowerPointReview: by Gregory West
VP of the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
APCUG Advisor

beyond bullet points
by Cliff Atkinson

Published by Microsoft Press
ISBN– 978-0-7356-275-2
Pages: 330
USA: $29.99 / CDA: $34.99

All of us have had, or were forced, to sit through a PowerPoint presentation wishing we were somewhere else. The speaker was so boring, the presentation slides were cheesy and extremely confusing, and our insides screamed for us to get up and leave the room.

Beyond bullet points is designed in such a way that this will never happen when you give your next presentation. This book takes us through the proper steps in creating  the most interesting and very definitive presentation possible. Here is where we learn the importance of telling a story with our slides. Layout is another import issue that is fully covered in Chapter 4: “Planning Your First Five Slides”. This is where you learn how to grab your audience right away and keep them focused on your presentation.

You will learn why graphics are so important and how they can make or break a presentation. Chapter 8 is where the fun begins as you learn how to  add graphics to various areas within your slides. You will learn how to use the graphics you already have on your computer, and how to get graphics from “Stock Photography Web Sites”.

Your PowerPoint presentation comes together in Chapter 9: “Delivering Your…Presentation”. The amateur presenters are separated from the professionals. This chapter prepares you for the delivery of your presentation. Here you are shown the basic ground rules for removing distractions, prompting a dialogue and how to enhance your presentation effectively.

A real treat is found in Appendix A where ground rules and checklists act as an overview  ensuring you have created a very professional presentation.

Added features: This book comes with website links for “Companion Content” with key tools and a bonus Chapter 11, introducing a “Visual Improv”, PDF version of the ground rules and checklists. You also get a voucher for your free online version of this book. For anyone who is serious about their presentations, this book is a keeper.

A New Year – A …

A New Year – A New Column
Introducing “APP Yap”

by Gregory West

Are you ready for change? I am introducing a “smart phone” section in this column, along with the current computer tips talk. This column will be in two parts: Computer Tips and APP Yap. APP Yap will cover all things “smart phone” APPs (software applications for the phone).

Computer use is changing rapidly. In 1970, futurist Alvin Toffler wrote his book: “Future Shock” and in it he discussed the “rate of change” and that people would not be able to handle the many new advancements. He stated there would be “too much change in too short a period of time”.

Well, I don’t know about the “too much”, but I believe we have handled change quite well, from monster computer desktops to thin Macbook Air laptops to touch-screen tablets and now to smart phones that can do much more than your computer and then some.

My prediction for 2012: Cloud computing will make a huge appearance in 2012. Smart phones will be everywhere and people of all ages will be on them. Everyone will understand the “Cloud”, unless live in a cave on the South Pacific island of Niue. We will be a truly “connected” society, online, and in the cloud. My very first presentation on “Cloud Computing” was to the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group ( and Lambton Toastmasters back in October of 2008 ( 

COMPUTER TIPS: Protect your laptop. Do not drink or eat near it…you do not get a second chance on spills – I know first hand! Do not run your laptop HOT. Videos and games increase the heat on your laptop and can quickly cause major problems in extended periods of time. Learn more about how to monitor the temperature of your laptop and get a free gage: ( for both MACs and PCs.

What if your laptop is stolen? Get yourself a free program that can locate your computer’s exact  location on a map, take a picture of the thief while they are using your computer and also take a screen shot of what the thief is looking at on your computer. As well, you can set a siren to go off every twenty minutes to drive the thief nuts. This is an amazing free tool to help you find who stole your laptop and where it is right now! Go here to get your free program: – make sure you watch the how it works video.

If you are like me and are new to the iPhone make sure you check out APPLE’s iPhone website to get yourself going:
APP Yap is a new part of this column and like before please send in your own tips and questions about iPhones and apps for other phones as well. Don’t forget other app stores for your computer too:
Apple’s Computer apps store:
Microsoft’s new Apps store challenges Apple:
Don’t forget to keep emailing your questions and answers…Next month should prove very interesting in the world of APPS. You can also visit 

Gregory can be reached at:
Visit the free website for 50+ learning computers:
Free Basic Computer Help Workshops: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203