Benefits of using a one slide deck

How many times have you heard about one slide decks? It is becoming all the rage now, whether inside boardroom or the classroom. Rather than having a huge presentation spanning tens of slides, sometimes it is much more powerful to have a single slide deck do all the work. Most of the corporate presentations and pitches usually have multiple people working on the same thing. We are going to cover the key benefits of using one slide decks to explain your concept:

  1. Re-usability: Once your presentation is ready, anyone can quickly have a look at it and add it to their new presentation. For example, say you are pitching to an automobile giant and have added a one slide deck explaining the advantages of your product. Tomorrow, when you pitch to another automobile giant, you can reuse the same one slide deck
  2. Maintainability: We all know the pain of updating various decks whenever a product portfolio changes or a design change happens. You will take considerably less amount of time to edit the slide if you do the change
  3. Minimalist: Summation is a very powerful tool, it encourages you to focus on the key aspects of the slideshow presentations and helps you cut down unnecessary points in your PowerPoint decks. Minimalist design ensures your decks remain uncluttered and focused on just one thing
  4. Engagement: Let’s face it, everyone is busy nowadays. The modern manager has hundreds of items on his bucket list and listening to long sales pitches won’t be a top priority for him. Which is why when you say I only have a one slide deck for you, it captures his interest and you can finally get that meeting you were looking for
  5. Time-saver: Rather than creating a large sales deck which might take a considerable amount of time, a single slide on the other hand takes minimum effort and time. If you have a urgent deadline to meet and the ask for a deck which can explain the product, it makes much sense to go with a single slide deck

Whew! 5 quick benefits for you when you use a single slide deck. We advocate using single slide decks for your meetings. The biggest advantage being maintainability.

What do you think? Have you ever used a one slide deck before? What were your key learning from it?

2×2 Matrix One Slide Deck

The simple, humble 2×2 matrix is one of the most commonly used business strategy tool from publications and speeches to every case study you've ever read in B-school. Every company has thousands of 2×2 matrices on Powerpoint slides laying around because of its amazing simplicity and versatility. It works remarkably well to list to think in two-dimensional thinking to solve problems.

You can create a range of possibilities just using the same slide. For example,

  • which restaurant to go to?
  • which travel site to go to?
  • which smartphone brand to purchase?
  • which car to buy
  • list goes on …
Example of using 2×2 matrix for new and returning users of a website
BCG Growth Matrix

I was in search of a simple slide which anyone can quickly use for their presentations without having to go through multiple hops. Hope you enjoy the below template created for which smartphone brand should I buy. Do fill in the below fields to download the template

2x2 matrix one slide deck
2×2 Matrix in a presentation

Simple Animated Chart – One Slide Deck

Charts and graphs are the easiest way to explain any point across especially if you have lots of data to put across. People can spot trends more easily in a chart as well as comprehend complex data. A good powerpoint deck should have information presented in a concise way as much as possible. It does not mean you should have a lot of visualizations in your slides but rather keep one chart per slide. If you think in terms of the viewer, its best to keep his focus on one thing at a time.

We at powerpointguys have created a one slide deck for an animated graph which you can quickly download and use for your meetings or presentations. Consider you have the below data which can be anything revenue numbers, employee count, website viewers, active users per year. See the data as below:

Data 201120122013201420152016
Location 171623456075
Location 2102030354045
Data shown as graph

Which one would you prefer? Obviously the graph. Add some simple animations, you are done. Go ahead, download the chart below

One Slide Deck for Chart

Quick Hack – Open PPT faster by optimizing images

Everyone has been there, your powerpoint deck for a client meeting has suddenly exceeded 30MB. You have a small edit to make in it, but opening the powerpoint deck is taking forever due to its huge size. Even after opening the Powerpoint, just scrolling through the slides and making small edits take a long time. What do you do in that case ?

GIF explaining how to compress images

We have a very cool feature in Powerpoint known as Compress pictures in order to reduce the size of the images. Based on the number of images inside, your expected savings on an average should be close to 40%. Your 30MB Powerpoint file is nw 18MB only and it can load much faster.

After clicking on Images

Step 1: Select the image in question
Step 2: Click on Format in Menu
Step 3: Click on the icon to Compress Image shown above

Compression options

Step 4: After clicking ok, the image will be compressed

Bonus Tip: If you have multiple images in your Powerpoint slides, uncheck “Apply only to this picture”, then click OK. All the images in your slides will now be compressed. You can finally say goodbye to slow-loading powerpoint decks

Remove double spaces in your presentation

One of the most finer details which people miss out in their presentations is the existence of double spaces inside paragraphs. Depending upon what your job profile looks like you will generally have multiple presentations to fall out not created by you. Multiple reasons exist for double spaces typos errors inside your powerpoint deck –

  1. Hurry to create the presentation introduces small errors
  2. Someone else has created the deck from which you have copied the slides
  3. Keys in a keyboard sometimes creates these errors

Whatever the case, it is a big eyesore when presenting your powerpoint deck in a meeting or sending it across in an email. These errors tend to accumulate over time and you never know when you have a deck complete of hundreds of typos

Here is a quick tutorial to replace double spaces with single spaces

Step 1: Inside Powerpoint, Click on Replace inside main ribbon
Shortcut: Ctrl + H

Step 2: Enter double spaces inside ‘Find what’ and single space inside ‘Replace with:’

Step 3: Click ‘Replace All’. Done. Powerpoint will find all double spaces and replace them with a single space

Quick Hack: Add Explorer Shortcut for Powerpoint for save to pdf

Previously, I had written about how to convert your powerpoint to pdf using the built option, but recently I had the requirement to quickly do the same for multiple powerpoint files. It is rather cumbersome to open up powerpoint files one by one – some take a long time to open depending upon the file size then click on the file > export > save as pdf > write the file name. The time spent doing the same quickly adds up

Why can’t we have a simple way to “save as pdf” for powerpoint file right in the context menu. This way any powerpoint file that you may encounter you can quickly create pdf files for the same. How to do it ? Turns out it was quite easy – All it takes is a visual basic script and a registry edit. I have detailed the tutorial below to do the same

Step 1: Fire up your favourite text editor (Notepad / Sublime Text) and copy-paste the below

Option Explicit

Sub WriteLine ( strLine )
    WScript.Stdout.WriteLine strLine
End Sub

Const msoFalse = 0   ' False.
Const msoTrue = -1   ' True.

Const ppFixedFormatIntentScreen = 1 ' Intent is to view exported file on screen.
Const ppFixedFormatIntentPrint = 2  ' Intent is to print exported file.

Const ppFixedFormatTypeXPS = 1  ' XPS format
Const ppFixedFormatTypePDF = 2  ' PDF format

Const ppPrintHandoutVerticalFirst = 1   ' Slides are ordered vertically, with the first slide in the upper-left corner and the second slide below it.
Const ppPrintHandoutHorizontalFirst = 2 ' Slides are ordered horizontally, with the first slide in the upper-left corner and the second slide to the right of it.

Const ppPrintOutputSlides = 1               ' Slides
Const ppPrintOutputTwoSlideHandouts = 2     ' Two Slide Handouts
Const ppPrintOutputThreeSlideHandouts = 3   ' Three Slide Handouts
Const ppPrintOutputSixSlideHandouts = 4     ' Six Slide Handouts
Const ppPrintOutputNotesPages = 5           ' Notes Pages
Const ppPrintOutputOutline = 6              ' Outline
Const ppPrintOutputBuildSlides = 7          ' Build Slides
Const ppPrintOutputFourSlideHandouts = 8    ' Four Slide Handouts
Const ppPrintOutputNineSlideHandouts = 9    ' Nine Slide Handouts
Const ppPrintOutputOneSlideHandouts = 10    ' Single Slide Handouts

Const ppPrintAll = 1            ' Print all slides in the presentation.
Const ppPrintSelection = 2      ' Print a selection of slides.
Const ppPrintCurrent = 3        ' Print the current slide from the presentation.
Const ppPrintSlideRange = 4     ' Print a range of slides.
Const ppPrintNamedSlideShow = 5 ' Print a named slideshow.

Const ppShowAll = 1             ' Show all.
Const ppShowNamedSlideShow = 3  ' Show named slideshow.
Const ppShowSlideRange = 2      ' Show slide range.

' This is the actual script

Dim inputFile
Dim outputFile
Dim objPPT
Dim objPresentation
Dim objPrintOptions
Dim objFso

If WScript.Arguments.Count <> 2 Then
    WriteLine 'You need to specify input and output files.'
End If

inputFile = WScript.Arguments(0)
outputFile = WScript.Arguments(1)

Set objFso = CreateObject('Scripting.FileSystemObject')

If Not objFso.FileExists( inputFile ) Then
    WriteLine 'Unable to find your input file ' & inputFile
End If

If objFso.FileExists( outputFile ) Then
    WriteLine 'Your output file (' & outputFile & ') already exists!'
End If

WriteLine 'Input File:  ' & inputFile
WriteLine 'Output File: ' & outputFile

Set objPPT = CreateObject( 'PowerPoint.Application' )

objPPT.Visible = True
objPPT.Presentations.Open inputFile

Set objPresentation = objPPT.ActivePresentation
Set objPrintOptions = objPresentation.PrintOptions

objPrintOptions.Ranges.Add 1,objPresentation.Slides.Count
objPrintOptions.RangeType = ppShowAll

' Reference for this at
objPresentation.ExportAsFixedFormat outputFile, ppFixedFormatTypePDF, ppFixedFormatIntentScreen, msoTrue, ppPrintHandoutHorizontalFirst, ppPrintOutputSlides, msoFalse, objPrintOptions.Ranges(1), ppPrintAll, 'Slideshow Name', False, False, False, False, False


The above code is visual basic script which automatically runs the export to pdf command for it. This has been taken from a superuser forum

Step 2: Save the above file as pptconverter.vbs in an easily accessible location (You will require it later)

Step 3: Open up a text editor (e.g. Notepad) and copy-paste below
Ensure the path to pptconverter is changed to where you have saved pptcoverter.vbs (with backslash)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@='Save PDF here'

@='CSCRIPT \'C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Office\\root\\Office16\\pptconverter.vbs\' \'%1\' \'%1.pdf\''

The above code creates a registry key and value inside Windows only for .pptx files

Step 4: Save the above file as ‘pptconverter.reg’ and double click on it. Accept the windows prompt for allowing changes to the registry. Click on ‘Yes’,

Step 5: Done

Right Click on any .pptx file. You will be able to view the save pdf here option

It will not take more than 5 minutes to do the same, but it will save you plenty of time in the future. Do let me know if you have a faster way of doing the same or a .exe wrapper for the above scripts to make it easier for normal users to avail the above option. Let me know in the comments below if you love this hack or have a feedback about the same.

How to convert Powerpoint to PDF

There are multiple ways to convert any powerpoint decks you are working on to pdf and many reasons to do so. You can use the same tutorial to send large powerpoint files across email if Outlook and Gmail have file restrictions. Some of the most common reason to do the same is

  1. Sending it in an email
  2. Large Size of the Powerpoint
  3. Keep it as a backup option
  4. Highly sensitive content
  5. Share it an password-protected PDF
Quick GIF Explaining the process

The below tutorial will help you answer how to export (or save) any powerpoint presentation in a pdf format

  1. Click on File
    Click on File
  2. Click on Export
    Click Export
  3. Click “Create PDF/XPS”
    Create PDF
  4. Type the File name and click on “Publish”
  5. Done !

Bonus Tip

You can optimize the email even further by visiting ilovepdf which can compress your the size of your pdf.

PowerPoint Autosave Options

What do you do when Powerpoint freezes, hangs or becomes unresponsive and you are working on that super important update which is to be sent to your manager early morning ?
Autosave to the rescue

How do I change autosave settings ? How to change autosave interval in Powerpoint ?
Quick Way -> File -> Options -> Save

After opening Powerpoint (Office 365), you can find ‘Options’ Menu towards left bottom
Click on File to bring out the above options
Go to “Save” after clicking on Options
Change the Timer Settings to 5 minutes

The default option available in Office 365 Powerpoint is 10 minutes, Change the setting to 5. You can even use a different time setting based upon your requirement.
The number of times that you will be saved because of this nifty hack which Powerpoint is incomparable. Only thing is the default options can be improved by a good factor depending upon what you are working on.

What about the space requirements ?
The recent laptops & computers for business now at least have 8GB Ram as well as 500GB Hard disk. With network speeds rising due to 4G, your laptop does have plenty of space which can be utilized for autosaves. So no worries there. Powerpoint also regularly clears the old autosave formats as well

Other options including changing the file location for autosave.

You can even change the default behaviour when you save Powerpoint files, i.e. after closing Powerpoint if you require it to be automatically saved to a particular location in your computer

History of PowerPoint

Who created PowerPoint ? Who is the founder of PowerPoint ?
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program, created by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin at a software company named Forethought, Inc. Gaskins headed this new Microsoft unit for another five years, completing versions of the PowerPoint product which contributed to the explosive early growth of Microsoft Windows and to the dominance of Microsoft Office.

Robert Gaskins
Dennis Austin

Robert Gaskins (left) and Dennis Austin (right)


The core team which created Powerpoint

When was Powerpoint released ? How old is Powerpoint ?
It was released on April 20, 1987, initially for Macintosh computers only. Microsoft acquired PowerPoint for $14 million three months after it appeared which is on July 20, 1987. This was the first software acquisition by Microsoft

When did Powerpoint become a part of Office ?
PowerPoint became a component of the Microsoft Office suite, first offered in 1989 for Macintosh and in 1990 for Windows

Why powerpoint is called powerpoint ?
On July 5, 1984, Forethought hired Robert Gaskins as its vice president of product development to create a new application that would be especially suited to the new graphical personal computers, such as Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. During the development period, Robert Gaskins, Thomas Rudkin and Dennis Austins published a 2-page specification document named ” Presentation Graphics for Overhead Projection” while throughout the period it was named as “Presenter”. Then, just before release, there was a last-minute check with Forethought’s lawyers to register the name as a trademark, and “Presenter” was unexpectedly rejected because it had already been used by company in New Jersey. Gaskins says that he thought of “PowerPoint”, based on the product’s goal of “empowering” individual presenters, and sent that name to the lawyers for clearance, while all the documentation was hastily revised.

Did Bill Gates initially rejected the idea of Powerpoint ?
Yes. Jeff Raikes was initially chosen to head the plan of creating a new application to create presentations. To speed up development, they initially proposed to acquire More, an outlining program that could print bullet points. But during the acquisition, he found out about Presenter and changed course to acquire Powerpoint. Bill Gates was initially skeptical about Powerpoint as he wanted to integrate it in Microsoft Word. But ultimately, the green signal was given and Microsoft acquired Forethought for $14M.

What is the Market share of Powerpoint ?
PowerPoint’s market share of total world presentation software has been estimated at 95 percent by both industry and academic sources

What is the development story behind Powerpoint ?
Robert Gaskins has written a complete account on the complete story behind Powerpoint in “Sweating Bullets: Notes about Inventing Powerpoint” to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the same. You can buy the print version from Amazon US or you can download the version from below