Choosing Presentation Music for Maximum Effect

There is more to a presentation than words, and the nonverbal content needs as much consideration as the verbal. The right presentation music can create an atmosphere for your piece that helps convey your message. Deciding which music to use is one of the most important decisions facing a presentation producer. Some production designers choose their music in an almost offhand manner. This is usually a mistake. The same designer would never choose presentation graphics at random; the visual elements of a project as carefully selected to enhance and elaborate on the message of each slide and of the work as a whole. Slapping a random track onto the result of weeks of design is risky and unprofessional at best and self-defeating at worst. Music, like every other part of the endeavour, should be chosen as part of the overall effect.

One important consideration in presentation music selection is the sensibilities of your target audience. You never want people to think your project is in poor taste. Work aimed at certain religious or educational venues should not be accompanied by anything that alludes to rap or rock music. Just as image files should be selected so as not to offend, so should music be carefully screened. People react to different music in different ways. Make sure the music chosen will have the effect desired. If the idea is to entice viewers to a trade show booth, the style will be bright and happy. It should not, however, make listeners want to move, or they may move right on past the booth and defeat the whole purpose. Similarly, an educational video on conflict resolution probably should not feature music with overtones of aggression. The loops have to be part of the total package.

Music search must be begun early immaterial of the loops that you choose. Finding the right track can take quite a long time, and it may even take more time to acquire the rights to the music. There are times when you can use music specially recorded for the presentation if you are making the video for use in a school or church setting where musicians can be hired for a reasonable cost. Never use copyrighted material when you are selecting presentation music. Copyright does not confine itself to the use of a record and quite often even the tune and lyrics have a copyright for which a fee may require to be paid, unless the circumstances are unusual. So whenever you are looking at such music as a designer make sure that the copyright on the tune has expired or specifically ask for original music. There are original performances that are pre-recorded and meant to be sold specifically as presentation music and this avoids the issue of copyright.

If the piece is not composed by the person selling it then they will supply the purchaser with the required documentation required for the usage. This is one of the safest legal ways of getting the music. If you want to use presentation tracks which are pre-recorded, you should know where they can be found. Music which is available commercially could prove to be quite expensive, whereas work which is amateurish will not get you the effect which is required. Appropriate music is available for download at affordable rates from certain websites which specialize in such music. Some of the free stuff may not be so great, but there are composers who have created great music from single loops to entire music CDs which can fit ideally to your requirements. Each presentation should have an appropriate soundtrack which brings out the emphasis on the topic and sets the mood that the designers intended. Presentation music available online is great to create an impact and will be well within your budget. For great music loop go to: http://www.musicalvibe.net.

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How to Write and Design a Slide Presentation With OpenOffice Or NeoOffice Presentation Wizard

If you think you need to have MS PowerPoint to prepare a great presentation, I have to disagree respectfully. Actually there is a free alternative that does just as well, if not better.

OpenOffice (OO) and its Mac-version NeoOffice (NO) are two amazingly powerful and complete office suites with their built-in Presentation Program called Impress, which in my judgment is as good as MS PowerPoint. And… it also happens to be FREE. Search for “OpenOffice” and “NeoOffice” on the Google to download them from their respective sites.

Here is how to design and prepare a great Presentation by using OO or NO Presentation Wizard.

Select the Text Document option from the OO/NO menu to display the word processor.

Select File > Wizards > Presentation from the menu to display the Fax Wizard. (Note the Letter, Fax, Agenda, and Web Page wizards as well!)

Or alternatively, you can also directly select File > Presentation from the OO/NO menu. That also displays the same Presentation Wizard.

SCREEN 1:

On the first screen (numbered 1) of the Presentation Wizard you can select from one of the following three types of presentation: a) Empty Presentation, b) From Template, or c) “Open Existing Presentation.”

a) If you select Empty Presentation option on SCREEN 1, you click Next and move on to the other wizard screens. (See SCREEN 2)

b) If you select From Template option on SCREEN 1, the wizard allows you to select from one the two modest built-in business templates available: Introducing a New Product, and Recommendation of a Strategy.

This same screen allows you to select a Presentation Background as well: Dark Blue with Orang, or Subtle Accents (my personal favorite).

You then click Next and move on to the other wizard screens. (See SCREEN 2)

c) If you open an existing presentation, the wizard will allow you to browse for it on your hard drive. Once you select and open the presentation, the wizard will carry you to the full-fledged editing window of the Impress application.

There, just like in MS PowerPoint, you can select from a variety of Master Pages, make any text edits you want on any slide, include a dizzying array of graphic elements, call-outs, images, and even manipulate the images (like rotating, etc.) The number of things that you can do both to your presentation template and the individual slides themselves is too long and has to be experienced in person to be appreciated. (All that from a totally FREE application!)

NOTE: Both OO and NO open any MS PowerPoint presentation perfectly well, without any problem! And once you’re through, you can again save them in MS PowerPoint format and no one would ever know the difference.

Click Next to advance to the next screen.

SCREEN 2:

On the second screen (numbered 2) of the Presentation Wizard, you are allowed to select a Slide Design.

Here there’s a seeming-repetition that may confuse some users since the wizard again asks you to select a Presentation style and Presentation Background, the same options offered in SCREEN 1. However, that’s not a repetition of you ‘ve chosen the Empty Presentation option in the previous screen.

SCREEN 2 also allows you to select from one of the following Output Medium options: Original, Overhead sheet, Paper, Screen, Slide (my personal favorite).

Click Next to advance to the next screen.

SCREEN 3:

This is where the fun really begins because you get to choose from a bewildering variety of Transition Effects, yeaah!

The Effect drop-down list presents you with over two dozen transition options like “Wipe Down”, “Uncover Left”, “Wheel Clockwise, 3 Spokes” etc. If the Preview check-box under the mini-preview window is selected, you can actually see in real-time each of these effects as you select them!

The Speed drop-down list allows you to select one of the three available transition speeds: Slow, Medium, Fast.

After that you can also decide whether you’d like to advance from one slide to another by Default (manually), or Automatically.

If you select Automatic, then the wizard also allows you to select the Duration of Page and the Duration of Pause in between the slides.

Click Next to advance to the next screen.

SCREEN 4:

On the fourth screen (numbered 4) of the Presentation Wizard, you are allowed to type in the following general template information:

What is you name and the name of your company? What is the subject of your presentation? Any further ideas to be presented?

Click Next to advance to the next screen.

SCREEN 5:

On the fifth screen (numbered 5) of the Presentation Wizard, you’ll be able to select the pages that you’d like to display as a part of your presentation.

Depending on the combination of the choices you’ve made in the earlier screens, you will be presented a dynamic list of page options.

For example, if you select “Introducing a New Product” template in SCREEN 1, on SCREEN 5 you’ll have the following page options:

Title, Long-Term Goal, Customer Wishes, Fulfilling Customer Needs, Cost Analysis, Strengths and Advantages, Next Steps of Action.

If, on the other hand, you select “Recommendation of a Strategy” template in SCREEN 1, on SCREEN 5 you’ll have the following page options:

Title, Overview, Long-Term Goal, The Present Situation, Development Up to present, Potential Alternatives, and Recommendation.

NOTE: No matter which kind of page list you are presented, you can always select and un-select each individual page to further customize your slide presentation.

After making all these choices you click the Create button to go directly into the full-fledged editing window of Impress.

And once you are there you can more or less take every editing action that’s available in MS PowerPoint, including selecting from a variety of Master Pages, making text edits on any slide, including a dizzying array of graphic elements, call-outs, images, and you can even manipulate the images (like rotating, etc.) to suit your taste and needs.

This editing window further offers you the alternative to work in the following editing modes:

Normal, Outline, Notes, Handout, and Slide Sorter.

You have no idea how powerful and complete this free presentation program is until you use it.

When you are done, you can select File > Save As from your menu and save your presentation in over a dozen presentation formats including (but of course!) MS PowerPoint.

A perfect Presentation wizard and application from a fully-equipped office suite that costs you zilch, zero, nada.

Go ahead. Whip up that great Presentation in no time and impress both your boss and your audience today!