There’s So Much Cool Stuff You Can Do With PowerPoint

PowerPoint: The Great Visual Aid to What You’re Saying

PowerPoint online training course
Save densely-worded slides for university lecture rooms: keep PowerPoint slides concise and use your presentation as a way of illustrating or highlighting what you’re saying.

Many people don’t realise what an excellent design tool PowerPoint is. It can be used for a lot more than just creating slideshows and presentations and is a great marketing and design tool for all kinds of business functions.

Generally speaking, when using PowerPoint, you should feature only one idea to a slide. A PowerPoint presentation is not an essay. It shouldn’t be filled with verbose text (unless perhaps you’re in a university lecture). In fact, as you will learn in our updated PowerPoint Training Course, sometimes a PowerPoint slide shouldn’t contain any text at all, or at least, very little.

PowerPoint presentations that are going to be used as a visual aid should do just that: visually aid the audience through your presentation. It shouldn’t contain your speaking points and you shouldn’t recite from it verbatim. Ideally, you should treat it as a source of further information (or illustration) for the oral portion of the presentation.

Illustrate your points

Use shapes to illustrate information, rather than bullet points.

Okay, in a perfect world, there’d only be one idea per slide, but PowerPoint presentations are tedious enough to create, without having to use a new slide every time something we wanted to articulate contained a subtopic or, more likely, a few subtopics.

But rather than using tried and trusted (*zzzz*) bullet points, try to illustrate the points and use a small amount of text to give more detail. For example, if you’re presenting your company’s latest financial results, rather than writing out how much revenue each department generated, include a pie chart or graph to illustrate this for you.

Shape your points

If there isn’t any way to easily illustrate your points, use shapes and textboxes instead. This breaks up the monotony of a slide filled with bullet points and makes the information you’re presenting easier to digest.

It’ll make it easier for your audience to take notes, without missing any of the spoken part of your presentation. It’s also easier on the eyes, since it breaks up all the white space on your slide.

If you must use bullet points…

Sometimes there’s no escaping it, we get it. Even though we’re not fond of bullet points in PowerPoint presentations, they’re sometimes unavoidable. So don’t worry, we still teach you how to use them in our PowerPoint Training Course. We even use them ourselves.

If you must use bullet points, dress them up with shapes and backgrounds.

If you must use bullet points in your presentation, try to use them in an interesting way. Put them inside a shape, change the background of your slide, or do both!

The key to a PowerPoint presentation that really pops is knowing how to use every function PowerPoint has to offer. That way, you’ll never have to settle on bullets when there’s a more creative option available.

Brush up on your PowerPoint skills, or learn how you can use PowerPoint to create your own Online Induction Training courses, with our PowerPoint Training Course.


PowerPoint — Use it for Facebook and other social media

Powerpoint Online Training for Facebook and social media
Not sure how to create videos and movies on social media? PowerPoint does all of this – you can then upload them to social media, such as Facebook and YouTube.

Did you know you can use PowerPoint with social media? We already know you can create modern, eye-catching and memorable presentations and slideshows with PowerPoint but you can also make movies and videos, animations and advertising graphics. These can then be published on an array of social media, including Facebook and YouTube.

Check out our Facebook Online Training Course and other social media course packages.


 

You’ve Already Got a Business Coach – YOU!

being your own boss
Every time you set goals and generally act like a boss, you’re serving much the same function as a business coach.

Ever since EzyLearn’s early days, when we still had our training centres in Sydney, I’ve always gained a real buzz out of helping our students start their own businesses. I still do, which is why I recently presented a seminar at the Reinvent Your Career Expo and why EzyLearn has partnered with the StartUp Academy.

The StartUp Academy is a start-up incubator for entrepreneurs who want to work in industries currently experiencing rapid growth — like the work health and safety industry, for example — but who also want to have balance in their home and work life; to be their own bosses.

EzyLearn has chosen to partner with the StartUp Academy because I love the idea of giving entrepreneurs the support they need — not just to start their business — but to continue to support and coach those entrepreneurs, even once their business is established.

Training and Coaching

In many ways, I see this as an extension of what we’re already doing at EzyLearn, but with the focus on business coaching. I’ve never really considered myself a coach, even though I am in the training business and love helping small businesses, whether in bookkeeping, website design, administration, or any other field, to become more profitable and successful. The more I think about what coaching is, though, the more I realise many people are already business coaches.

Just this week, I sat down with one of my employees and we nutted out a plan for the week, which included some goals we wanted to achieve and strategies for achieving them. This is coaching. Being a boss and setting goals for your business, yourself and your staff (if you have any) — and then holding yourself accountable by ensuring you achieve them —  is business coaching.

Bosses are Business Coaches

A fundamental part of being a successful business owner is planning and setting goals, which is something I’ve talked about on this blog before and which we cover in the Small Business Management course. If you can set goals for your business and work out strategies to achieve them — and then ensure you achieve them — you’re not just your own boss, you’re also your own business coach.

Perhaps the hardest and scariest part, though, is the start-up phase. Not every business owner hits the ground running. In fact, most entrepreneurs don’t. The StartUp Academy knows that most entrepreneurs, when they have to go it alone, make mistakes, which is why they provide all the training and support entrepreneurs need to avoid most of the mistakes new business owners make.

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If you’re reading this blog, it’s because you’re interested in the idea of being your own boss, and you’re not one to shy away from setting goals and being responsible for achieving them. So if you’re looking for a low-risk business opportunity, I recommend having a look at the opportunities currently being offered by the StartUp Academy, and perhaps one day we’ll get to work together.

— Steve Slisar: CEO, EzyLearn

Pricing: Are You Being a Con Artist Without Knowing It?

It doesn't pay to sneak around your pricing; stating it up front is a better way to go.
It doesn’t pay to sneak around your pricing; stating it up front is a better way to go.

A short while back we wrote a post about why your final price should include GST, and just recently we talked about how you should structure your prices, so we thought we would add to these and talk about whether you should make your prices freely available on your website.

The internet has changed the way we do many things. It’s changed the way we bank, communicate and work, but if there’s one thing it’s almost entirely revolutionised it’s the way we shop — particularly the way we shop for professional services.

Divulging Your Prices

With the internet at our fingertips — on our computers, smartphones and tablets — we can quickly search any business, any time we like. It’s the first thing most of us do before we pick up the phone to call that business, so it makes sense to provide as much information on your website to encourage people to actually make that call.

Yet, many businesses do not. The most common thing missing from a company’s website: the price. This isn’t uncommon in professional services sector. But it doesn’t mean it’s right, either.

There is not a single business that doesn’t have a basic price structure set out for each service they offer, whether they’re an accountant or a plumber — and, frankly, any business that doesn’t is not a very successful one.

Subject to Change Pricing

Even if your prices are subject to change based on the additional services your clients require, put that basic price on your website and mention the fees for each additional service.

You’ll not only establish a point of difference between you and your competitors, but it also demonstrates transparency. Your potential customers know that they’re not going to get a different price depending on the time of day or day of the week they call you.

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At the end of the day, unless you’re hiding something, there is no reason why you shouldn’t put your prices on your website. We cover pricing in depth in our Small Business Management Course.

Be Loved by Google: Use WordPress!

why-google-loves-wordpress
There are many benefits to creating your website with WordPress – and Google loves it too.

Although our flagship training course is our online MYOB training course, EzyLearn also offers a number of other training courses, such as our Small Business Management Course and our WordPress Design Course. WordPress has become one of the most popular free and open-source content management systems in the world and is used by nearly 19 percent of the top 10 million websites, according to Forbes magazine.

WordPress Benefits

What makes WordPress so popular, especially among small businesses, is that you can edit and update content whenever you like. You can select from a number of pre-existing themes, or install a custom-made theme to use for your website. There are also a number of plugins available to WordPress, like Google Analytics, which allows you to track and analyse the traffic visiting your site.

Until far too recently, creating a website for your business was often a costly and daunting exercise. While large organisations typically had in-house web developers and SEO experts, many small businesses retained the services of external web developers.

If you didn’t need to make any changes to your website, this was usually fine. Your web designer would create your website and it was all systems go. But as Google has changed the algorithms that are used to index websites, preferring web pages that are constantly updated, it’s become more necessary to update your website — and often — in order to appear relevant to Google.

The Need to be Googled

Google, the verb, was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006, and is defined as “using the Google search engine to obtain information about something or someone on the World Wide Web.” Thus, it’s necessary to ensure your website appears in Google, so people can google you.

To do this you need to update your content, and frequently. This could involve creating new web pages, or regularly maintaining a blog. However, paying a web designer to upload and publish new content on website on a daily basis is not cost-effective, which is why WordPress has become so popular.

But there are other practical reasons to create and manage your own WordPress website. If you change your business address, or telephone number, you can quickly and easily update those details immediately — rather than waiting until your web designer has the time.

You’d be surprised how many businesses show their incorrect building address or telephone numbers on their websites, because they don’t have an easily updated website. And for each customer who calls, or can’t find that business at their address, that’s a customer they’ve lost to their competitor.

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If your business’ website is not currently easy-to-update, consider using one of the world’s most popular content management systems, and take our WordPress training course today.

How Would You Like to Earn a Share of $237 Billion?

Want a share of $237 billion? If you're in business it's up for grabs!
Want a share of $237 billion? If you’re in online business it’s up for grabs!

If you spent money on Christmas pressies recently, you’re a small part in the continual climb of online trading in this country. Did you know that in 2012, the value of online trading in Australia reached $237 billion dollars? This represents a 25 percent increase year-on-year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This increase in online revenue reflects the growing number of small businesses moving their operations online, either in part or entirely — and it’s largely thanks to new technologies facilitating e-commerce for small business.

The Growth of Online Businesses

Prior to 2006 the online marketplace was all but monopolised by the eBays and Amazons, organisations that had the resources to create the necessary infrastructure needed to allow customers to shop entirely online. After 2006, when we first moved our MYOB training courses online, offering a completely online shopping experience was just starting to gain popularity among the small players like ourselves; in the years since, it’s now pretty much become the norm.

As platforms like WordPress have made it possible to create and maintain a website without any design or HTML knowledge, theme clubs like Woo Themes, which provide web-themes to suit a range of different business types, now even include ecommerce plugins that can be linked with a PayPal account.

By offering you services online, you’re opening yourself up to an entirely global customer base, allowing you to offer new or different services than you did before. Since we moved our business online, we’ve also been able to build on our business — this year we added the highly popular Small Business Management Course to our suite of training courses, for example.

For some businesses, moving online is more of a necessity, a way to stay competitive in a world with ever-evolving technologies. For example, new cloud accounting software like Reach (and we offer a course in Reach Accounting too) makes it easier for small businesses to manage their own books, without needing the services of a bookkeeper.

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For many bookkeepers this could spell doom and gloom, or it could provide them with the opportunity to venture into the business of training people on how to manage their own books. As a bookkeeper looking to extend their services into training as well, by setting up a website with an e-commerce facility, you could partner with us to sell vouchers to our training courses.

With a share of $237 billion up for grabs, now is a good time to consider offering your services online, particularly when it’s become so darn easy! We even offer WordPress training courses, which covers setting up ecommerce, so you’ve no excuse for missing out!

Is a website more important than your shop or warehouse?

123ezy website design and hosting services for cheap websitesI’ve recently attended some business building and networking events and have been fascinated at the number of people who speak about the importance good first impressions and having a professional website. What’s most amazing is that many of these people have a website that hasn’t changed in 2 years!

This is amazing because there are some very powerful and free website content management systems (CMS’s) like WordPress and Joomla and very inexpensive but professional templates (also called themes) where all you need to do is add hosting and a domain name and you have a website that you can change whenever you want. You can also easily update the news section of your website (usually called a blog these days).

The most important thing about a website though is that it is often the first time potential customers get to know something about you and how you operate your business. Your warehouse and office are things that they may never see, plus, you can use your website to give them some important information that makes them buy from you straight away.

Our WordPress course contains all the training you need to setup a professional website and start adding and modifying the images and words when and as you please. Plus, we have cheap student hosting through 123ezy online services. If you are an MYOB student that wants to start their own business, this is the next course you should take.

 

Fantastic WordPress website template themes

You can download free WordPress templates, you can design them yourself using Artisteer or you can download them for $50-$150 each. I found someone who creates them, offers support and allows you to use any of the theme templates he has created for $19.95 per year. Even if you just use it to purchase one template you like, the offer made by this company is the way that dedicated and committed businesses should be working.

I started out just using free templates because I didn’t know what I was looking for and I didn’t know how to use WordPress properly, plus, I was using a different sitebuilder for most of my websites anyway. Then I looked at some of the professional WordPress templates available and didn’t like the idea of paying $75 for an excellent theme from Press75 because I figured I may not like it in 6 months, OR I wouldn’t be able to get all the features working properly. Instead I purchased Artisteer because I realised I could take any template and customise it completely! I was in complete control. In reality, I then spent a lot of time using Artisteer and realised that I didn’t want to design many of my own prefessional templates, I simply wanted to find one that was created by a professional and customise it for my own websites.

I had to find a business that creates professional looking WordPress template themes, would allow me to use a variety of themes they had created and all at a price that was impossible to refuse. I found Elegant Themes by Nick Roach and I’m amazed at how easy he has made it to use any of his themes and how little he charges. Visit his website to see the WordPress themes available: http://bit.ly/aCLCsg

Follow this blog to find out how I went to install and start using the features of the eVid theme…

Getting social with your website

Social media seems to be on everyone’s lips today, especially if you work in the area of websites and internet marketing. The biggest names on the Internet at the moment: Google, Twitter and Facebook area all into it, but what does it mean for your business and it’s website?

I’ve just had the pleasure of spending several hours on a Sunday learning about TwitterFeed, an application that allows you to connect your blog (that’s what you are currently reading) to Twitter and Facebook accounts (and Pages for Facebook). This article is a test to see if it works. If it does, then a new tweet will be created at any nominated Twitter accounts and also on any nominated Facebook Pages.

If it does work the greatest benefit is that you don’t need to create all the Wall comments (facebook) and Tweets manually because TwitterFeed will do it. All you need to do is write the article.

8 hours later… Yep, it worked. A tweet at www.twitter.com/ezylearn was created with a link to the article and a post in our Facebook Page was also created. What does it mean? Simply that when you write and publish your blog post, announcements are automatically made on any Twitter profiles and Facebook pages you manage.

Website and marketing campaign up and running in one day

With all the right information (content) and systems in place, you can setup a website, optimise it for search engines and create a Google Adwords campaign in one day. Doesn’t that sound nice?

An experienced 123ezy website designer can setup a website for you using the sitebuilder (so you can log in at any time to make changes), create a Google account, create a Google Adwords campaign and get your business online quickly. Your consultant can also code up your 123ezy website with Google Analytics code so that you can measure your statistics from your Google Account interface.

To learn more about what is included in a 123ezy website hosting solution, visit this link: http://www.123ezy.com/website_designer/page_whats_included_whats_included.html

If you’d like to book a consultation remember that it comes with a one month followup on the phone to go through and see how successful the campaign has been. For more information, follow this link: http://www.123ezy.com/website_designer/page_education_consulting.html

A/B testing for 123ezy websites

How do you know what to put on your websites home page? Do people respond better to an image of an elderly couple or a sweet young lady, do they want to see a lot of text and options or a simple interface? You can now answer these questions with A/B testing on your website.

We decided to a simple experiment using Google Website Optimiser and 123ezy website. We created three different variations of the home page including the original page and our objective was to compared the results of each variation. The goal of course was to get new website visitors to the registration page of our online learning section of the website and Google Website Optimiser was able to keep track of the entry pages that people viewed and if they ended up going to the registration page.

Google Website Optimiser for 123ezy website
Google Website Optimiser for 123ezy website

This diagram shows that both new variations of the home (seniors and community) provided a 37% higher chance of success than the original home page.

This is a great way to see what your potential clients like the most on your website and it’s a great way to prove to yourself how your clients like your website to look.

Use social bookmarking and email referrals to make yourself popular

Do you have a website? Want visitors to tell their friends about it? Social Bookmarking is the new way of spreading the word about your website (ie. business). I wrote an article in July 2008 (click here to see) about how quickly word can spread, especially when website visitors can let all their friends know about your website using websites like Facebook, MySpace and other not so well known but still important websites like dig.com, reddit.com etc.  Continue reading Use social bookmarking and email referrals to make yourself popular

Google Customised Search Engine for your own 123ezy website

Creating a customised search engine for your own website is simple with 123ezy websites and Google. The special script made available by Google is called “Customised Search Engine” and you can put a search box on your own site that only searches your “own” site (or couple sites if you have a couple).

Take a look at how it works…. Visit www.ezylearn.com.au and you’ll notice the Search Box at the top of each page (in the page header). Type some text in this box, something like “Email Newsletter” and then press Enter (or click the search button) and you’ll be taken to a different page in your website that shows the search results. Ads do appear in the search results, but you can pay Google $100 per year and they will no longer appear if you really don’t want to see your competitors ads appearing.

The best part of it is that this facility is provided free by Google and the 123ezy website allows you to accomodate the code easily and quickly. Notice that it also takes people to other pages within your website and allows them to search for any text that they want to…

If you want to get a little fancy, you can actually link this search to your Google Adsense account and make money every time someone clicks on one of your competitors advertisements. But we’ll talk about that another time…

Finally, you may have noticed that when you entered the search string and pressed Enter, that search results appeared from several different websites. This is because we asked Google to search all the websites that work with EzyLearn, including Maxis Solutions in Chatswood and Steve Slisar in the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

If you want some helps setting Google Customised Search Engine on your website, please feel free to call EzyLearn on 1300 888 869 or send an email to support@123ezy.com.au.