Category Archives: kool stuff

How to create an effective professional PowerPoint presentation

Bringing old post back from dead courtesy

I have seen a lot of official presentations which are awfully boring and instead of conveying any message they confuse the audience. So when I had to deliver a presentation some days back, I did some research on how to create an effective PowerPoint Presentation; and here are my findings-

1. KISS your presentation. Ok, don’t create the presentation and then kiss the monitor. What I mean by KISS here is “Keep It Simple, Stupid (Sir :) )”. Yes, if you are creating a professional PowerPoint presentation, there is no place for flashy or cool looks.
2. Size of presentation should be controlled; very big presentations can bore the audience.
3. No over attracting backgrounds to the PowerPoint.
4. The background color and font color should be contrasting, so that text can be easily read.
5. Font selection: No designer fonts are recommended, simple Ariel, SanSerif, Verdana etc. should be good. Font Size should be big enough to read clearly, minimum of 22 or 24.
6. Consistency: Changing background, Fonts, Colors can be distracting.
7. Contents: Be precise; don’t give too much detail in your PowerPoint presentation. You can provide additional details separately if required; you can also provide online links in the presentation for detailed info.
8. Animations: No place for cool animations in a professional PowerPoint presentation, too many flying texts and images will distract the audience attention from the actual content. A simple Appear/disappear or similar plain animations should do.
9. Focus: Check for every slide where the default focus is. That is, it may be possible that the important information is on top-left part but the attention is occupied by some other portion as some image, useless text is displayed somewhere else.
Point to note for checking the slide’s focus

->Control font size: Font size can be very important in terms of attracting attention. The bigger the size, the more attention it will attract.
->Use lists to break the complex info in points format
->Make information appear on the screen when you need it. E.g. if there are 4 points (text or images) to be shown and you want to emphasize each point, make them appear one by one.
->Use graphs to simplify complex data.
->Use images and graphics to support your point as they can be memorized better than the words.

10. Finally take a look at your presentation as a viewer and see how others will perceive it. If you are not convinced with your slides, no way others can be influenced by the same.

Suggested readings

Originally posted March 28, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Downloading docx files as zip

Faced a weird issue with my new windows 7 laptop today. Whenever I downloaded a docx word document or pptx or xlsx it was getting saved as a zip file. The zip file had a lot of xml files. That reminded me how all the UI elements in windows are stored as xml files. So MS word is just a tool which will take these xml files and create the required document out of it.

But the question for me was how to open this zip file in MS word. The fluke I tried worked out for me that is, just change the extension. E.g. if you downloaded abc.docx, and while download the document got downloaded as, you just need to change the name of downloaded file back to abc.docx.

Interesting Java Facts

I am working with Java for more than 7 years now and still it surprises me with some very basic stuff

Can you guess what is the output of this statement in Java

System.out.println(1+2+” = “+1+2);


Why? Apparently Java starts treating everything as a String once it has encountered a string in System out statement

Creating a website, in less than an hour, for free

Over the weekend a friend discussed his idea of creating a web portal for some specific services with me. The failed entrepreneur in me liked his idea and encouraged him to go ahead (anyone, who is trying, should be encouraged). He shared some wireframes for his portal, but he was not sure how will it actually look on the web. So after returning home, I decided to get some basic version of the website up on the internet to help him. Resulting in the journey mentioned below.

Step 1: I knew I will have to share my email address with service providers (hosting space/ domain name etc.). And as I am looking for free stuff, it would be more than possible that I come across some fake websites. So I thought of creating a dummy email id which could be used to register to all these websites.

Step 2: Now I needed a domain name. I could buy, but as this was just a dummy site, why waste money. Next option is using subdomain from web hosting provider. Here I had to look for a free web hosting provider, and my past experience with free hosting providers is ‘don’t trust them’. The site can go down anytime without notice (its for free. What were you expecting?). So I thought of getting a free domain name, yes, a domain. I registered a domain with, which I could use with any service provider.

Step 3: Now I needed web hosting. I googled around some free web hosting sites, zeroed upon one (checked features and reviews), registered, and bam, it is not working. Moved to second one, registered, and this time it worked. It was I got Linux hosting with Apache, PHP, MYSQL. Basically all I needed, for free. I set up the nameservers for the domain and all is good. (Ofcourse I tried a hello world example, I am still the same old fashioned developer at heart).

Step 4: Now we have all set to host our web pages. I had the wireframe with me, and I had frontpage, I could easily create the HTML pages. BUT, from my past experience, I knew designing web pages is a sin for a developer (“Are you colorblind! Why are all the pages grey?”). So instead I pinged a designer friend and asked for some templates. Who suggested checking for free html/ php templates (you will find more interesting stuff on the forum, but handle with care :D). Ok so I had a template with me, now I needed to customize it for my pages. Actually this was the part which took most of the time. Once done! I just had to upload the pages to my website using ftp. And we are done.

Wasn’t it simple. If instead of a website you are trying to create a blog, you can simply upload the blogging software. Infact most of control panels come with blogging softwares, so that is actually simpler.

If you don’t have your website yet, what are you waiting for? Go ahead! Get your hands dirty.

Rakshabandhan and Future planning

Today is the festival of Rakshabandhan (haan wahi! jab behne bhai ki kalai pe pyaar, i mean rakhi bandhti hai aur unki jeb dhili karti hain). Almost on every year this day, the words of a 7 year old kid comes back to me. Even I was 7 at that time. Yes, some things you just can’t forget (20 saal ho gaye!). So that was the age when you talk to girls only if there is no other option (hoo jee! ladki se baat kar raha tha), and Rakshabandhan was one of those days. Anyways, girls were tying Rakhi to all the boys, and this dude, my friend at that time, was hiding in a corner. I asked him “Kyu be! tu kyu nahi bandhwa raha rakhi” and the reply was “Abey! rakhi bandhwaonga to ye meri behan ho jayegi. aur agar bade ho ke inme se kisi se meri shadi ho gayi to?”

Dude! that is some serious future planning. I am pretty sure this Guy has made big in his life.

Hidden Firefox feature?

I have been using the FF browser for like last 5 years, but this is the first time I observed this feature, that too accidentally. If you double click on the empty space on the bar next to your browser tabs, a new tab opens up.

There is no indication anywhere that a double click will open up a new blank tab. That is one kool thing I found in IE browser, that small box next to your last browser tab, which very clearly tells you “click me! I will open up a new tab”.

I guess that is what we call usability.

Election results and spicy media

Country’s election results are out today, and obviously all news channels were full of reports on the same. Every other news channel coming up with its own breaking news every second minute. “Sabse pehle humare channel par”.. you know that stuff

And ofcourse they would add some spice on their own. The most funny and amusing stuff was the songs they came up with for different politicians. For BJP leader Advani one channel played, “Chan se toote koi sapna, jag soona soona lage”, for Rahul Gandhi we had songs like “main hoon yuvraaj” and “yaha ke hum hai raajkumar”, and ofcourse for Manmohan Singh we had “singh is king”. These news channels do have a sense of humor.

But  amidst all this drama, one important thing that came out was victory of democracy. Predictions of all the channels for a hung assembly were proved wrong (well almost), and the country is hopefully heading towards a stable government.