Combine PowerPoint Animations, Transitions, and Video to Create an Ad

After speaking engagements, I like to walk around with my iPhone and iRig microphone to capture testimonials. This video is from a recent conference, Society of Government Meeting Professionals, I created portions of this video in PowerPoint with animations and slide transitions (in PowerPoint 2010, you can render directly to video).
I pulled the PowerPoint video into my editing software (Camtasia) and added music and the testimonial videos from my iPhone (I’d added all that to PowerPoint, but it kept crashing). I’ll send this to attendees and my conference host.
Check it out and let me know what you think.

Learn Three (Or More) Ways to Use PowerPoint That You Have Not Thought Of – GUARANTEED (with video)

Eyes glaze over when I start talking about how I use PowerPoint for more than just slides. In the video below, I’ve compiled about a dozen examples of my favorite uses for this wonderful software that gets such a bum rap. At the end of the video, you’ll see links to some tutorials. I’m absolutely positive that you’re going to go “Ahhhh. Now why didn’t I think of that?”

If you like these ideas, let me know by leaving a comment. If you have some more ideas, by all means, share that with us too.

And if you LOVE this type of creativity, click to SHARE with your online network.

This video is available in HD. Click the wheel-like icon near the YouTube logo to change, especially if you go full screen.


How to Promote Your Events Using the Internet

I’m helping a client develop ways he can market an upcoming conference using the Web. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with so far.

Create a detailed Website with seminar descriptions, speaker photos, bios. Give visitors and people who want to help you promote your event something to link to. Consider creating a separate Website for the event.

Create a group blog and get all speakers to contribute articles to it. Also create an RSS feed using a site such as

Create banner buttons (called blog bling) in different sizes that every registrant, exhibitor, speaker, and volunteer can post on their Website or blog. If you create an affiliate program where members will get paid when people click their link, that’s even better.

Event TV
Create a TV channel on and have speakers contribute any appropriate videos. Also add video from previous events. In addition to having a TV channel on YouTube, my blog has one that I created at (see the SUITE TV tab above).

Press Releases
Create an online press release to announce the event. Also create separate releases to announce each speaker and sponsor. I pay a flat monthly fee ($14.00) and use to create multiple releases that include videos. A free service is Every time something new happens, send a release.

Also write a press release template so all speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors can send out on their own.

Conduct seminars via the Web with some of your speakers to give just a taste of what attendees can expert. Record everything and publish that too.

Set up a free call on demand for up to 150 people and three hours at

Create a radio show for free but please use a professional radio interviewer (free service is or

Social Media

Twitter. Create a conference Twitter account to keep everyone updated.

Also for Twitter, create a hashtag and encourage everyone to always add it to any tweets when they mention the event. For more information on hashtags, visit

To find the tweets that mention your hashtag, go to and type your tag in the search box. Put the resulting URL on your Website and blog. Also create an RSS feed using a site such as

Be sure to explain hashtags on your site and at the event. Encourage people to tweet before, during, and after the event.

CommunitiesExisting. Post your events, start discussions, and relay news on LinkedIn.

Communities-Create. Use various free services to create communities so attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors can create profiles, post articles/blog posts, and interact with each other (e.g.,, Facebook profile group (up to 5,000 people can join), Facebook page, Collectivex). You can also create your own group on LinkedIn.


Advertising – Comcast Cable. Create Comcast cable commercial and air in major markets. (Kim McClure, a former TV producer, can create your commercial if you need one (very economical). Contact her at 770/559- 2361.)

Email Campaign. Create email campaigns with tips from speakers and ads from sponsors. I use iContact for my email campaigns. And I set it up so that every blog post I write can go out via RSS. You can also create autoresponders set up to go out to your subscribers at pre-defined intervals.

I’ll update this list as I develop more ideas. Let me know if you have any other suggestions by leaving a comment below.

P.S. Check out my ebook, Shameless Self-Promotion: Do-It-Yourself PR. Get Found Online. You’ll learn all about how I receive national publicity all the time because I  show up on the first page of Google and other search engines. When journalists and potential clients are searching for my expertise (personal productivity expert, time management expert, email expert), I’m there on the first page and never paid one red cent with pay per click.

I also have a seminar based on this topic, and I travel internationally.

The 35-page ebook is available for immediate download on my Website for only $77.00 ( You’ll also have access to my national TV producer list.

Your purchase includes:

  • FREE updates emailed directly to you.
  • 24/7/365 online access to my national media database (television producers for Oprah, The View, and more).
  • Teleseminars (I had a teleseminar for purchasers of my ebook that went over so well I’m creating a podcast titled SuiteTalk. Stay tuned.)


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Easier Blogging Using WYSIWYG Interface: Windows Live Writer from Microsoft

From a previous post, you’ll come to understand why I’m delighted to work with my new self-hosted WordPress blog. My main issue with it though is the clumsiness with formatting, adding graphics, etc. It isn’t smooth and simple enough.

But Microsoft is continuing to think, and they’re currently offering a free solution that has reduced my aggravation. It’s Windows Live Writer (WLW) and is currently in beta. I don’t have to be online to write my blog posts, and it’s an easier interface that is as slick as creating a document in Word. Get Windows Live Writer here (it’s not Web-based so you’ll have to download it to your computer).

After you download this free software, you’ll have to set up access to your blog. Click Weblog, Add Weblog Account, Another weblog service, enter all of the appropriate information.

It didn’t work.

I logged into my WordPress blog and clicked Settings, Writing. Under the Remote Publishing section, I ticked the XML-RPC box.

After all this was set up, I created this blog entry using WLW. Using this software is very intuitive…just start clicking and you’ll soon figure out how to work with it. Click to Publish and that’s it! Love it! If you’ve been updating your blog directly in WordPress and you decide to try WLW, you’re going to see why I’m so happy!

One more thing, YouTube has several tutorials on how to use WLW.

Update: For a detailed article on the advantages of using Windows Live Writer, see the Contextures blog written by Excel expert, Debra Dalgleish.

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Peggy Duncan, Time Management Expert

Upgrade Your Blog Image and Functionality

I wrote a recent article for SCORE Association’s blog on the process I went through to convert a free Blogger blog and a free WordPress blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog. And I am so glad I did.

I want my blog to be viral with you linking to it, downloading my blidget (the Widget in the right sidebar that lists recent posts and updates automatically every time I add more), and spreading the word by clicking any of the social icons at the end of each post. And I wanted a more interesting design with better choices.

I can have all these things with a self-hosted WordPress blog. Click here to read the details of what I went through. I hope you’ll pick up a tip or three that will save you some time.

Peggy Duncan, Time Management Expert

Promote Your Own Products and Services on Your Blog

I was in a meeting recently with a group of solopreneurs. We pulled up each other’s blog and talked about each one. The most important thing I walked away with was this: since the purpose of my blog is to share helpful information and not about making money from ads, I should create Web banners and promote my own stuff. And stop advertising my competition’s training (from Google ads).

I always had pictures of my books, but I hadn’t considered promoting my training (other than mentioning it in an article).

So I removed the few Google ads from my blog and used PowerPoint to create my Web banners. As you look around this blog, I’m advertising my hands-on workshops, Webinars, and consulting services. The banners link to my Website that has more details.

So if you’re just making pennies from Google Ads, try advertising your own products and/or services and see how it goes. Let me know.

P.S. Check out my PowerPoint class on how to use it to create marketing collateral.

It’s also available as a Webinar. And here is a blog entry “Create interesting art projects with PowerPoint.”

Peggy Duncan, Time Management Expert

How to Create Buzz About You, Your Business

People say they “see me” everywhere. I am a solopreneur, but I have a powerful, international marketing machine in place.

I create buzz using the following methods.

  • My blog. I didn’t jump on the blog bandwagon right away because I’d been publishing a Webzine for years. Now I’m hooked. The best thing about the blog for me is that every time I think of something, I have somewhere to write and publish…unlike my Webzine that only comes out once a quarter. I installed a free widget in my blog that monitors traffic to my blog. Feedjit lets me know where people are coming from and what they typed in the search engine to find an article. I am delighted that people from all over the world are finding my articles.
  • Webzine (more free tips). I started a Webzine in 2001 and published regularly until 2008 because the blog works better for showing up in the search engines.
  • eSeminars (global training via the Web). I conduct seminars via the Web on getting organized and conquering email overload with Outlook. I’ve taught people in England, the Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Companies have also signed up for private sessions for their employees. I’m going to do more of these in 2008.
  • Article submissions to popular Websites. I’m a regular contributor to the stress-related site on When my site doesn’t show up in the search engine, my articles on will. I also have articles published at (this doesn’t show up in search engines as my blog and but it’s still worth it).
  • Media publicity. Journalists contact me all the time. I’m interviewed at least once a week. They find me in the search engines and other publications. I also respond to journalist queries. PRLEADS is a publicity service, and for $99 per month, journalist queries come to your Inbox, you respond, maybe get press. A free query service, HelpAReporterOut works too. I also train journalists and media executives so more of them know who I am and what I’m about. I also publish my own press releases. Note: it is important to show up in the search engines by your topic…not your name…they don’t know your name!
  • Seminars at national conferences. This is my main source of income (usually leads to corporate training gigs too). I love huge audiences and am enjoying building a national reputation.  Check out my schedule on my Website.
  • Workshops open to the public. As a computer trainer, I have to keep my skills up and nothing does that better than conducting hands-on workshops for busy people. I publicize these workshops on my Website and other event sites. I started these sessions to help small business owners who couldn’t afford to bring me to their organizations. As it turns out, corporate employees from companies such as The Home Depot, Hewlett-Packard, Estee Lauder, etc., are enrolling…works for me!
  • Association with credible organizations. I am a SCORE volunteer, and I teach classes at Georgia Tech for faculty and staff on how to get organized.

All these things boost my search engine rankings and help to feed the buzz. I love the fact that when you type in my expertise or training topics in any major search engine, I show up on the first pages. And I never paid one red cent to make it happen.

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Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert

Six Pages Many Small Business Websites Overlook

As you create or update your Website, make sure you have the right content that makes it easy for visitors to find everything they need. Below are some examples of pages to add that are often overlooked (or properly done).

Media Room
Why it’s important
– 80% of business is marketing and PR is a great way to get free publicity. The media room gives a journalist everything they need including your media history, sample articles, topics, high resolution photos, company news.

Why it’s overlooked – Small businesses often don’t realize the power of PR and how being mentioned in the media gives you credibility. You have a third party citing your expertise and you’re able to reach audiences you never would have otherwise.

How to create – You’d create it as you would any page, putting a link to it somewhere on the homepage, either as a main tab or on a drop-down menu.

News Room
Why it’s important
– The News Room is where companies should post news about the company. You’ll write media releases and post them whether you distribute them or not. Some items are not newsworthy and wouldn’t pique a journalist’s interests, but having the information on the Website will give you an opportunity to use your key words in articles. This will help your site show up in search engines and may give journalists ideas for stories.

Why it’s overlooked and how to create – Same as given for the Media Room.

Contact Us
This page isn’t overlooked, but it’s underutilized. I don’t know where the notion of putting only a contact form on a page came from. It should be easy for a potential customer or client to contact you. A contact form is so impersonal, whereas, a page with your complete address (it’s OK not to put this if you work from home and rarely need people to mail something to you), phone number, email address, hours of operations, etc., is so much more inviting. (The About Us page usually has the same problem. There is not enough detail about who the people in the business are and how you’re different from the competition.)

On my Contact Us page, I also provide links to pages for my main contacts (meeting planners and journalists).

Why it’s underutilized – This page is underutilized because people do what they see the majority of other people do without thinking it through.

Tips with Way to Opt-In to Email List
Why it’s important – Great content makes your Website sticky, and the longer you keep their attention, the more likely they are to buy. It also makes people tell other people, and gives everyone a reason to come back. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to stay connected. Collect their email addresses so you can continue  delivering value to people who like what you do.

Why it’s overlooked – They might not think they have tips to share, or might not write well.

How to create – This section of the Website could be a newsletter or tips page. You should give away a lot of free stuff…nothing that would cost you money to give away but things that add tremendous value. For instance, when you sign up for my private email list, you’ll receive regular computer tips, templates to help you get organized, a time management cheat sheet, and more. This page should include a database form for capturing email addresses. The opt-in graphic is on every page of my Website and at this link.

I created my sign-up form and maintain my email list using iContact.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why it’s important
– This page will help potential customers or clients get answers to common questions. They won’t have to take time to call you and you won’t have to handle a lot of inquiries with these common questions.

Why it’s overlooked – You just didn’t think to do it.

How to create – You should make a list of common questions people ask with answers anyone could understand. On the Webpage, you’ll create a list of these questions and create hyperlinks to the bookmarked answers. This page should be kept updated as people ask new questions.

Raving Fans
Why it’s important – People want to know how real people feel about your product or service. They will believe what others say far more than what you say about yourself.

How to create – Ask for them first. After my seminars, I’ll circulate an evaluation that has a space for a testimonial. However, the best ones come from people who email me later. (Always get their consent before you post. I also sprinkle these gems throughout other pages.)

P.S. If you’re a speaker or trainer, add a Meeting Room that has everything a planner will need before and after they hire you. Here’s mine to use as a guide.


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Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert