Presentation Software and Graphic Suites: Illustrator, PowerPoint & CorelDraw

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  • 0:05 Making a Report Come Alive
  • 0:54 Presentation Software
  • 2:25 Illustration Software
  • 4:51 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Zandbergen

Paul has a PhD from the University of British Columbia and has taught Geographic Information Systems, statistics and computer programming for 15 years.

To make an impact on your audience, you not only need a strong message, you also need strong visuals. Learn how presentation and illustration software helps you make an impact when showing your work.

Making a Report Come Alive

Imagine you are on your first job as an analyst in the marketing department of an organization. Your first assignment is to create a marketing plan for a new product. So, you spend the next six weeks crafting an outstanding plan. Once you're done, you deliver a 40-page report to your manager. She says, 'Looks great. Why don't you give a summary presentation to the team tomorrow?'

Now what? Are you going to hand out a copy of the plan to everyone and then just talk about it? Not everyone has time or interest to read your entire plan. How are you going to convey your key messages in a 10-minute presentation? How are you going to show that complicated flowchart you created to illustrate your strategy? You turn to presentation and illustration software.

Presentation Software

Presentation software allows you to organize the most important information into a series of slides. During your presentation, these slides will be projected to a screen so the audience can see them. Slides will contain text and illustrations, but only as much as the audience can absorb in the short amount of time that it will be shown during your presentation.

So, you're going to summarize your 40-page plan in a small amount of text and illustrations that fit on a few slides. Your text and illustrations can be created from scratch within the presentation software, but it is common to bring in text from a word processing application and images from illustration and photo editing software. There are a number of different types of presentation software. One of the most widely used ones is PowerPoint, which is part of Microsoft Office. Another one is Impress, which is part of OpenOffice by Apache. Finally, there is Keynote, which is part of iWork by Apple.

During your actual presentation, you can use the software to present a slideshow. This shows your slides at full screen without any of the regular software menus or tools. Typically, your presentation is shown on a wall or projection screen using an LCD projector connected to your computer. You can manually navigate through your slides, or you can set a timer for how long each slide should be shown.

Software created slideshows are an interesting way information can be presented.
Slide Show Created by Software

Illustration Software

When creating a report using word processing applications or a presentation using presentation software, you may want to include some illustrations. Presentations, in particular, will become much more interesting when you have effective visuals. You can create your own visuals using illustration software. Illustration software allows you to create and edit different types of illustrations.

You can work with many different types of visuals, but the most common one is known as vector graphics. What this means is that illustrations are created using line work. In technical terms, you use points, lines, curves and shapes to create the illustration. Vector graphics are in contrast to bitmap or raster files, which consist of pixels.

For example, if you are manipulating a digital photograph, you are working with raster. If you are creating visuals by drawing lines and shapes, you are using vector. When you see a photo-realistic illustration that is not actually a photograph, the illustration typically consists of very detailed line work - hundreds or thousands of lines.

Vector graphics are created by using lines and shapes.
Vector Graphic Components

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