Tuesday, 28 January 2014

PDF - Professional Document Format

I recently received a newsletter from an organisation, sent as a .doc.

Quick tip here for anyone sending out reports or newsletters: always send them as a PDF, never as a .doc.

A PDF is like taking a photograph of a document. It will look the same on any computer, regardless of differences in software or operating systems. Also, no one can tamper with the content because it is a read-only file.

A .doc is likely to lose its formatting on different computers. The above is an example of what this newsletter looked like when I tried to view it. The pictures had moved across the text, making it impossible to read.

If you're using Word, you can simply go to your file options and Prepare / PDF (Portable Document Format)

Or you can download a free programme such as CutePDF which, once installed, appears under your printer options and then asks you where you would like to save the document.

So, when sending professional documents, always think Professional Document Format = PDF.

Printing to a PDF from Word

Friday, 24 January 2014

Narrating PowerPoint Presentations

A while back I covered how to create PowerPoint handouts for training. Here's another useful tool, where you can narrate, or voice-over, your presentations. 

This is useful for creating volunteer and staff resources, as well as public presentations which you can upload to something like SlideShare or put on your website to get your organisation's name out there.

This video is quite detailed but the basic steps are simple:

  • Click on the slide you want to narrate
  • Select the Slide Show tab
  • Select Record Narration
  • Set the microphone level and then click OK
  • It will ask you whether you wish to start at the beginning of the presentation or the slide you're on.
  • Once you select this, it will open the slide
  • Record your narration

If there are animations on the slide, click the next button as you would if you were giving the presentation live. When you have finished, hit escape and it will ask you if you wish to save your narration. When you save, it will save the animation timings as well as the narration, so that the whole thing plays back together.

All slides with narration have a little sound icon in the bottom right. You can click on this and delete to remove the narration and record a new one.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Population Growth - Don't Panic

First aired on the BBC on 7th of November 2013, this is one of the most brilliant studies on population growth ever. It also says a lot about data interpretation and social bias, holding on to outdated beliefs about how society and population develop.

You can also find it on Hans Rosling's Gap Minder site, using Vimeo. the quality might be a bit better.

It's also worth checking out my previous post on World Peace.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Charity Commission Updates

If you run a charity, or you're involved in the Third Sector in England & Wales, it's a good idea to sign up to receive Charity Commission updates online. You'll receive occasional e-mails outlining any major changes that might affect your organisation, changes to the management of the Commission, and notification of any major investigations they are conducting.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Funding in Scotland

Last year the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) took its database of funders offline in order to revamp.

According to their website, it's re-launching this year, but will only be available to SCVO members, not publically searchable like it was before.

The up side is that it's free to join SCVO until you have a turnover of £25,000. Membership gives you access to the database and lots of other useful training and information, including legal advice.  You can find out everything about membership online.

If you'd like to stay up-to-date on when the new funding database will be open, you can sign up to their e-list.

It's a similar service as England & Wales' NCVO, although their Funding Central database is open to the public.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Development of Human Empathy

We left off last year with a roundup of the positive change going on in the world. I'd like to start this year with a look at the positive change going on in our minds. 2014 - bring it.