PowerPoint Resource/Misc

PowerPoint Live Gotcha’s

PowerPoint Live is an amazing addition to presenting with PowerPoint. I am excited for the potential of this feature in use, especially with the sudden surge of online and remote meetings and conferences. As side note, just this week at TLC creative, a client conversation was about how to handle multiple languages for their meeting. At past, onsite events, there was translation booths at the back of the ballroom with translators providing live translation. But in the new virtual meeting world, this is a different process. I tossed out the idea that Microsoft’s new Presentation Live feature may be an option. Reading a transcription is not as powerful as translation, but PowerPoint Live is now a very easy-to-offer solution for a virtual meeting. No decision on this meeting yet, but this new feature has already made it into project conversations for me.

As great as PowerPoint Live is, there are many “gotchas” we have already discovered.

Setup and Logistics

You need to use an updated browser. Not only will Presentation Live not work, if you are the presenter, the option may not even be available. The official list of supported browsers is Microsoft Edge version 80+, Google Chrome version 72+, Mozilla Firefox version 68+, or Opera version 60+ on Windows or Mac. Currently Safari is not supported for presenters, but works fine for audience members.

The presenter must have a Microsoft 365 account, but the audience does not need a subscription, or need to be signed in to a Microsoft account to participate. But it’s not that easy.

There are two “share” options, my organization and anyone. The default setting for sharing a presentation is “Only People in my Organization.” This means anyone connecting to see the presentation will need to sign into their Microsoft 365 account to prove they are in the presenter’s organization. So much for the note about the audience does not even need a Microsoft account, now they need a Microsoft 365 account, with the same domain. 

To enable anyone, with or without a Microsoft account to watch the presentation, the presenter must change the audience option to “Anyone” (every time they start a presentation).

Running the Presentation

Presentations must run from PowerPoint Online. And PowerPoint Online has two options for the toolbar: Expanded Ribbon, which is more similar to the desktop app, and the Simplified Ribbon, which is a very streamlined set of options. The PRESENT LIVE button is in the SLIDE SHOW tab (which makes sense) on the Simplified Ribbon!

In the Expanded Ribbon, it’s more hidden. Go to the VIEW tab to find it.


When the presentation starts, you’ll see this Welcome Screen that allows audience members to join your presentation by just pointing their phone or tablet at the QR code (the process is easy and works flawlessly – even if I am not a fan of the cartoon like styling that does not align to my clients corporate style guide).

The slide show pop up tool bar has a new icon and options. Show the Welcome Screen again any time. Go to the Live Menu and select SHOW WELCOME SCREEN AGAIN.

You can also copy the URL link and send as a quick email or chat.

The audience has the option to send “Reactions”in real time while you are presenting (small emojis that float up on the presenter’s screen).

These only show up on the presenter’s screen. The audience viewing on their own devices do not see them. Of course, if the presenter is at a large meeting with the presentation on the screens, or if they are screen sharing their monitor, then everyone can see what you see, which includes the floating emojis. TIP: If you find the emoji reactions distracting or just don’t like seeing them, they can be turned off in the Live Menu (note that audience members can still send them; you just won’t see them).

Also important to note is the difference between pausing the presentation broadcast and ending the presentation session. You can pause the presentation any time you click away from PowerPoint. Pausing stops any animation and stops the live transcription. The presenter see this yellow band below the Ribbon:

The audience will see the last slide before the presentation was paused (so make it a good one!) and a notification that the presentation is paused.

ENDING a presentation clears the screen for anyone watching and the URL/QR code is no longer valid. The presenter needs to click the END SESSION button to truly end the presentation (vs. pause it). TIP: A presentation can be paused for 30 minutes, and then its broadcast auto-expires. There is also a countdown in the yellow notification bar. 

The Audience Perspective

Viewing a presentation on a cell phone can be portrait (vertical) or landscape (rotated to horizontal) orientation. We found  in landscape view, the transcription text seems finicky and does not always display on the screen.

One of the very exciting features is the ability for the audience to go back to a previous slide on their device, any time. Equally important is they cannot get ahead of the presenter and see upcoming slides. If the presenter goes back a few slides, everyone goes back a few slides. That slide is the ‘current slide’ no one can advance past, even if slides past it were shown earlier. When someone goes back to see an earlier slide, a CURRENT SLIDE button is active as a one click way to quickly get in sync with the presenter.

Warning: you may accidentally scare someone! Presentation Live tries to be helpful, but I feel showing the audience how many slides are in the deck may be a scare for some. As example, you have a sales deck of 400 slides, but the presentation is only using 20 of them. The audience sees the total number at 400 (and they fear a ‘death by PowerPoint’ meeting is happening)!

Also be aware, everyone will know where you are (sort of). Again, maybe this is a little too helpful. Presentation Live displays what your local time is (or is this the local time of the person viewing? – something I need to test). To me, this makes it easy for the audience to calculate how long you have been on each slide…

TIP: a mobile device screen is small. Good news, viewers can zoom in on the slides! Pinch to zoom is supported. 

Let everyone know they can turn off the transcription feature – they are in control of that. It is in the language selection dialog, on the audience interface, and they can turn off transcription.

Evaluations and feedback. Yes, every audience member is shown a Microsoft feedback form (no we cannot change its content – or styling – or turn it off). Don’t worry, Microsoft is not keeping your presentation evaluations. Presenters receive an email after the presentation with the feedback (see previous posts for an example). The Microsoft Forms are not kept on Microsoft servers for long, I believe under 10 days. 

Final Thoughts

Last, and perhaps the biggest question to those new to PowerPoint Live (oh wait, it’s brand new – that’s all of us!), is; what is ‘present live’? What is presentation live? What is PowerPoint Live Presentations? I feel Microsoft does an overall poor job in naming products (how many different services are called the same name; Skype, OneDrive, Office 365, Windows…). Maybe someone noticed this trend and decided to go in the opposite direction? Now we have 1 feature with three different names… For the record, the official name of the live presentation feature is PowerPoint Live Presentations, but it goes by the shorthand of PowerPoint Live. And ‘present live’ is the action you take to begin your live presentation.


Troy @ TLC

PowerPoint Resource/Misc

How to Present with Presentation Live

PowerPoint’s Live Presentations are bound to be a game changer for virtual and remote meetings. As promised, today is about the process of setting up a Live Presentation.

Currently the presentation must be open in PowerPoint online (I am hopeful that the ability to open a OneDrive/Teams hosted presentation in desktop PowerPoint will be an option soon). TIP: to move a file to OneDrive and open in PowerPoint online, here is a very quick how-to: Open the presentation, go to File > Share > Share with People, and enter your Office email if PowerPoint is not logged in to your profile. Go to, find your presentation, and open in PowerPoint online.

In PowerPoint online, use the SIMPLIFIED RIBBON (more on this in the next post). Go to the SLIDE SHOW tab. Then go to PRESENT LIVE drop down menu. Choose between either Only people in your organization for added security and private meetings, or Anyone for a larger audience that may not be signed in to your organization.

Click Present Live and you’re live! A PowerPoint live screen will overlay the presentation. This is the QR code attendees can scan, or the URL to add to a browser. The “___ have joined” is a nice addition and provides a nice analytic. Stay on this page for as long as needed to ensure everyone gets in. Click anywhere on the slide and the welcome screen is removed and displays slide 1 of the presentation.

 TIP: display the welcome screen and QR code any time during the presentation. In the pop up Slideshow Toolbar in the lower left, click the “Live” button and choose “Show Welcome Screen again.” Or use the copy the link to email or message it to anyone.

People viewing the presentation do not need a Microsoft 365 subscription. If viewing on a mobile device, they need at least iOS version 11, or Android version 8. Presenters must run from an updated version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera. TIP: Safari will not run a Presentation Live presentation, but it can be viewed on Safari. And PowerPoint Live, for both presenting and viewing, works on both Windows and Mac.

Come back to the next post, which is a list of potential “gotchas” to be aware of with Presentation Live.

Troy @ TLC

PowerPoint Resource/Misc

PowerPoint Presentation Live is LIVE!

A feature I’ve been excited for since the Microsoft team first teased it to the MVPs last year is finally here. Microsoft has been taunting us with the new Live Presentations feature, and it’s ready for you to try out – just in time for all the virtual meetings and conferences going on!

So what is it? PowerPoint Live Presentations is a new way to share a PowerPoint presentation. The presenter can now put the presentation right on their audiences’ devices. And it adds some new presentation capabilities for the audience. Anyone invited can watch the presentation you are presenting live on their mobile device or computer screen, they can go back to see any previously-presented slides (but not get ahead of you), give live feedback, and most amazing, see live transcription of your presentation – in virtual any language! And each person viewing can choose the language of their choice for the transcription!!

On the next post I am going to walk through the process of starting a presentation as a Live Presentation. But the basics are:

  • Presenters must have a Microsoft 365 subscription
  • The presentation must present from PowerPoint online (note: truly run PowerPoint only, not a OneDrive presentation opened in the desktop app or Teams)
  • Any viewing does not need a Microsoft 365 subscription (yay!)
  • The viewer just needs the QR code or URL (see the next post for how to and a demo)

The viewing/audience experience:

  • During the presentation, the slides display and update in real time
  • It is slides and voice, no webcam
  • Everyone watching can independently view previous slides (but can’t go past the slide you’re currently on)
  • Everyone watching can choose 1 of 60+ languages to have your talk automatically, and in very close to real time, transcription
  • The audience can “react” to each slide with a set of emojis such as “thumbs up,” “laughing,” or “puzzled” that appear briefly on the presenter’s screen (I am not certain I see this feature liked in professional corporate presentations, but it is going to be a hit with those younger than me!) 

After the presentation ends:

  • The audience screen pops up a short survey with categories such as Slide Design and Speaker Skills
  • The presenter receives an email with a summary of the feedback; how many reactions, which slide received the most reactions, and the audience evaluation (anonymous and compiled)

The live transcription, available in 60+ languages, is a technology marvel. I have the opportunity to be a part of several corporate meetings each year that have live audio translation. While the Presentation Live transcription is not going to replace that, it is amazing and will make presentations far more accessible to multiple language audiences.  The Presentation Live transcription is text only, not audio. It is fast, I would say pretty good, and in our internal tests, the bilingual members of our TLC creative team said that the other languages are pretty spot on.

We’re pretty exited about the capabilities and possibilities of PowerPoint Live Presentations. Stay tuned as we spend the next few posts going more in depth on the Presentation Live features!

Troy @ TLC


Isometric Design and 3D Models

The term “isometric” seems like it can be used interchangeably with “3D,” but they are slightly different forms of adding dimension to an object.

Here is a demo we created (using PowerPoint of course), that goes through some of similarities and differences between a 3D model and an isometric illustration.

Isometric design appears dimensional, but it’s “fake” 3D, as it’s not based on a true 3D model like the cube in the video (callout to Jake who created the 3D model for this post). The lines of shapes are angled at 33°, but you cannot show any other view of the isometric illustration without drawing a version. The 3D model, on the other hand, is easy to manipulate and move around in PowerPoint. 

Along with not being able to show different sides of the isometric illustration, you can’t show the bottom either. This is consistent among pretty much all isometric designs. However, this, along with the consistent 33° angle, allows all isometric drawings to align and connect seamlessly if you’re building a larger illustration.


Podcast Episode 104: Remote Presenting Update

A new episode of The Presentation Podcast is available today! Join Troy, Sandy and Nolan as they have a lively conversation about the many remote presenting projects and presentations they have been involved with over the past few weeks.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud – or search The Presentation Podcast for “How are the Remote Presentation Meetings Going?” or go direct to the episode page here:


Portfolio Resource/Misc

Our Isometric Bar Chart Process

For our Creative Challenge #5, the design team utilized Isometric Illustration for the collaborative bar chart. If you’re unfamiliar, isometric illustration is a type of 3D drawing perspective that is based on using 30-degree angles. By using the same scale for every axis, the image remains proportional and non-distorted. Isometric design also creates a uniform footprint for elements so they are interchangeable with other elements and provide a consistent layout perspective across elements, and slides. For this project, the isometric layout guaranteed that each designers art for their assigned country would appear consistent and uniform with all of the other elements. The bar chart bars also were based on the same isometric 30-degree angle perspective.

In the previous blog posts on our COVID Design Challenge #5, you saw that one of the main goals was to collaborate through Microsoft Teams. This included dividing up the bar chart by country: each designer was assigned one country to create isometric artwork for.  Here is an example of design process of one building, and country “tile”. Kelli on our design team was assigned Iceland – pretty fun, until she realized there aren’t a lot of isometric designs out there for Icelandic landmarks! So, she made her own! Here is a walk through of her design process:

Kelli identified this building, the Hallgrímskirkja Church in Iceland, as a notable and recognizable landmark:

Hallgrímskirkja church : Reykjavik : Travel Guide : Nordic Visitor

(Image courtesy of Nordic Visitor Iceland)

Beautiful – and very complex! Kelli broke down her design process for turning this Icelandic landmark into an Isometric illustration.

  1. Original vector artwork she created
  2. Sheared the artwork at a -30° angle
  3. Reversed the center part to create the main tower
  4. Sheared and adjusted the top of the tower to make it dimensional
  5. Built out the curved “wings” of the building
  6. Added the back part of the building

The Hallgrímskirkja Church was integrated into her version of the Iceland landscape and set atop one of the bars in the chart assigned to her. 


What is the TLC Creative Design Challenge #5?

With a whole month of COVID Challenges under the team’s belt, it seemed time to work on something more timely! Building off the previous design challenge (where our design team worked from files hosted in a Microsoft Teams team), we decided to explore the collaborative features of Microsoft Teams even more. The TLC Design Team was sent this prompt (via a designated channel in Teams!) to start the week:

Welcome to Challenge 5! In the Files tab, you’ll see a single slide with a chart comparing the number of COVID-19 tests performed to date with the number of confirmed cases being reported. Each of you will pick one country and design those two bars of the chart. The goal is to focus on two things: design (do something amazingly creative with your piece of the chart) and communication (work together as a team to determine how you’re going to go about sharing the work). 

Key takeaways: the final design will be just 1 slide that all 6 designers worked on, and it will all be done with Microsoft Teams’ collaborative environment.

This is what our designer team was given to work with (in Microsoft Teams, of course):

Check back in a couple days for the incredible results!


Tabs in PowerPoint

It’s official: PowerPoint has made its first major addition the Ribbon interface since its inception with PPT 2007. The addition provides no additional functionality, but it does greatly speed up production and design! It is the seemly simple, but wonderful, tabs for the right action pane, called “Tabbed Panes.”    

As a task pane is opened, a tab for it is included along the right column. To change which tab is available, click the icons. Tabs are not closed unless you click the X icon. Tabs include: Format, Animation, Selection Pane, Comments, and Version History.

There are a few things to note with this added feature: first, you must have 2 or more task panes open to see the tabs; just one will appear just as it always has. Also, there is a nice interface to allow side-by-side view of multiple tabs you select (as example, I often have the animation and selection pane tabs open side-by-side when working on a complex animation). View the tab you want on the “left” and select “move out of tab”.

It is still possible to make any pane undock and become free floating (as example, to place on a second monitor).

However you choose to arrange your panels, here’s a tip: to navigate to a pane with keyboard, double-tap press F6 – first to focus on the active pane, and second to focus on the tab icons. Use the up/down arrow keys to select different tabs, and then press enter to bring them to front.

This is a great update that increases the usability of PowerPoint even more. However, I have a few questions in to Microsoft: What is the official name of these “tabs”? When were they added? How do we see multiple task panes side-by-side now (It is common to have the animation and selection panes open at the same time)? Can the tabs be preset to be present when PPT is launched?

Reference information:

Troy @ TLC


Podcast Episode 103 is Available Today!

A new episode of The Presentation Podcast is available today! Troy, Nolan and Sandy talk with Jackie Gartner-Schmidt in depth about how the voice works and provide tips for presenters (rappers, sport enthusiasts and more). Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify and Soundcloud – or search The Presentation Podcast for “Presenting with Your Voice (w/ Jackie Gartner-Schmidt of Voice Now)” or go direct to the episode page here:



Using Microsoft Teams – a Real World User 1-Sheet

TLC Creative has been using Microsoft Teams extensively. We are sharing this info packed 1-sheet we created. It is how to use Microsoft Teams as a real-world user. Download the PDF and send us a note on if it was helpful.

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