Create Your Own PowerPoint Background

Kindle CoverSince research has proven that most of us learn better with visual aids, I’ve created a short video to show you how to create your own PowerPoint background theme. It really isn’t that complicated, once you know how. Let me know how you enjoy the video. Click Create Your Own PowerPoint Background for the video.    

Ruler, Gridlines and Guides, Oh My

Rulers, Guides and Gridlines with lionThe above mentioned tools are found on the View Ribbon in the Show Group. In the image you see here I’ve checked off all three items to be shown. The Ruler is visible in the gray area at the top and on the left. The Gridlines form the small squares you see and the darker vertical and horizontal center lines are the Guides. To center the lion image all I really needed were the Guides. However, if I were adding more images or objects the Gridlines would be very helpful in positioning them.

Though I find the Guides and Gridlines very helpful, I also find them distracting, so when I’m not using them I simply uncheck their boxes and they go away. When I need them again I know where to find them.

Next time I’ll tell you how to make it look like you have both portrait and landscape oriented slides in the same presentation.

If there’s something you want to know how to do in PowerPoint, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Do You Know How to Combine A Text Box and Picture to Create A New Picture?

As promised in my last post, this post will be about combining a picture and a text box. I’m going to operate on the belief that you know how to insert a picture and a text box into a slide and that your difficulty comes from bringing the two together.

Ares no pictures please 20 March 2014 blog







  1. If your text box is hidden behind your picture, drag the picture out of the way enough to be able to see at least part of the text box.
  2. Make certain the picture is selected and then in the Picture Tools Ribbon click the drop down arrow next to the words Send Backward.
  3. In the menu that appears click on Send to back. All of your text box should now be visible.
  4. Click on the text box and drag it to the location where you want it on the picture. Once it’s positioned, while it’s still selected, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click on the picture. Now both the text box and the picture are selected.
  5. In the Arrange Group on your Picture Tools Ribbon click the drop down next to the word Group and from the menu that appears click on the word Group. You have now made the picture and the text a single image.
  6. Right click on this new image and from the menu that appears click on Save as Picture.
  7. When you save this new picture pay attention to the File Type that you’re saving it as, the two most common are JPEG and PNG.

My next post will address the advantages of using the Ruler, Gridlines and Guides.

POWERPOINT: The Tool People Love to Hate

PowerPoint is the software many people love to hate. They know they need to do presentations using it but they can’t quite figure out the mechanics of using it efficiently.
Everyone I talk to that uses this software has a different issue with it. For some folks they choose a theme and then decide they like everything about that theme except the font. So they spend a lot of time going through every slide and changing the font style on each slide individually. Other people have issues with getting text to show up on a picture they’ve inserted. The list goes on and on with things that users know you can do with PowerPoint and yet they can’t figure out how to make it do what they want.
Today I’m going to solve one of those problems for you. I’m going to walk you through a quick process for changing the font style on every slide in your presentation without doing it slide by slide.

  1. Go to your View Ribbon
  2. Click on Slide Master
  3. Select the text in the first slide in the left navigation pane
  4. Go to your Home Ribbon
  5. Choose the font you want to have in your presentation
  6. Click on the Slide Master tab to return to that ribbon
  7. Save and close Slide Master

Image 7-7

This is a seven step process that should only take a few minutes to perform.
In my next blog I’ll explain how to easily place a text box on a picture and make it part of the picture.


I just finished listening to the replay of a webinar that I missed attending. The topic was Secrets to Kindle Success. It was targeted toward non-fiction authors; however, I’m sure I’ll be able to use some of the information when I write my next fiction book as well.

Do you sign up for webinars or classes of any kind and then not attend? That’s the great thing about technology almost every webinar I’ve ever signed up to attend, records the event and provides a replay for those who missed it and for those who couldn’t write fast enough to take effective notes.

I love to learn new things, all kinds of new things. For example, this past Saturday I completed a class called Modern HTML Boot Camp. Does this mean that I’m going to start writing HTML code? Doubtful at best. However, when my blog or something on my website isn’t coming out the way I want it to, maybe I can switch from the WYSIWYG editor to the HTML editor and fix whatever isn’t working the way I want it to work.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Take a Detour

Da Vinci Metal Rolling Mahcine small
The last couple of weeks have derailed my momentum in maintaining this blog; however, I’m getting back on track.
I suppose that a little detour is needed every now and then.
One of the things that disrupted my routine was adjusting my schedule so that I could go to a museum that is a 2 ½ hour drive from home. Until September 2, 2013 the Elliott Museum in Stuart FL has an interactive exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci’s machines. He was an amazing individual. The machines he created with the resources he had available to him are mind boggling.
The picture is of a replica of a machine he designed to roll and stretch metal. This same system is still used today.
One of the coolest things about this exhibit is that you can actually touch the machines and see how they operate. So many times when one goes to a museum they won’t even allow you to take pictures much less handle items in the exhibit. Being able to operate some of his machines was the icing on the cake for me.
At the Elliott Museum they said when the exhibit leaves them it’s headed back to Italy to be refurbished before being sent to another museum. If you can get to see it before it leaves the Elliott Museum go for it. If you don’t get to see it before it leaves, I highly recommend that you do a Google search and find out where and when it will be close enough for you to get to it. For me it was well worth rearranging my work schedule and the five hour round trip drive.

Competitor or Colleague?

Ares Face to FaceI was at a networking meeting this morning and the topic of discussion was competition and how you think about and deal with your business competition.

As a Coach, I don’t think of other Coaches as my competitors. Even if they are offering the same type of coaching, perhaps they’re even focusing on my particular niche, it doesn’t matter. People who hire the other Coach are doing so because for whatever reason that Coach is a better fit for them. It could simply be that their personalities are better suited to work together. Or maybe they have had similar life experiences. Those people who hire me will do so because we’re a good fit for one another.

Let’s face it, unless the product or service you’re offering isn’t offered by anyone else, anywhere in the world what people are really buying is YOU. People want to do business with those people and businesses that they like, feel they know and trust.

I’m no different than anyone else when it comes to this issue and it doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs and smaller businesses. On the level of national corporations it’s the same. It used to be that I only patronized a certain home improvement store. Then it got where when I went into that store I felt abandoned because it was so hard to find anyone that worked there and if I did find an employee, they either didn’t know the answer or their customer service skills were in need of improvement. So I started going to the other major home improvement store. The customer service was wonderful and I didn’t feel like I was an annoyance when I asked questions. Now the only time I go to the other home improvement store is if they’re having a sale on something I need and I can’t get it at my regular store.

When your business is smaller and you deal with your clients/customers on a more personal level you have more control over the way your company is perceived. You are the face and the personality of your company. If someone hires me instead of you, it’s nothing against you and vice versa. If someone hires you instead of me, it’s most likely because they feel they have a better connection with you.

Just imagine how boring things would be if we were all alike.

How do you deal with those businesses that are in your same line of work? Do you look upon them as stealing your customers? Or do you view them as colleagues?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Are You Self-Destructive?

Purple flower Most of us would instantly answer, no. However, if I rephrase the question your answer might change.

Do you have someone in your life that makes you crazy? In the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron she refers to them as Crazymakers.

Just in case you’re not sure what I mean by a Crazymaker here’s a brief description of this individual.
A Crazymaker is an individual who no matter the circumstances everything is all about them. They MUST be the center of attention in every situation. I know your first thought is probably, “Oh, she’s talking about Drama Queens.” No, not really because Drama Queens/Kings aren’t usually manipulative. They just want to be the center of attention. The energy they create with their drama might be negative but it could just as easily be positive.

Crazymakers feed off of the negative energy they create around them. This is an individual who is an expert manipulator of others. They know all the right buttons to push to send your emotions careening out of control. No matter what you tell them about your boundaries and how sincere they sound when they say they will respect your boundaries, they will not respect your boundaries. On top of that when they violate your boundaries they will find a way to make it your fault.

Knowing you have a Crazymaker in your life and continuing to allow them to ride rough shod over your life is a choice you make. If you make the choice to allow them to continue to make you crazy, then you are being self-destructive.

Continuing to allow a Crazymaker to run your life is less scary to some people than taking responsibility for their life and being in control.

You may ask how I can say that having this type of personality in your life makes you self-destructive. So let’s look one example of how a Crazymaker can damage your life.

CM will be the name of our Crazymaker and I’ll use V as the name of CM’s willing victim.
V has told CM that tomorrow is a big day for her. It’s the day the V is having an interview with her boss to see if V will get to head a big project that’s coming up. If V gets to head this project it will mean a pay raise and it will put her in line for future projects. V has made a point of telling CM that she’s going to make sure she gets a good night’s sleep so she’ll be well-rested and fresh in the morning. At 3 AM V’s phone rings. CM is on the other end. CM is all apologies but CM needs V to help her with a problem. It could be anything from a relationship issue to needing a ride from the club because CM’s had too much to drink and doesn’t have cab fare. It really doesn’t matter what the excuse for the call is, the reality is that it has served its purpose. V’s sleep has been disrupted and V will not be at her best when she goes to that meeting with her boss. V’s failure to land the project leader position will be negative energy that will feed CM. If at some point V should have the nerve to say something to CM about her ruining V’s chances at the project leader position, CM will most likely come right back with something like, “It’s your own fault. I mean if you hadn’t answered the phone I’d have called someone else.”

If you have a Crazymaker in your life the best thing you can do for yourself is to acknowledge the problem and then seek help. Whether you read a book by an expert in co-dependency or you find help through a professional counselor, get help because it’s either find help or plan on this Crazymaker running your life.

The Crazymaker is a type of Vampire; however, this Vampire doesn’t feed off of human blood. This particular type of Vampire feeds off of negative energy that they create in the lives of those around them.

You have to decide are you going to continue to feed your Crazymaker Vampire or are you going to take control of your life. Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Program Yourself for Success

Last week I told you ‘we are what we think we are’. That statement begs the question, what do you think you are?
Are you a mess? Are you stupid? Are you intelligent? Are you capable? Do you have the ability to learn new things? Are you able to move forward and adapt to change or is the next wave of change going to drown you?
With last week’s statement, ‘we are what we think we are’, in mind stop and think about how you talk to yourself.
Even saying negative things about yourself in jest is detrimental to your self-image. Most of us aren’t even aware of the programming our subconscious received as we were growing up and what we think of ourselves isn’t always a pleasant thing to think about. Of course, when it’s not a pleasant thing to think about is when you really do need to think about it. You need to do more than think about it.
To achieve the self-confidence that will provide you with the success you want, it’s essential to figure out why you have such a low opinion of yourself. Once you have figured out why you have low self-esteem and low self-confidence, then you can begin to reprogram your subconscious with a better opinion of you.
Regardless of what you have been in the past, you are not that person any more. The past is gone and the best we can hope for is to learn from it, so that we can use those lessons to make our present and our future better.
If you’re reading this there’s a reason the universe brought you to this article. You needed to hear that the programming from your past can be changed. You can change it, if you choose to do so. Yes, it’s that simple. I didn’t say it was easy, I said it was simple. A great many things that are simple are a far cry from easy. Although in all reality it really isn’t that hard to reprogram your subconscious once you’ve decided to do so.
Leave your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.