Okay, if you’re going to be online, at least spend your time on sites that that can offer more than Aunt Millie’s cat pictures or the latest Bill Lumbergh meme. Here are ten sites that we know will give you a good return on the time you spend browsing them:
This site, maintained by Microsoft PowerPoint MVP Geetesh Bajaj, is packed with great information, tutorials and news. Geetesh spends plenty of time looking at what’s coming next and lets his readers know what to expect. His interviews with industry leaders are especially useful.
Tips, tricks and podcasts from one of the most creatively engaged presentation design studios out there. Beautiful website.
Nuts & Bolts
Nuts & Bolts Speed Training focuses on making PowerPoint production faster and more productive. If you’re often under dire deadlines, you’ll find plenty of help here.
Another site with enough material to get lost in for quite a while. This one is targeted more to public speaking and presenting rather than actually creating the slides.
The Presentation Company
Interesting blog by a company that trains presenters to be better visual storytellers. Gets into both the nitty-gritty details of using PowerPoint as well as larger, more strategic presenting issues.
Edward Tufte Forum
Edward Tufte is one of the first and most influential designers to point out the need for, and the importance of, data visualization that is elegant, effective and beautiful. This is an old school, moderated discussion board. Tufte opens a topic for discussion and others can contribute their thoughts. If information design is your thing, you have to spend some time here.
PowerPoint Microsoft Community
Another message board, this one run by Microsoft specifically for PowerPoint. This is primarily a technical support forum so the focus is on figuring out how to get PowerPoint to do what you need it to do and on fixing things that have gone wrong. It can be useful to drop in once in a while to browse the most recent topics because you can often discover a trick or a fix that you don’t even know you’re going to need yet. Microsoft support engineers and PowerPoint MVPs are often active in this forum.
Twitter account of graphic designer and presentation consultant Tony Ramos (AKA The Presentationist). Tony is really good at finding internet tidbits that are of interest to anyone involved in making presentations. More importantly, when he goes off topic, you’re usually glad he did.
PolicyViz and HelpMeViz
In addition to his day job, Government economist Jonathan Schwabish conducts workshops on data visualization and presentation techniques. He also offers these two terrific sites dedicated to helping everyone improve their data visualization skills. PolicyViz has lots of great content including articles, style guides and podcasts. HelpMeViz is, I think, unique in that it invites designers to submit their visualizations for comments, suggestions and revision by Schwabish and visitors to the site.