May 12, 2011

Winners of free subscription to fotolia

As you are aware, 2 free subscriptions to fotolia were up for grabs (worth almost $200 each). Of all the emails received the two lucky winners chosen randomly are:

Ary Faddila
and Epikhina Anna

Congrats to both of you. I will email your subscription details soon. Have fun with fotolia.

For those of you interested in knowing how I chose winner names 'randomly', here is the secret. It's pretty simple actually. Write down the names of all the candidates in excel sheet from top to bottom. Then allot them serial numbers. Assume there are 5 candidates (as below).

You now need to generate a random number between 1 and 5. Type this formula in another cell =RANDBETWEEN(1,5). Press enter and a random number will be generated. If 3 comes, then Lionel Messi is the winner. Type the formula again and press enter, it will again generate a random number between 1 and 5. It's that simple.

You still with me? Liking this randomness thing...
Then let me ask you a question. What happens if we do =rand() in MS PowerPoint?
Don't know? Then open a text box and type this. See what happens. Play with randomness.

May 9, 2011

[Hurry Up] Get free subscription to fotolia worth $200

In my last post I reviewed fotolia, an excellent stock images website. A website where you can buy professional quality images for presentations at extremely affordable rates.

Now you have a chance to try the website for free. Yes, you read it right. FREE. On my special request, I have got 2 free subscriptions for my readers. All you need to do is to write an email to vivek [at] allaboutpresentations [dot] com and ask for it. Please do not leave a comment. Just send me an email.

The subscription will be valid for 15 days from the date of first login and you can download 3 images per day. This means 45 high resolution images in all (atleast worth $200*). You are surely going to love this.

I will randomly choose 2 winners from all the emails I receive till May 11, 2011 (Wednesday). What are you waiting for? Shoot me an email now.

Tip: Once you get the subscription, download 3 images every day and use the 45 images for life.

May 7, 2011

fotolia: excellent website for royalty-free images for presentations

We all use images in our presentations and most of us have our favourite sources as well. I have shared some links with you earlier. Websites where you can get good images for free.

The problem with these websites is that they are very few in number and have a limited collection. Some websites allow you to download for free (if you share their link) but the resolution is poor.

The solution to all of this is to buy professional images (like the one above). It is worth it. You get extremely high resolution images, plenty of options and they are also affordable.

There are presentations where stakes are high and we need to give our best. We need to have professional slides and we cannot make a compromise with low resolution images. That's the time when these paid websites come good. It's also a good option when you are short of time because these websites have millions of images and search time gets reduced.

If your stakes are low and you have a lot of time at hand, manage with 'free sites' but when you are making an investor presentation or a crucial sales presentation or any other important presentation I strongly recommend you to buy images from a good website.

One such website is fotolia. I came to know of it when I was asked to review the website for which I got a months' subscription free. The best part is, I got this free subscription just when I was starting to prepare for my first Ignite presentation. Ignite for me was a high stake situation and fotolia was just what I wanted.

At fotolia you can buy royalty free stock images which you can use in your presentations and websites. There are no restrictions on the use of images once you have bought them (except that you can't resell the image; check out their terms before you buy; they allow reselling if you pay more). You can use images without having to share any link (attribution).

The website has a large collection of images and I found it to be quite fantastic. The quality and type of images is excellent; thoroughly professional. There are those regular standard images which all stock images sites have but then are there are some gems; overall the collection is great. fotolia is a resource and what you will get out of it depends on how you use it. Your search keywords hold the key.

How to search fotolia?

You can search for images by typing in a 'keyword'. You can also choose to browse through the collection. When I was making my Ignite presentation, I used 8 images from fotolia. One such image was for the slide 'appeal to emotions'.

Sample Search

I wanted an image for my slide 'appeal to emotions'. I searched for the keyword 'baby' (because I feel a smiling baby appeals to our emotions). From the first list of around 50 images I chose an image which I liked.

Once you click on the image, you need to decide what resolution you want. I suggest you go for an image which is atleast 1 or 2 megapixel. The image I chose was 2000 pixels x 1334 pixels (2.7 MP). A large image is always a safer option. You can enlarge it and crop it. You can even stretch it to cover the entire slide without worrying about it getting blurred.

What else does fotolia have?

Other than regular photographs, it has illustrations, vectors and videos. Illustrations are images which are drawn and they are not real photographs (see the bird's image on the right). These are ideal for creating website icons. Vectors are images used by professional designers (Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator compatible) and we will not worry about these. fotolia also has short videos which you can download and use in presentations. They cost a bit more though.

How much do the photographs cost?

This is the most crucial bit. You need to first buy credits by paying certain amount upfront. To buy an image you need to use these credits. The higher the resolution the more you have to pay. On an average a high resolution image will cost you $5 to $6. The lower resolution can come as cheap as $1.

I recommend you check out this website. When you have your next important presentation, buy credits, download high resolution images and make your presentation awesome.