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Video — Renovate Communication Design, LLC

BTS 002: How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes

Ever wondered if there was an easier way to listen to spoken word audio or audiobooks with iTunes? This Behind the Slides video tutorial shows you how in just a few simple steps.

If you’d like to see the steps listed out, just click over here.

How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes

With the forthcoming release of Presentation Renovation as an audiobook, we’re going to show you how you can convert those MP3 files into an audiobook with iTunes. Actually, the same process works for any audio files you have in iTunes. It’s easy and can be done in just a few seconds.

First, why would you want to do this? When iTunes recognizes your audio files as part of an audiobook, it organizes them in Books section of your iTunes library instead of the Music section. You can also tell iTunes to mark the place where you finished listening, helpful when you have to stop listening someplace in the middle of a chapter. Last, if you have an iPhone or iPod, you can speed up or slow down the playback of audiobook files as well as skip ahead or back 15 seconds (at least, in version 6 of iOS).

I’ll list out the steps below and then show you a tutorial video at the end of the post. Let’s get to it.

Step Zero: Change Audio File Names (If Necessary)

To ensure that your book chapters play in sequence, make sure the files are numbered in order: something like 01 Chapter 1, 02 Chapter 2, etc. We’ve already done this for Presentation Renovation but that may not be the case with other books you want to import. IMPORTANT: when you change the file name, leave the file extension (the few characters after the period–probably MP3 or AAC) as it is.

How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Step One: Import the Audio into iTunes

Add the audio files to iTunes by dragging them into the iTunes window or by using File | Add to Library command from iTunes.

Step Two: Find the Files in iTunes

By default, the audio will be imported into the Music section of your library. You can use the “Search” box in the upper right portion of the iTunes window to find your files. In this case, type Renovate. Since you’re not likely to have anything else in your library with the word “Renovate,” the files will be easy to locate.

How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Step Three: Select the Files and access the Get Info menu

Click the first file in the list, hold SHIFT, then click the last file in the list. This will select the files. Place your mouse in the selected files, then right-click and choose Get Info (or select Get Info from the File menu). You’ll get a prompt to confirm that you’re editing multiple files. Click Yes.

Step Four: Change Genre to Audiobook

In the Information window, set the Genre to Audiobook (if this is already set , you won’t need to do it).

How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Step Five: Add Cover Artwork

In that same window, you can add a cover to your book by simply dragging an image file onto the Artwork field. Want to add the Renovate logo to your book? Click here to get it.

How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Step Six: Set Audiobook Options

Click the Options tab at the top of the Information window. Here you’ll make two changes: set Media Kind to Audiobook and set Remember position to Yes. Click OK.

How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Step Seven: Listen and Enjoy

Your files will now be listed under the Books section of your iTunes library. Once you transfer the files to your iPhone or iPod, you’ll see them listed under Audiobooks.

How to Create an Audiobook in iTunes - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

Step Eight: Watch the Tutorial Video

Maybe it’s easier to show you how to do this. If so, the video’s for you.

Make better presentations with the Presentation Renovation eBook

BTS 001: How to Build Interest in Your Presentation with Contrast (Video)

Today we’re excited to announce Behind the Slides, our video/podcast that helps you make better presentations. This series is about more than just making attractive slides. You’ll also learn effective messaging and delivery techniques that will help you stand out.

In this first episode, you’ll learn why contrast in a presentation is important and how to apply contrast in your message, visuals, and presence with some simple techniques.

If you find this video helpful, please leave us a comment below. And we’d love to hear from you if you have an idea or a question for an upcoming blog post or episode of Behind the Slides.

Have you signed up for our FREE newsletter or eBook yet? Get presentation tips delivered to your inbox and learn an approach for building presentations that will move your audience to act.


Case Study: How to Sell a New Product with a Presentation

Every business faces a common problem when marketing a new product: how do we show our prospective customers how this meets their needs?

This was the problem that a recent client, Integrity Data, hired us to help them solve.

Integrity Data creates software for Microsoft Dynamics GP (a payroll and human resources product for businesses) as well as other applications. The company recently introduced U-LINC, a product that ties together a company’s databases and other business applications. U-LINC automatically lets managers know what’s going on inside the company–as much or as little as they want–and enables them to regulate the actions of users. For example, if a user tries to modify a vendor account record in the database, U-LINC could notify the manager of the change and give the manager the option to approve the change.

While the innards of U-LINC are much more powerful and sophisticated than what I’ve described, our job was to take that complexity and explain it simply.

Integrity Data’s marketing director, Marleen, asked us to design an introduction and conclusion for their U-LINC PowerPoint sales presentation. The presentation already had a good product demonstration at its core but Marleen wanted a stronger start and finish. The slides would be used by the sales team for both in-person presentations as well as online webinars.

A typical approach to marketing a new product would be to list the product’s features: it’s bigger, faster, newer, comes in red. A better approach is to show potential users how the product will benefit them: makes your life easier or saves you money.

A still better approach is to tell a story.

Why story?

Stories engage us emotionally and inspire us to act.

As Chip and Dan Heath point out in Made to Stick, Subway’s advertisements that feature Jared Fogle, the former 425 pounder who lost weight on his “Subway diet,” inspire anyone who wants to lose weight. “Jared’s just like me,” we think. “I can do that.”

For Integrity Data’s U-LINC project, we decided to disguise a story inside a presentation.

Before we put the story together, though, we met with Marleen and other key Integrity Data team members to learn more about U-LINC–how it worked and how it was currently being marketed. We combed through their product information as well as industry publications to learn about competing products. We wanted to ensure the story would frame the user’s needs in a simple and plausible way.

Now armed with details from research, Deanne and I proposed a few story ideas to Marleen and the team. They chose a concept we called “Monday” that would contrast an office world without U-LINC (how Monday feels) with a life after U-LINC (to get past the Monday feeling). Rather than list all of the product’s features (which could be done elsewhere), we chose to emphasize a single benefit, peace of mind, inside the story. Yes, U-LINC does some amazing things but the key benefit for mangers is that it helps reduce their anxiety by keeping them “in the loop.”

We developed a script and and the visual design for the slides that were added to the core product demo presentation as the introduction and conclusion. Additionally, Marleen asked us to create a one-minute screencast version that could be shown as the introduction to an online demo. We revised the script and recorded the screencast (shown below), narrated by Deanne.

Design or marketing projects may begin with the question, “How do we make this look better?” This is only one part of the process. The real key is communication. If you can bring together visual design and a strong story with your product, there’s a much better chance of connecting with customers.


Make better presentations with the Presentation Renovation eBook

What the Secret of Life and Your Presentation Have in Common

In the movie City Slickers, the gruff, leathery cowboy Curly (Jack Palance) reveals to world-weary sales executive Mitch (Billy Crystal) that the secret of life is one thing. When Mitch wonders, “What’s the one thing?,” Curly slyly responds, “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out.”

Your presentations work the same way.

Every presentation should be about one thing.

Every supporting point, every slide, every gesture you make should support that one thing.

Why? Your audience will remember only one thing. The more focused you make your message, the more likely it will be memorable. You might build your message so that it has three or five or ten parts, but each part should point back to the main topic.

In the workshop I taught last week for college faculty, for example, my one thing was “the design of your presentation matters.” To support that goal, I offered seven points to help attendees create better presentations.

Here’s another example. In this TED Talk, Matt Cutts explains how he changed his life by doing one thing differently for 30 days. His point? I did it, it worked, you can do it.

To make your message memorable, keep in mind Curly’s secret of life: it’s about one thing.