converting a PDF to a PowerPoint file on Mac

I was given a PDF of a presentation and asked to give a presentation on it. I’d like to use what is there and edit it a bit. I’d also like to not be presenting out of a PDF and use proper presentation software. I prefer PowerPoint to Keynote because someone else will give this presentation after me and I’d like them not to have the same problem of “here’s a file you can’t use”.

Didn’t work: Google Docs

Gmail offered to open the PDF in Google docs. The images got completely messed up. The ones that converted were in the wrong place compared to the words in the presentation and each other. Then after a number of pages, Google gave up on converting images.

Didn’t work: Drag from Mac preview to Keynote

Yes, I know I said I preferred PowerPoint for this task. However, it’s easy to export from Keynote to PowerPoint so it would have been fine as an intermediary. However, there were three problems

  1. You have to drag one slide at a time and there are 55 slides
  2. After dragging, it is just an image that isn’t even the same slze as the slide
  3. The slide is an image so I have to recreate any I want to edit.

What worked: Convert to KeyNote

CleverPDF has a PDF converter that lets you convert to a variety of formats. One is PowerPoint. (They also have Keynote). They make their money through a mix of ads and paid products. I didn’t look how secure your data is as this is essentially a public presentation (and not for my job)

I’m impressed with Clever PDF. The transformed file looks the same and is editable. And free.

our first toastmasters post-pandemic hybrid meeting

Before the pandemic, our club mainly met over a video conference between our NY and NJ office. Everyone was in one of those rooms. (We had a couple other formats, but they were rare.)

Shortly before the pandemic, we talked about adding a phone option for people who would be telecommuting that day. But we shut down too fast for that to grow legs.

Last week, we had our first post-pandemic hybrid meeting. We used the same WebEx link that we’ve been using for the last 16 months. We also had a meeting room in the invite for anyone who happened to be onsite. (We are doing a pilot where a small number of people are onsite.

How it went

  • We had three people in the meeting room. (spread out). We were all visible in the pane of the WebEx representing the room.
  • We had about a dozen people in their homes.
  • Our club mascot (stuffed animal) also attended the meeting in person. He was super excited to be there after spending all that time alone in a file cabinet :).
  • When we were doing pure virtual meetings, we did introductions by having the Toastmaster say each person’s name (based n the participant list) and that person saying their group (we are a corporate club) and a quick fact. With hybrid, the Toastmaster had the people in the room go in a circle to introduce themselves and then did it based on the participant list. This approach is not ideal for a team meeting because it makes the in person participants seem more “central”, but I think it is ok for a Toastmasters meeting.
  • When we did introductions, I brought the mascot right up to the camera and had him wave so everyone could get a good view. (Anyone who joined during the pandemic was seeing the mascot for the first time.)
  • It so happened that one of the speakers (me) was in the physical room along with the Toastmaster. We also had a table topics speaker in the room.
  • We did not shake hands or touch in any way. (We had stopped doing that a little before we went virtual only)

What did I learn about speaking at a hybrid meeting

First, I learned that public speaking is like riding a bike. It came right back to me. Phew.

Additionally, I treated the conference room webcam as if it was a participant in the room. I stood in a place where I was clearly visible to the webcam. (Which was not the head of the table because it is a very long room and we don’t have zoom working yet.) I also made eye contact with the two people and the webcam. So I treated the webcam as if it were an actual person in the room.

What do I think will happen in the future

I think we will have more than three people in the room. But I think we will stay hybrid forever. The odds of everyone who wants to be in Toastmasters being in the office the day we meet seem low. And public speaking at work will involve a mix of in person and remote. So good to practice it.

We used to have Speakouts on Mondays so that people who weren’t in the office on Thursdays had an opportunity to speak. I think we will go back to something similar. Except rather than it always being Monday, have the day rotate. That way members who are only in the office once a week will still get to practice speaking in person.

I also think we will encourage members to meet in small groups at each give a speech. This will introduce more flexibility in speaking in person days they are in the office. It will also accommodate those who don’t feel comfortable being in a room with a lot of people for health reasons. Three people in a room is less risk than “whomever shows up for Toastmasters that day.” Notice I said health reasons. If someone merely doesn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of a group, that’s something to get over in Toastmasters!

toastmasters pathways – how to see what your members are up to – part 2

I had written up how to interpret the % Pathways give you to know how far your member are. This changed in September 2019 now what members can do projects in any order.

In Pathways, three Toastmasters officers are able to access Base Camp Manager. They can view individual progress. For example, this bar chart shows how many members my club has currently working on level 2. (If you don’t see anything in your bar chart, refresh.)

You can click the little arrow and view details (in a browser) or export to Excel to see which members are on which paths. You can now see which projects they have started (In Progress status) or finished (Completed status)

Additionally, on the second tab of reports, you can look at the path progress report and export a %. When you log in as a member, you see two percentages:

  1. The percentage complete within a level.
  2. The percentage complete within a path (aka across all six levels) – This is the % that shows up in the report base camp manager shows.

What’s this about six levels?

Pathways now has six levels. The five you are accustomed to plus the “Path Completion” level.

What do the percentages mean? (If you don’t like math, skip to the table at the end)

Ok, so what does this mean? Each of the six levels is worth a sixth of 100%. That’s 16.66667%. Each level has a certain number of projects. The 16.66667% is equally distributed across those projects.

Let’s start with a simple example. Suppose a member has gone in order and completed all of levels 1 and 2. That member has completed 33.333333% of Pathways which rounds to 13%

Now, suppose a member has completed the Icebreaker and Evaluation/Feedback projects in level 1. This member has two projects remaining in level 1 (Research/Presenting and Level Completion.) That means the member has credit for half of level 1 which is 8.333333%. Toastmasters appears to round up giving us a status of 9%.

But what if members don’t go in order

Now suppose a member completed the Icebreaker and Evaluation/Feedback projects in level 1 *and* the Understanding your Leadership Style in level 2. This member will get the same 8.33333% from level 1 as in the previous example. The member will get an additional 4.16667% for the level two project. Bringing the member to 13%.

For members who go in order (no math)

Note that percentages in italics are ones that I derived mathematically but haven’t yet seen in practice.

PercentageWhat it means
0%Signed up for a path, but didn’t do the icebreaker yet
5%Completed the icebreaker
9%Completed two projects in level 1
13%Completed all the projects in level 1 but needs to submit the level completion (or have it approved)
17%Completed level 1, but hasn’t yet done any projects in level 2
21%Completed one level 2 project
25%Completed two level 2 projects
29%Completed all level 2 projects but needs to submit the level completion (or have it approved)
33%Completed level 2, but hasn’t yet done any projects in level 3
37%Completed one level 3 project
41%Completed two level 3 projects
45%Completed all level 3 projects but needs to submit the level completion (or have it approved)
50%Completed level 3, but hasn’t yet done any projects in level 4
56%Completed one level 4 project
61%Completed all level 4 projects but needs to submit the level completion (or have it approved)
67%Completed level 4, but hasn’t yet done any projects in level 5
73%Completed one level 5 project
78%Completed all level 5 projects but needs to submit the level completion (or have it approved)
83%Completed level 5
92%Completed Reflect on Your Path, but needs to submit level completion
100%Path completed

For members who don’t go in order (a little math)

  • For each level the member completed, add 16.67%
  • For each project in a non completed level, add the number for that level from this list
    • Level 1: add 4%
    • Level 2: add 4%
    • Level 3: add 4%
    • Level 4: add 5.5%
    • Level 5: add 5.5%
    • Level 6: add 8.5%
  • Round up

Finally, thank you to Toastmasters phone support for letting me know the percentage was changed to accommodate out of order and the 16.67%. That gave me enough to figure out the rest.