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On the Other Slide: 3 PowerPoint Hacks to Improve Your Deck

PowerPoint may be a user-friendly tool, but its functions go beyond templated slide designs and bullet-point lists. You don’t have to stick to plain slides and clunky graphics. Instead, why not improve your deck and create a design that’s suited for your presentation?

Here are some PowerPoint hacks to help you do just that:

1. Be Creative with Your Images

powerpoint hacks

It’s no secret that the leading cause of Death by PowerPoint, or complete audience boredom, is a slide overloaded with too much information.

Replace blocks of text with images or keywords you can expound on. This leaves you free to talk more and keeps the audience’s attention fixed on you. However, some presenters use this as an excuse to insert random images in their slides in an uninspired layout.

Make your deck more interesting by being creative with your use of images. Instead of copy-pasting a stock image to the middle of your deck, why not crop and edit it first? Crop images to your desired size by dragging the crop handles that will appear around your picture once you format it. Creatively incorporating and tweaking images to perfectly fit your deck lets you illustrate the essence of your core message without boring your audience.

2. Enhance Design with Animation

powerpoint animation

Depending on how you use them, animation and transition can make or break your presentation.

Some presenters have been criticized for their excessive use of slide transitions and animations. For example, business presentations may require no more than a simple wipe. Overdoing it with a dramatic transition like Fracture or Dissolve may lessen your professional credibility.

Fortunately, Microsoft’s presented a solution to that problem and released one of PowerPoint’s latest features, Morph. The add-in allows users to create seamless and impressive animations that can also be used as a slide transition.The Morph option can be found under Transitions, and it lets you animate your desired slide element, which can be in the form of objects, text, or images.

Unlike the previous animation options for PowerPoint, this transition type requires you to draw out a work path for the object you want to animate. You can just drag the slide element in the direction you want it to go. When you view your presentation, the object will move on its own without needing a prompt, like a mouse click. This frees your hands and lets you further use body language to emphasize key points and connect with the audience instead of having to focus on operating a clicker.

3. Have Your Pitch in Mind

powerpoint hacks

Everything on your deck should contribute to your pitch.

That said, the greatest PowerPoint hack is to always keep your pitch in mind when you’re crafting your slides. Extraneous elements will only distract the audience from your main point. Before adding anything, think about why you’re putting it there and whether it will enhance your spiel.

Keep an outline of your content to remind you of your slide order. Highlight key terms you want to emphasize in your visual aid so you’ll know what to include and what can be saved for verbal elaboration.

Decide whether you should plug in your data as text or whether you can improve on it by presenting it creatively. For example, diagrams, charts, and other visual representations may make hard information more palatable to your audience.

Content, delivery, and visuals should all go hand-in-hand, so don’t leave out one for the other. Make sure you develop each of these elements equally for an overall winning presentation.

The Takeaway: Take Advantage of PowerPoint’s Features

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PowerPoint is a constantly growing software, rich with new features. Improvements in the presentation tool make it possible to improve your deck without too much hassle. To summarize:

  1. Be creative with your deck design and experiment with image layout and position. Crop and edit pictures before putting them on your slides so that they can work together with your overall design to get your message across.
  2. Make use of PowerPoint’s latest features, particularly Morph for animation, to make your deck more attractive and interactive.
  3. At the same time, always align your deck with your pitch. Good design used inappropriately can still lead to a confusing presentation.

Craft a winning deck with these PowerPoint hacks, or contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

“PowerPoint 2013: Formatting Pictures.” GCF Learn Free. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/17
“Using the Morph Transition in PowerPoint 2016.” Office Blogs. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Using-the-Morph-transition-in-PowerPoint-2016-8dd1c7b2-b935-44f5-a74c-741d8d9244ea

6 PowerPoint ‘Hacks’ for Confused First Timers

We talk a lot about helping you achieve the perfect PowerPoint presentations. Sometimes, these things are easier said than done. Microsoft PowerPoint can be tedious for many first timers.

You can use these PowerPoint hacks and shortcuts to help you through this new process. Hopefully, it’ll help lower your stress levels, too.

While making your presentation

1. Learn the Shortcuts

Holding down the CTRL key in combination with other keys will help you lessen the use of your mouse.

Copy something from a document you’ve written earlier by pressing CTRL + C and Paste it to your slide with CTRL + V. This might seem basic for long-time Microsoft users, but it’s so helpful that we can’t risk letting beginners miss out on it.

You can also hold down SHIFT if you want to avoid skewing images, or select multiple objects. Likewise, the FUNCTION keys at the very top of your keyboard can also prove to be a huge help. One of the most helpful keys in PowerPoint is F5, which is a quick way to start your slide show.

Read up on all of the useful PowerPoint shortcuts and over time, you’ll be able to memorize the ones that are most useful.

2. Use Grid and Guidelines

Misaligned images or text boxes can be distracting to some audience members. Avoid having to squint to make sure everything’s in perfect order by using PowerPoint’s Grid and Guidelines function.

Hit CTRL+G to display the Grid and Guidelines dialog box.

3. Edit Images to Manage the File Size

The images you use can bloat the file size of your PowerPoint presentation. It’ll be hard to share your presentation the size is too large. Fix this problem by selecting an image (or multiple images), then choosing the Compress Pictures option under the Format tab.

While in the Format tab, you can also edit the images by choosing Corrections, Color, and Artistic Effects. Just make sure that you have permission to alter the pictures you’re using.

During your presentation

4. Hide the Pointer

As we’ve tackled, audience members can be easily distracted by the smallest thing. Even a small, white pointer.

You can hide the pointer by pressing CTRL + H. Don’t worry, it’ll show up again if you press A.

5. Shift to a Black Screen

It’s important that you don’t let the slides do the talking for you. If you feel like you’re losing your audience to the screen, just press B or the period keys.

Go back to your presentation by pressing N to move on to the next slide, or P to come back to the previous one.

6. Skip to Any Slide

If anyone in the audience raises a point you discussed in a specific slide, you can skip to it by pressing the slide number then hitting enter.

For example, if Slide #5 holds the answer, just press 5, enter, and you’re there. This tip will be even more effective if you have handouts of your slides printed out with you.

Consider this guide a starting point to your PowerPoint efficiency. Remember that as with everything, being an effective PowerPoint user will take time. Just be patient!

 

Reference

25 PowerPoint™ Tips.” Jolene Morris. Accessed June 08, 2014.