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How to Align Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2013

Each slide has its own elements, such as text, charts, images, and shapes—all easy to arrange in PowerPoint. A clean, even layout leaves space that lets the eyes focus on more important slide objects. Simply aligning them with each other provides a great deal of order and sophistication into any layout.

We’ve already learned how to group slide objects to help you rearrange many objects in one go. This enables you to move an entire selection of objects, but you might find it inconvenient having to constantly group and ungroup them to access each element separately.

The ability to align objects is especially vital for comprehensive decks that may contain sales figures, which can end up with lots of elements on screen. There are also several ways you can align your objects so you can speed up your process.

We’ll focus on aligning different objects on your slide deck to save you time in managing your own slide workspace.

Align Slide Objects in PowerPoint 2013

In PowerPoint, there are guides that help you adjust your spacing and keep objects lined up. Luckily, you can simply drag an object around, and a floating guide helps you snap objects in place. The temporary guide usually shows up as an orange dotted line.

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This is an already helpful feature in itself. Here’s how you can align objects en masse while still retaining individual control of each element:

1. Select what particular object on the slide you wish to arrange. If you want to select several objects at the same time, hold down Shift and then click on the slide objects.

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If you want to align multiple objects, click on an empty slide corner and drag your mouse around the chosen items to select each of them. To make sure you don’t leave any object unselected, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A.

2. Click on the Drawing Tools Format tab that will appear once you select the item or items.

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3. Select the Align dropdown menu in the Arrange group and then choose one from the six selections: Align Left, Align Center, Align Right, Align Top, Align Middle, and Align Bottom.

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4. You’ll notice that the slide objects selected will be aligned according to your choice.

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Specific Alignments

There are other align options, namely Distribute Horizontally, Distribute Vertically, Align to Slide, and Align Selected Objects.

Your slide objects will line up horizontally or vertically as the command implies. However, these alignment behaviors will be different if you pick Align to Slide or Align Selected Objects. When you select the former, all the scattered objects outside the slide area will be distributed within the slide area. As a further example, if you select all your images to Align Center, all the slide objects will be located at the center of the slide.

Choose Align Selected Objects and Align Center and all your slide objects will line up but not at the center of the slide area or within the slide limits.

Control where you want your slide objects to be with the help of the Align function.

Get Organized

You may be thinking that aligning objects is a simple task. It’s indeed simple and easy! PowerPoint just goes the extra mile to make sure that your slide elements are aligned according to your exact needs. Whether you’re working on a deck that requires detailed content, such as graphs, tables, and charts, using this feature can help you accomplish your task with ease.

The Align PowerPoint feature can help you polish your presentation into a more organized and professional-looking layout, keeping you from placing each element randomly and untidily.

To deliver a more dynamic and engaging PowerPoint presentation, SlideGenius experts can assist you and offer you a free quote!

 

References:

Reynolds, Garr. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery. Berkeley, CA: New Riders Pub., 2008.
“Align or arrange a picture, shape, text box, SmartArt graphic, or WordArt.” Office, n.d. support.office.com/en-us/article/Align-or-arrange-a-picture-shape-text-box-SmartArt-graphic-or-WordArt-bfd91078-2078-4b35-8672-f6270690b3b8
“PowerPoint 2013: Arranging Objects.” GCFLearnFree.org. n.d. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/19

Back to Basics: Making the Most of PowerPoint Gradients

If you’re still starting out with PowerPoint, it’s important to explore the program’s different features. Before you can go to the presentation tool’s more advanced options, however, you’ll need to figure out its basic components first.

One of these primary elements is the gradient tool. You don’t need to stick to solid colors all the time. This PowerPoint tool can give a plain slide background or shape some depth and shading, making it more realistic. However, be careful not to overdo it to avoid making your deck look clunky and cluttered. Opt for a cleaner PowerPoint with just the right design.

Learn to use gradients strategically in creating effective shading techniques on a professional deck:

Choosing the Right Color Combination

A gradient is the combination of two or more colors. These colors bleed into each other and overlap, but both are always visible.

Earlier versions of PowerPoint provide built-in gradient fills with their own color combination, but PowerPoint 2010 onward has its preset gradient fills for one color with light and dark variations. You can customize these later on to your preference. This includes adding more colors to your gradient.

Choosing an appropriate color combination is necessary in making hues complement each other. For shading purposes, it’s better to use analogous color schemes or similar color temperatures. As an example, using only warm or cool colors on your gradient will give the illusion of seamless color transition.

Using Preset Gradients

Built-in gradients are the simplest to use and may be preferable for first-time users of PowerPoint. To apply this gradient to shapes, do the following steps: Select the shape you’ll be applying the gradient to. A Format tab will appear in your toolbar.

format tab

Under the Shape Styles group, select Shape Fill > Gradient.

Supporting Image 02 - Shape Fill

Choose from any of the variations available. There are two selections for any solid color in the gradient: Light and dark.

Light variations are your original color mixed with white. On the other hand, its dark counterpart is also your original color with black.

To go to the Gradient option for your slide background, just right click the slide you want to apply the gradient to, and select Format Background.

Supporting Image 03 - Format Background

From there, follow the same set of instructions as applying gradients to shapes.

Customizing Gradients

If you aren’t satisfied with the available gradient choices, you’re free to customize your gradients.

Click on the More Gradients option below the gradient variations.Supporting Image 04 - More Gradients

Here you can choose the Type of gradient you want. It can be radial, rectangular, linear, or path.

You can also pick the Direction you want your colors to take.

Making use of Gradient Stops will let you control how much of each shade blends with the rest.

Supporting Image 05 - Gradient Stops

To change the color of a specific shade, select a gradient stop and change it on the color picker.

Other aspects of your selected gradient stop that you can change include its Position, Transparency, and Brightness.

Experiment with these options until you achieve your desired gradient.

Conclusion

Gradients may be a basic PowerPoint feature, but using it in the right way can still transform your deck into something understandable and easy on the eyes.

Make sure you select the right color combination. This can evoke the right moods for your pitch and achieve an effect that leverages rather than detracts your design.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the basics of PowerPoint gradients, start with preset gradients. Depending on what you want to do with your shape or slide background, choose between light or dark variations of your solid color fill. Customize your gradient and play around with the amount, type, and direction of your colors to add depth and shading. Using the correct color combinations can highlight your brand to make it more distinct and memorable.

Need help with your deck design? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

References

“Add a Gradient Fill to a Shape.” Office Support. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-a-gradient-fill-to-a-shape-11cf6392-723c-4be8-840a-b2dab4b2ba3e
“Color Harmonies.” Tiger Color. www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-harmonies.htm

Featured Image: “Convergence (Explored!)” by Mohammed Moosa on flickr.com

 

10 PowerPoint Design Tips to Revive Your Slides

Have your presentations been lackluster lately? Do you also find an impressive deck taking too much time and effort to make?

We’ve compiled a list to make it easier for you to achieve your desired deck. All you have to do is apply these simple changes to bring it back to life:

1. Keep Text to a Minimum

There’s absolutely no need to swamp your audience with text. They’ll only get ahead of you if you make all your talking points available for them to read. It also makes them tune out once they’ve read and understood everything.

Write down key points and save the details for your speech. Less text means you don’t have to keep going back to your slides to make corrections. It also means you have more room.

2. Connect with a Narrative

The most natural way of engaging in a conversation is with a story. If you’re struggling to turn your presentation into a narrative, follow a simple structure with a beginning, middle, and end.

Failing to meet one of these three conditions weakens the structure of your presentation. If you fail to reach a conclusion, the listener won’t know what to do with the information provided. The middle contains the meat of your presentation and not giving it enough attention is like skimming through your main points. Finally, because it provides context, skipping an introduction will make you hard to follow. Create a seamless pitch with a narrative structure for a powerful story format.

3. Hit Up PowerPoint Last

Prioritize content. Plan your speech outline and rehearse all your talking points. You’re the center of the presentation, and the program is only there to support you. Don’t make the mistake of becoming an accessory to your slides.

Take a break from crafting your deck to focus on rehearsing your speech. An engaging enough story and message might not need the support of an elaborate PowerPoint.

4. Storyboard Your Presentation

Before you even think of touching PowerPoint, build the structure of your story visually. Don’t jump ahead to slide creation without a plan of action. You’ll waste a lot of effort editing out slides that don’t fit your message. Lay out your ideas on paper so you can move them around freely.

5. Support Your Message Visually

Your image shouldn’t just be relatable to your topic. Since our first point emphasized text reduction, this point will emphasize balancing text with imagery. Hit two birds with one stone by choosing a high-quality stock image that looks good and visually supports your message.

For example, the stock image in the previous section, obtained freely from Kaboompics, is meant to depict the act of storyboarding ideas. This reflects the message of that section, which talks about storyboarding.

Although some sources provide images are free, always give credit where it’s due.

6. Cut Back on Animation Transitions

It’s better to stick to a simple but memorable presentation than be remembered for a convoluted one. Use simple slide transitions like cut, fade, and wipe since these are the least distracting of the bunch. These have been used for years in film editing. Your deck can benefit from these techniques as well. The cut transition is the most subtle, often over in a blink of an eye. Alternately, direct your viewer’s gaze specifically with the fade and wipe transitions.

These simple transitions are effective enough to deliver your points without becoming a distraction.

7. Limit Bullet Points

Use bullet points judiciously. They’re a simple and effective way to list down your key points.

In the example above, the list on the left is much easier to remember and understand than the one on the right since the points are kept to the essentials.

Format your list for consistency of style and content to avoid confusing your audience. Create a logical flow of ideas when using bullet points and keep each key point short.

Your audience can only remember a few key points during your presentation, so don’t add too much to the mix.

8. Choose Your Fonts Wisely

Your font choice plays a big role in PowerPoint design. Instead of plunging deep into the meaning and history behind every font type, we’ve narrowed it all down so you can choose the perfect font in five minutes or less. The fonts we recommend are already in your Microsoft or Apple computer so there’s no need to download anything.

For example, Bodoni is an elegant font that’s suitable for both headers and subheaders. Speed up the process further by plugging in your text and headline in Font Pair to view your text combination immediately.

9. Customize Templates with Slide Master

The Slide Master is your friend. It looks like a complicated feature, but if you have a clear brand identity and message, it’s simpler to use since it applies your formatting changes to your entire presentation.

Fonts and even color schemes can be standardized to give your deck a more consistent look. This makes it more comfortable for clients to view. This tool further customizes your deck. For example, you can append your company logo to all of your slides using Slide Master, and your logo will appear automatically on every slide.

10. Pick the Appropriate Chart

Complex data is difficult to translate visually. How do you know which chart to use for your presentation?

Dr. Andrew Abela, a professor of marketing and renowned presentation design consultant, developed the Chart Chooser for your convenience. Chart Chooser is a flowchart that guides you on how to present with the appropriate chart. Use your judgement to present your data appropriately and attractively.

Conclusion

These PowerPoint Design tips cover vital aspects of your presentation design with a heavy focus on keeping things clear and simple.

Draft your speech outline first before embarking on the design process of your slides. Manage the appearance of your slides later so that you won’t compromise your content by giving it the short end of the stick. Choose which elements go well in your slides. Every part of your slide must contribute to your entire message. Don’t use distracting animation, inappropriate bullet points, or the wrong chart to present your data.

 

References

Abela, Andrew. “Choosing a Good Chart.” The Extreme Presentation(tm) Method. September 6, 2006. www.extremepresentation.typepad.com/blog/2006/09/choosing_a_good.html
Reynolds, Garr. “10 Slide Design Tips for Producing Powerful and Effective Presentations.” TechRepublic. September 19, 2006. www.techrepublic.com/article/10-slide-design-tips-for-producing-powerful-and-effective-presentations/6117178
Teti, Gianluca. “Bodoni: A Typeface for (almost) Any Occasion.” Gianluca Teti – Web Graphic Designer. July 30, 2014. www.gianlucateti.com/bodoni-a-typeface-for-almost-any-occasion

 

Featured Image: by Jeremy Goldberg on unsplash.com

The Best Presentations Use PowerPoint for Business

It’s a bold claim to make, but with our growing list of happy clients, it’s safe to say that our professional presentations have made them satisfied partners indeed.

To get your pitch off the ground, you’ll most likely need maybe one or two investors to help you. Chances are, they’re going to see your pitch through PowerPoint.

Hire Experts to Maximize Your Pitch

The program was developed to give speakers control over their design decisions. These days, however, no one has that kind of time on their hands. This is why hiring professional presentation designers can save you time and money. Excellent visuals and layouts will give your slides a more professional look, maximizing audience engagement.

PowerPoint experts specialize in crafting a customized pitch, allowing you to have more time to focus on your delivery instead. You can dedicate your time rehearsing for your speech to help you prepare for your presentation.

With so much time and effort spent in making sure you and your PowerPoint are in top condition, the program itself is a vital part of maximizing your pitch.

PowerPoint with Personality

You’re not just there to read off a bunch of slides whenever you pitch. You stand before the audience to tell your story in an engaging and effective manner so that they know why they should invest their time and money on you.

Jack Morton’s team, a global marketing agency, noted that people responded to work that appeals to basic human emotions like fun and excitement. Depending on your branding strategy, you can combine this with a more conversational tone in delivering your pitch to communicate your brand as authentic and trustworthy.

Instead of just listing out the figures and facts, simplify your pitch to show what this information means for your audience. Then highlight the core values of your brand, be it providing quality products or building relationships with its customers.

Standard Compatibility Reaches More Prospects

Other presentation programs are available, such as Prezi and Keynote, but you can reach out to more people with PowerPoint simply because more people use it. To cite another figure, PowerPoint’s share of the presentation software market is a whopping 95% according to a 2012 Bloomberg report. You might end up inconveniencing someone when your file format requires the addition of a different program to view your file.

Don’t stand out the wrong way by not following the standard. Stand out the right way by conducting your business professionally with PowerPoint. It’s a matter of refining design and content to get your brand’s identity and values across.

You Deserve Only the Best

The biggest, most widely used professional software for creating presentations has been, and still is, PowerPoint. Any business will benefit from creating their pitch in this program tested by time. You can get more done by having a team of PowerPoint experts create your deck for you. Invest time in yourself and your PowerPoint to reap the full benefits of an excellent pitch.

Business is all about collaboration. We make professional decks using the standard software practices, so you can devote more time to yourself and your business.

Consult with a team that will understand your brand to develop your pitch. A professionally made deck will help you find your brand’s voice. Your story deserves to be heard.

 

References

Morton, Jack. “Cannes Guide to Buzzwords.” Jack Morton. July 15, 2015. www.jackmorton.com/blog/cannes-guide-to-buzzwords-8-newbies-on-whats-real-and-what-matters-to-brand-experience
Parker, Ian. “Absolute PowerPoint.” The New Yorker. May 28, 2001. www.newyorker.com/magazine/2001/05/28/absolute-powerpoint
Parks, Bob. “Death to PowerPoint!” Bloomberg. August 30, 2012. www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-08-30/death-to-powerpoint
Vellanikaran, Jojo Joseph. “PowerPoint.” JO3 STUDY NOTES. March 6, 2009. jo3studynotes.blogspot.com/2009/03/final-yr-zool-students.html
“Are We Wasting $250 Million per Day Due to Bad PowerPoint?” Think Outside The Slide. September 11, 2012. www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/are-we-wasting-250-million-per-day-due-to-bad-powerpoint
Computer Application in Management. 1st ed. Erzincan: Ersincan University, 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. www.erzincan.edu.tr/userfiles/bkurt/duyuru/files/computer-application-in-management(1).pdf

 

Featured Image: “White laptop, female hand, note, pen, phone, desk” on kaboompics.com

Open PowerPoint 2013 in Safe Mode on Windows 10

More and more people are relying on PowerPoint for crafting interactive and engaging presentations. However, common issues like application crashes and file corruption are still inevitable disasters waiting to happen. That’s why it’s a good idea to launch a presentation safely to avoid technical issues that can worsen start-up and add-in problems.

Let’s learn how to run Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 in Safe Mode using three different methods:

Using the Command Prompt Window

1. Click Windows + R on your keyboard to launch the command prompt box named Run.PowerPoint 2013 in safe mode using command prompt

2. Once the dialog box appears, type powerpnt /safe. Remember to include a space between powerpnt and the forward slash (/) or the command won’t run.

3. Hit Enter on your keyboard or press OK to open the program in safe mode.

Using the Ctrl Key

1. Hold down the Ctrl key for a few seconds, then click on your PowerPoint shortcut on the desktop or the Windows taskbar.

2. A confirmation dialog will appear. Click Yes to enter safe mode.

Using PowerPoint 2013 in safe mode3. You’ll know you’ve entered safe mode when you can read (Safe Mode) on the title bar of the application.

Using the Windows Taskbar

1. Click on Cortana to expand the search box in the taskbar.windows 10: PowerPoint 2013 in safe mode

2. In the Search option, type powerpnt /safe, then press Enter. Don’t forget to include the space between powerpnt and the forward slash (/).

3. PowerPoint should open in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode Limitations

While the User-Initiated Safe Mode fixes or isolates the problems, you should also know that it has certain restrictions. Below are notable limitations when starting a program in safe mode:

  • Templates can’t be saved.

  • Toolbar or command bar customizations are not loaded, and customizations can’t be saved.

  • The AutoCorrect list is not loaded, and changes aren’t saved.

  • Recovered documents aren’t automatically opened.

  • Files can’t be saved to the Alternate Startup Directory.

  • Preferences can’t be saved.

  • Additional features and programs aren’t automatically loaded.

  • Documents with restricted permissions can’t be created or opened.

Still having trouble launching your presentation in safe mode? Check out this video tutorial to see how to do it step by step:

Now you know how to run PowerPoint in Safe Mode!

Opening your PPT file in safe mode is a highly effective way to fix corrupted or damaged presentations. These simple hacks are good for fighting back the panic when things go wrong. Try these three different methods in case your next presentation runs into some rough waters.

References

“Work with Office Safe Modes.” Office. n.d. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Work-with-Office-safe-modes-dedf944a-5f4b-4afb-a453-528af4f7ac72
“How to Open Microsoft Office 2013 In Safe Mode.” Into Windows. www.intowindows.com/how-to-open-microsoft-office-2013-in-safe-mode

Manage Stress Before a Big Presentation

We’ve all had those days where stress pushed us to the edge, and we all know it’s not good to be around someone who loses their cool.

You won’t leave a good first impression if you keep a strained demeanor. Manage stress before it takes over your body and turns you into an angry presenter.

Stress by itself is a normal reaction that doesn’t go away until the perceived threat is gone, but delivering a presentation isn’t a real threat. Remind your body that you’re not in any danger. Relaxation will help calm you down and assure you that everything’s going to be alright. Here’s why you should regulate your stress and how to do it:

Likeability

When things keep going wrong, it’s important to know that there’s still tomorrow to look forward to. Stress skews our perspective towards fear and negativity, which makes it hard to even consider that things are going to get better. In addition to feeling terrified, our expressions project the anxiety we feel in response to internal pressure.

Stressing out before a presentation can lead to failure because the presenter may already be anticipating that something will go wrong. The audience can pick up on your emotions and will definitely sense if something’s not right. You’ll lose your credibility as a speaker if people sense you’re too stiff. Confidence in what you’re saying is needed for other people to trust in you, too.

Stress Management

Stress buildup can be mitigated in the first place by placing security checks. Identify what makes you feel threatened. Is it the fear of being judged or being in front of a large crowd?

Once you’ve identified them, step back and realize that none of them can really harm you. The audience is just there to hear what you’re going to present; none of them pose a real threat. Your body will start to calm down once it realizes that you don’t need to fear for your life, and you’ll have nothing to fear once you regain your focus.

Monitor Stress Levels

Some things are truly out of our control, but it doesn’t mean that we should lose our cool. Even if we’re not the best presenter, we should strive to give our best effort.

Doing some relaxation exercises can help release some of that pent-up stress. It will help empty your mind and introduce calming imagery in place of stressful thoughts. Also remember to breathe. Breathing helps relax muscles that become tense when you’re stressed. Pacing around and doing some stretches helps you unwind and prepares you to move your focus elsewhere.

Concentration

Conduct everything you do professionally, and you’ll get the respect you deserve. Don’t let stress get in the way of your ability to make a great presentation. After all, a stressed presenter doesn’t look good. It makes you look hostile, distancing you from your audience. Relaxation should come easily once you’ve identified and let go of what stresses you out.

Manage stress. Don’t let stress manage you.

 

Reference

“Stress Management.” Mayo Clinic. April 8, 2014. www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-basics/hlv-20049495

 

Featured Image: “StartupStockPhotos” on pixabay.com

Unblock Your Mind: Overcoming Presentation Mental Block

Getting a mental block in the middle of your presentation isn’t the end of the world. Even the most experienced public speakers have had mental blocks at least once in their lives. However, the best pitches aren’t the ones that are pulled off perfectly. In fact, they’re the ones that speakers were able to rebound from successfully after a misstep.

If you’re having problems with your train of thought, you can still overcome it with a few simple techniques.

Look at Your Notes

Presenters often favor spontaneity over their script. Sometimes they even forego the standard outline. What they don’t realize is that without a solid guide, they become more prone to experiencing mental blocks. Not everybody can keep track of their thoughts and deliver a pitch at the top of their heads. Most of the time, presenters who come in totally unprepared fumble halfway through their speech.

To prevent the embarrassment of not knowing what to say next, it’s alright to refer to your notes occasionally, especially for your major points.Your goal is to communicate effectively with your audience, and you can’t do that if you’re rambling or if you’re too stunned to talk. If keeping notes at hand distracts you and limits your body movement, you can also memorize your script. Just make sure you wrote it with a natural delivery in mind. Otherwise, your stiff speech won’t convince anyone.

Pause for Effect

It may seem counterintuitive, but pauses in your speech can also help you get over your mental block. If you find yourself in a tight spot, don’t feel ashamed to pause and collect your thoughts. Instead of biding time with filler words, pausing creates anticipation for what you’re about to say.

RedRover Sales & Marketing managing partner Lori Turner-Wilson writes in her article on the Memphis Daily about how the human mind takes about eight seconds to make a firm first impression of you. The same eight-second rule may apply to your pitch, so use your moments of silence wisely.

Take time to stop before every major idea. You can also pause to punctuate your speech, making it seem more natural to listen to.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

One of the leading causes of presentation mental block is anxiety. Calming your nerves helps you remember anything you might have forgotten because of panic. Research shows that breathing helps relax the mind and increase productivity. Whenever you get tongue-tied on stage, take a deep breath. This will prevent you from stressing out over your loss of words.

At the same time, don’t be too hard on yourself for not remembering what you were going to say. Remember that the audience doesn’t know your speech the way you do. You have total control over your pitch, so be confident enough to handle yourself gracefully.

To Sum It Up: Relax and Regroup

Experiencing mental block is every public speaker’s greatest obstacle, and they can strike at any time. Be honest with yourself when you’re experiencing it during your speech. Instead of panicking and resorting to filler words, remember that it’s acceptable to look at your notes every now and then to keep track.

If you’re really out of words to say, pause before every important part in your speech. People won’t mind. They’ll just think you’re building up towards your next point. Finally, whenever you feel that your fear is getting ahead of you, take a deep breath. Deep breathing helps clear your mind to recall your next points.

Need help with your presentation? Contact our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

Turner-Wilson, Lori. “8-Second Rule of First Impressions.” Memphis Daily News. n.d. www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2011/jul/20/8-second-rule-of-first-impressions

 

Featured Image: “King Conquers All” by Uddhav Gupta on flickr.com

How to Finish Your Deck on a Tight Deadline

With deadlines piling up, finishing those slides early could be the last thing on your mind. However, one thing you shouldn’t be cramming for is your slide deck, especially if you haven’t touched PowerPoint in a long time.

Craft your deck with laser-like focus by knowing how to maximize the available time you have. You’ll have to make compromises, but if you know your priorities, you can still turn in a winning deck.

Prioritize Tasks

A precise schedule lets you know how much time you can actually work with. Determine your deadline’s exact time and day. Plot out your agenda to create a visual reminder of everything you need to finish. This is better than thinking that you can act tomorrow instead of today.

Remember to include short breaks in your plan. Working without a break can burn you out and delay you further. If you’re clueless when it comes to PowerPoint, focusing on your content and delivery should be your main priority. Determine what your strengths are so you can devote time to an area that you have more experience in. Rest assured that if you’re truly in need, there are easier ways to get some things done.

Take Shortcuts

Trying to be a design expert overnight is difficult, so if you want your deck to look good, you may have to resort to using templates. Not all templates are created equal, so make sure that you find a high-quality template you can use for your deck. The template you choose should complement your content well.

Consider if the theme, mood, and color scheme all go together. You might take too much time trying to figure out how to make your deck look well-designed, so be careful not to let perfectionism take a huge chunk of your already limited time. When push comes to shove, you can always ask someone for help. You can also delegate tasks if you’re working in a team.

Ask for Help

It’s hard to admit to ourselves that we just can’t finish certain tasks. Working on a tight deadline can be an overwhelming problem to tackle alone. It’s better to let go of our pride than to let a presentation end in disaster by doing everything ourselves.

If you work with a team, you have full advantage of the skillsets available to you, especially if you’re collaborating with members who specialize in different fields. You can have someone in charge of research, have another person compile information and slides, or have someone work on the designs. If the deadline is simply impossible to meet on your own, ask for a helping hand or two before it’s too late.

According to bestselling author Harvey Mckay, this team strategy works whether you’re a boss or an employee. Everyone will benefit from collaborative effort.

In Short: Maximize Efficiency

In the most dire of cases, you can always ask for a later deadline, but use this option as a last resort. After all, it’s much better to exhaust other options than to hope for a deadline extension.

Remember: planning your schedule until the deadline allows you to focus on a workable path now instead of relying on the time you have for tomorrow. Templates may work for a rushed presentation, but a good deck needs a lot of time and preparation to be successful.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you feel you really need it. SlideGenius specializes in making PowerPoint decks, so we’re quite familiar with beating deadlines. Contact our team ASAP if you’re in a pinch, and we’ll be here to help you out.

 

References:

Mackay, Harvey. “Deliver on Deadline Every Time: 6 Tips” Inc. May 7, 2012. www.inc.com/harvey-mackay/how-to-meet-deadlines-under-pressure.html

 

Featured Image: “geralt” on pixabay.com

3 Presentation Transitions and What They Mean

The flow of a good PowerPoint should feel like watching a film. A pitch shouldn’t just be slide after slide of information. Including a narrative can make your topic engaging and relatable to the audience. Film creates that narrative by editing frames. This process also applies to presentation transitions in PowerPoint slides.

Cut, Fade, and Wipe are three subtle effects that are widely used in editing film and on transitions in PowerPoint.

Slides and Frames

These three can be found under the Transitions tab and are the most versatile ones to use.

fig1-cut-fade-wipe

Treat each slide like a frame in a film to direct the eyes of the audience. The audience will use these transitions as clues to put the presentation together in their minds. A beginning, middle, and end to a presentation can be hinted at using these effects. You can find these under the Subtle category. These transitions can make moving to the next slide less distracting.

The icons are arranged according to the subtlest effect from left to right. The first icon begins with no effect or None. Clicking on this icon does not place any effect on a slide. The rest of the subtle effects use more complicated animations, and can be customized further under Effect Options.

Cut

fig2-cut

The animation immediately cuts to the next slide, similar to how cuts work in film. This allows you to navigate through slides quickly. Unnecessary slide animation can hinder a presentation that’s exceeding the scheduled time. Use a simple transition effect like Cut to reduce lag between slides.

Fade to Black

fig3-fade

This effect causes the whole screen to slowly fade, revealing the next slide. Additionally, Fade to black to the next slide under Effect Options.

 

Transitions>Fade>Effect Options>Through Black

fig4-Through Black

Fade out to black is a film editing technique that’s traditionally used to conclude movies. During a pitch, the transition can give the speaker time to pause and slow down the pace of their speech.

While Cut gives the impression of energy, Fade gracefully transitions to the next slide. A presentation can also end using this transition to signal the audience that they’ve reached the end.

Wipe

fig5-wipe

This effect causes the screen to fade in from any direction. This dynamic, yet subtle transition can direct the eye of the audience. You can access additional animations under the Effect Options icon.

 

Transitions>Wipe>Effect Options>From Right

fig5-wipeoptions

 

 

The unpredictable motion of the slides adds an element of surprise to your presentation. But using too many words with this transition can easily overwhelm the eyes. So minimize this transition to keywords or single phrases.

Storytelling Through Slides

Play around with the Cut, Wipe and Fade transitions. Observe some films which make use of interesting editing techniques. Convey action in your slides and use a combination of the Wipe and Cut transitions. The Fade transition animates slowly, adding intrigue and building up anticipation for the next slide.

Create a presentation that tells a story today.

 

References

Chandler, Gael. Film Editing: Great Cuts Every Filmmaker and Movie Lover Must Know. Studio City, Calif.: Michael Wiese Productions, 2009. 193.

Featured Image: Film” by Leo Hidalgo from flickr.com

Saving Typeface: Tips for PowerPoint Presentation Fonts

A good presentation comes in a package. This includes an effective speaker supported by powerful visuals. A PowerPoint that complements your performance is essential in leaving a lasting impact on people. There are many aspects of visual design, and among one of the most important is your choice of fonts.

While crowding text is highly discouraged, text isn’t necessarily banned from your slide deck. Arranging text strategically in your PowerPoint and choosing the right font style and size can drive home a powerful message.

But that’s often easier said than done. How do you use text to communicate to your audience? Which fonts prompt a response? We attempt to answer these questions with a few basic rules:

Limit the Fonts You Use

Familiarizing yourself with the pros and cons of both serif and sans serif fonts will save you time choosing between them. However, there are several font types, and deciding which one to use is still pretty tricky. Using three or more fonts is already a bit of a handful.

According to Engage Interactive developer, Jamie Wright, if you can’t justify your use of a third font, it would be good to keep it out of the picture. Too many fonts can be confusing for your audience. You want your audience to focus on your speech, not on a distracting font. If you want to draw your audience’s attention to the text on the slide, try combining font types.

For example, serif fonts are often used for the body of text, while sans serif fonts are used as headlines. Because sans serifs are easier to read, using them for a headline draws immediate attention. On the other hand, serifs guide the eyes with their design, making them better for longer blocks of texts. Knowing the strengths of different font types will let you use them to your advantage.

Consider Readability

Size matters. Unless you intend to have it invisible to the viewer, your text should be readable. Color also plays a huge role in presentation design. The color you choose evokes a psychological response on your audience. Audience members respond differently to different types of colors. But also make sure your words are visible by choosing a color that contrasts with its background.

Contrast is a key element of text readability. Low-contrast text and text with color similar to its slide are unreadable. People won’t be able to get the message of your presentation if they can’t see what’s on your slide. At the same time, don’t overdo it.

Don’t sabotage yourself with flashy, animated text. Keeping your text simple yet readable is enough to keep your audience’s attention.

The Font that Must Not Be Used

Aside from bullet points, another PowerPoint taboo is the use of Comic Sans. The Comic Sans font has gained a bad rap for a number of reasons. Among these is the font being overused in inappropriate situations. While there is nothing wrong with this font per se, you wouldn’t want to be associated with it.

The general disapproval of Comic Sans is enough to discredit any presentation that makes use of the infamous font. If you want to look for similar but less stigmatized options, there are alternatives to choose from. Ban Comic Sans, an organization dedicated to eradicating the notorious font, provides an entire list on their site.

But still use them wisely. Don’t go for unconventional fonts on a whim. Always think about the effect your font will have on your presentation.

Conclusion

When organized strategically, text can enhance presentation design. In order to maximize the element of text, consider the fonts you use. Don’t saturate a slide with several fonts unless you can justify it. Be aware of font size and color. Any text you put on a slide must always be clear and readable to your audience. Similarly, don’t go over the top with your design.

Unconventional fonts can be distracting. The main purpose of your font choice is to emphasize what you’re trying to say, not draw attention to itself.

If you want professional help in deciding how to organize your PowerPoint, contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!

 

References

“Fonts.” Ban Comic Sans. Accessed October 8, 2015. www.bancomicsans.com/main
Wright, Jamie. “How Many Fonts Is Too Many Fonts?” Engage Interactive. Accessed October 8, 2015. www.engageinteractive.co.uk/blog/how-many-fonts-is-too-many-fonts
Spector, Lincoln. “Six PowerPoint Nightmares (and How to Fix Them).” PCWorld. Accessed October 8, 2015. www.pcworld.com/article/237106/six_powerpoint_nightmares_and_how_to_fix_them_.html

 

Featured Image: “Stencil Font” by Cory Schmitz on flickr.com