You have thoroughly researched your subject, your content is superbly written and you have all the visual aids you need – but actually creating the slides in PowerPoint leaves you stressed and shouting at the computer screen.
If this sounds familiar, here are 10 PowerPoint tips that might make life a little bit easier….
1. Learn the shortcuts – knowing the main keyboard shortcuts will save you a lot of time. For example Ctrl+S will save your work, F5 will let you view the slide show and Ctrl+Z will undo the last action. A full list of PowerPoint shortcuts can be found here: https://support.office.com/en-au/article/Use-keyboard-shortcuts-to-create-your-presentation-ebb3d20e-dcd4-444f-a38e-bb5c5ed180f4
2. Customize your slide sizes – you don’t have to stick with the default PowerPoint size option for your slides. To alter simply go to File, choose Page Set Up and enter the dimensions you want.
3. Alter the transition duration – if you want the transition between each slide to be faster or slower than the default you can alter this. Click on Transition and to the right you will see options to increase or reduce the timings.
4. Use picture borders – If you have a range of images that vary in size or shape it can make your slides look a little messy. By adding the same style of border to each image you can add uniformity to an array of images. To do this go to Format, select a picture border and apply the same border to all images.
5. Choose a colour scheme – applying your company colours to each slide in your presentation will give it a consistent and professional feeling. To change the background colour of a slide go to Design, then Background and click on the style you want to use.
6. Using graphs – Blocks of texts and tables full of information are hard for an audience to follow, instead you can create graphs and charts from Excel data. To insert a graph go to the Insert tab and choose Insert chart, you can then choose from different types of graphs including bar charts, line graphs and pie charts.
7. Line up your objects – Lining up images and/or text makes slides look a lot neater but it’s often quite fiddly to do by hand. Instead, select each object by clicking the first and then pressing Ctrl while clicking on the other objects to select all. Once selected, click on Draw and select Align. You can then choose whether to align to the left, right or centrally.
8. Turn off your pointer – Seeing your mouse pointer whizzing around the screen can be distracting. You can stop it from showing by pressing the Ctrl+H key during Slide Show view.
9. Create handouts – handouts can be useful for your audience to take away at the end of a presentation. To create handouts of your slides go to Print Preview and choose Page Set Up. Click on Print What and choose a handout layout.
10. Compress your slides – If you have lots of slides containing a lot of imagery, your PowerPoint presentation is likely to become difficult to work with and run slowly. You can fix this by compressing the media in your presentation for a smaller overall file size that runs much quicker. To do this go to File, click Info, and then in the Media Size and Performance section, click Compress Media.
We hope that these tips will help you when working on your next presentation!