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How to add polish to your PowerPoint presentations

Posted In MS office - By Techtiplib on Friday, April 6th, 2012 With No Comments »

Microsoft PowerPoint is a terrific medium because it allows you to reinforce your message with visual prompts. But too often, the power of PowerPoint is lost because the speaker doesn’t use it to help viewers focus on the message. Instead, PowerPoint itself becomes the focus.

Powerpoint tips

Whether you are a frequent public speaker or a student who needs to make a presentation for the semester final, you can feel more relaxed and confident the next time you’re using PowerPoint to deliver a presentation with these four tips to help keep the focus on your topic—not on the medium. After that, expand your knowledge with 12 PowerPoint  tips for creating better presentations. And, for a new look, you may also want to explore free PowerPoint templates.

Make consistent style changes on all slides using the slide master

Sometimes PowerPoint users forget that changes to features, like bullet styles and indentations, don’t have to be made on every slide—they need be made only once, on the slide master. The PowerPoint slide master stores information about the theme and slide layouts of presentations, including backgrounds, colors, fonts, effects, placeholder sizes, and positioning. Using the slide master can give you peace of mind as you make a presentation, because you know your slides will be consistently formatted.

Note: These slide master instructions are for PowerPoint 2010 and PowerPoint 2007.

To make changes to PowerPoint themes or layouts, from anywhere within your presentation, click the View tab, and then click Slide Master. You will see a slide master, as shown here.

The PowerPoint slide master stores information for your entire presentation.

The slide master includes placeholders showing the layout of text on the slides and the style in which text will be formatted. The slide master includes corresponding layouts to accommodate different types of information. You can apply a layout to a selected slide in Normal view: On the Home tab, in the Slides group, click the arrow next to the Layout icon.

Remember that changes you make to the layout or formatting on the slide master are automatically applied to all the slides in your presentation. If you want to change the placement or text styles for a specific slide only, select that slide, and work in Normal view. Then, make any of the types of changes mentioned here.

To change the bullet style for all first-level bullets in a presentation, make the change on the slide master:

  1. From anywhere within your presentation, click the View tab, and then clickSlide Master.
  2. Click anywhere in the first bullet.
  3. Click the Home tab.
  4. In the Paragraph group, click the arrow beside the Bullets icon and then clickBullets and Numbering.
  5. Select the bullet style and attributes you want for your first-level bullets, and then click OK.

In a similar way, you can make other adjustments to the style and format of the slide master, using formatting options on the Home tab. For example, you can change the text color and size, and you can change the indentation of the bullets from the Paragraph dialog box.

You can use slide masters for a lot more than adding repeated information or changing formatting, too.

Include a date or a slide number on your slides

In PowerPoint 2010 and PowerPoint 2007, you can include a date, a slide number, or other information that will appear in the footer (bottom) portion of either a specific slide or all the slides in your presentation.

  1. In Normal view, click the Insert tab.
  2. In the Text group, click Header and FooterDate and Time, or Slide Number, specify the information you want to appear, and indicate the slides on which it should appear.

Specify slide number or other footer information in the Header and Footer dialog box.

n this dialog box, you can also turn on slide numbers and add footer information. Each item will appear in the placeholder and in the style indicated on the slide master.

Reinforce your message with automated charts

People retain information in different ways—by reading text, by seeing graphical representations, and by listening. So it’s important to learn to create and to include at least simple charts when you make a PowerPoint presentation. With the automated formats PowerPoint provides, you have literally dozens of ways to build a unique presentation and to make your message memorable. If you have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer and you use PowerPoint 2010 or PowerPoint 2007, the chart you create is an Excel chart, with access to all the advanced charting features available in that program.

Careful use of animations and transitions is another way to make your presentation more memorable.

Insert a chart or graph in your presentation

  • PowerPoint 2010
  • PowerPoint 2007
  • PowerPoint 2003

Jump easily between slides

If you didn’t know how to use a hyperlink, you wouldn’t be reading this online article. You may already use hyperlinks for quick and easy access to the web if you are connected to the Internet while making your presentation. Too often, however, a cool way to use hyperlinks within a presentation is overlooked. It happens when presenters include additional information at the back of a presentation as “backup” slides and then never refer to them because it’s too difficult to navigate to the end and then return to the main presentation. But if the information is important enough to reference in a backup slide, why not make it accessible within the slide show, too?

With PowerPoint hyperlinks, you don’t have to ignore that information at the end of your presentation, because it’s easy to jump between slides.

Insert hyperlinks between slides in your presentation and to references outside your presentation

  • PowerPoint 2010
  • PowerPoint 2007
  • PowerPoint 2003

Note: Hyperlinks are active only when a slide show presentation is running—not while you’re working on your presentation in Normal view or in Slide Sorter view. To check links in PowerPoint 2010 and PowerPoint 2007, click the Slide Show tab. In PowerPoint 2003, on the View menu, click Slide Show.

Creating links between slides in your own presentation is just the beginning. You can also create hyperlinks in your PowerPoint presentation to slides in other presentations, email addresses, a page or file on the web, or new files.

Powerpoint tips from Microsoft

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