With an estimated 95% market share, and over 500 million users worldwide, it’s fair to say PowerPoint is still the presentation tool of choice.
But how many of those users are really getting the most out of it? And what are the benefits of improving your PowerPoint design skills?
Whether it’s a business proposal, sales report, or training material, using PowerPoint at its full design potential leads to higher quality and more compelling presentations. Beyond its basic design capabilities, PowerPoint offers many advanced tools for improving both workflow efficiency and the overall value of your presentation.
Here’s a list of tips and shortcuts to help you build more effective presentations and boost your brand’s performance:
Use the Selection Pane
The Selection Pane allows you to easily control each element currently on the slide, including renaming, repositioning, and deleting. To open the Selection Pane: go to the Editing section on the Home tab and click Select, then Selection Pane. It will pop up on the right side of the window but can be dragged to wherever you want it.
Customize the ribbon
Ever get tired of clicking around through all the tabs and menus in PowerPoint? These can all be customized so your most frequently used commands are easily accessible. To do this:
Open the File menu and click on Options. On the left of the PowerPoint Options dialog, select Customize Ribbon. You can select which tabs, groups, and commands are placed on the ribbon in the list on the left. In the right list you can add, remove, rearrange, and rename tabs, groups, and commands.
Use guides and rulers
Proper alignment will give your slides a sleek, professional edge. PowerPoint offers three options for lining up elements on your slides: rulers, gridlines, and guides, which can be enabled by checking boxes in the View tab. Right click in an empty space on the slide and select Grid and Guides… to adjust grid settings. There’s also has a Snap to option for auto-aligning.
We’ve all heard the advice: use animations sparingly. Too many effects can be confusing for the audience and take focus away from your point. However, animation can be effective when showing charts and graphs. Here’s an example:
After inserting a chart, go to the Animations tab. In the Animation section of the ribbon, select Appear. Then click on Animation Pane in the Advanced Animation section of the ribbon. Right click on the chart’s name in the Animation Pane and select Effect Options. This dialog lets you change the animation’s settings, such as timing, or add sound. Go to the third tab, Chart Animation, and in the Group chart drop-down menu, select By Category.
When the chart is displayed, each element (bar or chunk of pie, for example) will appear one at a time.
Use Slide Masters
This time-saving feature lets you make global changes to fonts, colours, and visual elements instead of repeating the same tasks on each slide. Go to the View tab on the ribbon, and click on Slide Master in the Master Views section. This will open a new Slide Master tab on the ribbon, where you can make changes to the slide master. In the Master Layout section you can add headers and footers, as well as placeholders for text, images, Smart Art, media, sound, and charts or graphs.
Any changes made on the slide master will affect all new slides; however these changes will not be applied to existing slides. You can override global changes applied with the slide master on individual slides.