Microsoft PowerPoint is the default application for business presentations. With an estimated 95% of the market share, and 500 million users worldwide, it is a normal part of everyday work life. But it also garners its share of detractors: who hasn’t heard of the phrase “death by PowerPoint”? Don’t blame the tools! This blog post will outline some fundamental features and Powerpoint tips that we use every day to make our clients’ presentations stand out, and can be used as a reference to improve your PowerPoint skills.
5 Powerpoint tips for slide design
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. 7 seconds is all you have so, depending on the purpose of your presentation and the audience, the opening slide needs to have a relevant and powerful image – or text – to grab your audience’s attention
The difference between presentations formatted by professionals and the rest is consistency. Use a proper template that is suitable for the content, and have key elements in the same place on every slide.
Keep it simple
Create one, simple message per slide and don’t make your audience have to interpret this message. Seth Godin sums this up well: “Slides should reinforce your words, not repeat them”.
High quality images
The human brain is attracted to images. A great image will engage your audience and increase the impact of your presentation. Clip Art is not an example of using high quality images!
Document Themes and Branding
Nothing lets a presentation down more than using the default PowerPoint theme and colour scheme. Your company logo, fonts, and colours are all part of your “brand”. A properly built PowerPoint template will have your company branding built into it so that every presentation reinforces your brand.
Five Powerpoint tips the Professionals use
Customize the ribbon
PowerPoint has a lot of features. And we love that, really we do. But it can get a bit cumbersome clicking through all the tabs and menus to find the tool you need. Solve this by customizing the ribbon so the tools and features you use most frequently are easily-accessible.
In the File menu, click Options to open the PowerPoint Options dialog. In the left pane, select Customize Ribbon. In the customization options, the list on the left shows which tabs, groups, and commands are currently on the ribbon. Use the list on the right to add, remove, rearrange, and rename tabs, groups, and commands.
Use the Selection Pane
Another great tool to minimise frantic clicking, the Selection Pane gives you complete control of every element on a slide. Open the Selection Pane from the Editing section on the Home tab by clicking Select and then Selection Pane. It pops up on the right side of the PowerPoint window by default, but can be dragged to wherever is optimal for you.
Use guides and rulers
Properly aligning text and visual elements on your slides will give them a sleek, professional edge. PowerPoint has three alignment options available: rulers, gridlines, and guides, which you can enable by checking the appropriate box(es) in the View tab. To adjust grid settings, right click in an empty space on your slide and select Grid and Guides. There’s also a Snap to option for auto-aligning.
The number one rule for using animations is: keep it simple. Too many effects can cause confusion, taking the audience’s focus away from your point. But that doesn’t mean animations can’t be effective. For example, when showing charts and graphs:
Select the chart or graph you’ve added to your slide, go to the Animations tab, and select Appear (in the Animation section). In the Advanced Animation section, click Animation Pane. Then right click on the chart’s name in the Animation Pane and select Effect Options. In this dialog you can change the animation’s settings (such as timing) or add sounds. Go to the Chart Animation tab and, in the Group chart drop-down menu, select By Category.
Now, when you present your chart or graph, each element (such as bar or chunk of pie) will appear one by one.
Use Slide Masters
The Slide Master feature is a great time-saver, allowing for global changes to fonts, colours, and visual elements. No more manually repeating the same task slide after slide! To use the Slide Master:
In the Master Views section of the Views tab, click on Slide Master. A new Slide Master tab will appear on the ribbon complete with editing options for the slide master. In the Master Layout section, you can add headers and footers as well as placeholders for text, images, Smart Art, media, sounds, charts, and graphs.
Your brand is one of your most important assets and it needs to be consistent across all your presentations. If you follow these tips they will enhance your brand and might be the difference in landing that next big contract which is a win-win for everyone. If you have trouble with your brand consistency or need help with your presentations then drop us an email and see what we can do to help you and your brand.
phone: 020 8123 6041
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