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5 Ways to Avoid ‘Death by PowerPoint’ for your Presentations

May 12 2015

 

Love it or hate it, PowerPoint is still the most widely used piece of software for creating presentations. However, when it comes to using the software effectively, you need to make sure you aren’t making silly mistakes (e.g. floating in text) that could ruin the professional tone of your presentation.

You also need to make sure you’re making use of the software’s best features i.e. those that will help you create an engaging presentation for your audience. Here we’ve explained five different features that will help you get the most out of the software and avoid ‘death by PowerPoint’ for your presentations.

Don’t forget that Microsoft PowerPoint is available as part of the Office 365 Cloud series of applications available from Microsoft.

 

1. Use Presenter View

The worst PowerPoint presentations are when presenters read directly off the slides they have created. What’s the point in reading the slides out when your audience could read them themselves? If you want to make your presentation more fluid and professional, we highly recommend using PowerPoint’s Presenter View, which you can find in the Slide Show tab.

In the Presenter View, you will be able to create an area for your notes, which you can refer to when giving your presentation, rather than simply reading off the screen. There is also a clock so you can time your presentation and a display so you can see what your presentation looks like on the projector screen.

 

2. Turn off the pointer

When you’re watching a PowerPoint presentation and the pointer (little arrow) appears and moves around the screen, it can be very distracting. Make sure that all the attention remains on you when you’re speaking by getting rid of the points. All you need to do is press Ctrl and H when the Slide Show has started. The pointer will then disappear as you move your mouse. To bring it back, all you need to do is press the A key.

 

3. Jump to any slide

PowerPoint makes it easy for you to move quickly and seamlessly throughout your presentation. All you need to do is enter the slide number on your keyboard and press the enter key. You will then be able to jump from one slide to the next without having to click through each page. This feature is particularly useful if you’re running out of time giving your presentation and want to make sure you show the most important slides to your audience first.

 

4. Use PowerPoint shape tools

When it comes to creating PowerPoint presentations, people have a tendency to either share their information in paragraphs on each slide or if they’re trying to be more concise – bullet points. Sharing bite size chunks of information on each slide is recommended but there’s definitely a better way to display them to your audience than paragraphs and bullet points. Using PowerPoint’s shape tool, you can create diagrams and flow charts, which will make the information more visual to your audience and help them to understand it better.

 

5. Embed websites within your PowerPoint

Usually when people want to reference a website in their PowerPoint presentation they embed a link to it and then have to wait X amount of seconds for it to load. Rather than leaving your audience waiting, why not simply embed the whole webpage into your PowerPoint presentation, so you can keep it fluid and natural.

The easiest way to do this is to use third party software like LiveWeb, which can be integrated into PowerPoint’s developer tab so you can embed websites directly into presentations using an HTML iframe.

 

Conclusion

Next time you’re using PowerPoint; don’t forget to keep these top tips in mind!

Grant McGregor’s IT Support Service is much more than fixing broken IT equipment or righting the things that go wrong. Our technical support team help clients to use more of their IT resources, more effectively, more of the time!

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Check-out our previous titles in this series:
• “5 Easy Steps to Using Microsoft Excel More Effectively”
• “5 Easy Steps to Using Microsoft Word More Effectively”

 

 

Image credit: AJC

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