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Awesome Tips To Make You A PowerPoint Rockstar

By:Christine Fettinger

Learn These Productivity Tips To Get More Out Of PowerPoint

Many of us probably started using PowerPoint well before our first jobs, for school or college presentations. We learned the basics and fiddled with finding the best background. Professional presentations should go a step further – read on for some tips to make your PowerPoint more engaging and polished.

Use the Ruler and Gridlines

Aligning your text boxes so they are symmetrical creates clear, attractive presentations. Doing this is easy with gridlines and the rule turned on. To do this, just right-click outside of the slide, hover over ‘Grid and Guides’ then click ‘Gridlines.’ For the ruler, right-click outside of the slide, then click ‘Ruler.’

Use Presenter View for More Dynamic Presentations

Presenter view can help you be more prepared and make your presentation more effective. It uses two displays, one being the standard slideshow audiences usually see while the other is just for the presenter. The presenter’s display allows you to easily see the notes on your current slide and the upcoming slide.

The presenter’s display also contains features that can help direct the audience’s attention to certain areas of the slide and make your presentations more engaging:

Point or annotate with the pen icon: Clicking the pen icon gives you the option of using a laser pointer, pen, or highlighter. To erase, click the pen icon again and choose ‘Eraser’ or ‘Erase all ink on slide.’

Zoom in with the magnifying glass icon: For charts or graphs that you want to show in more detail, click the magnifying glass icon to zoom in a part of a slide. To stop the zoom, just click the magnifying glass again.

Black the screen with monitor icon: If your audience’s eyes should be on you, not the PowerPoint, hit the icon that looks like a monitor with a slash through it. To show the screen again, just hit the icon again. Alternatively, you can hit ‘B’ or ‘W’ to blackout/whiteout the slides, then press any key to return to the presentation.

Add Audio to your Presentation

Adding a soundtrack to your presentation can be easy and add some ambiance to presentations. Audio can be added to individual slides or accompany the entire slideshow. To add audio

  1. Go to the ‘Insert’ tab then on the far right will be a button that says ‘Media’.
  2. Click the ‘Media’ button then ‘Audio’ then ‘Audio on my PC’
  3. Select the audio file. To have the audio accompany the entire slideshow click ‘Play in Background.’

Combine Shapes

Even if you don’t have Adobe Photoshop, PowerPoint will allow you to merge shapes that can add some pizzazz to slides. To do this:

  1. Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and click on ‘Shapes.’ Draw the shapes you want to combine.
  2. Select all of the shapes you are combining by holding down Ctrl and clicking.
  3. With the shapes selected go to the ‘Format’ tab and click the ‘Merge Shapes’ button. This button is small and on the left of the ribbon. It looks like a tilted Venn diagram.
  4. Choose the type of combination you want and click it.

Align your Graphics More Easily

Eyeballing graphics to line them up properly can be a hassle, especially since PowerPoint will do it for you. To line up graphics:

  1. Hold down Ctrl and click the shapes you want to align.
  2. Go to the ‘Home’ tab and click the ‘Arrange’ button which is on the right side of the ribbon
  3. Under the ‘Position Objects’ heading of the ‘Arrange’ button is ‘Align’
  4. Click ‘Align’ and choose the type of alignment you want

Recover Unsaved Presentations

Realizing you just closed an unsaved presentation can be pretty terrible. No one wants to re-do something that’s already been finished. PowerPoint can recover unsaved presentations so all may not be lost.

  1. Click ‘File’ then ‘Open’
  2. On the right is a list of all recent presentations, scroll down to the very bottom
  3. At the very bottom of the list should be a ‘Recover Unsaved Presentations’ button

Customize your Quick Access Toolbar

If there’s a command you use a lot in PowerPoint and want easily at your fingertips, add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. By default, it has ‘Save,’ ‘Undo,’ ‘Repeat,’ and ‘Start From the Beginning.’ Just click the drop-down arrow to the right of the ‘Start from the Beginning’ (if you currently have the default Quick Access Toolbar). Scroll down and click on ‘More Commands’ to see an exhaustive command list of commands that can be added. Select your desired commands and then click ‘Add.’ Now, you can easily click them from the top of the PowerPoint window anytime.

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