What is PowerPoint?
PowerPoint is a full-featured presentation graphics program. It includes everything you need to create a polished presentation. PowerPoint includes tools for word processing, outlining, drawing, graphing, and presentation management, all of which are designed to be simple to use and learn.
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation software program. Along with Microsoft Word and Excel, it comes in the standard Office suite which you can download from www.office.com/setup. Users can use the software to create everything from simple slide shows to complex presentations.
PowerPoint is used for business presentations, but it can also be used for educational or informal purposes. The slides in the presentation may contain text, images, and other media such as audio clips and movies. Sound effects and animated transitions can also be used to enhance the presentation’s appeal. Overuse of sound effects and transitions, on the other hand, is likely to irritate your audience rather than draw their attention. (Yes, we have all heard the car screeching noise more than once in our lives.)
Most PowerPoint presentations can be created using a template, which includes a background color or image, a standard font, and a variety of slide layouts. Changes to the template can be saved to a “master slide,” which stores the presentation’s slide theme. Changes to the master slide, such as selecting a new background image, are propagated to all the other slides. It ensures that all the slides in the presentation have a consistent appearance.
When delivering a PowerPoint presentation, the presenter can choose whether to have the slides change at predetermined intervals or to control the flow manually. This can be accomplished with the mouse, keyboard, or remote control. The presentation flow can be further customized by allowing slides to load fully or one bullet at a time. If the presenter has several bullet points on a page, for example, he may have individual points appear when he clicks the mouse. This allows for more interaction with the audience and focuses attention on each point.
Microsoft PowerPoint can be used to create and view PowerPoint presentations. They can also be imported and exported using Apple Keynote, the Macintosh presentation program. Most people prefer not to watch presentations on a laptop, PowerPoint presentations are frequently displayed with the help of a projector. As a result, if you are preparing a PowerPoint presentation for a large group, just make sure you have the proper video adapter.
10 PowerPoint Features (To Make Better Presentations)
It takes time to create a presentation! Although Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most user-friendly and popular apps, it has a lot of power under the hood. Finding those features and making the most of them takes time.
Every app has a learning curve. Wouldn’t it be great if you could skip that learning curve and know everything you need to create professional presentations right away? That is what you’ll learn from this blog post: 10 PowerPoint features and tools for creating an eye-catching presentation.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the PowerPoint features and tools that can help you become more productive.
1. Start with a Built-in Layout
When you’re creating a new slide in Microsoft PowerPoint, you have two options:
- Create the slide from the ground up, dropping them in individual placeholder boxes one by one until you have a slide.
- Try out a built-in layout that includes all the content boxes you’ll need right away.
Starting your slide design with a pre-built layout is a no-brainer. It saves time and improves the presentation’s appearance by neatly aligning all boxes and content.
Choose a Layout from the menu options on the Home tab:
One of the reasons I believe presenters avoid layouts is the desire to customize the slide. Nothing prevents you from tweaking a layout, moving boxes around as needed, or adding other content placeholders.
Although it is a simple PowerPoint feature, I have seen far too many presenters draw and redraw boxes onto the slide. You’re far better off starting with a basic layout and modifying it as needed.
2. Update Designs Consistently using Slide Master View
Most of my favorite PowerPoint features save time while also ensuring that slides are consistent. It is a huge help if the logo appears in the same place on each slide, for example.
Slide masters manage the design of multiple slides at once. When you change a slide master, the changes will apply to all slides that use that master.
- Go to the View tab and select Slide Master. Now, add something that you want to appear on each slide (like a footer text or logo) to the master:
- When you return to the Normal view, you will notice the changes on each slide that uses the same master.
Again, it is all about creating clean, consistent slide designs. The slide master adjustment is a sweet spot for productivity and design excellence.
3. Use Someone Else’s Presentation as a Model
As Picasso said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” There is nothing wrong with utilizing the hard work of others to create a perfect presentation.
That is precisely the purpose of Envato Elements. Elements is a monthly subscription service that allows you to download as many files as you want. Over 700 PowerPoint themes are available for a one-time fee.
Envato Elements is used on almost every creative project that I work on. I always begin by browsing Elements to get inspiration for what I am working on. You have a great head start on creating a presentation if you use one of the PowerPoint templates.
Envato’s price is worth it just for the PowerPoint themes. Those who create presentations regularly, on the other hand, benefit from stock photos, graphics, icons, and other assets that you can use to spice up a presentation.
Using one of these pre-built templates is not stealing; it just feels that way because it’s so simple. With Elements, you can avoid the time-consuming process of designing everything from scratch.
4. Rearrange Slides for Effectiveness
Most presentations can significantly improve in just a few seconds by rethinking the order in which your slides are sequenced. I constantly remind presenters to remember the BLUF principle: bottom line first.
How many times have you sat through a presentation where the message was unclear? After 30 minutes, you are so inundated with information that it is difficult to remember the point. Instead, state your conclusion first, followed by an explanation of why you feel that way.
Switching to Slide Sorter view in PowerPoint is the best way to accomplish this. There is no better way to see all your content at the same time. To access it, go to View > Slide Sorter.
When I switch to Slide Sorter view, I take a close look to make sure I’m not burying my conclusion and that I’m building a story that makes sense sequentially. Drag and drop the slide thumbnails to reorder them in a BLUF-friendly and concise order.
5. Follow the Guides
Earlier versions of PowerPoint made it a bit difficult to align items on a slide consistently. The guides that appear as you drag and drop objects help ensure that your objects are neat and tidy.
You can see an example of what I mean in the screenshot below. The small red arrows and dotted lines show how objects relate to one another, and you will see them when two objects are equidistant from one another.
When you are working in PowerPoint, keep an eye out for these helper lines. Using them to align objects will result in a more aesthetically pleasing slide.
6. Set Slide Sizes
When determining slide size, keep in mind the size of the screen you’ll be presenting on. The aspect ratios of various types of screens vary slightly.
To change the size of a slide, go to the Design tab and select the slide size from the Customize dropdown:
It is critical to determine the size of your presentation. When you align the two, your presentation will fill the entire screen or projector.
7. Resize Multiple Objects
As I previously stated, I believe that consistency in slides is essential for maintaining a clean appearance. If you have multiple images that need to be the same size, there is a simple feature for doing so.
When you have several profile images that need to be resized consistently, this is a great example. To do this, hold the Control key on your keyboard (Command on a Mac) and click on all the images that need to be resized.
Now, on the PowerPoint ribbon, make sure you are on the Format tab. Next, navigate to the Size section and enter a number into one of the boxes. All the images will be resized to the size specified in the box:
After you have established a starting point for size, you can fine-tune it to your liking. The important thing is to keep all images selected and to adjust the size in unison.
8. Clean Up Tables Quickly
Data tables are one of the most effective ways to present data in PowerPoint. With a simple row-column layout, your viewer can quickly glance at and understand numbers.
As you begin to resize and tweak the look of a table in PowerPoint, your rows and columns may become disjointed or jumbled. I like to fix this with Distribute Rows, which evens out the row sizes:
To apply an easy fix to your rows, highlight the rows, then, go to the Layout tab and click Distribute Rows.
9. Learn to Use SmartArt
SmartArt is without a doubt one of my favorite PowerPoint features. Consider this feature to be the happy medium between infographics and text-only diagrams.
SmartArt is a tool for creating dynamic graphics that you can update directly within PowerPoint. You do not need to use a separate app to make your graphics and charts.
SmartArt allows you to create a wide range of diagrams, including hierarchies, processes, cycles, and more. You can create a simple bulleted list, and the art will adjust to include the points you choose.
I believe in doing as much as possible directly within PowerPoint. SmartArt features, for example, are a great way to eliminate the need for another app, such as Illustrator or Photoshop, from your workflow.
10. Try a Theme Variant
What should you do when you’ve finished designing a presentation, and it just doesn’t feel right?
The simplest solution may be to try a different variant. It simply changes the presentation’s color scheme and style. Click a new thumbnail from the Variants selection on the Design tab.
When you change a variant, the color scheme of the entire presentation changes. The simplest way to experiment with a different style is with a single click:
Changing the Theme Variant is another step you can take to quickly and consistently give your presentation a new look. If you don’t have time to redo the presentation from scratch, try out a variant instead.
Author: Jace Mrazz is a Microsoft Office expert with 5 years of experience in the technology industry. He has written technical and SEO blogs, white papers, and reviews for a variety of websites including office.com/setup and office365.com/setup.