Take Your PowerPoint Presentation Skills Beyond the Basics

Learn to use animation, morphs, music, and more for a professional look & feel

PowerPoint Presentation

Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful communications tool, but you limit yourself when you don’t learn features beyond the basics. Animations, morphs, and music can leave a positive, lasting impression. And a clean, uncluttered design promotes your professional image.

Investing a little time up front to learn this software will enable you to create engaging, professional PowerPoint shows with superior results—in a fraction of the time, promises PowerPoint expert Roman Kondratiuk. In his AudioSolutionz webinar, “Build a Professional PowerPoint Show with Morph and Animations,” he shows you how to take full advantage of graphics, column charts, and animations—and explains how to convert your presentation to slideshow and movie formats.

Because your PowerPoint presentation is a visual tool, you must always have aesthetics in mind when you design. This doesn’t mean you need to be a graphic designer to make an impactful presentation, though. Here are 4 PowerPoint tips to boost your design savvy while you create:

Modify Templates To Make Them Your Own

Using pre-made templates is a great way to jumpstart your design process, but you usually need to make some modifications to make them your own.

“Often, it’s much easier to edit your PowerPoint template before you start—this way, you don’t have design each slide by hand,” states Hubspot, which offers this simple method:

  1. Select “Themes” in the top navigation.
  2. In the far right, click “Edit Master,” then “Slide Master.”
  3. Make any changes you like, then click “Close Master.” All current and future slides in that presentation will use that template.

Keep Your Slide’s Text, But Start Over With A Clean Design Slate

Whether you’ve inherited a sloppy presentation that you need to fix, or you’ve made a bunch of changes to a slide and it still looks rough, sometimes you just need a do-over. Without having to create a new slide and reenter your text, you can take the design back to its original state.

To do this:

  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation and right-click on the thumbnail image of the slide you’d like to fix.
  2. Select Layout from the resulting shortcut menu, and then choose the layout from the options shown that best fits the slide’s scope.
  3. Right-click on the thumbnail again and choose Reset from the shortcut menu.

These actions remove any manual formatting that strayed from the slide master, convert your slide to a more useful layout, and provide a clean jumping-off point for your redesign.

Swap An Image Without Messing Up The Layout

Sometimes you have to make a last-minute change to an image, but your layout is all in place. What to do?

“The Change Picture feature makes it super easy to swap in a new image while maintaining the size, formatting, and existing animations of the previous image,” notes Brainshark, which offers this advice to make a last-minute image swap without altering the layout:

  1. Hide all images in the Selection Pane.
  2. Click on the image on your slide and select Format in the tool bar.
  3. Select Change Picture and choose the new image from your files that you would like to use.

Pack A Punch With Titles

Beyond its usefulness as body copy, text serves as a handy design element—especially for headings and titles. Lifehack offers these steps to format your fonts with Text Effects:

  1. Right click on the text you want to format and click on Format Text Effects.
  2. Make a selection from the formatting options that will pop open on the right hand side.

“As with images, the best practice is to play around with the various options and see which ones you like,” suggests Lifehack.

Use a Light Touch When Using Animation

If you want to make an impact with your presentations, you must understand the expanded capabilities of PowerPoint better, notes Roman Kondratiuk. One such capability is animation, which can add a special touch but can also be overdone.

“In animations, there is a fine line between a comic and a professional impression,” cautions Make Use Of. While you should tread lightly, don’t avoid animation completely. The feature can be a powerful method for getting viewers to visualize and understand complicated ideas, the site adds: “A good animation can not only improve understanding, it can also make the message stick with your audience.”

Kondratiuk agrees. In his AudioSolutionz webinar, “Build a Professional PowerPoint Show with Morph and Animations,” he shares shortcuts and advanced techniques that go a long way toward building a dynamic and professional presentation.

To join the conference or see a replay, order a DVD or transcript, or read more
About Amy Palermo
Amy is a regular content contributor for the AudioEducator and AudioSolutionz Blogs. A freelance editor who has worked in all phases of publishing over the last 25 years in both print and digital formats, Amy specializes in healthcare, human resources, technical skills and other key industry content. She is also experienced in book and journal layout and design, traditional and digital illustrations, and photo editing.