Hate them or love them, presentations are a part and parcel of the knowledge worker’s day.
Here are 5 tips for getting the best out of PowerPoint.
1. Upgrade to PowerPoint 2007:
If you are still using the old version, do yourself a favor and upgrade.
2007 offers much better usability and the improvements it makes to diagramming and graphing tools are alone worth the price of admission.
2. Get familiar with new Ribbon Interface
The ribbon interface in PowerPoint 2007 consists of some standard tabs along the top, like “Home”, “Insert”, “Design” and so on.
As you click on each of these tabs, the ’ribbon’ underneath changes to bring up the features associated with this tab.
The other thing to remember is that at the end of the standard tab, new tabs will appear as you work on your presentation.
So if you are working on a picture, you will get the “Picture Tools” tab at the end of the usual tabs – it is highlighted in a different color to make it easier to find.
Similarly, if you are working on a table the “Table Tools” group of tabs will show up in the same place, click on one of them to reveal the associated ribbon.
3. Use Slide Master
If your presentation is at all of significant size, use the “Slide Master” feature to set up standard fonts, colors, and look for the types of slides you intend to use.
Once this is set up, you can use the “Layout” dropdown the “Home” tab to quickly switch the look and feel of a slide to a different master style. And if you have changed the elements on a slide and want to revert to your master style, click on the “Reset” button. Try them !
4. Use SmartArt
The SmartArt feature in PowerPoint 2007 makes the creation of fairly complex diagrams a cinch. The best way to learn is to try it - you can create hierarchies, lists, cause and effect diagrams, and many more.
5. Add frequently used functions to the Quick-Access Toolbar
You can right-click on pretty much any button on any ribbon and add it to our Quick Access toolbar (The row of buttons right at the top of the window – above the ribbon)
For example, if you often need to increase the font size of your text, right-click on the icon for increasing font size, and select the ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’ option
The increase font button will now appear on the Quick Access Toolbar