Technology

These 4 Tricks Will Make Your Next PowerPoint Presentation Smooth

Are you the DIY type who enjoys diving into new software programs hands-on? Do you geek out over shortcuts in Microsoft Office products? Have you been using trial and error to learn programs like PowerPoint, referencing online tutorials whenever you get stuck? If so, you’ve probably learned a great deal and can produce outstanding presentations. However, PowerPoint is a complex software program that takes years to master.

If you’ve never taken a formal training course to learn all the details, the following tricks will make your next PowerPoint presentation smooth and powerful:

  1. Hyperlinking within your slides

Did you know you can use hyperlinks in your PowerPoint slides? Hyperlinking is one of the most powerful, yet underutilized features in PowerPoint.

Within your slides, you can user hyperlinks that open various types of content like:

  • Other slides in the current presentation
  • Other PowerPoint presentations
  • Webpages
  • Files on your computer
  • Pop-up text

This feature allows you to give non-linear presentations, and it’s also a shortcut that saves time and effort.

Save time and effort with hyperlinks

Say you’re giving a presentation to your university history class about items discovered at various archaeological sites in Egypt. You’ll probably want to show the class some of the discoveries that have been posted across the internet. You could copy those images and create a slide with data for each discovery, but that’s hard work. You also don’t want to make your audience wait while you open a browser and type in the URL. It’s easier to show webpages in a PowerPoint presentation by creating hyperlinks that go directly to those pages.

If you don’t want to link to webpages or you don’t have internet access during your presentation, save the images to your desktop and create a link to those files. When the image pops up, you can set it to full screen for a better view – no internet required.

There are plenty more ways to use hyperlinks in your PowerPoint presentations. To learn how to implement hyperlinks in your presentations, visit the Nuts and Bolts Speed Training PowerPoint tutorial for instructions and best practices.

  1. Sticking to Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule

Many of today’s avid PowerPoint presenters use Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule which is:

  • Creating 10 slides total
  • Practicing to present those 10 slides within 20 minutes
  • Using a minimum font size of 30

Why limit a PowerPoint presentation to 10 slides?

The average person can’t comprehend more than 10 concepts in one meeting. Limiting a presentation to 10 slides maximizes the amount of information absorbed by your audience.

Why limit a PowerPoint presentation to 20 minutes?

Say you’re given an hour time slot for your presentation. Chances are, you’ll need at least fifteen minutes to connect your laptop to the projector and that’s being generous. Then consider that people will arrive late and leave early. Your actual presentation should be in the middle of that hour with at least twenty to thirty minutes at the end for questions and discussion.

Why use a large font?

Kawasaki explains that when the font size is too small, the presenter is compelled to cram too much text onto each slide. When the presenter reads the slide, the audience starts to read ahead. Since the audience can read faster than the presenter can speak, they end up out of sync.

  1. Changing the shape of your visuals

Although a slide isn’t supposed to be fancy, design matters. Part of design involves contrast. You probably know how to use contrasting colors, but contrasting shapes are equally important. For example, using round images will contrast with the naturally square border of your presentation.

PowerPoint makes it easy to create shapes, but did you know it’s possible to change those shapes later? Say you create all of your slides and realize the shape of certain visuals isn’t working. It’s too cumbersome to recreate your visuals. Here’s how to change the shape quickly:

Select your shape, then navigate to Drawing Tools > Format > Edit Shape > Change Shape > select the new shape.

  1. Embedding video files

Statistics show that people retain 95% of video messages compared to 10% when reading text. Embedding a video file in your PowerPoint presentation will improve your ability to communicate your message to your audience.

You can embed a video from your computer or YouTube, depending on whether you’ll have internet access when presenting.

Keep learning

There are plenty of tricks to improve the quality of your PowerPoint presentations. In addition to technical knowledge, keep learning strategies from successful entrepreneurs to improve the effectiveness of your presentations.

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