The primary reason for embarrassingly failed PowerPoint presentations – the “death by PowerPoint phenomenon,” as it is very un-affectionately known – is not the software used. It is the user. Specifically, the user who mis-uses it, or fails to take effective advantage of its features.
Because we want you to be a brilliant presenter (or at least a confident, effective one), we’ve tracked down six tutorial videos we’re confident will help you master some advanced PowerPoint skills.
#1: Keeping track of changes
Many presenters today collaborate with colleagues on an important presentation. This can be a very effective method of enhancing and refining a slide deck. Unfortunately it can also get rather tricky and complicated. And if any contributor forgets to engage the “Track Changes” function, important information, ideas, design solutions and the like can be lost or forgotten. Fortunately, there is a way to recover such losses – as shown in the following video.
#2: Choosing colors with eyedropper tool
Color continuity gives your slides a consistent look. But sometimes it can be confusing to precisely match the colors of your images to your text, shapes, and other parts of your presentation. Here’s how you can resolve this issue with the eyedropper tool.
#3: Custom markers and icons
If you want to customize your presentations with special icons, markers, pointers and the like (to add branding, for example), you can create them right in the PowerPoint app. If learning how to use a vector graphics editor such as Adobe Illustrator or iDraw seems a bit too overwhelming or time-consuming, just explore PowerPoint’s simpler, more user-friendly shapes and design commands.
#4: Customizing images
Often, an image you want to use in building a presentation has a background or other element that just doesn’t work – it detracts from your message, clashes with your color scheme, or is otherwise inappropriate. The good news is that you can “clean up” such an image right in PowerPoint. This tool is also quite useful if you want to combine two images. Check out the video below to learn how.
#5: Creative cropping
It’s a piece of cake to do a square or rectangle photo crop using PowerPoint, but what if you want to crop around an irregular shape? What if you want to remove a “busy” (distractive) background? Here’s a video to show you how.
#6: Creative fading
You may have seen a presentation in which a portion of an image fades out, to make room for text. Done well, it’s an elegant, attention-catching effect. Here’s how to make it happen.
Have you run across any other tutorials that your fellow presenters would find useful, and sharpen their PowerPoint skills? Please share them in the comment box below!