Quick Tips to Make Your PowerPoint Presentations Better

    PowerPoint LogoWe’ve all been there and have sat through PowerPoint presentations that have just something about them that bother you. Maybe it’s the design, maybe it’s the content, maybe it’s something else entirely. Here are a handful of tips to make your presentation better for all involved.

    Fix Your Alignment

    If you have a bunch of objects on your slide that should be lined up in some sort of a equally-spaced grid, it stands out when they’re not positioned right.

    While it’s close, it’s not quite perfect. There are a couple of ways to fix this:

    1. Make sure Smart Guides are enabled. To do this, right click on the gray area outside of the slide, select “Grid and Guides…” and then select “Smart Guides”

      After doing this, you’ll see nice alignment guides appear when you’re close to aligning with another object:
    2. Use the Align Objects Function. If you just want to align objects on the same horizontal or vertical plane, there is a simple way to do that. Select the objects you want to line up, and then under the “Arrange” menu, select “Align” and you have a variety of alignment options for the objects you have selected.

    Avoid Too Many Bullet Points

    Your presentation should never have as many words on it as the speech you’re giving along with it. We’ve all seen PowerPoints where there are a ton of really wordy bullet points. Generally speaking, you should try to avoid a massive wall of text on a slide. However, if you need the full wall of text for one reason or another, you can at least make it look nicer. And you can do that with PowerPoint’s SmartArt feature. So get your bullet point list together, and it might look something like this masterpiece:
    However, you can pretty it up. Click on the text box and select the “SmartArt” option under the “Paragraph” menu and you can select all sorts of options for better presentation of your text.
    You can mouse-over the various options to see how things are going to look. Select one, and you’ll see how much better things look:
    Go Easy On the Animations and Transitions

    Animations and transitions in PowerPoint can make a presentation look pretty slick. However, they can sometimes be overwhelming and slow down the presentation of information. They’re easier to get away with when you’re presenting to people in the same room, but when you’re sharing presentations over Teams or via other methods, the animations and transitions can slow down the loading of your slideshow and cause your viewers to think things are glitching out. Basically, follow these rules of thumb when you thinking about using animations or transitions:

    • Ask yourself if it actually makes your presentation look or present better. If the answer is no, don’t bother putting it in.
    • Use quick transitions (less than a second, ideally) to make things transition smooth and quick and also give remote sharing less of a chance to glitch out.
    • Be consistent with your transitions and animations and use the same ones throughout the presentation. Using a bunch of different ones will become distracting really quick for your viewer.

    Use Slide Masters for Consistent Presentations

    For corporate presentations to clients, it’s pretty obvious when a slide show has been copy and pasted or laid out inconsistently. Or if fonts or logos are all not the same, it looks pretty cheap. The best way to make things consistent is to use Slide Masters where you can set this all up in one place and it will apply to all your slides (and can be tweaked on all your slides later).

    Go to the “View” menu and select “Slide Master”.

    When you edit the slide master, all slides that are based on that master will contain those changes.  Microsoft has a pretty great article on using slide masters and how you can setup color themes and such inside those masters, so we’d recommend you check that out if you want a bit more consistency in your presentations.

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