Ways to Get More from Microsoft PowerPoint

Many of us have sat through a PowerPoint presentation that has nearly bored us to tears. As a result, you might shy away from this presentation tool in fear of doing the same to your audience. While it might not be the rage that it was years ago, that doesn’t mean you need to underestimate the effectiveness of PowerPoint. In fact, a well-designed PowerPoint can help you deliver a powerful and engaging presentation to your audience. Consider the following tips for getting more out of your PowerPoint presentation. 


Create a Custom Template

PowerPoint is packed with stock slides and templates that are designed to make your life easier, and people who aren’t familiar with the tool might think this is their only option. However, this is not the case. The truth is, millions of people have created presentations using those same stock slides so unless you want your presentation to look the same as everyone else’s, you need to do a little work to create a custom slide. You don’t have to be an expert in computer design to get a custom look. There are plenty of other free and premium templates available beyond the ones provided by Microsoft. A custom background will help you add some pizzazz to your PowerPoint, allowing you to stand out from the crowd. 


Select High-Quality Images

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” You can support your text by including high-quality images. This means staying away from Google images, illustrations, and drawings. These types of images can make your presentation look childish and unprofessional. Rather, choose high-quality images that are impactful and relevant to your message. 


Use Visuals to Display Data

Whenever your presentation contains a lot of data, it can be easier to communicate this data by using visuals instead of text. Graphs, charts, and diagrams are a great way to show data in a way that is easier for the audience to understand. PowerPoint offers a wide variety of graphing tools, and you can also find plenty of custom graphing tools online. 


Zoom In and Out of Slides

Sometimes there is information on a slide that needs more attention. Perhaps you want your audience to take a closer look at a chart or graph. PowerPoint allows the user to zoom in and out and magnify important information in order to give the audience a closer look. This is a great way to control your presentation and emphasize your most important points. 


Make Use of PowerPoint’s Shapes

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. The presentation tool provides a number of great shape options beyond the traditional square, oval, and rectangle. Paragraphing and bullet points are boring, but you can use shapes to express your message in a way that is more visually appealing to your audience. 


Try Using GIFs

GIFs are looped animated images that can be useful in communicating a mood, idea, or information. While they might not be appropriate for every presentation, they can be a great tool for infusing a little humor into your presentation or even demonstrating a process.