71 Compelling & Surprising PowerPoint Tips from the Pros

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Think you know PowerPoint? Think again. There are so many different PowerPoint tips and tricks for using PowerPoint to give presentations, there’s just no way you know them all. That’s why we’ve gathered more than 70 different PowerPoint tips from the people who know it best: Microsoft, professional speakers, and geeks who make PowerPoint their business. Check out our list to find out how you can step up your PowerPoint game.


1. Learn PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts:

Keyboard shortcuts, like Shift+F5 to start a slide show, can help you save time and look more slick when delivering your presentation.

2. Use compelling graphics:

Instead of blocks of text, make a point to create graphics like charts that can grab your viewers’ attention.

3. But don’t overdo it on images:

Although images are great for interest and engagement, too many images can be distracting. Use images when they add important information or support your point.

4. Display information clearly:

Think design, not decoration. Make sure that you’re sharing complex information in a clear way.

5. Create a textured background:

By layering transparent images, you can create effects, including textured backgrounds.

6. Think simple:

When it comes to PowerPoint, more is not always better. Too much information, too many colors, and long lists can make it difficult for viewers to appreciate and understand your presentation.

7. Explain terms and acronyms:

Your audience may not understand all of the terms and acronyms you use in your presentation, so be sure to explain them the first time through.

8. Make images familiar to your audience:

Create images that your audience can identify with. Presenting to teachers? Add classroom scenes to your presentation.

9. Use a selection pane to control layers:

Easily identify objects by keeping them in different layers and using your selection pane to control them.

10. Take points one step at a time:

Your audience will read your entire slide as soon as it’s displayed. Have four points up there, as you’re talking about the first one? They’ll be three steps ahead. Stick to one point per slide for the most attention.

11. Create cool text effects:

It’s easy to go overboard in this department, but using cool text effects can really help your presentation stand out.

12. Create a custom tab for your favorite features:

Set up a custom ribbon tab to keep your favorite shortcuts close at hand.

13. Fix crooked lines:

Correct crooked or less than perfectly straight lines in PowerPoint by fixing them in Format.

14. Choose the best photo for your slide:

Using the Color Cop tool in PowerPoint, you can get exact color matches for your slides.

15. Disable Auto-Resize of fonts:

With Auto-Resize, PowerPoint automatically shrinks the text as it’s added to the slide, sometimes making fonts too small. Turn it off and get control of your font size.

16. Make your pictures fit in slides:

Use design tricks, like filling in colors from the slide, to make your photos fit in with your PowerPoint design.

17. Brainstorm the old-fashioned way:

Draw, sketch, or whiteboard your ideas not on PowerPoint but on good old fashioned pen and paper.

18. Make your slide title stand out against a cluttered background:

Adding text on top of images looks great but not on noisy backgrounds. Check out this tip to find out how to make sure it stands out.

19. Jump to a slide by number:

If you want to jump to a slide (instead of hitting the right arrow many times), just enter the slide number you want to access.

20. Start a template for the entire presentation:

Don’t design each slide from scratch; create consistency (and save time) by starting out with a template slide that you can repeat for the whole presentation.

21. Add audio and video:

Bring in dynamic content that can better engage your audience, like audio and video.

22. Pay attention to eye flow:

Begin your slide with critical points or images at the top, and fade down into supporting information as they follow along.

23. Customize clip art images:

Remove backgrounds from images to see the graphics behind it and create custom clip art for presentations.

24. Put your files on a USB:

Even if you prefer to use hosting services, play it safe and keep a copy of your presentation on you just in case there’s no Internet service available where you’re headed.

Click here to see the rest of the list

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