Think you know PowerPoint? Think again. There are so many different 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.
Keyboard shortcuts, like Shift+F5 to start a slide show, can help you save time and look more slick when delivering your presentation.
Instead of blocks of text, make a point to create graphics like charts that can grab your viewers’ attention.
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.
Think design, not decoration. Make sure that you’re sharing complex information in a clear way.
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.
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.
Create images that your audience can identify with. Presenting to teachers? Add classroom scenes to your presentation.
Easily identify objects by keeping them in different layers and using your selection pane to control them.
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.
It’s easy to go overboard in this department, but using cool text effects can really help your presentation stand out.
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.
Using the Color Cop tool in PowerPoint, you can get exact color matches for your slides.
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.
Use design tricks, like filling in colors from the slide, to make your photos fit in with your PowerPoint design.
Draw, sketch, or whiteboard your ideas not on PowerPoint but on good old fashioned pen and paper.
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.
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.
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.
Begin your slide with critical points or images at the top, and fade down into supporting information as they follow along.
Remove backgrounds from images to see the graphics behind it and create custom clip art for presentations.
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.
You can make an image within an image stand out by cropping out the background, thanks to drawing tools in PowerPoint.
Using the Ctrl key and Draw, it’s easy to line up objects in a PowerPoint slide.
Silhouette images in presentations look great, and it’s easy to make them simply by editing photos of people that you may already have.
For audience members who ask for a copy of your slides, a PDF is perfect, and you don’t have to give away your source file.
Huge blocks of text and number spreadsheets are way too small on slides, and aren’t an effective use of presentation. Create graphs and charts that tell the story instead.
30. Create curved lines:
Make your slides a little sexier using curved lines with edit points and gridlines.
31. Stay consistent:
Be careful to match colors, use the same font face and size, and use an overall design that meshes from one slide to the next.
Pick out complementary and compelling slide colors for your presentation with this resource.
33. Use fonts wisely:
Use font rules like weight contrast, avoid distracting fonts, be careful with foreground/background contrast, and more to make sure that your fonts stand out effectively.
Be careful not to overdo it with animations and transitions. Keep the to key points, and stay consistent.
A PowerPoint presentation is an extension of your company’s brand. Stick to color schemes, fonts, and logos that your company already uses to stay consistent.
Need to perform a tedious task over and over again? Create a macro to run it for you.
Images that fill the slide can be compelling, especially if they have lots of open space for simple text to be added.
Using flying, spiraling or zooming text makes it hard for the audience to read until it comes to a stop, and it takes up time in between each point. Just don’t do it.
Before you head in to PowerPoint, create an outline of what you hope to lay out in the presentation.
Make your presentation look more modern by creating rounded corners on tables and shapes.
Bring important information to the forefront with graphics that really drive your points home.
Make sure that viewers can see what you’ve written: don’t use a hard-to-read font face.
Prevent your mouse pointer from showing up when it’s moved during the presentation by pressing the Ctrl-H key during Slide Show view.
44. Use drawing guides:
If you’re having trouble aligning objects on your slides, make use of drawing guides that can help out.
45. Use contrast:
Make your words and design stand out with good contrast, but be careful not to make it hard on viewers’ eyes.
Today’s audience has a very short attention span. Too many bullets and ideas on one slide, and you’ll lose them. Create one main focus for each one to keep their attention.
Your presentation is likely to be viewed not just on screen, but in print as well. Be careful not to use dark backgrounds, small footer print, and other design elements that don’t translate well.
Share information in the best way possible for comprehension so that you’re using it as a tool for your presentation, not the entire thing.
With custom design templates, you can create multiple presentations that all have the same formatting.
Animations like Appear, Fade, Wipe, and Zoom are eye-catching, but not distracting, so they’re your best bet for slide production.
51. Never add sentences:
Sentences should be spoken aloud, not added to your presentation. Keep your presentation limited to keywords and phrases instead.
52. Use handouts:
Instead of squishing lots of information into each slide, create handouts for participants so that they can follow along in more detail.
Save yourself from editing individual slides over and over again by making changes to the slide master.
One of PowerPoint’s new features is the Eyedropper, which allows you to take colors from on part of your presentation, and add it to another, creating a consistent design for your entire presentation.
PowerPoint files can become huge and difficult to work with when they run slowly. Fix this problem by compressing the media in your presentation for a smaller overall file.
Although PowerPoint templates can be helpful for newbies, advanced users can have a much easier time adding their own screen elements.
Add a few pieces of information for each slide, instead of creating a presentation that looks like a book.
Talk freely, using your slides for reference instead of a script.
Want to use a photo in your slide but know it’s an awkward size? Use tools like Artistic Effects, Corrections, and Cropping to make it work beautifully.
60. Manage AutoCorrect:
AutoCorrect can be a major time saver, but only if it’s doing what you expect it to. Manage AutoCorrect layout options to fit your needs, or turn it off completely.
Use the Office Presentation Service from PowerPoint to share your PowerPoint online, complete with interactive communication.
For large and complex PowerPoint projects, split your graphics into a different file, then bring them into your larger file.
Take advantage of SmartArt graphics to highlight points and add interest to your design.
You can’t control how each individual viewer will see your presentation in PowerPoint, but you can by making a video. Export your presentation to video to ensure that it’s displayed as you intend it to be.
Jazz things up in your presentation by adding video in your slides.
Make your data play nice by bringing in Excel information and making it work in a PowerPoint chart.
Use the radial picture list SmartArt diagram to combine images and words in a list.
With Presenter View, you can view your presentation with speaker notes on one computer, with a notes-free version on a different monitor.
Graphics, text, and design elements that line up can make your presentation look more professional. PowerPoint has aligning tools built in to help you arrange pictures, shapes, text, and more.
During meetings with several speakers, allow only 10 slides, 20 minutes of presentation time, and font sizes no smaller than 30 point.
Share a message of action or a summary to bring it all home at the end.