Microsoft PowerPoint is always a kind of test for me whether you have mastered all the marketing basics or whether there is still room for improvement in certain areas. Because for a successful presentation you need to have sound design skills and a certain amount of technical knowledge. The whole thing is rounded off with a personal touch.
Should there be PowerPoint presentation If there are problems (this can be an unwanted font, a broken link or unreadable text), then I have failed the test. Even the best speaker quickly ruins the whole effect for his audience if the visual experience is not right. So it’s no use being an expert in one field only. You should already know how to present this knowledge also well.
A successful PowerPoint presentation depends – quite independently of the topic – on three essential factors: How do you master the PowerPoint design tools? Make sure that your the structure of your PowerPoint presentation consistent and coordinated? And do you have everything for the smooth Flow of your presentation planned?
Our simple Tips for creating a PowerPoint presentation help you with all of these.
14 tips for a successful PowerPoint presentation
Tip 1: Stand out from the crowd with the design and structure of your PowerPoint presentation
Microsoft has provided its PowerPoint users with a colorful array of options. But that does not mean that you have to use them. Pay attention to the following things:
- Consider beforehand whether a Predefined PowerPoint design or the PowerPoint template really fits your topic and message.
- Avoid as far as possible Standard fonts from Microsoft, Calibri and Cambria, because with these two fonts your presentation does not look very.
- Professionals should never use the sounds preset in PowerPoint use. (Please remember: Your presentation should be well received by the audience and not reflect your personal preferences.)
- At PowerPoint becomes bullet points automatically set. Therefore, before using them, ask yourself the question: Are bullet points the right choice for my presentation?? This is not always the case.
- Some time ago PowerPoint for all Shapes as default effect a small shadow implemented. You should remove this shadow if it is not absolutely needed. Also, don’t leave shapes in the default shade of blue, but opt for a different, more customized color.
5 design templates for your PowerPoint presentation
Freely customizable templates for your agenda, organization charts, citations and any kind of data presentation.
Tip 2: Adjust the slide size individually
Most of the time Default slide size the best choice. But there are also Rarer screen sizes, for which you should adjust longer presentations. How it works:
- Call "File" in the upper left corner.
- Choose "Set up page.
- Enter the desired height and width of your background and click "OK".
- A dialog box will appear. Click on "OK" again.
- Your background has been resized successfully.
TipChange the size of your slides before adding objects. Otherwise, the objects may be displayed in a distorted way after making this change.
Tip 3: Edit the template design of your slides
Often it is much easier to Edit PowerPoint template, before you start the actual creation of the presentation. Because this way you don’t have to manually change the design for every single slide. Here’s how it works:
- Select "View" from the top navigation bar.
- Click on "Slide master".
- Make the desired changes and then click "Close master view". Now this template will be used for all existing and future slides in this presentation.
Tip 4: Make sure that all objects in the PowerPoint presentation are aligned evenly
A slide looks really professional only when the objects displayed on it are evenly aligned and arranged. you can of course try to arrange these elements manually, but this is usually not very promising.
Even if you move all the objects to the center of the slide by hand, they often end up being out of alignment – and your audience notices it! Don’t guess any longer and use the function provided by PowerPoint especially for this purpose.
Align multiple objects in PowerPoint:
- Select all objects by holding down the Shift key and clicking on each object individually.
- In the upper options bar under the "Start" tab, call up the "Arrange" option and then click on "Align.
- Select your desired alignment.
Alignment of objects on the slide:
- Select all objects by holding down the Shift key and clicking on each individual element.
- click "Align" in the top options bar under the "Format" tab.
- Then select "Align to slide" off.
- Then click on "Arrange" in the upper options bar again and then on "Align".
- Select your desired alignment.
Tip 5: Use the "Format" option – this way you can format your objects more flexibly
Using the Format option you can make fine adjustments that would not be possible otherwise. To do this, right-click on an object and select the "Format" option.
There you can adjust shading, change the dimensions of shapes, create reflections and much more. The menu will open in a new window and will look like this depending on your operating system and PowerPoint version like this:
Under the "Format" tab, you will of course also find all of PowerPoint’s basic formatting options. However, much more options are available in the detailed "Format" menu (can be called up by right-clicking over the object). Other options include:
- Customizing a text box in a shape
- Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object
- Manual color selection and automatic color presets
Tip 6: Get creative with the shapes tool in PowerPoint
Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tool has become. Combined with the advanced shape options Microsoft released in 2010, you can create great custom variations away from the traditional rectangular, oval, and rounded shapes.
You won’t find such a wide range of options even in professional design programs like Adobe Creative Suite or Quark.
The new forms also offer a great Smart shapes function. This allows you to create diagrams and modern flow charts in no time at all.
These tools are great for visually getting everything out of a presentation. Paragraphs and bullet points are nice, but very boring. Use shapes to visualize your message in an appealing way.
Tip 7: Create your own shapes in PowerPoint
To do this, after creating a shape, right-click on it and select "Edit points". This way you can create custom shapes. For example, arrows can be customized to your exact dimensions like this.
Another great feature is the merging of two shapes. To do this, first select two shapes at the same time and then right-click on one of the two shapes. In the "Group" submenu you will find a number of options:
- CombineCreate a custom shape that cuts out the overlapping areas of the selected shapes.
- Merge : Create a completely connected shape from several shapes.
- Create an intersectionCreate a shape that consists only of the overlapping areas of the previously selected shapes.
- SubtractCut out the overlapping area of one shape from the other shape.
Use these tools to precisely create your own shapes without resorting to complicated point editing.
Tip 8: Crop your own images in PowerPoint
In addition to creating custom shapes, PowerPoint lets you crop existing images to make new shapes. Here’s how it works:
- Click on the image and select "Format" in the options bar.
- Click "Crop" and then click the "Crop to Shape" option. Now all you have to do is decide on your desired shape. Ready!
Tip 9: Show websites in PowerPoint
In the past, you would have simply linked to a website and opened it in a browser during the presentation. For PC users, however, there is a better method.
With external software that integrates completely with PowerPoint’s developer tab, you can create your own shapes in a simple HTML frame Embed website directly into your PowerPoint presentation. The best way to do this is to use the external software LiveWeb released by independent developers.
When using LiveWeb, you no longer have to interrupt your PowerPoint presentation from now on. This is because it often looks unprofessional and will quickly throw you off your game. Whether you want to embed an entire web page or just a YouTube video, this trick has several advantages.
Unfortunately, there is no similar option for Mac users. A good intermediate solution is to take a screenshot of the website, hyperlink to a browser, or embed a media item (such as a YouTube video), but you’ll need to download it to your computer first.
Tip 10: Embed your font files directly into PowerPoint
Again and again users of PowerPoint are confronted with the problem that the font changes when using a different computer. In reality, however, the font does not change at all. Presentation computer simply has other font files installed on it .
If you are using a PC to create your presentation and you are also using a PC to give your presentation, there is an elegant solution to this problem. (If you are working with Mac systems, the problem is not quite so easy to solve. Read more in tip number 11.)
This is how it works (this procedure only works on a PC): When saving your PowerPoint file, select the save options in the "Save As" dialog box. Then check "Embed TrueType fonts" and confirm your selection with "OK".
The font file is now stored in your PowerPoint presentation and your fonts will not change if you use different computers (unless you give your presentation on a Mac).
Tip 11: Save your PowerPoint slides as JPEGs
With PowerPoint for Mac 2011, there is no option yet to embed fonts in the presentation. So if you don’t want to use 0815 fonts like Arial or Tahoma, it is possible that your PowerPoint presentation will show different fonts on different computers.
This can be avoided by saving the final Presentation slides as JPEGs. Then simply add these JPEGs to your slides. On a Mac, you can do this thanks to drag&-drop quite quickly and without long loading times. If you do not use animations, this is a good solution.
If you have a animated presentation However, if you want to keep your PowerPoint presentation on different computers, you have to reach into the bag of tricks a bit. For this, save a separate JPEG for each "frame" of the animation. In your final presentation you now just need to display these JPEGs in the desired order.
Although technically you are using several new slides instead of a single one, your audience will not notice this trick.
Please note that a PowerPoint file with many JPEGs is quite large.
Tip 12: Embed videos and audio files in your PowerPoint presentation
PowerPoint offers you the possibility to create links to external video/audio files create or embed the media directly into your presentation. We generally recommend Embedding. However, if you are using a Mac, embedding is not possible (see note below). On PCs, embedding is a good idea for the following two reasons:
- Due to the Embed you can play media directly in your presentation. This looks more professional than switching between different windows.
- If you have a Embed file, this automatically also means that it will always stay in your presentation without any additional effort (except on a Mac).
NotePowerPoint users with a Mac operating system should pay special attention when using multimedia files.
If you are using PowerPoint for Mac, you will need to use the video or. Always save the audio file in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation (and make sure you always have this file with you). It is best to add only video and audio files after the presentation and its folder have been saved to the permanent folder on a portable storage device.
If Mac users want to give the presentation on a Windows computer, they should also make sure to save the multimedia files in MWV format. The whole method is a bit complicated and not very user-friendly.
If you want to make sure that you Using PowerPoint effectively, If possible, you should use the same operating system for the creation and use the presentation.
Tip 13: Use your own laptop for the presentation
PowerPoint can react a bit strange on different operating systems. And even with different PowerPoint versions problems occur from time to time. You can work around these by relying on your own hardware. Just bring your own laptop for the presentation.
Tip 14: Use the "Speaker View" in PowerPoint
In most presentation environments, you will be working with a projector and your own screen that only you can see. PowerPoint has a great tool called "Speaker view". You can find it in PowerPoint 2010 (or 2011 on Mac) in the "Presentation" tab. There is an area for notes, a timer/clock and your Presentation view.
Many presenters use this tool as a visual guide. Because a presentation read from a stack of notes quickly comes across as unprofessional and not very convincing. The "Speaker View" can help here.
Pro tip: Press Ctrl + H at the beginning of the presentation to make the cursor disappear. If you need him again, just press the "A" key!
If you rely on the three presentation building blocks Style, design and process pay attention, you have many uses for PowerPoint. Always remember that PowerPoint and other similar presentation slide creation applications are flexible tools with a lot of potential.
Header image: macniak / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Originally published on 13. April 2021, updated May 26 2021