FAQ: Learn the basics

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FAQ,
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 Our FAQ series is aimed to remedy small but important queries in and around the presentation.

What is PowerPoint?

PowerPoint presentation, more popularly known as PPT, is software developed by Microsoft. It is included in standard MS Office suits with other software.

It is a collection of slides that may contain text, image, video, audio clips, and many other cool tools. It helps in narrating a story using attractive in-build tools. Tools present in PowerPoint presentation does not require any technical knowledge. It uses the basic algorithm of drag and drop.

PowerPoint presentation is a widely used software because of its ease of use. It is used by children as well as adults. But it is more commonly used by adults for business purposes. Seldom it is also used for educational and informal purposes. If you are working in a team you can easily save your PPT in drive and share it with your teammates to work on it together.

Using PowerPoint presentations helps to build a connection with the audience. The audio clips and animation transition can also add up to holding audience attention for long. A powerful PowerPoint presentation can boost the presenter’s confidence.

What are the different uses for Microsoft PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is a computer program that allows you to create and show slides to support a presentation. You can combine text, graphics and multimedia content to create professional presentations. As a presentation tool PowerPoint can be used to:

  • organise and structure your presentation;
  • create a professional and consistent format;
  • provide an illustrative backdrop for the content of your presentation;
  • animate your slides to give them greater visual impact.

PowerPoint has become enormously popular and you are likely to have seen it used by your lecturers and fellow students or in a presentation outside of the University. Learning to present with PowerPoint will increase your employability as it is the world’s most popular presentational software. Used well, PowerPoint can improve the clarity of your presentations and help you to illustrate your message and engage your audience. The strategies contained in this study guide will help you to use PowerPoint effectively in any type of presentation.

Some benefits using Ms Power Point :

Visual Impact

Making your presentation more interesting through the use of multimedia can help to improve the audience’s focus. PowerPoint allows you to use images, audio and video to have a greater visual impact. These visual and audio cues may also help a presenter be more improvisational and interactive with the audience. However, try not to overly rely on these sources as your message might get lost in the clutter.

Collaboration

PowerPoint allows you to work with other people in a collaborative manner. This is especially useful in office settings where teamwork is key. Multiple people can collaborate on and contribute to a presentation. By going to the “Review” tab at the top of the program and clicking the “New Comment” button, you can leave notes and reposition them on the screen for other team members to view. Comments can be an especially beneficial tool for clarification.

Content Sharing

Share your PowerPoint presentation with the world. Did someone miss your presentation? Have them view it online at a time that is convenient for them. You can upload your presentation to websites such as YouTube with everything featured in your work including all of the slides, commentary and transitions. All you have to do is go to “File,” “Save and Send” and “Create a Video.” The file will be saved in WMV format, which is capable of playback on Windows Media Player and can be uploaded to most video sites.

Flexibility

PowerPoint can be used in a number of different effective ways to communicate with your audience. Slides are completely customizable to fit your needs. Depending on your approach, you may want to have a presentation that is text-heavy, image-heavy or some combination of both. Text-heavy presentations are generally good if you are giving a lecture to a group within your company and want them to take notes. Image-heavy presentations can help to make your presentation more conversational in style since there are only visual cues. Combining the two approaches gives listeners the benefits of both visual aids and notes.

What are the best alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint and why?

Since the public availability of Microsoft PowerPoint, it has been and still is, one of the best tools for creating presentations for personal and professional purposes. Depending on their need for the products offered, many users today are opting to go for other alternatives after weighing up the cost-benefit ratio of a Microsoft Office subscription. When it comes to the slideshow app, Microsoft PowerPoint, there are plenty of good alternatives that are both cheaper to use and in some cases offer more room for creativity, allowing you to create truly memorable presentations.

PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides are three of the most popular presentation software solutions available, and each platform has its advantages and disadvantages—or features that are stronger or weaker.

PowerPoint

Advantages:
  • Simple Customization.
  • Easy to Use.
  • Third Party Support.
  • File Type Options.
Disadvantages:
  • More Difficult Collaboration.
  • Less Flexibility Between Devices.
  • Less Appealing to Younger Workers and Creatives.

Best For: A PC-only environment, more established offices with seasoned team members, businesses that will need easy, widely available technical support.

Keynote

Advantages:

If you are already a Mac user, Keynote is likely the best software option for you.

  • Cloud-based Options.
  • Easy to Use.
  • Easy to Export.
  • Stylish.
Disadvantages:
  • Mac Only.
  • Less Robust Support.

Best For: A Mac-only environment, design teams that are more familiar with Apple Products, teams that enjoy 10 points of simultaneous touch for Mac on their Clear Touch Interactive panel.

Google Slides

Advantages:
  • Completely Web-Based & Platform Agnostic.
  • Easy to Use.
  • Cost Savings.
  • Easy to Collaborate.
  • More Interactive.
Disadvantages:
  • More Basic Choices.
  • Version Control.
  • Need Google Account.

Best For: Remote teams, collaborative projects, BYOD teams, flexible work environments.

When it comes to choosing PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides as your presentation software there is no right or wrong answer. Of course, the presentation software that you choose is only as good as your hardware. Even the most sophisticated, interactive presentation will fail to pack a punch if your conference room presentation system makes it difficult for participants to connect remotely, has a poor screen or audio quality, or if the interactive touch screen needs constant calibration or has a significant lag time.

What is the best font for a PowerPoint?

How you pick and place the font in the context of the design can make or break your presentation. A well-placed font will help you to survive the day. When it comes to designing your slides, how your fonts are combined, placed, and scaled makes all the difference.

Here are 10 tips for choosing the best font for PowerPoint presentations

1. Choose two fonts Three fonts can be a crowd. Choose two fonts wisely and use size, contrast, and color to combine them for visual interest

2. Choose standard fonts You want your presentation to look the same on all devices. Choose from standard fonts and you won’t have to rescue your slides from turning into a mishmash on another screen.

3. Avoid script fonts and decorative text Script fonts like Lucida Calligraphy or Gothic fonts like Century are always difficult to read. You can use them if the topic of the talk demands it.

4. Create visual interest with serif and sans serif fonts

5. Select color and create contrast

Go for font colors that are a part of your brand. Using color swatches and precise Hexadecimal or RGB values ensures colors stay consistent across slides.

Also, you might have to check your slide for accessibility for all as someone in the audience can be color blind and may not be able to decipher red or green.

6. Have contrasting text and background colors Fonts must stand out against the background. The higher the contrast between the two, the better the readability across the room will be. Use the color wheel to pick the background and the font colors. Opposite colors on the color wheel clash with each other and have maximum contrast. For instance, orange on blue.

7. Less is more with caps and italics Don’t capitalize all the letters in the body text as it is difficult to read. Selectively use caps for acronyms and for emphasis. Similarly, choose italics sparingly for quotes or highlighting the names of books, authors, and journal titles, etc.

You can make a creative choice by using italic text sparingly for impact or you can also substitute them with subtle formatting to the standard fonts.

8. Limit the use of animated fonts Animated fonts can be distracting. Avoid animating your text or use it only if it serves a functional purpose. Ask yourself if it adds clarity to your data or is just a cute effect.

9. Keep an eye on font tracking and kerning Learn these two typography terms and you will have an easier time placing your words on the slide. Kerning adjusts the spacing between two adjacent letters in a font. Tracking adjusts the space between all letters together. Both influence the readability of text.

10. Make interesting shape effects It doesn’t always have to be just about fonts and simple colors. The Shape Effects panel on PowerPoint gives you a lot of control over the finished appearance of text on the slide.

For instance, you can adjust the transparency of the letters. You can also “texturize” the words by using pictures to fill the words instead of the solid fill color.

What are some great Powerpoint power user hacks and tips?

MS Powerpoint is the most convenient way of preparing & giving presentations in colleges.

Some of the small tricks for PPT are as follows

Press ‘B’ For a plain Black Slide

Whenever you are speaking for 15 minutes at that time no one seems interested to see PPT at that time you can press B, so that screen suddenly goes black and you can continue with explaining the important points. Alternatively, you can also press W or any key to turn the screen white.

  • Use ‘Control+P’ to draw on the screen
  • This is the great command for real-time sketching on the screen.
  • Press ‘Control + P’. This command is a great way to tell the audience which part of the slide you are referring to.
  • You can use the drawing tool and you can go to the next slide by using ‘Control + A’.
  • Use Animations
  • Use Keyboard commands for Smooth Presentation
  • Make selected text bold. Ctrl+B
  • Change the font size for selected text. Alt+H, F, and then S
  • Change the zoom for the slide. Alt+W, Q
  • Cut selected text, object, or slide Ctrl+X
  • Copy selected text, object, or slide Ctrl+C
  • Paste cut or copied text, object, or slide Ctrl+V
  • Undo the last action Ctrl+Z
  • Save the presentation Ctrl+S
  • Insert a picture Alt+N, P
  • Insert a shape Alt+H, S, and then H
  • Select a theme Alt+G, H
  • Select a slide layout Alt+H, L
  • Go to the next slide Page Down
  • Go to the previous slide Page Up
  • Go to the Home tab Alt+H
  • Move to the Insert tab Alt+N
  • Start the slide show Alt+S,B
  • End the slide show. Esc
  • Close PowerPoint Alt+F, X
  • Use Hyperlinks
  • You can create a hyperlink by using ‘interlinking’ feature.
  • Zooming In and Out

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Still confused about your presentation, visual hierarchy, etc.. Check out our presentation template with 800+ design slides, 30+ color schemes and more. Check out more resources from Microsoft here