In today's challenging environment, the need for effective presentation skills need not be emphasised. Starting this month, in a series of articles, we present some tips and precautions on the use of the most popular presentation software MS-PowerPoint. So the first set of ten tips:
1. Save your fonts with your presentation:
If you're preparing a presentation that is to be presented on another computer or distributed, ensure that you check this option by clicking on the Tools button in the File/Save As dialog box so that your choice of fonts is visible on the viewers computer, whether or not the same has the required font files.
2. Making Auto-Fit Text Stop Auto-Fitting:
Many users find the Auto-Fit feature very cumbersome, as the same can shrink the font size drastically in case of long lists. Turn this feature off by going to Tools/Options, click on the Edit tab,and uncheck Auto-fit text to text placeholder, click OK. Later on, longer lists can be manually split into two slides.
3. Preview Slide-Show effects:
While editing a presentation, hold down the CTRL key while clicking the slide-show view button; this will open a tiny preview window showing that slide in slide-show mode.
4. Using more than one Guide:
If you like using Guides, but wish there were more, you can create additional Guides by simply holding down the CTRL key while dragging on an existing Guide. This will create a new Guide. To get rid of Guides, just drag them off the edge of the slide.
5. Creating pages with slides and descriptive text:
If you want to create handouts that have notes or descriptive text associated with each slide, you can use the Notes Page. To view the Notes page for any slide, go to the View menu and select Notes Pages. You will see an image of your slide there, and a placeholder for adding your script, notes, or any other text you wish. You can cut-and-paste text from Word here if you like. To print these pages, bring up the Print dialog, and at the bottom of the dialog where it says Print What:, select Notes Pages.
6. Easily changing from caps to lower case (or vice versa):
If you have text that is in the wrong case, select the text, and then click Shift+F3 until it changes to the case style that you like. Clicking Shift+F3 toggles the text case between ALL CAPS, lower case, and Initial Capital styles.
7. Expanding one slide into two:
If you can't make text fit properly on one slide without squeezing it in too tightly, split the text into two slides. If the text is in a text placeholder, this is easily done using the Outline toolbar. To display the Outline toolbar, right-click any toolbar and choose Outline.
1. Place the cursor in the Outline tab of the Outline panel (not on the slide) at the end of the last line of text that you want on the first slide.
2. Press Enter.
3. On the Outline toolbar, click Promote until a New Slide icon appears in the Outline panel.
4. Type a title for the new slide.
5. Adjust the rest of the text as needed by clicking Demote or Promote on the Outline toolbar.
8. Using a Summary Slide
A summary slide creates a slide listing the slide names of selected slides. Besides using a summary slide for summaries, you can use it to create agenda slides.
1. Select all the slides you want to include. You might want to leave out some slides like the title slide.
2. Click Summary Slide on the Outlining toolbar.
3. Hyperlink each slide title back to its slide. (Select the text and choose Insert > Hyperlink.)
4. Be sure to add hyperlinks on each of the slides back to the summary slide. If you attach the hyperlink to an image or AutoShape, it will be invisible.
9. Fit more text in a Placeholder or AutoShape:
How much time do you spend trying to fit text into a placeholder or AutoShape? One option is to reduce the font size or try a different font that takes up less room. But sometimes, you want consistency of font and font size and don't have room to expand the placeholder or AutoShape. Another option is to split one slide into two or reword the text. If you only need a little extra space, the following solution is very helpful:
1. Right-click the placeholder or AutoShape and choose Format Placeholder or Format AutoShape.
2. In the resulting dialog box, click the Text Box tab. In the Internal Margin section, reduce the numbers for the left, right, top, and bottom margins, may be to zero with no visible border.
3. Click OK.
10. Creating a Compact List of Notes:
If you have added notes to your slides that you want to print out to use while you present, using the Print feature (choose File>Print and choose Notes Pages from the Print What drop-down list) creates a separate sheet for each slide. It's a big waste of paper and awkward to handle during your delivery. Here's another method that will fit 5 slides per page if you want to see the slide and much more, if you can work without the slide image.
1. Choose File>Send To>Microsoft Office Word.
2. In the dialog box, choose the Notes Next to Slides option and click OK.
3. Wait while Word opens and imports the presentation into a table. Note that thereï¿½s a lot of space below each slide and you have only 3 slides per page.
4. In Word, with the cursor anywhere in the table, choose Table>Select>Table to select the entire table.
5. Choose Table>Table Properties and click the Row tab.
6. Uncheck the Specify Height checkbox in the Size section of the dialog box.
7. Click OK. You now have 5 slides per page.
With these tips, you can improve on your presentation techniques. So, happy presenting!
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