Tips for Presenters
Projector People Presenters have gathered some useful tips and tricks that will liven up your PowerPoint presentations. While technical problems seem inevitable, you can always redirect your audience with fresh images and moderate use of transitions and sounds. Be sure to set aside ample time before presenting to take advantage of the points below.
For more creative ideas, tips, and tricks using PowerPoint® (including PowerPoint® 2007) visit EllenFinkelstein.com.
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Putting It Together - Designing Presentation Slides
- Animated Presentations
- New Mac Presentation Software
- Micro-Maneuver Presentation Images
- Choose your colors
- Add a song to your presentation
- Sound bytes can detract and distract
- Keep fonts consistent
- Template design tip
- Control the Mind of Your Audience
- Preparation for the team player
- Presenting with an unfamiliar computer
- Make Colorful Choices
- Add Zest to Not So Zesty PowerPoint Presentations
- Fast Font Format
- Reduce graphics file size in PowerPoint 2002
- Take a Break During a Presentation
- Don't Rely on the Internet
- See image on projector and computer
- Back up a slide in PowerPoint
- A True Story
- Presenting from your PDA
- Draw them into your Presentation
- Quickly select a slide during your presentation
- Launch your presentation from email
- Commenting in PowerPoint
- Virus protection for PowerPoint
- Free PowerPoint viewer
Back up a slide in PowerPoint [ top ]
So, you've gone a slide too far. You click your mouse to go backwards and the menu pops up. The audience is becoming restless. What do you do? Click 'tools'. Drag down to 'options'. Click the 'view' tab. Look for 'show popup menu button' and uncheck it. From now on, you can back up a slide with just a click. It's that simple.
Choose your colors [ top ]
Is your presentation standing out? One of the most common color combinations used for PowerPoint presentations is a blue background with yellow and white text. Try adding a little flare by changing your background and text color.A few examples:
- Green background with white and yellow.
- Purple background with off-white and beige.
- Cream background with brown and rust or deep greens.
Any of these combinations will work well together, and they just might help set your presentation apart from all the others.
Add a song to your presentation [ top ]
Ever hear a song, or a line from a song, that you think perfectly states a point you would like to make in a presentation? Here's how you can add a song from a CD to a specific slide in your presentation.
- Place your CD in the CD drive.
- Open PowerPoint
- Select the slide with which you would like music to play (in "slide view" mode)
- Select Insert... drop down to "Movies and Sounds," again to "Play CD audio track..."
- "Play options" box will pop-up
- select track to start point.
- select track to end point.
- hit "OK".
- A CD icon will appear on your slide. Drag to corner or unobtrusive place or minimize
- Select "Slide Show"- drop down to "Custom Animation..."
- Select "Timing" from available tabs
- Select "animate" and choose "On mouse click" or "Automatically" "Automatically" will start song when the slide comes up "On mouse click" will start song when you click the CD icon.
Be sure that you put the animation in order properly or the CD will not play until its rotation comes up!
Sound bytes can detract and distract! [ top ]
Remember when creating a PowerPoint presentation, less is sometimes more. Using sounds on every frame can be very distracting. Some audiences may even find it offensive to hear a 'ding' and a 'zing' for every frame change. Try to limit the use of sound to extremely important points, or major changes in topic. This will help your audience remember your key points by providing audio keys for recognition. This wouldn't be true if you are presenting to kindergarteners. Little ones love that stuff.
Preparation for the team player [ top ]
Having one long and one short version of your presentation might just help you make a grand impression. If other presentations are running long (imagine that), the fading audience is looking for a quick and concise presentation. By all means, give them what they want. You could end up saving the day (literally) and for that you will be fondly remembered.
Keep fonts consistent [ top ]
When creating a PowerPoint presentation it's a good idea to limit the number of fonts used on each slide and throughout your presentation. Using too many fonts will distract your audience, and pull attention away from your message. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 2 or 3 fonts throughout the entire presentation. Keep like ideas in one font, and add additional fonts with care.Recommended fonts for clean projected images:
- Most sans-serif fonts
A True Story [ top ]
A young gal, about your age, was presenting to a large group of potential clients. Minding her company's business, she was using an LCD projector with a very professional looking PowerPoint presentation. The images were stunning and her pitch was flawless. The audience was so impressed after her presentation, they began asking numerous questions about her services. She was poised and impressive with each answer. Until about 10 minutes into the question and answer period, when her Bill the cat and Opus screen saver popped up on the big screen. We can't say exactly what Bill and Opus were doing, but suffice it to say it was not behavior consistent with the theme of the day.To turn off your screen savers and sleep modes:
- Click 'my computer'
- Click 'control panels'
- Click 'display'
- Click 'screen saver' tab
- Change screen saver to 'none'
- Hit 'apply'
Launch your presentation from email [ top ]
Have you ever wondered how to send an email that will allow the recipient to simply double-click to open and play a PowerPoint presentation from their email inbox? If you have, follow these directions to make your PowerPoint presentation a click away from your email.
- Click File menu
- Save as
- Save as type
- Choose PowerPoint show (.pps)
Presenting from your PDA [ top ]
Presentations from your PDA are just around the corner. New software sells for around $300, and allows you to present from your PDA using a video projector or monitor. It works a little like a printer, and will allow you to 'print' files from Microsoft PowerPoint 97 and 2000, Adobe PDFs, and Microsoft Word and Excel files (basically anything you can print can be displayed).
There are a few drawbacks to presenting from your PDA using the new software. The biggest drawback is that you can only use static slides. The experienced presenter has more than likely learned the value of appropriately placed animations and sounds. The module has 2MB of flash memory, which hold about 100 static slides.
Although there are certain limitations to presenting from your Palm Pilot, the technology is now available to travel lighter than ever. In addition to presenting from a PDA, you can also get a projector with a PCMCIA card slot, like the NEC LT156 to make traveling without your laptop a reality. Presentations can also be stored and run on PCMCIA cards.
Template design tip [ top ]
When creating a PowerPoint presentation, remember to leave at least half an inch of empty space around the edges of your frame. This is necessary for a couple of reasons. If you happen to present on a smaller, fixed screen, you may not have room to project your entire image, and some of your image may bleed off the screen. Also, if you shoot on a larger screen, it is more pleasing to your viewer when the image is not pushing the edges.
Draw them in to your Presentation [ top ]
You might not want other people to draw during your PowerPoint presentations, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Live drawing can add impact to your presentation. You can circle an important number or show off your steady hand. A quick way to get to the pen tool during your slide show follows:
- Control 'P' or [c] 'P' on a Mac.
- Click and drag the mouse to draw.
- Press the 'E' key to erase what you have drawn.
Now all you have to do is learn to draw!
Commenting in PowerPoint [ top ]
Collaborating on a job using PowerPoint can get a bit confusing, however, there is a function in PowerPoint 2000 that can make it less so. Commenting. It may be something you are already aware of in Word documents, but it is also available in PowerPoint.How to Comment your slides:
- Choose "Insert > Comment" (a note will appear).
- Type your comment as usual.
- Right click the note and choose "cut" to delete.
- Right click on toolbar and choose "drawing."
- See bottom of the page for the toolbar.
- Click and hold "Auto Shapes."
- Choose a fun shape (like stars, connectors, or arrows).
- Insert by clicking on desired area of your slide.
Presenting with an unfamiliar computer [ top ]
If you sometimes travel to present without your computer, make sure to plan ahead. Remember to bring any of the source files you have inserted into your presentation. Those source files can be images (.jpg), clip art, QuickTime movies (.mov), sound effects (.wav or .aif), or another type of file that you may have imported. If the links have been broken, all you need to do is reinsert the file. Remembering to insert these files will help to assure your audience doesn't see the dreaded "Big Red X".
Virus protection for PowerPoint [ top ]
Computer viruses are a fact of life these days. They can even corrupt your PowerPoint files, making it difficult to give that big presentation. But there is something you can do to help avoid certain viruses.
One very common type of virus is a 'macro' virus. This virus uses self-replicating code written in an application's 'macro' language. Macros are common to Microsoft applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. So, what can you do to prevent your system from getting a 'macro' virus? Change your security levels in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.How to change security levels:
- Open Microsoft PowerPoint
- Select Tools > Macro > Security
- Check Security Level tab and, then select desired level
- High - Will not open altered any macros.
- Medium - Prompts user to disable suspicious macros.
- Low - Macros open automatically.
Free PowerPoint viewer [ top ]
If you have ever worried that your potential clients, business associates, or friends wouldn't be able to view your PowerPoint Presentation, check this out.
PowerPoint Viewer, a free download from Mircosoft, allows people who have not installed the program on their computers to view presentations or individual PowerPoint slides. The PC version of the free viewer supports presentations from PowerPoint 97 and later versions. The Mac download supports PowerPoint 98 or later.
Reduce graphics file size in PowerPoint 2002 [ top ]
Frequent PowerPoint users are aware that with a high-impact presentation, file size can be a burden. PowerPoint 2002 has added compression elements that can help dramatically reduce the size of your image files.To reduce file size in PowerPoint 2002:
- Open desired presentation.
- Choose "View" drop down to "Toolbars" then "Picture."
- On the "Picture" toolbar, click "Compress Pictures."
- To compress all images in presentation click "All Pictures In Document."
- Under "Change Resolution," select desired use "Web/Screen" or "Print."
- Additionally you can select the "Delete Cropped Areas" check box.
- Click "OK."
Control the Mind of Your Audience [ top ]
It was 1957 when James Vicary began using subliminal messages in movie theaters by flashing undetectable messages of "drink Coke" and "eat popcorn" to unsuspecting patrons. Today you can open a magazine and still find hidden text messages in clouds, ice cubes, and camels.
PowerPoint has included an animation option called "flash once," which allows you to flash a nearly undetectable message to your audience. You can use this type of animation to relay hidden messages like "buy product x" or "listen to me" within your presentation.
But seriously, studies have proven that subliminal messages do not allow you to control people's minds. However, you can use the 'flash once' animation to grab the attention of your audience. You can also use it as a subliminal gag. Sound like fun? Here's how.
- Select desired text.
- Choose 'Slide Show' from the tool bar.
- Drop down to 'preset animation'.
- Select the 'flash once' button.
- Calibrate without software.
- Select desired text again.
- Drop down to 'custom animation'.
- Under 'Entry animation and sound' change 'medium' to 'fast'.
Make Colorful Choices [ top ]
Whether you are the kind of person who enjoys choosing the colors for your PowerPoint presentation, or you would prefer to use the same palette for each presentation, it's a good idea to learn more about color. You can even use what you learn to choose a color scheme for your living room.
Add zest to not-so-zesty PowerPoint charts [ top ]
Everyone loves charts. Okay, maybe not everyone. But for those who do like them, unformatted PowerPoint charts are far from ideal. You can improve the look of your charts by formatting them. Using the PowerPoing formatting tool you can add gradients, change shapes, or adjust gap depth. Here's how:
- Double-click the chart to begin editing.
- Single-click the series of bars you want to format.
- Right-click and select Format Data Series.
- In the dialog box, choose from the Patterns, Shape, or Options tab.
- From Patterns tab, click Fill Effects.
- Choose the desired Fill Effect - gradient or picture.
- From the Shape tab, choose from a variety of shapes.
- From the Options tab, to adjust gap depth, width, and chart depth.
- Click OK when you acheive your desired look.
Play around with different looks and have some fun. In the end, your charts will reflect your personal style.
Quickly select a slide during your presentation [ top ]
Have you ever needed to jump forward or backward in your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation to address a question from your audience? If you have, did you know there is a shortcut that can save you backing or advancing through your presentation? This is how you do it:
- Before you present, print your presentation as a reference.
- From Print menu, select print type. For thumbnails select "Handout".
- After printing, number the slides on your handout.
- When presenting, enter the number of the slide you want to recall.
- Press "Enter".
- If you don't know the slide number, right click current slide.
- Go to the shortcut menu.
- Select "By Title".
- Click the slide title desired.
Fast Font Format [ top ]
Have you ever opened your PowerPoint presentation on another computer only to find that it looked completely different? That could be because the computer you are using doesn't have the font you used. If you have time, you may be able to find the font online and download it to your new machine. If you don't have time to get online, you can also choose a new font. Here is a quick way to change the font for your entire presentation.
- From the "Format" menu, choose "Replace Fonts."
- From the "Replace" dialog box, select the font you want to replace.
- From the "With" dialog box, select desired font.
- Click "Replace" and review your presentation.
- If you like the font you selected, save your presentation.
- If you don't like the font, you can always start again.
Micro-Maneuver Presentation Images [ top ]
Ever stuggle with your mouse trying to get an image in 'just' the right place? Here is a quick tip for moving PowerPoint graphics and text in pixel by pixel increments.
- Select the graphic or text you would like to move
- Press and hold down the 'CTRL' key
- Use the arrow keys to move graphic or text up, down, right, or left
See image on projector and computer [ top ]
Have you ever tried to use your projector and noticed an image from your projector, but your computer screen has gone black? If you need to see images on both displays on your laptop PC, here is what to do.
If you are seeing what you want on your laptop, but not your projector, you will need to activate the external monitor port on your laptop. Typically you will find this on one of the function keys labeled LCD/CRT or an icon that looks like two monitors.
If you see the image on your projector but not on your laptop you more than likely need to toggle the laptop in the same way mentioned above. If the laptop only will display the projector or the LDC panel on the laptop individually, that indicates that the video card in the laptop will not support dual display. Most, but not all, laptops support dual display.
New Mac Presentation Software [ top ]
Presenting with a Mac? New software called "Keynote" will add a little spice to your presenting life. Drag and drop an old PowerPoint presentation into Keynote to add smooth, video-like transition. A noticeable improvement over the current animation in PowerPoint. Get a cleaner more polished look. Keynote will import and export PowerPoint, QuickTime movies, PDFs and more.
Don't Rely on the Internet [ top ]
If web pages are an important part of your presentation, don't rely on a network connection to display them. Slow connection speeds and temporary outages happen all the time, and there is no reason for them to impede your presentation. Simply download the pages ahead of time. Here's one way to do it:
- Open your browser to the page you want to download.
- Open the browser window to full screen.
- Press "Ctrl" and "Print Screen" at the same time.
- Open your presentation and create a new slide.
- Select "Edit" and "Paste" from the top toolbar (or press "ctrl" and "v" at the same time).
Take a Break During a Presentation [ top ]
When you want to stop for a break in your presentation without losing your place in the slide show, just press the lowercase B key or press the period key (.). This will make the screen go black, and if it is a self-running presentation, it will pause.
When you are ready to resume the show, press either key again, and you will start right where you left off.
Animated Presentations [ top ]
Are you tired of boring old transitions in your presentations? Here's how to add professional-looking animation to PowerPoint presentations:
- In normal view, display the slide that has the text or objects you want to animate.
- Select the object you want to animate.
- On the Slide Show menu, click Custom Animation.
- In the Custom Animation task pane, click Add Effect, and do one or more of the following:
- Make text or object enter slide show with effect, point to Entrance and then click an effect.
- Add effect to text or an object on slide, point to Emphasis and click an effect.
- Add an effect to text or an object that makes it leave slide, point to Exit and click an effect.