When I sit down to write my articles, sometimes I already have a great idea in mind. Other days, well, I want my mind to work and it’s just blank.
Anyway… when this happens to me, I turn to google and let my fingers dance across my keyboard in search of what’s happening in the world of public speaking.
Today, I wandered my way into a few great tips, tricks, and time savers for physically creating PowerPoint (PP) presentations. (And no, they aren’t about how slides should be easy on the eyes, not too crowded or too text heavy… blah blah blah). These all just impressed me because I could see how they could make presentation creation easier, and faster, which I am a fan of.
- Design Ideas Feature: Did you know PowerPoint’s 365 subscription includes a design section that will provide you with a selection of themes for your entire presentation? All you have to do is open up a single slide, add a photo and some text, and voila, a window pops open on the right side with theme variations for you to choose from. The picture below is me checking out this feature. This is a link to an article that provides more information about this feature too.
- Insert > Pictures: We know the importance of using images in our slides, but it can be a struggle to find royalty free images to use in our presentations. Little did I know that Microsoft 365 subscribers have access to “a full library of creative content,” which includes royalty free images you can use in your PP presentation (as well as in Outlook, Word, and Excel too). In Microsoft’s words: Choose from thousands of royalty-free images, including stock images, icons, videos, and stickers that you can insert in your Office files.
- Dealing with “Sucky” Backgrounds: You know how sometimes you have a great photo but the background ruins it? This can be so disappointing for non-graphic-tech-savvy people like me. Well, I just found 3 options for getting rid of sucky backgrounds.
- PowerPoint has a remove background feature! Just insert your picture, click the “Picture Format” tab option in the headings (or double-click on the picture itself), and a “remove background” option will be on the far-left side of the picture format options task bar.
- I also found two great websites that will do this as well. They’re fast, fun, and you can even add new backgrounds. Both provide pricing versions depending upon your needs: free, pay as you go, and subscription. They are: Removebg.com and slazzer.com. Gotta say, I’m happy with my first attempts at using this technology.
One last suggestion is that when it comes to creating a PowerPoint presentation, compose your talk first. Once you have that, it’s going to be much easier to think about your slides in terms of themes, or colors, or whatever. Then, just like you did with your talk, rough out what’s going to be on each slide. Once your slides are roughed out, then you can go back in and polish them up.
It’s neat little technology shortcuts like these that makes creating a presentation easier. They’re fun and (mostly) free, and who knows… you just might unleash your own inner-graphic designer in the process!
‘Til we speak again….