Presentation Knowledge Hub
As PowerPoint was built for those who would be giving presentations, it is naturally filled with amazing features and tools that allow you to become the best presenter you can be while giving kick-awesome presentations. For example, while giving a presentation you can enable the Presenter View which allows you, as the presenter, to know what the next slide is and prepare yourself mentally and physically. Not only that but you have various presentation tools such as the pen tool and laser tools which allow you to bring attention to important information on screen.
Another feature that is crucial to creating and giving stellar presentations is the Slide Show tab (it is located on the main ribbon). Here is where you will control all major assets that pertain to the actual execution of your presentation. For example, you will be able to rehearse your timings and even sync your presentation up with how long it takes for you to cover the information on screen.
Presenters use PowerPoint to present. That is normal and expected. But what is less known about PowerPoint is that there are a lot of designers and developers creating assets and awesome slide decks that presenters can showcase to their audience. And Microsoft has catered to these situations and PowerPoint designers very effectively with assets that can be completely customized and morphed into any shape for any purpose. Even default PowerPoint themes can be edited and changed to meet your needs. Or you can just start from scratch and develop amazing decks using the Slide Master Views.
And for those who aren’t designers, or not familiar with the PowerPoint layout, you have access to the Design Ideas Tab. This feature takes the content you have on your slide and gives you different layouts and designs you can choose from. This feature is extremely effective at conquering Designer’s Block and jump starting a new project.
PowerPoint also allows you to animate every asset on every single slide (this isn’t suggested). Yes, more advanced animations look better on different objects and sometimes no animation says more than a handful of animations. The beauty of PowerPoint lies in the knowledge that you can do virtually anything with animated objects.
The majority of PowerPoint users use PowerPoint as a presentation tool because that is what it was meant for! And also because their first interaction with PowerPoint was in middle school when their teacher gave them a presentation assignment. But it can be so much more than that! Thanks to Microsoft and the amazing features that they have included in PowerPoint, you can use it to craft, flowcharts, graphs, and you can even storyboard, create animated newsletters, and develop awesome eLearning courses. The possibilities are endless and are only bound by your creativity.
PowerPoint does a lot of amazing things by default and can allow for simple interactions and branching scenarios. But with Macros (a simple coding platform), you can program triggers to fire when certain actions/animations/transitions have finished. This permits you to create complex interactions and even games right in PowerPoint. Of course, this does require knowledge in coding and may not be applicable to all PowerPoint users.
If you aren’t a coding expert don’t worry. Just recently (4-5 months ago) PowerPoint released a new navigation option called Zoom. This has really changed the game and PowerPoint has put itself in direct competition with Prezi and other indie presentation software (not that they weren’t already competitors). This tool is one of the coolest updates to PowerPoint that I have seen in the last couple of years and is a great example of how far PowerPoint has come and the possibilities it provides.
If PowerPoint doesn’t allow it, check the Add-Ins. Seriously. There are some amazing third-party Add-Ins that I have installed and use frequently. So figure out what is missing or what you would like to be able to do and find it! To give you an idea of how powerful Add-Ins are and can be, realize that Articulate pretty much started out with an Add-In for PowerPoint called Presenter. Now, after a few years of expanding and growing, they have turned that simple Add-In into a fully-fledged eLearning Software. So just because it isn’t produced by Microsoft or even comes stock with PowerPoint doesn’t mean it isn’t good; it could be great.
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