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Microsoft is constantly updating and upgrading the Office 365 suite. One program that has always been popular is PowerPoint. It’s easy to use and it offers the chance for anyone to design professional looking slide shows. It’s used the world over in large and small businesses of every industry. It’s often the best tool to use to showcase a new product, create a new ad campaign, or just plan a vacation with your family.

Your family might be planning a once-in-a-lifetime vacation this year. PowerPoint could be used to help plan everything. Each family member could be given a chance to post photos of their favorite vacation spot. This program allows collaboration between team or family members. After you post your photos, you could include a slide that tells everyone all the perks to visiting this particular country.

Once each family member has added their photos and information, everyone could gather one evening at a central location and watch the slideshow together. Afterwards, the family could vote on their ideal vacation spot. This is just one of the clever ways PowerPoint can be used in everyday life by regular people just like you.

Of course, PowerPoint’s main user group is the business world and its main purpose is to allow users to create something amazing that tells a story through pictures and text.

Some Background On PowerPoint

PowerPoint was created in 1987 by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin. Just a mere three months later, they sold the software company to Microsoft for $14 million. Though that seems like a lot of money, this is one software program that is worth its weight in gold. It is usually bundled with the Office 365 suite.

Create Presentations That Stand Out

Though PowerPoint was originally developed to create visuals for group presentations at a business organization, it has come to be widely used in a much broader range of industries. It offers numerous design choices, cinematic motion, rich animation and 3D models. Even if you’re a novice, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to create an amazing presentation that looks like it was done by a pro.

It has a very convenient area at the bottom of each slide where you can place notes for each slide. These are only viewable by the presenter. They’re strictly there to help you remember what you wanted to say with each slide as it moves past.

Work Better Together

With Office 365, PowerPoint collaboration is simple and so is co-authoring on any project. Plus, you can save everything to the Cloud. That makes it easy to access and share on any device or location.

PowerPoint For Mobile

The PowerPoint Mobile app allows you to create beautiful presentations from your Windows phone or tablet. You can even prepare and rehearse your presentation on the go. The mobile app offers some pretty exciting features such as the ability to draw on your slides while you’re presenting. You can draw a red arrow to point out something important or emphasize key points. The app integrates well with Dropbox, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Team members can create, edit, and share presentations with others at the same time. The app has a feature called “Tell Me” that takes you right to the command or feature you’re looking for.

Let’s Get Started

You can create your own template for your presentation or choose from one of the many that PowerPoint provides when you open the program. Choose a category to browse through and click on it.

You’ll notice that the categories are listed to the right of the screen.

Instead, we’re going to work with a blank template.

We’ll start with our title page and build from here.

Right click in the left-hand column.

Next, choose a layout.

Now, add a picture.

Here it is.

PowerPoint provides design ideas to the right that you can choose from.

Even if you choose one of PowerPoint’s design ideas, you can still make your own modifications.

Now, add a new slide.

We added a picture of a place where we want to vacation.

Again, we select one of the design ideas from the right and add our title to this page.

And we’ll add content as to why Bali is our destination of choice.

We’re going to add one more slide with two pictures. You’ll see that design ideas still populate on the right.

It’s advised that you keep your design simple. PowerPoint isn’t meant to overload your audience with visuals. It’s your job to speak the pictures, videos and content that you created . What you think will work best. Keep is simple, otherwise PowerPoint won’t know how to help you.

Another way to get to design ideas is to click DESIGN and to the far top right, DESIGN IDEAS.

This is the message that you will receive if you’ve entered in too much content.

There are many more features you can use in PowerPoint…

Here Are The Top 5 Tips For Better Presentations

  1. Insert videos: Did you know you can insert a video into your PP presentation? Simply go to the slide where you want the video to appear. Go to Insert and choose Video. Then navigate to your video file. It is automatically inserted into that slide.
  2. Morph Transition: This is a simple feature that gives your presentation a very polished affect. Go to Transitions. Make a duplicate of the slide. On the second slide, choose the Morph option. Move items around the screen, such as an image or block of text. Click Morph again and the items will move around the screen on their own.
  3. SmartArt: Insert Smart Art into a presentation by going to Insert > SmartArt. The program inserts the SmartArt as one item. But what if you want to break each section into single items? Just right click on the block of SmartArt, then choose Group > Ungroup, and then do it a second time. Now each element is separated so you can move them around as you wish.
  4. Quick Access Toolbar: This is located at the top left part of the screen on every Microsoft program. There are usually 4 or 5 commands you can quickly access. It’s easy to modify this toolbar and add other commands you frequently use. Go to the arrow at the right end of the Quick Access toolbar and click on it. This opens all the commands available. Now you can click on a command you want to add to the toolbar and choose Add. You can add as many as you like.
  5. Chart Animation: Adding a chart to any presentation is easy but what if you wanted to animate your chart to make it more interesting? Click on the Chart then go to Animations and click on Animation Pane. Next, choose an animation from the chart. All the same animations are available for charts as for your entire presentation. Next, click on Effect Options, then choose By Series or By Category. Try out both to see which you like best.