PowerPoint may be synonymous with presentations but it can do so much more.
This often-underrated Microsoft application is more versatile and flexible than many give it credit for.
Here are a dozen ways to use the power of PowerPoint.
Design a Business Card
This is a neat feature of the application. It allows you to create business cards for yourself or for clients.
Even if you are looking for someone else to print a set for you, you can show them how you want your cards to look. If you enjoy the graphics side of professional assistant work, you’ll enjoy exploring the function on PowerPoint.
And, yes, you can create something in landscape or the more unusual portrait mode.
Make Your CV Stand Out
If you’re looking to create a CV for a typical business or employment opportunity, the way to go is usually to use Microsoft Word. Keep it simple. Text only. Neatly set out.
However, if the job you are applying for involves a bit of creativity or encourages imaginative thinking, you could go for a more visual resume. It’s one way to stand out from all the other applicants.
As ever, don’t let the style overwhelm the content. You want people to know who you are, what you can do and why you would be a great fit in their organisation.
Create Social Media Images
So much communication today is digital. And a huge portion of that is taken up with social media.
It makes sense, therefore, for the professional assistant to get to grips with the essentials.
Whether it’s for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or other platforms, images play an important part in content. And you can build posts with pictures fast, if you know what you’re doing.
For example, in 30 minutes or less, my online course can teach someone to create Instant Instagram Posts. After that, it’s like riding a bike. It means you can do more in less time. Efficiency gives you more options.
Design a Logo
The graphics capabilities of PowerPoint make it a great choice if you want to design and create logos.
If you’re a VA just starting out or you have a flair for this kind of thing, it’s one way to begin developing your brand identity without it costing a fortune.
Make Flyers and Brochures
For more detailed and fancy flyers or brochures, you may want to use a professional app like Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign or Illustrator.
They do take a bit of learning to make the most of their power – but do create great results, especially for professional publications.
However, if what you’re looking to produce is something more basic, PowerPoint can help you achieve that with no dramas.
Add Sparkle to Checklists
When someone mentions a checklist, you may automatically think Microsoft Word or even Excel.
But you can also use Microsoft PowerPoint to handle the task – and add some artistic glamour along the way. SmartArt functionality allows you to make it all work.
Definitely, something to think about if you want to add more of a visual wow to presentations, reports or summaries.
Create a Photo Collage
This is a lot of fun, whether you are doing it for a business task or personal pleasure.
You add photos to a slide. These can be stock images or ones from your files. Then use the Design Ideas or SmartArt feature to create the collage.
Could be useful if creating a sales brochure, e-magazine or simply sharing your favourite snaps with family and friends.
Writing and Journalling
Journalling or note-taking typically involves a diary or notepad and pen. If writing ‘by hand’ does not appeal, you can always revert to type(writing).
You can set down your thoughts, ideas and feelings on the screen using PowerPoint. And, of course, because the application has graphics capabilities, you can add images, icons or other elements to bring it all to life.
Make a Mind Map
If you’re interested in mind maps you may already be using one of the online tools already out there. Mind mapping helps people come up with ideas, and with planning and presentations.
However, it is possible to make a simple mind map within PowerPoint. Using the SmartArt features, you can add ideas to a slide and choose the style of map you want.
Design a Fresh Desktop Wallpaper
Yes, yes. I do know you can get any number of images off the internet to act as your desktop wallpaper.
But whichever of those images you choose, it won’t be unique to you. Chances are, somebody else is using the same picture on their machine.
With PowerPoint, you can take a downloaded image and add text or graphics to it. Freshen the image up and make it truly unique to you.
Create Customised and Memorable Icons
Icons are the picture symbols that represent an object, a topic or a function. Think of the images used for ‘download a file’, print a document or live chat.
Yes, you could search online for stock icons. The beauty of using PowerPoint is you can create something that nobody else has. That’s important if you are building your brand and want it to stand out.
Add unique icons to your website. Add them to advertisements, letterheads, posters, leaflets, checklists, bullet points, business cards and more.
Make Eye-Catching Infographics
Infographics are a great way to share and summarise data. Their visual style makes the content more interesting and easier to take in.
No wonder they continue to be a popular communication method for organisations, from businesses to charities.
Infographics can vary in size and design but there are some basic standards to follow. It may look complicated but it’s not. In fact, one of my online courses teaches people, in 60 minutes or less, how to create powerful infographics.
Once you know how to do it, you will save hours when doing the task. It’s a skill that will impress the boss or allow you to serve more clients in a better way.
And there You Have It
A dozen different ways to squeeze some fresh juice out of Microsoft PowerPoint.
There are many other things the application can do. If you think visual, love to create and enjoy design you will find it a good and loyal companion – for business and personal use.
A tool is only as good as the knowledge of how to use it well. If you’re looking to upgrade your PowerPoint skills, one of my online courses may be just what you need.