Because audience expectations of a PowerPoint presentation can be low, adding some jazz to it can help yours stand out.
Inexperienced presenters will make common mistakes that leave people bored and unenthused.
The professional assistant who understands what PowerPoint can do won’t make those kinds of amateur blunders.
Here are 7 Ways to add some Jazz to PowerPoint
1. Use Design Ideas
One of the super features Microsoft has added to PowerPoint in recent years is a ‘designer’ function.
It allows you to create ‘standard’ slides with your presentation content. Then it gives you alternative styles for them. Select a look and the application automatically changes the slide and wording to the chosen style.
Choose an alternative style and you can view how that makes the slide look.
It really is a great way to enhance the appearance of your presentations. And the best thing is the machine does the work for you. It saves time and effort in coming up with something yourself.
2. Employ Emphasis on Words and Images
This aspect of PowerPoint will particularly appeal to people who enjoy exploring applications.
There is so much fun to be had with this feature – but there’s also the risk of overdoing it. You don’t want to distract the audience from the message with fancy tricks.
You can find a host of options in the menu, such as fill colour, spin, transparency, teeter and ‘grow/shrink’. Each one alters the way the wording or a picture appears and ‘acts’ on the screen.
3. Add Animations
If there was a warning with the previous feature, there’s an even bigger one with this function. It is all too easy to go ‘over the top’ and ruin a presentation.
However, used wisely, animations can add a little jazz and fun to your slides.
Entrance and Exit Effects control how your words make an entry, appear on the screen and leave the page.
Options to explore include Appear, Blinds, Chequerboard, Dissolve, Fly-In and Fly Out, Strips, Wedge, Wheel and Wipe. More daring alternatives include Swivel, Zoom, Spinner, Credits, Float and Bounce.
Great fun but do take care. Style should not overwhelm the content.
4. Go Loco with the Motions
If movement on your slide might add a little excitement to a presentation, there are several different ways to go about it.
You can choose the path some text or an image takes. The options open to you include lines, loops, arcs, turns, shapes, spirals and stars.
As before, this feature is a lot of fun to play with. It also requires self-restraint because it is all too easy to go overboard and allow the jazz to smother the message. I know you would never let that happen to one of your presentations.
5. Get Seen and Heard
Some presentations in PowerPoint will be delivered live – in a meeting room, on a webinar or over an online call on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
In such cases, it is likely that a presenter or trainer will talk through their content, slide by slide. There’s no need to add any audio.
However, if you are sharing your presentation deck just as it is – so that someone could view it at any time – there may be a desire to add some narration.
This could be to one slide or several slides. Once you’ve added the voiceover and created an audio button, the viewer simply clicks that button to listen to your words.
For example, you may have 10 slides in a deck and eight of them are self-explanatory (even to someone who has not heard the original presentation). For the other two, you could add narration to help the viewer make sense of them.
6. Embed Video into Your PowerPoint Presentation
There’s no rule that says slides must be words only, image only or a combination of the two.
It is possible to embed videos from YouTube into your presentations. However, you do need to stay on the right side of the law.
You cannot just assume that you can take any clip and put it somewhere in your slide deck. The general rule is that you cannot copy or use a piece of work that is covered by copyright – unless you get permission first from the author or creator.
There are some exceptions but best to be safe. If you are ever unsure about whether it is OK to use someone else’s video footage, seek professional legal advice.
That being said, a short and relevant clip can add a bit of jazz to your presentation.
7. Embed an Excel Worksheet into the Show
This may surprise some people but, yes, it can be done. And it’s simpler than it sounds.
There is a caveat with this. A large format and complex worksheet is not going to work very well in this context.
But, if you have a small and functioning worksheet in Excel, you can embed it easily into a PowerPoint slide and enhance a business presentation.
And that’s what it’s all about.
Making presentations dull and difficult for an audience is easy. But who wants that?
PowerPoint can help to get the message and information across – if you use it wisely.
This is easier once you are able to master the Slide Master and know how to put things together in a smart and simple fashion.
The trick is to know the tricks but not overdo them.
Presentations can be used for pitching, serving clients, supporting your organisation and delivering training. Knowing how to create the Perfect PowerPoint should be bread and butter for the forward-thinking professional assistant.