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. 

Picture of the word Jazz with a saxophone for the J

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. 

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes