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10 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Powerpoint Expert

10 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Powerpoint Expert

PowerPoint presentations may not be the rage they were a few years ago but more than one person’s career has been determined by the strength of their presentation. Teachers use them for lectures, start ups use them to pitch ideas to investors, and business people use them to present business proposals and reports. If you want your presentation to stand head and shoulders above the competition, then check out these tricks to make you a PowerPoint expert!

1. Create a custom background

PowerPoint expert

    There are a lot of people who think that the stock PowerPoint slide size is the only size option. This is actually not the case. Here’s how you can create your own custom slide size:
    1. Open File.
    2. Select Page Setup.
    3. Type the height and width that you want. You can do it in inches or you can do it in pixels if you prefer.
    4. Click OK.
    Now your slide size will be the custom size that you want!

    2. Create your own custom template

    PowerPoint tricks

      If the stock PowerPoint templates just aren’t doing it for you then you can actually create your own. PowerPoint has a master editor that lets you create a custom slide that you can then use as a template:
      1. Select the Themes tab.
      2. On the far right side, click Edit Master, and then Slide Master.
      3. Edit the template as you see fit. You can do pretty much whatever you want.
      4. Click Close Master. This will change all current and future slides to the one you just created. This is a great way to customize your PowerPoint presentation with a little touch of personality without doing it to every slide individually.

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      3. Align all your graphics

      PowerPoint experts

        Sometimes you just want to get the images you added to line up. You can always try to line them up by eye but why go through the hassle when you can align them without issue using built-in PowerPoint features?
        1. Select all of the objects you want by clicking on one, then hold shift and select the rest of them.
        2. At the top, find and click Align. It also may be labeled Distribute.
        3. Choose whatever type of alignment you’d like.
        The images should line up appropriately in a way that you just can’t do by eye alone.

        4. Format your pictures

        PowerPoint experts

          New in PowerPoint 2013 is a much easier way to format your images. You can add some cursory effects and add a little sheen to an otherwise bland image.
          1. Right click on an image and select Format Picture.
          2. On the right side, a bar will pop up with the formatting options. It’s fun to play around in there and see all of the various things you can do. Adding a little formatting can turn a flat, drab image into something a little more interesting with minimal effort.

          5. Make your title stand out

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          PowerPoint experts

            You can also format words much like you can format images.
            1. Right click on the text you want to format and click on Format Text Effects.
            2. Once again that is all you need to do. There are a bunch of formatting options that will pop open on the right hand side for you to use. As with images, the best practice is to play around with the various options and see which ones you like.

            6. Create custom animations

            PowerPoint experts

              If the current selection of animations aren’t your style, then you can also create your own custom animation. This one is a little tricky so you’ll have to tinker around to get them exactly how you want them.
              1. Go to the animation tab.
              2. Click on the down arrow in the animations gallery box until you see Custom Path.
              3. This is where it gets tricky. Once you select Custom Path you’ll be able to draw your own animation. It may take a few tries to get the hang of how it works so don’t get frustrated!
              4. Once you’re done, test your new creation!
              Like I said, this one takes some time to get right but once you do you’ll never have to use a pre-made animations again.

              7. Transition duration

              PowerPoint expert

                This one is a simple trick and it’s been around for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s vastly undervalued and people should use it more often.
                1. Click on the Transition tab.
                2. In a box to the right side is the ability to change the time on the transitions.
                Sometimes transitions are too slow or too fast and this is a great way to add a little tweak to make things a lot more efficient. There is no need to let a great PowerPoint get wasted by transitions that are too slow or too fast.

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                8. Combine shapes

                PowerPoint expert

                  Not everyone has Adobe Photoshop and that makes things like logo design difficult. If you need something simple then you can draw shapes and combine them in PowerPoint.
                  1. Draw the shapes you want to combine. There are a load of shapes in a load of colors. You can access them in the Insert tab.
                  2. Select all of the shapes you wish to combine by using CTRL and clicking.
                  3. Under the Format tab, click the Merge Shapes button.
                  4. Click combine.
                  Using this simple trick you can create your own custom images to add a little pizzazz to your presentations.

                  9. Zoom in and out of slides

                  PowerPoint expert

                    Sometimes there is a part of a slide that needs more attention. A chart or a graph is a good example. You may just want to make sure one point is effectively shown.
                    1. In the Presenter View there is a magnifying glass at the bottom.
                    2. Once you click on that, drag to where you want to zoom in and click again.
                    3. After you’re zoomed in, you can use the hand tool to move around so you can show other things while zoomed in.
                    4. Once you’re done, click the magnifying glass again to zoom back out.
                    This is a great way to have more control over your presentations and show people something different!

                    10. Add audio across slides

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                    PowerPoint expert

                      Audio on PowerPoint is not the easiest thing in the world. There are tools for audio including the ability to add audio tracks across multiple slides. This is great if you want to add a soundtrack to your PowerPoint.
                      1. Click the Insert tab and then click Audio.
                      2. Click on Audio Online.
                      3. Browse your computer and find the audio file you want to add.
                      4. Finally, click Play in Background so PowerPoint knows to play this in the background of your presentation.
                      With that your presentation will have background sound. You can use music or something more subtle like animal noises or other white noise like surf or wind blowing in the trees — anything to add some ambiance and make your presentation more enjoyable.

                      Wrap up

                      With these tips and tricks you can take what may have been a lackluster PowerPoint presentation and turn it into something special. PowerPoint has been getting more and more features to help you make your presentations unique and the real key is finding the new features to see what you can use!

                      Featured photo credit: Phenomenology Minds Media via phenomenologymindsmedia.files.wordpress.com

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                      Joseph Hindy

                      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                      Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                      10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                      10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                      Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

                      Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

                      As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

                      In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

                      Projects and Tasks Management

                      1. Monday dot com

                        Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

                        The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

                        The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

                        The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

                        Check out the software here!

                        2. Asana

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                          The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                          The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                          Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                          Check out the software here!

                          3. Trello

                            Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                            Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                            Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                            Check out the software here!

                            4. Jira

                              The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                              The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                              The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                              Check out the software here!

                              5. Evernote Business

                                Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                                The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                                Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                                Check out the software here!

                                Communication

                                6. Slack

                                  Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                                  Check out the software here!

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                                  7. Spike

                                    Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                                    Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                                    Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                                    Check out the software here!

                                    Creation

                                    8. Office 365

                                      Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                                      Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                                      You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                                      Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                                      Check out the software here!

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                                      9. Grammarly

                                        Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                                        Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                                        Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                                        Check out the software here!

                                        Team Analytics

                                        10. ActivTrak

                                          ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                          The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                          Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                          Check out the software here!

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                                          More Productivity Tools

                                          Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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