5 clever PowerPoint tips

Last night I ran across a series of PowerPoint tips from Wendy Russell that I thought were worth sharing…

1. Start creating your presentations in widescreen format

I hadn’t really thought about the fact that most laptops ARE now shipping with wide screens to accommodate widescreen video and movie formats. So why not start creating any new PowerPoint slide decks that you make in widescreen format? Makes sense to me! As Wendy notes:

If your presentations will be reused in the years to come, you are wise to start now in creating them in the widescreen format. Keep in mind that converting a presentation to widescreen at a later date, will cause the text and images to be stretched and distorted. You can avoid those pitfalls and have only minimal changes to make at a later date if you start at the beginning in a widescreen format.

2. Create a custom show for a particular audience from a larger slide deck

There are several ways to create a custom show from a larger set of slides. Option 1: rename the file and delete the slides you don’t want. Option 2: Create a new presentation and copy/paste slides from the old deck into the new one. Option 3: Follow Wendy’s handy tutorial on how to create a subset of slides within the larger slide deck. Very cool…

3. Hyperlink to a new presentation from another one

Wendy walks through the process of creating a blank, hyperlinked rectangle object that will take you right to the next presentation. I’ve done this before to pull up documents or videos from within a slide deck but hadn’t thought about daisy-chaining presentations together. I’ll have to consider how I might use this concept in my teaching and/or presenting.

4. Mix portrait and landscape slides in the same presentation

I don’t know how many folks need to switch between portrait and landscape slides during a presentation, but Wendy’s tutorial covers how in case you do!

Wait, there’s one more!

Finally, this is a great time to call attention to an old post by Doug Johnson

5. Choose your own presentation

Doug wrote about his idea to create a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of presentation. Essentially, he set up a spiffy home slide and then created short slide sequences within the presentation. Each image on the home slide had an internal hyperlink to the beginning of one of the short sequences. At the end of each sequence was an internal hyperlink back to the home slide. The audience then could choose which path it wanted to wander down at which time. A very, very nifty idea.

What PowerPoint, Keynote, or other presentation software tips have you found to be particularly unique, interesting, or helpful?

7 Responses to “5 clever PowerPoint tips”

  1. I have seen number two in action at a conference.

    The presenter did the slide deck edit during that “get to know you time” at the beginning of her presentation. Are there any teachers here? (yes…leave it in.) Are there any principals here? (No…take it out.)

    Of course you would have to have PLENTY of material to fill if you left out a couple of groups and you would have to practice a couple of different versions of the presentation. For most presenters these items aren’t much of a problem!

    It really impressed me that I didn’t have to listen to what someone else needed to hear. Talk about being respectful of the audience…a customized talk. Cool.

  2. I’ve been using Keynote quite a bit. I like the program’s transitions and effects better than PowerPoint’s. Plus, you can export items directly to QuickTime, PDF, PNG, SWF, HTML, or I-Pod files from the menu. Very easy and useful.

  3. Here is the info on the Keynote ’09 updates: http://www.apple.com/iwork/keynote/

  4. Scott,

    Great Ideas! I actually used Powerpoint to create each frame of my 21st century video. I then took a screen capture of each slide, and compiled it in Windows Media Maker. It’s actually a pretty simple way to create a high quality video. Students could easily do the same thing given a little technical know-how. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Steven, thanks for sharing your tip. FYI, you also can save PowerPoint slides as image files. Just change the file type after clicking on Save As…

  6. I’ve been trying out a different type of presentation management – web-based or downloadable – http://prezi.com/

  7. Scot – you’re right, you can save PPT as JPG etc, but that way you lose everything except the images. AVI etc will capture any animations and transitions you build in as well.


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