The latest version of PowerPoint has all sorts of features that can bring your presentation to life when used well. Here are a few more tips on how to make the most of PowerPoint 2010.
1. Trim audio
Previous versions of PowerPoint were not great at playing small sections of larger audio clips. You had to use external audio editing software to fade in and fade out audio to the correct length for it to sound professional and really work with your PowerPoint content. Now, PowerPoint has a built-in audio trimming tool. Insert your audio file, click on the audio tools tab and use the editing section to add fade in, fade out and trim audio tools to make the audio fit perfectly with your visual content.
2. Export a video
Previously, to export video from PowerPoint you needed to purchase and install another application, and even then the results were not guaranteed. Now, if you go to the File tab, choose ‘save and send’ and click create a video you can choose various quality/output size options, including computer playback, internet playback or portable devices. The output is always WMV.
3. Grow and Shrink are now good quality
In previous versions of PowerPoint, the grow/shrink animation was never really usable as it had real difficulty rendering the up or downscaled images and shapes. They would grow to be incredibly pixellated, even if the original image was nice and high res. This has been rectified for PowerPoint 2010 and you no longer need to fear the result when you apply the grow/shrink animation!
4. Make the most of simplified screenshot insertion tools
Inserting a screen shot of another piece of software used to involve using an additional piece of software, or several step-through windows. You can now use a special tool within PowerPoint that allows screenshots of all open windows to be inserted.
5. Copy animations
Setting up complex animations that repeat across multiple items used to be a tiresome task. The new animation painter fixes this and allows an animation scheme to be quickly copied from one item to another.
6. Use video triggers to bring in other elements
Video clips can now have “triggers” inserted so that when a video reaches a set point it can trigger text to appear, or an animation to happen. This is great for longer clips that may require commentary or supporting information to be shown.
7. YouTube videos can be integrated
You can now use YouTube videos as part of your presentation. Just insert into PowerPoint the code that points to the video (available from the “share” link in YouTube) and the video will automatically play during your presentation. You do need an internet connection, though.
8. Customise your ribbon
Office 2007 introduced the “ribbon” at the top of the interface (instead of clunky old menus). 2010 takes this one stage further and allows you to create your own ribbon of features that you use the most.
Lyndon Nicholson, CEO, Article10 Presentations (www.article10presentations.com)