Many business meetings rely on the Microsoft Office application Powerpoint to run and function properly. It is a quick and efficient tool to swiftly display the presenter’s statements and any evidence and reasoning they have to defend aforementioned statements. Unless, of course, the program isn’t used efficiently or to its full potential. In these cases, presentations can seem clumsy and awkward, and may even make the presenting individual look unqualified and unskilled. This is easily remedied with the implementation of some of Powerpoint’s built-in features and tricks.
Instantly Begin the Presentation
Nothing spoils a truly great presentation as much as the audience seeing the presentation build screen and getting a sneak preview of the upcoming slides. To bypass this, you can save an arrangement that, when opened, will immediately begin the finalized version of the presentation. To do this, simply save a version as the desired filename and replace the suffix with .pps or .ppsx. This file will start the show from the beginning directly upon opening.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Your Advantage
Powerpoint has many designated keyboard shortcuts to give the presenter more control over their presentation.
- To hide your cursor from view during the actual presentation, press CTRL + H.
- To turn your cursor into a functioning pen to emphasize certain points mid-show, press CTRL+P. To erase pen strokes while in-show, press E.
- To return your cursor to an arrow, press CTRL+A.
Alternately, if you want to divert your audience’s attention away from your screen and back to yourself, you may turn your presentation to a black screen or white screen by pressing B or A respectively during the presentation.
Some Design Tips
As far as aesthetics are concerned, nothing is as alienating to an audience as a sloppy, crowded, or mashed-together presentation. So, to keep your audience fully engaged:
- Be choosy with your font selection. For a business meeting, stick with a more professional, clear, and easy-to-read font to avoid increasing the effort it takes to read your presentation.
- Use graphics in moderation. No business professional wants to see a jumbled collection of images where they’re looking for facts, figures, and statements. However, they should also be engaged, because they don’t want to be bored, either. Don’t be afraid to branch out and utilize audio, video, graphs, and charts – just do not try to insert an entire spreadsheet, as that will look (in a word) horrible.
By implementing these strategies, your presentations can be both engaging and informative.