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In PowerPoint 2010 Essential Training, author David Diskin demonstrates how to engage an audience with images, video, sound, charts, and diagrams in professional presentations. The course also covers a variety of methods to share presentations with others, and provides comprehensive tutorials on how to design presentations that successfully deliver a quality message. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this chapter, we'll focus on visual tools to help our audience understand complex ideas. We'll focus on the drawing aid known as SmartArt, and create an Organizational Chart and a variety of other diagrams. The key here is to understand that through the use of the diagram you can say a lot in just a few words. A quick note: For those of you following along in our sample files, to provide you with a faster download, the audio and video that we added in the previous chapter has been removed from these sample files.
If you look at slide number seven, it's just begging to have an organizational chart instead of the bulleted list of people. Not only will it look better, but it will give us an interesting way to show the information and keep our audience on their toes. I'd like you to notice how I've arranged the bullets already. Maria Ann, our President, is at the top of the list, and her management team is indented underneath. This makes for a very easy transition from bulleted list to diagram. Let me show you. With the box selected, I'll choose the Home tab and then pull down Convert to SmartArt.
You can see a variety of diagrams here, and the one we want is the organizational chart. Notice that we can hover over these and see a preview of what it's going to look like. Now consider that this is just a sampling of the SmartArt layouts that we've available to us. For now, we're going to apply this one, and then we'll customize it later. PowerPoint converts the top level of my bulleted list to the top of the diagram, and each bullet underneath is displayed underneath. You can probably guess that these diagrams don't work well when there is a ton of data - a few more employees, and we wouldn't have room to show them all - but that's also a strength.
It forces us to keep our diagram simple for the audience. We can always provide handouts, or refer them to the Web for more detailed information. With our SmartArt created, let me show you how we can customize it. We'll start with the layout. When I have a SmartArt graphic selected, the SmartArt Tools > Design and Format tabs appear in the Ribbon. Under Design, I can control the layout of the SmartArt by exposing the Layout gallery. Like before, I can hover over the various choices; however, now I'm only seeing hierarchy style or org-chart style layouts.
I'd like to settle on this one here, the Circle Picture Hierarchy. And you'll see why in just a second. Let's change the colors to match our theme. On the right, I can choose Change Colors, which provides me with a long list of colors to choose from. Again, remember that the colors I see here are dependent on the color set that I've chosen earlier from the Design tab. As I hover over, I can see what it's going to look like, and I'll choose this one. We can also add a little touch of style through the diagram through the SmartArt Styles gallery.
This changes the settings for Shadow, Bevel, even 3D, and you'll see as I hover over, I can get some really interesting looks. Let's try this one here. Just like any other type of graphic or photo, I can use my arrow keys or drag and drop to resize and move around the object. I'll tap up a couple times and drag this little to the right. If I go back to the Home tab, I can use the Font controls to make the fonts a little larger and change the style of the font.
Finally, let's go ahead and piece in the photos that are going to appear in these small, little circles. Whenever you see that photo icon, you'll know that you'll be able to click on it, and provide a photo. Since I have Maria selected, we'll go find Maria Ann and hit Insert. I'll do the same with the rest of the employees. With our staff photos in place, we could stop here, but if we want to customize this a little further and fine-tune it, we can adjust the crop and size of these photos. For example, let me click on the photo for Maria Ann and use the zoom slider to zoom in, so I can see this a little bit better.
Since the photo for Maria Ann was larger, PowerPoint tried to fit the majority of the photo into the small, little circle, but that didn't quite work out. So with her photos selected, I'm going to click on Picture Tools Format and then click on Crop. We've used the Crop tool before, and you'll see here how it's going to allow me to resize the image, reposition the image, and when I'm finished, I just click away. I can repeat this for the other staff if I need to, but the other ones don't look nearly as bad as hers do.
Let's zoom back and press Shift+F5 to see how this looks for our audience. And there is our new Management Team slide. As you can see, bringing a diagram into your presentation using SmartArt is fun and easy to do. You can really get into this with custom colors and formatting, not to mention working with all the different layouts that PowerPoint 2010 offers. Let's continue on with SmartArt and learn how we can create one from scratch.
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Create a Video – This feature converts your presentation into a .WMV file (video) which you can then upload to your own website, YouTube, Facebook, or just about anywhere else. If you upload it to a site like YouTube which permits embedding, you can then copy-and-paste the embed code directly into your own website. It will play when users click the Play button, much like you’ve probably seen on blogs and other websites. This feature includes your voice narration, slide advance timings, and video that you may have included.
Save to Web – This feature uploads your presentation to SkyDrive, a free file-hosting service by Microsoft that you can use for collaboration. You’ll need a Windows Live account first, but once you log in you can create folders and upload files directly from within PowerPoint 2010. Once uploaded, you can provide a public link to the presentation file which can then be added to your website. The presentation will open in visitors’ browsers with forward and back buttons, and they do not need a Windows Live account to view it.
Create PDF/XPS Document – By saving your presentation as a PDF, you can upload the PDF to your website and link to it. Most users will be able to load and watch the PDF presentation, and can advance slides manually. Note that this feature does not permit video, sound, animation, or transitions.
PowerPoint Viewer - A fourth option is to save your presentation as a Show (you’ll find this under the “Save As” menu) which creates a PPSX file. PowerPoint Shows are just like regular presentation files, except PowerPoint opens up in presentation mode to the first slide, and when finished it closes completely. The PPSX file can be uploaded to your website, and linked to. Users with PowerPoint 2007 or later will be able to open the presentation and watch it. For users without PowerPoint 2007 or later, you can provide a second link to the free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer which they can then install on any Windows machine and watch your presentation.
The first three options discussed above can be started by choosing “Save and Send” from Backstage View (the File menu). Then choose the appropriate option based on your preference.
Note that if your organization has a SharePoint server, and your audience is limited to those with access to SharePoint, you may choose to “Save to SharePoint” instead for an easy, feature-rich solution.
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