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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.
Let's face it; our presentation is boring. It needs color. It needs some pizzazz. It needs photos. We all know the analogy about photos, and it couldn't be more true in PowerPoint. To help convey our ideas to an audience, nothing speaks faster than a photograph, illustration or diagram of some sort. It's also true that photos of people will connect better emotionally with your audience, too. PowerPoint gives us quite a few ways to add photos and make them look great. So let's get started. Let's open up our sample file for this chapter and head to slide number two, Introductions.
There's a lot of space available on the right side. So let's put a photo over there. We learned, in the previous chapter, how to change the layout of a slide. Let's pull down the Layout menu and choose one that gives us content in two columns. Here's one called Two Content. The placeholder on the right is created, and you'll remember that if we want text, we would simply click and start typing. This time we'll choose from the six content icons in the placeholder. Let me show you what these do. We can insert a Table, and PowerPoint will ask us for number of rows and columns, and then we simply add text or numbers to each cell.
We can add a Chart, like a pie, column, bar or line. We can add a SmartArt Graphic, or a diagram, such as a flowchart, organization chart, Venn diagram, Cycle diagram, Pyramid diagram, et cetera. We can add a photo, picture, logo, any kind of graphical file from our hard drive or the network. We can add Clip Art, which really means any kind of Microsoft supplied media, such as a photograph, or illustration from Microsoft Office Online.
We can add media of our own, such as a video clip or an audio clip. When we click on the Picture icon, we're shown the familiar dialog box asking us which photo we want to insert. I'm going to navigate to my Exercise Files folder and then my Assets folder to find a photo that I want to add. I'll click Insert, and there it is. Notice how the photo is inserted automatically into the placeholder, and we don't have to worry about adjusting its position or size.
This keeps things consistent. Now, let's try another method: Inconsistency. We're going to place a photo onto our Title Slide without the use of a placeholder. So head over to slide one, switch to the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and you'll find Picture on the far left. Let's choose a different photo this time, and before we click Insert notice how PowerPoint remembered the folder that we were last in. You'll see the image inserted, and depending on what you chose, it's probably pretty big; it even covers up our text.
You see these eight handles along the edges, the corners and the sides. We can use them to resize the photo like this. Note that when I do this, I only use the corner handles. Doing so keeps the ratio of the height and width the same. If I accidentally grab it by the sides, I run the risk of skewing the picture like this. I can hit Undo, and then return back to the corner handles to resize. We can also grab the picture and drag and drop it into any position we want to, like this.
Now, what about Clip Art? Microsoft uses the term Clip Art to describe anything that you've downloaded for free from Microsoft Office Online, a huge collection of royalty-free images that includes illustrations, photographs, and even some sound and video. Their library is constantly expanding. Let's head over to slide number 13. When we discuss why we're so special, we want to add a photo of one of our many satisfied customers. But since we don't have any signed releases, we're going to head over to Clip Art.
From the Insert tab, I'll click on the Clip Art button which exposes the Clip Art task pane on the far right. Like a Search Engine, you can type in a keyword, such as Customer, and press Go. See how our results include both pictures and illustrations? If we only want to insert a photo, I can pull down the Results should be menu, and uncheck Illustrations, maybe even a video and audio, leaving only photographs in our results.
Click Go again, and now our list has been reduced to Just photos. If I found the perfect photo, great! If not, I'll try other keywords until I do. Now, I can click on the photo that I want to insert, and have it automatically inserted into my slideshow. Just like before, I use the handles on the corners to resize the image and then position it wherever I want.
There's a lot more that we can do with photos to give them a more professional look, and we'll cover them all in upcoming chapters. Keep in mind that your photos should be relevant to your presentation and feature people as often as possible, if you really want to connect with your audience. To wrap up, I'm going to close the Clip Art task pane by clicking on the X here.
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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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