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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.
Are you ready to give your presentation a facelift? I am, because this is boring. Remember that slideshows don't have to look great, but that doesn't mean that they have to look stale or unprofessional either. And while the content and delivery are the most important parts of the presentation, it never hurts to look great. I'm thankful that PowerPoint 2010 comes with so many professionally designed themes that we can apply to our presentation. Remember that so far we've created a number of slides, either with Outline mode or with a New Slide command.
And everything we've typed fell into placeholders. Keep that in mind as we try out some themes. Since slide number 2 is a regular slide, let's bring it onscreen. This way we'll see how it's affected by our change. Now, we'll access the Design tab. Immediately our eyes focus on the generous gallery of themes, which we can see here, scroll through here or display as a full gallery here.
Notice as I hover over each of the themes, my introduction slide changes: the background, the font, the position of the placeholders, and even the shape of the bullets. As we look these over, keep two things in mind. It's a piece of cake to change the color set used in the theme and the font set. So you're looking for a design that you like the structure and layout of, with colors and fonts that you can change to suit your taste.
When we find one that we like, a simple click will apply it to every slide in our presentation. See how my thumbnails now reflect the new slides, even in Slide Sorter mode. Also take note of the special design that the theme has applied to my section header layout and my title slide layout. So our presentation finally has some personality to it. But since were an olive oil company, these aren't the right colors. Let's return back to normal view, and start playing with colors.
From the Design tab, I can go to the far right and pull down the Colors palette, and choose from the variety of colors that are available to me. Notice that as I hover over these, I see Live Preview showing exactly what this is going to look like on the slide behind the menu. Let's go ahead and find one that we want and click on it to apply it to every single slide in our presentation. I can do the same thing with fonts, and scroll down to the list of fonts, and as I hover over them, Live Preview shows me exactly what this is going to look like.
Let me share with you some quick side notes about applying themes, color sets and font sets. First, you can selectively apply your changes to just one slide, or a group of them. For example, I am going to move down to our Photo Album. If I only want to apply a theme to just this one slide, I click on the slide on the left, find the theme that I want from the gallery, right-click on it and choose Apply to Selected Slides.
As you can see, only slide number 7 has this look. Likewise, I can select an entire section, like my Conclusion, and apply a theme to just that. And now here is everything in Slide Sorter mode. One more time. I'll click on the Conclusion section, pull down Colors and change the color to the color theme that I want to use, and I am set. Choosing themes and giving your presentation an instant facelift can be a lot of fun and a huge timesaver.
With all the time you're saving on design, you should be of a focus on compelling content, selecting the right photographs and piecing everything together in a logical progression. Later on, we will learn how to further customize our themes by adding our own logo and changing the background a bit. But for now, let's get this show running.
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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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