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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 get started? We're going to fire up Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, and begin with a completely empty screen. Just like an empty canvas, it's up to us to fill it up and create something magical - well, maybe not magical per se, but something that's going to wow our audience. Whether you're trying to sell them on a new product, deliver the quarterly results, or improve safety through training, you've got a goal in mind. As we work through PowerPoint, always keep in mind that goal. Every action you take, from the colors and fonts you used to the photos you insert, should take you and your audience one step closer to that goal. All right.
That's enough pep talk. Let's get down to business. There is no sample file for this video; instead, we're going to launch Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. Then we'll click on the File menu and head Backstage. Since we want to start from scratch, we'll click New on the left. Here's Blank presentation, and we'll use that in a moment. But for now, let me point out some of these other options. A Template is a pre-created slideshow with both design and the content. These are great if you want a little push when you're just starting out.
Sample templates show you what was installed on your computer. PowerPoint comes with about ten, and each one already has a handful of slides that you can customize. Double-click on Project Status Report. This template has 11 slides, all with placeholder text, diagrams, and photos ready for you to change. Tap Page Down repeatedly, if you want to peruse the slides. When you're done, return to the File menu Backstage and choose Close.
If you're prompted, do not save changes. Now click on File, then New, so we can return to our available templates. Your employer might have created templates for you already. They would be available to you under My templates. The Office.com Templates collection provides even more starting points, including Calendars, Certificates, Schedules and more. You'll need an Internet connection to download these, but they're free for licensed Microsoft Office users. Finally, double-click on Blank presentation, so we can get started.
There is that empty canvas I was referring to. Now, creating a presentation is a little more difficult than just clicking New, but you've taken the first step, so let's continue on and learn how we can start adding some content.
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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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