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PowerPoint has a variety of built-in diagram templates, such as organizational charts, flowcharts, and even Venn diagrams. They should be used whenever possible, rather than text, to help the audience understand the process or relationship. Watch how we can clean up a few of the slides in our presentation to connect better with our audience. Slide #12 shows our Improved Fulfillment Process. It's a wordy slide, which can benefit from a significant reduction in text.
Let's ask the speaker to say these words and reduce the actual text that appears on screen. Now I'll take it even further by converting this text into a great process diagram. With the Text Box selected I'll go to the Home tab and in the Paragraph group pull down Convert to SmartArt. As I hover over the choices, I can see how my SmartArt will appear. Certainly some are better than others, and the one I'd like to use for this example is this one called the Continuous Block Process.
Note that after converting this to a SmartArt diagram, I have the SmartArt tools tabs on the top and a new window on the side that contains the original bulleted list. I can modify the text here or directly in the SmartArt diagram. As you can see, our text is preserved, but looks significantly better as a diagram. Let's change the color just a bit and add a little bit of dimension to it. From the SmartArt tools Design tab, I'll pull-down Change Colors.
Note again that all of the colors you see here match the colors from our Color palette. I can also pull-down the SmartArt Styles Gallery, and try something that has a little bit more dimension. Remember that as I hover over each option, it shows me a live preview and I can just pick the one that I want. As another example, Human Resources wants to explain the New Hierarchy shown in slide #8. The information in this giant textbox will be much more meaningful as an org chart style diagram. I'm going to go ahead and get rid of it.
I triple-click and hit Delete and we'll click on the SmartArt tool to place a diagram here instead. To create an org chart, we'll go to the Hierarchy group, and then we'll select a graphic that matches our style. We'll choose the simple organization chart and press OK. This time, because we didn't start with any initial text in our bulleted list, we have to do the typing ourself. Recall that we can do the typing either here or here. If by chance you don't see this window, it's because it's been closed. And remember that all you have to do to bring it back is click on from the SmartArt tools Design tab, Text Pane.
Let's do some quick typing to populate our org chart. You can use a combination of Tab and Shift+Tab to Promote or Demote boxes from the hierarchy. You can also use the Promote, Demote, Move Up, and Move Down commands found in the ribbon. Let's make some quick adjustments and make this chart right. Remember, to delete a shape, all you have to do is select it, or put your cursor there and hit Delete. We want to show that sales and marketing is now underneath the VP of Marketing. I'll place my cursor here, press Enter and Tab.
Likewise with Customer Service, I want to show that it now includes Fulfillment, Shipping, and Manufacturing. Again, we do this by pressing Enter and Tab to go down a line and then indent. Once we've designed our new SmartArt diagram, I can modify the layout of the entire object by clicking first on the highest level and then pulling down the Layout menu.
I can also click on individual objects and move them around if I desire. To make this look a little nicer, let's drag Customer Service to the right. We'll pull-down the Layout menu and choose Standard. Let me just move Customer Service a little bit further to the left and adjust the VP of Marketing. With a smaller font everything should look a little bit nicer. I'll select the entire object by clicking on the boundary, and then dropping down the font with this icon found in the Home tab.
Resizing it here in the corner, and then I'll center it by clicking Arrange>Align>Align Center. Finally, like we did earlier, we'll go back to the SmartArt tools Design tab, and change the colors and add a little bit of dimension. Remember that if any individual elements need modification, you can generate click and make that change yourself. For example, I'd like customer service to appear on two lines.
I'll place my cursor here and press Enter. Like a chart, make sure your diagrams are high contrast and easy-to-read on screen. More complicated charts can be created in Visio, but if you're conveying something that complicated, you should probably generalize it on the screen and provide a handout for those who want the details. Our slides are already looking better, but we don't have to stop here. Chapter 4 continues with customizing our layouts, fine-tuning nearly every aspect of the presentation, and adding animation and music.
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