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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.
Before we dive in, I want to give you a chance to understand what Microsoft PowerPoint is. If you've already got some experience with PowerPoint, in whatever version, then you might skip this little video. PowerPoint, for over 20 years, is the ubiquitous tool to aid speakers during a presentation in front of a live audience. As a user, you create slides, a reference to the 35-millimeter slides and projectors from yesteryear. You add text, graphics, photos, and even video to these slides, and use them to help present your idea to the audience.
Armed with your laptop and perhaps a remote control, you can become a dynamic speaker with PowerPoint, illustrating your ideas on a screen behind you. Of course, PowerPoint has grown beyond that 35-millimeter reference. Today's PowerPoint lets you save your presentations to the Web, broadcasting them to the audiences around the Internet. You can convert your presentation to a variety of formats, sharing them with others. You can save it as video, PDF, and even HTML. You can even upload your file to YouTube, complete with your voiceover narrations, animations, and any video you've embedded.
Because PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office system, it allows interaction between other Office applications; for example, spreadsheets you create in Excel can be copy and pasted into a PowerPoint slide. The interface that you use for Word, including tools like Spellcheck and Language Translation are available in PowerPoint and work the same way. So what isn't PowerPoint? Although PowerPoint does offer easy-to- use and somewhat powerful graphics tools, it's not a replacement for a professional graphics suite and should not be used to print high-resolution images.
It's also not a full-featured video editor, though you can use it to import video and make minor changes like trim and fade. But for all the things that PowerPoint is, I think you'll agree that it's a fantastic tool for anyone that needs to pass information on to others. So, let's start learning how to use it.
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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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