Imagine a sports car that never hits second gear - a waste of a high-performance vehicle. Most copies of PowerPoint are treated the same way. It’s an incredibly sophisticated, high-performance piece of kit, capable of amazing things when driven properly. A Ferrari stuck in first gear is a waste of money. Similarly, poor use of PowerPoint costs businesses time, money and sanity - every day.
Tight deadlines, multiple projects and competing priorities mean you and your office potentially use PowerPoint the same way you always have. You haven’t got time to step back and realise its potential or leverage its full capacity. We get it. But while you’re treading water, are you sacrificing long-term productivity, and delivering presentations that fail to engage your audience or steer them to action?
We’ll start with a hard-to-swallow statistic, but don’t worry - below are some easy tips for you and your teams to get the most out of this high-octane communications software and step it up a gear (or two).
A Frightening Statistic
Ian Parker (The New Yorker Magazine) estimates AU$360 million (yep, million) is wasted daily due to sub-par PowerPoints.
Based on the time it takes to complete presentations and time wasted by staff delivering and sitting through poorly planned and executed presentations is a measurable detriment to businesses. For his exact stats and research1, see the link at base, but never fear - the following simple tips could put you and your crew ahead of the pack.
Tips to Stay Ahead of the Curve
1. Paste Options
Ctrl-V is just the tip of the iceberg. Did you know there are several options when pasting text?
Paste “Using Destination Theme”
You can paste text while keeping the overall presentation theme to maintain thematic consistency.
Paste “As a Picture”
This will convert a font or piece of text to an image, making it easier to organise and reduce the necessity of loading fonts on various devices.
Paste “Keeping Text Only”
This allows you to take content from an already-formatted piece of text and strip its formatting, to restyle it in a way that best suits your presentation theme.
2. Colour Themes
Thematic continuity across a PowerPoint really ties your presentation together, and helps an audience focus on your message. All too often though, you’re pulling slides from different projects or maybe several team members have collaborated on a single deck, leading to varied design styles. Colour Themes is a useful, rarely used tool that’s helpful for setting a colour palette across your entire presentation.
3. Format Painter
This tool is a game changer. How often do you find yourself copying/pasting text from other documents - spending what feels like hours fiddling with formatting? Sometimes it’s an easy fix – others, not so much. Format Painter is here to help. By simply copying the formatting of your original work and using this handy tool, you can paste the formatting over your unformatted text - a HUGE timesaver.
4. Selection Pane
Like the Animation Pane, the Selection Pane is a helpful tool for managing various elements on your slide. Like other graphics software (e.g. Photoshop), the Selection Pane allows you to work in layers, and order individual elements. The benefit is that you can toggle the visibility of objects, allowing you to focus on one specific element. This allows you to ‘quieten the noise’ by making elements temporarily invisible. This works well when you need to edit something beneath other objects.
5. Animation Pane
Animations make or break presentations. Most people understand the basics, but don’t get the most out of this powerful tool. Getting the timing and sequencing on a slide can be a complex job, especially when you don’t use the Animation Pane. This feature gives the user an overall view and timeline where you can see how all your animations are integrating. You can control individual assets by double-clicking to get your animations timed perfectly!
These are just a few of the ways in which you can get more out of PowerPoint. If you’re wondering what other features of this powerful tool you and your team are missing out on, why not get in touch with us and learn about our PowerPoint training courses for individuals and teams. Presentations affect everyone, and these sessions are valuable for everyone across your organisation.
PowerPoint’s also a lot of fun when you know how to shift it up a gear or two - check out the video below for something our designers made using the tools above.
Put an end to #PresentationFrustration through upskilling. Making better use of PowerPoint saves time, resources and allows your presentations to stand out from the pack. So say goodbye to frustration, and welcome to the PowerPoint productivity revolution.