27 Super Hidden PowerPoint Tips and Tricks Only The Pros Know!

Ausbert Generoso

Ausbert Generoso

27 Super Hidden PowerPoint Tips and Tricks Only The Pros Know!

Ever felt like your PowerPoint presentations could use a little magic? You’re not alone. Whether you’re a seasoned presenter or just getting started, there’s a world of PowerPoint tips and tricks waiting for you. In this guide, we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of Microsoft PowerPoint to uncover 30 hidden gems that’ll transform the way you create and deliver slides.

From making your designs pop to streamlining your workflow, these PowerPoint hacks are designed for real-world impact. No jargon, just practical insights that’ll have you presenting like a pro in no time.

Let’s cut through the noise and get straight to the good stuff – your next presentation is about to level up. Ready? Let’s get started.

27 PowerPoint Tips and Tricks That Put The Power in PowerPoint

PowerPoint tips and tricks

1. Morph Transition for Seamless Animation

PowerPoint Morph Transition

What’s it for:  Elevate your presentation by seamlessly animating objects and creating smooth transitions between slides. Morph transition is your key to a dynamic and visually engaging storytelling experience, allowing you to captivate your audience effortlessly. 

How to do it:

  • Position the same object in different parts on multiple slides
  • Select all slides, and go to the Transitions tab.
  • Choose “Morph” as the transition effect.

2. SVG Image Integration

SVG Image Integration PowerPoint

What’s it for:  Did you think SVG’s only work for websites and professional photo editing tools? They do, too, in PowerPoint! Import high-quality Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). Maintain image clarity, resize without loss, and enhance your presentations with crisp logos and icons. 

  • Save your chosen SVG on your device.
  • Click on the Insert tab.
  • Choose “Pictures” and select your SVG file.
  • Adjust the size without compromising image quality.

3. Designer Feature for Quick Layouts

PowerPoint Designer

What’s it for:  Effortlessly create professional-looking slides with the Designer feature. Receive instant layout suggestions based on your content, saving time and ensuring your presentation looks polished. 

  • Select a slide.
  • Go to the Design tab and click Designer on the far right along the ribbon.
  • Select through ready-made slide designs for instant layouts.

4. Insert 3D Models

PowerPoint 3D Models

What’s it for:  Amp up your presentations with manipulable 3D models, adding a dynamic dimension. Whether it’s showcasing products or visualizing data, 3D models bring your slides to life. 

  • Click on the “3D Models” dropdown and proceed to Stock 3D Models.
  • Search for a 3D model of your choice and insert.
  • Manipulate and customize as needed.

5. SmartArt Graphics for Visual Hierarchy

PowerPoint SmartArt Graphics

What’s it for:  Convey complex ideas with visual hierarchy using SmartArt graphics. These graphics offer a structured and visually appealing way to organize information, making your content more digestible. 

  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Select “SmartArt” and navigate through the available categories.
  • Select a graphic template that fits your presentation needs.
  • Enter your content and customize as needed.

6. Eyedropper Tool for Color Matching

PowerPoint eyedropper

What’s it for:  Maintain a cohesive design by using the Eyedropper tool to pick colors from images or elements within your presentation. Ensure consistency and professional aesthetics in every slide. 

  • Select the editable, native PowerPoint object you wish to customize.
  • Go to the Shape Format tab and click on the Shape Fill dropdown.
  • Select “More Fill Colors…” and click the eyedropper icon to begin color appropriating.

7. Record and Insert Audio

PowerPoint record audio

What’s it for:  Infuse personality into your presentation by recording audio directly within PowerPoint. Ideal for adding voiceovers, explanations, or personal touches that enhance audience engagement. 

  • Click on “Audio” and choose “Record Audio.”
  • Record your audio and insert it into the slide.

8. Presenter Coach for Rehearsing

Presenter Coach PowerPoint

What’s it for:  Elevate your presentation skills with Presenter Coach. Receive valuable feedback on pacing, filler words, and more, refining your delivery for a confident and impactful performance. 

  • Click on the Slide Show tab.
  • Choose “Rehearse with Coach” to start practicing.

9. Hyperlink Navigation for Seamless Transitions

PowerPoint hyperlink

What’s it for:  Streamline your presentation flow by implementing Hyperlink Navigation. This trick allows you to create clickable links within your slides, enabling effortless transitions between related content or external resources, enhancing the overall navigational experience. 

  • Select the text or object you want to hyperlink.
  • Right-click and choose “Hyperlink” or use the Ctrl+K shortcut.
  • Specify the destination, whether it’s another slide, a website, or a file, to create a seamless navigational experience.

10. Alt Text for Accessibility

PowerPoint Alt Text

What’s it for:  Improve accessibility by adding descriptive alternative text to images and objects. Ensure inclusivity for visually impaired individuals, making your presentation accessible to a wider audience. 

  • Right-click on the image or object.
  • Choose “Edit Alt Text” and enter a descriptive text.

11. Slide Zoom for Dynamic Navigation

PowerPoint Slide Zoom

What’s it for:  Elevate your presentation’s navigation with Slide Zoom, offering the flexibility to jump to specific slides during a presentation without adhering to a linear sequence. This dynamic feature ensures a more engaging and tailored audience experience. 

  • Set a master slide where you’d like to put your “mini slides” altogether.
  • Navigate to the Insert tab > Zoom dropdown > Slide Zoom.
  • Select the slides you want to link onto your master slide and insert.

12. Live Captions and Subtitles

PowerPoint Live Captions and Subtitles

What’s it for:  Foster inclusivity by enabling live captions and subtitles in multiple languages. This feature enhances accessibility, making your presentation more engaging and comprehensible for a diverse global audience. 

  • Go to the Slide Show tab.
  • Select “Always Use Subtitles” and choose your language.

13. Password Protection for Security

PowerPoint Password

What’s it for:  Safeguard your presentation’s sensitive content by adding a password. This security measure ensures that only authorized individuals can access and view the information, adding an extra layer of protection. 

  • Navigate to the File tab.
  • Select “Info” and click on “Protect Presentation.”
  • Choose “Encrypt with Password” and set your password.

14. Animation Painter for Consistent Animations

PowerPoint animation painter

What’s it for:  Maintain a polished and consistent look throughout your presentation by using the Animation Painter. Copy and apply animations across different objects with ease, ensuring a cohesive visual experience. 

  • Select the object with the same, desired animation as the others.
  • Go to the Animation tab.
  • Click on “Animation Painter” and apply to other objects.

15. Linked Excel Charts for Real-Time Updates

Link Excel charts with PowerPoint

What’s it for:  Integrate linked Excel charts for real-time updates in your PowerPoint presentation. Any modifications made to the linked Excel file automatically reflect in your slides, ensuring data accuracy. 

  • Copy your Excel chart.
  • In PowerPoint, use “Paste Special” and choose “Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object.”

16. Custom Slide Sizes

PowerPoint custom slide sizes

What’s it for:  Tailor your presentation to various screen dimensions by customizing slide sizes. This feature, accessible through the Design tab, ensures your content fits seamlessly across different display settings. 

  • Navigate to the Design tab.
  • Click on the “Slide Size” dropdown and choose “Page Setup”.
  • Change “Slide sized for” to Custom.

17. Grid and Guidelines for Precision

PowerPoint grids and guidelines

What’s it for:  Achieve precise object alignment with gridlines and guides. This feature, essential for creating visually polished and organized presentations, ensures your content is visually appealing and professionally structured. 

  • Go to the View tab.
  • Check the “Grids” and “Guidelines” toggles for display options and customization.

18. Slide Master for Consistent Design

PowerPoint Slide Master

What’s it for:  Establish a cohesive presentation design by utilizing the Slide Master. This time-saving feature enables you to set consistent layouts, fonts, and colors throughout your presentation. 

  • Click on “Slide Master” to access and customize master slides.

19. Quick Access Toolbar Customization

PowerPoint quick access to toolbar

What’s it for:  Streamline your workflow by personalizing the Quick Access Toolbar with your most-used commands. This customization ensures quick access to essential tools, enhancing efficiency during presentation creation. 

  • Click on the dropdown arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Select “More Commands” to customize your toolbar.

20. Ink Annotations for Handwriting

PowerPoint ink annotations

What’s it for:  Personalize your presentations with a touch-enabled device using ink annotations. This feature allows you to draw or write directly on slides, adding a unique and handwritten touch to your content. 

  • Go to the Draw tab and click on Draw to begin drawing.
  • Choose “Ink to Text” or “Ink to Shape” for handwriting annotations.

21. Crop to Shape for Image Customization

PowerPoint Customise Crop Shapes

What’s it for:  Unleash your creativity by utilizing the Crop to Shape feature, allowing you to create custom image shapes. This adds a distinctive flair to your presentation, providing a visually dynamic and engaging experience. 

  • Select the image.
  • Navigate to the Picture Format tab.
  • Click on “Crop” and choose “Crop to Shape.”
  • Select the shape you want your image to have as frame.

22. Slide Show Recording with Narration

PowerPoint slide show recording with narration

What’s it for:  Capture your entire presentation, including narration and animations, by recording a self-running slideshow. This feature is invaluable for sharing presentations with a wider audience, ensuring a consistent and engaging delivery. 

  • Click on “Record Slide Show” and choose recording options.

23.  Dynamic Color Scheme Switch for Vibrant Slides

PowerPoint color scheme

What’s it for:  Infuse energy into your presentation by dynamically switching color schemes. This handy trick allows you to quickly experiment with various color palettes, giving your slides a vibrant and fresh appearance in just a few clicks. 

  • Explore different color options by selecting “Colors” and experimenting with the available palettes. Instantly transform the look of your presentation to match your desired mood and style.

24.  Smart Alignment and Distribution for Pixel-Perfect Precision

PowerPoint smart alignment of shapes

What’s it for:  Attain pixel-perfect precision in your presentation design with the Smart Alignment and Distribution trick. This technique allows you to not only align objects with accuracy but also evenly distribute them horizontally, ensuring a polished and visually appealing layout. 

  • Select the objects you want to align.
  • Navigate to the Format tab.
  • Click on “Align” to access options like Align Left, Center, or Right for precise alignment.
  • Further refine your layout by choosing “Distribute Horizontally,” ensuring equal spacing between objects and achieving a professional design.

25. Insert Online Videos

PowerPoint insert online videos

What’s it for:  Seamlessly integrate online videos directly into your presentation. This feature eliminates the need for external players, offering a smooth and immersive viewing experience for your audience. 

  • Click on the “Video” dropdown and select Online Movie.
  • Paste the video link and your video should be embedded onto your PowerPoint slide.

26. Embed Fonts for Portability

PowerPoint embed fonts

What’s it for:  Ensure consistent visual appeal on any device by embedding fonts in your presentation. This is particularly useful when sharing your work with others who may not have the same fonts installed, enhancing portability. 

  • Go to the File tab.
  • Select “Options” and go to the Save tab from the window popup.
  • Check “Embed fonts in the file” as well as “Embed all characters”.

27.  Text Transformation

PowerPoint text transformation

What’s it for:  Uncover the elegance of text transformation with the Shape Format trick. This hack allows you to access a myriad of text transformation designs, offering a swift and sophisticated way to elevate the visual appeal of your presentation. 

  • Select the text you want to transform.
  • Navigate to the Shape Format tab.
  • Click on “Text Effects” and explore the “Transform” options for a variety of stylish text designs. Instantly apply a transformation that suits the tone and style of your presentation.

5 Critical Best Practices to Implement These Pro PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for a Technically Proficient Presentation

Enhance the technical brilliance of your presentation by focusing on these crucial best practices:

1.  Streamlined Font Selection

  • Practice:  Limit your font styles to a maximum of three per slide.
  • Why:  Simplifying fonts enhances readability, maintains visual consistency, and prevents distraction, ensuring your message is clear and impactful.

2.  High-Resolution Images

  • Practice:  Source HD images from reputable free resource websites like Freepik or Unsplash .
  • Why:  High-resolution images prevent pixelation, ensuring clarity and professionalism. Crisp visuals contribute to a visually appealing presentation.

3.  Cohesive Color Palette

  • Practice:  Stick to a consistent color palette throughout your slides; use the eyedropper tool for precise color matching.
  • Why:  A unified color scheme enhances visual harmony, reinforces brand identity, and elevates the overall aesthetics of your presentation.

4.  Efficient Data Visualization

  • Practice:  Use charts and graphs for data-driven slides, choosing appropriate chart types for different data sets.
  • Why:  Visualizing data through charts improves comprehension, making complex information more accessible and engaging for your audience.

5.  Transitions with Purpose

  • Practice:  Apply slide transitions judiciously. Choose transitions that complement the content and avoid excessive animations.
  • Why:  Subtle transitions maintain audience focus, while excessive animations may distract from the core message.

Final Thoughts

In presentation-making, technical practices harmonized with thoughtful design is the key to delivering an impactful message. Whether it may be as simple as considering font choices, to incorporating high-resolution visuals, you do not only get to enhance the aesthetics but also ensure your audience’s undivided attention.

Remember, a technically proficient presentation is not just a showcase of information, but also one that leaves a rather immersive experience for those who will see. But at the end of the day, it comes down to your delivery. So, no sweat! You’re doing amazing, rockstar!

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17 PowerPoint Presentation Tips to Make More Creative Slideshows [+ Templates]

Jamie Cartwright

Published: August 16, 2023

Creating a great PowerPoint presentation is a skill that any professional can benefit from. The problem? It’s really easy to get it wrong. From poor color choices to confusing slides, a bad PowerPoint slideshow can distract from the fantastic content you’re sharing with stakeholders on your team.

powerpoint tricks

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation from the ground up, starting with your slides. Even if you’re familiar with PowerPoint, a refresher will help you make a more attractive, professional slideshow. Let’s get started.

How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation

  • Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Design

I like to think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a test of basic professional skills. To create a passing presentation, I need to demonstrate design skills, technical literacy, and a sense of personal style.

If the presentation has a problem (like an unintended font, a broken link, or unreadable text), then I’ve probably failed the test. Even if my spoken presentation is well rehearsed, a bad visual experience can ruin it for the audience.

Expertise means nothing without a good PowerPoint presentation to back it up. For starters, grab your collection of free PowerPoint templates below.

cool powerpoint tricks

10 Free PowerPoint Templates

Download ten free PowerPoint templates for a better presentation.

  • Creative templates.
  • Data-driven templates.
  • Professional templates.

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today.

No matter your topic, successful PowerPoints depend on three main factors: your command of PowerPoint's design tools, your attention to presentation processes, and your devotion to consistent style. Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering each of those factors, and don't forget to check out the additional resources at the bottom of this post.

A presentation is made up of multiple slides, let's delve deeper into PowerPoint's capabilities.

Getting Started

1. open powerpoint and click ‘new.’.

If a page with templates doesn‘t automatically open, go to the top left pane of your screen and click New. If you’ve already created a presentation, select Open then double-click the icon to open the existing file.

cool powerpoint tricks

8. Add animations to your slides (optional).

Like transitions, animations can add movement, reveal information, and help you underscore the points you want to hit during your speech. To animate an element, follow these steps:

  • Select the element you want animated by clicking on it.
  • Choose Animations from the top ribbon.
  • You'll have the option to choose from several effects displayed in the ribbon.
  • Clicking on one will give you a preview.
  • To customize the animation, select Effect Options.
  • To remove an animation, click None in the ribbon.

Some of the ways to customize animations include:

  • With Previous
  • After Previous

These describe how you want the effect to behave, so play around with them until you find an effect that suits your liking.

You'll also have the option to move animations around as you edit your slides by clicking on the Animation Pane button, then reordering the animations in the list that pops up.

Finishing Up Your Presentation

9. save your presentation..

Click File and Save , making sure to specify which folder or destination you want your PowerPoint to be stored. If you're using your slides for education or teaching, it could be beneficial to convert your presentation to an online course .

10. Run your presentation.

It's always good to do a trial run to ensure that your slides are set up properly and your animations fire the way you expect them to.

To present your PowerPoint, go to the Slide Show tab and click Play from Start. The slide will cover your whole screen, blocking out your desktop and PowerPoint software. This is so your audience (in this case, you for the trial run) is solely focused on the visual elements of your presentation.

11. Advance the slides.

When you're done with one slide and want to show the next in your sequence, click your mouse in presentation mode. This will advance the slide. 

PowerPoint Presentation Tips

  • Don't let PowerPoint decide how you use PowerPoint.
  • Create custom slide sizes.
  • Edit your slide template design.
  • Write text with your audience in mind.
  • Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.
  • Use ‘Format Object’ to better control your objects' designs.
  • Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.
  • Create custom shapes.
  • Crop images into custom shapes.
  • Present websites within PowerPoint.
  • Try Using GIFs.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Embed your font files.
  • Save your slides as JPEGs.
  • Embed multimedia.
  • Bring your own hardware.
  • Use ‘Presenter View.’

PowerPoint Style

1. don’t let powerpoint decide how you use powerpoint..

Microsoft wanted to provide PowerPoint users with a lot of tools. But this does not mean you should use them all. Here are some key things to look out for:

  • Make sure that the preset PPT themes complement your needs before you adopt them.
  • Try to get away from using Microsoft Office’s default fonts, Calibri and Cambria. Using these two typefaces can make the presentation seem underwhelming.
  • Professionals should never use PPT’s action sounds. (Please consider your audience above personal preference).
  • PowerPoint makes bulleting automatic, but ask yourself: Are bullets actually appropriate for what you need to do? Sometimes they are, but not always.
  • Recent PPT defaults include a small shadow on all shapes. Remove this shadow if it's not actually needed. Also, don’t leave shapes in their default blue.

2. Create custom slide sizes.

While you usually can get away with the default slide size for most presentations, you may need to adjust it for larger presentations on weirdly sized displays. If you need to do that, here's how.

  • In the top-left corner, choose File .
  • Select Page Setup .
  • Type the height and width of the background you'd like, and click OK .
  • A dialogue box will appear. Click Scale if you want to also resize your content, or Don’t Scale if you don’t. We recommend clicking Don’t Scale , then manually adjusting minor layout issues.

Tip : You can avoid a headache with the last step if you resize your slides before you add any objects to them. Otherwise, the dimensions of your objects will become skewed.

3. Edit your slide template design.

Often, it's much easier to edit your PowerPoint template before you start — this way, you don't have to design each slide by hand. Here's how you do that.

  • Select View in the top navigation.
  • Click Master .
  • In the drop-down, click Slide Master .
  • Make any changes you like, then click Close Master in the top ribbon. All current and future slides in that presentation will use that template.

4. Write text with your audience in mind.

A significant part of a PowerPoint's content is text. Great copy can make or break your presentation, so evaluating your written work from a few different angles could make you seem more persuasive. Keep the amount of text under 6-8 lines (or 30 words) at a minimum of size 24 pt. Thinking about how your text is received differentiates good presenters from the best.

Typography:

Many people underestimate the influence of typeface, but choosing the right font is important — the perception of your font type could influence your audience's impression of you. The right font is an opportunity to convey consistent brand personality and professionalism.

Some fonts are seen as clean and professional, but this doesn't mean they're boring. A common mistake is thinking your font isn't "exciting" enough, which could lead you to choose a font that distracts from your overall message. We recommend sticking to simple serif and sans-serif fonts . Avoid script fonts because of potential readability issues.

powerpoint presentation: types of fonts

That said, you can still use fun and eccentric fonts — in moderation. Offsetting a fun font or large letters with something more professional can create an engaging presentation.

Above all, be sure you're consistent so your presentation looks the same throughout each slide. That way, your audience doesn't become distracted by too many disparate fonts. Check out this example from HubSpot’s company profile templates:

Interested in this presentation template? Download it for free here.

5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.

Having properly aligned objects on your slide is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your images ... but we all know how that typically works out. You're trying to make sure all of your objects hang out in the middle of your slide, but when you drag them there, it still doesn't look quite right. Get rid of your guessing game and let PowerPoint work its magic with this trick.

Here’s how to align multiple objects:

  • Select all objects by holding down Shift and clicking on all of them.
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar, then choose Align or Distribute .
  • Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

Here’s how to align objects to the slide:

  • Select Align to Slide .
  • Select Arrange in the top options bar again, then choose Align or Distribute .

6. Use "Format Object" to better control your objects' designs.

Format menus allow you to do fine adjustments that otherwise seem impossible. To do this, right-click on an object and select the Format Object option. Here, you can fine-tune shadows, adjust shape measurements, create reflections, and much more. The menu that will pop up looks like this:

powerpoint presentation: format object pane

Although the main options can be found on PowerPoint’s format toolbars, look for complete control in the format window menu. Other examples of options available include:

  • Adjusting text inside a shape.
  • Creating a natural perspective shadow behind an object.
  • Recoloring photos manually and with automatic options.

7. Take advantage of PowerPoint's shapes.

Many users don’t realize how flexible PowerPoint’s shape tools have become. In combination with the expanded format options released by Microsoft, the potential for good design with shapes is readily available. PowerPoint provides the user with a bunch of great shape options beyond the traditional rectangle, oval, and rounded rectangle patterns.

Today’s shapes include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create diagrams and flow charts in no time. These tools are especially valuable when you consider that PowerPoint is a visual medium. Paragraphing and bullet lists are boring — you can use shapes to help express your message more clearly.

8. Create custom shapes.

When you create a shape, right click and press Edit Points . By editing points, you can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like.

Another option is to combine two shapes together. To do so, select the two shapes you’d like to work with, then click Shape Format in the top ribbon. Tap Merge Shapes .

You’ll see a variety of options.

  • Combine creates a custom shape that has overlapping portions of the two previous shapes cut out.
  • Union makes one completely merged shape.
  • Intersect builds a shape of only the overlapping sections of the two previous shapes.
  • Subtract cuts out the overlapping portion of one shape from the other.
  • Fragment will split your shape into different parts depending on where they overlap.

By using these tools rather than trying to edit points precisely, you can create accurately measured custom shapes.

9. Crop images into custom shapes.

Besides creating custom shapes in your presentation, you can also use PowerPoint to crop existing images into new shapes. Here's how you do that:

  • Click on the image and select Picture Format in the options bar.
  • Choose Crop , then Crop to Shape , and then choose your desired shape. Ta-da! Custom-shaped photos.

10. Present websites within PowerPoint.

Tradition says that if you want to show a website in a PowerPoint, you should just create a link to the page and prompt a browser to open. For PC users, there’s a better option.

Third party software that integrates fully into PowerPoint’s developer tab can be used to embed a website directly into your PowerPoint using a normal HTML iframe. One of the best tools is LiveWeb , a third-party software that you can install on your PowerPoint program.

By using LiveWeb, you don’t have to interrupt your PowerPoint, and your presentation will remain fluid and natural. Whether you embed a whole webpage or just a YouTube video, this can be a high-quality third party improvement. To install the add-on, simple head to the LiveWeb website and follow the instructions.

Unfortunately, Mac users don’t have a similar option. A good second choice is to take screenshots of the website, link in through a browser, or embed media (such as a YouTube video) by downloading it directly to your computer.

11. Try Using GIFs.

GIFs are looped animated images used to communicate a mood, idea, information, and much more. Users add GIFs to PowerPoints to be funny or quickly demo a process. It's easy to add GIFs to your slides. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  • Download and save the GIF you want.
  • Go to the slide you want the GIF on.
  • Go to the Home tab, and click either Insert or Picture .
  • From the Picture drop-down menu, choose Picture from File .
  • Navigate to where you saved your GIF and select it. Then, choose Insert .
  • It will play automatically the moment you insert it.

PowerPoint Process

12. keep it simple..

PowerPoint is an excellent tool to support your presentation with visual information, graphics, and supplemental points. This means that your PowerPoint should not be your entire presentation. Your slides — no matter how creative and beautiful — shouldn't be the star of the show. Keep your text and images clear and concise, using them only to supplement your message and authority.

If your slides have dense and cluttered information, it will both distract your audience and make it much more likely that you will lose their attention. Nothing in your slides should be superfluous! Keep your presentation persuasive by keeping it clean. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Limit bullet points and text.
  • Avoid paragraphs and long quotes.
  • Maintain "white space" or "negative space".
  • Keep percentages, graphs, and data super basic.

13. Embed your font files.

One constant problem presenters have with PowerPoint is that fonts seem to change when presenters move from one computer to another. In reality, the fonts are not changing — the presentation computer just doesn’t have the same font files installed . If you’re using a PC and presenting on a PC, then there is a smooth workaround for this issue.

Here’s the trick: When you save your PowerPoint file (only on a PC), you should click File , then Options, then open up the Save tab. Then, select the Embed fonts in the file check box under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation . Now, your presentation will keep the font file and your fonts will not change when you move computers.

The macOS PowerPoint version has a similar function. To embed your fonts on a Mac, do the following:

  • Open up your presentation.
  • On the top bar, click PowerPoint , then click Preferences .
  • Under Output and Sharing , click Save .
  • Under Font Embedding , click Embed fonts in the file.

14. Save your slides as a PDF file for backup purposes.

If you’re still scared of your presentation showing up differently when it’s time to present, you should create a PDF version just in case. This is a good option if you’ll be presenting on a different computer. If you also run into an issue where the presenting computer doesn’t have PowerPoint installed, you can also use the system viewer to open up the PDF. No laptop will ever give you trouble with this file type.

The only caveat is that your GIFs, animations, and transitions won’t transfer over. But since the PDF will only work as a backup, not as your primary copy, this should be okay.

To save your presentation as a PDF file, take the following steps:

  • Go to File , then click Save as …
  • In the pop-up window, click File Format.
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Select PDF .
  • Click Export .

You can also go to File , then Export , then select PDF from the file format menu.

15. Embed multimedia.

PowerPoint allows you to either link to video/audio files externally or to embed the media directly in your presentation. You should embed these files if you can, but if you use a Mac, you cannot actually embed the video (see note below). For PCs, two great reasons for embedding are:

  • Embedding allows you to play media directly in your presentation. It will look much more professional than switching between windows.
  • Embedding also means that the file stays within the PowerPoint presentation, so it should play normally without extra work (except on a Mac).

Note: macOS users of PowerPoint should be extra careful about using multimedia files.

If you use PowerPoint for Mac, then you will always need to bring the video and/or audio file with you in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation. It’s best to only insert video or audio files once the presentation and the containing folder have been saved on a portable drive in their permanent folder. Also, if the presentation will be played on a Windows computer, then Mac users need to make sure their multimedia files are in WMV format. This tip gets a bit complicated, so if you want to use PowerPoint effectively, consider using the same operating system for designing and presenting, no matter what.

16. Bring your own hardware.

Between operating systems, PowerPoint is still a bit jumpy. Even between differing PPT versions, things can change. One way to fix these problems is to make sure that you have the right hardware — so just bring along your own laptop when you're presenting.

If you’re super concerned about the different systems you might have to use, then upload your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides as a backup option. Google Slides is a cloud-based presentation software that will show up the same way on all operating systems. The only thing you need is an internet connection and a browser.

To import your PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides, take the following steps:

  • Navigate to slides.google.com . Make sure you’re signed in to a Google account, preferably your own.
  • Under Start a new presentation , click the empty box with a plus sign. This will open up a blank presentation.
  • Go to File , then Import slides .
  • A dialog box will come up. Tap Upload , then click Select a file from your device .
  • Select your presentation and click Open .
  • Select the slides you’d like to import. If you want to import all of them, click All in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box.
  • Click Import slides.

powerpoint presentation: importing slides into google slides

When I tested this out, Google Slides imported everything perfectly, including a shape whose points I had manipulated. This is a good backup option to have if you’ll be presenting across different operating systems.

17. Use Presenter View.

In most presentation situations, there will be both a presenter’s screen and the main projected display for your presentation. PowerPoint has a great tool called Presenter View, which can be found in the Slide Show tab of PowerPoint. Included in the Presenter View is an area for notes, a timer/clock, and a presentation display.

powerpoint presentation: using presenter view

For many presenters, this tool can help unify their spoken presentation and their visual aid. You never want to make the PowerPoint seem like a stack of notes that you’re reading off of. Use the Presenter View option to help create a more natural presentation.

Pro Tip: At the start of the presentation, you should also hit CTRL + H to make the cursor disappear. Hitting the "A" key will bring it back if you need it!

Your Next Great PowerPoint Presentation Starts Here

With style, design, and presentation processes under your belt, you can do a lot more with PowerPoint than just presentations for your clients. PowerPoint and similar slide applications are flexible tools that should not be forgotten. With a great template, you can be on your way to creating presentations that wow your audience.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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10 PowerPoint tricks for wow-worthy presentations

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As a business professional, you’ve probably dabbled in the art of PowerPoint. And if you host webinars regularly, I’m sure you’ve picked up a few tricks to spice up your presentations and make them more engaging too.

Whether you’re a PowerPoint newbie or an emerging pro, here are 10 cool PowerPoint tips and tricks you’ll want handy for your next presentation.

POWERPOINT BASICS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW

1. Don’t settle for the basic, built-in PowerPoint templates

PowerPoint templates make your lives easier. Templates mean you don’t have to design everything from scratch. Just select your layout, add your content, make a few edits here and there, and you’re done. So why not use the basic templates in PowerPoint? In case you’ve forgotten what they look like, here’s a refresher:

powerpoint-1

Millions of people have used these templates in their presentations. If you don’t want your presentation to look like a copy-paste, stay away from the built-in templates.

The good news is there are other free and premium templates out there beyond the ones Microsoft provides. In fact, at 24Slides.com , you can download premium templates for free. These PowerPoint designers understand the psychology behind effective presentations, and you can borrow from the best.

2. Use Format Painter to save time

Format Painter does one thing and one thing only: it saves you time. Tons of it, in fact. Here’s where you find this nifty time-saver on your PowerPoint ribbon:

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If you’ve ever tried copy and pasting one element’s format to many other elements on the same slide, or on 100 other slides, you know how time-consuming the process is.

Without Format Painter, formatting elements goes something like this:

  • Format one element and remember all the different settings.
  • Format the second element and then try to remember all the settings from the first element.
  • Look at the clock and realize you’ve wasted 10 minutes.

With Format Painter, however, all you do is:

  • Click the first element.
  • Hit Format Painter.
  • Click the second element.

That’s it! If you want to copy the first element’s format and paste into more than one element, just double-click Format Painter and click each element you want to format one by one. When you’ve formatted all the elements, hit ESC on your keyboard. It’s that easy.

POWERPOINT ANIMATION TRICKS

3. Animate a flowchart to make it come alive

Flowcharts are a great way to display complex information. However, you may not want to show an entire flowchart at once. Instead, you want each point to appear at the right time so you can discuss each point verbally.

Here’s how you animate a flow chart in PowerPoint:

powerpoint-3

  • Click the first element, point, or process in your flowchart. Then select an animation from the Animations tab.
  • Define each element’s animation and timing settings.
  • You can also open the Animations Pane to view and adjust your animation settings.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all elements in your flowchart. Make sure you preview the whole flowchart animation and edit as necessary.

4. The Zoom feature for Office 365 subscribers

If you have an active Office 365 subscription, you can use the Zoom feature on the insert tab. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are three Zoom options:

  • Summary Zoom
  • Section Zoom

powerpoint4

The Zoom feature is great when you want to jump from one section or slide to another. Let’s say you want to go from Slide 10 to Slide 55. In a regular PowerPoint presentation, you’d have to go through slides 11 to 54. But with Zoom, you can instantly go from slide 10 to 55 before your audience has a chance to lose interest. Of course, you’d have to plan ahead and know which slide you want to skip to.

The Summary Zoom feature creates a summary slide which is similar to a ‘table of contents’ for your slides. You can insert this summary slide anywhere you want, it doesn’t have to be the first slide in your presentation.

The Section Zoom feature allows you to jump from one section to another, while the Slide Zoom feature allows you to jump to any slide in your presentation.

EVEN MORE POWERPOINT TRICKS FOR ADVANCED USERS

5. Use a video background for your slides

We’ve all used background images on PowerPoint, but did you know you can also use a video as a background?

Simply drag and drop your video on to your slide and resize it to cover the entire slide. If you’re short on video, go to Coverr.co for free stock videos.

If your video is only a few seconds long, and won’t last the length of your slide’s discussion, just loop it. To loop your video:

  • Click the video to access the Video Tools menu, then click the Playback tab.
  • Check Loop Until Stopped.

powerpoint5

With your video background in place, you can add shapes, texts, or any other elements you want to use as your slide’s foreground.

6. Make global changes to your presentation

Editing your slides one by one is super time-consuming. If you want to change your entire presentation’s look, go to the Design tab and choose from the available themes in the Themes section.

powerpoint6

However, if you want more control over the colors and fonts, go to the Variants section (still in the Design tab). Click the drop-down to display color and font settings.

powerpoint7

You can play around with the different settings – you can use custom colors and fonts to your heart’s content – to achieve the look you want for your presentation.

Lastly, if you want to add a logo, company tagline, or website address to all slides, go to View > Slide Master. To insert elements you want to appear on all your slides, simply click on the Insert tab and insert the elements you want to appear globally.

7. Embed fonts in your presentation

Make sure your custom or branded fonts are in PowerPoint. If your fonts aren’t installed on the computer you use to run your presentation, PowerPoint will automatically replace your font with a default font and mess up your alignment and the overall look of your presentation.

Here’s how you do it:

powerpoint8

  • Go to File > Options > Save.
  • Go to the section, ‘Preserve Fidelity when sharing this presentation’ then tick on the ‘Embed fonts in the file’ box.
  • You’ll have two options here. You can either (1) embed only the characters used in the presentation, or (2) you can embed all characters if you want other people to edit the file too.
  • Hit the OK button.

8. Create your own icons in PowerPoint

You can download free icons from sites like IconStore.co or even from 24Slide’s Template site (you’ll find icons in the ‘Other’ category).

If you have an Office 365 subscription, you can insert an icon straight from your PowerPoint ribbon. Go to Insert > Icons and browse hundreds, if not thousands, of free icons.

But when you want to use something unique — and you have the time and the creativity — you can do it on PowerPoint using Shapes.

To begin, go to Insert > Shapes. If you have two or more shapes, click on them and the following options will appear in Drawing Tools > Merge Shapes: Union, Combine, Fragment, Intersect and Subtract.

powerpoint9

Play around with the different options and let your creativity run wild. You’ll soon have a library of your own unique icons which you can then use in your presentations.

9. Work with multiple images on a single slide

Working with multiple images on one slide is tricky if you’re manually moving, reshaping, and resizing each image by hand. Luckily for you, PowerPoint has a powerful trick.

Hit CTRL+A on your keyboard to highlight all the images. Now you can access the hidden Picture Tools menu. Click on Format > Picture Layout and select the layout you want to use.

powerpoint11

Once you’ve selected your layout, your images will be converted to a SmartArt graphic. Now you can rearrange your images. However, it will still behave like a SmartArt graphic.

To disable SmartArt properties, you need to re-convert the graphic back to Shapes. Simply click the graphic to access the SmartArt Tools menu, click on Design > Convert > Convert to Shapes.

powerpoint13

POWERPOINT PDF Tricks

10. Save your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF

Sometimes you may want to preserve your PowerPoint format and layout and have it viewed as a PDF. You have two easy ways to do it:

  • Option 1. Go to File > Save As. Choose the location where you want to save your file. In the Save as type drop-down, choose PDF.
  • Option 2. Go to File > Export > Create PDF/XPS Document.

powerpoint12

Final Thoughts

There are hundreds of tricks you can do on PowerPoint. But the 10 PowerPoint tricks covered in this article will help you improve your presentation design skills. You can finally bid adieu to ‘death by PowerPoint’ and start wowing your audience with your awesome presentations.

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