How to Use PowerPoint Effectively and Without Boring Anyone to Death

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    Seven Symptoms of Bad Meetings and What You Can Do About Them

    It’s the one Microsoft Office app that gets a lot of flak—and rightfully so. PowerPoint has made presentations both simple and at times monotonous and lifeless despite someone’s best efforts to jazz it up with flying text, colorful graphics and enough bullet points that it looks like a Gatling gun shot it full of holes.

    As IT Business Edge’s own Don Tennant said, “PowerPoint Doesn’t Kill Interest, People Do.” The presentation software is often misused by new-to-PowerPoint users or wannabe designers who may have something good to say, but bury it beneath a ton of intense visuals. Often, the problem with these failed presentations falls into one or more categories:

    • Wrong tone—Using flying graphics and bright colors might not be right for a presentation on cutbacks, financial issues or a number of other topics.
    • Too much information—Using more than 10 slides for a 15-minute presentation may just be overkill. Hit the highlights and use bullet points sparingly.
    • Elaborate graphics—Including detailed charts or diagrams might not work well in PowerPoint format. Small text might be hard to see and lines may be difficult to follow from a distance.

    PowerPoint has so many options for creating a memorable, successful presentation, but sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of those functions. For users of PowerPoint 2013, our IT Downloads area has a tool to help users fly through presentation creation like a pro. The “Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 Cheat Sheet“ provides at-a-glance commands and images to help you create a meeting masterpiece.

    The PDF includes sections explaining the fundamentals, creating slides, editing, navigation, formatting and transitions and effects. It even explains how to deliver a slideshow with commands listed in bullet points for easy use.

    The cheat sheet is great for infrequent users of the software, for IT support to use as a training aid, or for novice users who just can’t always remember all of those commands.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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