Powerless Presentations and How to Make Them More Powerful with Microsoft PowerPoint

Digital networking has become our norm in this period of online dominance, so getting things right when it comes to our online performances, be they video conferences or remote presentations, becomes essential. The flagship presentation software of our time that we all know and love (or love to hate, depending on who you’re talking to) is Microsoft PowerPoint. This veteran of presentations isn’t just about adding some slides with speaker notes to your digital keynote. Did you know that you can make your Zoom meeting more engaging by combining PowerPoint with other accessories that can really work wonders and keep your audience’s attention glued to the screen? We are going to analyse seven ways that can improve your presentation and make it more captivating than ever.

Engaging Through Interaction: Microsoft PowerPoint's In-Slide Marvels

The Magic of QR Codes

These ‘gateway’ QR codes serve to bring your audience into the digital realm by directing them to further resources, quizzes or websites. You can create a QR code in PowerPoint itself with a simple copy-and-paste, and then click ‘Edit’. There’s a box to fill in your URL. Choose that, copy it, and then click on the QR Code icon. Paste the code, and you’re ready to go. You now have an interactive asset. Make sure to include it in your PowerPoint slide, and encourage your audience to scan it with their phone. It’s so tempting, and you know they’ll do it right away.

The Race Against Time: Countdown Timers

A countdown in your PowerPoint slides, for example, adds some bite and makes your audience key into your next steps. A quick brainstorm or a brief pause will be more effective if it’s framed by a countdown timer.

The Personal Touch: Embedding Your Webcam in PowerPoint

Microsoft 365 users can now use a feature called Cameo that sticks your webcam directly into the PowerPoint slideshow, so that you can maintain the level of personal contact with your audience that you’d have if they were in the same room with you – in fact, they’ll feel more of your presence than if you were actually there.

Designing for Visibility: Optimal Layouts for All Devices

If you want an audience to see your PowerPoint on anything from a 27-inch monitor to a 5-inch smartphone, large font and a scarcity of text become musts.

Animation with Caution: Keeping It Simple

Animations may be fun, but have them overdoing everything can lead to technical glitches. Perhaps the worst culprit is Internet connectivity. You never know when your connection could dip and cut you off. The best advice is to stick to simple animation such as ‘Fade’ so everything flows smoothly and professionally throughout your virtual presentation.

The Interactive Portal: Utilizing Live Chat and Moderators

Using the live chat feature in an application like Microsoft Teams, if you prompt questions through that channel (perhaps with a colleague acting as a moderator), the interaction remains lively but doesn’t interrupt the presentation flow.

Perfection Through Pre-recording

If you find some parts of your presentation challenging, or you suffer from stage fright, pre-recording your PowerPoint can be a lifesaver – just give the presentation to yourself. Microsoft PowerPoint has a built-in function to make this easy.

Always Be Prepared: The Importance of a Backup Plan

But, as with all technology, no matter how robust it is (I’m talking about you, Microsoft PowerPoint!), things can go wrong. Another fail-safe is to share your presentation file with the audience beforehand, and take a hard copy for yourself, so you can cover your back in the event of any mishap.

Discovering MICROSOFT POWERPOINT: The Power Behind Your Presentation

These strategies all rely on Microsoft PowerPoint. If you’re thinking that PowerPoint is just a tool for making boring slideshows, you’re completely mistaken. At the centre of the Microsoft suite, PowerPoint has a list of features that will help you make your presentations more interactive and impactful. Its intuitive user interface and new features such as Cameo and embedding in Microsoft Teams can help you make your virtual presentations extraordinary.

It is difficult to make your virtual, digital-first presentation (such as your presentation made via Microsoft PowerPoint) interesting enough, isn’t it? The good news is that it is possible to charm your meeting participants via your virtual PowerPoint, thanks to the features available in Microsoft PowerPoint. Whether you are presenting to your colleagues, students or global stakeholders, whatever the type of your meeting – online or in-person – one thing remains the same: your virtual PowerPoint presentations are expected not only to be seen, but to be felt, experienced, and remembered. Your PowerPoint presentations aren’t just presentations, they are showmanship.

Jun 09, 2024
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