Advent Calendar: PowerPoint Tips and Tricks

Every day, find technical or practical advice on Powerpoint, to become an ace de la prez before 2024! If you like the concept, you can encourage us by liking our posts on Linkedin.

Amandine
Jean-Pierre
December 22, 2023

We are happy to announce the start of the Mprez advent calendar! Every day, find technical or practical advice on Powerpoint, to become an ace de la prez before 2024!
If you like the concept, you can encourage us by liking our posts on Linkedin.

Without further ado, let's start with the first tip in this 2023 advent calendar.

Day 1: Which presentation medium should you choose?

For our first tip, we talk to you about the basis of the presentation: the medium chosen.

Support is of great importance both in terms of presentation format only of reading it using digital tools. We identified three types of them: the must-haves, the new entrants and the unclassifiable.

🌆 The essential presentation software:

  • Powerpoint (didn't you think we weren't going to talk about it?) which is the perfect tool in terms of features, overall compatibility, and animations, but less so when it comes to user experience.
  • Google Slides, the other prez giant, which has a very good user experience and has the advantage of being very collaborative, which makes it easy to share documents. On the other hand, in terms of entertainment, we will come back.
  • Keynote, the darling of Apple, whose user experience and document sharing are optimal, but which has a serious lack of compatibility with computers other than Mac.

🎯 New entrants:

  • Ludus, our favorite among all the new players, with a method of compiling slides and presenting them in the form of a landing page (each “section” being a slide). The renderings thus allow you to play on the sequence of slides on the height and to have efficient renderings, for example to present a commercial proposal.
  • Pitch is interesting, for its part, for another type of functionality: the tracking of data on the use of a prez (how many times the presentation was viewed, time spent on each slide...), giving interesting data for stand-alone documents that circulate for a long time.
  • Canva, a presentation platform that can be used immediately and offers numerous Templates, visuals and illustrations self-service. The user experience and collaboration are ideal, however Canva is still a rudimentary tool and does not allow a wide range of animated additions or graphic creations.

🛸 The unclassifiable:

Prezi, the perfect way to create interactive presentations thanks to a simple design and user experience. Practical for creating new formats, on the other hand, Prezi cannot adapt to all needs and its use can be quickly limited.

Day 2: Focus on Morphosis, an advanced PowerPoint transition.

On PowerPoint, the animations And the transitions are complex to achieve and the result can quickly pass for “kitsch”. But for the past 7 years, the Morphosis transition allows the creation of much nicer animations!

A quick reminder on the vocabulary of La Prez:

🌊 A transition is made between two Slides

🎡 An animation is done on a slide

A morphotic transition, quesaco? 🔍

To achieve this type of rendering, PowerPoint interprets the two designated slides, creating the transition that transforms the common elements by applying transformations between these two states. This can be done with elements as much iconographic only textual.

Because an example is worth a thousand words: On slide 1, you positioned an image of a rising wave with the inscription “Wave” 🌊.

On slide 2, this same visual is moved to the right. You also want the text to be bigger and the image to change slightly. Here, the wave will be breaking and the “WAVE” will be bolder and more decisive.

⇒ By applying a morphosis transition, PPT is responsible for applying a transformation between your slide 1 and 2 to soften the change and for your visual to move elegantly. You will thus have an impression of “video” and a natural movement between your words. In our example, Powerpoint will give you the impression that the wave is moving from one slide to another and that you are entering the visual. The “Wow” effect is guaranteed!

Day 3: Reduce file size on PowerPoint

Some files inserted on a presentation, like videos, appear very heavy later and hinder export. Fortunately, it is possible to compress to optimize your supports and facilitate export.

🧪 The method for lightweight videos (only on PC):

  1. Go to your PPT prez with videos
  2. Select “Files: Information” and click [Compress Media > HD (720p)]
  3. Once the process is complete, close the compression window, save, and tap!

Simple as pie, isn't it? You are finally ready to optimize your presentations !

Day 4: An update on dimensions

Nowadays, the conventional format of a presentation is in 16/9 “Large Screens”, that is to say that, on PowerPoint, your stand has a height of 19.05 cm and a width of 33.867 cm.

If you want to change this format, it is possible!

  1. Go to Powerpoint
  2. Go to [Design or Design] > [Slide Size], then [Custom Slide Size]
  3. Select one of formats proposed, or change the desired height/width & orientation directly
  4. When you validate, PPT offers you to adjust the format, which you can or may not choose, at your convenience
🚨

Attention, quand vous changez un format, d’autres choses peuvent être modifiées, donc prenez toujours garde à vérifier vos polices, vos palettes de couleurs, vos visuels ou vos arrières plans !

Day 5: Install a font in PowerPoint

You have found on the Internet a police What's the best match for your content? Perfect, Let's integrate it into Powerpoint ! Here's how to do it 👇

🚨

Avant d’intégrer une nouvelle police, n’oubliez pas de vérifier en amont ses propriétés. Pour l’intégrer dans vos documents, il faut que celle-ci soit installable, aussi nous vous conseillons l’extension .TTF (True Type Font).

  1. Install the font on your workstation
  2. Open PowerPoint - Go to File > Options > Save > Save > Embed Fonts >Embed All Characters (great for editing by others)

That's it, your font is integrated! To learn more about fonts, read our article for”Manage fonts well in PowerPoint”.

Day 6: Work on the background of your PowerPoint presentation

A prez must be prepared! Before the layout of a presentation, the important thing is to prepare its content. And if you don't know how, here are the 10 essential steps:

  1. Gather all the information you have at your disposal
  2. Organize this information by topics/blocks
  3. Filter out information that you don't think is necessary
  4. Determine a logical order, blocks and messages
  5. Integrate natural links between all blocks
  6. Bring out one idea per block and release the skeleton of your prez
  7. Go deeper into each block by going back to it after getting this overview
  8. Verify that your presentation meets 3 major moments: problem, development, solution
  9. Divide information between speech and slide
  10. Finalize your presentation by combing out unnecessary information

By doing this preparatory gymnastics, you will get informed presentations that will captivate your audience ! 💪

Day 7: Compress images in PowerPoint

Vos photos are too heavy on your presentations ? Exporting is hard work when the media isn't compressed enough; today, we're teaching you how to do it!

🧪 The method via a web tool:

  1. You can use the Squoosh appet I 🖤 IMG sites
  2. Insert all the photos you want to compress into the tool and download them to your computer
  3. You can then integrate the compressed versions on your prez

🧪 The method via PPT:

  1. Select an image
  2. Go to the [Image Format >] tab Compress images]
  3. Choose whether compression applies to a single image or to all of your media, and if you want to remove crop areas and compression level
  4. Validate and save!
🚨

Attention, il est conseillé "d’enregistrer sous" une version HD de votre support avant compression.

Day 8: The best shortcuts on PPT

What we like is the speed and the simplicity! Today, we are unveiling our shortcuts favorites:

🚦 Lock the axles

If you keep Shift pressed and draw a line, then it will be perfectly straight. In the same way, if you select shift and make a circle, the proportions will be maintained.

👾 Move accurately, to the pixel

Press Alt and move your mouse: precision guaranteed!

🌪️ Recover your last action

Do you want to do what you just did? Abracadabra, CTRL+Y will repeat your last action.

Gemino

Like Harry in “The Deathly Hallows”, duplicate your items with a simple turn of a magic wand: CTRL + D, that's it!

📠 Back to the line

It always comes back to the good old techniques! If you missed the sound of the typewriter to make a trolley return, we suggest the soft sound of Shift + Enter.

Day 9: The best PowerPoint plugin: Brightslide

On Powerpoint, two tools are used on a daily basis: the Toolbar and Brightslide.

The advantage of this presentation software, is that it offers a customization of the toolbar -Toolbar-, which allows everyone to compose their own unit of shortcuts. At mprez, we have modelled one common to all that allows us to combine productivity and efficiency.

In addition to that, we have installed an add-on designed directly for PPT and that perfectly complements the Toolbar, for 100% optimization of the functionalities. Brightslide is free and secure and allows access to numerous other settings. For example, it is useful to respect alignments, spacings and grids, which allows for a harmonious presentation.

Together, these two functions are remarkably effective and have become indispensable for our designers. They represent a considerable saving of time and energy!

Day 10: How do I change the PowerPoint mask?

In the PPT universe, a mask is often very useful (and promise, we're not talking about Covid 🦠).

A mask intersects with a theme of fonts & colors, layouts and dynamic areas by default on Powerpoint. When it comes to colors, you can use the palette for your backgrounds, shapes, and text, while respecting your identity. To do so, set up the theme color palette, here's how to do it:

  1. Open your presentation and go to the [Design > Colors > Customize Colors...] tab
  2. Change each color using RGB codes or #HEX of your graphic charter
  3. Name and save the palette

Do you want to change the palette afterwards? Go back to the [Design] tab and repeat the operation 🌈.

Day 11: Use hypertext links to boost your presentation

Les hypertext links are a great help in supporting your presentation with external and internal information. Thanks to them, anything can become”clickable” and bring a certain added value to your content. They can:

  • Show Slides, online videos, emails...
  • Trigger an animation
  • Introduce a zoom effect
  • Allow access to the rest of the presentation with a navigation system : With a visible breadcrumb that guides the reader or with an interactive menu
  • Link to a website or any other type of external content or resources 💓

Hypertext links provide a real interactivity to your presentation and can make the difference between a “basic/common” prez and a prez that will get everyone's attention. If you are interested in the subject of interactive presentations, know that several articles on our blog discuss the subject and that this was an opportunity for us to host a training webinar on this subject!

Day 12: The pathfinder, to create all sorts of shapes.

The Pathfinder or”combination of shapes” is a powerful tool on PowerPoint; it allows you tocombine different vector shapes and, in this way, to create new ones endlessly. Your library of shapes becomes inexhaustible thanks to the pathfinder, because any new combination allows the formation of a new pattern. With its functionalities, your creativity has no limits! To do this, you need to have two forms at the start. Select the tab”Shape format”, then”Merge shapes” and choose from the various options to discover the possibilities! 🧚

  • You can unite two elements, separate them, or distinguish them by dotted intersections.
  • You can play with textures: put a square in the background, add a circle in the foreground ⇒ a third shape appears, forming a circle cut into a square.
  • You can vectorize text boxes and insert photos into letters.
  • You can insert images into these shapes and make them evolve with the content.
  • You can integrate these elements into the master of your slide and make it easier to use on your Template.

In summary, the pathfinder allows you to perform numerous operations on PowerPoint and increases your creativity and the originality of your renderings!

Practical, isn't it?

Day 13: Insert a 3D element into a prez.

Presentations can be criticized for moving away from reality because of the flatness of the visuals on a 2D medium... that's why we suggest that you import 3D into your presentations, in order to integrate the volume that your product deserves.

Two solutions are available to you:

  • Select a 3D model integrated into PowerPoint and that it offers you in the toolbar (so you will be sure of the quality of your 3D image)
  • Import an object that is unique to you. To do this, download or create a 3D model and drag it into the prez (you can also select “insert > 3D model”). However, pay attention to the rendering of your object's construction, as it depends on its texture and light properties. Make sure you have a complete template.

Thanks to PPT, you can rotate and animate the 3D model or even add a morphosis transition to create a transformation of your 3D element! (For those who don't know what a morphosis transition is, we invite you to check out our 3rd Calendar post!) For product presentations, there's nothing better 😉 Have you already integrated 3D elements into your prez?

For three weeks, we were able to give you practical advice and some secret boots that we use every day to create the best possible prez 💫

Thank you for following this series of posts, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did

We take advantage of this post to wish you a very happy holiday season, with family or friends! 2023 was a great year with you and we look forward to seeing you again, in great shape, for 2024.

Merry Christmas from the whole Mprez team! 🎅

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