Question: I am desperate to keep my students from falling asleep watching my PowerPoint slides. I’m not a creative person and I find our templates are boring. What can I do to make them more interesting?
Answer: There are three basics ideas I suggest to improve your PowerPoint presentations.
- Brainstorm – First of all, make sure it flows well with good organization. I suggest brainstorming and identify the who, what, why, when, where and how of your presentation. Knowing what you want to convey and who needs the information and why and how they are going to understand it best, when and where you will be giving the session should be taken into consideration. Brainstorm what the audience needs to know and using “mind mapping” techniques to identify a few major topics and then list subtopics below those.Get ideas from others and see sample presentations available from Microsoft online. They have some creative slide ideas which you can copy into your presentation.Think of ways to add humor (self-deprecating stories), funny images, etc.
- Use less text – Think of images you want to convey and start finding photos, charts, illustrations, etc.Instead of using bullet slides, try converting those bullets to SmartArt. Try developing a presentation with pictures only. If you need to provide text, place it in the Notes section which can be used for printing handouts in Word. Using less text on slides will require that you know your material really well and more rehearsal time may be required.
- Take advantage of new PowerPoint features – PowerPoint 2010 has more SmartArt, transitions, animations, and more video tools. One feature that is very helpful when organizing your presentation is using Sections. Just be care not to overdo it when using animation. It is easy to want to animate every page or element, which can distract from your presenting the content. You can also embed videos and do some simple editing in 2010, which results in few problems with videos not playing when presenting at another computer.
Learn more about these tips and PowerPoint features in ITS’ session ”PowerPoint Makeover Tips” on August 7, 2013 in Wittson Hall Auditorium rm 3034 from 9-10 a.m. This session will be recorded and available here.
Question: I would like to know where to find the UNMC logo so I can place it into some PowerPoint slides.
Answer: Logos and other UNMC branding elements can be found at the Branding Site Be sure to review the branding guidelines and try using the PowerPoint templates available at that site too, as they already include the proper UNMC Branding fonts, colors, logos, etc. which help to give all UNMC presentations a consistent look. Learn more about using Branding elements and many other useful presentation and PowerPoint tips in ITS’ session ”PowerPoint Makeover Tips” on August 7, 2013 in Wittson Hall Auditorium rm 3034 from 9-10 a.m. This session will be recorded and available here.
Question: How can I change the default font for a new PowerPoint presentation
Answer: You can go to the slide master (View ribbon tab) and change your theme or fonts there. If you want the same font throughout all slide types of your template, the easiest way is to select Fonts from the background category and select a font combination. These will be applied to all types of slides in this template. Otherwise if you want specific types of slides modified, you will need to select the style from the left panel. Then close the slide master.
Note: If you would like one of the UNMC templates as your default style, you can find one at http://info.unmc.edu/branding.htm and scroll to the PowerPoint templates.
THEN….The most important step then is to save it as a “blank” template in this folder C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates (user name would be your name). By default, in Office 2013 if you change the type to .potx, you may not be in this folder. In 2010, it should be the correct location. So you may have to search for it. After saving, verify by closing PowerPoint and restarting and select “Blank” (2010) or ”Default” (2013) theme.
For more detailed step-by-step instructions, click here for PowerPoint 2010 or (PowerPoint 2013).
Question: I need to create a PowerPoint presentation quickly for a presentation at the end of the week. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it look professional?
Answer: If you have just a short time to create a PowerPoint, most people are limited to using bullets. However below are a few quick tips to dress it up a bit.
- Go to http://info.unmc.edu/brandingresources.htm and select a PowerPoint template from the UNMC Branding page. Then use that template to create the presentation with bulleted items.
- After you have all of your text entered onto the bulleted pages, consider adding SmartArt for a slide that introduces, concludes or serves as the most important information in your presentation. Convert the bullets to SmartArt diagrams by right clicking your selected bullets and click Convert to SmartArt. If you don’t like the first style you select, you can select a different layout from the SmartArt Design tab.
- Add large dynamic photography – Either search Microsoft’s photos using a keyword appropriate for your presentation by going to Insert > Clipart and under Results should be, select Photographs and click Go. I also recommend searching through wonderful dynamic UNMC photographs at the branding resources page toward the top of the page.
Often great photographs will be more memorable than a bulleted list of text. I have suggested presenters try using only photos and copy their bulleted text to the notes section of their presentation. This requires you to know or rehearse your topic well, but is often more effective.
ITS is offering a PowerPoint Basics class showing some of these features on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 1-4 p.m. Click here to register.
I have to create a poster for a national meeting. I have a sample poster from a previous poster provided by a company that I would like to use. How do I change the colors to match the template?
First of all, all posters representing UNMC should use the UNMC Branding templates or at least the elements (UNMC logos, wordmark, colors, fonts, etc). This is to provide a consistent look for all UNMC publications and posters. Below are links to the UNMC branding information.
The easiest way to make sure you have the correct branding elements/colors is to download the template and simply replace the text from the UNMC template and save with a different name. Otherwise if using Microsoft applications, you can right click on the various text boxes or background and select Format and click Colors and click the Custom tab to enter the UNMC CMYK color codes. If you are not able to select the color formatting, you may need to go to View > Slide master and right click on the sections to get the color formatting options.