With the latest upgrade of Office Web Apps, PowerPoints can now be created by anyone, on any machine, without needing the full version of PowerPoint installed.

In addition to this, we can now collaborate to create group presentations to share new knowledge and ideas. This is great for the BYOD classroom and workplace.

Jump into SkyDrive, create a new PowerPoint, and follow these steps to create a presentation that captivates your audience’s attention.Once you a have done this, make sure you share these strategies with students to help them become strong, skilful communicators.

1 - Use Themes

The new web app has some great themes and colour options. Once you a have chosen your theme, stick to it, don’t tinker too much with font choice or colour, go with the choice the experts have already made for you.

How:

  1. Click on DESIGN Tab
  2. Click on the small drop down arrow to see all options
  3. Choose the theme
  4. Choose the theme colour to the right

Tips:

  • Stick with the font and colour choices given with the them default
  • Consider a theme that suits your content.
  • Always ensure your text fits inside the designs of the themed pages

NB - If the theme you originally chose does not work for you, just change it again.

2. Use Smart Art

Swap Bullet Points with Smart Art. You should know your content well enough to not need a list of bullet points to remind you what you have to say. If you are nervous about forgetting your work, put a bullet point summary in the notes section down the bottom of the presentation area. This will always be there if you get in a fluster.

How:

  1. Click on the INSERT Tab > SMART ART
  2. Choose the visual that best suits your content OR Insert a new slide
  3. Click on the arrow icon to open SMARTART TOOLS TAB
  4. Choose the visual that best suits your content
  5. Click on the graphic and add content
  6. Choose format and colour via the SMARTART TOOLS tab.

Tips:

  • You can always change the format if you don’t like your original choice.
  • Think about the message you are trying to convey.
  • Will the smart art you chose help this to happen?
  • Choose the same format and colour for all smart art in your presentation

3 - Use Images

Some of the most effective presentations are created from images and minimal text. Garr Reynolds from Presentation Zen is a strong advocate of this style of presentation design.

How:

  1. Choose slide with a big content area
  2. Search for image using sites such as those suggested below
  3. Save image to computer
  4. Insert > Picture or Click on the ‘picture’ icon on your new slide
  5. Add text to the slide title.

Tips:

  • Sites like Behold, and PhotoPin are examples of image search engines that only use free Creative Commons images. This means that as long as you put the URL provided in small text somewhere on the image or in a bibliography pageant the end of your presentation, you are legally using the image.
  • For icons search sites such as IconFinder and Icon Archive. Using Icons instead of ClipArt will give your presentation contemporary feel.
  • Keep you text on a page to words that inspire, or remind you of what you wish to share during your presentation. Put all other text in the Presentation Notes.

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4 - Use Slide Templates

When adding new slides, use the pre-formatted slide templates. Using these templates will ensure your design is strong and flows nicely. These templates have been created for a reason. Trust them. Your audience will appreciate the continuity of design through the duration of your presentation.

How:

  1. Choose Insert Tab
  2. Choose > New Slide
  3. Choose the appropriate slide for the purpose
  4. Add content

Tips:

  • Try to use the same slides for the same purpose. For example, use the same slide template for section headings, and same template for sharing information.
  • Don’t fiddle with the template too much. It has been designed by professional designers for a reason.

5 - Don’t read your content

We are all tempted by the ‘reading bug’, worried that we might forget our presentation and look a fool in front of our peers. Use some strategies to help you not read your presentation and appear more confident

How:

  1. Be passionate about your content
  2. Write summary points, not the full text in the Presenter Notes section

Tips:

  • If you’re not passionate, or you’re anxious about remembering the content, practice time and time again, but then leave your notes in your bag when you present.
  • If you are panicking, find a friend, or a couple of smiling faces in the audience and focus on them. We’ve all been nervous, we all know what it’s like.

 

So now you know how to create engaging presentations, why not give it a go then share these tips with your students? It will make a difference, promise.

If you are yet to do so you can create a SkyDrive account and Access web apps here.