17 Tricks to Master Microsoft PowerPoint


www.office.com/setup Blogs: There comes a time in almost every young (or old) office worker's life where the cubicle must give way to the boardroom, or worse, to the dais. That means speaking in public, and more often than not, that speaking is usually accompanied by slides. Such presentations are ingrained in the public consciousness, from watching big-name CEOs spew speeds-and-feeds about new gadgets, to fascinating TED talks on every topic under the sun. Even teachers in the classroom give lessons in a way the old blackboard could never convey.

It's fair to say that the vast majority of those presentations are created using PowerPoint, the presentation tool that's a staple of the Microsoft Office suite. The site SlideNirvana.com estimates that PowerPoint is on at least 1 billion (with a B!) computers worldwide. If even a third of them use the software, that's still the equivalent of the entire population of the United States making slide-based exhibitions.

And most of them suck. Perhaps that's not quantifiable, but so many articles are written on that fact—and so many of us live through them—it's hard to argue the (power)point. Likewise, many, many articles and entire books are written on how to make effective presentations. This is not one of those stories.

This collection of tips is all about the vagaries of the powerful PowerPoint software itself. It's meant for those with a grasp of the basics and beyond who are looking for that extra little goose to get the most out of the program. We hope with these tricks—some of which will, inevitably, have some advice for better presentations and slideshows—help make your next speaking engagement even more persuasive. Note, these tips are specific to PowerPoint 2013, the latest version.

(Images in slides frequently made with slideshows from SlideShare.)