Who said coursework presentations need to be boring? If you need to give a talk to your class why not give it some sparkle with a PowerPoint presentation? If a picture speaks a thousand words what about a video or audio clip? In this tutorial, you’ll find out how to add a little pizzazz to your presentations, adding photos, multimedia files and slick animated transitions. All you need is the latest version of Microsoft PowerPoint (available as part of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010), plus a good selection of facts and a little imagination. By following these easy steps, you’ll soon have a top class presentation, but don’t forget to regularly save your presentation as you work through it.
1. Create new presentation
Open PowerPoint, go to File and select New. You’ll be given the option of a number of templates. We’re starting a presentation from scratch, so hit Blank. A new presentation will open with a blank title page. Click the placeholder text to add your own title and subhead.
2. Add first slide
Go to the Slides Pane on the left-hand side and right-click. Select New Slide from the drop-down menu to open a new slide. The option to add a bulleted list is automatically selected, so start adding your text. You can turn off the list formatting by highlighting the text and deselecting the Bullets button in the Home toolbar .
3. Apply new design
We have two basic slides but they are still a little on the dull side. This is easily remedied by using one of PowerPoint’s many pre-designed themes. Select your slides by holding down [Shift] and clicking on your thumbnails. A quick click of the Design menu reveals the themes. You can see how your presentation would look by rolling your cursor over the thumbnails. When you’ve found one you like, double-click to apply the changes. Don’t worry, you can run through the process again later if you change your mind.
4. Pick slide format
Each theme contains a number of different slide formats. For example, say you want to add a picture to your slide: right-click anywhere in main editing panel. Select Layout and you’ll see a number of options. Choose Two Content. The slide will reformat to include space for a picture alongside the text.
5. Import images
In the middle of the empty placeholder you’ll see six icons. Click on the picture icon to import an image from your picture library. You can resize the picture by grabbing the guide points at its corners.
6. Add more slides
Go through the same process to add as many slides as you need for your presentation. You can also copy slides by right-clicking a thumbnail and selecting Duplicate Slide.
7. Insert multimedia clips
PowerPoint presentations aren’t just about text and pictures. You can also add audio and video clips. In this example, we want to add medieval church music to the slide. Go to the Insert menu and click on Audio. You can import sounds or music from your own library, use any of PowerPoint’s pre-loaded clips or even record your own using your PC’s microphone. Find the file you’re looking for and double-click it to embed it in the slide. An audio icon will appear on the slide – all you need do is hit it for the sound to play. You can also imbed video clips in the same way.
8. Access Transitions menu
Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to add some effects. Transitions are animations that happen when you move from one slide to another. For example, you could set your slides to fade in and out of each other or wipe across the screen. Click on the Transitions menu to reveal the various options.
9. Set up slide transitions
Click on the transition styles to see a preview of how it would look. Once you’ve found one you like, you can add sounds or set the duration by using the controls in the top right-hand corner. By default, PowerPoint waits for a mouse-click before moving to the next slide, but you can set it to work through the slides automatically by selecting the ‘After’ checkbox and adding a time.
10. Animate slides
You can also animate the text and images in your slides. For example, each bullet point could appear in order as you click through. Highlight the first point and go to the Animations menu. You can now choose the way you want it to appear by browsing the animation options in the toolbar .
11. Reorder animation
Repeat the process until the entire list is animated. You’ll notice little numbers appearing beside the bullet points. These show the order in which the text will appear. There are two ways to change this order. Either highlight the bullet point and use the Reorder Animation controls in the top right-hand corner or open the Animation Pane and drag and drop them in the desired order.
12. Preview slideshow
You can go back and edit any of your slides at any time by clicking on them on the left-hand slides pane. You can also reorder them by holding down your mouse and dragging them into the right place. When you’re ready, go to the Slide Show menu and click From Beginning to view your presentation from beginning to end.