Practical Application: Creating & Managing Presentations in PowerPoint

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

There are many options available to PowerPoint users in creating and managing presentations. In this activity, you'll put your creating and managing skills to the test through two fictional scenarios.

Working with PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a Microsoft product that provides useful tools for creating visually-appealing presentations. Chances are, you've probably sat in on one of these presentations in a classroom or a boardroom. But, maybe you're more of a novice when it comes to creating one of these presentations yourself.

You learned a lot about creating and managing PowerPoint presentations in the lesson: PowerPoint: Skills Development & Training. Now we're going to put your knowledge to the test!

In the following section, you'll be presented with two fictional scenarios related to creating and managing PowerPoint presentations. Analyze each scenario using the questions provided and then continue reading for some helpful pointers and an opportunity to utilize the skill yourself.

Presentation Scenarios

Scenario 1: Theme Team

It's Monday morning and you're just settling in at your desk with your coffee when your boss approaches. She wants to know if you finalized your presentation over the weekend and says she hopes it looks visually-appealing because someone from Corporate has shown up by surprise. You assure her everything is fine and she returns to her office.

But, everything is not fine. You just started laying out the slides - and right now, all you have is a plain white background. That's not going to work! With barely an hour before the presentation goes before Corporate, how can you create something that looks like you spent a lot more time on it?

Ask Yourself:

Think about the tools and resources PowerPoint provides.

  1. Which feature would quickly make your presentation more captivating?
  2. Where might a PowerPoint user look for ways to make a visually-appealing presentation?
  3. Would applying an attractive PowerPoint theme do the trick?

Possible Solution:

The quickest way for you to make a presentation more appealing is by applying one of numerous themes built into PowerPoint. Themes are convenient sets of colors and fonts that go together and personalize an otherwise bland presentation. Themes are easy to find in the ''Design'' tab on the PowerPoint tool bar and allow you a lot of flexibility to add color schemes, preset slide designs, and other elements to personalize your presentation. Adding a theme to a presentation helps to give it visual appeal without devoting a lot of extra time (which is especially useful if you're not particularly skilled at design!). Even better, once you click a design, the entire presentation will be formatted in the style you have chosen!

Now, open your presentation and click ''Design'' in the tool bar. Until you do this, your design is a simple black and white look. From there, a gallery of themes will be available to you. You can toggle between different themes to make sure you get just the right look by resting your mouse's pointer over each thumbnail so you can preview what a particular theme will look like. Wasn't that easy? Phew, now you probably feel more confident about showing your work to upper management!

Scenario 2: View Options

Now that you have your theme set, it's time to manage another element of your presentation: the view. If you are using just one viewing mode to create and manage all those slides, you may be missing out on some time-saving options!

First, you are bound to discover some typos hidden somewhere in all those slides. Those will really stand out when you project your spelling mistakes on that big screen! Okay, but the default viewing mode is not the best way to spot them, is it?

And second, you will probably need to change the order of your slides at some point as you preview your presentation ahead of time. For example, some of your slides seem to be out of place, and need to be sandwiched between matching slides where they make more sense. But since you didn't get to that on Friday, how can you quickly reorder all of those slides and still get it done in time to make sure your boss is happy with the presentation?

Ask Yourself:

  1. What types of views are available in PowerPoint?
  2. What is the advantage of each?
  3. Where can a PowerPoint user easily find these views while creating a presentation?

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