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Practical Application: Creating Slide Content 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.

Creating slide content in PowerPoint is all about the many tools and resources available to users for the development of a presentation that is unique and eye-catching. In this activity, we'll explore some scenarios related to creating content.

Working with PowerPoint

In the lesson titled, PowerPoint: Skills Development & Training, you learned all about the resources available to you as you design and create informative and beautiful PowerPoint presentations.

Now, let's see how good you are at creating slide content of your own! In the next section, you'll read through some different scenarios where different types of slide content are needed for important presentations. Read through the scenarios and think about how you would create the content. Continue on through the analysis questions and decide how you would approach each situation.

Practical Application Scenarios

Figuring out how to create slide content in PowerPoint is one of the most important functions of the program. Without it, you'll end up with blank slides that don't convey anything! Here are two scenarios to help you step through the process of creating attractive slide content.

Scenario 1: Fancy Fonts

Your daughter comes home and says she needs help putting together a PowerPoint presentation on the state of Georgia. She gathers all her information over the next week and then the two of you sit down at the dining room table to assemble the PowerPoint into something special. She wants to showcase that Georgia is known as ''The Peach State,'' (especially using color and font). But all you've ever used PowerPoint for is to deliver plain old business presentations. Now what?

Ask yourself:

  1. What tools are available in PowerPoint to help set her presentation apart?
  2. Where can creative tools to help with colored fonts be located in PowerPoint?
  3. What other capabilities do these creative tools offer?

Possible Solution:

First of all, open a blank slide in PowerPoint and get ready to create. You may notice that an option called WordArt is available to you. It's a great tool inside of PowerPoint to help add 'pizazz' to your presentation. With the WordArt feature you can set or modify the shape and color of your fonts. You can even add several neat effects to your text (a drop shadow for example).

WordArt can initially be found under the ''Insert'' menu on the tool bar of newer versions of PowerPoint. Once you have started using WordArt, you can access recently used styles under the ''Drawing Tools'' menu, under ''Format''. Just choose WordArt, pick a style, and enter your text. Optionally, you can modify existing text by selecting the text and then choose WordArt from the ''Insert'' or ''Drawing Tools'' tabs on the main menu.

Now you can enter or modify some text and really jazz it up too. Did you know that WordArt can also be used to add shadows, reflections, and 3D effects? It can! Plus, it offers other capabilities such as a rainbow of colors, lovely color gradients, and even simulated texture - to make sure your daughter's presentation wows her teacher and classmates, instead of putting them to sleep with business-like fonts.

Scenario 2: Chart Chores

Now let's say you've been working all weekend on a PowerPoint presentation to deliver key third-quarter numbers to the employees and management of your department at work. After several long, tedious hours of working, you stop and realize you have built nearly 30 slides that are just bursting with unintelligible numbers.

Oh no. The numbers are there, but they don't seem to have any structure or sense to them. Your audience may not even be able to intuitively sense how important these numbers are to your department! In short... your presentation is long and boring and probably going to put everyone who sees it to sleep. What can you do here?

Ask yourself:

  1. What options are available through PowerPoint to structure the data in a more intelligible way?
  2. Where can tools to simplify this data be found in the PowerPoint program?
  3. What sort of options are available when using PowerPoint to present important data?

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