9 ways to become a PowerPoint pro

business woman giving presentationWant to improve your PowerPoint skills and put on better presentations? Take these quick tips from writer Joseph Hindy.

1.  Customize your slide size. Open the File menu, select Page Setup and type the height and width you want for your slide.

2.  Make templates your own. Select the Themes menu, click Edit Master and Slide Master, and edit the template the way you want. Click Close Master to save the changes to all current and future slides.

3.  Add effects. Adding formatting to your graphics can make them stand out. Right-click on the image and select Format Picture.

4.  Format your title. Adding text effects can highlight main points. Right-click on your text and select Format Text Effects.

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5.  Insert custom animation. Go to the Animation menu and select Custom Path in the animations gallery. Custom Path lets you draw your own animation.

6.  Standardize your transitions. If you find your slides are transitioning too quickly or slowly, change the speed. Go to the Transition menu and change the transition time to one that works for you.

7.  Draw an image. Graphics are a snap when you use PowerPoint’s tools. Draw shapes, and then combine them by clicking each as you hold down the CTRL button. Go to the Format menu, select Merge Shapes and click combine.

8.  Call attention to details. Use the zoom tool to enlarge details in your slides. In Presenter View, click on the magnifying glass and use it to click where you want to zoom.

9.  Add some sound. Under the Insert menu, find the Audio command and click it. Then click Audio Online and search your computer until you find the soundtrack you’re looking for. After selecting it, click Play in Background to add it to your presentation.

— Adapted from “10 tricks that can make anyone a PowerPoint expert,” Joseph Hindy, Lifehack.