Powerpoint Tutorials

The first of a series of simple Powerpoint Tutorials to get you using this software without being afraid of it, plus an absolutely invaluable techo tip.

In this video tutorial you'll see how to build a simple presentation to support a brainstorming session. This is a really common scenario at work. You should find it more useful than a technical appraisal of all the whizz-bang features of the program like a lot of powerpoint tutorials, which, let's face it, you'll never use in a million years.

There are some explanatory notes on this page after the video. These are to clarify the points made in the video powerpoint tutorials.

Further down this page you'll also find an absolutely invaluable technical tip that could save your bacon if you're using powerpoint slide shows with a projector. The other powerpoint tutorials that will be added to the site will contain other priceless gems like this, so you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed.

The Situation

You're leading a brainstorming session at your Toastmasters Club. As it's the start of the year and your numbers have dropped a bit, you thought it would be good to brainstorm how we can grow our Club this year.

You decide to use a short powerpoint presentation (the best kind:) to set the scene for the brainstorming that will follow immediately after it's finished. You've got 3 minutes.

Building Your Slideshow

The first rule of Powerpoint is "don't be boring", so never use the standard template for a new slide that Powerpoint throws up (no pun intended, although the standard heading plus bulleted list format does make we feel sick:). So the first thing is to create a blank slide.

Continuing your commitment to the "don't be boring" rule, you decide to be a bit creative rather than just lay out the rules for the session.

You want the members to think about what sort of Club they want and how they see themselves at the moment.

  • Slide 1: You go to your Club website and copy and paste the banner, which you can see at the top of the slides.
  • Slide 1: You use a nice big bold font for the question and position it at the bottom rather than at the top or middle. This creates a sense of anticipation about what's coming.
  • Slide 2: You copy and paste Slide 1 to create your starting point for Slide 2. It's a simple way to make sure all the elements are in the same place on each slide. That allows you to build slides nicely during the slideshow.
  • Slide 2: You spend 5 minutes on flickr.com and found this nice picture of an Aston Martin. Hey it's James Bond's car, so it's a good symbol for a sexy vibrant Club.
  • Slide 3: You just added the word "or..." to create a sense of anticipation about the comparison. This slide will probably only show for about a second or two, but who cares? It only took about 10 seconds to make it:) Unless you're at a Pecha- Kucha night where the number of slides is exactly prescribed, don't limit yourself.
  • Slide 4: Again flickr.com delivered nicely. Once you have an image downloaded you simply cut and paste into powerpoint and then you can re-size it easily with your mouse so it fits the slide as you wish. In case you haven't worked out yet, I see our own Club as more like a Morris Minor in need of repairs, than like James Bond's ride. This approach could work if your purpose is to gently motivate the members to get involved im marketing, and a picture is worth a thousand words some times (especially when you've only got 3 minutes:)
  • Slide 5: Time to introduce the question that will be brainstormed. No mucking around. Just a big bold font bang smack in the middle of the slide.
  • Slide 5: Notice how the banner appears at the top of the page in exactly the same position in all the slides that it's used in? To do this you just go to Slide 1, right click on the banner image, copy it and then go to any slide, right click anywhere and paste it. Hey presto it'll always be in the same position as it was in Slide 1. Easy, isn't it.
  • Slide 6: Thanks flickr.com. A more dramatic way to introduce the idea of using press releases, than a bullet point, don't you think?
  • Slide 7: Perhaps a local newspaper ad or two might help?
  • Slide 8: You use this slide to introduce the idea of talking to local businesses.
  • Slide 9: The final slide which you'll leave up on the screen during the actual brainstorming session. It's a nice way to do a summary of what you've covered so far, don't you think? Just thumbnail images of the main ideas slides.
  • Slide 9: You need to turn your screensaver off so this slide stays on the screen and doesn't become flying toasters after a couple of minutes.

Powerpoint Tutorials Can Get You Out Of Trouble

Here's the invaluable tip I promised you.

What to do if Fn F5 stops working. This is really annoying and can be devastating if it happens just before you're due to speak.

The hotkey combination Function F5 normally allows you to bring your slideshow up on the projector screen and the laptop at the same time.

The other day it stopped working on my laptop. I was running Windows XP and Powerpoint 2003 (pretty old I know and I'm now on Windows 7 and the latest Powerpoint). Here's what to do if this happens to you:

"Right click on the desktop go to graphics options> output to> dual display clone > notebook + monitor."

Or ...

If you're using Windows 7 right click on the Desktop, Screen Resolution, Connect to a projector and select one of the options (normally "Duplicate" is the one you want).

I hope you've found the first of our powerpoint tutorials useful. There's absolutely nothing to be afraid of when you use presentation software. In fact it can help you face your fears of public speaking, because it can be a great crutch while you build your confidence.

This whole slide show would take you about 60 minutes to do from start to finish.

Enjoy putting yours together.

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