Last time, we explored some easy suggestions to help make your next PowerPoint presentation a little easier to design. Let’s keep the same energy going and look at some more simple tips for our favourite program – PowerPoint.

Reduce your presentation size: If you’re going to share or present your PowerPoint, it won’t hurt to compress everything – especially the images. Click on an image, then ‘Format’, followed by ‘Compress Pictures’. I suggest doing this once you’ve completed the presentation so you can deselect ‘Apply only to this picture’, which will compress all images within the presentation. If you’ll be presenting on a project or screen, select ‘Web (150dpi)’ while 96 dpi is your best compression option for emailing. If you’re not presenting your PowerPoint, saving as a PDF further reduces file sizes. We’ve even compiled a list of ways you can further reduce your PPT file size, free to download here.

Invisible hyperlinks: If you want to surprise audiences with embedded hyperlinks to landing pages and social media platforms, use an invisible hyperlink. Simply insert a geometric shape and format it to ‘No fill’ and ‘No line’. Select your shape and click ‘Ctrl’ + ’K’. Paste the link into address box and hit ‘OK’. Viola! No need for the typical hyperlink-blue text; just a simple shape or image that links to an external site. You can also use this technique to build an interactive menu or table of contents.

Convert your presentation into a video: I have written several blogs on the benefits of video, but it’s a very simple thing to do in PowerPoint and can really help you audience engage with your content. Simply click ‘File’, then ‘Save and send/Export’, and then ‘Create video’. Be sure to rehearse and have your content down pat, otherwise your slide timing won’t align with your presentation.

Why not try your hand at drawing? During your presentation, you can circle, underline, draw arrows, and make other marks on the slide to help create emphasis or demonstrate connections. If you don’t have a tablet and stylus, you can use your mouse cursor by clicking ‘Ctrl’ + ‘P’ and, to stop, click ‘Ctrl’ + ‘A’. This method is great for drawing, underlining, and highlight, but isn’t ideal for handwriting.

Combine geometric shapes: After inserting and selecting the shapes you wish to combine, click ‘Merge’ and you’ll have a series of options. ‘Union’ simply joins the two shapes into one. ‘Combine’ is similar to ‘Merge’ except you get an empty space where the shapes overlap. ‘Fragment’ combines the shapes but gives separate areas within the three compartments. ‘Intersect’ is the opposite of ‘Combine’ as it removes everything except the intersection of the shapes. ‘Subtract’ removes from one shape whatever’s covered by the second.

Blank screen trick: I’m still discovered new hacks in PowerPoint and this one is so simple and fun for playing with audiences and reclaiming their attention. While in ‘Slideshow’ view, you can make your screen go completely black (by pressing ‘B’) or entirely white (by pressing ‘W’) – this is a cheeky way to make people think your presentation has bugged out and
will likely get their attention for moment.

Do a live poll of your audience: An interactive poll is a great way to keep audiences engaged while ensuring they’re actually paying attention to your presentation. Live interactive polls are great for webinars or conferences.

Our favourite app for embedding live interactive polls into PowerPoint is Sendsteps. This app uses text messaging and web platforms to collect audiences’ votes/responses, which are displayed instantly in your PowerPoint presentation.

Before the presentation, you create the questions, customise how the chart looks, and how your audience can respond. During the presentation, invite the audience to respond by visiting a webpage or texting. After the presentation you have access to an online dashboard that reports your
findings.

Zoom to draw in focus: In ‘Slideshow’ view, you’ll see a magnifying glass in the bottom left corner. Click it and then click the part of the slide where you wish to zoom in. After you’re done, click the magnifying glass icon again to zoom out. This is especially useful for making data visualisations and charts more dynamic while highlighting key facts or figures.

With these new found PowerPointers, why not start designing something beautiful. We’ve even put together some free PowerPoint templates that you can customise, integrate your own ideas, and engage your intended audiences.