4 PowerPoint Tips That'll Make You Look Like a Pro (Video)

February 26, 2018

PowerPoint has become a necessary skill for nearly all professionals today. Like it or not, at some point in our careers most of us will have to create a PowerPoint presentation – and you want that presentation to pop.

PowerPoint itself is a powerful tool with a ton of capabilities. While that’s good, there are so many capabilities it can be overwhelming. To help you cut through the noise, my colleagues Jess Stratton, Nick Brazzi and I have put together a new LinkedIn Learning course – PowerPoint Quick Tips – that isolate some of the most useful capabilities in the program.

Want a sample? Here are four useful PowerPoint tips from our course:

1. Convert your presentation into a video.

Exporting a slideshow as a video is a great way to share it with friends and colleagues who might not have PowerPoint installed on their computers. 

With your presentation open, go to the File tab, and here click Export. Then click Create a Video. Note that your video will take advantage of all of your recorded timings, narrations, laser pointer gestures, animations, transitions, and multimedia. 

First select the resolution for your video. Next, choose whether you want to include already recorded slide timings and narrations. If you don't have any recorded timings, that option will be grayed out as it is here.

Then choose a default time for each slide to appear on screen. When you're ready, click the Create Video button. Choose a location to save your file and give it a name. The MP4 format is a good choice here, as that format can be played natively on both Macs and Windows machines.  Click Save to generate your video. You can see the progress of the video conversion process at the bottom of the screen. 

Once it's done, you'll be able to double-click the video to play it or share the file with others.

2. Enter slideshow mode with a double-click

By making one quick change to your PowerPoint file, you can set it up so that double clicking it's icon will automatically take you into slideshow mode making it easy to quickly jump directly into your presentation and prevent your audience from seeing your slides in edit mode first. 

To do so, first, go to the view menu in the file explorer window and make sure file name extensions is checked. Then, simply change the file extension of your PowerPoint file from .pptx to .pps. .pps is the extension for a PowerPoint slideshow. Confirm that you do want to change the extension.

Double clicking a PPS file opens PowerPoint and takes you into slideshow mode. There's no need to click any other buttons or use keyboard commands. You can just start giving your presentation. When you're done, press escape which quits the presentation and takes you back to your desktop. 

So, even when you're finished, you're audience won't get a backstage look at your slides. If you need to edit your slides again, just change the file extension back to .pptx.

3. Embed fonts into your presentation.

To prevent unwanted visual changes to your slides, PowerPoint gives you the option to embed the fonts you've used directly into your presentation file, making it unnecessary to include the font file separately when you copy your presentation from computer to computer. 

To embed your fonts, go to the file tab, click options and then select save. Near the bottom, check out embed fonts in the file option. To make sure you'll be able to edit the text in your presentation on any other computer, select the embed all characters option here. Click okay and then save your file to save the fonts in it.

Be aware that that this only works with TrueType and OpenType fonts. But unless you're working with some obscure custom fonts, that shouldn't be a concern. 

If possible, though, be sure to check out your presentation on the computer you'll be using to present it to make sure your fonts were properly embedded into your file.

4. Add a voice-over narration to your presentation.

In addition to inserting pre-recorded audio into your PowerPoint slides, you can also record live audio directly into your presentation. You can use your computer’s built-in microphone, or for better quality, connect a USB microphone to your computer.

Start by selecting the slide onto which you want to record the audio. Then go up to the Insert tab, click the Audio button on the far right, and choose Record Audio.

Type in a name for the audio you’re about to record.

When you’re ready, click the red record button to start recording, and begin speaking into your microphone. When you’re done click the blue square to stop the recording. You can then click the Play button to check your recording. If you didn’t get it right, you can re-record it by clicking the Record button again and starting over.

When you’re happy with your recording, click OK. Your audio now appears as a speaker icon in the center of the screen, just like when you import an audio file. You can resize and drag the icon anywhere you like. During your presentation, double-click the icon to play your recording.

Looking to get better at PowerPoint? Check out all of our PowerPoint Quick Tips today!

Other courses you might be interested in are: