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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

5 Tips for Using Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

Presentations are arguably the most important aspects of a professional life. When applying for a job, you'll often be asked to give a presentation. When making a proposal, you will give a presentation. If your company is a frequent attendee at events, you will likely also be presenting there. In short, your skill with PowerPoint can all but determine the course of your career. Here are a few tips to help you truly excel at this important task.

1. Embed video. This is an exciting new addition and can really help you to liven up your presentations, particularly at shows. You're able to make your presentations more interactive and exciting without switching awkwardly between programs; instead, everything stays in just one place for maximum ease of use. You're also able to edit your videos, so you can upload them without worrying how they'll look and change them once you've had a chance to monitor them in action.
2. Share access. New, real-time features allow more than one person to edit any given PowerPoint presentation at a time. You'll be able to see the changes your colleagues are making and talk about them in a sidebar without any extra effort from either of you. This feature is perfect for businesses spread out in multiple locations, as you can ensure a united message no matter who is working on the presentation or where they're giving it. It also makes it easier for various employees to read over and correct missteps, misspellings, or add exclusive information.
3. Share your presentation. If you're looking to increase visibility for yourself or your company, there's no easier way to do it than by sharing your presentation online, where thousands of people can access it and learn all about you without paying the price for a conference. This also makes it easy for you to broadcast to multiple people who couldn't make it, ensuring that your message gets out to everyone who needs to hear it. Microsoft's service will also maintain all of your formatting, even for those people who don't have PowerPoint installed, so your presentation will look professional and polished regardless of who is looking at it.
4. Learn how to use Backstage view. All of Office 2010 has been revamped with this new menu, which replaces the old file menu. It provides a fast, centralised way to organise all of your tasks and provides some extra, exciting features, such as the ability to compress audio and video in presentations to save space and reduce loading time.
5. Take your presentation with you. No matter where you are, you can probably access your presentation. If you think of a last minute change but your file is on a different computer, you can still access it through the Microsoft PowerPoint Web App if you've enabled it. You can then access your presentation and make small edits through your Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari browser. Similarly, you can access your presentation for small edits on your mobile phone if you've purchased Microsoft PowerPoint Mobile 2010. This is particularly optimised for Windows mobiles, so if you have one of those, it may be worth the investment. You'll even be able to watch your presentation in full.

These are just a few of the new ways that PowerPoint 2010 will improve presentations. Will others step up to the plate and provide even more exciting competition?

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