Word and Excel are bundled together in the "Office" package that also includes Microsoft PowerPoint, a program for creating and viewing professional presentations. All of these programs can be found on most computers.

PowerPoint Presentation Tips:

  • Color can enhance the presentation, but can also be distracting and overwhelming. Use a color combination that is easily visible from the back of the room. Be careful of colorblind issues.
  • Use a type size that can be seen from the back of the room. Minimum font size should be 18 points, but higher sizes are better.
  • Graphics should enhance the point you are trying to make, not just decorate the screen. Do use relevant pictures from the web (see insert picture from file above). Do not use clip art.
  • Animations, flying text and sounds can get very tiresome very quickly. In addition, sometimes they do not work consistently - ie they may work on one computer, but not on another. Only use them if they directly relate to your presentation. If the animation is from a web page, be sure to have the web page address handy so that we can get it from there if it is not working from your slides.
  • You should create notes or index cards of things that you plan to say or write on the board to complement your PowerPoint presentation.
  • You should do a trial run and practice your presentation, making sure that it flows smoothly and is the correct length of time.

    Creating Slides in PowerPoint:

    Open the PowerPoint program, or, if you already have the program, from the File menu (top left of the screen), select new.

    A New Slide dialog box appears, showing you the choices of slide layouts. Move the pointer over each of the slide choices, clicking once on each (don't double click as this will create a slide). As you click on each slide the name of the slide format appears in the gray box on the right. Explore the different layout options that are available.

    Create a title slide: Since the first slide of a presentation is usually the title slide, start your presentation by double clicking on the title slide. A title slide will appear. The words Click to add title and click to add sub-title are shown in dotted boxes. Click on the first box and type in the name of your presentation. Then click in the next box, this time typing in your name and any other information you might want to include in the sub-title box.

    Adding a new slide: Click on the Insert menu and select the new slide option. This will take you to the new slide dialog box (see the above picture) and you can now choose the format for your next slide. Example: Title slide, bulleted slide, graph slide, 2 column text slide, text and clip art slide.

    Other Slide Formats: Test out some of the other slide formats.

    Inserting and formatting text:

    Once you have created a slide you can type text in the pre-formatted text boxes provided on the slide, or you can create text boxes. For pre-formatted text boxes:

    1. Click in the text box and begin typing. The font size, color, and style will be predetermined by the presentation design that you have chosen. You can change the font, but do so with caution as the default has been selected for what works best for each slide layout and design.
    2. To change font size: Drag across the words you wish to reformat, then from the format menu bar select font. This will bring up the Font dialog box which allows you to change the font, font style, size, effects, and color.

    Moving and resizing text boxes and objects:

    1. To move any object, click on the object. You will see that it becomes outlined. Move the mouse over the box until you see a hand. Then click down and drag the object to the desired destination and unclick to "drop" the object.
    2. To resize a box or object, click and drag on one of the top, side, or corner boxes (handle bars). The top and side ones make the object narrower or shorter (and do not keep the original proportions of the object). The corner handlebars enable you to reduce the object size while maintaining its original proportions.

    Inserting pictures:

    From the Insert menu, select Picture and then follow the arrow to the right and select From File.You will be prompted to identify the source of the picture. Locate the drive and folder in which you have the picture (best to keep it in the same folder as the rest of your power point presentation). Alternative option for photographs: Open the picture, copy it (using edit -- copy), switch to your power point presentation, and paste the photo into the slide.

    Viewing PowerPoint presentations:

    Practice using each of the views. You can switch between view options either by using the View menu or clicking on the small view buttons shown at the bottom left of the screen.

    Saving PowerPoint files, Attaching them onto WebCT, and Logistics:

    Recall that each computer program has its own extension that you must use when saving a file:
    Sketchpad files as saved as blah.gsp
    Word files are saved as blah.doc (If you don't use word then make sure you save your file as rich text format .rtf)
    Excel files are saved as blah.xls
    PowerPoint files are saved as blah.ppt

    You can attach files as usual onto WebCT. Be sure that you save your presentation (blah.ppt) numerous places! They should be on a disk and also attached on WebCT.

    As usual, I am happy to help you with anything in office hours. For example, I can scan pictures into the computer for you in office hours.
    Adapted from http://www.d.umn.edu/~hrallis/ITSS/IntroPP/IntroGuidelines.html and http://www.cis.hawaii.edu/techinfo/PPTpresent/index.htm