Chapter 20. Building a PowerPoint Presentation

Slideshows derive their power from their simplicity. By displaying a single static image at a time, slide shows can present information simply and clearly—and often with more impact than you could achieve with a moving picture—whether you’re teaching geography to a class of third-graders or pitching an ad campaign to a Fortune 500 CEO.

PowerPoint gives you the ability to create very basic, simple slides—for example, just words on a plain background or a single picture—or a complex blend of photographs, animation, movies, and sound, to create dazzling presentations that grab and hold your audience’s attention. Whether you opt for simple or fancy, PowerPoint helps you build a presentation with a clean, consistent look. Templates and themes determine the appearance of your presentation, while layouts position the elements on individual slides. As with many Office projects, the easiest way to build a presentation is to start with one of PowerPoints predesigned templates.

Step 1. Choose a Template

When you launch PowerPoint, your first stop is probably the PowerPoint Presentation Gallery shown in Figure 20-1, which looks and works a lot like the window you use to choose a Word or Excel template. Use the categories on the left to filter the templates viewed in the main pane. Before you open a template, you can change the color, fonts, and slide size. You’ll be able to make some of these same changes even after you’ve started your presentation. ...

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