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How to liven up a PPT Presentation

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Last Modified: 2017-04-08
I'm looking for some ways to liven up a crappy bulletted PowerPoint presentation.
It's a "mandatory" course and it's just lecture. but there's gotta be something things that can liven it up.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
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Commented:
I always go for dancing girls.
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gilnovSystems Administrator

Commented:
Ha! Dancing girls would liven things up alright. If you can't find any though, you could try a nice background image and vibrant color scheme as described here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-a-background-picture-or-watermark-to-slides-4b0b98d4-774c-4e08-9c38-e8c92f58c957
Jamie Garroch (MVP)PowerPoint Technical Consultant
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Commented:
The first thing you need to do is change your mindset and think positively. I'm being deliberately direct and provocative because if you're not pationate about what you're presenting, it doesn't matter what content you have, your audience will detect that and just won't care about your presentation. Next, close PowerPoint get out a pen and paper and build your story, know what you need to share, have an objective, build in surprise elements, props if you're comfortable, and a call to action, test the pace on a friendly colleague or friend, create juxtapositions and STAR moments (Something They'll Always Remember) . The best place to start is with a decent book on how to structure, build and then in the last stage, design the actual slides of a great presentation. I can highly recommend Resonate by Nancy Duarte which is available on Amazon. Take your time and good luck.
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Commented:
lol, Dave Baldwin!

SmartArt is a quick and easy way to make your basic text more visual.

Right-click in your text and choose Convert to SmartArt. Choose an appropriate diagram. Some of them are even set up for pictures, so you can add images to the diagrams also.

Once you've created the diagram, click on the SmartArt Tools Design and Format tabs, where you can change the type of diagram, change the colors and styles (Design tab), or format individual shapes in the diagram (Format tab).

If you want to break the diagram apart so you can move the shapes around, choose Convert | To Shapes on the SmartArt Tools Design tab.
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Commented:
Be careful how "lively" you make your presentation.  What matters most is how well you tailor the presentation to your target audience.  Some pin-striped executives with stiff-collared white shirts might be expecting the familiarity of a boring crappy bullet-pointed presentation accompanied by more informative narrative from you, and anything that sways too far outside their starchy mindset may not work as well as you envisioned because it may take more than one shot with a defibrillator to liven some of them up.

Whilst working as a warehouse supervisor many years ago I was approached by the semi-literate but supercilious and back-stabbing manager who asked me to help him create a powerpoint presentation about health & safety, and in particular working at heights.  He was a condescending man and it must have been hard to humble himself to ask a lowly manual worker for help, but the presentation was for a senior management meeting the next morning and could lead to potential promotion and there was some urgency because his efforts so far with the presentation were terrible.

He said that he wanted it to be full of surprises so that it would stand out without him having to speak much.  I was leaving for another job in a week's time, so I injected some blood-curdling screams to accompany his photos of employees falling from wobbly steps while changing light bulbs, added some new funny pictures, and used some Family Feuds / Family Fortunes buzzer noises in places where his crappy bullet points suggested wrong answers.  It must have "stood out", because he did not cross my path for the remaining week of my employment there and, as far as I later learned, he was not promoted.

Be careful how much you "liven up" your presentation unless you have a lively audience who will appreciate it.
Colleen Kayter4D Assets

Commented:
All the suggestions above are good advice. Now let me add this:

No trees are saved by having fewer slides. You don't want your audience reading instead of listening and your slides should augment your lecture, not provide a transcript (which means what you say goes beyond what they see on the screen).

If you want to discuss one point, show only that one point, then fade to the next slide which shows the next point. The visual segue syncs with your verbal segue.

With only a single point on the screen, you can add visual elements that emphasize the point. Remember that some in your audience are visual learners and they'll remember the visual better than the text. That said, DO NOT add visuals that are unrelated or contradict the point. e.g., point: nutritious meals; visual: potato chips.

Smart Art is a great place to start and once you have converted bullets to smart art, you can tweak these by going to the Design tab and convert to graphics (far right of ribbon). Now, all that smart art is independent elements you can customize.
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