PowerPoint Tip - Using Hyper-links

One of the topics I discussed in a presentation on future trends in presentations last month was the use of hyper-links to create non- linear presentations and include other content in our presentations. The ability of PowerPoint to link to content within or outside the current set of slides allows you to create and deliver a more flexible presentation customized to what your audience needs at that moment. Let's look at some of the options hyper-linking gives you.

1. Link to a slide in your presentation By linking to another slide in the existing presentation, you are able to jump between topics in the order that the audience wants to hear them. This is usually done by creating a menu slide and then giving the audience a choice of where they want to go from there. It can also be used when an audience member asks a question that you have anticipated and you jump to a prepared slide for the answer to that question. Then you can jump back to where you were in the presentation.

2.Link to another presentation If you have multiple presenters, each with their own presentation, it is annoying to see the switch between presentations by exiting one presentation and loading the next. It is far easier and more professional to set up a quick menu of the presentations and use hyper-links to start each presentation. When a presentation is done, you press Esc to exit the presentation and it drops to the menu to start the next presentation.

3. Link to other content If you have a spreadsheet, document or PDF file that you want to show during the presentation, you can create a hyper-link to open that document during your presentation seamlessly. No more exiting slide show mode, switch to the other application and then switching back. Simply set up a hyper-link to the file that you want to include and from within PowerPoint the application will open, you show the document and then when you close the application you are back at your slide. I have used this to take survey results and create an instant graph in Excel or to capture audience best ideas in a Word document during the presentation.

4. Link to a web site While switching to a web site live during a presentation is more risky due to connection problems in many conference venues, if you have a good connection, this can really add to your presentation. You can create a hyper-link to a specific web site or page and at that point in your presentation, jump to the site, show what you want and when you exit the browser you will be back at your slide. You can create a hyper-link from text, a shape or an image, so by considering the four ways you can use hyper-links above, you can enhance your presentation in many new ways. Hyper-linking is just one of the advanced presentation techniques I shared in my webinar on "Non-Linear and Advanced Presentation Techniques". You can get your copy at http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/wtnonlinear.htm .