The weather has finally gotten warm enough here to spend a large part of this past weekend outside. We had our first meals this year out on the deck and patio. When the weather is so nice, you don’t want to spend any more time inside creating slides than you have to. In this newsletter I want to give you some resources you can use to create slides faster so you can spend more time outside.

New Icons in PowerPoint
Microsoft recently updated the icons and stock images that are available in Office 365. There is a huge array of icons to choose from.

Icons allow you to quickly create slides where you want to use imagery along with some text. Instead of searching for icons or images, just use the built-in icons. I used them to create my recent videos on the future of meetings.

Stock Images and Cutout People
In this update of visual assets, Microsoft also added a lot of images. There is a stock images section that contains images that you would usually have to pay for at one of the stock image sites. There is also a great selection of cutout people. These are images of people with transparent backgrounds.

This means you can place one of these cutout people on one of the stock images and quickly create a great visual slide like this (some of the cutout people hold blank signs so I added a text box on top for the text).

Movie-like transitions using Morph
Morph is a transition that PowerPoint added a few years ago that allows you to create movie-like transitions in your presentation. It is particularly effective when you want to show a full image to give the audience context and then zoom in on one section to explain something specific. For one of my newsletters last year I created a video showing how Morph can be used to show zoomed in portions of a complex diagram. I’ve also used it to zoom in on a portion of a screen capture. If you are concerned that this type of motion will not work well in online presentations, my experience is that it works well unless the viewer is on a very slow connection. The wide availability of high-speed Internet has made using some motion on our slides appear properly to most viewers.

Leverage Custom Shows
This feature in PowerPoint is one that I find many presenters don’t know about and wonder how much time they would have saved if they had learned about it earlier. If you have to create different versions of your slides for different audiences, the Custom Shows feature allows you to define different shows within one file instead of creating different files. I wrote about this feature in a past newsletter and have a video on how to use this feature. Custom Shows work just as well for online presentations as for in-person presentations.

Improve your skills for Teams and Zoom presentations
Like many business professionals, your presentations have gone online. Even though some are returning to offices, online presentations are here to stay and will be part of your regular routine. Two of my recent newsletters listed resources to improve your presentations on the popular Microsoft Teams and Zoom meeting platforms. I’ve updated my pre-presentation checklist with two new items and I’ve added new articles and videos to my resource collection.

The tips and resources above will help you create slides faster and get out to enjoy the summer weather. Please stay safe and follow your local health guidelines when doing so.