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Go to Mid-America Speakers for more information about Carrie Ann Cook, Speaker.

PowerPoint – Take the Plunge Synopsis

1.   Introduction

a.   What is it? PowerPoint is a Microsoft Office program that can meet many different audio-visual needs, from “overheads” and scrapbooks to commercials that are broadcast worthy.

b.   What does this mean for speakers?

                                                   i.     Can replace and surpass overheads, slideshows, flip charts, video, and most other aids, taken individually.

                                                 ii.     This program can incorporate elements from everything listed above – or simply replace it.

                                               iii.     Once you get the PowerPoint slides ready, you don’t have to deal with other tech in mid-presentation.

                                              iv.     Adds dimension to an easy to update presentation.

                                                v.     Fast becoming the new standard.

                                              vi.     Bonus of having all computer files in an easy to show format – if it helps illustrate a point.

                                            vii.     Bonus – in some places – of being able to illustrate points with live Internet.

                                          viii.     Have text, sound, and video all in one place.

                                              ix.     Let PowerPoint generate your handouts.

                                                x.     The Sky-and your learning curve-is the limit!

2.   PowerPoint Components

a.   A glimpse at the Workspace should be your first stop. Look at how the program is laid out. If you use other Microsoft products, look at how your skills in them might apply.

b.   What can make up your audio/visual media: the PowerPoint slide deck:

                                                   i.     Slides

                                                 ii.     Design/Theme

                                               iii.     Layout

                                              iv.     Animation Schemes

                                                v.     Text and Inserts

                                              vi.     Transitions

                                            vii.     Handouts

3.   Working with PowerPoint

a.   Workspace Survey:

                                                   i.     Workspace Task Pains

                                                 ii.     Button Bars

                                               iii.     Pull Down Menus

b.   Using some standard shortcuts

                                                   i.     Design

                                                 ii.     Layout

                                               iii.     Transition

4.   What can PowerPoint do beyond slides for a speaker?

a.   Decks can be produced where they run on their own – and can even have voice narration. This can be useful for:

                                                   i.     Great to set up during membership drives

                                                 ii.     Can run at the local library, mall, etc.

                                               iii.     Commercials - “join this”, “use this”, for filler during breaks

                                              iv.     FYI or bonus decks during breaks

                                                v.     Exhibitor “babysitter” if your staff needs to step out

b.   Advanced users can utilize it to produce public service commercials to run on TV.

c.    The list goes on and on.

5.  Explore and Experiment

a.   Download more templates, art and fonts

b.   Try every toolbar item, as time allows

c.    Make your own templates

d.   Share your skills with others – repayment comes in many forms


PowerPoint – you’ll love it or hate it. However, like so many things in life that change, today’s audiences are coming to expect a multi-media experience from professional speakers. The days of impressive overheads are waning. PowerPoint provides an easy, one program, solution to those “dog and pony” shows of old: a ream of handouts, several folders of overheads, a flip chart, and slides and/or a movie clip. If you plunge into learning PowerPoint with half the tenaciousness that makes you a great genealogist, this consumer user based program can be the answer to all your speaking needs.

 This speaker wishes all the best for every PowerPoint projects and also welcomes comments. Feel free to contact her by email or USPS.



Never forget your local library and reference librarian. The internet can provide lots of downloads, suggestions, further information and alternate ideas. Online, start with PowerPoint’s home page at


Page Last Updated November 11, 2015

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