By the time he asked me for help, my seventh grader had already discovered how to add slides, choose a design and drop in copy and photos into his PowerPoint presentation on the U.S. Constitution (the document, not the ship).
My septuagenarian mother would have had to take a six-week course at the community college to figure all that out. But today’s kids are intuitively tech savvy. Still, I know a little more about some things than my son does, including PowerPoint so I showed him a few tricks, including:
- Setting images as a background: If you’d like your image to be set behind your copy, just click on the photo and click on Format. Then select Send Backwards.
- Setting contrast: If you’d like your photo to appear faded, click on the photo, click on Format. Choose Corrections. Select brightness and Contrast.
- Add Animations: You can animate your images and copy to fly in, fade, spin, bounce and more. Just click on the slide, then select Animations and then Add Animations. You’ll see a list of options.
- Transitions: Your slides can fade in or wipe and much more. Just select a slide, then click on Transitions and choose which one suits your fancy. You can also set how long your slide will appear by changing the time after Duration.
- Add Sound: He wanted to include applause at the end of his presentation (a lesson that all adults should learn.) So we clicked on the final slide, and clicked on Insert. Then we selected Audio and Clip Art Audio. Among the offerings was “Claps Cheers,” which suited him well. (I’d have added the baseball hit first, for knocking the presentation out of the park, but that’s just the seventh grader in me.)
His presentation is sure to be a success with his classmates and his teacher. Perhaps soon, he can teach my mother how to use PowerPoint.
For all sorts of tips on how to use PowerPoint, visit the Microsoft Office web site.
Meanwhile, here’s a fun rethinking of how the Declaration of Independence would have been written with Microsoft Word.
As a Microsoft Office ambassador, I was compensated for this post. Helping my kid do cool things with PowerPoint, however, was a freebie.