Slam Dunk Your Text into PowerPoint

Ever have one of those presentations that comes up suddenly out of the blue and has to get done NOW? Or would you like to speed up the process of creating presentations in PowerPoint generally?

Well, here's how we've learned to cut the time it takes to get a presentation up and on its feet: Start a new presentation (File, New) and pick the design template you'd like for your presentation. Go directly to Outline View. Enter all the text for your presentation in Outline View. Start with the title for the first slide, then press Enter to go to a new line. Press Tab to indent it beneath the title and enter your text bullet points. When you finish with the last bullet point on the first slide, press Enter, then press Shift-Tab to start a new slide.

Continue this way until you've entered all the text for your presentation. If you have a slide that requires a chart or just a graphic, enter a reminder of what's needed either as the slide's title or its bullet text.

Once all the text is in place, switch to Slide view and look at each slide in the presentation (press PageDown and PageUp to switch from slide to slide). Don't make any changes yet; you're just trying to get an overall sense of how well the average amount of text you've entered per slide fits. Let's say that on average, it's a little on the long side; it's running off the bottom of a fair number of slides.

Choose View, Master, Slide Master and decrease the text size of the text placeholder box. Then choose View, Normal and check your slides again. If most of your text now fits comfortably, you can adjust any holdouts individually. The trick here is to let the Master do 90 percent of the formatting and sizing for you (so you don't have to do it manually!).

Finally, make another pass through your presentation, adding graphics and charts and any other necessary bits. Since you typed reminders to yourself in the slide text, these will be easy to find. It may seem counterintuitive to do it this way rather than entering and formatting your text on each slide, but give it a try. You'll find yourself FLYING through the process of creating new presentations.

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