Essential Time Saving PowerPoint Tips

Working days are usually very full and busy. Most of us do not always complete all the tasks we set for ourselves every day, so we end up with a backlog while feeling bad about it.

Many people use PowerPoint to create presentations for business purposes, but wish they knew quicker ways. In fact, some use PowerPoint daily. If this describes you, please keep reading to learn about some useful time saving tips to boost your productivity when using PowerPoint.

The Slide Master

“Work smarter, not harder” is a phrase often heard. Many PowerPoint users copy slides from existing presentations, then take ages to reformat and adapt the slides to the desired look. Life is too short to be doing this every day. To be much quicker with formatting and standardising, a very useful tool in PowerPoint is the Slide Master. Click View, Slide Master to see these tools.

In Slide Master view, you can build in any content or design features that should always appear in your slides. For instance, whey you insert lines, shapes or pictures into slide layouts, they will always appear on these slides in the normal presentation view and cannot be accidentally changed or deleted.

What a time saver this can be! When you save the presentation as a template, it guarantees a quick fresh start every time.

Duplication

We very often create more than one copy of a slide or an object on a slide. Most users would use Copy and Paste (Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V) to create a second or third copy of an object. A faster way to create copies is to duplicate object using the shortcut Ctrl + D (duplicate). When you know that you will be creating more than one of any design feature, complete the first copy, then duplicate it. This will save much time going forward.

Not only is Ctrl + D a very quick shortcut, but PowerPoint also helps us to lay the duplicates out on a slide in an intuitive pattern. When you duplicate an object, drag the duplicate to where it should go. When you immediately duplicate the duplicate object, PowerPoint will place the second duplicate in a similar spot to where you placed the first one.

 

 

 

Entire slides can also be duplicated using Ctrl + D.

Design Ideas

Nowadays, PowerPoint presentations for business are sleek and professional by design. However, not all PowerPoint users are necessarily creative by nature. Most of us need some help and inspiration to make our slides look great. Fortunately, PowerPoint 365 has a feature which can help even the least creative user to design impactful slides.

In PowerPoint 365, the Design Ideas button is found in the Home ribbon. You can use this tool manually, however, by default, PowerPoint suggests design ideas when we insert text or photos into a slide. A side panel opens, suggesting various slide layouts based on the content. If you wish to turn off automatic suggestions, click File – Options, then untick “Automatically show me suggestions”.

An example of the Design Ideas tool in action is using it to convert a simple bullet point list to an interesting infographic. Simply type up a list of single key words, highlight these, then click Design Ideas.

From this:

To this:

Each time you click Design Ideas, PowerPoint produces a number of suggestions. Most of these can be modified afterwards. This is a very quick and easy way to turn boring slides into slides with impact.

These are just a few useful time saving tips using PowerPoint.

Some additional PowerPoint resources:

 

 

 

 

Soft Skills Make the Hard Issues Viable

“Soft skills”… does that term sound like an easy or less important skill to develop? Also the word “Soft” may sound a little weak, well these skills are certainly not weak, but without them you and your organisation’s effectiveness will certainly be weakened.   Here we look at five key areas where soft skills can have a positive commercial impact.

Time after time research shows how fundamentally important and necessary they are in today’s workplace. In the LinkedIn report Global Talent Trends 92% of talent professionals reported that soft skills are equally or more important when hiring than hard skills and 89% said that when a hired employee doesn’t work out, it is because they lacked critical soft skills…

So how can these soft skills help you?

Teamwork

Effective communication at work creates a positive, trusting and healthy environment where people are accountable, can challenge freely and have their ideas not merely listened to, but actually implemented.

This leads to motivation, confidence, trust and purpose. All these hugely help to reduce turnover, confusion, duplication and ultimately a toxic workplace – interestingly, research has shown that Millennials and Generation Z employees are three times more likely to leave a toxic workplace than other workplace generations.

Better Leadership

Leaders with strong soft skills who can engage with all in an open manner and actively listen to their people will have staff following them willingly as they feel motivated and valued. Using emotional intelligence (the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict) also helps to motivate and empathise with people which leaves a lasting and positive mark that is rarely forgotten.

No longer can leaders just talk the talk – they have to walk it more than ever before. As behaviour breeds behaviour, they create the leaders of the future, but ones with integrity.

Open communication

Many businesses communicate well, but not all do it openly or with the differences of their people in mind. Those who adjust their communication style to meet others will make the person feel valued, respected and more importantly understood.

Those with great soft skills understand not only what is said but how it is said including all the non-verbal clues received face to face, virtually and in written communications. Knowing how to get along with people and display a positive attitude are fundamental for success.

Improved customer service

Excellent soft skills build trust with your customers, trust brings repeated business, efficiency and profitability, those who can actively listen and engage fully and effectively will no doubt understand exactly what their customer really wants and how the business can then meet those demands.

Adaptability and problem solving

The skills of problem solving and adapting your behaviour are a huge asset to any organisation, as change is the only constant, the ability to skillfully manage and communicate change will help others adapt more quickly, respond more effectively and thrive through it.

Finding solutions through critical thinking that help you make wise decisions, is yet another benefit of how soft skills are hugely valuable.

Conclusion

There you go! Some concrete reasons why soft skills can make the hard issues viable – and the good news is they can all be learnt.