10 ways of creating engaging Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations

Dec 1, 2021 | Powerpoint | 0 comments

Are your Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation slides bland and boring, full of text and delivered with even more lacklustre? Then you are not fully utilising this amazing tool!

Here are 10 popular presentation tools:

1. PowerPoint Animations

Microsoft’s PowerPoint’s Animation capabilities are an easy way to bring some fun and energy to your slides. Select the content on a slide that you would like to animate and select the Animations tab. You will see options like “Appear”, “Fade” “Fly In”, etc. Click one and select Animation Pane to play. It’s in the Animation Pane you see a list of all you animations which you can tweak from here. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Obviously, you don’t want to get too carried away as it could get a bit to chaotic on the screen, but if you keep it professional and to the point it could look pretty effective. Search on YouTube for some really great tips and tricks

2. PowerPoint Motion Paths

PowerPoint offers a way of customising your animations further by way of Motion Path. Objects can move across the display and you can adjust the path they follow as they do so e.g. make a car image look like it’s driving across the screen. Click the ‘Add Animations’ button from within the Animations menu, this brings up a menu of the various Entrance, Exit, Emphasis effects etc. You can use Custom Path to adapt your animation further as well as pre-set options such as Lines, Arcs, Turns, Shapes, Loops. Select ‘More Motion Paths’ and you’ll see more pre-configured paths, like, ‘Loop de Loop”, “Pentagon” and “Funnel”

3. PowerPoint Transitions, Timings and Durations of Animations

Slide transitions are the animated effects such as “Cut”, “Wipe”, “Peel Off, that happen when you move from one slide to the next during a presentation and can bring your presentation to life. Select the slide you want to add a transition to. Select the Transitions tab and choose a transition. You can also use the same transition for all slides by selecting Apply To All on the Transition tab. Set the amount of time that each slide is displayed, select After and enter the number of seconds you want. To set the duration of each transition between slides, enter the amount of time in the Duration box. Again, you can choose Apply To All or do individual timings.

4. Morph Transition in PowerPoint

The Morph transition allows you to animate smooth movement from one slide to the next. You can apply the Morph transition to slides to create the appearance of movement in a wide range of things—text, shapes, pictures, SmartArt graphics, and WordArt.

The Morph feature is included with PowerPoint in the Office 365 subscriber version. PowerPoint 2019 users and PowerPoint Web users can also benefit from Morph.

To use Morph transition effectively, you will need to have two slides with at least one object in common. The easiest way is to duplicate the slide and then move the object on the second slide to a different place, or copy and paste the object from one slide and add it to the next. Then, apply the Morph transition to the second slide to see what Morph can do to automatically animate and move your object. The effect is pretty effective!

5. Narrate over Slides in PowerPoint

Use narrations to enhance a web-based or self-running slide show. If you have a sound card, microphone, speakers, and a webcam (if required), you can record a PowerPoint presentation.  Click on the Recording tab, you have the option of Record Slide Show and Screen Recording. You can even add sound and video files.

After you have made the recording, it’s like any other presentation that can be played for you or your audience in Slide Show—or you can save the presentation as a video file.

6. PowerPoint can be used for Video Content

You can turn your animations into video or you can add animations to videos you have filmed. This could be animated text zooming and dancing around or images such as objects spinning or cartoon cars driving across your screen. Once complete, export it to video, choose the resolution and it will preserve all your animations, timings, and media and hey presto, you have a cool animated video!

7. Embed a YouTube Video in your PowerPoint Presentation

This is a great way to keep your PowerPoint interactive and on plan. Go to the video you wish to embed and then highlight the web address from the address bar and copy, or choose Share and copy. In your PowerPoint, click the Insert tab and choose Media, then select Video, the choose Online Video. Paste in the web address in the box which appears on your screen and then select insert. Resize the video like you would with an image so it either covers the whole of the slide or a section of the slide. Do this with “Slide Share”, “Vimeo”, “Stream”, “Flipgrid”.

8. Linking and Embedding objects in PowerPoint


You can link and embed objects between other Office applications. An object consists of part of a file, for example a Word table or an Excel chart, or it could be an entire Word or Excel file.


To embed, we can add items from Word or Excel the select the item in Word or Excel (for example a Word table or an Excel chart), and then copy. Select the PowerPoint slide in design view and paste.The selected item is a copy of the original, and is not connected to it in any way. You can now email the PowerPoint file to someone, and when they open the file in PowerPoint the table or chart will still show perfectly well. The embedded item is a copy of the original. If you change the original table or chart in Word or Excel, PowerPoint is not affected, and the original items still show in the presentation. You can even delete or move the original file.

Updating objects with original item:

if you want an object to update with the original item, you need to link the items. To do this the original item is copied in the usual way. Then with the PowerPoint presentation open in edit mode, choose Edit, Paste Special. In the Paste Special dialogue box, select the option to Paste Link, and click OK to finish. The item appears in your PowerPoint slide as before. If you now change the original Word or Excel item, then return to your PowerPoint slide, you will find the item in the slide has updated too, because the items are now linked.

You can embed or link an entire file into PowerPoint if you wish. Add an object using the Insert tab, choose Object. In the Insert Object panel choose Create from File and click Browse to navigate to find your chosen file. If the file is relatively small, don’t tick the box for Display as icon – then the whole file will open in PowerPoint. If it’s a relatively large file, tick Display as icon. To embed the file (creates a separate unlinked copy) don’t tick the link box. To Link the file you should tick the link box, then click OK

9. Using PowerPoint Templates

You can use pre-set designs or create your own template by saving as .potx file extension. To use the pre-set click File, and then click New then type a key word or phrase into the Search for online templates and themes field, and press Enter. Select the preferred template. Some have some pretty nifty animations with instruction guides on how to customise.

To save your own template design select File, Save As, browse to the location where you would like to store it and then change the file type as .potx. To use it in Office 365, just open it directly or through PowerPoint and then start working on it. When you save it, it will ask you to give it a new name, preserving your template. If you are using versions such as Office 2016, then you can click New, then choose Personal under the search box.

Microsoft PowerPoint templates

Choosing a PowerPoint template

10. PowerPoint Design ideas

Did you know PowerPoint will offer you some design ideas while you are working on your presentation? Ask for design ideas any time by choosing Design, Design Ideas on the ribbon. PowerPoint shows design ideas for your slide. Scroll through the suggestions in the Design Ideas pane on the right side of the window. Click to select the design you want, or else close the window. Some of these are animated and will play as you look at the options as well!

Choosing a PowerPoint design idea


If you would like to learn how to use PowerPoint, try one of our distance learning courses or you don’t have the time to learn how to use PowerPoint then we can help you! Try our Virtual Assistant service and we can put together a professional presentation for your needs.

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