PowerPoint is more than just a presentation tool

For sure, PowerPoint is one of the most famous software programs in the world. Being part of the same package with the most widely accesible operating system out there helped its image as well.

PowerPoint first came out in 1987 and since then it has changed the way we preset, share and understand information. Even to this day it’s still one of the most powerful tools used in any professional activity.

 

Fun fact: there are 500 million PowerPoint users worldwide, while 35 million PowerPoint presentations are given each single day.

 

I started working with PowerPoint more than 10 years ago, using it for high school projects. As I am a visual learner, it’s been a real epiphany seeing how effective this tool can be when used right (so much so, that I based my career on PowerPoint).

What I also loved about this tool is how adaptable and perceptive it is. In these years I’ve also learned that you can use PowerPoint to create a wide diversity of materials, not just presentations.

 

1. Slideuments

Even though is technically a type of presentation, we like to think of a slideuments as a hybrid material between a slide deck and a document.

A slideument is a presentation that you will not have to present, you will send it via email and the receiver can go over it on their own.

There is nothing wrong in using a Word document, but we prefer to use PowerPoint in case of shorter documents as it more adaptable and powerful than Word. Also with PowerPoint is much easier to cutomize and design a document.

We’ve already covered how you can make a more efficient slideument in a previous article, so feel free to check that out.

 

2. Flyers  

It may happen to need quickly a do it yourself flyer, for a school event or a fundraising and dont’t have a budget to make professional flyers. Or that surprise internal event at your company you are preparing.

A lot of people don’t have the skilles to use more professional software (like Adobe programs) and that’s ok. But there is the powerful alternative, PowerPoint.

You can easily adjust the slide size so it can be the dimensions you’d need (like an A5 for instance), make the flyer as any presentation and then print it yourself on a regular printer (you can print 2 A5 flyers on an A4 page and just cut them after)

 

3. One Pagers

Just like flyers, one-pager can also be made professionally in PowerPoint and used as marketing or sales materials.

You just need to adjust the slide dimensions to suit the format you want to use (A4 or US letter size) and proceed to add content and design it. But remember, it’s only one page, so you need to limit the amount of information that can be added.

In case of a one pager that is emailed to a potential client, the information on it can be:

  • Company name & logo
  • Value Proposition
  • Picture of Product/Service
  • Services & Benefits
  • Credibility (maybe a short Testimonial)
  • Contact Details

 

4. Marketing Content Pieces

When you have limited resources (lack of skills, lack of designers on the team or no budget to outsource) turn your attention to this valuable tool. With PowerPoint you ca create various documents or materials for your content strategy.

You can easily do in PowerPoint ebooks, white papes, brochures, case studies, and even templatized them for later use.

PowerPoint can be used also for creating quickly a brand book for your company if it doesn’t have one (and like most small businesses, probably doesn’t).

A warning here is that these materials will not be 100% sutable for printing and coloring might differ or images cand get distorted. For an important material to print (like brochures for a tradefair show) better reach out to a professional.

 

5. Videos

Yes, you can even export a PowerPoint as a video. All you need to do is to set the time you need for each slide until it transitions to the next slide.

The ways that you can use this are: video product, simple slideshows, social media videos or even complex animations and even narrated trainings or webinars. PowerPoint is a powerful alternative to expensive and difficult to use video softwares.

For example, a designer at Duarte, probably the largest presentation design agency in the world, recreated the entire intro to the show “Archer” in PowerPoint.

That’s right, 100% in PowerPoint – https://www.duarte.com/presentation-skills-resources/designer-qa-pushing-the-limits-of-powerpoint-animation/

A thing to pay attention to is that is you add an audio track to your presentation it must not be longer than the panned amount of time for all slides, or else, in the final video the slides will end and the audio will continue until it finishes.

 

6. GIFs

If you can export your presentation as a video, you can also export it as a Gif.  Using PowerPoint for this is a really useful when you nee a short animation to show a quick product benefit or how your solution works.

In a past project we had a client that was building the website for his new SaaS edtech platform and he needed a few GIFs to pop up in the website showing different features and tools of the platform. Of course we used PowerPoint for this.

We simply recreated the animation he wanted using PowerPoint’s own animations (zoom in/zoom out and custom motion paths) and then we timed the animation to how much he needed. We previewed it to make sure it all works properly and after we exported it, we also double-checked the file size and made any further needed tweaks.

 

7. Social Media Images

Another way to use PowerPoint is for designing social media images, just et the specific size you need for each paltform.

It is very useful for a serialised type of posts, for example a series of posts on the same topic. It is also easy to replicate as a template and also keep an overview of all posts with the Slide Sorter view.

If you need or want to create Instagram Carousels with regularity, for example, PowerPoint again comes to your aid.

 

8. Infographics

Who doesn’t love and want a good infographic over a long text? With PowerPoint’s features you can make anytime an infographic to help visualize data.

PowerPoint already comes with a good starting point, with various SmartArt options, charts, diagrams and icons already available, or you can mix and match yourself with the basic shapes if you feel creative (for example: if you need to make a timeline slide)

And a great “hidden” feature is that it works great with SVG files. 

So you can use websites like flaticon.com and thenounproject.com and download any kind of icons or graphics you need as a SVG file. Then simply drag and drop it onto the slide, hit right click and ungroup. The file will automatically be converted into PowerPoint shapes that then can be recolored, resized, regrouped and so on.

 

9. CV and cover letter

You probably heard already that a nice and professional CV helps you to stand out from the other applications. Try using PowerPoint to give it a visual apealling aspect. First you set up the slide size to that o a resume in your country, than add some graphics, cool icons, images if you want and you will get an outstanding resume.

It’s also very easy to edit and customize to better fit a certain job application. And that goes the same for the cover letter, which you can edit with the hiring company’s branding.

 

10. Easy, reusable templates

One of PowerPoint’s most powerful features has to be its Master Slides. If you’re able to master the Master Slides, then you can effortlessly create templates for all types of materials we described above. 

And that’s useful both for you, if you need to make another of the same material, but also for the rest of your colleagues and companies, as everyone can use the same templates to assure a consistent brand design across every material produced.

 

As you can see and hope will agree by now, is that PowerPoint is more than just a simple presentation software, used especially by people to create boring presentations, coining the famous “Death by Powerpoint”.

Instead, PowerPoint is an extremely powerful and versatile tool and most importantly, is widely accessible, and with a little bit of design chops and imagination, it can give you a really good bang for your buck.

Do you have any other ideas on how else you can use PowerPoint? 

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