How do you feel about standing in front of an audience — even a friendly one — to give a talk and run a slide show? If you're just slightly nervous, things will probably be fine, assuming there are no technical glitches and you don't lose your speaker's notes. But if you're an audience-shy basket case, remembering how to back up to the previous slide while having an out-of-body stage-fright experience is likely to escalate into a full-scale meltdown. Not that I speak from personal experience.
We have published a number of articles aimed at helping people create and deliver effective presentations. (A few links appear at the end of this entry.) And nearly all of them include the words "Be prepared." They generally mean you should know your subject backward and forward and make sure your presentation will run on the provided equipment.
I'd like to expand that a bit: Learn to drive PowerPoint so well you could do it in your sleep, and you'll have one fewer thing to worry about.
Here are some simple shortcuts to master so that you can give your undivided attention to the Presentation Angel on one shoulder ("Slow down, make eye contact, don't read your notes like a zombie; you're doing fine") and the Presentation Devil on the other ("Is your fly zipped? Why are your hands shaking like that — are you holding a belt sander? Did your boss just roll his eyes on his way out the door?")
|Start presentation from first slide||F5|
|Run the next animation or advance to the next slide||Enter or Spacebar (or click the mouse)|
|Return to the previous slide||Backspace|
|Jump to a particular slide||Type the slide number and press Enter|
|Jump to the first slide||Home|
|Jump to the last slide||End|
|Go to a black screen or resume slide show from a black screen||B (or period)|
|Go to a white screen or resume slide show from a white screen||W (or comma)|
|End a slide show||Esc or - (hyphen)|
|Erase annotations from a slide||E|
|Change pointer to a pen (and display it and the Popup Menu button, if hidden)||Ctrl + P|
|Change pointer to an arrow (and display it and the Popup Menu button, if hidden)||Ctrl + A|
|Hide the pointer and the Popup Menu button||Ctrl + H|
|Hide the pointer and the Popup Menu button after 15 seconds||Ctrl + U|
|Display the shortcut menu||Shift + F10|
|Jump to the next hyperlink on a slide||Tab|
|Jump to the previous hyperlink on a slide||Shift + Tab|
|Launch selected hyperlink||Enter|
- Gain confidence in your presentations by following these tips
- 50+ Keyboard shortcuts to move faster in Microsoft PowerPoint
- 10 things you should know about PowerPoint abuse
- How do I... Put a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on a CD?
- 10 things you can do to give your PowerPoint Presentations a heartbeat
- 10 slide design tips for producing powerful and effective presentations
- Create innovative and dramatic PowerPoint presentations, Hollywood style
- Dramatically improve your PowerPoint presentation by implementing professional design principles
- Use SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007 to create a more polished and effective presentation
Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.