Scott Hanselman posted about fixing images that have been distorted in PowerPoint when moving from a 4:3 to to 16:9 aspect ratio. But what if you have many distorted images in your deck. If you manually try to correct those aspect ratios according to the instructions at the link above, you’ll be in for a lot of work.

However, if you aren’t afraid of working with VBA macros then below is a little bit of code that may help. It will reset the aspect ratio for all images in your deck.


Sub SetScaleSizeForAllImages()
Dim s As slide
Dim sh As shape
Dim factor As Single
factor = 1.0
For Each s In ActivePresentation.Slides
    For Each sh In s.Shapes
        If sh.Type = msoPicture Then
            sh.ScaleHeight factor, msoTrue
            sh.ScaleWidth factor, msoTrue
        End If
    Next sh
Next s
End Sub




 I don’t want to call this nervousness. To be honest, I don’t even know what this is. 

Every time I am told that I will be making a presentation in class (I’m in 9th grade) my body flips. I don’t even know how to explain this feeling in words but I’ll try. ….

David McQueenDavid McQueenSpeaker. Presentations Coach. Startup Mentor

This is anxiety my friend. A lot more people suffer from this than they care to admit.
Nothing is wrong with being afraid of public speaking but there are ways to be able to tackle it as well. Some things I get my clients to do

1. Keep a panic diary. Writing stuff down helps you to stay calm, as the mind focuses on what happened you become more of an observer than a sufferer.
2. Meditation. I get clients to spend time before they speak with their eyes closed just meditating. Silent deep breathing to control their heart rate
3. Breathe and smile. Just before you speak, shake your hands out and smile. Reduce that cortisol and raise testosterone.
4. Pause. When you feel that wave of panic, sometimes you have to let it wash over you, pause a minute and then start again.

These interventions are best done with someone who understands anxiety but even if you have a friend who can keep you accountable, who you trust and is not judgemental then it’s a start.

I wish you well in your presentation.
Look back on it when it’s done and you might find it’s not as bad as you think

To your success.


Sunayana Reddy has made more than 100 PowerPoint presentations

The quickest way to develop amazing slides is to follow these 10 hacks:

1.6×6 Rule
This cardinal rule of PowerPoint design should never be violated. According to this basic rule, any given slide must have only six lines with six words on each line.

2. Black out/White out
You see your audience’s attention waning? You can very cleverly just black out the projected screen. Hit the B key on your keyboard and all your distracted audience will see is blackness in front of them.If you are a little more peace-loving, you can choose a white-out as well. Hit the W key on your keyboard and dazzle your audience with the white screen.

3.No Messy Bullets
Bullets can look messy and can well be considered as a waste of space. They often are quite unnecessary and the best slide designs prefer not using bulleted text.  A better way to do it is to space out each point across individual slides.

4.Bow down to the Master Slide
More often than not your presentation ends up looking drab, courtesy the boring templates that Microsoft provides you. There are a host of templates that you can download from the net and the latest Microsoft Office has included sleeker, more appealing slide designs. But when you have the option of creating your own unique slide design why settle for something readymade? Look at your topic, pick images and the colour scheme and put it all on a master slide.

5. Make use of the Grids and Rulers
Life is so much easier when things just fall into place. The grids and rulers option in the PowerPoint helps you do just that. The grids and rulers are not on by default but you can turn them on by clicking on the space outside the slide but not on the sidebars.

6. Animated!
PowerPoint offers a wide range of animations and they can be used to create interesting slide designs and jazz up your presentation.

7. Animate the Charts!
Boring statistics? Worry no more, because your pie chart or bar graph or histogram can now be animated. Once you have inserted your chart and added animations to it, go to the final tab “Chart Animation” and change “Group Chart” from “As One Object” to “BY Category”. Now you can get your chart to appear as you speak about each of its components.

8. Duplicate – Don’t Copy and Paste
We are sure that CTRL + C and CTRL + V aren’t your favorite keyboard shortcuts. But imagine copying and pasting a particular text or image multiple times on a slide? That would annoy even the biggest fans of Copy-Paste. An easier way to do it is to duplicate instead. So click on any object that you want to be copied and press CTRL while you drag it. They space themselves out evenly as well.
The more useful thing is duplicating an entire slide. Select the slide or set of slides that you want to duplicate, go to the New Slide menu and select Duplicate Selected Slides. You get all the slides duplicated automatically.

9.Create New Shapes
PowerPoint has a beautiful variety of shapes that you can use in your slides. But what if we told you that you can combine them together to create more shapes of your own? You can just select all the objects, go to the Drawing Tools option and select Format under which you can select Merge Shapes. It subtracts the overlapping portions from the two shapes, giving you a cool new shape! What is more exciting is that it can do the same with images and text as well!

10.Save it as .PPS 
Remember the last time there was a group presentation and the person controlling the PPT kept fumbling around the screen trying to look for the slideshow button and you lost out on precious time because of that? Well, this trick will eliminate the entire process of opening the presentation and going into slideshow.

Once you finish designing your PPT, go to File and select Save As. In the dialog box that follows, select the file type as .PPS and voila! When you click on this file, it directly opens the slideshow screen and takes care of the hassle in between.


John RamosJohn Ramos,

Wrote the book The Super Student’s Guide to Presentations


Excellent question! Most technical presenters do not put any effort into their presentations at all. To me, that always came a bit as a disappointment – in today’s world, the best science is not made inside the lab, it’s made outside, communicating with our peers.

I have presented my Masters’ thesis in the form of poster and slide presentations in the past. Every time I did I tried not to put my audience to sleep, by following these steps (note that I assume that you’re planning, researching and rehearsing correctly apart from all of this):

  • Assume that most of your audience will not understand most technical terms. No, I have no idea of what ubiquitin is – I study brain imaging! Explain your project slowly and carefully, making one point at each time.
  • Use pictures and diagrams as much as you can. Explaining Science through words alone is painful. It’s much easier to use diagrams, charts or pictures from other papers or that you created on your own.


  • Organize your speech so that you don’t go over the allotted time.

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Robert FrostRobert FrostTeach NASA instructors how to use PowerPoint effectively

No.  Presenters should not hand out their PowerPoint slides.
When one allows their PowerPoint slides to serve as handouts, one starts to design their PowerPoint slides to serve as handouts.

The purpose of a slide and the purpose of a handout are not the same:

Slide: a slide serves to visually interpret the idea that the speaker is discussing.  It is not supposed to have to stand alone.  It exists for the brief period of time that the presenter is speaking.  The spoken words and the visual interpretation are supposed to complement each other.

Handout: a handout is a reference that the audience will take with them and refer to at a later point in time, to refresh themselves on the material.  It needs to convey the full message, in the absence of the presenter.

I recommend creating a summary sheet to accompany your presentation.  That summary sheet will consist of full sentence and paragraph summaries of your main ideas in addition to the most useful visuals from your slides.  Your audience will be much more grateful for a single sheet of paper that will still make sense if they look at it in six months than they will in being given a 50-page stack of printouts of your slides that, absent your narration, will not make sense in six months.



click to enlarge



Adriaan Bloem

Adriaan BloemSr Mgr Online at MBC

  • Use large fonts. The beamer will probably have a low resolution (you might still come across a 800×600!) and people need to read at a glance. 30 points minimum.
  • Don’t use Serif fonts. (Like Times: the fonts with the small hooks at the ends.) They were designed for legibility and space saving in print. Print is very high resolution, you want to save paper and ink because they cost money. In PowerPoint, paper and ink are free: go for a Sans Serif!
  • To sum it up: 30 points or larger Sans Serif. E.g., Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Lucida.

…but sometimes, to make an impact, you have to break the rules. Sometimes, much larger, frivolous or very stern fonts can set the tone. Just be very sure why you would break the rules, understand the drawbacks, and please… don’t ever use more than two different fonts!

I have seen presentations in Courier and Mistral where it worked very well. Usually, though, it’s a terrible idea.

If your bullets don’t fit with the 30 point minimum, by the way, that’s a major clue there’s too much text on your slide.



By Tatiana Estévez

Bullet points are lists of items or short statement points. They are not supposed to be full sentences, at least not when used in PowerPoint. The traditional style of formatting bullet points is to finish each line item with a comma or hyphen, and the last bullet to have a full stop.

My favourite things to do on Quora are:

  • Answering questions;
  • Discussing answers in comments;
  • Writing blog posts; and
  • Collapsing joke answers.

This is considered a bit old fashioned and many companies prefer the style of ‘open punctuation’ for PowerPoint slides. I wouldn’t allow the above in my documents and will take it out if someone tries to do this.

Generally there is no real rule and you can write the above either with full stops or without as long it is consistent:

Oxford Dictionaries says:

Bullet points are used to draw attention to important information within a document so that a reader can identify the key issues and facts quickly. There are no fixed rules about how to use them, but here are some guidelines.



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by Josephine Roy

As a presentation tool PowerPoint can be used to:

organise and structure your presentation; 
create a professional and consistent format; 
provide an illustrative backdrop for the content of your presentation; 
animate your slides to give them greater visual impact. 

Step 1: Designing PowerPoint slides 

There are a number of features to consider when designing effective PowerPoint slides. The guidelines given below will ensure you create slides that will be easy for your audience to read and understand. 
Using colour 

Be consistent. Ensure that all of your slides have the same or similar background images and colour schemes. PowerPoint’s design templates can be used for this. 
Prepare slides that use a bold colour contrast, e.g. black or deep blue text on a cream background (black and white can be too glaring for the audience). 
Avoid using red or green for text or highlighting as it can be difficult to read. 

Using text 

Avoid using too much text. A useful guideline is the six-by-six rule (slides should have no more than six bullet points and each bullet point should be no more than six words long). 
Create bullet points which are clear summaries of key points. It is not necessary for bullet points to be complete sentences. 
Don’t mix up your fonts and font sizes. Too many variations in font size and type can be visually confusing. 
Ensure that your text is at least 24pt otherwise it may be difficult to read on screen. 
Choose left align for all text to make it easier to read. 
Avoid multiple columns of text on a single slide as they can be difficult to follow on screen. 
Use bold for a clear and simple form of emphasis and headings rather than UPPER CASE, italics or underlining. 
Set clear hierarchies for type size to help your audience distinguish between headings, main text and other types of text. 

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by  Lisa Braithwaite

One cause of speaking anxiety is the feeling (and self-directed pressure) of having to impress the audience.

Maybe this occurs to you while you’re writing, and you start inserting big, formal or flowery (aka “speechy“) words you normally wouldn’t say, but that make you sound smart or important.

Or you’re on stage and — suddenly — it occurs to you that your normal words, actions and movements aren’t good enough.

Suddenly, you don’t know what to do with your hands, even though you were just having a conversation off stage and your hands were fine.

Suddenly, everything is wrong with you. Your clothes aren’t right, your voice isn’t right, your humor isn’t funny enough.

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When designing a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, there are many different choices to make regarding design elements. One of the first things you have to decide is whether or not to use a template, or to make your design from scratch. Before deciding on whether or not to use a template with PowerPoint, it can be helpful to thoroughly explore all the advantages and disadvantages of using a template

By Lacy Nichols

When creating a powerpoint presentation, it is important to decide whether to use a template or to create your own template from scratch.



  • One problem with using a template for your PowerPoint presentation is that it will probably be a template that has been used many times before. This can result in your presentation not being considered unique, which can be a downfall for certain types of presentations. By designing your own PowerPoint slides, you can be assured that your presentation will stand out from the crowd and won’t be considered boring.

Meeting Deadlines

  • One advantage to using a PowerPoint template is the lack of work involved. If working under an immediate deadline, templates are a viable option. Once a template is selected, all a person needs to do is fill in the blanks with information. This is an easy process as long as there is preparation.

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