Letís say the olí boss comes up to you and asks you to
put together a presentation in PowerPoint for his afternoon meeting. The
company has finally finished the Employee Handbook and he wants to present it
to everyone at the afternoon meeting. He tosses the Handbook at you, tells you
he will want to see a draft in a couple hours and says heís heading off to
Yikes! What do you do? Where do you start?
Well, besides reminding yourself to get your resume together
to start looking for a job with a more considerate boss, you can save your hide
by simply using one of the many predesigned presentations already setup
for you in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Open PowerPoint (PPT). Iíll be using PPT 2003. Click File
> New to get the New Presentation task pane to appear.
Click on the hyperlink From AutoContent wizard. That
will open the AutoContent Wizard.
A wizard is a customized content provider that allows
you to answer a few questions, make a few choices and get the custom results
you want. In this case, it will ask you about the type of AutoContent
presentation you want. You will make a few choices from the options provided
and then youíll have a presentation that has been created by experts. Youíll just
need to customize the text to fit your company and what you assume your boss will
want to say during the presentation.
The wizard opens with a brief explanation. Click Next.
You will then see a variety of possible presentations you
can create. The buttons along the left, i.e., All, General, Corporate,
Projects, Sales/Marketing, help you narrow down the selection. When I click the
Corporate categoryÖwell, whatcha know! There we have a Company Handbook presentation
Sure, you wonít always find exactly what you need, but that
doesnít mean that you canít start with one of the predefined versions and make
the needed modifications to further customize the content to get a good start
on your own presentation. So be sure to snoop around to see what information is
provided in each presentation.
I choose the Company Handbook presentation and click Next.
Now the wizard will automatically set the page layout and
some other specific settings for the type of presentation youíll need. In this
case, Iíll need it to be an on-screen presentation. That means the boss
will display it on his computer and a special overhead projector will display
on the wall whatever he is showing on his monitor. After making my
selection, I click Next to continue moving through the wizard.
I now have an opportunity to enter a title for the
presentation and add any information I might want in the footer, which will
display on all the slides. I enter copyright information. And I leave the other
two options selected, since itíll be a good idea to keep the date of the last
update displayed, in case there are edits and various printouts along the way.
This way we can be sure weíre using the latest version. Plus, having the slide
number will not only be convenient during any possible discussions, but also
help if the boss decides to change the order. I will be able to easily see the
original numbers so Iíll know which slides to move around.
I click Next and the wizard informs me that I have
made all the necessary choices, so I can now click Finished to see my
And here we have it. The start to my presentation.
Granted, there is still a lot of customization to do. But
this is a nice looking layout and each slide provides me with information about
the type of content I should be providing.
I move through the presentation, reading the information
provided and make the necessary changes.
In the above slide, I realize that we donít have any
Non-Exempt Employees, so I click within the Text Placeholder to open it, select
the text for that bullet item and delete the content.
Feeling a bit lazy, I donít even need to modify the slide
directly, as I can just click within the content in the Outline and make the needed
changes there. Everything I type in the Outline to the left will be entered
into the actual slide that displays to the right.
All the basic slides I need to cover the main details
are already created for me and added to the presentation. I can easily move
slides around and make adjustments.
Then I can print out a draft version and toss it on the
bossís desk as I, too, head out to lunch.
If you always start out a new presentation from scratch, you
might want to check out the AutoContent wizard. It might just save you a lot of