Tools and software

4 ways to use Zoom In PowerPoint

From navigation to animation, PowerPoint’s latest tool can transform your presentations. Here are four ways to harness the power of Zoom in PowerPoint.

Every new PowerPoint feature Microsoft releases is touted as the one that will ‘bring your presentation to life’. If you’ve been doing your job right, your presentation should already be brimming with life. So what does Zoom bring to the party? Quite simply, it allows you to access your slides in a nonlinear fashion. If you think of a slideshow as your life (which won’t be a stretch of the imagination if you’ve lavished countless hours on it), Zoom lets you revisit any point in time, from kidulthood to adulthood.

PowerPoint presentations have traditionally followed a strict linear format. They start at the start, end at the end and should you have cause to jump back to an earlier slide, well, your audience is just gonna have to wait while you cycle through them. Not any more. Zoom is a genuine game changer that promises to drag your presentations into the current year and to infuse them with pizazz. Zoom is your DeLorean and all you have to do is punch in the timecode to travel back to the future. Here are four ways to use Zoom for PowerPoint.

 

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How to use Summary Zoom in PowerPoint

To use PowerPoint’s Summary Zoom feature, first you’ll need to create a summary page, essentially an index that links to all of the slides in your presentation. From there, you can tap to access any of your slides before jumping back to the summary page as and when required. Summary Zoom gives you the freedom to deliver your presentation – to tell your story – in a more natural manner.

After tinkering with your presentation some more, you might find you have new slides you’d like to add to Summary Zoom. To do so, select Zoom > Format. Then select Edit Summary, whereupon you’re free to update the sections that feature on your summary page. When you’re done, select Update and that’s a wrap.

 

How to use Section Zoom in PowerPoint

Like the chapters in a book, a lengthy or complex presentation can be divided into sections. This makes it easier for your audience to follow along, especially if they’re taking notes with the intention of referring back to them at a later date. Create a Section Zoom and you’ll be able to jump back to key sections after concluding your presentation or to visit them in any order as you’re delivering your talk.

Did your opening joke about the legal profession go down like a lead balloon? In that case, you’ll probably want to skip section eight, the one where you ponder the difference between a lawyer and a trampoline. Whether it’s to revisit a section or skirt it altogether, Section Zoom obviates the need to skip through slides until you get to where you want to be. Select Insert > Zoom, click on Section Zoom and hit Insert. It’s that simple.

 

How to use Slide Zoom in PowerPoint

Every slide in your presentation is special, but some are extra special. These will be the slides containing key points, sales figures or a bar graph you sweated over for days and want to revisit to justify the pain and anguish it caused you. To revisit these slides, select Slide Zoom when creating your presentation. This option, found under Insert > Zoom, is ideal for shorter presentations that don’t contain multiple sections. When it comes to delivering your presentation, you’ll be able to jump back to these key slides thanks to the power of Slide Zoom. On the big day, you’ll be silently high-fiving your foresight. It pays to plan ahead.

If you’re a PowerPoint perfectionist to whom every detail matters, you can even customise the preview image that corresponds to Slide Zoom. A thumbnail of the slide is the default image, but you can change that to any image you like by selecting Format > Change Image. This trick also works with Section Zoom. Neat, huh? But wait, there’s more…PowerPoint also allows you to determine the zoom style that’s applied. Want to add a border or a cool animation? Go wild. You’ll find options galore under Format > Zoom Styles.

 

Additional ways to use Zoom in PowerPoint

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the three basic zoom options that are available in PowerPoint’s snazziest new feature, you’ll be ready to level up. Selecting Zoom Background will allow you to make the background of your Summary, Section or Slide Zoom transparent so that it merges seamlessly with your home slide. You’ll find this option under Zoom > Format > Zoom Styles > Zoom Background.

Still not done? Okay, one last trick coming up: Under Zoom > Format you’ll find Zoom Options. Every time you use Zoom during your presentation, a transition effect will be applied by default. Under Zoom Options you can adjust the duration of the transition or turn it off altogether if you’re not a fan.

 

Conclusion

Zoom can’t atone for a bad presentation, but used correctly it can enhance your delivery, giving it a more natural and fluid feel. The seconds it takes to apply Zoom to your slides or sections will pay off on the day. With your key sections anchored, you’re free to roam wherever the mood or the audience takes you, before returning to where you started at the push of a finger.

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