More Emphasis in PowerPoint

When giving an MS PowerPoint presentation, do you find yourself looking for a “big splash” to get the audience focused? I mean, something that stands out a bit more than a simple mouse pointer?

If you are, then this tip’s for you!

Instead of a simple mouse pointer, let’s get the pen cursor into the show. Basically, the pen will allow you to “write” freehand on the current slide. It’s a type of writing that will stay up on the slide for the time being, but it doesn’t become part of the permanent file.

Okay, now you know the “what,” so let’s get to the “how.”

In review, to turn on the simple mouse pointer, you can use Ctrl + A or, in newer versions of PowerPoint, I’ve found that I can get the mouse pointer by making a deliberate move of the mouse.

To turn the pointer off, hit the “A” key.

To get the pen cursor, use Ctrl + P. (If you prefer to use the menu in the bottom left corner of the slide, you’re looking for Pointer Options, Pen choice).

Once the pen is up and running, you can draw by clicking and holding the left mouse button while moving the mouse. This really allows you to draw and emphasize your point.

To erase your drawing, while still viewing the slide, hit the “E” key. You’ll also find that the writing disappears when you leave the slide.

To get rid of the pen, while still viewing the same slide, use Ctrl + A to turn it back into a simple mouse pointer. Then use the “A” key to hide it altogether. (I also found that I could hit the Esc key once to return to the mouse pointer, but you have to be careful with that one. If you accidentally hit the Esc key twice, you’re out of your presentation, so be careful!)

Just one more way to get the message across. And I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for a new trick to pull out of my hat!

~ April