Lesson 5: Setting the Stage for a PowerPoint Presentation

About this lesson

Are You Ready To Go On Stage and Present your PowerPoint?

Your ideas have been assembled, individual slides have been customized, but you still do not have a unified presentation. It doesn’t have that professional polish.

What do I Need to Do To Get Ready to Present my Slide Deck?

This class will help you pull everything together for a consistent, professional look that flows through the whole presentation. We cover the big picture to make sure the slides are properly structured, we cover framing the most important points of getting action on your goals, we add subtle but professional extras like slide transitions and bullet point animation (and why you might not want to use bullet animations).

Plus much more as detailed in the course outline below.

Plus a Free Checklist

And don’t miss downloading our free checklist PDF below.

The Masterclass

This is lesson five of the six-part Masterclass on becoming a PowerPoint Power User, but the ideas covered in video training stand on their own and there is no requirement to watch the earlier lessons.


We will help you get all your individual slides ready for showtime by covering the following topics:

  • Planning & Executing Strategy – The Steps to Follow
  • What Every Presentation Needs:
    • Opening Slides
    • Special Matching Closing Slide
    • Plus an Opening Agenda and a Closing Agenda
  • Managing LARGE Presentations Techniques
    • Sections, Hyper Links, Hidden Slides
    • Color Coding
    • Team Presentations
  • Animating Bullet Points
    • How and WHEN to use animation
  • Transitions Between Slides
    • Effective slide transition strategies
  • Tips, Tricks & Warnings
    • From our years of experience


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility Office 2013 up to Office 365

Level Advanced

Course Completed Complete




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Video Transcript of Training for “Setting the Stage for a PowerPoint Presentation”


So, Time is getting close. You need to power up your slides to blockbuster status before you get on the stage. 

Hi this is Les McCarter and this is Module 5 of our 6 part master series.

In this Power Up training, preparing for a PowerPoint presentation tutorial, I will show you tips and tricks and strategies for creating a sophisticated PowerPoint slide there. 

Specifically, I will cover strategies for setting up all of your slides the required slides for every presentation. Tricks for managing large or team presentation first-class animation that bullet points sophisticated slide transition tactics and lastly tips on presenting remotely via Zoom or other video conferencing tools. So, let’s power up to setting the stage for your presentation. 

Setting the stage for your presentation. This video is our fifth lesson in the mastering PowerPoint training series and all of our hard prep work will now start to pay off by wave creating a magnificent stage for all of our previously created slides. It’s time to shine the spotlight on our ideas. 

In our YouTube previous intro. I have already introduced our lesson plan. So there’s no need to repeat our goals. However, I want to point out two things first unlike her other lessons one through four with screen capture software animation. This session will utilize PowerPoint slideshow mode with the built-in Microsoft Animation to demonstrate how you too can add sparkle to your presentations. 

Although when I’m out of the slideshow mode, I will use my third-party tools to zoom in and highlight the screen. Secondly. You will see behind the curtains. I’m making this presentation file available as a free download at our website of https:\\power-up.training. 

Much like the creation of a movie. The sequence of steps is critical. Start with an idea and then a script and store boarding filming and editing. These steps must follow an order. And the same holds true for the creation of PowerPoint slides. Following the plan or you will do extra work later. 


Step one the creation of your ideas.

I don’t care how flashy and pretty your presentation is. It will not cover up for the lack of content. You must have strong ideas converted to words and then organized into a logical progression. As covered in my YouTube lesson one creating slides from scratch. 

The best way to do this is with PowerPoint outlines. Outlines rule! 


Step two design. 

Once you have your ideas in place you then need to go and select the appropriate PowerPoint design template. The design template not only sets the look for your presentation but also controls the specific locations for items on the page. 

If you do the design template selection later in the process, you risk messing up any customization that you’ve made to individual slides. I covered this in my YouTube lesson number three. Step three slide customization. Now go through each slide one slide at a time and tweak the message with elements that add to the communications of your text ideas and enhancements such as text or graphs or images, which I’ll cover in lesson four advanced slide design. 


Step four brutal editing.

Go back and review everything edit the flow of the presentation the logic the spelling the grammar. Why? Because if you jump to bullet animation and you do some brutal editing afterwards, you risk having to go back and redo some of the animations on any new lines of text that you have added from your editing. 

Do it now. Step five adding animation. Once your edits are locked in and the bullet animations like you’re seeing here. See how the bullet points have been appearing as I cover the points. And when done it greys out. This is bullet animation. So is the changing highlight rectangular box that is rotating. 

Learn more but for the time being no that you should only do it if it is appropriate and you can handle coordinating the timing of the clicks in the presentation. Warning once you start this it can become a big time scene. Because any animation just right requires a lot of effort. 

So make sure that it’s worth your time to invest in this aspect of PowerPoint. And the last step Slide transitions. With everything locked in. You can now add a touch of class with the transitions from slide to slide. Just be careful too much sparkle is an amateur mistake, don’t do this. 

Or this. Be careful to not go overboard. Her goal is a smooth presentation. I default every PowerPoint ends with a hard stop by way of a blank screen. It’s a harsh landing. Let’s create a smooth landing for our audience by creating bookends identical first and last slides. It’s easy to do. 

Just duplicate the first slide. Move the duplicate to the end. And that rings a neat closure to the presentation when you hit that last bookend slide it lets you know that you can open the presentation up to general questions or just end the presentation it’s a satisfying way to close for everyone. 



Your presentation needs to agendas. The first agenda is knowing your goal we discussed the idea in our first lesson that every presentation must have a point you must have a call to action otherwise why even give the presentation. The second agenda is the actual slide that tells your audience why they need to listen to your presentation state the call to action what do you want them to do or what do you want them to think about once the presentation is concluded make the agenda the second slide and then duplicate that slide and make it the next to the last slide. 

Always be closing. Look how we accomplish this in our training presentation. I did alter the closing slide by changing the bullet points to check mark icons. Special techniques. I’m about to show you several specific advanced techniques. You will not use these in all your presentations but it’s good to know that they exist and be aware when they might come in handy. 

Special note to notice that something happened in our presentation the slide design change color from blue to indicate that we are changing topics by specific green color choice is overboard by one of you to see it happen this is simple to do but you’re going to have to wait a few moments for us to cover sections a little later in our presentation. 

Feels slides. So far you’ve witnessed bullet animation during this training presentation. It’s when the bullet point appears with a click. But there’s another technique that’s not built into PowerPoint, but one that you can construct is called build slides. Here we have a view of the outline view for three slides. 

The first one is strategies one ideas. Now, let’s look at slide number two. This two come from the outline. In the second slide, I duplicate the slide move the box and change the text. Take a look at slide number three the same thing duplicate the slide move the box change the text. 

Now, let’s see it in action. This is Bill slide number one. Note the specific slides has animated bullet points that build. Now moving on to build slide number two with his own animated bullet points. The illusion is that it looks like we never left slide one because the elements are exactly in the same place. 

Note will cover slide transitions later in this video. We do not want transitions here. We want the illusion that is the same slide. Just the inside elements are changing. And now build slide number three. And at the end of this bill slide, I’ve added a hidden magic trick. The return arrow is a hyperlink to a specific slide that is farther in the sequence of slide. 

Once we click it you will take us to the other location. So we just saw how to create three individual slides that appears as one slide with dynamic content. Do note that there is an intentional issue with these three slides. Slide number three failed to do all capitalization on the word customize. 

Remember when creating a sequence of bill slide always be consistent. Hyperlink actions. Let’s see how to build that magic trick of jumping around inside the live slide presentation timeline with mouse clicks. The clickable hyperlink can be any object word or phrase on the slide. Watch how this mouse icon takes us to the first title slide. 

And then we can click on it again to return back. 

Make sure you conceptually how this is done and then we’ll do it on a real slide. You need to make sure that the item whether it be a word or an icon is already on the page. Then you’re going to go to the Insert menu. You’re going to select the action button and you’ll see this pop-up that lets us add in action based on either a click or a mouse. 

Let’s go ahead and do it. So let’s exit out of the presentation. We’re now in the PowerPoint tool. I’m going to find a slide to work on. Let’s do this one and add the actual hyperlink to this icon here. We go to insert we choose action and here we have two choices mouse click or mouse over. 

It’s important to recognize no matter which one you choose they only work when you’re running a live presentation. They don’t work when you’re on the canvas here. Once you do make the choice you have the ability to choose an action. Let’s take a look at the list that we’re Going to hyperlink to is usually the drop-down you could go to a variety of different locations or you could actually point to an outside file or even a video but in our case I’m going to go down there and choose a slide specifically from this presentation. 

So, let’s test it out. We do need to start the slideshow. Let’s win this live show we click on the icon. And this hyperlinked icon takes us to the main first line where I had a waiting icon premade to take us back to this location. So you see we can use hyperlinks as a clever way to add dynamic jumping around within our presentation. 

Here’s a pro trick. Quick starting a slideshows. A major noise with PowerPoint and building hyperlings or animations is to test you need to go to the slideshow menu and by default that walks you through from the very beginning. When you only want to test that specific slide. What a waste of time. 

So, here’s some pro tricks. One possibly would be to go to the slideshow menu instead of choosing from beginning choose from current slide. The problem here is that after testing and when you exit out you now. Have to click your menu to go back to animation. And that is still one click too many. 

You could however go to the very very top and you’ll see in this shortcut ribbon that there is a slideshow icon so that you can click on that from wherever you’re at and start the slideshow but it’s going to start from the beginning again. No. So here’s the pro trick. 

Add a shortcut to the top ribbon. Let me show you how click on the customize update side down arrow choose more commands from there switch from popular commands to the slideshow tab within there, you need to locate that you want to start from this slide add it to the menu. 

In my case, I already have it there because I love this choice and you’ll see that we now have a new icon on the top that when we click on that it’s, Starts right from the slide that we’re in. No jumping around it’s ready to go and that is totally cool. 

If however you have some extra memory space in your head, you could just memorize shift F5 as a keyboard shortcut to start your presentation from wherever you’re at. Hidden slides. This is not a Microsoft named feature but a technique that I use. Hidden’s lives are not part of my standard presentation, but ones that I hide at the end of the presentation. 

I have them for just in case. Just in case someone asked me a question and I want to visually answer it with the slide. Just in case I need to go deeper into topic by someone’s request. Normally, I’d like to keep my presentations as short as possible and sharing only the necessary information but I also want to be prepared for someone that wants a deeper understanding just in case. 

Some simple just to put these slides at the end. But the cool trick is to make them seamlessly available when needed by just a click of the mouse. We’ve already covered action hyperlinks, so you have all the tools. Now, you just need to use your imagination to make it happen. 

Look more closely at our example. See how we could create the two extra slides hide them at the end and then create an action hyperlink based on the slide title to jump to these out of order and then with the returning action hyperlink bounce back to the slide we started from. 

Just a couple of tips. Always have a way to return back to the home page or the agenda page or the page you came from or you could create a dynamic page to launch from. In this example, we could have four scenario slides depending on how the presentation is going you could make a mid-mitting call to only show say scenario three. 

The trick is to make sure that you have an action hyperlink to return back to the master discussion slide. 

Master slide tricks. If you really get into creating these hyper slide jumps, you may find that you’re putting these action link hyperlinks on every page. I can save you time by slipping into the master slide view. I’ve talked about master’s lies in our previous training sessions and have a special power-up training video just on this topic alone. 

But the quick refresher is that the master’s light is the style page that can control all the pages. One change in the master slide and it ripples through all of the slides. Watch let’s put this in action. I’m gonna slip out of the presentation view and go into the PowerPoint tool. 

From here, we’re gonna switch to view and go over to slide master view and here we’re seeing the master slide components the very very top we see a larger slide compared to the other ones down the left side of the screen. This is the master slide meaning anything that I put on this slide here will reflect it on every single other slide. 

We also are showing the various templates below and if I choose for example the two content layout any changes. I make to this smaller slide will only show up on the two content templates. So let’s test this out. I’m gonna go up to the very top master slide and we want to put some words in here that we could use as a hyperlink. 

I’m gonna go ahead and insert a text box my text box can actually be anything I want in this case here. I’m gonna use the word master just to be know that we put this on the master’s line make sure it’s positioned on the slide itself. And our goal was not just to put a word on every slide but to turn it into a hyperlink action, so we’ll go into action we’re gonna choose hyperlink and choose a very specific slide that we want to jump to this case here, we’re just choosing a slide out a random here when I click on okay and okay, that means that this word master is now a hyperlink piece to the animation practice slide I can now go up there and we can test this out by starting the presentation out once we start the presentation and start walking through it we’re gonna find that the master slide shows up. 

On every single page and if I click on master you will then take us to that specific strategy page and you’re also gonna see the word master on our whole presentation the rest of this training session. I escaped out. I’m not gonna go back to slide master and I have to close the master view to be able to get back into our regular presentation that we can make changes. 

Non-linear presentations. Based on the tricks, we just learned you can now create a dynamic non-linear PowerPoint slide deck it would give you the freedom to go to any slide at any time just create one central slide with pointers to all the other slides and include a returned hyperlink to come back to the main central slide this is a very dynamic way to conduct a meeting unlike any straight line presentation you’ve seen over and over and over again, but it does require you to be the circus free master. 

To run the show. PowerPoint sections this tool of sections is not necessarily needed and it’s not visible to your audience, but it does bring some unique capabilities, especially for presentations with many slides. Let’s break out of our screenshow and take a look at how sections of work by going to view and we’re going to go to slide sorter here we can see all of our slides actually we may want to see more slides by zooming down from the bottom corner so that we can see a selection of our slides and you’ll see that I already have some sections in place but where I can click next to the section name to collapse or expand the area let’s do this, let’s choose a few slides that we want to create a new section. 

I’m going to highlight the strategy section. I’ve got a Whole. Of all my shift key and click again. I have a bunch created then I’ll go ahead and choose add section so I choose add section. I need to give it a name so in this case here, let’s call it strategy slides we’ll choose rename and now they’ve been grouped together and this is where the magic starts to come into place not only can I group them together, but I can now start to add specific designs to apply it only to the section and not the rest of the presentation, let’s take a look. 

I could use sections as a way to rearrange the presentation by moving a section up and down within the presentation itself. But my favorite part of sections is the ability to change the design of just that one section. Normally when I go to design and choose a new color scheme or template it impacts the whole presentation, but here I can just change a specific section and there’s advantages to changing a session color. 

It is great if I want my audience to know that I’m changing topics or if I’m doing a team presentation we’re changing presenter remember. I use this as a transition to the special techniques earlier with my wickedly green title slide. Use your imagination of how you might apply it. 

Animation. Here we’re gonna learn how to use your animation powers for good. Or for cheesy animation can help center the attention of the viewer on what you want them to focus on or if you use badly distract them from what you’re talking about. So what does animation let’s work with text animation or specifically bullet point builds, as you can see. 

I have my first set of bullet points displayed so that you can’t see the rest the page now we focus on just the text bullet points this example. I brought them as a single major bullet point with the three sub bullet points, they’re all related and this is fine to show all three at once you could elect to bring them in one line at a time, but I find that I can get lost in the middle of a presentation. 

My ability to walk and chew gum is challenge so it follows that I can struggle presenting my slide deck in front of a crowd and my boss and forgetting to click the advanced button to bring up each and every line. I’d like to group them together and focus on what I’m saying and we’ll see how we can do this in a moment. 

Objects can also be animated to make a stage entrance when you want to drive home a point and stand out like a yellow umbrella. There are so many options when how what to do after you move on the screen see how the colors of the previous scene bullet points have received with the lighter blue. 

So many choices. I’ve created a separate training video on a deep dive into animation, but let’s do a run through now. So I’m running out of the presentation view and what I want to do is see how we can animate these text bullet points. I’m gonna do it as a group so you’ll see that we selected the whole group. 

I’m gonna go to animation and I want to choose something that jumps out not one. I would normally as a presentation both shoes fly in so you can see once I click it it previews as it’s gonna go take a note that it’s gonna take five clicks and go through this whole collection that number is important five and we’ll come back and see why you’ll see that the first text is a collection right what is For text with a three sub bullets we can go in there and make additional changes. 

The first part of the effects option will be based off the type of animation you chose in this case in fly in so we can choose the direction of flying the second part has to do with how they appear on the sequence in our case here, we have the first set showing up as paragraphs meaning each bullet and sub bullets shows up as a collection, but we can fix that I’m gonna go into something new called the animation pane and from here we can see all five click items and how they’re grouped together, the first click is gonna bring up the first four items. 

On the highlight that group. I’m now gonna go in and I’m going to right click and tell it to start on click and watch what happens we just went from five clicks to eight clicks meaning that the first four items line my line needs to be clicked through the presentation, let’s take a look start at the presentation from this slide. 

Click second click third click fourth click fifth click six is a group seven other group and the eighth would be the let’s do it so you can see here that we control that we can actually go into some very specific controls in this case here with that group. I now want to say that after the item has been shown we want to change the color to dim out to a lighter blue and we click on okay, you’ll see that instead of being black after it’s been seen the next slide will come in black and the previous ones will turn to the lighter blue, that is pretty cool. 

And as I said before we can work with objects too and select the object I’m going to go ahead and choose one of the animation let’s again go over the top by choosing grow and turn and when we look at the animation pane, we’ll see that picture number four is the very last thing the anime let’s drag it up so that it shows up between the say the second and third bullet point and let’s test it out. 

Click one. Click to and here she can be object like three click four continue on with our various pull up points. There is much more that can be done, so do look for a separate power up training that’s dedicated to animation. But do show some restraint. Too much action on your screen will make you look like an amateur and too many different styles look chaotic stick with one. 

Or two slicediles and avoid what I’m showing you now making your presentation dance does not make it sing with authority, you will not make up for a lack of strong ideas always match your style with your audience do feel free to have some fun and not professional setting our previous topic of animation was all about what is happening on a single slide. 

Transitions are all about what happens between slides by default. PowerPoint just does a hard cut between slides replacing one after another but you can do a more subtle set of cuts or transitions between slides with this tool. This can be done almost in any view but I like to work in the slide sort of view as this shows the presentation as a collection of slides break out of our presentation and we’ll switch over to the slide sort of view select a slide and then go to the transition menu and yes you can flip that around with a single slide when you choose a transition it will come as you move from the previous slide to the one you’re highlighting. 

Let’s try one out and test it out. I’m gonna go with one of the over-the-top choices here. Let’s test all over we’ll go up into a presentation preview and sure enough bingo there it falls down like I say it’s all over the top but you can see that the transition is as you go between slides. 

It is that simple other than the variety of choices there’s very little else to customize other than duration which can be sped up or slowed down based off the effect note that the presets speeds will vary based on the sledge of effect if you find one that fits then select apply to all to make it stick but be careful remember our earlier example of creating build slides those five slides, we wanted to have hard cuts to give the illusion of a single slide. 

So in that case would not want to apply all the transitions. One of my items take a quick look at the slide sort of view and you can see a small shooting star emblem on the bottom right corner indicating that either a slide transition or an optic animation has been applied to that slide. 

Go ahead and click on the shooting star and see a miniature preview of all of the animations. 

Transitions, and of course, I’ll be preaching restraint on transitions. In fact, if you look at the drop-down box for transitions, you will see the categories of subtle exciting dynamic content. Stick to settle. The other ones can be over the top like Ferris wheel, which makes me dizzy. Lastly, be careful and sharing on video conferences. 

Almost all of the online meeting software tools be a zoom Microsoft team meetings. WebEx will let you share your desktop application, and if you’re presenting PowerPoint online, you need to plan accordingly. Here’s some things to consider designing your PowerPoint. You don’t control the way people are watching your presentation. 

They can be on their iPad or TV or tiny laptop or tinier smartphone so design with big fonts and beware of detailed grass and tables. You don’t control their bandwidth or even your upload speed so stay away from fancy color schemes that use gradient backgrounds because those may no longer look quite right? 

Look at this, I selected a crazy old for the top background and even in this YouTube video with high definition the gradation may look strange as we go from green to blue. If I try to get fancier maybe top prettier it starts to look bad because it pixelization. So be aware of that for remote presentations. 

Attempt to keep it simple. And if you really need to show details and it’s important that they see your presentation consider saving it as a PDF and emailing it in a band. But be warned People may skim it in advance and not pay as close attention when you’re presenting it live because you no longer control what they see. 

Closing agenda. So, there you go. We now have many new tools in our PowerPoint power up toolbox to better illustrate our ideas. And as you can see, we’ve come full circle with our closing slide that summarizes all that we’ve accomplished as this was one of our tips to have a closing agenda and a book in closing slide. 

So now you’re closer to becoming a PowerPoint master. There you go, follow these techniques to put the finishing touches on your professional presentation. You got questions leave them in the comments below. And if you want more power-up training videos, press the like button and subscribe to follow me on YouTube. 

Subscriptions help support the channel. And if you want to copy of the actual presentation used in this video, so as to better study how we did these tricks visit us at http://power-up.training and download the PowerPoint file. Next up is the final session in our series give me a professional PowerPoint presentation. 

I will show you the final steps to make sure that your presentation shines the brightest in front of your audience click here. Or start the complete PowerPoint training by clicking the playlist by clicking over here. And tell them.