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How to crop a Picture/Image/Photo into any Shape in PowerPoint

This post describes how to crop a picture/image/photo into any predefined shape in PowerPoint. The process is quite simple, but you need pay close attention to the sequence or the intersect operation will only produce the original shape without the picture.

Step-by-step Guide on cropping a picture into a shape in PowerPoint

  1. Add a picture to your slide.
  2. Add a shape to your slide. The shapes are located on the “Home” tab in PowerPoint. (See the video, if you can’t find them.)
  3. IMPORTANT: Select the picture first! Then hold the shift key and select the shape.
  4. Click on the “Format” tab of the “Drawing Tools”. (You have selected two different objects, thus you will have two different “Format” tabs.)
  5. On the “Format” tab click “Merge Shapes” on the tool bar, it is to the left and bottom. From the list select “Intersect”.
  6. You are done, now your picture should be cropped into the shape. If you have only the shape with no picture “in it”, go back to point 3, because you probably selected the shape prior to the picture.
  7. For further information, just check out the video below.

    HowTo-Video on how to crop Picture/Image/Photo into any Shape in PowerPoint

How to do a Typewriter Animation in PowerPoint

In presentation we often use (famous) quotes to make a point, highlight an idea and create some provocation. There a several ways of displaying a quote, depending on the style of your presentation and also your speaking profile an non-animated slide may be sufficient. Sometimes, you want to use a simple animation like displaying the quote slowly letter by letter to read along or let work on the audience.

The video takes about 2 minutes (see below), but for simplicity here you also can find the text description.

How to add a typewriter animation to your text

Now a step by step guide on how to add a slide with a text and typewriter animation in PowerPoint.

  1. Create a new slide, ideally with a blank layout.
  2. Add a text box or use an existing text box. Enter the quote.
  3. Go to the “Animations” tab, select the text box and click on the animation called “Appear”.
  4. Very important: Open the “Animations Pane” in the tool bar, it is located on the top quite to the right side.
  5. The “Animations Pane” should open on the right side of the screen. There should be a short list with all animations from this slide (usually just one). Click on the appropriate animation with the right mouse button. Select “Effect Options” from the list.
  6. In the open dialog windows, the third entry will be “Animate text:” select “by letter”. Optionally you can set the delay between each letter below. I recommend a 0.1 seconds delay.
  7. Confirm with clicking on “Ok”. You are done.

IMPORTANT: There is also an “Effect Options” element in the tool bar, the problem is this doesn’t open the dialog windows, thus this can be very misleading. So keep in mind that only the “Effect Options” in the “Animations Pane” provide the proper dialog windows.

How to Video on doing a letter by letter aka typewriter animation in PowerPoint

How to visualize Numbers in Presentations

Visualizing numbers in presentations or public speaking can be quite challenging. The major problem is that we are usually presenting numbers that we are very familiar with, but our audience usually isn’t. Furthermore, this gets more complicated, because the perception of numbers is usually quite off. Basically, every number beyond 1 million is usually perceived in a wrong way: “Despite their importance in public discourse, numbers in the range of 1 million to 1 trillion are notoriously difficult to understand.” [source]

In the following video I explain how to counter these problems with different approaches. The general approach is that you make your numbers relatable. This means you choose numbers your audience knows very well. Additionally, I talk about what kind of different visualization techniques you can use ranging from the formal charts, graphs and areas to the more creative approach of using symbols or even simple pictures that carry a meaning. Remember, numbers usually don’t carry any meaning with them, thus the audience will forget them quickly. It is your job as speaker and presenter to attach a certain meaning to them that makes them sticky for the audience.

For more videos about presentations, public speaking and PowerPoint, please visit my channel – presentations, presentation design and tools.

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