Mention “PowerPoint” and watch people frown. They think of boring bullet points being read aloud from slides. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. PowerPoint can deliver the picture that’s worth a thousand words.

The software doesn’t make a poor presenter good. However, in the hands of a good presenter, PowerPoint takes the presentation to another level.

This post examines three relatively new enhancements to PowerPoint. All three are available in Microsoft 365.

Morph Transition

In PowerPoint, a “transition” is the thing that happens between slides. The transition could be a curtain opening, a slide rolling up into a paper ball, or the text transforming into a paper airplane and being flung into the air. These examples are just three of many available transitions. On the whole, transitions are gimmicks. There’s one that’s significant and beautiful: Morph.

Imagine pictures, shapes, or text moving within the slide. Perhaps they also change size and even color. The Morph transition does the trick. PowerPoint gurus have used “Motion Path” animation for years. A person can spend half the morning on a motion path Morph can handle in a few seconds.

To use Morph, create a slide and put elements on it or even off the slide. Next, duplicate the slide. Both slides contain the same elements in the same positions. Third, move the elements around on the second slide. You can click and drag elements to another position, enlarge them or shrink them.

Next, click on the second slide. Click on “Transition” in the ribbon and choose “Morph.” Finally, run the slide show. Watch how beautifully the images move from one slide to the next.

Design Ideas

As you compose your next PowerPoint deck, click the “Design” menu on the ribbon. Look for the “Design Ideas” button on the far right. A panel opens down the right-hand side of the screen. 

As you compose your slides, watch what happens in that panel. PowerPoint will present several design options. If one is appealing, click on it. To change it, click on another suggestion. 

In the blog post, the video demonstrates how this technique works. Even a boring set of bullet points turns into something visually appealing.

3-D Models

This tool is easy to miss. In PowerPoint, go to the “Design” menu on the ribbon. In the “Illustrations” group, look for “3-D Models.”  From there, choose either “From a File” or “From Online Resources.” The first is faster. The second offers a far wider selection.

Choose an image and insert it into the slide. As with any image, you can control the size. The cool thing is the ability to rotate the object and view it from any angle.

Using “Morph” in conjunction with “3-D Models” makes for beautiful three-dimensional rotations. Insert an image onto the slide. Duplicate the slide and rotate the image. Duplicate that slide and rotate the image more. Continue this sequence until you have around half-a-dozen slides.

Apply the Morph transition to all of the slides and set the slides to automatically advance after a given number of seconds. Finally, run the slide show. Watch the image slowly rotate on its own as PowerPoint moves through the slides. 

Even though we’ve used a piece of software for a long time, the software generally has functions we had no idea were there. You’ve just seen three examples with PowerPoint.