(And How to “Purge” Them From Your Presentations)
By Dr. Jon Hooper, Guest Author for iSpeakEASY
Pitfall #8: Unimaginative Show Lacking Music or Sound
Imagine a movie without any music or sound effects. Would Top Gun grab your attention if Tom Cruise took off from the aircraft carrier without the roar of the jet and the dynamic “Danger Zone” music? Most of us would consider such a movie as a step backwards in time.
Even though we love the amazing power of music and sound effects, we often present our PowerPoint shows with nothing more than our human voice accompanying the projected images.
To purge the pitfall: Incorporate appropriate music or sound effects into your shows. Inserting sound is as easy as inserting a photograph or illustration. You simply click “Insert” – “Sound” (or “Music and Sound”) – “Sound From File” – then navigate to the appropriate folder containing the file and select the file. Use the PowerPoint manual or Microsoft’s on-line help to “tweak” the music/sound to meet your specific needs.
Pitfall #9: You Present Your Show And The Sound Does Not Work:
Has the following scenario ever happened to you? You proudly get ready to demonstrate your new “sound” prowess yet when you get to the part of the show with sound, nothing happens! Panic ensues! The most common cause of this problem is that your sound files were stored in a different folder than your PowerPoint show when you inserted them into your show, yet you only brought the PowerPoint show folder with you to your presentation site.
To purge the pitfall: Before inserting a sound file into your show, copy the file to the same folder where you have been saving your PowerPoint show. Then insert the file into your show by navigating to this same folder and clicking the sound file. When you want to transfer your show to another computer in the future, simply copy the entire contents of your PowerPoint folder to a CD or thumb (USB) drive then transfer the folder to the second computer. If you do not follow this procedure, you may forget to copy your sound files because they will exist in a different folder.
Appropriate music and sound effects capture and hold the attention of your audience. Be careful not to over use such special effects, however. They should help you reach your show’s objectives, not just add glitz.
Dr. Jon Hooper has over 30 years of experience helping natural and cultural resource professionals their communication efforts. He is a professor of environmental interpretation at California State University, Chico and is the owner of Verbal Victories Communication Consulting. Contact Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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