Fortunately for both presenters and their hapless victims, various add-ons are available to make presentations more functional and compelling.
The following tools can take your slide shows well past their natural affinity for coercing the passive consumption of droning information. Here are a few that might renew yourfaith in add-ons.
PowerMockup is an add-on for PowerPoint 2007/2010 that lets you create wireframes and design mockups for apps and Web sites. It comes with 89 interface elements and 104 wireframe icons, which you can edit and manipulate using PowerPoint’s built-in design tools.
PowerMockup integrates with PowerPoint by adding a Ribbon tab. Clicking Show Stencil Library opens a movable/sizeable pane that features various categories of shapes and icons for building your mockups. The search bar at the top provides an extremely fast way to round up the stencils you need. PowerMockup also lets you import stencils, create custom categories, and add your own stencils to the library.
You can buy a single license for $39.95, a small team license (five users) for $119.95, and a team license (10 users) for $199.90. A trial version is also available. Although it comes with a limited selection of interface shapes, you can still get a good idea of how well the add-on might serve your needs.
Office Timeline 2010, also designed for PowerPoint 2007/2010, lets you create schedules and timelines for project planning and tracking purposes. The big selling point with this one is simplicity, both in building a timeline and in interpreting what’s represented on it. And it’s free.
When you launch PowerPoint after installing Office Timeline, it will display a tutorial slide show that runs through the Timeline basics, followed by a series of useful sample timelines. It’s worth buzzing through the tutorial just to get a sense of what you can do with the tool.
Like PowerMockup, the Office Timeline tool adds a tab to the PowerPoint Ribbon. To create a timeline, switch to this tab and click New to launch the New Timeline Wizard. You pick a style (Standard, Gantt, Phases, Intervals) and then the wizard prompts you to enter project milestones and intervals, with various formatting options along the way. After you’ve created your timeline, you can use the tools on the Timeline tab to fine-tune it. The results are bright, splashy, and easy to read.
YawnBuster is designed to interject a little life into your presentations via group activities, polls, brainstorming features, quizzes, and other audience participation ploys. It’s slick and nicely designed. Once it’s installed, you can access a menu of options from PowerPoint’s Add-Ins tab, insert a Flash-based activity onto a slide, and then tweak the activity to suit your needs.
The trial version is based on the Essential Pack . The full versions of various packs are available from the YawnBuster site, and you can purchase them individually ($99 for the Essential, Competitive Games, and Training Games Packs; $79 for the Business Activities Pack) or get them bundled for $299.
However, there are many other add-ons for PowerPoint, these are the few that I know and tested. If you have any, you can share it with us. Hope it works for you?
Get Technology Tips, reviews and info delivered directly to your inbox by submitting your email to our site. Thanks for reading.