Casual Friday: Make PowerPoint the life of the party

Whether you're throwing a company party, wedding, shower, or birthday bash, PowerPoint can add life to the event. Fill a slide deck with photos culled from a year of work events or a lifetime of memorable activities and creatively arrange them in a slide deck.

You can even add movies: Just go to the Insert tab, click the dropdown arrow for Movie and select Movie from File:

Insert Video from File

If you add a movie from a Web site (a new feature in PowerPoint 2010), be sure you'll have an active Internet connection at the event. It's best to use a local movie file if you're not sure.

Parties are also a great place to use all of those wacky transition effects that would only distract your audience in a good business presentation. Make photos flutter elegantly onto the screen or dance around for comedic effect (depending on the party). This is your chance to break all of the rules, as long as doing so fits the function!

To set your presentation to romantic or party down music (something else you probably wouldn't do when presenting to your executive vice president), simply use the Audio button (located right next to the Video button on the Insert tab pictured above). This will add a player control to your slide:

Audio player in PowerPoint

Right click the highlighted box on the player control to customize or trim the clip. Then simply hit the Play button when you're ready to start the show.

When the party deck is complete, you don't even need to run it from a computer that has PowerPoint installed. Just use the Package for CD option and include the PowerPoint Viewer Package. Note: For PowerPoint 2010, you should download the viewer and package it with your presentation.

Now grab your boogie shoes, it's party time!


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