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Book Review: PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit by Geetesh Bajaj and Echo Swinford

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Geetesh Bajaj and Echo Swinford are both Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs. Both have written excellent books detailing how to get the most out of PowerPoint. Now they've joined forces to show you how to give your presentations a makeover. PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit contains eight case studies of presentations that need some help. Each presentation is OK as it has been done, but Bajaj and Swinford show how, in just a few steps, each presentation can be made better.

The book starts off with a section detailing how PowerPoint 2007 differs from previous versions. There are a lot of changes that have been made, especially the Ribbon menu interface, and it's important for people who have used previous versions of PowerPoint to understand how these changes affect how you use PowerPoint 2007.

Once the basics have been covered, the case studies start. Bland corporate presentations, basic and boring school project presentations, kiosk displays — they're all covered, and all made over. The addition of Themes in PP 2007 helps designers a lot — you can give a consistent look to your PowerPoint and other Office documents, and Bajaj and Swinford use Themes to great advantage in this book.

Of course, the book includes a CD-ROM. Each makeover, both before and after slides, is included, as well as many templates and themes, images, and PowerPoint tools. The CD content is valued at over $100, so it's certainly worth the price of the book just to get the CD!

But the book is valuable in itself. You can read and read instructions on how to do something, but sometimes it doesn't really sink in until you actually do something on your own. You can sit down with the 'before' slides in this book and follow along step-by-step with the book, or you can try your hand at doing it yourself, using the techniques you learn in the book. And then you can get to work on all the dull presentations you've got on your hard drive, kicking them up a few notches.

Obviously, PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit assumes you know how to use PowerPoint, and that you have a copy of PP 2007 of your own. But PowerPoint users of all skill levels can learn something from Bajaj and Swinford.

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