10 Tips for a Very Special Graduation Presentation

Things you may not have thought of

Long before graduation time rolls around, consider what to include in your graduation presentation. The biggest part of a graduation presentation is photographs.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010, PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Photo Wish List

Include lots of photos in your graduation presentation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Baby or early year photos of students.
  • Current photos of students.
  • Photos taken through the school year of individual students and student groups.
  • If students have been at the school for many years, a through the years retrospective is always fun.
  • Class trips or school activity photos.
  • Photos of teachers.

Organize All the Files for the Presentation

As you create your graduation presentation, save the presentation, photo, music, and sound files in one folder on your computer. That way everything is easy to find (for you and the computer) for later use. This is also helpful if you transport this presentation to another computer.

Compress Photos

Optimize your photos to reduce the visual size and the file size. Graduation presentations made with programs such as PowerPoint are often filled with photos.

These types of presentations often monopolize computer resources due to the size and number of graphics used. As a result, the program may slow down or crash if the photos are too large.

To optimize photos in your presentation:

  1. Select an image in the PowerPoint presentation.

  2. Go to Picture Tools Format.

  3. Select Compress Pictures.

    Compress pictures in PowerPoint
  4. Clear the Apply only to this picture checkbox.

    Compress all photos
  5. Select OK.

Enhance Your Presentation With a Colorful Background

Change the theme of your graduation presentation

Color always catches everyone's eye. Choose any image as a background or apply a design template or design theme for your graduation presentation.

Add Movement to Your Slides to Keep the Audience Focused

Add animations in PowerPoint

In most presentations, it is wise to limit the number of animations in your slides or movie to keep the audience focused on the topic. Graduation presentations are one of the few times that all eyes will be on the presentation due to the number of photos used. Lots of motion makes it fun and enjoyable all around.

Apply slide transitions to add motion as slides change from one to another. Apply custom animations to add interesting movements to otherwise static pictures and text.

Music is a Must

Insert audio in PowerPoint

What would a graduation presentation be without some relevant music in the background? Start and stop music on specific slides for effect, or play one song throughout the whole presentation. You can add music or sound to any PowerPoint presentation.

Add Rolling Credits to PowerPoint Presentations

Lots of people and resources were involved in making this wonderful graduation presentation. Every feature presentation has a list of rolling credits at the end. Why not this one? It's easy and is a fun way to thank all those involved in making it special.

Automate the Graduation Presentation

You will want to sit back and enjoy the graduation presentation with the rest of the audience. Set timings on the slides and the animations so that they advance all on their own.

How Was the Rehearsal?

Make sure your slideshow works the way you expect. It's a simple matter of watching the presentation and clicking the mouse when you want the next slide, transition, or animation to appear. PowerPoint records these changes. Rehearsing the graduation presentation allows you to put the right timing into your presentation so that it all runs smoothly; not too fast and not too slow.

  1. Go to Slide Show.

  2. Select Rehearse Timings.

    Rehearse timings in PowerPoint
  3. Begin your presentation and click on each slide when you want to move to the next one.

  4. When you reach the end of the slideshow, select Yes to save the timings.