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PowerPoint—A Genealogy Tool

Every once in a while I must take some time for computer training. The time will arrive again this weekend when our local Sons of Norway genealogy study group meets.

This Saturday our leader wants to provide PowerPoint training for everyone. She hopes that familiarity with this software will encourage more people to step up to create entertaining programs for both the genealogy group and the Sons of Norway Lodge meetings.

I must confess that I am as guilty as anyone in avoiding proficiency with PowerPoint. Oh, I have had PowerPoint training in the past. I got through the training class at work about 10 years ago but never used it again. Now my knowledge is quite outdated because we did not learn how to acquire and insert images for the slides. I know how to create pages with text only.

Nowadays, the slides for an interesting presentation need illustrations. The very idea of finding and inserting these seems overwhelming to me. If I take my own photos, I will have to figure out how to transfer them to my PC and then put them in folders which I will never remember how to locate later. If I use someone else’s images, I will need to worry about acquiring the appropriate copyright permission. No wonder I do not volunteer to create PowerPoint presentations.

Other people’s testimonials do not encourage me to try it. One professional genealogist I know had done many, many valuable training classes over the years. She quit when PowerPoint became the standard of delivery. Even my son, a very tech-savvy Army officer, says he wishes PowerPoint had never been invented. His superiors want a PowerPoint for everything, and it takes up so much of my son’s time to prepare each one.

My husband/tech advisor has offered to teach the upcoming PowerPoint class for the Sons of Norway. He seems to have little trouble with it and readily volunteers to use it for speaking engagements. Perhaps he can give all of us some insight into how to create a presentation with good-looking slides.

Once armed with some ability to put together a few interesting PowerPoint slides, I might step up and provide a program or two for the Sons of Norway. I do not mind speaking to a group, and I have a lot of knowledge I could share. Perhaps others like me could do the same. I am glad our leader has this idea for encouraging us.

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