10 Tips for Memorial PowerPoint Presentations

Remembering a Special Person in Your Life

No one likes to attend a memorial service. It is difficult to realize that a special person is lost to you. But, this can also be a time to share favorite memories of the beloved one with family and friends.

Many memorial receptions today will show an on-going PowerPoint presentation with old photos of your loved one and all the happy times that he or she shared with you and others.

Use these ten tips below as a guide to getting organized and creating a wonderful memory for the family to watch again and again.

01
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First Things First — Make a Checklist

Writing to do list
Savas Keskiner/E+/Getty Images

You are eager and think you are all set to go to start creating this PowerPoint slide show. However, it is best to sit down, go through your ideas and make a checklist of what to do and what to gather for this milestone occasion.

02
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Start Collecting Important Memories

Think about what you would like to share with the family as well as all the guests. Make it a true "trip down memory lane" by searching out:

  • photos as a child or young person
  • photos with a loving spouse, during the courting stage and through the years that followed
  • photos of important dates in his/her life -- (graduation, first job, first child, special vacations...)
  • scan photos if you do not have digital copies
  • scan any precious mementos he/she had if you can get your hands on them — (theater program from high school, dried rose...)
  • scan a love letter from their partner
  • a favorite poem
  • a favorite religious passage
  • gather special songs, such as oldies music, classical music, Christian/Gospel music

The list is only as long as your imagination to make this a very special presentation.

03
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Optimize the Pictures - A Best Use Practice

Optimizing is a term used to indicate a change to a photo to reduce it in both visual size and file size, for use in other programs. You need to optimize these photos before you insert them into your presentation. This goes for scans of things other than photos (that old love letter for example). Scanned images are often huge.

This tool has been around for the last few versions of PowerPoint. The Photo Album tool. This makes it quick and easy to add one or several photos to your presentation at the same time. Effects such as frames and captions are ready and available to jazz it up to your liking. More »

05
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Compress Photos to Reduce Overall File Size

If you didn't know how or didn't want to bother with optimizing your photos, (see step 3 above) you have one more chance at reducing the overall file size of your final presentation. You can use the Compress Photos option. An added bonus is that you can compress one photo or all the photos in the presentation. By compressing the photos, the presentation will run more smoothly.

06
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Colorful Backgrounds or Design Templates/Themes

Whether you want to go the easy route and simply change the background color of the presentation or decide to coordinate the whole show using a colorful design theme is a simple matter of a few clicks.

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Use Transitions to Smoothly Change From One Slide to Another

Make your slide show move smoothly from one slide to another by applying transitions. These are the flowing movements while the change is happening. If your presentation has different topics addressed (such as the young years, dating years, and just plain fun) then it might be an idea to apply a different transition to a separate section, to set it apart. Otherwise, it is best to limit the number of movements, so that the audience is focused on the show and not on what movement will happen next.

08
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Soft Music in the Background

You probably know the loved one's favorite song(s) or music. This will truly bring back happy memories if you play some of those songs/hymns in the background while the slide show is in progress.  You can add more than one song to the presentation and start and stop on specific slides for effect, or have one song play throughout the whole slide show.

09
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Automate the Memorial Presentation

After the service is probably when this slide show will play. This can be set it up on a monitor to loop repeatedly during the reception or wake following the service.

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How Was the Rehearsal?

No show would ever go live without a rehearsal. PowerPoint has a slick tool that lets you sit back and watch the presentation and click the mouse when you want the next thing to happen — next slide, next picture to appear and so on. PowerPoint will record these changes and then you know it will run by itself — smoothly, not too fast and not too slow. What could be easier?

Now it is time to mingle with other guests while everyone around you rekindles memories of days gone by with this special person.