Pro Tip: Create a Callout in PowerPoint

Callouts are visual elements used in presentations to draw attention to or provide additional information about a specific part of a slide. They are extremely useful for highlighting key points, providing definitions or explanations, and improving clarity.

This article will teach you how to easily create different types of callouts in PowerPoint to enhance your presentations.

Why Use Callouts?

Here are some of the biggest reasons to use callouts in your PowerPoint presentations:

  • Draw attention to the most important elements on a busy slide
  • Explain or define terms, graphs, images, etc.
  • Add commentary to provide extra context
  • Improve clarity by isolating key points from extraneous details
  • Emphasize ideas you want your audience to remember

Callouts help focus your audience’s attention, improve comprehension of complex topics, and reinforce your core message.

Types of Callouts

PowerPoint offers several preset callout layouts and styles to choose from:

  • Speech bubbles – Oval or cloud-shaped callouts resembling comic book speech bubbles. Great for quotes or testimonials.
  • Rectangular – Classic box callouts for definitions, notes, etc.
  • Circular – Subtle circular callouts to highlight specific chart data points or parts of an image.

You can also create custom callout shapes using lines, arrows, circles, squares, stars, etc. This allows you to make callouts tailored to your content.

How to Insert a Callout

Adding callouts in PowerPoint presentations only takes a few simple steps:

  1. Navigate to the slide where you want to add the callout
  2. Go to the Insert tab and click Shapes in the Illustrations group
  3. Select the desired callout layout or shape
  4. Click and drag to draw the callout on the slide
  5. Customize the size, shape, color, etc. to suit your needs
  6. Double click inside the callout to add text

Here is a more detailed walkthrough:

Step 1: Navigate to the Correct Slide

First, navigate to the specific slide where you want to insert a callout. This is the slide that contains the element you want the callout to highlight or describe.

Step 2: Access the Shapes Menu

Go to the Insert tab at the top of PowerPoint. In the Illustrations group, click the Shapes button to open the menu of shapes.

Insert Shapes

This menu contains the preset callout layouts as well as lines, basic shapes, arrows, etc. you can use to create custom callouts.

Step 3. Select a Callout

Scroll down and click one of the callouts in the Callouts section. You can hover your mouse over a callout to preview what it will look like.

Some popular callout options include:

  • Oval callout
  • Rectangular callout
  • Cloud callout

Alternatively, you can select a simple shape like a circle or arrow to create a custom callout.

Select Callout

Step 4. Draw the Callout

Click and drag your mouse on the slide to draw the callout shape you selected.

Position and size the callout appropriately to highlight the relevant content on the slide. Make sure to leave enough blank space in the callout for text.

Step 5. Customize the Callout (Optional)

Now you can customize the appearance of your callout by changing its shape, color, size, etc.

For example, give the callout a bright color to make it stand out. Or resize the callout by clicking and dragging the sizing handles on the sides and corners.

Format Callout

Match the callout’s style to fit your presentation’s theme.

Step 6. Add Callout Text

Finally, double click inside the callout box to add text. Type the explanatory text, definition, quote, etc. that you want to feature inside the callout.

Format the text appropriately by changing font styles, size, color, alignment, etc.

And that’s it! The callout will now draw attention to that text and the relevant content on your slide.

Callout Design Tips

Follow these best practices when creating PowerPoint callouts:

  • Make sure callout colors stand out from the slide background
  • Use brief text – avoid lengthy paragraphs
  • Place callouts close to the content they describe
  • Limit callouts to 1 or 2 per slide
  • Match styles to your presentation theme
  • Point callout arrows accurately at their targets
  • Test callout visibility in both edit and presentation view

Well-designed callouts provide clarity without overwhelming your slides or distracting from the core content.

Examples of PowerPoint Callouts

Here are just a few examples of effective PowerPoint callouts:

1. Explain a Chart’s Key Data Point

Use a circular callout with bold text to draw the audience’s attention to the most important number in a chart or graph:

Chart Callout

2. Define Terminology

Leverage rectangular callouts to provide definitions of key terms on a slide:

Definition Callout

3. Clarify Parts of an Image

Include oval callouts with leader lines to identify and describe key components within a diagram or image:

Image Callout

4. Highlight Quotes

Feature relevant quotes inside speech bubble callouts:

Quote Callout

5. Insert Commentary

Use callouts with arrows to add explanatory notes about slide contents:

Commentary Callout

The possibilities are endless! Callouts are versatile and can be tailored to focus attention on the most important elements in any presentation.

More PowerPoint Tips

Here are a few additional PowerPoint tips related to callouts:

  • You can edit callout paths to create multi-point callouts with arrows leading to different slide elements
  • Utilize the Selection Pane to adjust callout layering and order
  • Group callouts with their corresponding shapes or images so they move together as one object
  • Animate callouts to make them appear dynamically one by one to reinforce key ideas
  • Copy and paste callouts across multiple slides to maintain consistency

Invest a few minutes in learning how to create and use callouts effectively to take your PowerPoint slides to the next level. Callouts will instantly make your presentations more engaging, informative, and memorable.