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How To: PowerPoint 2019 © R. Craig Collins, 2005-2020

This is intended to be a starting point to using PowerPoint; some more advanced features are mentioned as we go.
See also https://support.office.com/en-us/office-training-center

Free Book
PowerPoint and the Art of Presentation Graphics (pdf),
a free to download book on PowerPoint
(under construction, check back often for updates

PowerPoint Tutorials from https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/powerpoint/
A quick list of GCF Global tutorials (pdf)

PowerPoint Tips (to Creating a sample PowerPoint)
If you have already read this, you way watch a video on PowerPoint or read a pdf exceprt from my PowerPoint book: PowerPoint Activity (pdf)

Presentation graphics, such as PowerPoint can help people better understand what they hear, by adding visual reinforcement. Many people retain information according to the following rates:
10% of what they read
20% of what they hear
30% of what they see
70% of what they see and hear...

... so by adding a PowerPoint show, you can increase retention, as well as giving yourself a guide through the speaking. (Don't look over your shoulder to read it, though!)

The parts of a presentation:

  1. Title Slide Contains title of the presentation, Name of presenter including their title, organization, and date.
  2. Topics or Intro or Objectives - let them know what you will cover
  3. Body of the Presentation Contains slides of information for presentation, one main idea per slide. You may use graphs, pictures, etc. for clarity, or interest... if not over done!
  4. Body of the Presentation – Contains slides of information for presentation, one main idea per slide. You may use graphs, pictures, etc. for clarity, or interest... if not over done!
  5. Body of the Presentation – Contains slides of information for presentation, one main idea per slide. You may use graphs, pictures, etc. for clarity, or interest... if not over done!
  6. Conclusion Summarizes the presentation and makes a point.
Presentation Tips: Two acronyms that pertain to presentation design:
KIS (Keep It Simple)
CCC (Clutter Creates Confusion)

When saving a presentation in PowerPoint, the filename can be a maximum of 255 characters. The extension of .ppt or pptx is added to the filename. You may also save as a PowerPoint Slide Show, .pps or ppsx, which does not require the user to have PowerPoint.

See also PowerPoint Tips, a step by step pdf

Sample PowerPoint

Begin by opening PowerPoint; press Start browse, or click in the Search bar type PowerPoint... when located select the icon
Start PowerPoint Start-Search PowerPoint

Select Blank Presentation, to get the following screen
PowerPoint New Presentation

I prefer to keep my hands on the keyboard, and to maximize my time. Rather than using the standard view, I prefer Outline view.
Next to the lightbulb icon PowerPoint New Presentation at the top right, you may type Outline view, or by clicking the Normal View icon TWICE.. Normal icon

Click next to the small box in the upper left hand window, and start typing... what you type here shows up in the main window.

locate and click the Normal icon twice   

In outline view, you may leave your hands on the keyboard, and not have to reach for the mouse.
Three rules:
At the end of each line, you press the enter key, and it stays at that level of the outline.
If you wish to increase the indent into the outline, press [Tab].
If you wish to decrease the indent of the outline, press [Shift]+[Tab].
Yes there are icons to increase and decrease the indent, but that can interfere with your train of thought when trying to quickly created your presentation.

Title slide

You should always start your presentation with a slide that lets folks know who you are and what you are covering.

Professions typically are making an assertion that they will support... in our simple presentation we'll just have a meaningful title.

To duplicate what I have so far, again click next to the 1[] top left, and type: My First Presentation.

Of course, a better title would actually tell the people what the presentation was going to be about. Use your arrow keys, and move to get back to the beginning of the My First Presentation line. Just as Word can edit text, PowerPoint can to; replace the My First Presentation text with Making a Burger. Press the [Enter] key, then the [Tab] key, to increase the indent… then type your name. You should see a preview similar to the image above.

Hit the enter key to start a new line.

We don’t want to be at this level any longer, so to decrease the indent of the outline, press [Shift]+Tab]. This should create a new slide.
Note: when at the highest level, pressing the [Enter] key automatically inserts a new slide, using the default type: Title and Text (with bullets). You may also choose other types of slides by clicking the New Slide button.

A normal outline looks like this:

I. Major topic
a. subtopic
b. subtopic
i. detail
ii. detail
II Next topic
a. sub topic
i. detail

and so on.

In Word, when using an outline number list, or when in PowerPoint's outline view,
[Enter] starts a new entry at the same level you are on
[Tab] moves the current entry 'right' one level, such as from major topic to subtopic.
[Shift] [Tab] moves the current line left, such as from subtopic to major topic.

(You may also use the New Slide button, or the increase and decrease buttons on the Home tab.)

PowerPoint SLide and indent

So if you are at the slide level, [Enter] makes a new slide, and [Tab] moves from major topic to subtopic, etc.

Make sure your cursor is in the outline, next to 2[].

This will be our overview slide, which briefly describes everything you want to present.

Some folks think of this as the mapping slide... which shows how the presentation will progress; at any point you need to let the audience know what you going to discuss, to prepare them to better retain the material.

For this simple presentation, type Overview to add a title to the slide.
Press the [Enter] key, then the [Tab] key to move from the title to the bulleted list, then type
Get a bun. Press the [Enter] key.

This moves the next line of the bulleted list. Now type Cook Patty. This creates a new entry at the same level. Press the [Enter] key, to start a new line, and then type by Put Patty on Bun.
This would be a good time to save your presentation, perhaps calling it yourname-test.pptx.

This is what you should have, so far.

PowerPoint slides

We are now ready for slide 3. As always, at the end of a line, click Enter.
There are several ways to lay out slides, but it is important to limit each slide to one main idea, and not overload it with text. Some folks use a slide with an assertion related to the first topic, a graphic that lays items to be discussed, and will identify key assumptions at the bottom.
In this simple presentation, we'll use talking points.

Make slide 3 look like:
Get a bun
  Open Package
  Take out bun
  Put bun on plate

Notice that we took our major topic from the overview slide, and just added details.

Make slide 4 look like:
Cook Patty
  Open Package
  Take out patty
  Put in Microwave
      Follow cooking instructions

Make slide 5 look like:
Put Patty on Bun
  Using a spatula, remove patty
  Place patty on bun
  Add lettuce and catsup
       Add additional items to taste

At the end of your presentation, you need a summary... perhaps remind them of the key points you made, and the deliver what you hope they learned. Again, it could be a summary statement, a graphic that puts it all together, and perhaps a request for questions, but again, we will be using talking points in this simple presentation. Make slide 6 look like:

 Follow 3 simple steps
    Get a bun
    Cook patty
    Put patty on bun
Making Burgers is easy
  *unless you have high cholesterol

The top part is the recap



This part is the conclusion.
PS this part is a really BAD conclusion
in the future you should do better

Additional sound effects, movies, pictures, etc. can be added from the Insert menu. More on this later.

The next step is to know where the presentation is to be delivered, and make sure you lay your presentation out so you entire audience can read it as you discuss it. For this presentation we are going to make some assumptions:
1) you have the typical lousy projector, lights have to be dimmed for folks to see what you have, and
2) it is a deep room with some folks fairly far away from you.

To deal with these two issues, we will use a dark background with light text for contrast, and big, easy to read fonts. Choose the Design tab, and select a theme. Experiment with some samples, I like Damask, but none are really good.


Selecting Damask
PowerPoint Design tab

Return to the Home tab.
Now, let's run the presentation. Press [F5] to start from the beginning, or click the presentation icon in the lower corner to start the presentation from the current slide.

Okay, not bad, but a little boring. And, the font is too small. On the View tab, choose Slide Master...

View>Slide Master
Slide Master

...and select the Title and Content slide... the one below the title

Slide Master

Highlight the text; select the Home tab, and increase the size of all the text items by clicking the [A^] button... I like the first line font size to be between 36 and 40.

Slide Master

Now the text can be read from the back of an auditorium. Click Slide Master and close the tab.

Note: you can also change from Wide screen slide to the traditional Standard slide size on the Design tab.

Now let's change to Slide sorter view. In the lower left hand corner, choose the four box icon.

From here, you may right click and hide a slide, or drag a slide from one place to another, or apply transitions. Select a slide or slides, then on the Transitions tab, choose a transition. I like Fade

Slide Sorter
As with Word, in order to add images, you use Insert/Image/from ClipArt... to add a picture of a hamburger on the first or last slide,
double click the slide to go back to the Outline view for that slide, then insert an image.

Note, you may select Commons images that you are free to use.

Additional tricks can be done with custom animation. Go to the last slide, making sure you are in normal outline view; click the text box, you should a box with dashed lines...
THEN choose the Animation tab, and select Appear.

This will bring in items a paragraph at a time, instead of all at once.

PowerPoint Animation

Note for academic presentations, you also need to include your references... making a burger does not require these citations.

Finally, when printing, you may print slides, handouts, or notes. If printing handouts, I choose 6 slides per page, and print in Pure Black and White for the best results.

PowerPoint Print

It might be easier to see all the options by looking at a previous version


PowerPoint Print options


Save your presentation as yourname-test.pptx

Presentation Tips
pdf version of image above

See also PowerPoint Tips, a step by step pdf

You may watch a short video on that illustrates parts of the activity (earlier version of PowerPoint, but most steps are similar).

PowerPoint Lab

See YouTube Video Make a folder called with the proper folder name, depending on the class
   Recreate "Making a burger" exactly as shown in link above, name yourname-test.pptx  
   For some classes, you will also create another presentation, but don't submit your research project topic
   Pick a fun topic and save as yourname-show.pptx,
Follow the same steps as you used in yourname-test...
include slide design, image, transitions, and animation
   Zip the folder that containst the presentation(s) and submit as directed