An Introduction to PowerPoint

Learn PowerPoint right from the beginning

Are you ready to dive into PowerPoint for the first time? The process might seem intimidating, but it's quite easy to learn. Follow these suggested links that will help you understand the lingo of PowerPoint, plan a successful presentation, and execute it with ease.

Information in this article applies to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007; PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Get to Know the PowerPoint Lingo

There are terms that are specific to presentation software. The nice part is that once you learn terms specific to PowerPoint, those same terms are used in similar software programs such as Google Docs and Apple Keynote.

Learn the Keys to a Successful Presentation

Most people dive right in and write their presentation as they go. However, the best presenters don't work that way; they begin by planning out their presentations.

Woman sketching a business plan at a creative office
andresr/Getty Images

Open PowerPoint for the First Time

Your first view of PowerPoint looks pretty bland. There is one large page, called a slide. Every presentation begins with a title and PowerPoint presents you with a title slide. Simply type your text into the text boxes provided.

Go to Home and select New Slide to add a blank slide with placeholders for a title and text to your presentation. This is the default slide layout and is one of many selections. There are many options to choose from for the way you want your slide to look.

Dress Up Your Slides

If this is your first PowerPoint presentation, you may worry that it will not give the right impression. Make it easy on yourself and use one of PowerPoint's many design themes or design templates to create a presentation that is coordinated and professional. Choose a design that fits your topic, and you're ready to go.

A person giving a presentation before an audience.
PeopleImages/Getty Images

Practice Your Presentation

Your audience did not come to see your PowerPoint presentation. They came to see you. You are the presentation and PowerPoint is the helper to get your message across.

Use these tips to make an effective and successful presentation.

Insert Photos in a Presentation

Just like that old cliché says, a picture is worth a thousand words. Make an impact with your presentation by adding slides that include only pictures to make your point.

Add a Chart to Express Your Data

If your presentation is all about data, add a chart of that same data instead of text. Most people are visual learners, so seeing is believing.

Add Motion with Animations

Instill a bit of motion into your PowerPoint presentation with simple animations. Animate text so it magically appears on screen. Animate images and other graphics so they dance into view. A few animations keep your presentation alive.

Multiple images of woman dancing
Aprison Aprison/EyeEm/Getty Images

Transition from One Slide to Another

There are two ways to create motion in a PowerPoint presentation. The first is an animation. The second advance slides in an interesting manner; these are called transitions.

Was this page helpful?