MS PowerPoint

Getting Started with PowerPoint

Most people think of PowerPoint as the tool for delivering sales pitches and boring speeches at business meetings. It's even been parodied for its capability to boil big ideas down to trite summaries.

Thankfully, PowerPoint isn't just for business. You can use it for class reports, for meeting agendas and wrap-ups, and as a tool to spark ideas in a brainstorming session. You can even use it for multimedia slideshows, if you keep the text to a minimum and use creative transitions to show off digital pictures and movie clips. In fact, PowerPoint is a useful tool anytime you need to communicate ideas to an audience in a sequential manner using a simple outline, with a few graphics mixed in to keep it from becoming too dull. You can even publish your presentation to a website where anyone can read it in a browser window.

Of all the programs in Office, PowerPoint is probably the easiest to use. If you skip this tutorial, you'll miss some wonderful time-saving tips and tricks buried in the program, not to mention some techniques you can use to make your presentations more interesting.

But before we get to all that, let's start with the nuts and bolts of a PowerPoint presentation.