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How to Create a Basic PowerPoint Presentation

This video shows you step-by-step how create your first PowerPoint slide deck in less than 5 minutes. You will learn what to do to get started, an explanation of the slide layouts, two key strategies for creating high-quality presentations, and the final steps to wrap up the creation of the slide deck.

Introduction

Are you brand new to PowerPoint and not sure how to get started? Or are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the buttons and options? Don’t worry, in this video, I will show you how create your first PowerPoint slide deck in less than 5 minutes.

Opening a new app can be a bit intimidating, particularly if you don’t feel confident in your tech or computer skills. In this this video, I will show the basic steps you need to take to create a presentation and feel confident to keep creating.

FYI - I am using PowerPoint for Mac in this video. But the interface and buttons are the same for the Windows version. Also, I am covering mostly the mechanics of the software. But later in the video I talk about other strategies you need to consider for creating a good presentation. Let’s get started.

Getting Started

When you open the PowerPoint app, you will see several options to choose. For your first presentation, I recommend using the blank presentation option. Consider this a practice run to get used to the software and you don’t have the pressure of making the slide look nice or professional.

Once you have these basic skills down, the next slide deck will be much easier. Double click the blank presentation option. This will open the edit mode. There are two parts in edit mode, the thumbnails pane and the slide edit pane. You use the thumbnails to navigate to different slides. The slide edit section is where you add your content to each slide.

The first slide will be the Title slide layout. There are two placeholders for your main title and a subtitle. Click in the box and type you title. If you don’t have a subtitle that is okay. That placeholder won’t show up when you are in slideshow mode.

To add your next slide, click the New Slide button on the Home ribbon or tab. The new slide will be added underneath the title slide in the thumbnail pane and show up automatically in the slide edit section. This layout will be the Title and Content layout.

Add your slide title at the top. In the second placeholder you can add a list or click a content icon to add visual content like a picture or chart. Keep clicking the New Slide button to add more slides. Click the small down arrow next to the button to show different slide layouts.

To learn more about each slide layout, watch my PowerPoint Slide Layouts video.

Two Strategies for Good Presentations

At this point I want to say that creating a good presentation is more than a slide deck. I recommend two strategies before you even start creating your slides.

One, make sure you are really clear about the focus and purpose of the presentation.

Two, create an outline of your presentation.

Both of these strategies will help you avoid adding unnecessary content. And it saves you time when you are ready to create your slide deck.

If you’d like to learn more, check out my Creating Great Slide Decks mini course. The link is in the description below. If you are getting value from this video, I invite you to like and subscribe.

Finishing the Slide Deck

Okay, back to creating the slide deck. Once you’ve added all of the content slides, it helps to have a concluding slide. The layout can be up to you, but I recommend using the Section slide layout. Visually, it signals to your audience that you are wrapping up.

Once you are done editing, make sure you save the presentation file. When you are ready to present, click the Slide Show tab or ribbon. Click the Start from Beginning button.

I'd love to hear what aspects of creating a slide trip you up. Leave a comment or question.

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About the author 

Jennifer

Jennifer has 15+ years of public speaking experience - ranging from groups of 5 to 5000. She draws from her experience as an instructor, academic, and librarian to help others with their presentation skills. When not presenting she loves creating and designing online courses, video, images, slide decks, handouts, conference posters, and infographics.

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