PowerPoint works as a visual aid for giving presentations. (If you never give presentations, you probably don't need PowerPoint.) Rather than fumble around creating, organizing, and displaying transparencies with an overhead projector, you can use PowerPoint on your computer to create, organize, and display slides that display information organized as text and graphics.
Besides displaying slides on the screen, PowerPoint also lets you add notes that only you can see to each slide and turn your entire slide show presentation into printed handouts so the audience can review your presentation and take notes next to a printed copy of each slide. The next time you need to convince or inform an audience, use PowerPoint to create and deliver your presentation. (Just make sure you never use PowerPoint to propose marriage.)
Defining the Purpose of Your Presentation
PowerPoint can make creating and delivering a presentation easy, but before you start creating fancy visuals with eye-popping graphics and colors, step away from your computer, put down your copy of PowerPoint, and place your hands in the open where anyone can see them.
Rushing into PowerPoint to create a presentation is likely to create a dazzling array of colors, fonts, and graphics that may look interesting but won't convey your message effectively. The best way to create an effective presentation is to take some time to think about the following:
What is your point? Define the single most important idea of your presentation.
Who is the target audience? A presentation given to engineers and scientists will look different than the same presentation given to CEOs and venture capital executives.
What do you want the audience to do? A speaker may present new ideas to a conference while a politician may present ideas designed to sway the audience to take certain actions, such as voting a specific way.
After you understand the purpose of your presentation, your audience, and what you hope your presentation will do, you're ready to go through the physical steps of creating a presentation in PowerPoint.
Creating a PowerPoint Presentation
A PowerPoint presentation consists of one or more slides where each slide can display text and graphics. Creating a presentation means adding slides and typing text or pasting graphics on each slide.
When you first start PowerPoint, the program loads a blank presentation that you can modify right away.
If you've been working on another presentation in PowerPoint and you need to start a new, blank presentation from scratch, follow these steps:
1. Click the Office Button and then choose New.
A New Presentation dialog box appears.
2. Click Blank Presentation and then click Create.
PowerPoint displays a blank slide with a title and subtitle box, as shown in Figure 10-1.
A new presentation consists of a single blank slide.
After you create a new presentation, you need to fill it with content (text and graphics). PowerPoint gives you two ways to view, edit, and design your presentation:
Slide view Outline view
Both views let you add, delete, rearrange, and edit slides. The main difference is that Slide view lets you add graphics and modify the visual appearance of a slide. Outline view displays your entire presentation as an outline where each slide appears as an outline heading, and additional text on each slide appears as a subheading. Outline view makes it easy to rearrange and organize the slides in your presentation without the distraction of the visual appearance of each slide.
You can create an entire presentation in Slide view without ever using Outline view at all (or use Outline view without ever using Slide view at all). Outline view is most useful for creating and organizing a presentation. Slide view is most useful for viewing the appearance of multiple slides at once.
Designing a presentation with Slide view
Slide view shows your entire slide show as thumbnails in the left pane and the currently selected slide in full size view in the right pane, as shown in Figure 10-2.
Creating a new slide
To create a new slide within Slide view, follow these steps:
1. Click an existing slide in the thumbnail pane.
2. Click the Home tab.
3. Click New Slide in the Slides group.
PowerPoint inserts your new slide after the slide you selected in Step 1.
Slide view lets you edit a single slide at a time.