Core Course: Learn PowerPoint the Right way in 31 MInutes

About this lesson

Are You a New PowerPoint User?

This class is for you as we take you from understanding the PowerPoint screens to creating and enhancing your slide deck plus giving a winning presentation.  All in seven steps and in a half-hour of video training.

Or a Frustrated User?

Are you and PowerPoint no longer on speaking terms because it seems to be fighting you at every step?  This session shows you how to make PowerPoint a friend that helps you create stunning slide decks by following our proven seven-step strategy.

Or Just an Embarrassed PowerPoint Creator?

If your finished slides look more like a haphazard ransom note, this training will show you how to create a coherent and beautifully designed collection of slides.


Our training will take you from a blank slide to a winning presentation that has both compelling content and graphically pleasing, all in 31-minutes.

Make sure to download the matching course handout in the link below.  And when you are ready, you can then dive into our more advanced training videos.


Topics Covered

  • How To Start PowerPoint
  • Introduction To The Ribbon Menu Commands
  • Explaining The Context-Aware Hidden Menu Tabs
  • How To Use The Keyboard & Mouse In PowerPoint
  • The Right Mouse Button
  • Tour Of Various Views
  • The 7-Step Strategy For Success
  • The Outline View
  • Naming And Saving Presentation
  • Using Colorful Design Themes
  • Use Design Theme Variants To Stand Out
  • Customizing Each Slide
  • Using Design Ideas
  • Adding Photos, Icons And More
  • Concept Of Slide Layouts
  • Trick: Using Two Content Layouts For Images
  • Cheat Sheet Of All Content Types
  • Add Photos From Local Computer
  • Adding Charts (Or Tables)
  • Enhancing All Text Slides
  • Managing Bullets, Number And Fonts
  • Slide Transitions
  • Animating Bullet Lists And Objects
  • How To Present in the Slide Show

Topic Video Time Codes

  • 00:49 How To Start Powerpoint
  • 01:03 Intro To Ribbon Menu Commands
  • 02:54 Powerpoint Mouse & Keyboard Use
  • 03:20 The Various View And Use
  • 04:39 The Seven Step Strategy
  • 05:09 Step 1 The Blank Presentation
  • 05:46 Step 2 Outline View
  • 07:55 Step 3 Saving Presentation
  • 09:25 Step 4 Applying Design Look
  • 11:06 Use Variants For Unique Look
  • 11:48 Step 5 Customizing Slides
  • 12:23 Using Microsoft Office Ideas
  • 13:58 Adding Stock Images
  • 15:13 Explaining Slide Layouts
  • 16:20 Changing To TWO CONTENT Layout
  • 16:58 Explain Different Content Objects
  • 17:47 Adding Photo From PC
  • 19:47 Adding Charts
  • 20:51 Pro Tricks For Text Slides
  • 21:25 Managing Bullets, Number And Fonts
  • 22:47 Step 6a Slide Transitions
  • 25:20 Quick Launch Slide Show
  • 25:45 Step 6B Bullet Point Animation
  • 27:45 Slide Show Presentation Mode
  • 30:25 The Wrap-Up And Finished Class Project



Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All Versions of PowerPoint

Level Foundation

Course Completed Complete




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Transcript of the Video Training Sessions

Learn PowerPoint in half an hour the RIGHT way by following Power Up Training’s proven seven-step strategy for guaranteed professional results.

Hi, this is Les McCarter from Power Up Training and I will be guiding you from knowing little to nothing about PowerPoint to creating professional-looking slide decks.

Together, we will go from a blank slide to a finished project.

While I will be demonstrating inside the latest Office 365 version of PowerPoint, the concepts apply to all older versions.

Along the way, I will also be pointing out additional free YouTube training videos by me on specific topics, if you want to learn more.

As a free bonus, we have a downloadable training handout with the matching topics at our website listed here and in the YouTube notes below. It is a handy reference to keep track what you have learned.

Let Go Power Up and learn PowerPoint.

I am assuming you know how to launch PowerPoint, but if not, see these instructions and if you want more, look for the link above and in the notes below for “8 ways to start PowerPoint – Do You know them all?”

Running PowerPoint by way of the Menus.

Everything can be controlled with the Ribbon Menu. It is similar to other Microsoft Office tools, so once you learn on PowerPoint or Word or Excel, then you are good to go.

Let’s get started.


I’ve dropped out of SLIDE SHOW mode into the working PowerPoint Software Program.

The Ribbon Menu is at the top of the screen.

PowerPoint has 100s of action commands organized by menu tabs. As I click the different menu tabs, you ae presented with different action commands.

The most common ones, which we will explore together are: HOME, INSERT, DESIGN, TRANSITIONS, ANIMATIONS, and SLIDE SHOW. Plus FILE, which looks different from all the other menu tabs, as we will explore later.

Inside the specific Menu Tabs, the commands are organized by functional use. Such as the text formatting commands are together.

To avoid confusion of too many commands, PowerPoint does not show some of the lesser-used commands, and instead, these additional commands are revealed when clicked the GROUP down arrow, as seen in the FONT group.

Now the dialog box gives us even more action commands for FONTS.

One last item to point out about the Ribbon Menu. Context-Aware Menus. Once again, so as to only show us what is relevant, PowerPoint hides menus when not needed, but will magically appear when clicked.

And when clicking the menu tab, it shows actions related to the selected object. In this case PICTURE formatting commands

Other commands not issued from the Ribbon Menu can be done by the mouse or keyboard. And Power UP Training has detailed tutorial videos on both, but I want to point out the frustration saver trick of the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON.

Right Click on different objects in PowerPoint and it will show only the relevant commands. I will be demonstrating this through the rest of this tutorial.

We have one last foundational topic to understand: VIEWS of the Presentation. PowerPoint has different view perspectives depending on the phase of our creation process.

Let me demonstrate the three most used views.


Here we see PowerPoint is the most common working VIEW. The NORMAL View.

Where we see the slide thumbnails on the far LEFT and our working canvas area targeting the selected slide from the left thumbnails.

On the bottom, there is a spot for our speaker notes.

To change views, click on the VIEW tab in the ribbon menu and choose a view.

In our case, the next view is OUTLINE.

The outline view is where you capture all of your ideas and talking points in the far left box. As you work in the outline, the results for the specific slide shows up on the right working canvas.

Our last view is the SLIDE SORTER view. This will give us a great overview of all our slides in one look.

So now you know your away around PowerPoint, but I want to share the secret professional way to create a slide deck in seven steps, starting with a blank slide, then adding your ideas, saving the file, applying the design look, customizing the slide, putting on the finishing touch before giving the presentation.

If you don’t follow these steps, you risk fighting with PowerPoint and that is where your project can turn ugly.

The first IMPORTANT step is to always start with a BLANK presentation. Armatures will often get seduced by choosing a colorful theme. DON’T!

Always start with a BLANK presentation and everything will flow nicely as we move through the seven steps.

So back in PowerPoint, I will click on the FILE menu tab, then select NEW and click on BLANK PRESENTATION. Which will give a new slide deck with a single empty slide.

Moving to Strategic Step 2: Capturing ideas in outline mode.

All professional presentations are based on ideas as translated into words. The best way to organize our thoughts and ideas is through the Outline view of PowerPoint.

So let’s go to the VIEW menu tab and then select OUTLINE.

What we type in the top left corner will show up as the first slide title on the right.


And then hitting the ENTER key which will create our SECOND slide, but I want to add a SUBTITLE for my first slide

This is where the keyboard comes into play.

The TAB key indents the line five spaces at each press to the right.

While a SHIFT key Pressed with the TAB key will do an “outdent” which brings the line back to the left with each press.

Multiple “outdents” (shift-tab) will bring the line the farthest to the left and once all the way to the left, then a new slide is created.

All with the keyboard, no mouse needed.

As I type away, let me emphasize the advantages of the Outline mode, it will help you organize your thoughts and ideas, which is the foundation of your presentation without distractions of colors and images.

Then when the time comes for formatting, PowerPoint understands what you have created and all the future formatting flows smoothly.

Amateurs will put text boxes all around, in a haphazard fashion and they become puzzled why their presentation looks a mess.

Always start in Outline mode!

Before we go too far, we need to save our work and in fact, once we started the outline, that would have been a better time, but let’s see now.

Until you save the presentation the first time, the project will have a generic name, so with the save, you will be given a chance to name it and put it into a file folder that you can best organize your work projects.

Go to the FILE menu

Select Save

On saving, let me point out a subtle item, if you elect to save on Microsoft OneDrive, PowerPoint automatically turns on AUTOSAVE, and will save as you go along, without you ever having to think about it again.

If you store it elsewhere, you will need to remember to click the SAVE disk from time to time.


Step 4: Apply a Design Look

Now we are ready for INSTANT GRATIFICATION. Using the power of PowerPoint graphic design expertise to jazz up our slide deck.

This will add color, backgrounds, fonts, and layouts of our liking.

Let see this in action.

So we have applied an overall design theme to all our slides, but each slide may have a different purpose, and we can enhance the individual slides one by one to help illustrate our ideas.

So this takes us to STEP 5 of 7 where we work on each slide. There are many ways to add elements to the slide, and of course, we have an additional training video on this topic, but for now, I am showing you two techniques.

The first is the DESIGN IDEAS trick that Microsoft added to PowerPoint 2013 and has continued to enhance. I’m showing the latest, so your older versions may not have all these tricks, but it will be close.

But just because it is magical, it does not always mean it matches. ALWAYS, ALWAYS make sure your image and graphics add value. Don’t be cutesy.

Let’s choose a different design and see if we can customize it to meet our needs.

This concept of the right mouse click on an object is important. The context menu is relevant to the object. You could search the Ribbon menu for the same command, but where? It is easier to just right click and see relevant commands.

So here, let’s work with CHANGE PICTURE and FROM STOCK IMAGES.

Stock images (found only in the more recent version of PowerPoint) is a collection of photos that you are free to use.

You can browse the list, but I find a better way is to put in a keyword and search. You may need to try several different creative ideas.

Because I am emphasizing starting with a blank slide, I will search for EMPTY

There may be times where you can’t find a DESIGN IDEA you like or you are running an older version of PowerPoint, or you want COMPLETE control of the canvas.

In all those cases, you want to use SLIDE LAYOUTS.

What are layouts? Each slide has a layout assigned to it; one and only one.

The layout will control how the various objects, such as title, bullet points, images are placed on the slide.

Different layouts will look differently, but still maintain the same theme of colors, fonts, and backgrounds.


Here are some examples of the various layouts, usually standard types that are associated with a theme.

I have highlighted the four most common themes.

In fact, your default theme will start with a TITLE SLIDE and then all the others will be TITLE and CONTENT, which we see here.

So our next tutorial demo will show how to change a slide layout to a different type. We will go from Title and Content to TWO CONTENTS.


Back on our canvas, I am RIGHT CLICKING on a thumbnail to get my context-aware menu and selecting LAYOUT.

See that TITLE AND CONTENT is highlighted with a gray border indicating that is our current layout, but I want to change this to TWO CONTENTS.

The slide has been converted, pushing all our text bullet lines to the LEFT content box and creating a new empty content box, just waiting for us to add something.

What can we add? Let’s take a look at the shadow like suggestions. (the suggestion icons will not show up on the presentation, but just giving us something to click.) Now let’s see them up close.

Those shadowy icons are shortcut action items that can be clicked to add tables, graphs, images, and more. You could add all of these from the Ribbon Menu, but this saves you from searching where. Note that TEXT is not a choice, for that you just get to click inside the box and start typing.

For my OUTLINE STEP TWO slide, I want to add a picture from my local computer, not stock images. So I will click on the bottom left action symbol to get launched into a file explorer window to find my photo on my computer.

I know I have an JPG image of an outline that I use in another tutorial dedicated to creating compelling outlines. And I can reuse it here.

Unlike the DESIGN IDEA mode we used to insert an image, I now have to click and drag it to a new location and also click and drag the photo borders to make it bigger.

Using the DESIGN IDEA from the recent versions of PowerPoint is nice, but this method of using a TWO CONTENT slide layout gives me full artistic control of the size and placement of my images.

Let’s run through the same process of changing the layout to a two content layout and then this time, I will add in an ICON for the NAME and SAVE slide. This is similar to the stock image, but I will search for the folder. Once I find what I like, I will click insert and then size and position it.

And one last time, but with an alternate method: all done via the RIBBON MENU.

I will go to the INSERT menu in the Ribbon Menu and choose the PICTURE action icon and the go-to STOCK images. From there I will search for an appropriate image to match the Slide about Presenting your PowerPoint presentation. Insert it and then resize and position it to help drive home our slide topic.

The next slide has nothing to do with our MY FIRST PRESENTATION, but I want to demo how you can add a variety of other objects, like tables or videos, but in this example, we will add a chart.

First, we need to create a new slide. At the begging of this tutorial, we created each slide by way of the Outline, but you can also RIGHT CLICK on a thumbnail and choose NEW SLIDE and it will create one right underneath duplicating the LAYOUT but empty waiting for content.

Let’s give it a name of SAMPLE CHART.

And then click on the CHART content shadow action icon.

There are a variety of charts to choose from and Power UP Training has a video dedicated just to CHARTS & GRAPHS, but we will just select one to demo.

The goal of charts and graphs is to visually represent the relationship of numbers in an easy to understand graphic. Since we are dealing with numbers, up pops an automatic table for us to enter in data, and it comes prepopulated to better understand how to interact with the chart.

Before we finish STEP 5 of customizing individual slides, we must examine formatting text and bullet lines.

The key here is to select the slide and then go to the ribbon menu tab of HOME. Then select your text and you have a wealth of formatting choices.


Here are two pro tips.

Don’t fill up your slide with text. Sometimes less words can make a bigger impact. As we have already demoed, you can just add a simple image to compliment the point. Each slide should have a single goal.

But sometimes you just need to have lots of text on one slide. In that case, change the layout to TWO CONTENTS and then split the text between the two text boxes.



We have now customized each slide to help illustrate our ideas. And now we are ready to put the finishing touches to add some extra class . . . but being careful not to go overboard.

Step 6 is broken down into two parts. The first part is about adding a transition between each slide, so as not to jolt our audience when in the presentation with abrupt changes from slide to slide. We want to smooth the change with a slide transition.

Let’s do it. It is best if we leave the normal view as we are no longer working on the individual slide, and we want to see all of our slides. So click on VIEW and SLIDE SORTER.

Next, we will move to the ribbon menu tabs and select TRANSITIONS.

We also need to select a slide. We will practice with the first slide but later apply the results to all of our slides.

Then we can select any of the presented styles and see it change on the screen (for older software versions, you may have to use the slide show to preview the results, and I will teach you that in a few minutes).

Let’s try out random bars and watch our first slide.

Next, we will try SHAPE and see the circular change

There are tons of choices and some of them are wild. The wild ones might seem like a good idea late at night, but trust me, it is an armature mistake, such as ORIGAMI.

So for professional presentations, keep with the subtle.

And to help know what is subtle, PowerPoint has a drop-down menu arrow to show all the choices and has organized them by SUBTLE, EXCITING, and DYNAMIC CONTENT.

Remember, keep it classy, not showy.

FADE is my go-to classic choice. And to apply it to all slides, click the choice and then look to the right for APPLY TO ALL.

And to know that a transition has been applied, look for the small action arrow icon just below each slide.

Ok, let’s test this out by doing a quick launch of the slide show with the tiny slide show icon on the top left corner. One-click and it starts from the beginning.

You are now seeing the transition between our first three slides. Note that on YouTube or even your video conferences like zoom meetings, the transitions are not as elegant due to the internet video transmission latency. but you should get the idea here.

Now for the second part of STEP 6: Slide animations. Unlike slide transitions that impact the change between slides, animation adds transition actions INSIDE the slide, such as having individual bullet points appear one at a time.

Before I go too far, I must point out that you should avoid these changes until you become comfortable presenting in front of a crowd. Remembering to advance each line and still present is tricky and can be embarrassing if you forget to go to the next animated item; so best to skip this trick.

Still, let me show you quickly how it is done.

From the Ribbon Menu tabs, select ANIMATIONS and since we are now back to editing individual slides, we need to choose a slide in NORMAL view. Here is a pro trick when in SLIDE SHOW VIEW, just double click on the the slide you want to work on, and you then slip into the NORMAL view with the canvas area ready for you to work on.

We are going to animate these talking bullet points on our STEP TWO slide.

So first you need to select the text box you want to animate. Just click once inside.

You will know it is selected when you see the faint dotted line rectangle around the text box.

And like transitions, you have a gallery of animation choices at the top of the screen. I will choose FLYING, even though I would not use it in a professional setting, but it is a good training demo.

Immediately you see an animated preview of the bullet points flying in from the bottom.

And when done, it show number next to each line. The number represents the order of the objects appearance with each click of the mouse in the presentation mode.

On to the last step, presenting on stage. I have already reviewed how to launch the presentation from the shortcuts at the top of the screen, but there is much more to see if you go into the SLIDE SHOW menu from the ribbon menu.

At a high level, the SLIDE SHOW choice in PowerPoint, lets you present your slides in full screen, and if your computer is connected to a second display unit like a big-screen TV or a Projector system, then it will push the full-screen slides to the bigger monitors.

PowerPoint then switches into “dual monitor mode” with the presentation on the big screen and a smaller PRESENTER VIEW on your local computer/laptop to control the slide show presentation.

But a quick side trip. When making a presentation, it is nice to have “talking points” to keep you on point. You can add them in the NORMAL view at the bottom of the canvas.

I am adding notes here and we will see them in our presenter view in a moment.

So I am on the SLIDE SHOW ribbon menu tab and clicking FROM THE BEGINNING. The slide show kicks into full screen.

But on my laptop screen, I see a different screen: the presenter view, where I can control my full presentation.

Here is a great cheat sheet to explain the different parts of the presenter view (remember to look for the link at the bottom for our website free training guide download.)

The top left corner shows what is currently displayed on the big screen.

The top right gives a preview of what will show up next.

Just below that are the speaker notes, which I just created a few moments ago.

And at the bottom are the control to advance slides forwards and back.

There are other hot buttons you can click on the screen to advance, such as the preview screen.

And there are ways to advance with your keyboard and mouse.

The advance arrows will move you to the next slide unless you have animated bullet points. And then the preview windows will show each animated bullet point as you click.

And when you are done, just click the END SLIDE SHOW at the top of the screen, or hit the ESCAPE key.

And there you go just at the half-hour mark, you have seen how to create a professional PowerPoint presentation using our proven seven-step strategy. These are the slides we created in our training and they could be polished up just a bit more, but we are close.

Follow these steps in order and you will be ready to succeed with PowerPoint.

Do go to our website, the link is below in our YouTube notes where you will find more training choices and the matching training handout for free.

Also, I have listed the additional classes that go into more depth on many PowerPoint topics.

Please like this video if it was helpful and DO SUBSCRIBE to your youtube channel as it helps us make more free training for you.

Until the next time, GO POWER UP.