Masterclass: Creating PowerPoint Slides from Scratch

About this lesson

Getting Started: How To Build a PowerPoint Presentation?

Microsoft PowerPoint wants to distract you with design colors and backgrounds, but don’t go down that road (yet)!  Start ALL presentation in the Outline mode.

Why Start with Outline Mode?

You can brainstorm your ideas and fine-tune you presentation flow.  The power of words is the key to reaching your objectives.  The artistic “look” of a presentation comes later.

Are There Other Advantages of Outline Mode?

Absolutely.  Once you are done with your outline, when you then apply PowerPoint designs, everything flows beautifully.  Otherwise, you risk looking like an amateur in front of your boss, coworkers, clients, or classmates.

This Is Class One in Our Six-Part Masterclass

This is our shortest of six training videos, but it sets the stage for future success. And it is appropriate if it is the only class you take in our Masterclass series.


In this short session, we will start you on the right path for getting started with building a successful presentation by covering:

  • Why It Is Critical to Start With An Outline
  • Maximizing the Use of Outline View
  • Going into Brainstorming Mode
  • Reordering Your Thoughts and Slides
  • Slide Sorter View as The Big Picture Organizer


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility Office 2013 up to Office 365

Level Advanced

Course Completed Complete




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Video Course Transcript for “Lesson 1: Creating PowerPoint Slides from Scratch”


Great ideas, drive successful presentations. A PowerPoint will attempt the sabotage from that start by offering up color design choices at step one. Resist.


Laser focus on crafting your ideas by using the outline mode. I will show you why you succeed with outlines the first building block.


Welcome to module one of six in our masterclass series on becoming a PowerPoint power user. Hard training is about coaching not just simplistic step-by-step screen tutorials. I’m Les McCarter and I have decades of presentation experience. Let my expertise become your expertise for free.


If you already use outlines go ahead and skip to module two Brutal Editing of PowerPoint Content for Success.


Otherwise, even season PowerPoint users must rethink their creation process if they do not start with outlines. Take this first step and all the future design elements will flow naturally. I put PowerPoint, let it work with you. This is rated. A for all and works with all versions of PowerPoint.


So let’s get started and power up with our first session.


We have PowerPoint already launched with this sample presentation, but I promise to show how to create this from scratch, so we’ll start off a new presentation we’ll go up to file and new. And right off the bat we have an issue. Microsoft wants to distract us with shiny objects avoid all the producer design choices.


We are about to create a masterpiece from scratch. So always always choose a blank presentation. Oh no. Microsoft’s not again, if you’re running. Office 365 version of PowerPoint Microsoft is a tempting to sabotage you with the distraction of design ideas. Now adding not just pretty colors but moving toys.


We’re trying to create a killer presentation, so make the distraction go away. Close down the design ideas by clicking the X. Don’t worry we can bring it back in the future. We’re now in the default standard view of PowerPoint with the main presentation slide front and center and a thumbnail view of all the slides running down the left.


At the moment, we’ll only have one slide. Let’s switch over to the killer technique. Switch to the outline view. What’s just changed the main slide is still front and center but running down the left side is the outline where we can capture all of our brilliant ideas. Let’s type in our first line.


Click on the left side, and then press enter.


As you’ll see the main slide is updated. And now we have a second blank slide. Type in the next line. And now we have the title of two slides. We’re going to add a bit more and then discuss what’s actually going on on how to use the outline mode.


Let’s add a subtitle to the first slide. Go back up and at the end of the line press enter and put it more text. But we want this as part of the first slide not a new slide. So we fix this by pressing the tab key to indent the line.


Whoa! Use the tab key and the shift tab is all we need to create bullet points. Yep, let’s do some more. To create a new slide we do need to use the shift tab which is the outdent multiple tie as you get back to the farthest left. I’ll speed up my typing and you can see the text show up with just the use of the keyboard.


All focusing on ideas while I Continue with the capturing of my ideas,


Let’s talk about the why?


Why use Outline?


Well, it turns out that your high school English teacher might have been right outlining your essay helps, you organize your thoughts.


Laser focusing on what is important and rejecting the irrelevant outlining your PowerPoint presentation will also help sharpen your delivery to better express yourself. The beauty of outlining your PowerPoint is the outline becomes your end results. No essay writing needed. As the words and PowerPoints are representations of your concepts.


In future videos, I will show you how to effectively deliver your presentation of concepts from the front of the room. Another powerful feature about lining is the ability to shift into brainstorming mode. At the start just capture the major talking points, which help shape the arc of your story, then go back and fill in the details.


Go fast and focus on the creation process and do not worry about spelling your grammar. Those can be fixed later. Instead, let your genius flow. The brainstorming phase will create the foundation of your success.


You may want to take a break, freshen your thoughts and review your work at a later date. When you come back you may find that the order of your thoughts need rearranging. Simple enough click the title and drag and drop just like solitaire. This is an additional benefit of using the outline.


It flows beautifully with the future steps of adding the colorful part of PowerPoint. Outlying text is ready-made for the design tool. Let’s take a preview by first wishing out of the outline view. Into the slide sort of view so that we can get a big picture view. And then move over to the design tab.


Click a few of the choices and you see that the presentation is perfectly formatted to match.


Novice users will often have random text boxes scattered in their presentations which never properly format but sticking to using the outline mode makes the design phase a breeze.


We’ll cover more of this in our next power up training video on how to make your PowerPoint shine.


There you go. You’ve just taken the first most important step by starting with outlines.


Your next step consider going to our  website to download the outline of this particular session.


I do request that you subscribe to this channel. Subscriptions help greatly in building our channel, and if you liked it do give me a thumbs up.


Like encourages me to make more free videos for you. You got questions on anything that we covered in this particular session. Feel free to leave them in the comments below. And now you’re ready to go on to module two of brew editing up content for success.


Until then power up.