Using a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation as a teaching tool, meeting aid or sales implement has many benefits. The visual aspect grabs and holds your viewers' attention. A slide show can also help you overcome the awkwardness that sometimes results from speaking before a crowd. PowerPoint is versatile as well, and you can create a slide show using one of several methods.
Create a PowerPoint Presentation Using a Template
Microsoft offers many free presentation templates that you can use to create professional slide shows. Click the "File" menu in PowerPoint 2003, the "Office Button" in PowerPoint 2007 or the "File" tab in PowerPoint 2010. Click "New" and then click "From Design Template." Select a template you would like to use from the gallery. Double-click it to load the template into PowerPoint.
Click on a slide in the "Slides" pane to text or make changes. Click inside a text box to type over the sample text. Choose a different color palette or font set by selecting a different option in the "Themes" category. Add or change animations or transitions by choosing options in the "Slide Show" menu in PowerPoint 2003 or the "Animations" tab in PowerPoint 2007 or 2010.
Create a PowerPoint Presentation from Blank Slides
It is easy to make a PowerPoint slide show from scratch, as well. Open a blank presentation form by clicking "New" from the "File" menu, "Office Button" or "File" tab and selecting "Blank Presentation," or use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+N." Go to the "Format" menu in PowerPoint 2003 and click on "Slide Design" to choose a design option for your PowerPoint presentation. In PowerPoint 2007 or 2010, go to the "Design" tab and select a theme from the gallery.
Go to the "Insert" menu in PowerPoint 2003 or the "Insert" tab in PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 to insert objects onto a slide, such as text boxes, pictures or charts. Add animation and slide transitions from the "Slide Show" menu in PowerPoint 2003 or the "Animations" tab in PowerPoint 2007 or 2010.
Create a PowerPoint Presentation from a Word Outline
Send an existing Word outline to PowerPoint to create an almost-instant presentation. Open the outline in Microsoft Word. In Word 2003, go to the "File" menu, point to "Send to" and select "Microsoft PowerPoint."
In Word 2007 or 2010, you will need to add the "Send to PowerPoint" option to the "Quick Access Toolbar." Click the arrow at the right end of the "Quick Access Toolbar" and click "More Commands." Select "All Commands" in the "Choose Commands From" box. Click on "Send to Microsoft PowerPoint" in the list of commands and then click "Add." Click "OK" to add the command to the "Quick Access Toolbar" and close the dialog box. Click the "Send to Microsoft PowerPoint" button on the "Quick Access Toolbar."
Microsoft Word will send the outline to PowerPoint. It will create a new slide show using the outline headings as slide titles and the subheadings as bullet points. Add a layout theme, graphics and animations as in the previous sections.