Learn Powerpoint?

I have to make a Power Point presentation for one of my college classes, however, I never learned how to use Power Point.

Is there a good web site out there that can teach me to use power point?

This one is pretty good. Not too fancy, just right for a beginner.

Og, this is why I SO love the SDMB, not 4 minutes pass and I have a responce :slight_smile:

I checked out the site you gave, the screen shots on that site has Power Point on a Mac, does that make a diffrence? I use Microsoft Power Point.

Might be some slight differences between the Mac and Windows versions, but you should be able to get the idea.

Here’s another good basic tutorial: http://office.microsoft.com/training/training.aspx?AssetID=RC011298761033. If you want to go beyond the basics, Microsoft has a whole series of tutorials: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/CR061832731033.aspx

However, PowerPoint is created by Microsoft, whether it runs on a Mac or a PC. There are a few differences at more advanced levels between Mac PowerPoint and PC PowerPoint, but the basics are the same.

You must learn the most important rule of using Powerpoint, which is, not surprisingly, the same as the most important rule of using HTML.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!

Just because you can make each slide come on and off the screen in 147 different ways, doesn’t mean you should cycle through them like a channel-flipper on crack.
Just because you can use 473 fonts in 127 different sizes and 23 different styles, doesn’t mean you should use them ALL in the same presentation.
Just because you can add cheerful and colorful public-domain clipart from across the whole internet to illustrate your presentation, doesn’t mean you should subject your audience to an episode of Hanna-Barbera, The Early Years, especially if you’re giving a presentation on STDs.

I swear I have seen all of these. Okay, maybe they’re a little exaggerated. But not by much…

Isn’t there a pretty decent tutorial built into Powerpoint?

Yes, I entered this thread specifically to recommend you go to the Help menu. There is a chapter by chapter explanation that starts with something like “How to Create a Presentation.” This way questions about different versions should be nonexistent/minimal, since it’s right in your own program’s help.

And it cannot be overemphasized - do not use every feature you can find. That will tell everyone right off the bat that you are brand new to PowerPoint. If you want to look experienced, just choose an attractive background and be done with it. No animations. One font.

All excellent advice.

Everywhere from business to academia, Powerpoint is used badly by people who seem to think it is designed as a crutch for their intellectual or pedagogical inadequacies rather than a useful supplement that allows you to display information easily. They have special effects all over the place, colors out the wazoo, weird page transitions, and useless media and clipart. Some also use it to say exactly what they are saying in their presentation, making their own presence rather superfluous.

Even more problematically, for some people the use of programs like this actually makes their work less informative and less analytically sound. If you’re interested in the problematic aspects of Powerpoint as a presentation tool, i highly recommend getting yourself a copy of Edward R. Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint. You have to buy it, or borrow it from the library, but this 25-page booklet has some very interesting things to say. Tufte argues that the best way to make better p[resentations is generally to improve the quality of your content, rather than dressing it up in presentation software, and spends some time outlining some of the key problems that Powerpoint causes or exacerbates.

Also, if you want a satirical look at people’s ability to use Powerpoint to reduce the level of discussion and analysis, i highly recommend the Gettysburg Address Powerpoint Presentation.

Using the program to create an effective presentation is only half of the equation. You have to learn how to present it. Your audience can read whatever text you have on the screen. Do not read it to them.

The actual manner of presentation is obviously going to differ quite a bit depending on the content, but for the love of Og, don’t just put a pretty picture on each slide with three bulleted points and read the bullets aloud. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this done. It is absolute torture to sit for 45 minutes while someone methodically reads snippets of bulleted text.

Powerpoint is a very powerful visual aid, but remember it is just a tool in the presenter/lecturer’s toolbox. A nice Powerpoint presentation does not automatically make a good lecture.

WAG Video Professor can help! Only 6.95 ppd.

I’ve used PowerPoint before but don’t particularly like it. I really can’t put my finger on why, just don’t like it. I use two other programs instead: Impress from www.openoffice.org and PicturesToExe from www.wnsoft.com. The first one is free, the other one is very cheap.

mhendo: Thank you for a very entertaining site.

Also this: For the love of God, don’t subject attendees to dozens upon dozens of PowerPoint frames.

I’ve seen plenty of junior executives plow through 100, 125, 150+ frames and it just kills their presentations and bores everyone to tears. No amount of PP wizardry can compensate for a poorly constructed presentation.