HR Jetpack

The Basics

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Lesson Content

In order to build an appropriate professional template, we first need to go over the basics of Powerpoint. Let’s take a quick tour. Open up Powerpoint and choose a Blank Presentation. Please note, if you see any differences between what I am showing you on my screen and what you see on your screen, there are a couple of possible reasons. I’m using Microsoft Powerpoint 2013 for a PC. If you have another version or operating system, then of course, your interface may look a little different. But this shouldn’t interfere with your ability to build a professional presentation.

Now Powerpoint can be segmented into 4 main sections. At the very top is the first main section is the Quick Access Toolbar. Underneath is a row of labels called the ribbon, this is the second main section. Than we have our Slide Stage with a Slide Preview pane on the left hand side. This is our third main section. And finally, at the very bottom is the status bar which includes viewing buttons and a zoom slider. I’ll give you some more detail on each section.

The Quick Access Toolbar has several features. The first is a short menu represented by the Powerpoint icon. It allows you to move, size, minimize, maximize and close the presentation. You can save a document by clicking on the little Disc icon. We also have Undo and Redo buttons. And you’ll notice here actually the Redo button is currently, looks like a circular arrow, so it’s going to turn into a Redo button or Redo arrow once we actually start creating the presentation.
Next there’s this drop down arrow which provides you with options on what you want to include in and remove from the quick access toolbar such as the Save icon, the Redo and Undo buttons. Now you’ll notice I’ve got this extra little icon right here on the left. This is a “Start from Beginning” command. And essentially, what this command does is when you go into “View Your Presentation” with your audience than you want to start from the “very beginning” of your presentation. You click this button. I’m going to show you how this works in just a little while but for our purposes here you’re going to notice that these particular items are checked and it’s super easy just to remove one by clicking it. There you go. And you can add it back if you want to and, of course, there’s other commands that you can add as well liked Spelling and Quick Print. So let’s put that back there.

Now in the very center of the PPT presentation, this is where you’ll see the title of your presentation. And then off to the right, of course, we have our question, our help area, so you can look up information about any particular PPT topic. And then our buttons over here to the right. Now I want to call your attention to this particular button. This is a Ribbon command. It allows you to view the Ribbon in three different ways. There’s the “Auto-hide” ribbon. There’s just “Showing the Tabs” and then there’s “Showing the Tabs and the Commands”. Now I recommend you utilize this particular format right here until you become familiar with Powerpoint. I’m going to keep it in this format and you’re going to tell that it’s there as well just by the fact that I’ve selected it and it’s highlighted. And than off to the right are our typical commands for minimize, maximize and, of course, closing the presentation.

Our second main section is the Ribbon. It’s made up of Tabs going across the very top. And there are all these commands within each of the Tabs underneath each one. So you’re going to hear me use the word, “commands” throughout the course. So the first one, our File command. Of course, this is really where we can go to open other documents, save, and print, share and export. And essentially this is actually called the backstage of Powerpoint. So that is the technical term for that. So I’m going to go back to our original blank presentation here by clicking this arrow at the very top of the screen. Our first official tab is the Home tab. Now we’re going to be spending quite a bit of time on this particular tab. It’s in this area where we can copy and paste information, add new slides, format text and paragraphs, maybe do some drawing and some editing. So a lot of different commands that we can choose from as we move forward which I’m going to demonstrate in subsequent lessons. Now you’re going to notice that the Home tab captures a few popular commands from the other tabs.

Let’s move on to the Insert tab. The Insert tab is appropriately named. It includes the commands for inserting new slides, and tables, pictures, and a number of other items here SmartArt, and charts, comments, text box and other functionality, symbols and, of course, media, at the very end.  Note, that the Home tab also includes inserting a new slide. So they've made it very, very easy to find this particular command. Now the Design tab shows you all the different themes that you can choose as a back drop for your presentation. But we’re going to be building our own back drop in another lesson.

We won’t be spending much time on the Transitions tab at all. These are essentially special effects for your slides. You can choose how you’d like each slide to move from one to the next. But for our purposes, we’ll be clicking a mouse or some other device to transition between slides. Moving on to the Animations tab. We won't be spending any time on these commands and I’ll talk more about why in a subsequent lesson. The Slide Show tab will be important for us to review the presentation when it’s ready. Notice that the first icon looks like an active presentation. It is identical to what you see in the Quick Access Toolbar allowing you to start the presentation from the very beginning. Now the next few icons provide different ways of starting the slide show. Then there’s a section for setting up the slide show. We can even hide a slide, rehearse and record our slide show. And over to the far right is the Presenter View which I'll be highlighting in another lesson in much greater detail.

Now the Review tab. Many of the commands on the Review tab are going to look very familiar to you. It has more than just a Spellcheck and a Thesaurus. It also has a Language Selection and an area for adding comments which I’m going to go over in detail. And a tracking section which is pretty nice if you need to share your presentation with other people and track changes. So it’s very, very similar to what you see in Microsoft Word. It works in a very similar manner.

Finally, our last tab, the View tab. We’re going to be spending a little bit of time here. Starting over on our left, there are several different types of presentation views and right now you can tell that we are in the Normal view and you can tell because it’s highlighted and, of course, looks very similar to that little icon right there. Then we move over to the Master Views which we will be using. There’s an option to add your Ruler, Gridlines and Guides. Now you’ll notice that I have all of these selected. I highly recommend that you do the same. And we’re going to get into a little more detail in just a bit. We’ve got a zoom feature, color view, option to set up a new presentation and an option for Macros as well. Now we’re not going to be using these commands but it’s important for you to know that they’re there.

The third main section is our Slide Stage and the Slide Panel View. I actually like to call this the canvas. This is our area for creating the masterpiece, your professional, no non-sense presentation! It’s here where we’ll tell the story and highlight the call to action. We’ll use the commands from several different tabs up here in the ribbon to develop your clear, concise message.

Now again, currently, we’re in Normal view which means that we can see our slide, course on the stage. And than our slides are shown on the side as thumbnails. And there’s also an area down here for typing your notes. In fact, you can click this little button right here that says Notes to be able to view that section. I think it’s very, very handy to use this and if you click it again, it goes away. So let’s bring it back. Now another way to view the Notes section, and also potentially add your notes depending on what you prefer to do is going up to the Presentation views and clicking the “Notes Pages”. Now there appears to be this big area for you to type in your text and it is a pretty good sized area. But sometimes your notes might not fit into it and they could run off the page. So when you go to print, give your presentation, references your notes, half of them might be gone! So I always double check the notes section. So for now, let’s go back into Normal view and you’ll see that the Notes section is still visible.

The fourth main section is the Status Bar. To the far left it tells you what slide number you’re actually on out of the number of slides that you have in your entire deck. So moving over to the far right, course we have our Notes button. We have an opportunity to view comments and we’ll dig a little deeper into this in just a little bit. The next four icons represent different ways for you to view the presentation. And course I want to point your attention to the Slide Show view right here. So we’re certainly going to be using that during the course. And than we have this nice zoom in and zoom out feature. This gives you that chance to really look at the details of something that you put into your presentation so let’s just leave it here. This little button right here, when you click it, fits it right back into your presentation window.

Christina Danforth


Christina Danforth

Christina A. Danforth, SHRM-SCP & SPHR, launched HR Jetpack in 2016 to support the development and professional growth of her fellow HR colleagues. She started her HR career in 2002....

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