Microsoft PowerPoint Essentials

In partnership with
Instructor Vonne Smith,
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Course No. 40060
Video Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Explore the PowerPoint environment and gain an overview of the topics that will be covered
  • numbers Learn basic window manipulation such as minimize, maximize, restore down, dock multiple windows, and title bar shortcuts
  • numbers Discover different ways to select text and add text to both content placeholders and text boxes

Course Overview

The chances are good that you will, someday, be required to create a presentation. And there’s no denying that adding visuals to your presentation will make it stronger, more engaging, and easier to understand. One of the best tools you can use to create strong visuals that will enrich your presentation is Microsoft PowerPoint.

Flexible, easy to use—and even fun—PowerPoint is a dynamic and practical application that can help you improve your presentations by enhancing them with visual elements, so your audience better understands and engages with the information you are providing. With templates and tools that range from the simple to the sophisticated, you can easily create images, animations, charts, maps, graphs, and more without needing expensive design programs or graphics tools.

The Great Courses has partnered with ITProTV to bring you 33 lessons that will introduce you to both the fundamentals and some of the lesser-known tricks to making phenomenal presentations using PowerPoint. In addition to being introduced to the PowerPoint environment, you’ll learn tips on how to add slides to a presentation, insert text and images, and create tables and charts. From there, you’ll learn how to enhance a presentation with design themes, animations, and transitions. And, you’ll get valuable tips for preparing and delivering a robust presentation. While this series uses the Windows operating system with PowerPoint 2016 locally installed, you’ll find the interface and tools within many versions of PowerPoint remain the same or similar enough that you can easily navigate different applications.

University of Florida faculty member Vonne Smith started her teaching career with a global IT training company, teaching Microsoft® Office and Adobe® Creative Suite applications more than 15 years ago. She knows PowerPoint inside and out, including the elements that most commonly frustrate users. Accompanied by her co-hosts Aubri Spurgin and Wes Bryan, she will take you through adding text and tables, inserting images and icons—even creating or adding 3-D models.

Professional, Practical, Personable, and Powerful

Much like defining yourself as a “cat person” or “dog person,” many Microsoft Office users consider themselves “Excel people” or “PowerPoint people.” Those who find joy in creating pivot tables and inserting automated mathematical formulas into Excel cells may dismiss PowerPoint as being a creative program for clip art and star-wipe animations that prioritizes appearance over logical functions. Yet, PowerPoint is packed with practical uses—including highly developed tools for charts, graphs, and tables.

Consider the chart. Professional-looking charts are fairly easy to create and manipulate in Excel. Many Excel users probably would not consider turning to PowerPoint for chart creation. Yet, with a number of preformatted and templated chart options—some quite stunning—you’ll find it’s simple to translate complex data into easy-to-understand visuals and go beyond the standard limitations of Excel by personalizing the visuals with colors, fonts, and images.

With Vonne as your guide, you will discover how to use:

  • Data series;
  • Category axes;
  • Legends;
  • Data labels; and
  • Data tables.

Once you’ve mastered the components of your chart, you’ll examine how to enter and edit data, insert a chart into your presentation, and change the type of chart you wish to use without losing your data.

Crafting Creative Communications

While there are loads of practical tools in PowerPoint, at its heart, it’s still a creative program. Vonne delves into how to “spice up” your presentation with graphics and visuals. Starting with the foundations of how to use images including file types, resolution, and image size, Vonne takes you through the steps to insert various types of graphics—from photographs to screenshots. You’ll learn how to edit and recolor images right in PowerPoint. And she’ll continue to provide professional tips such as how to compress images to keep your presentation a manageable size.

In addition to images, Vonne will cover how to use shapes, where she’ll also introduce you to helpful tools such as:

  • Resize;
  • Rotate;
  • Format gradient fill;
  • Align;
  • Group;
  • Merge; and
  • Ruler guides and smart guides.

And, for Microsoft Office 365 subscribers, Vonne will share some ways to take your presentation visuals even further with 3-D models.

Awesome Advice for the Amateur and the Accomplished

If you’re new to PowerPoint, going through this course step by step, you’ll gain everything you need from the foundations to the finishing flourishes. If you’re experienced with PowerPoint, this course offers valuable techniques and uncovers tools that are often overlooked, and which can make your work much easier—and better overall.

Rounding out the insights provided about using PowerPoint itself, Vonne concludes with an overview on how to present your slideshow so you can feel confident about the technicalities of your delivery.

You don’t need to master fancy design programs or animating tools to incorporate visual cues and multimedia into your presentation. PowerPoint’s easy-to-use interface, combined with sophisticated templates, allows you to create visually stunning, engaging, and impactful presentations. Once you’ve uncovered all the tips and tricks to making phenomenal presentations, you’ll wonder how you managed without it all this time.

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33 lectures
 |  Average 26 minutes each
  • 1
    PowerPoint 2016 is the popular application within the Office suite to create on-screen presentations. This series starts at the very beginning by exploring the PowerPoint environment, how to add slides to a presentation, insert text and images into slides, and create tables and charts. The series continues by enhancing a presentation with design themes, animation, and transitions, then concludes with preparing and delivering a robust presentation. This series is specifically for the Windows operating system with PowerPoint 2016 locally installed. x
  • 2
    Introduction to PowerPoint
    Vonne and Aubri introduce PowerPoint 2016 Essentials for the Windows operating system series. In this episode, they define PowerPoint, discuss the Office 365 suite and subscription plans, and review the course setup. x
  • 3
    PowerPoint Basics
    Vonne and Aubri introduce basic concepts in PowerPoint such as launching the application, opening and closing files, and differentiating between save and save as. They also discuss basic window manipulation such as minimize, maximize, restore down, dock multiple windows, and title bar shortcuts. x
  • 4
    PowerPoint Interface
    In this episode, Aubri and Vonne explore the PowerPoint interface. They explain the functionality and location of the ribbon, quick access toolbar, the backstage view, and the status bar. x
  • 5
    Navigate a Presentation and Views
    Aubri and Vonne demonstrate how to navigate a presentation in PowerPoint. They explore the nuances of the slide pane, the navigation pane, and the speaker notes. They also cover how to switch to and exit different views such as normal, outline, slide sorter, and master slides as well as presentation mode. x
  • 6
    Create a Presentation
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri demonstrate how to create a new presentation and work with slides. They cover the following topics: slide layouts, modify layouts and placeholders, reset slides, add slides, add and modify sections, reorder slides, and delete slides and sections. x
  • 7
    Add Text
    Aubri and Vonne add text to slides. They show different ways to select text and add text to both content placeholders and text boxes. They also review many of the different Autofit and AutoCorrect options as well as copy and paste options. x
  • 8
    Slides from Outline and Reuse Slides
    Vonne and Aubri demonstrate different ways to add slides and content into a presentation by using the Slides from Outline and Reuse Slides commands. x
  • 9
    Format Text: Basics
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri format text in slides. They cover character level formatting such as font, size, color, and character spacing. They also review some basic paragraph alignment, the format painter, and vertical alignment of a text frame. x
  • 10
    Format Text: Bullets and Spacing
    Vonne and Aubri concentrate on paragraph level formatting. They explore how to format and customize bullets as well as control line and paragraph spacing. They also review indents, tabs, hyphenation, and columns. x
  • 11
    Images: Basics
    Vonne and Aubri discuss the basic concepts of images, covering file types, resolution, image size, and alternate text. They also demonstrate how to size images using Paint. x
  • 12
    Images: Insert
    Aubri and Vonne show how to insert images into a presentation in PowerPoint. They cover insert from file, online, and screenshot as well as how to use the Snipping Tool. x
  • 13
    Images: Format, Part 1
    In this episode, Vonne and Wes show how to format images - specifically covering how to move, resize, rotate, crop, position, and reset images. x
  • 14
    Images: Format, Part 2
    Vonne and Wes continue to format images in this second part of the episode. They cover picture styles, color and other corrections, and artistic effects. They also cover how to remove background, change picture, save as picture, and the all important compress picture command. x
  • 15
    Shapes: Add and Format
    Wes and Vonne discuss adding and formatting shapes to a PowerPoint presentation. They show how to resize and rotate shapes, format gradient fills, format outlines, and add text to shapes. They also demonstrate how to edit shapes by the yellow dot in certain shapes and the edit points command. x
  • 16
    Shapes: Multiple Shapes
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri show how to duplicate, select, order, align, group, and merge multiple shapes. They also talk about ruler guides and how to turn on and off automatic alignment (smart guides). x
  • 17
    Icons and 3D Models
    Vonne and Aubri demonstrate how to insert and format icons and 3D model in a slide. These two features are available to Office 365 subscribers only. x
  • 18
    Tables: Introduction
    Aubri and Vonne introduce tables in PowerPoint. They review basic terminology and show examples of different options for formatting tables. They also demonstrate all the different mouse cursors and how to select parts of a table. x
  • 19
    Tables: Create and Format
    In this episode, Aubri and Vonne insert and format tables. They cover how to change row height and column width, align text in cells, merge and split cells, and modify cell margins. They also demonstrate how to format cell fills and borders individually and overall with table styles and style options. x
  • 20
    Charts: Introduction
    Vonne and Aubri introduce and review the anatomy of charts. They identify parts of a chart such as data series, category axis, legends, data labels, and data tables. They also show examples of how to format charts with styles as well as formatting individual elements. Finally, they demonstrate how to select chart items. x
  • 21
    Charts: Create
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri insert charts into a presentation. They show how to enter data into a datasheet, edit chart data, add chart elements individually or choose from a quick layout, and change chart types. x
  • 22
    Charts: Format
    Aubri and Vonne format chart elements in PowerPoint. They use chart styles as well as formatting individual elements with fills and outlines. Vonne gives some tips and tricks to formatting specific chart elements. x
  • 23
    Charts: Pie Charts
    Vonne and Aubri take a deeper dive into pie charts. They demonstrate options specifically for pie charts including formatting data labels, exploding pie pieces, and creating pie of pie type charts. x
  • 24
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri create SmartArt. They explore different layouts, how to add and modify information in the SmartArt graphic, change layouts, apply styles, and reset graphics to default formatting. They also show how to convert an existing list to a SmartArt graphic. x
  • 25
    SmartArt: Organization Chart
    Vonne and Aubri take a closer look into the organization chart SmartArt layout. They demonstrate how to add shapes, promote and demote, and format with styles. x
  • 26
    Design Themes
    In this episode, Aubri and Vonne discuss design themes, variants of themes, templates, and slide size. x
  • 27
    Aubri and Vonne explore the cool options available with PowerPoint Designer for Office 365 subscribers. x
  • 28
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri demonstrate how to enhance a presentation with slide transitions. They cover transition options, automatically advance slides, and the Morph transition. x
  • 29
    Vonne and Aubri enhance a presentation with animations. They discuss the different types of animations, animation options, the animation pane, triggers, reordering animation, and motion paths. x
  • 30
    Photo Album
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri show how to create a stylish photo album. They demonstrate how to edit an album and review all the different options available for formatting to create the final slide show. x
  • 31
    Always proof your work! In this episode, Vonne and Aubri demonstrate how to check spelling and grammar as well as how to use the thesaurus, Smart Lookup, translate, and find and replace. x
  • 32
    Prepare and Print
    Vonne and Aubri discuss how to be fully prepared for presenting a presentation, including being prepared for all the things that could go wrong. They show the various options for printing slides and handouts as well as exporting to different file types for distribution. x
  • 33
    Present a Slide Show
    In this episode, Vonne and Aubri demonstrate how to present a slide show. They cover how to use the Presenter View, annotate slides during a presentation, switch pointer options, and lots of shortcuts for controlling slide presentations. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Ability to download 33 video lectures from your digital library
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 33 lectures on 4 DVDs

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Your professor

Vonne Smith

About Your Professor

Vonne Smith
Vonne Smith is a University of Florida faculty member and has been teaching Microsoft® Office and Adobe® Creative Suite applications to individuals and companies for over 15 years.
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Microsoft PowerPoint Essentials is rated 1.3 out of 5 by 3.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful This is by far the worst course I have encountered. Disorganized, unprofessional, frequent pointless discussions, endless inane chatter, protracted introductions and wrap-ups, constant giggles, useless host, no outtake of mistakes, and repetitive. Why would anyone give a course for a PC program on a Mac and then frequently discuss the resulting problems? Also, the DVD format is problematical because the PowerPoint screen is too small. Your standards have evaporated. Did no one review this juvenile mishmash? The Teaching Company must be incapable of embarrassment.
Date published: 2020-11-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from so far a giggly presentation first of all i miss the standard course outline. Maybe it is nerves, but it is a poor professional presentation to giggle and giggle while attempting to present understandable instruction
Date published: 2020-11-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just Us Girls These are not "professional" presentations but two women periodically chatting and laughing together in between instruction. I'm sure information a person pays money for lies in the chapters but the format makes it too irritating to wait for. It even irritated my wife.
Date published: 2020-10-15
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