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6 Simple Parts for Beginners to Create a PowerPoint Presentation

Last Updated: December 19, 2022 Fact Checked

Creating a New PowerPoint

Creating the title slide, adding a new slide, adding content to slides, adding transitions, testing and saving your presentation.

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Darlene Antonelli, MA . Darlene Antonelli is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. Darlene has experience teaching college courses, writing technology-related articles, and working hands-on in the technology field. She earned an MA in Writing from Rowan University in 2012 and wrote her thesis on online communities and the personalities curated in such communities. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 4,308,321 times. Learn more...

Do you want to have your data in a slide show? If you have Microsoft 365, you can use PowerPoint! PowerPoint is a program that's part of the Microsoft Office suite (which you have to pay for) and is available for both Windows and Mac computers. This wikiHow teaches you how to create your own Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on a computer.

Things You Should Know

  • Templates make it easy to create vibrant presentations no matter your skill level.
  • When adding photos, you can adjust their sizes by clicking and dragging in or out from their corners.
  • You can add animated transitions between slides or to individual elements like bullet points and blocks of text.

Step 1 Open PowerPoint.

  • If you don't have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, you can use the website instead of the desktop app. Go to https://powerpoint.office.com/ to use the website version.
  • You can also use the mobile app to make presentations, though it's easier to do this on a computer, which has a larger screen, a mouse, and a keyboard.

Step 2 Select a template.

  • If you don't want to use a template, just click the Blank option in the upper-left side of the page and skip to the next part.

Step 3 Select a theme if possible.

  • Skip this step if your selected template has no themes available.

Step 4 Click Create.

  • If you're creating a PowerPoint presentation for which an elaborate title slide has been requested, ignore this step.

Step 2 Add a title.

  • You can change the font and size of text used from the Home tab that's in the orange ribbon at the top of the window.

Step 3 Add the subtitle.

  • You can also just leave this box blank if you like.

Step 4 Rearrange the title text boxes.

  • You can also click and drag in or out one of a text box's corners to shrink or enlarge the text box.

Step 1 Click the Insert tab.

  • On a Mac, you'll click the Home tab instead. [1] X Research source

Step 2 Click New Slide ▼.

  • Clicking the white slide-shaped box above this option will result in a new text slide being inserted.

Step 3 Select a type of slide.

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Content with Caption
  • Picture with Caption

Step 4 Add any other slides that you think you'll need.

  • Naturally, the title slide should be the first slide in your presentation, meaning that it should be the top slide in the left-hand column.

Step 1 Select a slide.

  • Skip this step and the next two steps if your selected slide uses a template that doesn't have text boxes in it.

Step 3 Add text to the slide.

  • Text boxes in PowerPoint will automatically format the bulk of your text for you (e.g., adding bullet points) based on the context of the content itself.
  • You can add notes that the Presentation will not include (but you'll still be able to see them on your screen) by clicking Notes at the bottom of the slide.

Step 4 Format the slide's text.

  • You can change the font of the selected text by clicking the current font's name and then clicking your preferred font.
  • If you want to change the size of the text, click the numbered drop-down box and then click a larger or smaller number based on whether you want to enlarge or shrink the text.
  • You can also change the color, bolding, italicization, underlining, and so on from here.

Step 5 Add photos to the slide.

  • Photos in particular can be enlarged or shrunk by clicking and dragging out or in one of their corners.

Step 7 Repeat this for each slide in your presentation.

  • Remember to keep slides uncluttered and relatively free of distractions. It's best to keep the amount of text per slide to around 33 words or less. [2] X Research source

Step 1 Select a slide.

  • Slide content will animate in the order in which you assign transitions. For example, if you animate a photo on the slide and then animate the title, the photo will appear before the title.
  • Make your slideshow progress automatically by setting the speed of every transition to align with your speech as well as setting each slide to Advance . [3] X Trustworthy Source Microsoft Support Technical support and product information from Microsoft. Go to source

Step 1 Review your PowerPoint.

  • If you need to exit the presentation, press Esc .

Step 5 Make any necessary changes before proceeding.

  • Windows - Click File , click Save , double-click This PC , select a save location, enter a name for your presentation, and click Save .
  • Mac - Click File , click Save As... , enter the presentation's name in the "Save As" field, select a save location by clicking the "Where" box and clicking a folder, and click Save .

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • If you save your PowerPoint presentation in .pps format instead of the default .ppt format, double-clicking your PowerPoint presentation file will prompt the presentation to open directly into the slideshow view. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 0
  • If you don't have Microsoft Office, you can still use Apple's Keynote program or Google Slides to create a PowerPoint presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to make powerpoint presentation for free

  • Your PowerPoint presentation (or some features in it) may not open in significantly older versions of PowerPoint. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • Great PowerPoint presentations avoid placing too much text on one slide. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Create a Powerpoint Handout

  • ↑ https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=DBDCE00C929AA5D8!252&ithint=file%2cpptx&app=PowerPoint&authkey=!AH4O9NxcbehqzIg
  • ↑ https://www.virtualsalt.com/powerpoint.htm
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/set-the-timing-and-speed-of-a-transition-c3c3c66f-4cca-4821-b8b9-7de0f3f6ead1#:~:text=To%20make%20the%20slide%20advance,effect%20on%20the%20slide%20finishes .

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  • [1] Once your paid subscription begins, cancelation policies vary based on your status as a new customer, product, and domain selections on Microsoft.  Learn more. Cancel your Microsoft 365 subscription any time by going to the Microsoft 365 admin center. When a subscription is canceled, all associated data will be deleted.  Learn more about data retention, deletion, and destruction in Microsoft 365 .

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation (Step-by-Step)

  • PowerPoint Tutorials
  • Presentation Design
  • January 22, 2024

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn step-by-step how to make a PowerPoint presentation from scratch.

While PowerPoint is designed to be intuitive and accessible, it can be overwhelming if you’ve never gotten any training on it before. As you progress through this guide, you’ll will learn how to move from blank slides to PowerPoint slides that look like these.

Example of the six slides you'll learn how to create in this tutorial

Table of Contents

Additionally, as you create your presentation, you’ll also learn tricks for working more efficiently in PowerPoint, including how to:

  • Change the slide order
  • Reset your layout
  • Change the slide dimensions
  • Use PowerPoint Designer
  • Format text
  • Format objects
  • Play a presentation (slide show)

With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be ready to start creating PowerPoint presentations. Moreover, you’ll have taken your skills from beginner to proficient in no time at all. I will also include links to more advanced PowerPoint topics.

Ready to start learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation?

Take your PPT skills to the next level

Start with a blank presentation.

Note: Before you open PowerPoint and start creating your presentation, make sure you’ve collected your thoughts. If you’re going to make your slides compelling, you need to spend some time brainstorming.

For help with this, see our article with tips for nailing your business presentation  here .

The first thing you’ll need to do is to open PowerPoint. When you do, you are shown the Start Menu , with the Home tab open.

This is where you can choose either a blank theme (1) or a pre-built theme (2). You can also choose to open an existing presentation (3).

For now, go ahead and click on the  Blank Presentation (1)  thumbnail.

In the backstage view of PowerPoint you can create a new blank presentation, use a template, or open a recent file

Doing so launches a brand new and blank presentation for you to work with. Before you start adding content to your presentation, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint interface

Picture of the different parts of the PowerPoint layout, including the Ribbon, thumbnail view, quick access toolbar, notes pane, etc.

Here is how the program is laid out:

  • The Application Header
  • The Ribbon (including the Ribbon tabs)
  • The Quick Access Toolbar (either above or below the Ribbon)
  • The Slides Pane (slide thumbnails)

The Slide Area

The notes pane.

  • The Status Bar (including the View Buttons)

Each one of these areas has options for viewing certain parts of the PowerPoint environment and formatting your presentation.

Below are the important things to know about certain elements of the PowerPoint interface.

The PowerPoint Ribbon

The PowerPoint Ribbon in the Microsoft Office Suite

The Ribbon is contextual. That means that it will adapt to what you’re doing in the program.

For example, the Font, Paragraph and Drawing options are greyed out until you select something that has text in it, as in the example below (A).

Example of the Shape Format tab in PowerPoint and all of the subsequent commands assoicated with that tab

Furthermore, if you start manipulating certain objects, the Ribbon will display additional tabs, as seen above (B), with more commands and features to help you work with those objects. The following objects have their own additional tabs in the Ribbon which are hidden until you select them:

  • Online Pictures
  • Screenshots
  • Screen Recording

The Slides Pane

The slides pane in PowerPoint is on the left side of your workspace

This is where you can preview and rearrange all the slides in your presentation.

Right-clicking on a slide  in the pane gives you additional options on the slide level that you won’t find on the Ribbon, such as  Duplicate Slide ,  Delete Slide , and  Hide Slide .

Right clicking a PowerPoint slide in the thumbnail view gives you a variety of options like adding new slides, adding sections, changing the layout, etc.

In addition, you can add sections to your presentation by  right-clicking anywhere in this Pane  and selecting  Add Section . Sections are extremely helpful in large presentations, as they allow you to organize your slides into chunks that you can then rearrange, print or display differently from other slides.

Content added to your PowerPoint slides will only display if it's on the slide area, marked here by the letter A

The Slide Area (A) is where you will build out your slides. Anything within the bounds of this area will be visible when you present or print your presentation.

Anything outside of this area (B) will be hidden from view. This means that you can place things here, such as instructions for each slide, without worrying about them being shown to your audience.

The notes pane in PowerPoint is located at the bottom of your screen and is where you can type your speaker notes

The  Notes Pane  is the space beneath the Slide Area where you can type in the speaker notes for each slide. It’s designed as a fast way to add and edit your slides’ talking points.

To expand your knowledge and learn more about adding, printing, and exporting your PowerPoint speaker notes, read our guide here .

Your speaker notes are visible when you print your slides using the Notes Pages option and when you use the Presenter View . To expand your knowledge and learn the ins and outs of using the Presenter View , read our guide here .

You can click and drag to resize the notes pane at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen

You can resize the  Notes Pane  by clicking on its edge and dragging it up or down (A). You can also minimize or reopen it by clicking on the Notes button in the Status Bar (B).

Note:  Not all text formatting displays in the Notes Pane, even though it will show up when printing your speaker notes. To learn more about printing PowerPoint with notes, read our guide here .

Now that you have a basic grasp of the PowerPoint interface at your disposal, it’s time to make your presentation.

Adding Content to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Notice that in the Slide Area , there are two rectangles with dotted outlines. These are called  Placeholders  and they’re set on the template in the Slide Master View .

To expand your knowledge and learn how to create a PowerPoint template of your own (which is no small task), read our guide here .

Click into your content placeholders and start typing text, just as the prompt suggests

As the prompt text suggests, you can click into each placeholder and start typing text. These types of placeholder prompts are customizable too. That means that if you are using a company template, it might say something different, but the functionality is the same.

Example of typing text into a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Note:  For the purposes of this example, I will create a presentation based on the content in the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, which is available to the public on their website.

If you type in more text than there is room for, PowerPoint will automatically reduce its font size. You can stop this behavior by clicking on the  Autofit Options  icon to the left of the placeholder and selecting  Stop Fitting Text to this Placeholder .

Next, you can make formatting adjustments to your text by selecting the commands in the Font area and the  Paragraph area  of the  Home  tab of the Ribbon.

Use the formatting options on the Home tab to choose the formatting of your text

The Reset Command:  If you make any changes to your title and decide you want to go back to how it was originally, you can use the Reset button up in the Home tab .

Hitting the reset command on the home tab resets your slide formatting to match your template

Insert More Slides into Your Presentation

Now that you have your title slide filled in, it’s time to add more slides. To do that, simply go up to the  Home tab  and click on  New Slide . This inserts a new slide in your presentation right after the one you were on.

To insert a new slide in PowerPoint, on the home tab click the New Slide command

You can alternatively hit Ctrl+M on your keyboard to insert a new blank slide in PowerPoint. To learn more about this shortcut, see my guide on using Ctrl+M in PowerPoint .

Instead of clicking the New Slide command, you can also open the New Slide dropdown to see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template. Depending on who created your template, your layouts in this dropdown can be radically different.

Opening the new slide dropdown you can see all the slide layouts in your PowerPoint template

If you insert a layout and later want to change it to a different layout, you can use the Layout dropdown instead of the New Slide dropdown.

After inserting a few different slide layouts, your presentation might look like the following picture. Don’t worry that it looks blank, next we will start adding content to your presentation.

Example of a number of different blank slide layouts inserting in a PowerPoint presentation

If you want to follow along exactly with me, your five slides should be as follows:

  • Title Slide
  • Title and Content
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Picture with Caption

Adding Content to Your Slides

Now let’s go into each slide and start adding our content. You’ll notice some new types of placeholders.

Use the icons within a content placeholder to insert things like tables, charts, SmartArt, Pictures, etc.

On slide 2 we have a  Content Placeholder , which allows you to add any kind of content. That includes:

  • A SmartArt graphic,
  • A 3D object,
  • A picture from the web,
  • Or an icon.

To insert text, simply type it in or hit  Ctrl+C to Copy  and Ctrl+V to Paste  from elsewhere. To insert any of the other objects, click on the appropriate icon and follow the steps to insert it.

For my example, I’ll simply type in some text as you can see in the picture below.

Example typing bulleted text in a content placeholder in PowerPoint

Slides 3 and 4 only have text placeholders, so I’ll go ahead and add in my text into each one.

Examples of text typed into a divider slide and a title and content slide in PowerPoint

On slide 5 we have a Picture Placeholder . That means that the only elements that can go into it are:

  • A picture from the web

A picture placeholder in PowerPoint can only take an image or an icon

To insert a picture into the picture placeholder, simply:

  • Click on the  Picture  icon
  • Find  a picture on your computer and select it
  • Click on  Insert

Alternatively, if you already have a picture open somewhere else, you can select the placeholder and paste in (shortcut: Ctrl+V ) the picture. You can also drag the picture in from a file explorer window.

To insert a picture into a picture placeholder, click the picture icon, find your picture on your computer and click insert

If you do not like the background of the picture you inserted onto your slide, you can remove the background here in PowerPoint. To see how to do this, read my guide here .

Placeholders aren’t the only way to add content to your slides. At any point, you can use the Insert tab to add elements to your slides.

You can use either the Title Only  or the  Blank  slide layout to create slides for content that’s different. For example, a three-layout content slide, or a single picture divider slide, as shown below.

Example slides using PowerPoint icons and background pictures

In the first example above, I’ve inserted 6 text boxes, 3 icons, and 3 circles to create this layout. In the second example, I’ve inserted a full-sized picture and then 2 shapes and 2 text boxes.

The Reset Command:  Because these slides are built with shapes and text boxes (and not placeholders), hitting the  Reset button up in the  Home tab  won’t do anything.

That is a good thing if you don’t want your layouts to adjust. However, it does mean that it falls on you to make sure everything is aligned and positioned correctly.

For more on how to add and manipulate the different objects in PowerPoint, check out our step-by-step articles here:

  • Using graphics in PowerPoint
  • Inserting icons onto slides
  • Adding pictures to your PowerPoint
  • How to embed a video in PowerPoint
  • How to add music to your presentation

Using Designer to generate more layouts ideas

If you have Office 365, your version of PowerPoint comes with a new feature called Designer (or Design Ideas). This is a feature that generates slide layout ideas for you. The coolest thing about this feature is that it uses the content you already have.

To use Designer , simply navigate to the  Design tab  in your Ribbon, and click on  Design Ideas .

To use Designer on your slides, click the

NOTE: If the PowerPoint Designer is not working for you (it is grey out), see my troubleshooting guide for Designer .

Change the Overall Design (optional)

When you make a PowerPoint presentation, you’ll want to think about the overall design. Now that you have some content in your presentation, you can use the Design tab to change the look and feel of your slides.

For additional help thinking through the design of your presentation,  read my guide here .

A. Picking your PowerPoint slide size

If you have PowerPoint 2013 or later, when you create a blank document in PowerPoint, you automatically start with a widescreen layout with a 16:9 ratio. These dimensions are suitable for most presentations as they match the screens of most computers and projectors.

However, you do have the option to change the dimensions.

For example, your presentation might not be presented, but instead converted into a PDF or printed and distributed. In that case, you can easily switch to the standard dimensions with a 4:3 ratio by selecting from the dropdown (A).

You can also choose a custom slide size or change the slide orientation from landscape to portrait in the Custom Slide Size dialog box (B).

To change your slide size, click the Design tab, open the slide size dropdown and choose a size or custom slide size

To learn all about the different PowerPoint slide sizes, and some of the issues you will face when changing the slide size of a non-blank presentation,  read my guide here .

 B. Selecting a PowerPoint theme

The next thing you can do is change the theme of your presentation to a pre-built one. For a detailed explanation of what a PowerPoint theme is, and how to best use it,  read my article here .

In the beginning of this tutorial, we started with a blank presentation, which uses the default Office theme as you can see in the picture below.

All PowerPoint presentations start with the default Microsoft Office theme

That gives you the most flexibility because it has a blank background and quite simple layouts that work for most presentations. However, it also means that it’s your responsibility to enhance the design.

If you’re comfortable with this, you can stay with the default theme or create your own custom theme ( read my guide here ). But if you would rather not have to think about design, then you can choose a pre-designed theme.

Microsoft provides 46 other pre-built themes, which include slide layouts, color variants and palettes, and fonts. Each one varies quite significantly, so make sure you look through them carefully.

To select a different theme, go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon, and click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Themes section .

On the Design tab you will find all of the default PowerPoint templates that come with the Microsoft Office Suite

For this tutorial, let’s select the  Frame  theme and then choose the third Variant in the theme. Doing so changes the layout, colors, and fonts of your presentation.

Example choosing the Frame PowerPoint theme and the third variant of this powerpoint presentation

Note: The theme dropdown area is also where you can import or save custom themes. To see my favorite places to find professional PowerPoint templates and themes (and recommendations for why I like them), read my guide here .

C. How to change a slide background in PowerPoint

The next thing to decide is how you want your background to look for the entire presentation. In the  Variants area, you can see four background options.

To change the background style of your presentation, on the Design tab, find the Background Styles options and choose a style

For this example, we want our presentation to have a dark background, so let’s select Style 3. When you do so, you’ll notice that:

  • The background color automatically changes across all slides
  • The color of the text on most of the slides automatically changes to white so that it’s visible on the dark background
  • The colors of the objects on slides #6 and #7 also adjust, in a way we may not want (we’ll likely have to make some manual adjustments to these slides)

What our PowerPoint presentation looks like now that we have selected a theme, a variant, and a background style

Note: If you want to change the slide background for just that one slide, don’t left-click the style. Instead, right-click it and select Apply to Selected Slides .

After you change the background for your entire presentation, you can easily adjust the background for an individual slide.

You can either right-click a PowerPoint slide and select format background or navigate to the design tab and click the format background command

Inside the Format Background pane, you can see you have the following options:

  • Gradient fill
  • Picture or texture fill
  • Pattern fill
  • Hide background

You can explore these options to find the PowerPoint background that best fits your presentation.

D. How to change your color palette in PowerPoint

Another thing you may want to adjust in your presentation, is the color scheme. In the picture below you can see the Theme Colors we are currently using for this presentation.

Example of the theme colors we are currently using with this presentation

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own color palette. By default, the Office theme includes the Office color palette. This affects the colors you are presented with when you format any element within your presentation (text, shapes, SmartArt, etc.).

To change the theme color for your presentation, select the Design tab, open the Colors options and choose the colors you want to use

The good news is that the colors here are easy to change. To switch color palettes, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Variants area, click on the  dropdown arrow  and select  Colors
  • Select  the color palette (or theme colors) you want

You can choose among the pre-built color palettes from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

As you build your presentation, make sure you use the colors from your theme to format objects. That way, changing the color palette adjusts all the colors in your presentation automatically.

E. How to change your fonts in PowerPoint

Just as we changed the color palette, you can do the same for the fonts.

Example of custom theme fonts that might come with a powerpoint template

Each PowerPoint theme comes with its own font combination. By default, the Office theme includes the Office font pairing. This affects the fonts that are automatically assigned to all text in your presentation.

To change the default fonts for your presentation, from the design tab, find the fonts dropdown and select the pair of fonts you want to use

The good news is that the font pairings are easy to change. To switch your Theme Fonts, simply:

  • Go to the  Design tab  in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  in the  Variants  area
  • Select  Fonts
  • Select  the font pairing you want

You can choose among the pre-built fonts from Office, or you can customize them to create your own.

If you are working with PowerPoint presentations on both Mac and PC computers, make sure you choose a safe PowerPoint font. To see a list of the safest PowerPoint fonts, read our guide here .

If you receive a PowerPoint presentation and the wrong fonts were used, you can use the Replace Fonts dialog box to change the fonts across your entire presentation. For details, read our guide here .

Adding Animations & Transitions (optional)

The final step to make a PowerPoint presentation compelling, is to consider using animations and transitions. These are by no means necessary to a good presentation, but they may be helpful in your situation.

A. Adding PowerPoint animations

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust animations engine designed to power your creativity. That being said, it’s also easy to get started with basic animations.

Animations are movements that you can apply to individual objects on your slide.

To add an animation to an object in PowerPoint, first select the object and then use the Animations tab to select an animation type

To add a PowerPoint animation to an element of your slide, simply:

  • Select the  element
  • Go to the  Animations tab in the Ribbon
  • Click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  animation  you want

You can add animations to multiple objects at one time by selecting them all first and then applying the animation.

B. How to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation

There are three ways to preview a PowerPoint animation:

  • Click on the Preview button in the Animations tab
  • Click on the little star  next to the slide
  • Play the slide in Slide Show Mode

To learn other ways to run your slide show, see our guide on presenting a PowerPoint slide show with shortcuts .

To adjust the settings of your animations, explore the options in the  Effect Options ,  Advanced Animation  and the  Timing  areas of the  Animation tab .

The Animations tab allows you to adjust the effects and timings of your animations in PowerPoint

Note:  To see how to make objects appear and disappear in your slides by clicking a button,  read our guide here .

C. How to manage your animations in PowerPoint

You can see the animations applied to your objects by the little numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the objects

The best way to manage lots of animations on your slide is with the Animation Pane . To open it, simply:

  • Navigate to the  Animations tab
  • Select the  Animation Pane

Inside the Animation Pane, you’ll see all of the different animations that have been applied to objects on your slide, with their numbers marked as pictured above.

Note: To see examples of PowerPoint animations that can use in PowerPoint, see our list of PowerPoint animation tutorials here .

D. How to add transitions to your PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint has an incredibly robust transition engine so that you can dictate how your slides change from one to the other. It is also extremely easy to add transitions to your slides.

In PowerPoint, transitions are the movements (or effects) you see as you move between two slides.

To add a transition to a slide, select the slide, navigate to the transitions tab in PowerPoint and select your transition

To add a transition to a PowerPoint slide, simply:

  • Select the  slide
  • Go to the  Transitions tab in the Ribbon
  • In the Transitions to This Slide area, click on the  dropdown arrow  to view your options
  • Select the  transition  you want

To adjust the settings of the transition, explore the options in the  Timing  area of the Transitions tab.

You can also add the same transition to multiple slides. To do that, select them in the  Slides Pane  and apply the transition.

E. How to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview a transition in PowerPoint

There are three ways to preview your PowerPoint transitions (just like your animations):

  • Click on the Preview  button in the Transitions tab
  • Click on the little star  beneath the slide number in the thumbnail view

Note:  In 2016, PowerPoint added a cool new transition, called Morph. It operates a bit differently from other transitions. For a detailed tutorial on how to use the cool Morph transition,  see our step-by-step article here .

Save Your PowerPoint Presentation

After you’ve built your presentation and made all the adjustments to your slides, you’ll want to save your presentation. YOu can do this several different ways.

Click the file tab, select Save As, choose where you want to save your presentation and then click save

To save a PowerPoint presentation using your Ribbon, simply:

  • Navigate to the  File tab
  •  Select  Save As  on the left
  • Choose  where you want to save your presentation
  • Name  your presentation and/or adjust your file type settings
  • Click  Save

You can alternatively use the  Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut to save your presentation. I recommend using this shortcut frequently as you build your presentation to make sure you don’t lose any of your work.

The save shortcut is control plus s in PowerPoint

This is the standard way to save a presentation. However, there may be a situation where you want to save your presentation as a different file type.

To learn how to save your presentation as a PDF, see our guide on converting PowerPoint to a PDF .

How to save your PowerPoint presentation as a template

Once you’ve created a presentation that you like, you may want to turn it into a template. The easiest – but not technically correct – way, is to simply create a copy of your current presentation and then change the content.

But be careful! A PowerPoint template is a special type of document and it has its own parameters and behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning about how to create your own PowerPoint template from scratch, see our guide on how to create a PowerPoint template .

Printing Your PowerPoint Presentation

After finishing your PowerPoint presentation, you may want to print it out on paper. Printing your slides is relatively easy.

The print shortcut is control plus P in PowerPoint

To open the Print dialog box, you can either:

  • Hit Ctrl+P on your keyboard
  • Or go to the Ribbon and click on File and then Print

In the Print dialog box, make your selections for how you want to print your PowerPoint presentation, then click print

Inside the Print dialog box, you can choose from the various printing settings:

  • Printer: Select a printer to use (or print to PDF or OneNote)
  • Slides: Choose which slides you want to print
  • Layout: Determine how many slides you want per page (this is where you can print the notes, outline, and handouts)
  • Collated or uncollated (learn what collated printing means here )
  • Color: Choose to print in color, grayscale or black & white

There are many more options for printing your PowerPoint presentations. Here are links to more in-depth articles:

  • How to print multiple slides per page
  • How to print your speaker notes in PowerPoint
  • How to save PowerPoint as a picture presentation

So that’s how to create a PowerPoint presentation if you are brand new to it. We’ve also included a ton of links to helpful resources to boost your PowerPoint skills further.

When you are creating your presentation, it is critical to first focus on the content (what you are trying to say) before getting lost inserting and playing with elements. The clearer you are on what you want to present, the easier it will be to build it out in PowerPoint.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and other presentation resources by  visiting us here .

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AI presentation maker

When lack of inspiration or time constraints are something you’re worried about, it’s a good idea to seek help. Slidesgo comes to the rescue with its latest functionality—the AI presentation maker! With a few clicks, you’ll have wonderful slideshows that suit your own needs . And it’s totally free!

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Generate presentations in minutes

We humans make the world move, but we need to sleep, rest and so on. What if there were someone available 24/7 for you? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and ask the AI presentation maker to give you a hand. The possibilities are endless : you choose the topic, the tone and the style, and the AI will do the rest. Now we’re talking!

Customize your AI-generated presentation online

Alright, your robotic pal has generated a presentation for you. But, for the time being, AIs can’t read minds, so it’s likely that you’ll want to modify the slides. Please do! We didn’t forget about those time constraints you’re facing, so thanks to the editing tools provided by one of our sister projects —shoutouts to Wepik — you can make changes on the fly without resorting to other programs or software. Add text, choose your own colors, rearrange elements, it’s up to you! Oh, and since we are a big family, you’ll be able to access many resources from big names, that is, Freepik and Flaticon . That means having a lot of images and icons at your disposal!

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How does it work?

Think of your topic.

First things first, you’ll be talking about something in particular, right? A business meeting, a new medical breakthrough, the weather, your favorite songs, a basketball game, a pink elephant you saw last Sunday—you name it. Just type it out and let the AI know what the topic is.

Choose your preferred style and tone

They say that variety is the spice of life. That’s why we let you choose between different design styles, including doodle, simple, abstract, geometric, and elegant . What about the tone? Several of them: fun, creative, casual, professional, and formal. Each one will give you something unique, so which way of impressing your audience will it be this time? Mix and match!

Make any desired changes

You’ve got freshly generated slides. Oh, you wish they were in a different color? That text box would look better if it were placed on the right side? Run the online editor and use the tools to have the slides exactly your way.

Download the final result for free

Yes, just as envisioned those slides deserve to be on your storage device at once! You can export the presentation in .pdf format and download it for free . Can’t wait to show it to your best friend because you think they will love it? Generate a shareable link!

What is an AI-generated presentation?

It’s exactly “what it says on the cover”. AIs, or artificial intelligences, are in constant evolution, and they are now able to generate presentations in a short time, based on inputs from the user. This technology allows you to get a satisfactory presentation much faster by doing a big chunk of the work.

Can I customize the presentation generated by the AI?

Of course! That’s the point! Slidesgo is all for customization since day one, so you’ll be able to make any changes to presentations generated by the AI. We humans are irreplaceable, after all! Thanks to the online editor, you can do whatever modifications you may need, without having to install any software. Colors, text, images, icons, placement, the final decision concerning all of the elements is up to you.

Can I add my own images?

Absolutely. That’s a basic function, and we made sure to have it available. Would it make sense to have a portfolio template generated by an AI without a single picture of your own work? In any case, we also offer the possibility of asking the AI to generate images for you via prompts. Additionally, you can also check out the integrated gallery of images from Freepik and use them. If making an impression is your goal, you’ll have an easy time!

Is this new functionality free? As in “free of charge”? Do you mean it?

Yes, it is, and we mean it. We even asked our buddies at Wepik, who are the ones hosting this AI presentation maker, and they told us “yup, it’s on the house”.

Are there more presentation designs available?

From time to time, we’ll be adding more designs. The cool thing is that you’ll have at your disposal a lot of content from Freepik and Flaticon when using the AI presentation maker. Oh, and just as a reminder, if you feel like you want to do things yourself and don’t want to rely on an AI, you’re on Slidesgo, the leading website when it comes to presentation templates. We have thousands of them, and counting!.

How can I download my presentation?

The easiest way is to click on “Download” to get your presentation in .pdf format. But there are other options! You can click on “Present” to enter the presenter view and start presenting right away! There’s also the “Share” option, which gives you a shareable link. This way, any friend, relative, colleague—anyone, really—will be able to access your presentation in a moment.

Discover more content

This is just the beginning! Slidesgo has thousands of customizable templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint. Our designers have created them with much care and love, and the variety of topics, themes and styles is, how to put it, immense! We also have a blog, in which we post articles for those who want to find inspiration or need to learn a bit more about Google Slides or PowerPoint. Do you have kids? We’ve got a section dedicated to printable coloring pages! Have a look around and make the most of our site!

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how to make powerpoint presentation for free

Create and open

Create and open a presentation in powerpoint for the web.

Starting in PowerPoint for the web means your files are automatically saved in OneDrive. This lets you share the files with co-workers and start collaborating immediately. And when you need more functionality, you can work on the presentation together in the PowerPoint desktop app and all of your changes will be saved online.

To convert your Google Slides to PowerPoint, go to File > Download > Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx). Then open the file in PowerPoint. See more at Get started with Sheets .

Create, open, and name a presentation

Go to powerpoint.office.com .

The app launcher icon in Office 365

Select New blank presentation , open a Recent file, or select one of the themes .

To name the presentation, select the title at the top and type a name.

If you need to rename the presentation, select the title and retype the name.

Create a presentation

Add a slide

Select the slide you want your new slide to follow.

Select Home > New Slide .

Select Layout and the you type want from the drop-down.

Slide Layouts in PowerPoint

When working in PowerPoint for the web, your work is saved every few seconds. You can select File > Save a Copy to create a duplicate copy in another location.

Or choose File > Download As to save a copy to your device.

Use Download a Copy to save the presentation to your computer

When you're online, AutoSave is always on and saves your changes as you work. If at any time you lose your Internet connection or turn it off, any pending changes will sync as soon as you’re back online.

The AutoSave Toggle in Office

Select Tell me what you want to do at the top of the screen.

Type what you want to do.

Select one of the search results.

Tell me

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How To Use Microsoft Office on the Web for Free

David Nield Avatar

Judging by the frequency with which people ask me this, I’m assuming there’s still a sizeable chunk of the population that doesn’t know that you can use Microsoft’s official online version of Office in your web browser, free of charge—or that Office is called Microsoft 365 these days. All you need is a Microsoft account and an internet connection.

You miss out on a few features, of course—Microsoft isn’t going to give away its flagship product in full for free—but if you need to quickly open or edit a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file, then the online tools can do the job rather well. Here’s how to get started and the features available to you.

Getting started

Head to the Microsoft Office online portal , and not only will you get a reminder that Office is now Microsoft 365 (despite the domain name), but you’ll also be able to sign in with your Microsoft account. We’re assuming you’ve set up a Microsoft account for some reason or another, but if you haven’t, you can do so here.

After you’ve signed in, you’ll be met with an elegant-looking dashboard where you can get at all of the files you’ve got stored in OneDrive, as well as a variety of Microsoft web apps—apps which include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can click on a file to open it or create a new file from the row of icons at the top.

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Select an app from the panel down the left, and you can see recent files for that app in particular and a few templates you can use to get started more quickly. They include retirement planners in Excel and resumes in Word. You can also upload a document, spreadsheet, or presentation from your computer via the Upload button.

Each new file opens up in its tab, so you can work in multiple Word, Excel, and PowerPoint tabs simultaneously if you need to. The interface doesn’t offer many options: You have to take what Microsoft gives you here regarding how everything is arranged and works.

Editing files

If you’ve used the desktop versions of Microsoft Office (or Microsoft 365), you’ll be right at home with the web interface. Your ribbon menu is at the top of the tab window, letting you format whatever’s already in place and drop in new elements as needed. Of course, the available features vary depending on which app you’re using.

Up in the top right corner of the screen, you’ve got controls for adding comments, sharing the file with other people (having it always online makes collaboration very straightforward), and switching between the various modes of operation: Editing , Reviewing , and Viewing . You also have the option from the same menu to open the file in the equivalent desktop program if you’ve got it installed.

how to make powerpoint presentation for free

All the key features are easy to pick up, whether you’re a complete beginner or already used to desktop applications. If you get stuck, a large search box is at the top of the screen. You can use this to look for a particular option in the menus. Click on the Help entry on the ribbon menu for more assistance.

As web apps go, these are pretty comprehensive—you can select, drag, right-click, and more, just as you would in traditional Word, Excel, and PowerPoint versions. You won’t find a save button, as everything is automatically saved and synced to the cloud as you make changes, but you can use the File menu if you need to download a local copy as well.

What you can and can’t do

The Office online apps are cut-down versions of their desktop counterparts, though quite a few users might not notice the differences, depending on how demanding their requirements are. The basic opening and editing functions are here; asmentioned, everything gets synced automatically to your OneDrive account.

Regarding Microsoft Word on the web, you can’t access certain layout features, like the option to show gridlines or create columns in your document. You’re unable to add watermarks, themes, or page colors, and you can’t drop in charts, a bibliography, or citations. Some other advanced features, such as mail merge, are disabled, too.

how to make powerpoint presentation for free

As for Microsoft Excel on the web, the differences in the online app aren’t all that easy to spot right away: It’s only when you start to dig deeper and access the more sophisticated tools that the discrepancies show. The web app doesn’t offer as many chart types, for instance, or as many data import options, and you can’t name selected ranges—all features that only advanced users will need.

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Don't start your work presentations by simply saying 'hello.' Here's how to be more engaging in the conference room.

  • I'm a public-speaking expert, and I've trained many executives and senior teams.
  • I tell all of them to stop starting work presentations with a salutation or a "hello."
  • Instead, you should engage your audience by telling a story or asking a question.

Insider Today

I'm sure you've sat through plenty of presentations where the presenter starts with a polite salutation like, "Hello, thank you for having me here today," or, "I am so glad to be here" — often followed by their name and professional résumé . Sometimes, if it's an internal meeting, you get the same salutations followed by an agenda slide with bullet points and the presenter narrating it.

As a public-speaking coach who has worked with many executives and senior teams, I know how to make work presentations more engaging. Here's how you should change your approach.

If you stick to your old ways, you aren't leaving a memorable first impression

Your audience is thinking three things when you walk into that conference room or onto that stage: Who is this person, why should I care, and how are they going to solve my problem?

Let's face it: Most people are more interested in how you will solve their problem than in you and your professional résumé. So let's flip the script a bit. Start with the solution to their problem, briefly talk about yourself for credibility, and then give them a reason to care.

Instead, try to capture their attention

Begin your presentation with a hook or a story — something that grabs their attention right from the start. For instance, your hook might be, "Did you know this?" or "What if that?" It could also be a short story that humanizes your services or products.

Most presentations are predictable; wouldn't it be better for both your time and your audience if you could introduce an element of surprise?

Some might feel it rude not to thank the organizer or greet the audience, so I suggest finding another place in your presentation for this. Here's a good structure:

Intro: "What if you could be a more confident and credible presenter? What if you could engage with your audience so they remember your products or services?"

Credibility: "My name is Meridith, and I've been coaching entrepreneurs and executives on how to speak with spark for over a decade, and I am really excited to be here. I want to thank [insert name] for inviting me to share the afternoon with you."

Solution: "Today, I will give you three ways to make your audience remember your products and services, helping you stand out in a competitive market. Let's get this party started!"

You could also try to form a personal connection

Often, presentations lack a personal touch. Try sharing a relevant personal anecdote or experience that relates to your topic. This not only makes your work presentation more relatable but also helps to establish a deeper connection with your audience.

For example, you could say: "When I was younger, I often hid in the back of the classroom, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me because I didn't want to sound stupid or have the wrong answer. Later in life, I discovered acting and improv comedy . It was through the practice of these two art forms that I developed my confidence and learned how to engage more courageously with others. Today, I will give you solutions for how you can also better engage your audience with spark."

Try to encourage interaction

At the very least, you should try to engage your audience from the beginning — whether in person or on virtual calls. You can ask a thought-provoking question or propose a challenge that involves them directly. This approach shifts the dynamic to more interactive and engaging sessions.

If you implement any of these suggestions, you can make your presentation memorable and impactful immediately. And you'll most likely get a larger return on your investment of time and energy.

In today's fast-paced world, where attention spans are increasingly shorter than ever, it's crucial to grab and hold your audience's attention from the very beginning. By doing so, you set the stage for a more engaging and productive interaction. So challenge yourself to break free from presentation norms and embrace a style that resonates deeply with your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

how to make powerpoint presentation for free

Watch: A public speaking champion reveals 3 keys to nailing your business presentation

how to make powerpoint presentation for free

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  1. How To Create A PowerPoint Template? Learn To Create Presentation

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  2. How To Create A PowerPoint Template? Learn To Create Presentation

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  3. How To Create Professional Presentations Using Free PowerPoint Templates?

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  4. MAKE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION │POWERPOINT SLIDE │BUSINESS PRESENTATION │HR SLIDE

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  6. How To Make A Good PowerPoint Presentation Design

    how to make powerpoint presentation for free

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  1. Basic PowerPoint presentation Video

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  3. How To Design An Awesome Powerpoint Presentation || PowerPoint Tutorial

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  1. Google Slides: Online Slideshow Maker

    Create, present, and collaborate on online presentations in real-time and from any device. Try Slides for Work Go to Slides Don't have an account? See what you can do with Google Slides...

  2. Online PPT Maker

    Creating impressive slides is now amazingly simple with Canva's online drag and drop presentation maker. Goodbye, PowerPoint; hello amazing slides! As a speaker or presenter, your slides can make you or break you.

  3. Create a presentation in PowerPoint

    Open PowerPoint. In the left pane, select New. Select an option: To create a presentation from scratch, select Blank Presentation. To use a prepared design, select one of the templates. To see tips for using PowerPoint, select Take a Tour, and then select Create, . Add a slide

  4. Free Online Presentation Maker

    Create Presentations Online Presentation Maker for Engaging Presentations Create Your Presentation It's free and easy to use. Online presentation maker with 900+ slide layouts. Millions of images, icons and graphics to choose from. Dozens of chart types to visualize data and numbers. Chosen by brands large and small

  5. Free online presentation maker and editor

    Download the Shivaratri presentation for PowerPoint or Google Slides and start impressing your audience with a creative and original design. Slidesgo templates like this one here offer the possibility to convey a concept, idea or topic in a clear, concise and visual way, by using different graphic resources. You need...

  6. How to Create a PowerPoint Presentation: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Download Article An easy-to-follow tutorial for beginners on making a presentation in PowerPoint Written by Darlene Antonelli, MA Last Updated: December 19, 2022 Fact Checked Creating a New PowerPoint | Creating the Title Slide | Adding a New Slide | Adding Content to Slides | Adding Transitions | Testing and Saving Your Presentation | Video | Q&A

  7. Free Online Slide Presentation: PowerPoint

    Free Online Slide Presentation: PowerPoint | Microsoft 365 Microsoft PowerPoint Get it now with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Buy now Try for free Looking to use PowerPoint on the web? Sign in The 2023 Microsoft Work Trend Index Annual Report: Will AI Fix Work? Read the report Copilot in PowerPoint Turn your inspiration into stunning presentations.

  8. SlidesCarnival: Free PowerPoint & Google Slides Templates That Stand Out

    Download your presentation as a PowerPoint template or use it online as a Google Slides theme. 100% free, no registration or download limits. Content PowerPoint

  9. Online PowerPoint Maker

    Create Presentations Edit your PowerPoint online in minutes Import Your PowerPoint It's free and easy to use. Easily import and edit your PowerPoint presentations. Spice up old PPT presentations with Visme. Open, edit and view your PowerPoint online. Chosen by brands large and small

  10. Create a presentation in PowerPoint for the web

    Select New blank presentation, open a Recent file, select one of the themes, or start with a presentation template. To name the presentation, select the title at the top and type a name. If you need to rename the presentation, select the title and retype the name. Add a slide Select the slide you want your new slide to follow.

  11. How to Make a Great PowerPoint Presentation for College (Plus 12 Free

    Tip 4: Make use of charts and graphs. We all love a good stat. Charts and graphs are a great way to present quantitative evidence and confirm the legitimacy of your claims. They make your presentation more visually appealing and make your data more memorable too. But don't delve too deep into the details.

  12. How to create a presentation in PowerPoint

    In PowerPoint, you can create a presentation from scratch, or from a theme with built-in graphics, fonts, and placeholders for your text, images, and content...

  13. The Beginner's Guide to Microsoft PowerPoint

    Introduction The Beginner's Guide to Microsoft PowerPoint Technology for Teachers and Students 1.4M subscribers Join Subscribe Subscribed 97K Save 7.7M views 6 years ago PowerPoint for...

  14. PowerPoint 101: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

    Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation design software that is part of Microsoft 365. This software allows you to design presentations by combining text, images, graphics, video, and animation on slides in a simple and intuitive way. Over time, PowerPoint has evolved and improved its accessibility to users.

  15. How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation (Step-by-Step)

    The first thing you'll need to do is to open PowerPoint. When you do, you are shown the Start Menu, with the Home tab open. This is where you can choose either a blank theme (1) or a pre-built theme (2). You can also choose to open an existing presentation (3).

  16. Free Online Presentation Maker

    Create a Presentation Trusted by 22M+ users and 100k+ high-end companies Presentation templates for every purpose Explore our presentation slides and design elements to find the perfect solution for your next project. Online Marketing Course Slides Architectural Studio Presentation Business Presentation Variety Kit Medical Center Slides

  17. Free Google Slides themes and Powerpoint templates

    Download the Digital Marketing Best Practices presentation for PowerPoint or Google Slides and take your marketing projects to the next level. This template is the perfect ally for your advertising strategies, launch campaigns or report presentations. Customize your content with ease, highlight your ideas and captivate your audience with a...

  18. Basic tasks for creating a PowerPoint presentation

    Insert a new slide On the Home tab, click the bottom half of New Slide, and pick a slide layout. Read more: Add, rearrange, and delete slides. Save your presentation On the File tab, choose Save. Pick or browse to a folder. In the File name box, type a name for your presentation, and then choose Save.

  19. 60 Effective PowerPoint Presentation Tips & Tricks (Giant List)

    The PowerPoint presentation tips we share below will help you make a good presentation. Guide to Making Great Presentations (Free eBook Download) Also, download our Free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's the deepest resource for learning effective presentation skills for a PPT.

  20. Free AI Presentation Maker

    Slidesgo comes to the rescue with its latest functionality—the AI Presentation Maker! With a few clicks, you'll have wonderful slideshows that suit your own needs. And it's totally free! Get started How does it work? Elegant Education Pack for Students Try for free our new AI Presentation Generator and create a customizable template in seconds.

  21. PowerPoint for Beginners

    Get started with PowerPoint for Beginners. Follow this 20-Minute step by step PowerPoint tutorial to start creating presentations smoothly.Contents of this v...

  22. 20 Free Beautiful PowerPoint Templates (Download for 2023)

    Download this beautiful PowerPoint presentation and share it with your co-workers. 20. Free Beautiful PowerPoint Presentation with a Bouquet. This beautiful PowerPoint presentation is one of the beautiful PowerPoint templates free files. This beautiful template for PowerPoint features pictures of flowers. Promote your business or create a ...

  23. How to Use Microsoft Office on the Web for Free

    Get access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in your web browser. ... of course—Microsoft isn't going to give away its flagship product in full for free—but if you need to quickly open or edit ...

  24. Create and open a presentation in PowerPoint for the web

    Starting in PowerPoint for the web means your files are automatically saved in OneDrive. This lets you share the files with co-workers and start collaborating immediately. And when you need more functionality, you can work on the presentation together in the PowerPoint desktop app and all of your changes will be saved online.

  25. How To Use Microsoft Office on the Web for Free

    You can also upload a document, spreadsheet, or presentation from your computer via the Upload button. Each new file opens up in its tab, so you can work in multiple Word, Excel, and PowerPoint ...

  26. How to Make a Good PowerPoint Presentation (Tips)

    Download HubSpot's PowerPoint Templates and learn how to make a good PowerPoint presentation [FREE TEMPLATES]: https://clickhubspot.com/Create-Beautiful-Powe...

  27. How to Start a Work Presentation, Be Engaging: Public Speaking Expert

    An image of a chain link. It symobilizes a website link url. Copy Link I'm sure you've sat through plenty of presentations where the presenter starts with a polite salutation like, "Hello, thank ...