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Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft PowerPoint

Almost everybody has seen a PowerPoint slideshow; they are commonly used in schools and across workplaces in every industry to disseminate information in an attractive and easily understandable way. This widely used Microsoft tool can be applied in business and academics and allows the user to customize nearly every aspect of their presentation. It is widely known for its intuitive interface and numerous template options. 

Read on to learn more about what PowerPoint can do and careers that require skills in PowerPoint. 

Basic Features of PowerPoint

PowerPoint contains many exciting features to help the user create exciting and informative slideshows. There are a few basic features of PowerPoint that those who consistently use the program particularly enjoy.


PowerPoint has a wide array of options to customize and format your slides to your specifications. The program has plenty of predetermined themes and templates, but you aren’t limited to using only these options. PowerPoint also has a page setup menu, which helps optimize your presentation for a specific size of display. This is important to consider since you can present your project with a variety of devices, from another computer to a large projector.


This feature is the bulk of what PowerPoint was designed to do, and there are loads of tools that simplify the process of publicly presenting your work. You can add presenter notes to each slide to help remember the information you want to convey. You also can pre-record your narration, and there is a rehearse function that helps you time the verbal components of your presentation. This feature is especially useful when you have multiple presenters who might speak at different speeds.


PowerPoint is designed to work in a unified way with the other programs in the Microsoft Office Suite. This means that slides from your deck can be exported into a Word document, or you can add a graph from Excel into your presentation without difficulty. PowerPoint also can embed videos into a presentation to help your work become even more dynamic. 

Pros and Cons of Using PowerPoint

To put it simply, PowerPoint is a widely used program because there are a lot of advantages that come with it. The preloaded themes, effects, fonts, and layouts make creating professional-looking work a breeze. PowerPoint presentations can also be downloaded as PDF files and shared with those who don’t have access to Microsoft software. This also allows the slideshow to be printed so your students or employees can take notes during the presentation. PowerPoint has a few accessibility features as well. There are ways to add subtitles to your slideshow for those who are hard of hearing. You can also add Alt Text to your PowerPoint so people with a vision impairment can use a screen-reader and still understand your presentation. 

Users of PowerPoint have also pointed out a few drawbacks of using this software. First, many feel that the program can struggle to keep up with large presentations; these can lag or crash occasionally. Many users also admit that the interface is user-friendly but there is a steep learning curve if you want to truly understand all that PowerPoint can do. Additionally, the program is updated regularly and some of the changes that are made to the interface can be challenging to re-learn. Users would appreciate some consistency in this area.

Careers That Use PowerPoint

PowerPoint can be used in nearly any educational or professional setting. There are a lot of jobs that would benefit from knowing the basics of presenting with PowerPoint, but a variety of types of careers frequently use the software.

Administrative Assistants have many responsibilities that include supporting managers, directing phone calls to the correct person, and helping to schedule meetings. They use PowerPoint to help managers and other staff members prepare to present at meetings. The average salary for an entry-level administrative assistant is around $45,000 per year. While it doesn’t sound like a glamorous job, being an administrative assistant in an industry you’d like to work in is a great way to network. For example, Marketing Associates make around the same annual salary. If marketing interests you, this could be one opportunity to get your foot in the door. 

Anybody in the education profession is bound to present a lecture with PowerPoint during their career. These presentations help ensure all of your students are given the same information while keeping their attention with interesting graphics and transitions. The average salary of a teacher varies widely depending on the grade you teach, the district you teach in, and whether you work for a public or private school. College professors also earn more money because of the additional experience and education they possess. 

Learn PowerPoint With Career Centers

If you want to boost your PowerPoint skills, check out the PowerPoint classes available through Career Centers. These classes can be taken remotely or in-person at their New York City campus depending on your location. All courses are taught by expert instructors who value small class sizes so students get the attention they deserve.

Career Centers offers Microsoft PowerPoint Level I and Microsoft PowerPoint Level II courses. Both are seven hours long and teach the basics and more advanced PowerPoint tools respectively. They also have a PowerPoint Bootcamp available. This two-day program teaches you how to add more complex media to your presentations and customize your slides to make them more unique. If you’re preparing for the PowerPoint Specialist Certification Exam, Career Centers also offers a PowerPoint Specialist Certification Program to help prepare you. This course includes two hours of private training and a free retake. 

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