Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation graphics application that can be used to create slideshows conveying important information to an audience in a manner that’s accessible and engaging. PowerPoint provides users with the tools for word processing, graphing, drawing, outlining, and managing presentations. Those who work with this application find it to be intuitive and easy to use.

PowerPoint was developed by Robert Gaskins, a Ph.D. student at U.C. Berkeley. He intended to create a program for making presentations that involved a series of slides. Although it was originally designed to work on Mac computers, in 1987 Microsoft purchased this app for $14 million.

Today, PowerPoint works on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. PowerPoint users can easily create presentations using the provided templates or design their own presentations from scratch. In addition to textual elements, images, videos, and art can also be incorporated into PowerPoint presentations. Because of its wide range of uses, PowerPoint has been a staple in the business and academic sectors for decades, helping presenters better inform and connect with audiences around the globe.

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Why use PowerPoint?

A killer presentation not only impresses an audience, but informs them, sways them, and provides them with important information in a memorable format. PowerPoint users have the power to accomplish all these goals and more, thanks to this app’s many helpful presentation features and tools. Here are just some of the benefits of working with PowerPoint for your academic or business presentations:

  • PowerPoint Designer provides users with an array of professional design options.
  • It’s possible to add cinematic motion and animations to PowerPoint presentations.
  • Once a presentation is created, it can be saved to OneDrive, then accessed on a phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Work created in PowerPoint can easily be shared with others using PowerPoint, which enables collaboration.
  • When using PowerPoint, handwritten notes can be converted to text and hand-drawn shapes can be smoothed out in mere seconds.
  • Three-dimensional objects and animations can be directly embedded into PowerPoint from a library of content or even your own files.
  • PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach provides users with a way to practice their speech and receive tips on how to improve word choice and pacing, thanks to artificial intelligence capabilities.
  • The editing process is transparent when working with PowerPoint. The “While You Were Away” feature allows users to monitor changes that were made by others in the time since they last visited the presentation.
  • For those who find public speaking intimidating, PowerPoint can reduce presentation-related anxiety by keeping the audience engaged with the information on the screen instead of devoting their entire focus to the presenter.
  • Users can eliminate the use of stagnant bullet points in their presentations and replace them with animated, engaging infographics.
  • PowerPoint users have access to free templates in 40 categories, such as newsletters, menus, calendars, and address books. 
  • PowerPoint has video editing capabilities that can be used to trim videos, transfer the same video to multiple slides, and export presentations as videos.
  • Users can animate corporate or brand logos so that they can be displayed at the forefront of your presentation.
  • PowerPoint facilitates collaborative endeavors. In professional settings that require teamwork, team members can all contribute to the same presentation. Those wishing to provide feedback simply select the “Review” tab and then “New Comment.” Feedback can be left for other team members to view as they work to revise the presentation.
  • This application can transcribe your spoken words during a presentation and place them in captions on the screen. These subtitles can be displayed in the language that is being spoken or translated to a different language for optimal accessibility.
  • PowerPoint is a helpful tool for creating visual timelines that depict the length of time an action has been occurring, or how long a team has been working toward a given solution. These timelines can be interactive or contain animation to spur audience engagement.
  • In addition to PowerPoint being used as a live presentation tool, the information presented can also be reformatted so that images, tables, infographics, video, text, and URLs can be contained in one document and shared as a PowerPoint file.
  • Those using PowerPoint can print outlines, handouts, and speaker notes.
  • The “Slide Master” tool helps presenters format all the slides to ensure the presentation is professional-grade.
  • It’s possible to import documents from PowerPoint into other Microsoft products, such as Excel and Word.

Which Professions Use PowerPoint?

PowerPoint plays an integral role in professions across industries that rely on presentations to convey information. Administrative Assistants, Sales Representatives, Technical Writers, Graphic Designers, Marketing Associates, and Data Analysts all rely on this app to share important information and findings with their target audience. 

In addition, in the world of academia, students, instructors, and administrators have been using PowerPoint for years for their presentation needs. Because of how easy PowerPoint is to work with, learners of all ages can use this application to share their work with their peers. Elementary and middle-school students presenting at science fairs use this app, as do high-schoolers sharing history reports or final literature presentations. In higher education, many students also rely on PowerPoint to share final projects and research findings. Instructors at all levels use this versatile app to present class material to students in a way that’s interactive, fun, and memorable. Even academic administrators disperse educational insights, statistics, and reports with this tool. 

No matter what profession you are in, PowerPoint likely plays some role in helping to convey information.

Learn PowerPoint with Hands-On Classes

Those who know how to create stunning PowerPoint presentations have many job opportunities across industries and careers. If you are interested in learning more about how to use this Microsoft Office application, then Noble Desktop’s live online and in-person PowerPoint courses are for you. These small group classes prepare students at all levels to work with this industry-standard presentation software. 

If you are looking for a more rigorous and intensive PowerPoint class, look no further than Noble’s PowerPoint Bootcamp. Throughout this 14-hour, two-day course, participants create different layouts, as well as learn how to layer objects and customize text. More advanced features are also covered, such as how to make your own reusable PowerPoint template, as well as how to import Excel charts.

There are also over 50 PowerPoint courses available from Noble Desktop and its affiliate schools. If you want to learn more about which of these courses you can take nearby, Noble’s PowerPoint Classes Near Me Tool is designed to help prospective students explore all learning options.