Power tool
You are in: surefish > faith > software
Date: 22 September, 2004

Page up button



'Whenever you produce a presentation for use in a service or meeting you will need to ensure that you have practiced running through your slides so that there are no nasty surprises.'


Richard Armiger takes you through the basics of Microsoft's PowerPoint program.

Jargon Buster

PowerPoint - software package provided by Microsoft® for producing electronic presentations
Slide - a slide is a page within PowerPoint which will be displayed on the screen when you show the presentation
Design Template - a predetermined set of slide set up in terms of background to the slides, the font and font colour for the slides
Animation Scheme - a set of default animations which will enable you to change the way that the information in a presentation appears on screen
Custom animation - a powerful tool to enable you to change the way that text within slides appears on screen
Slide Show - the name given to actually presenting your presentation on screen


Microsoft PowerPoint® is a powerful presentation tool that lets you create electronic slide shows. Electronic presentations can be used in a variety of ways to enhance the message you wish to communicate whether this be in an act of worship, your church group or church meeting.

In this surefish article you will learn how to create your first PowerPoint presentation. In future articles within the Church Resources section we will show you how to make your PowerPoint presentations come alive with the addition of pictures, music and video.

If you use a word processing package you will find that the formatting and layout features in PowerPoint are very similar and this will help you get to grips with the software.

Whenever you are preparing a presentation of any kind you should always start with the end in mind and follow some structured steps.

Think about what you want to accomplish with your presentation?

a short, simple presentation that leaves the viewer wanting to know more
an involved longer presentation that teaches your congregation on a specific subject?

Think through the practical issues

Where and how you'll be delivering the presentation.
What kind of handouts will you need to prepare, and so on

Gather content and presentation ideas
Structure the subject matter
Develop how to present it
Prepare Presentation
Practice the presentation

Plan, experience, control the environment

Know the room in which you'll be presenting
How big your congregation or audience might be

Deliver the presentation

Taking time to think through your presentation before you begin will help you make the right choices as you pull everything together.

For this initial beginners guide we are going to use a short and simple sermon or talk presentation on prayer as our reference. We will use a built in design template for the presentation and default fonts.

The first step is to familiarise yourself with the basics of PowerPoint. The process that we will go through in this beginners guide will consist of the following 10 steps to creating a PowerPoint presentation:

1. Start PowerPoint. In the New Presentation dialog box at the right hand side of the screen, select From Design Template. Scroll through the templates until you find a suitable one for your presentation.


2. The default first slide is a title slide which allows for a main title for the presentation and a subtitle


3. Click in the box on the slide which says Click to add title and type the title for your presentation. Click in the box which says Click to add subtitle and type the subtitle - don't worry if you only want a title - simply leave the subtitle box as it is. The Click to add subtitle message does not get displayed when you present your slide show.


4. Insert a new blank slide either:

a. From the Insert top menu option select New Slide
b. On the
Formatting toolbar, click New Slide
c. With the text insertion point in the
Outline or Slides tab, press Enter.

Top Tip
A quick way to add text to a presentation and add new slides is to use the 'Outline' tab option and simply type your information in directly under this tab. The information appears on the relevant slide.

5. With the text insertion point in the Outline or Slides tab alongside the next slide type the text that you want to appear as the title for the slide. Press enter and then the tab key to enter the text for the points you wish to get across on this slide. The text is in the form of bullet points. Press the enter key to add a new bullet point on the slide. Use the increase indent button to move in a bullet level and decrease indent button to move back a bullet level.


6. Repeat the process for steps 4 - 5 until you have entered all the information you want. As within any word processing package you can highlight text and adjust the font, colour and size of the text using the standard toolbar options.
The Increase Font Size
and Decrease Font Size buttons
can be used either on the whole text for the slide title / text or just for individual characters and words. In this case we have adjusted the size of the bible reference '(Ephesians 2:18)' to be smaller than the rest of the title.


7. Your presentation is now complete with all your required text entered. You are therefore ready to save the presentation file. Select File on the Menu bar. Select Save and in the dialog box, give your PowerPoint presentation a name and click on Save.

1. Stick to one or two fonts throughout the presentation. If you use slide or text effects again stick with one or two throughout the presentation
2. The presentation should assist your congregation to stay focused on the message not on how many effects you can produce on screen
3. Save your presentation regularly
8. To add an effect to the whole presentation click on Slide Show from the menu bar and select Animation Schemes a dialog box will appear on the right of screen. Select the desired animation effect and click on Apply to all Slides. This will apply that single effect to all slides in your presentation. You can apply the effect to just one slide if you wish. Use this effects option if you want to reveal information on each slide in a step by step way rather than revealing the whole slide at once. Remember to save your presentation after any changes.




9. You are now ready to show your presentation. To do this scroll to your first slide in the presentation and click on the Slide Show button at the bottom left of the screen.
Slide show icon
Your presentation will show and the slides and text will advance as you press the left hand mouse button or right arrow key.


10. Before using your presentation it is sensible to print out the presentation so that you can readily see what slide is coming next. To print a presentation click on the file menu and select print. The print dialogue box will appear select Handouts from the drop down menu under Print what: and select 3 slides per page. This option will give you some notes space alongside each printed slide to add any additional information. Click on OK to print your presentation.


Top Tip
Select a template with a colour scheme which helps your information stand our. A blue background with lighter text tends to stand out the best. If you choose a light background and light font you may find that on a large projection screen your message is lost!

You have now produced your first PowerPoint presentation. You have added an effect to the whole presentation and printed a copy of the presentation for reference. Whilst it was a simple presentation it will hopefully have given you the enthusiasm and confidence to explore some more. Whenever you produce a presentation for use in a service or meeting you will need to ensure that you have practiced running through your slides so that there are no nasty surprises.

On the day of the presentation remember to arrive early and check that you have a back-up copy of your presentation with you. Ideally have a print out of the presentation on acetates in case the video projector or computer fails and you have to use the overhead projector.

When using technology you need to 'be prepared'. Things do not always go according to plan!

Richard Armiger
Armadillos Ltd & Active Media Publishing Ltd
(eChurch Active magazine)

This article was first published in eChurch Active in Issue 1 November 2003.

Richard Armiger runs his own training consultancy and media production company, Armadillos, and is a Co-Editor of eChurch Active. Tel: 0845 2268507 or vist www.armadillos.biz


© Christian Aid
Surefish.co.uk - the Christian community website from Christian Aid

Christian Aid is a member of the