PowerPoint is an easy program to learn but there's so much more behind the surface that's not very obvious to a new or even a long-time user – and getting to know more about those hidden options can make all the difference in the world between a ho-hum presentation and a great one.
You can read books, and there are plenty of great PowerPoint books available but many books are version specific and can get outdated soon. Even if you do explore books, and I do recommend some of them, you can complement them with the Internet, which provides thousands of resources for PowerPoint users, and that in itself brings forth a new challenge: of finding just ten of those thousands of sites. Thankfully, this list of top ten PowerPoint resources should be helpful:
Indezine: I’ll unashamedly recommend my site, Indezine right on the top – if you want to learn more about PowerPoint, go to the aptly named Learn PowerPoint section. The site also has LinkedIn and Facebook groups, and you can follow my tweets as well.
PowerPoint FAQ: This site is run by Steve Rindsberg, who like me is a PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional). Steve has collected all sorts of information about PowerPoint and created this FAQ. Do use the search options on this site to find what you are looking for – there’s tons of quality content here.
Microsoft Answers for PowerPoint: Microsoft now has a web interface for its newsgroups, and the PowerPoint newsgroups are a great place to search for questions that other folks have answered – or you can go ahead and ask your own question. More often than not, someone will respond completely free of cost.
Office.com: Beyond Microsoft Answers, Microsoft has so much more content on Office.com – look at the PowerPoint section (click first on the Products link) – or search for free templates and images.
Duarte Blog: Read Nancy Duarte’s blog where she shares experiences and thoughts about what is happening in the world of presentations. Nancy heads Duarte Design, a world class presentation studio and has authored two best-selling books, Slide:ology and Resonate.
About.com: About.com has an extensive PowerPoint and presentations specific site managed by their guide, Wendy Russell. There are plenty of tutorials and tons of advice to get you started. There’s also a weekly newsletter that you can sign up for.
Echo’s Voice: This site is headed by PowerPoint MVP, Echo Swinford. Come here for tons of sane advice on using new features in the latest PowerPoint versions.
Ellen Finkelstein: Ellen is another PowerPoint MVP, and she also issues a frequent newsletter you can sign up for. She also provides several e-books on her site that you can buy.
The PowerPoint Team Blog: This blog is authored by the PowerPoint team at Microsoft and frequently includes insider tips and cool tutorials on using PowerPoint.
Visualology: This is a new blog started by PowerPoint MVP, Glenna Shaw and judging by the first few posts, it promises to be a site that you should bookmark. I loved her post on Gestalt Principles.