The Best PowerPoint Courses 2021

The Best PowerPoint Courses 2021

We all know the pain of sitting through that third, drab presentation at the company meeting. When the slides are uninspiring, it’s hard to drudge up interest in your proposals no matter how good your ideas are. By the sixth slide, half the meeting room is counting down the minutes until their lunch break.

Trying to set your presentations apart from the rest is easier said than done, especially when you look at the dozens of features available. Do you want a transition or an animation? How do you even get started with automatic, timed presentations? Why does it seem like the number of available templates grows every time you open up PowerPoint?

While it can be difficult to get started at first, and time-consuming even when you have the basics down, finding the right PowerPoint course can set you on the right track! Trust me – your coworkers will definitely thank you for putting a little more creativity into your presentation slides.

Below, we’ll go through everything you can expect from a PowerPoint course, sliding through the best online options, and transitioning to any extra information you’ll need to get started.

Orientation

PowerPoint is the easiest way to create your presentation, whether you’re at a business meeting or drafting up a proposal for a new project. It comes with hundreds of built-in functions, and it’s compatible with several modules that you can import to elevate your presentations.

This can quickly get overwhelming – especially if you’re just starting out. Below, we’ll go over some of the most important factors to keep in mind so you can find the right PowerPoint course for your needs.

Scope

PowerPoint is an essential skill to have in today’s day and age, whether you want to master it for an upcoming presentation or to add it to your resume. They’re used to introduce your project proposals to the higher-ups, and they can directly impact whether your plans are approved or not.

Some courses cover the essentials you need to make your PowerPoint much more engaging than black words on a white background. Others teach you how to insert animations, create stunning templates of your own, and customize the way your presentation runs. Depending on your goals, some classes will be a better fit than others.

Certificates

Having a certificate for a Microsoft PowerPoint class can be great to include on your resume – it serves as proof that you’ve gone above and beyond in bettering your presentation skills. All the courses that we’ve listed come with a certificate of completion by the end. It’s something that could set your resume apart from the competition!

However, keep in mind that completion certificates from these courses are different than the official Microsoft Office Specialist Certification which you can only get after passing the MOS exam. The latter certification is much harder to get, but it’s also much more influential on a resume. You can read more about how to get one here.

Approachability

All courses cover different content and appeal to different types of students. We’ve included a wide variety in the classes chosen for our list, but you’ll want to make sure that you pick one that’s appropriate for your skill level! Not everyone wants to be a PowerPoint expert, but some of you might want to go beyond the basic template offerings available.

We recommend that beginners take courses that help them get used to the visual layout of the PowerPoint, while intermediate and advanced learners begin looking at some of the keyboard shortcuts and design elements available. Similarly, while it’s important for beginners to choose a course that matches their version of PowerPoint, more seasoned presenters can handle the visual differences between versions.

Below are the three categories of PowerPoint skills that we refer to throughout this article.

  • Beginner students are those who have minimal experience with PowerPoints. If you’ve only made a few in your life that come directly from the basic templates, then you fall into this category.
  • Intermediate students are those who have worked with PowerPoint for a few months or years. If you’re curious about more functionalities that PowerPoint offers besides basic, static presentations, then you’re in this category.
  • Advanced students are those who have already gone above and beyond when creating PowerPoints and are familiar with most features it has to offer. If you’re in this category, you’re probably looking for more PowerPoint design ideas or shortcuts to speed up the PowerPoint creation process.

Time and Cost

PowerPoint courses range in costs, though most will be around $100. Some courses are only meant to give you the basics and run a few hours long. Others provide a more comprehensive view, with video lessons that run for over 10 hours! No matter the course, make sure you pick one where you have enough time to watch all the videos – and complete any optional assignments included to get the most value for your money.

Cheat Sheet

Below is a list of our favorite PowerPoint courses, so you can jump to the one that suits your needs. Our goal was to cover a wide variety of class offerings, so you’ll likely fit into one or two categories. This list is meant to help you narrow your search for the perfect PowerPoint class.

  1. If you’re interested in getting a comprehensive overview of everything PowerPoint can accomplish, the Master PowerPoint Presentation course is designed just for that!
  2. If you want to practice as you learn, the Ultimate Microsoft Office; Excel, Word, PowerPoint & Access class presents itself as a solid option.
  3. If you want a crash course on preparing PowerPoint slides for business, Effective Business Presentations with PowerPoint suits you just right.
  4. If you’re just getting started with PowerPoint, we’d recommend the PowerPoint From Beginner to Advanced course slides through the content quickly.
  5. If you’re trying to increase your speed and efficiency when it comes to making presentations, definitely check out the Advanced PowerPoint Training class.
  6. If you already have a solid PowerPoint background and want to learn the shortcuts and hidden features, Mastering PowerPoint 2019 – Advanced can help you transition to that higher level.
  7. If you’re interested in improving your PowerPoint designs and templates, Presentation Skills has designed the perfect course for you.

blue, green, and white PowerPoint design with graphs

Top 7 Best PowerPoint Courses 2021


1. Most Comprehensive: Master PowerPoint Presentation

  • 11 hours $94.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • PowerPoint Version: 2013, 2016, 2019, 365
  • Skill level: All levels

Why we like it

Master PowerPoint Presentation is a single course that covers all the topics you need! From tutorials for absolute beginners to tips that can revolutionize your presentation design, you’re certain to learn something new from the class.

Our Review

The Master PowerPoint Presentation course gives a comprehensive overview of all PowerPoint has to offer. From essential knowledge to advanced techniques, you’ll get a taste of how powerful this presentation software really is. If you’re looking for a single course that covers a bit of everything in a digestible manner, you’ve found it!

The instructor, Andrew Pach, is very active in the class and has been teaching PowerPoint tricks for years. He responds to questions within 48 hours, so you’ll be able to get any confusion cleared up quickly. His method of teaching is engaging and well-paced, and the video lectures are easy to sit through.

Just keep in mind that since this course covers a little bit of everything, it doesn’t go as in-depth for some of the individual topics. In fact, there are entire courses on topics that might be a single module in this class. One example is slide design; this course teaches you how to design your own presentations, but the class from Presentation Skills is going to have more details on design.

Best Suited For

This class is suited for people of all skill levels who want to step up their PowerPoint game. It walks through the essentials for beginners, teaches template creation and techniques for intermediate learners, and covers video background and global changes for advanced learners.

His guaranteed response rate within 48 hours can be especially helpful for beginners as he can quickly clear up confusion. With a constantly updating course when new versions come out, students of any skill level can learn quickly.

What’s Included?

In addition to lifetime access to this constantly updating course, you’ll also get an exclusive 14-slide presentation template that works with all current editions of PowerPoint. The course also includes instructions on most versions of PowerPoint, so everyone can follow along from their own computer.

Pros

  • The instructor is active in answering questions
  • Suitable for all skill levels
  • Teaches the essentials, slide design, and advanced tricks
  • The course is engaging and well-paced
  • Purchase includes an exclusive 14-slide presentation template

Cons

  • Certain topics aren’t covered in-depth


2. Best for Practicing: Ultimate Microsoft Office; Excel, Word, PowerPoint & Access

  • 14.5 hours $79.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • PowerPoint Version: 2016, 2019, 365
  • Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate

Why we like it

The Ultimate PowerPoint Course comes with several exercise files so that you can test your new knowledge – and make sure you understand the material. If you’re thinking about taking the Microsoft Office Specialization exam in the future, this course can help with your preparation.

Our Review

A lot of online courses have trouble with engagement, but that’s one aspect that the Ultimate PowerPoint Course has down. Just like with any skill, watching someone else doing it is different than trying it out yourself. Once you’re shown a design, it’s easy for anyone to replicate it. But can you do it on your own?

With built-in exercises throughout the course, you’ll be able to get in all the practice you need. If you’re looking to take the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exam, this course also does a great job of preparing you for that. It also offers advice for the actual presentation and delivery, something that not many other courses do.

The only downside is that some of the exercises can be difficult to do, and you might have to watch a few videos more than once to get it. However, these challenging exercises are the best way for you to get practice since the MOS certification exam is notoriously difficult.

Best Suited For

If you’re planning on taking the MOS certification exam, or you want to make sure you have all the essential information down, this course is perfect for you. It goes through templates and slide designs while teaching about the “backstage area” of PowerPoint as well, such as printing your presentation.

However, we do not recommend this course for advanced learners. Rather, if you are advanced, we suggest trying the Mastering PowerPoint 2019 – Advanced course.

What’s Included?

You’ll have access to two different courses when you purchase this bundle. One is recorded using PowerPoint 2016, and the other is recorded using PowerPoint 2019. This way, it’ll be easy to follow along with the tutorials if you have either of the two versions. Unfortunately, this class doesn’t currently support older versions. It also comes with exercise files for you to practice with.

Pros

  • Comes with exercise files to help students get practice
  • Prepares students for the Microsoft Office Specialist exam
  • Easy to get engaged with this course
  • Gives presentation preparation and delivery advice

Cons

  • Exercises can be difficult for beginners


3. Best for Business: Effective Business Presentations With PowerPoint

  • 11 hours $79 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • PowerPoint Version: 2013, 2016, 2019, 365
  • Skill level: All Levels

Why we like it

If you’re interested in perfecting your presentation creation and delivery in the workplace, this course takes you there and beyond. Packed with readings, exercises, and projects, it gives an in-depth look at how to effectively communicate data in a formal setting.

Our Review

If you’re specifically looking for ways to elevate your presentations in a business setting, Alex Mannella’s course is perfect for you. It comes with four separate modules that break up presentations in a formal setting, from creating the slides to the actual delivery. Even better – you can list the projects and assignments done in this class on your resume to show your PowerPoint proficiency!

This course is just one out of five available videos in the “Data Analysis and Presentation Skills” specialization on Coursera, but it functions as its own stand-alone course. It’s also one of the more versatile options and the advice given applies to all versions of PowerPoint. The class also comes with subtitles in 9 different languages.

However, this course does have a specific focus on business, and as a result, you won’t learn all of the tips and tricks PowerPoint has to offer. Rather, the course focuses more on how to effectively present data to your audience using PowerPoint, not on the techniques needed to fully master PowerPoint.

Best Suited For

This course is suited for individuals of any skill level who want to get the most out of PowerPoint in a business setting. If you’re trying to spruce up your presentation for the next company meeting, this course gets straight to the point. That being said, if you want a more comprehensive overview of PowerPoint, we’d recommend the Master PowerPoint Presentation course.

What’s Included?

In addition to the typical video lectures available, you’ll also have access to practice quizzes, readings, and graded assignments to make sure you’re fully engaged with the class. You’ll also be able to provide peer feedback to other assignments while getting inspiration for your own PowerPoint designs in the future!

Pros

  • Focuses on presentations in business settings
  • Provides readings, quizzes, and projects to work on
  • Works with all versions of PowerPoint
  • Gives in-depth lessons on presentation delivery as well

Cons

  • Doesn’t focus as much on specific PowerPoint techniques


4. Best Beginner: Microsoft PowerPoint From Beginner to Advanced

  • 7 hours $94.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • PowerPoint Version: 2010, 2013, 2019, 365
  • Skill level: Beginner

Why we like it

If you’ve never made a PowerPoint before or you find yourself easily confused by the layout, this certified instructor can help you through the basics! This course is designed to establish strong PowerPoint foundations so you can build on them as needed in the future.

Our Review

PowerPoint offers a lot of options that can quickly get overwhelming to a beginner. If you haven’t dealt much with PowerPoint in the past and you want to build a strong foundation of understanding, this course is right for you. While it briefly covers intermediate and advanced techniques, its focus is on helping beginners get more comfortable with using PowerPoint.

The instructor, Kyle Pew, is both a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a certified Microsoft Office Master Instructor. Having passed Microsoft exams before, he has enough understanding of PowerPoint to walk you through the fundamentals and distill difficult techniques down to the essentials. He also has courses for other Microsoft Office programs. This means that if you like his teaching style, you can learn more from him!

However, since this course is tailored to beginners, it does move at a slower pace than some of the other options. It doesn’t cover as many advanced techniques – but it was specially designed to be a class for those just starting out in making presentations.

Best Suited For

The course is best for those who have little to no experience in PowerPoint but wants to learn. If you’ve had practice with making presentations before and you already understand the basics, we recommend trying Advanced PowerPoint Training. Otherwise, you may find yourself growing bored with the slower pace of this class.

What’s Included?

Unfortunately, this course does not include extra learning content such as practice assignments and exams. However, as it is a basic course, you can practice many of the lessons along with him as he walks you step-by-step through the presentation creation process.

Pros

  • The instructor is certified to teach PowerPoint
  • Class is tailored to beginners and doesn’t move too quickly
  • Meticulously covers the fundamentals of PowerPoint
  • The instructor has classes on other Microsoft Office products available

Cons

  • Moves a little slower than other courses


5. Best for Speed: Advanced PowerPoint Training

  • 7.5 hours $109.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • PowerPoint Version: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 365
  • Skill level: Intermediate, Advanced

Why we like it

If you’ve already mastered the basics and you want to work on your speed, the Advanced PowerPoint Training can help significantly increase your efficiency. By the end of this course, you’ll barely need your mouse for creating presentations!

Our Review

Once you’re familiar with creating PowerPoints, you might want to think about speeding things up. The best thing about shortcuts is that you’ll be able to use them for every presentation no matter the content. This class shows you how to do just that, claiming to help you find a shortcut for 80% of everything you do while making presentations.

The instructor, Taylor Croonquist, is energetic and passionate about the topic. He moves quickly through the techniques you can use to speed up the presentation creation process, so you’ll have to make sure you pay attention. In addition, since a lot of these drills require practice, you’ll have to put in some extra legwork outside of the video lectures.

However, if you’re looking to double your productivity and efficiency, this course is the way to do it! The more you create presentations in your day-to-day life, the more benefit you’ll get from this course. And if you’re really not sure that you’ll learn from these lectures, you can always take their Speed Challenge on the course page to see just how fast you are, and how much the course can help you improve.

Best Suited For

This class is suited more for intermediate or advanced learners. The course assumes you have basic PowerPoint knowledge, so if you’re a beginner, it might move too quickly for you. If you do find it difficult to keep up with this course, we recommend taking PowerPoint From Beginner to Advanced instead.

What’s Included?

This course comes with over sixty drills for presentation shortcuts to help you improve your speed. It comes with dozens of exercises, and by the end, you’ll almost be able to navigate PowerPoint just by using your keyboard! It also comes with a download so you can install the exact PowerPoint customizations the instructor uses to get this faster rate.

Pros

  • Can double your efficiency and productivity
  • The instructor is passionate about the topic, making videos engaging
  • Comes with dozens of drills for you to practice with
  • Speed challenge sets up a measurable benchmark

Cons

  • Can move too quickly through the material
  • Requires a lot of extra work to master the drills and techniques used


6. Best Advanced: Mastering PowerPoint 2019 – Advanced

  • 5 hours $84.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • PowerPoint Version: 2019, 365
  • Skill level: Intermediate, Advanced

Why we like it

If you’ve been looking to top off your PowerPoint mastery skills, Mastering PowerPoint 2019 has you covered. With an in-depth look at several advanced features, you’ll know all there is about PowerPoint by the end of this class.

Our Review

Rather than focusing on speed, this course takes a deeper dive into advanced features that PowerPoint offers. From implementing SmartArt and 3D models to working on the interface and update options, you’ll know all there is about PowerPoint by the end of the course. It emphasizes the technical element of PowerPoint and gives examples of how to use these skills to tie your presentation together.

However, while the course does dive in-depth on several topics, it can be hard to skim through for quick facts. If there’s one specific shortcut that you’ve forgotten from the class, you’ll have to dig through a lot of lecture content to find that piece of information. In addition, since the class is designed to be for professionals and more advanced students, the content can be drier to sit through as well.

Best Suited For

This is best suited for intermediate or advanced PowerPoint users who find themselves making presentations constantly. The tips and shortcuts given in this course are meant to explore all of the advanced features, so it may be too overwhelming for beginners. Rather, if you’re just starting out, we’d recommend the PowerPoint From Beginner to Advanced course.

What’s Included?

This course is designed to give higher-level tips on PowerPoint presentation skills, so it doesn’t come with any extra course material or templates.

Pros

  • Gives tips on implementing Smart Objects and 3D models
  • Covers a comprehensive overview of PowerPoint’s advanced features
  • Emphasizes the technical side of PowerPoint
  • Goes more in-depth than several other courses

Cons

  • Hard to skim through when reviewing the material
  • Video lectures can be dry


7. Best for PowerPoint Design: Presentation Skills – Designing Presentation Slides

  • 4 weeks $79 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • PowerPoint Version: 2013, 2016, 2019, 365
  • Skill level: All levels

Why we like it

If you’ve always cared more about the overall visual appearance of your slides, this course by Presentation Skills suits your needs perfectly. It takes you through an overview of the psychology behind designs and templates so that your next presentation is sure to astound the audience.

Our Review

A lot of the previous courses dealt with technical components of creating presentations, this course is all about the layout. It helps you decide the tone of your presentation through color theory, template options, the psychology behind designs, and more. You’ll get exposure to both good and bad PowerPoint designs for your next presentation.

However, this course does have a more rigid structure than the others, which is why it’s lower on our list. While the deadlines are flexible, it’s designed to be started and completed in a month. The course is broken down by weeks, so if you don’t have as much free time, you may find yourself falling behind.

However, if you’re more interested in the technical side of presentations rather than the design side, we would recommend checking out courses such as Advanced PowerPoint Training and Mastering PowerPoint 2019.

Best Suited For

If design has always been your strength, this course may be for you. Rather than learning all of the technical features that Microsoft PowerPoint can offer, sometimes creating an impactful presentation can come down to the colors and templates used. Students who don’t care as much about learning all the technical features and just want to deal with the overall visual will enjoy this class.

What’s Included?

With every week, you’ll gain access to new readings and quizzes to help with your comprehension of course material. These assignments can help you increase your engagement and better retain the lessons learned.

Pros

  • Teaches about color theory and psychology behind design choices
  • Covers the differences between templates and which to use
  • Covers how to create presentations that make an impact

Cons

  • Comes with a more rigid structure
  • Doesn’t cover many technical features of PowerPoint


FAQ

PowerPoint classes help you save time and energy, so they’re worth it if you want to make sure you efficiently cover all the features the software offers. Although the information is available on the Internet for free, you’d have to dig through the documentation on your own without classes.

If you’re talking about the very basics, it’ll only take a few hours before you can set up a slideshow. However, if you want to fully master PowerPoint, you’ll have to go through the courses and practice on your own. This process can take up to several months so give yourself time to learn!

Give yourself at least a month in advance to prepare. The MOS certification exam can be difficult, so you’ll want to load up on practice exams beforehand. You’ll want to make sure you have every inch of PowerPoint covered before taking the test.

Definitely not. If you want to learn PowerPoint more for the skills, or you already have a job requiring PowerPoint creation, you don’t need the official certification. However, having the MOS certification is an easy way to stand out from others.

PowerPoint is used in every industry, making it one of the more important skills you can learn. Depending on your role in the company, you might need these skills more than you’d think. For example, just look at executive assistants! They often have to be proficient in PowerPoint designs, but their median salary is a whopping $70,000 per year.



Extra Credit

Now that we’ve gone over our favorite PowerPoint courses, let’s dive deep into what you need to know so that you can become a presentation master in no time! Just like with any skill, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools and mindset before you get started.

What You Need to Succeed

With any of these online courses, the only thing you’ll need is a computer with PowerPoint installed. It can be expensive (costing $139.99 for lifetime access), so make sure you have the budget for it if you don’t already have access. In addition, you’ll want to know what version of PowerPoint you have, since not all courses are compatible with all versions.

Difference in PowerPoint Versions

PowerPoint comes with many different versions over the years, from the original version launching in 1987. Today, most users will likely have a 2010 version or newer. With each update, there are usually new features, abilities, and a more streamlined design.

Besides the version name, the operating system you use impacts your PowerPoint app as well. If you have a MacBook, your version of PowerPoint will be slightly different than what Windows users will have. Unfortunately, PowerPoint for MacBook users will be missing a few key features, such as 3D models and screen recording technology.

In addition, whenever new features launch, they usually get added to the Windows edition before the macOS edition. However, the macOS version will have enough features to support most of the classes that we’ve listed above – but the display may have slight changes.

If you’re a beginner student, we recommend going with either the 2016 version or the 2019 version since most courses are taught using those two layouts. However, if you’ve been using PowerPoint for a while and you have an older version, you’ll be able to follow along with most of the techniques taught in class, even if the layout is a little different.

If you’re not sure which version to buy, we strongly recommend purchasing Office 365 instead. It comes as an annual subscription with the entire Microsoft Office Suite package. In addition, you’ll get access to updated software as soon as it comes out. All classes listed are currently compatible with Office 365 as well.

Online Sources and Help

Sometimes, you may get stuck on one assignment or drill that you can’t seem to figure out. If you don’t want to message your instructor with your question, Microsoft office provides their own online modules teaching you about PowerPoint features as well.

You can find their courses for Windows and macOS on their support site. This site only helps with the newest version of PowerPoint, but you can also find support for the Windows 2016 version here. Unfortunately, Microsoft no longer supports PowerPoint 2016 for macOS.

Difficulty in Online Learning

When you’re learning online, engagement can be much more difficult compared to in-person classes. For PowerPoint, you’re likely taking these classes to boost your presentation skills, both for delivery and slide design. While the courses can show you many new techniques, you’ll want make sure to practice the skills recently learned.

One way to avoid the problem of engagement is by taking a class that comes with practice drills, such as Ultimate Microsoft Office; Excel, Word, PowerPoint & Access. You can also look for classes with readings, assignments, and exams to make sure you stay engaged – Presentation Skills does a great job at that.

In addition, presentation slides can only get you so far. The delivery is just as important, which brings us to the next subject.

Presentation Practice

With in-person presentation classes, you’d get time to present your own custom slides to your instructor and get feedback. When you’re online, that’s a little more difficult. While some courses such as Effective Business Presentations with PowerPoint will give you tips on how to present your slides, you’ll need to put in extra work outside of class.

The easiest way to do this is to give mock presentations on your own. You can start by presenting while in front of a mirror to see whether you come across as professional. Once you’re more comfortable, you can record yourself and listen back to the presentation you just gave. Practice makes perfect, and presentation skills are no different!

Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

Once you’re confident in your PowerPoint skills, you can get an official certification from Microsoft Office. This is actually the first of three levels of Microsoft Office certifications. After passing the first exam, you can continue on to the Expert and Master requirements, though those exams have prerequisites.

You can also read more about the exam and find practice materials here to gauge your current skill level. Who knows? You might already be skilled enough to ace the exam.

Benefits of Being Certified

Getting the official certification can take a lot of work, but the results are worth it. These certifications are verifiable and known across the industry, so you’ll have evidence that you’re actually proficient in PowerPoint. In addition, not everyone is certified, so passing these exams and putting it on your resume can set you apart from others.

Final Presentation Time!

Now that we’ve covered all the basics behind PowerPoint courses, it’s time for you to take the lead. Find which version of PowerPoint you’re using and get ready to create a presentation that’ll wow your audience. Whether you’re fleshing out new project proposals or selling your innovative ideas to companies, having a well-designed presentation will start you off on the right slide!