As technology becomes more widely available and easier to use, a staple of the age-old idea of the school report has become changed into giving a PowerPoint presentation on a designated topic. Immediately easier to sit through than a simple spoken report (due to the fact that you can add pictures, video, and music,) the idea can also be overwhelming for the same reasons. If you have no experience with PowerPoint, the idea of creating something good can be off putting, especially if you know you have to follow someone else's impressive presentation. After following just a few short steps, however, you'll be putting together a report that is completely worthy of the sought-after A+.

Research the topic of your presentation thoroughly and accurately. A PowerPoint Presentation with lots of music and pictures and video clips is going to do you no good if you don't have the required information to back it up. Use the local library, newspapers, and the internet to get anything you need. Be sure to take notes often and well.

Keep track of your information. Your information is eventually going to go on a series of slides. Because of this, your information needs to be in some kind of order so that both you and your viewer have something to follow during the actual presentation. You can organize your information in geographical order, chronological order, or something else - as long as it makes sense and isn't randomly presented in a convoluted and confusing manner.

Insert a blank text box into your first slide. This is where the majority of your information will go. The idea behind a PowerPoint presentation is not to simply copy and paste a research paper onto your slides, so keep your information short and to the point. Remember that you're going to have to follow along and say this information out loud. Include three or so bits of information per slide and then move on to the next.

Add audio and video files. Adding just the right amount of multimedia elements can really enhance your presentation. Adding too much, though, can make it garish and hard to follow. Work on maintaining a balance. To insert files click the "Insert" tab and select "Movies and Sounds." Then click on audio or video, depending on the file you're adding.

Add any additional files you feel are necessary. Using the series of icons near the top of the PowerPoint window you can add anything you desire to your slides including additional text boxes, pictures, charts and graphs, buttons, and you can also implement slide transitions.

View your presentation to ensure that everything will display the way you intended. To do this select "F5" or click on "Slideshow" under the "View" menu near the top of the program window. If everything looks and sounds the way you want, save your project and then begin practicing so you're ready when you have to perform it in front of a live audience.