Creating a preset is a fast way to set a starting point for your editing, taking your RAW file to a custom JPG without any effort! By the time I'm evaluating and selecting my images from a card import, the photos are already edited close to the final product. Here's how:
1. Edit the first photo (global edits only) in a way you expect to edit all other photos in the series. This will become the starting point of your editing.
2. Click the + button in the title bar of the Presets panel (located in left column of Develop module).
3. Choose the settings criteria you would like saved, then click Create.
4. Your Preset is now saved. You can apply it to any photo by selecting that photo and then clicking the preset. Those changes will be applied. OR...
5. When you're shooting similar photos each day (i.e. macro on a dive trip), just select your new preset as a Develop Setting to be applied during Import. Now, every time you import new photos, the present settings will be applied by the time you start browsing the images. Bam!