Google Adwords Fundamentals Study Guide
Learning the basics of Google Adwords will allow you to use any other paid search platform quite easily. There are plenty of beginner's tutorials out there, but I haven't found anything better than Google's certification exam study guides. They're structured to give you a brief overview of all the features in Adwords, without any fluff that bloggers might add. Just reading the PDF guide to Adwords Fundamentals will teach you enough to understand a conversation about SEM.