Before getting started, please make sure that you’re accustomed with idea of shortcodes in WordPress: http://en.support.wordpress.com/shortcodes/
Note that link above is given only for the quick illustration of what shortcodes are. Not all shortcodes described in it will work in your theme.
In our latest multipurpose themes we are using conventional text-based shortcodes with dedicated buttons in Text Editor for your convenience (fig. 1; outlined with red frame):