What is the proper way to use an inhaler?

Use a spacer. The easiest way to use an inhaler is with a spacer. You're much more likely to do it correctly. The inhalation for an hfa inhaler is a slow inhalation through the spacer. Dry powder inhalers are used differently, so make sure you review with your doctor or pharmacist the proper way for your inhaler.
Inhaler technique. Here is a link to one of many videos demonstrating proper technique. I prefer that all patients use an aerochamber (spacer) with asthma inhalers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwby_uasvhq.